I recall taking a fascinating computer science class when I was in college. It examined early computers – devices that did make decisions based on an input but were far from looking like a modern day computer. It also examined things like artificial intelligence.
We watched a video about people’s fascination with using computer science to simulate things in the real word. One person talked about figuring out how to use AI to create a program that would do handwriting recognition (this was 1992, folks). Another person talked about using it to simulation the behavior of birds flying in a group.
The bird one was fascinating because it was trying to simulate a group of birds flying together. I’m not talking about migratory birds which tend of fly in V formations and such. I’m talking swifts and swallows which seem to do this complicated group dance where they look like they are following a point in the sky where they converge together and diverge apart but still follow the same sort of path while avoiding collisions with each other. And how a disrupting force can cause them all to re-route but then come back together.
This is what she was trying to simulated. She was trying to create an artificial social structure of these birds flying together and create situations where they go apart and come back together just as they would in nature. What she ended up with seems quite simple in some ways but is rather complex. Especially as you add new input – new disruptions to the structure. Would it react as you’d expect?
I recently thought of this when I was watching yet another situation pop up in the local kink community. Another accusation was lodged at a "leader". When I first read it, I wondered how it would play out. If the behavior of the group was as before, you’d see the accusation split between those who support everyone and those who deny-without-evidence. The group of birds, so to speak, have would split and go different directions for a bit.
But in this case, the birds didn’t split – they kept together more than expected. The "where’s the evidence crowd" wasn’t there…..at all. In fact, several of that crowd’s leaders were right there in the "hang the bad man" camp.
It made me wonder – why do they demand evidence in some cases even when there is plenty of it staring them in the face while in this case, they 100% believe the accuser without even one request for evidence which has been their norm in other cases?
I mean, one example of where that happens almost 100% of the time? The guy is a fucking jackass. He is a happy black lab bouncing around and knocking people down left and right and not apologizing for it. "It’s just who he is." His behavior is excused instead of asking why someone doesn’t get the fucker on the leash. And if anyone even utters a comment about his behavior, he’s got a horde of people screaming "FALSE ACCUSATION!!" before anyone can finish telling their story or finish their sentence.
Fuck, just recently it happened again based off a comment someone made.
But this one? No one has even raised a peep.
The birds barely split but stuck together.
Do I think they should have raised a peep? Nope. I know of what she speaks and has valid points about things that are generally acceptable in the community that maybe should not be. I have seen risky things in terms of consent in the past at parties where circumstances were similar. But in the end, it was all fine, not because no one spoke up, but because those involved play on that edge.
But this whole thing has led me to wonder.
Where is that line for people between when they believe 100% out of the gate – and where they deny 100% out of the gate?
What is it about some situations where people are all "false accusation", while others they are "string the guy up by his junk!"?
Is that line a representation of where someone is in your own personal social structure? If they are accusing and they are your friend, you 100% believe them. While if the accused is your friend, you 100% deny they would do something like that?
Is the real issue around how we cannot think someone we consider a "friend" could do something that bad to another person, thus causing us to deny it? And we deny it, even knowing that there are people out there – that do bad things like what happened to our friend?
Just like the computer scientist found it interesting to study this complicated dance done by the birds, I find it completely fascinating to try figure out where people’s ethical lines are. Especially when, like in the case of the birds, the predicted behavior is met with an unexpected result.
…..I should note that accusations of misconduct in the kink community is something I do not take lightly. I just find it an interesting study in anthropology or sociology or psychology (or all three) to watch how people react to it each time. You figure, on some level, there would be consistency given people’s moral compass. Nope. Fuck, maybe that’s the real issue.