Author Page: scpcrnp

Item #: SCP-CRNP
Object Class: Reasonably Safe NEUTRALIZED

How would you describe the SCP Foundation to someone? What does this community mean to you?

The SCP Foundation is a community of authors, readers, and voters (but primarily the last two) who by creating something of no apparent material value or capital gain, are a shining example of the internet of old, where people came together to collaborate for the sheer value of interpersonal creation and respect for a craft. Their formal creative writing template is a stroke of genius, and should be remembered by history as a generational export. The format helps fill a species-wide void by nurturing an essential exceptionalism to the consilient, agnostic preponderance for certainty in our increasingly scientific paradigm.

The community can be cast as three classes: a ruling class (staff), a production class (writers), and a consumption class (readers). There is obviously overlap between all of these.

The ruling class is comprised of members who have positioned themselves, whether via successful articles or longevity in the community (or both), into a version of the hierarchy structure that they fictionalize, complete with specialization and action teams. This is grueling, unpayed work. But people still choose to do it (because that’s not to say they don’t get “paid” in some way), and are looked up to by the community as leaders.

Perhaps unexpectedly or unsurprisingly, those of the ruling-class are not immune to various forms of morally questionable misuse of their position and authority, including: verbal abuse, multiple "puppet" account infractions, source-code manipulation for private gain, mission/power creep, forms of connivance including but not limited to the covert sabotaging of others' works (particularly in contests) & overt promotion of their own/select others' works (particularly in contests), suppression of community voice, unequal application of site norms, judgments, and punishments (with particular leniency given towards others in the ruling class), the deployment of mob-level responses to disagreed-with opinions or positions for the purpose of (permanent) censorship, and procedural incompetence.1

These individuals are functionally a dominant class and have a tendency to lord their experience, leverage, and brand/icon recognition (not to mention all the clout of a meaningless "Karma" system per Wikidot) to exert influence on other members of the community; on anything from policy, to the valuation of a given article, to the set of ideas that are deemed acceptable to write about.

The structure deployed by the ruling-class means certain qualities are inevitable, deducible from the premises. The meritocratic nature of the way in which new members of the ruling class are selected/approved of2 cultures sycophants within the production and consumption classes but also potential ire; both entail undue and asymmetrical application of article judgement and valuation (particularly to the detriment of either established-quality authors, or the fuel-source and core-level kinesiology of the site, new authors). Thus, unfortunately here, as is the case in less noble ventures, might makes right and those who desire authority are usually the least qualified morally to have it.3

The truth is that the ruling-class and the consumption-class by extension are unable to define what is good writing. They are unable to define even what works in the SCP format. They can dictate what is acceptable in a mesh of subjectivity and ulterior motive, and their like-mindedness can be interpreted as authority. But the nature of the existence of power — which on the one hand isn't the ruling-class’s doing as a phenomenon; but on the other hand, is present because they want it to be — promulgates (sometimes narrow) idiosyncrasies in taste as synonymous with quality writing. This creates a positive feedback loop which ostensibly has no governing counter-mechanism in place. There is and will be no metric or moment that can be pointed at to show that the community has become an abscessed echo chamber, frustrating a fair chunk of talent far away from the effort of trying to contribute. The effect of this imaginary authority is ultimately exclusion under the farce of being highly selective with respect to quality.

It can be seen then that this structure and mechanism of action in turn loops inwards on itself, as if to willfully enter its on digestive system. This works to undermine the quality and capability of the site's core idea; the format itself is limited and handicapped by the system "smart" members of the ruling class created around it. This is an erosive process that has left the sheen of the original idea as merely the patina of a biofilm.

The irony of the rating module is that while it was intended to prune the site of poor quality articles, it has created a feeding frenzy upvotes that is typical of modern-day social media platforms, such that there are too many contributors of just slightly less poor quality. We see now that the rate of production for this incentive is outpacing the ruling-class, and may eventually do so for the consumption-class as well. Its function has been debased to a ceaseless, insatiable obsession with quantitative and superficial morsels of flawed and proposed self-worth, and is driving the site away from its value and towards another variant of Facebook.

Typical of real-life events, there is no and will be no cataclysmic or apocalyptic watershed moment of the realization of this process and failure. Instead, the system will be silently atrophied with time to the point that genuine works of quality will increasingly find themselves rejected outright by the community; the community will not know anything has gone awry at all and will regard the quality author as the failure. Despite the structure being designed as a mirror (i.e. the voting-class) that the ruling-class can look into smilingly, the community is incapable of realizing itself as systemically pathologic.

This is why I left the community as a writer (but not as an anonymous, non-participatory reader), and will enable browser scripts to hide the rating module, and never ever ever click on the comments function to see what everyone else is saying. The humanity of the site — really one of its only redeeming qualities in theory (see first paragraph) — is in addition to the richness of the format itself, also in decline. It's also why (in part) I abandoned my initial username in favor of rotating others; to protest the system.8 The ultimate success of my active time in the community is not any quantity; it is the fittingness of this errant message coming from a nobody writer in some insignificant corner of the site that will have no meaning or consequence outside of the next punctuation mark. I hope that any success I’ve had serves the sole purpose of giving validity to this response.

