“It takes all kinds to make a world”. It was true in 1620 when Miguel de Cervantes wrote Don Quixote, and it is true today. While it does, indeed, take many kinds of people to make the world go round, so too does it apply to communities. In the Greater Vampire Community (GVC) we spend a great deal of time trying to find ways to make the community better with the ultimate goal of someday reaching some utopian state of the “perfect” community. If we can just get rid of THIS idea, if we could only get rid of THAT person. If we could only find a way to throw out the problem people. If we could create a council for this or that. Perhaps if we just make it all right we can have a community where everyone learns and everyone agrees… No.
First we’ll take a sheet of legal paper and, place an imaginary population at the top, we’ll use 100k, just for nice round figures. Lets start by assuming we can get rid of all the “posers” in the community. Lets wave a magic wand and anyone who is not what they say they are is suddenly and permanently blocked from every vampire related group in the community. (of course we can’t, this is a thought exercise, so break out your imagination and put it to work)
Much to the initial delight of the community we would suddenly lose (lets be generous here) a quarter of the community. Anyone and everyone who was actually pretending to be a vampire or donor or other community figure and didn’t actually believe themselves to be what they were portraying are gone.
100,000 – 25,000 posers = 75,000
Now with all those people gone you’d think things would be a lot more peaceful. No. It seems not all the trolls were posers. Some were actually what they said they were, whether that was Vampire, Mundane, Donor, whatever. Still.. do we really NEED trolls in the community? There is no way to get anything done with community members who are constantly driving threads off topic, engaging in circular arguments, name calling and sometimes even threats. Its unacceptable behaviour and disrespectful. People who can’t show even the most basic respect for others have no real place in the community. If they actually NEEDED the community they would behave differently. Clearly we can do without them. Give the forums and groups back to the people who actually WANT to enjoy real conversation. OUT with the trolls! Trolls don’t really take up a large portion of the community, but they are very vocal, making it seem like there are more than you think. Lets use some creative guesswork and say .013% of the population is a troll. That about 1000, I think (math was never my forte, but I think that’s close)
75000 – 1000 = 74000
Ok. Surely that helped make it easier to learn and get things done and … wait. What do you mean there is still fighting? We need to make councils and advance projects. What is the fighting about now? … We still can’t decide on a definition for what we are? The community is split between Psi’s and Sangs. Nothing will ever be accomplished like this. In order to stop the bickering and let everyone get on with doing whats best for them, lets separate the two communities once and for all.
For easy math we’ll assume the community is split down the middle. Yes, I know its not, but lets assume we can split the community relatively in half, Sangs and donors are now a separate community. Psi’s and donors no longer have to listen to stories about blood drinking and Sangs no longer have to deal with things like Psi attacks and shielding. The Hybrids go where they feel most comfortable.
74,000 div 2 = 37,000.
As a Sang, I’ll follow the Sang community.
37,000 seems like a manageable number. Still plenty of people for meetups and tons of forums. Why is there still no peace? Too many philosophies! No one can agree on what causes Sang Vampirism because no one can agree with the symptoms. Some people seem to age, some don’t. Some believe its physical, some believe its basis is in metaphysics. Again we need to separate the warring factions if we want to get research done, if we want to ever find what causes this, how to deal with it, how to properly teach those who will come after us…
37,000 div 2 = 18,500
Again and again we could split the community in search of the perfect match to our own Vampirism. All in vain. In the end we might be standing alone, or with only a handful of others who share our particular philosophy, symptoms and community goals. Standing with those few people left in our circle we would have nothing left to discuss, because we would agree on everything and how many times can you say “You’re right. Preaching to the choir, friend”
Community is about diversity. Without the Lifestylers, Goths and Role-players we lose not only potential donors and supporters and friends, but we lose glamour, imagination and some really interesting parties! If we removed every single troll and disrespectful asshole in the community who would be left to challenge us? Who would give us a reason to band together to fight a common enemy or misconception? Without both halves of the community, both Psi and Sang the community would lack either body or soul, for in the end that is what the Sang and Psi halves of the community bring to the table. We Sangs keep the community somewhat grounded in the physical while the Psi’s remind us that there is more to the world than the physical, indeed there is a world we cannot see and often benefit from being reminded of it.
We all like to complain that the GVC is not what we’d like it to be, and yet there is so much to be said for a Community with so much to discuss, so many choices on where to discuss it and who to discuss it with. In a world where the only constant is change, we have a Community that is alive, growing, evolving. Perhaps it behoves us to take a moment, from time to time and realize that “It takes all kinds to make a world”, and be grateful for what we have, because it will never be like this particular snapshot in time again, whatever the future holds for us.