[Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

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[Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Thanas » 2009-05-28 05:18am

Fellow senators, I present to you a very special case indeed, the case of the gentleman known as Elite Pwnage Schuyler Colfax.

Among his many hits, of which the vast majority was thankfully lost due to the autodelete function on testing, I present you with a few examples. Please keep in mind that all of these were HoS'd.

- SC and the consequence of ignoring advice. When a supermod tells the person in question to shut the hell up less he suffer more humiliation, the gentlemen rises to the challenge in true form.
- attention-whoring for a photoshop job here
- making inmature "wii" jokes in this thread. Sadly, being an immature brat is one of the gentleman's many problems.
- starting a "biggest fuckup thread" that went downhill after this post.
- spamming up an ARSE thread and accusing Einy of wanting to watch Kiddie Porn here, though I admit the gentleman may just be joking, as it is very hard to determine when he is joking or just being mentally deficient as usual.
- An accurate description of his thought process, straight from the gentleman himself.
- SC either being too slow to remember or lying about the big advice thread on how to improve himself.

Anyone who has any doubts about the capacity of Mr. Colfax here should read the last link and then ask yourself if during the almost three years he has been on the board, anyone can remember him actually adhering to that advice.

Can anyone remember any post of Mr. Colfax that improved a discussion or presented new and interesting ways to look at an issue? In my most humble opinion, the poster presented before you has one of the worst, if not the worst signal to noise ratio on this board and a demonstrated history of being a no-content poster. Just follow the link to his profile, look at his posts. SC has at the moment a postcount of 1238 posts. I would be very much surprised if more than a 100 of them would actually count as good posts. The only impression he has made on anyone has been in Testing and even there it has not been a good one. I think the evidence speaks for themselves and would like to ask my fellow senators about their opinion of this very special case.
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by The Yosemite Bear » 2009-05-28 05:38am

I'm hoping that given he's a high school student now, and bound for college in a bit, EP/SC will eventually grow up.....

please tell me he should grow up in a few years....
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Thanas » 2009-05-28 05:43am

Hopefully.

I think a nice little title might help him on that way.
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Bounty » 2009-05-28 05:56am

I've dealt with Colfax both on and off the board and I'm afraid to say that barring him getting hit by a clue-by-four real fast, there's little hope for him to improve in the short term.

He's not a troll. He's an insecure, socially awkward teenager who hides behind a cobbled-together self-image that consists mainly of swearing and belligerence and who uses the board as a proxy social circle. He honestly believes (and has literally said so) that people here like him and like his behaviour which is why he keeps coming back for more abuse. Both on and off the board people have explained to him, at length, with examples, where he is going wrong both as a board member and as a human being, but every bit of advice bounces off a wall of ignorance and aggression.

What I'm going to say I'm not saying lightly, but I honestly think it is in Colfax' best interest not to be on this board any longer. All he gets here is a warped idea of social acceptance that takes away any incentive he has of bettering himself before he becomes an adult and to be frank, time is running out fast for him. He needs some kind of signal that tells him he's on the wrong path and forces him to reconsider his behaviour, and while I have no illusions that a web board can do anything of the kind, enabling him isn't the way to go either.

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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Thanas » 2009-05-28 06:06am

I would agree with your assesment, but I don't think we can just ban him as I don't think he has committed any ban-worthy offence.
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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by The Yosemite Bear » 2009-05-28 06:11am

Yeah, and I don't consider punting puppies to be sporting, even if they do keep pissing on the carpet.

actually we could always change his name to "Norm Coleman" and give him the title, "people really don't like me"
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Bounty » 2009-05-28 06:25am

actually we could always change his name to "Norm Coleman" and give him the title, "people really don't like me"
He'd just see that as good-nature ribbing and proof that he's popular.
I would agree with your assesment, but I don't think we can just ban him as I don't think he has committed any ban-worthy offence.
I've been thinking about this - no, he hasn't committed one outright bannable offence. But at the same time, he's a net-negative contributor with a history of hostility against mods (as you yourself brought up), showing very little signs of either improvement or a desire to improve, and one who is harming himself by staying on the board.