I'm not one to whine without an offer of making a situation better, or at least less-whinable. So, my suggestions to better this site for when it finally exits WikiDot include the following:

  • Only non-staff authors/usernames can contribute works. (How much do you really want to be in power? What are you willing to give up for that power?)
  • Rating modules are not displayed in the upper right hand corner of the article. (Do you really need a number to tell you whether writing is good or not? The rating module can be easily accessed by scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicked on as an OPTION, which is logically where it should be positioned anyway.)
  • Only ruling-class members are allowed to review new articles prior to publication. (They will not be voting however, as a balance of power.)
  • Works' author(s) is/are kept anonymous. (Are you in this for the craft or for the popularity contest? Don't worry, because you got a pre-existing author to review your article, you can still prove to people that you wrote this one when you want to stroke butter your ego. Also, I believe your reluctance to submit to a blind-resume-style value system is diagnostically symptomatic of the pathological obsession with upvotes in this community.)
  • Works' cumulative rating is kept private. (Good at preventing a lot of buttered egos! The only thing that really matters is whether or not the article is acceptable enough, i.e. positive/survived or negative/deleted.) Obviously, this is revoked for contest entries (until the contest is over).
  • A hopeful author’s first work must be submitted for OBJECTIVE (syntactical, grammatical, formal) approval by anyone either of the ruling or production class in order for that author to become a production-class member. (None of this "anyone can post" or even this "greenlight" business, which is just a motion to move the goalposts but will still fail.)
  • Disable comments. (Private messaging suffices to get a comment across. Again, are you in this for the craft or for the pageantry stage?)
  • New members of the ruling class volunteer as they fade out from active writing on the site. (This happens naturally as is, and can be regarded as an analogy to elders who maybe don't do all the activities that they used to, but still contribute an executive and over-seeing role for the good of the community. The time at which there are no willing ruling class members is the natural death of the site; all good things must come to an end, and this will give a definitive, non-arbitrary way to determine that… unlike the current community, which no one knows has already died been killed and is slowly rotting in secrecy.)
  • Require an observational/probationary period of all new members that must be satisfied before attempting contribution. ( PERHAPS fewer low-quality contributors would be interested and the holistic input be of better quality (and the staff be less strained) if the process was not incentivized by middle-school level ambitions that reduce the art to the equivalent of social media whoring, or advertised as such? I wonder what the site would look like if it were just authors posting for the love of the craft and medium instead.)

List of Unsuccessful Attempts

Most if not all author pages boast authors' achievements and rightfully so; success on this site is not easy. As with anything though, it comes very naturally to some individuals and without steep learning curves. In an attempt to convey some realism to those like myself, here is a compilation of failures I've experienced since contributing.

  • Early drafts of SCP-3436 - My first SCP was a learning experience with regards to many things. I attempted mainlisting once with disastrous results. After some polishing and help on the draft forums, it did relatively well the second attempt.
  • What was previously SCP-3971 - It was a USB drive that converted any picture file placed on it to an auditory cognitohazard that engendered a paraphilia specific to was on the image. For example, a picture of a tree would be automatically converted to a .wav file and while that file was playing, the listener experienced an attraction to trees. The intention of the SCP was to explore the concept that the Foundation is staffed with people of the utmost moral quality simply by virtue of their employment; however, it did not do so tactfully. The SCP did ok and rested at a score of +17 or so. Rather than hold onto the cheap thrill of having a few more upvotes and my name on another mainlisted SCP, I deleted the file concluding that it wasn't going to be up to the standards I'd like to showcase.
  • "First" Joke SCP attempt: SCP-$It's \over 9000$-J - I thought to widen the portfolio, I'd attempt a joke SCP. While waiting impatiently for review and criticism regarding an already-existing draft, I decided I'd attempt to cold-post a second joke SCP, in part as a sort of experiment to see if all the waiting in the draft forums is worth it (it is). The article was a clinical and technical interpretation of the senzu bean from Dragonball Z. I'll say; the article was by far the most fun I've had writing in the format, however it was not favorably received, in part due to a rule I had overlooked (despite it being literally the second thing recommended on the joke page) which says:

"Pop culture and video game references don't work when done straight. Just as with main series SCPs about mythology or folklore, it generally won't work unless you add a healthy dose of Foundation-flavored twist to it. Evangelions and portal guns [and senzu beans] simply won't cut it." brackets mine

It was promptly disemboweled.

  • What was previously SCP-4997. It was a device which when worn, displayed the remaining number of times a given action or event would happen in the wearer’s life. I recognize a mistake when I see one, so that mistake was corrected.
  • What was previously SCP-4899, “Payday”. A gravitational anomaly that caused the Earth to switch from being spherical to flat, and the Foundation finding a way to capitalize on it monetarily. Was ok but still below the standards I’d like for myself.
  • Countless unrealized and/or unreleased projects. Some of these were very good but downvoted into deletion, some even quickly.

(List in progress.)


List of SCPs in Chronological Order of Release

(List in progress.)

List of Tales in Chronological Order of Release

(List in progress.)


$sc(rn)p$

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