It's difficult; I can see why there would be no single objective reason to ban him. At the same time, I can't think of many reasons to keep him, either. I won't call for an outright ban myself, but I wouldn't be averse to voting for one, either.

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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Tiriol » 2009-05-28 06:27am

I haven't had a lot of contact with Colfax, but I basically see him as someone who desparately tries to fit in, but is too young or just inexperienced to realize how to do it and thus over-does it. Some of it may stem from the fact that some of the Testing regulars seem to have a real thing for putting him down. However, he clearly continues wth his current state of affairs, ignoring any advice to the opposite (which actually would handily explain the general disdain for him). Banning him, as has already been stated, would be an overkill; titling could fit better. But as I already said I haven't paid much attention to him; quite frankly, not paying attention to him is rather easy. It depresses me to think that many people seem to consciously choose NOT to ignore him and constantly gun for him.

Then again, some of the links posted by Thanas are clear indication that the boy doesn't think anything or almost anything through. Especially the one with Einhander is damning in my eyes. It didn't even come out as a joke, but as an accusation. Depending on how Einhander feels about that, I'm all for giving a title for Colfax until he shapes up.
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Bounty » 2009-05-28 06:47am

A suggestion from a member of the public:
Since I didn't want to make a HoC thread about it, could I make a suggestion?

I think the least punishment possible would be to revert Colfax's name to his old one, "Elite Pwnage". The fact that he wanted it changed reflects that he clearly doesn't like it but he hasn't changed an iota since that time. At the very least it could serve as a reminder.

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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Coyote » 2009-05-28 08:28am

If anything, I kinda feel sorry for him, more'n anything else. Re-change his name back, perhaps, or add a temp ban for, say, six to twelve months with the command to go out and meet real friends in the real world. A real girlfriend/significant other would be a bonus, too.
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Tiriol » 2009-05-28 08:36am

Bounty wrote:A suggestion from a member of the public:
Since I didn't want to make a HoC thread about it, could I make a suggestion?

I think the least punishment possible would be to revert Colfax's name to his old one, "Elite Pwnage". The fact that he wanted it changed reflects that he clearly doesn't like it but he hasn't changed an iota since that time. At the very least it could serve as a reminder.
This, in my humble opinion, is a rather good suggestion. I don't remember the exact details why Colfax wanted his user name changed, but the reversal of that decision would send a clear signal to him that he hasn't changed at all. If he wants to be taken more seriously or have another name, he must change first.

I applaud this anonymous member of the public for this idea.
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Edi » 2009-05-28 08:47am

Thanas wrote:I would agree with your assesment, but I don't think we can just ban him as I don't think he has committed any ban-worthy offence.
Look up RayCav's ban poll thread. SC reminds me somewhat of him. RayCav was tossed out for a combination of being unable to deal with his issues, being abusive and posting strange shit.

I don't advocate banning SC out of hand, but whether or not that would be the ultimate option is up for discussion. He does need to get a clue and get his act together and I am forced to agree with Bounty's assessment of him. He has not had any incentive to change because by and large, he has not faced any real consequences for his behavior. So if he is unable to shape up, then we need to start applying some form of consequences to him until they hit home.
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Stuart » 2009-05-28 08:57am

I read through all the various exchanges carefully and it really does appear that this poster has some serious problems in additin to his very obvious immaturity. The real Schuyler Colfax would be quite hurt at the association. However, I must express doubts as to whether a punishment in the sense of a temporary or permament ban would be appropriate in this case. It seems to me that SC is seriously in need of mentoring; he just doesn't understand that his behavior is going to bite him in the ass big-time one day and that day isn't very far off. He's the sort of person who doesn't understand why mouthing off at a police officer is a good way of escalating a verbal warning to a speeding ticket. He needs to be taught that lesson, somebody has to do it and if, as I suspect, this is the only social circle he is actually participating in, then the job falls to us. Social responsibility and all that.

I think returning him to his original name is a good idea since it is an object lesson in the fact one's mistakes stick around and one can't get away from them. I'd almost suggest there might be a case for an Elite Pwnage mentoring thread where we can put his more foolish responses and try to explain to him, in a friendly, constructive manner, why they are so foolish. If he doesn't want to listen to good advice, we can't force him but let's give him the chance.
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Thanas » 2009-05-28 09:19am

Well,I must admit that I am thoroughly against returning him to his earlier username as it hurts my brain to see it.

Title or temp ban is a better way to deal with it IMO.
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Coyote » 2009-05-28 10:24am

The thing is, returning him to his earlier state-of-name is a very apt and obvious symbol of his failure to adapt. I don't think he's a bad guy, just clueless and socially unadapted.

If this is his chosen social circle, I guess he sure could have done worse. Maybe a mentoring thread would be good. But I also think a temp ban-- ostracised from his chosen social circle for awhile-- is potentially a useful tool to demonstrate that "the pack does not approve".

I recommend the "Bad Puppy Plan". When a puppy barks or piddles too much, you try to train him, you don't just run him out to be euthanized. Try to have the right amount of carrot & stick to bring about behavioral changes.

The Bad Puppy Plan:
1- Change his name back to Elite Pwnage
2- Temp ban (time TBD)
3- Upon end of temp ban, begin a Mentoring Thread
4- Period of probation & observation during mentoring (time TBD)
5- If behavior fails to modify, then full ban.

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Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Bounty » 2009-05-28 10:39am

I agree that Colfax is in need of mentoring - I believe I mentioned before that what he really needs is a positive role model. However, I have two reservations about that idea:

- This is, at the end of the day, a web forum. There's only so much that strangers on the internet can do to help him better himself. A mentoring thread would be a great solution for a member who actively wants to learn, which brings me to point number two;

- He doesn't want to change. He's been offered advice, both general and practical, and not only does he refuse to follow or even consider it, he has at times even flat-out denied being given this advice. If this mentoring idea is to have even a remote chance of working it needs to have Colfax' cooperation. At this point, however, Colfax refuses to entertain the idea that he even needs help.

If this very same Colfax had come to the board and said "well, I'm a teenager, I'm awkward around other people and want to fit in, does anyone have any advice?", I would have been all for mentoring - in fact, if he says as much right now, I'll support the idea without question. But if there's no signal from his end that he's interested in the idea and willing to put an effort into it, I'm afraid it's all just a noble waste of time.

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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Knife » 2009-05-28 12:00pm

If anything, I feel sorry for the kid. Certain segments of the population here seem to use him as a punching bag or their personal chew toy. The kid is taking any attention he can and it seems that negative attention is what he is getting. If the need to rehabilitate SC is indeed what this body wants to do, then I also suggest we draw a line in the sand for those whom are using him as a chew toy.
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by RedImperator » 2009-05-28 12:02pm

Am I the only one who thinks that having a special "Mentoring Thread" just for you would be humiliating rather than appreciated? Especially given what a free-for-all such a thread would likely devolve into? Because I can almost guarantee that in any such thread, for every piece of sincere, honest advice, there's going to be a piece of smug "hurf hurf, ur laem and im not!" dickwaving from somebody else.

Wait, I know the response to this--"Maybe he needs a little humiliation. Humiliation is a perfectly valid method of enforcing social norms." Except in my experience, teenagers don't respond to humiliation by authority figures by reforming their ways. SC has never shown any inclination to follow advice in the past as it is; pissing him off isn't likely to get better results.

Look, I feel bad for SC. He's a lonely, insecure kid who's essentially volunteering to be the board's butt-boy just to get some attention. But I don't think turning him into the board's pet sociology project is going to improve anything. A mentor is a respected individual who gives advice in private, not five hundred internet nannies handing out public scoldings. If people are genuinely concerned about SC, then one, maybe two people should volunteer to help him along, via PM and email or whatever else. And he has to accept the help. The most the rest of the board should do is: 1) clamp down on "hurf hurf, colefail!" posts for every tiny screwup, and 2) hang a shape-up-or-ship-out ultimatum over SC's head for motivation.

And if there is genuine concern over SC, then yes, a temporary or permanent ban for his own good should be on the table. There's precedent for it--anybody remember jenet-lai? He hasn't committed any ban-worthy offenses, true, but if the board is retarding him socially, then we not only have the right, but the moral duty to kick him off if all else fails.
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Bounty » 2009-05-28 12:06pm

I've received a preliminary response to the thread from Colfax:
Schuyler Colfax wrote:
well, I'm a teenager, I'm awkward around other people and want to fit in, does anyone have any advice?"
Sure, why not?
I also agree with the points RedImperator raises above re: how the mentoring should be handled - and how he may be better off away from the board.

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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Simplicius » 2009-05-28 12:56pm

I have my doubts about some of the solutions or steps presented here. If he wanted his name changed because it was embarrassing and juvenile and because he was being constantly mocked for it, why would changing it back now - when his actions are embarrassing and juvenile and he is constantly being mocked for them - have any effect? I recall that at the time of the name change he was actually showing signs of improvement and had some senior board members who were giving him some slack, which is why Testing approved of the 'cooler' name he received. His standing here has plummeted since then.

He's been unreceptive to both sincere advice or scolding and vicious mockery up to this point, which makes the efficacy of mentoring questionable. I don't know whether his previous statements that he would try to improve were sincere or not, but giving him the benefit of the doubt, we know that at very least he is unable to stick to it; his need to gain some cheap attention proves too strong. Furthermore, is there anyone here who would take it upon themselves to try and mentor him, assuming he was amenable to the idea? There once were people who were actually acting in a semi-supportive capacity (most visibly Havok), but are there any people like that now, or have they all become discouraged?

Besides the apparent lack of mentors, I feel any attempts to help would be hampered by Colfax himself. He hasn't been able to accept mature criticism and take it to heart; he hasn't been able to cope with rejection-that-isn't-even-criticism (from the Writer's Guild incident); and he is prone to overreact to it all with a defensive hissy-fit or a total denial or "not understanding" what he is doing wrong. In other words, he doesn't care to be told that he's wrong and isn't prepared to admit it either, which is not the attitude of someone who actually wants to reform.

A temp-ban seems to be the only option that stands a chance of accomplishing anything. I see it as taking away an alcoholic's booze and car keys - he can't attention-whore and other people can't rag on him, so his dependence on us is forcibly broken. It gives him a chance to build a real-world personality without the temptation to log back in, which is apparently hard to resist given his previous attempt to recuse himself for a stated period of time. At the very least, he has the chance to be himself, or find himself - if he takes it. If he does, he comes back and tries to be a productive member and we suppress the riff-raff. If not, away he goes for good.

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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Thanas » 2009-05-28 01:00pm

Like Simplicius, I see no value in mentoring right now. I have tried to give him advice myself and it only took one day for him to completely discard it. in fact, this is a recurrent trend - he promises to change and voila, a few days later it is the same old, same old.
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Coyote » 2009-05-28 01:09pm

Since the concept of "mentoring" --at least in the world I grew up on-- generally implies positive counseling and positive critique, I just sort of assumed that I wouldn't need to spell out that a "Mentoring Thread" would not be allowed for dogpiling and "hurr, hurr Colefail" posts. But I guess I need to spell that out. :roll:

Would a "mentoring thread" be humiliating? Maybe, but isn't he already humiliating himself in a completely open-ended and non-constructive manner? A mentor thread may be humiliating, but it would at least be humiliation with guard rails (and there's not necessarily any proof that it would be truly humiliating).

For good or for ill, Colefax has latched onto this board as his social outlet. Since the general mood here seems to be one more of pity than actual hatred, we can give him the opportunity to truly join the community as an appreciated member... if he so chooses. Yes, he has to choose to elevate himself; we can't do that for him. Left to himself, he most likely won't develop social coping skills he needs or seek counseling IRL. So we give him the chance here, with a time limit, and if he fails to meet those standards, than give him the boot.

Another alternative is to cut to the chase and just boot him outright.

Eventually we'll have a Vote thread with a number of these options on it. We can decide the fate of SC then; in the meantime we can at least examine the merits of the various options.
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by RedImperator » 2009-05-28 01:33pm

Coyote wrote:Since the concept of "mentoring" --at least in the world I grew up on-- generally implies positive counseling and positive critique, I just sort of assumed that I wouldn't need to spell out that a "Mentoring Thread" would not be allowed for dogpiling and "hurr, hurr Colefail" posts. But I guess I need to spell that out. :roll:
Since when has "dogpiling isn't allowed" actually prevented dogpiling anywhere on this board? We had the same problem with DEATH--every thread where people tried to give him advice filled up with "durr, ur laem" posts, including from me. Even people who I'm sure were well meaning would wind up spiraling down into "hurf hurf" territory. It's a credit to DEATH that he managed to sieve out some good advice anyway and get his shit together (which probably had more to do with the Army than anything that happened here), but frankly, SC hasn't shown anything like that kind of capability. And there was never a "Tell DEATH what he's doing wrong" thread to tempt people into acting like dicks.
Would a "mentoring thread" be humiliating? Maybe, but isn't he already humiliating himself in a completely open-ended and non-constructive manner? A mentor thread may be humiliating, but it would at least be humiliation with guard rails (and there's not necessarily any proof that it would be truly humiliating).
Can you honestly say with a straight face that it wouldn't be humiliating to have a public thread where people are invited to scold you and you alone for your fuckups, because everyone thinks you're such a tryhard lamer there's no hope for you otherwise?

And look, trust me on this: the first thing they tell you in teacher training (and I mean, 9 AM, day one) is never humiliate a student, because you'll never get a positive response out of him ever again. Even if the thread was full to the brim with useful, well-meaning advice delivered in a positive manner, how many people would actually respond to it positively? I mean, would you? I sure as fuck wouldn't. My response to a thread like that would be "Fuck you guys, I'm not going to sit here and get lectured by a bunch of Internet nerds. I'm out of here." And even though we both agree it might be good for SC if he left, that's not how I intended to show him the door. At any rate, since SC hasn't responded to threads full of advice in the past, I don't see why a new one would have any more success. There's no way to even ensure the advice in such a thread would be consistent.
For good or for ill, Colefax has latched onto this board as his social outlet. Since the general mood here seems to be one more of pity than actual hatred, we can give him the opportunity to truly join the community as an appreciated member... if he so chooses. Yes, he has to choose to elevate himself; we can't do that for him. Left to himself, he most likely won't develop social coping skills he needs or seek counseling IRL. So we give him the chance here, with a time limit, and if he fails to meet those standards, than give him the boot.
I'm on board with the mentoring idea, but every definition of mentoring I've ever seen has involved one-on-one guidance, consistency, and mutual respect. That has to be the structure, or there's no point in trying. And as I said above, I'm happy to throw in an ultimatum on top of it. We've given people shape-up-or-ship out ultimatums before, and they've generally worked.
Another alternative is to cut to the chase and just boot him outright.
An option I agree should be on the table.
Eventually we'll have a Vote thread with a number of these options on it. We can decide the fate of SC then; in the meantime we can at least examine the merits of the various options.
I thought that's what we were doing.
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by RedImperator » 2009-05-28 01:45pm

Addendum WRT "mentoring thread": The general agreement seems to be that SC is so starved for attention that he'll act like a doofus just to get more; the fact that it's negative attention is secondary to the fact someone is paying attention to him. So how would a thread where people point out what a doofus he's being help with that? Isn't that giving him exactly what he's been seeking all the time? Assuming he isn't humiliated and doesn't have a fuck-you reaction, there's no reason to believe it won't just incentivize the behavior we're trying to correct.
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Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves…We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.--Ada Louise Huxtable, "Farewell to Penn Station", New York Times editorial, 30 October 1963
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Re: [Discussion]Schuyler Colfax

Post by Ghost Rider » 2009-05-28 01:47pm

Fuck it. The bitch has gone up and down multiple times with little variation and that's not even counting the annoyance he produced to get a name change let alone the shit he was producing at that time.

I'd say someone demonstrate that he's something more then a random spambot and then we can have considerations of whether to use our free time to guide him into something more then a 4chan spambitch.
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