B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020

@brianpk80 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

Apply your legal skills: Is there a single fact (material or otherwise) relating to his posts that I misrepresented? And if so, what is it? I'd very much like to know.

You posted an image of Matthew stating something that directly contradicted his position throughout this thread but omitted the part where he said straight up that he believed his position would change over time which would have drastically mitigated the appearance of inconsistency.

You and Matt claim that I misrepresented his position by posting the first tweet doesn't even make sense on its face. The second tweet in the same image dispels any illusions that I was attempting to demonstrate a contradiction with anything in this thread.

That's because the second tweet in the same image was consistent with his position in this thread. So how could the first image appear to be a contradiction, when the second image, which was juxtaposed to the first, clarified or explained his changed position?

As stated before, it made him look bad to the average -casual- reader and succeeded in advancing a hostile pattern of antagonism and prurient psychological inquiries & implications that befell him in this thread, all conducted under a veil of upstanding behavior.

So, here you are claiming not that I misrepresented his position, but that I was trying to "make him look bad"? How exactly? By suggesting a contradiction? I thought I already answered that charge before: the juxtaposition of the two tweets demonstrate not a contradiction, but a 10 day change of opinion, based upon intervening experiences.

I dispute the notion that people changing or sharpening their views makes people 'look' bad, but even if that were the case, that doesn't establish my intent to do so. That's pretty tenuous, Brian.

Like most pseudo-controversies on The Mana Drain, the analysis does not actually call for legal skills.

No, it doesn't call for it, but it does help from time to time. Law provide clarity and well-worn guidance. Law has established workable definitions and elements that can be applied to adduce evidence or draw conclusions that might support one claim over another.

Matt claims I misrepresented his views. In law, a "misrepresentation" is a "false statement of a material fact."

My question to you was simple: I would very much like to know what I said that qualifies. If nothing I said does, then I would like an apology for being accused of misrepresenting his views.

If he or you wish to accuse me of something else, I would certain consider that accusation on its merits, but let's be as clear as possible about what it is we are accusing me of. Because if my "crime" is something else, then don't label me as misrepresenting his views. Call it for what it is.

But I don't see how I misrepresented any fact, material or otherwise. If I did, please state what I misrepresented - what I presented as true, but was in fact false.

It's a humanities issue. Certainly anyone could concoct a devil's advocate hypothetical counterargument, and you've done so here with flair. But it was a futile exercise. No one doubts your acumen as a logician; you're indeed superb. That however makes additional evidence of your ability redundant.

But Brian, you haven't engaged with any of the arguments I made. Most of what you have said here is just rhetoric. Florid, wonderful rhetoric, but nothing you said in this paragraph actually attempts to refute any of the reasoning I presented regarding the structure, purpose, or logic of my OP in this thread.

My point was far more important than Matt's comparatively trivial tweets. I was arguing that DCI policy should be more balanced, and that a swift banning was too fast. Matt's tweet was buried in the middle of this much larger point. You seem to think that the main purpose of my post was to jab Matt. Quite the contrary. The purpose was to argue against a swift banning, and Matt's tweets nicely illustrated some of the premises to my argument.

@smmenen said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

You and Matt claim that I misrepresented his position by posting the first tweet doesn't even make sense on its face. The second tweet in the same image dispels any illusions that I was attempting to demonstrate a contradiction with anything in this thread.

It was your truncation of his thread that gave an inaccurate portrayal of his position, hence the misrepresentation. Juxtaposing those two statements together made him appear fickle and inconsistent.

That's because the second tweet in the same image was consistent with his position in this thread.

There was nothing wrong with the second tweet.

So, here you are claiming not that I misrepresented his position, but that I was trying to "make him look bad"? How exactly? By suggesting a contradiction? I thought I already answered that charge before: the juxtaposition of the two tweets demonstrate not a contradiction, but a 10 day change of opinion, based upon intervening experiences.

Again, the overall effect made him look volatile and ridiculous. It was reminiscent of an attack ad.

Like most pseudo-controversies on The Mana Drain, the analysis does not actually call for legal skills.

No, it doesn't call for it, but it does help from time to time. Law provide clarity and well-worn guidance. Law has established workable definitions and elements that can be applied to adduce evidence or draw conclusions that might support one claim over another.

Matt claims I misrepresented his views. In law, a "misrepresentation" is a "false statement of a material fact."

No, there is no universal and ubiquitous definition of misrepresentation in "law." There may be one in some edition of Restatement of Torts. Some jurisdictions may decline to use it. It's used in Contract Law in ways that are not identical to Torts. It shows up in multiple additional areas of law, random subsections of statutes, international law, and of course then must be defined in any number of languages which opens the quest for precision up to any further number of adulterating factors.

Additionally, a misrepresentation is not simply a lie or a false statement of fact as one would find in defamation. A true statement of material fact can be presented in a manner that misrepresents its truth in context. For instance, "Bette said 'I ate my children' " is technically true because Bette did use those words when stating "I deny that I ate my children." But the former statement conveys something close to contradictory to what the full statement actually conveys. Hence, her statement was misrepresented.

Applied here, it is more likely that participants in this thread used the term misrepresentation as it is understood colloquially rather than legally, even setting aside the lack of a universal term definition. That means there was no shying from engaging with your technical analysis; I simply found it inapposite as I believe I've communicated previously.

If he or you wish to accuse me of something else, I would certain consider that accusation on its merits, but let's be as clear as possible about what it is we are accusing me of. Because if my "crime" is something else, then don't label me as misrepresenting his views. Call it for what it is.

You are not being accused of any crime or being sued.

My point was far more important than Matt's comparatively trivial tweets. I was arguing that DCI policy should be more balanced, and that a swift banning was too fast. Matt's tweet was buried in the middle of this much larger point. You seem to think that the main purpose of my post was to jab Matt. Quite the contrary. The purpose was to argue against a swift banning, and Matt's tweets nicely illustrated some of the premises to my argument.

I don't believe you're unable to understand how positioning two contradictory statements by one person next to each other is unflattering. Surely you remember a certain someone who "voted for" the war "before I voted against it" and how damaging that clip was. Saddest November of all time.

last edited by brianpk80

Brian,

You've lost sight of the forest for the trees.

The issue here is the swiftness with which a card was banned in Vintage, based, I believe, on an over-solicitousness to the most-frequent MTGO players.

I started expressing my concerns on this topic nearly three years ago, including with this article here.

In that article, I wrote, with growing unease, about how the change in the format is being experienced, and how it underlies widening cleavages between segments of the player base regarding B&R policy. The article is brief (for me) and worth revisting in its entirety.

But one particular passage reads:

With the advent of Vintage on Magic Online, there is now a platform for playing and enjoying Vintage beyond the confines of local and even regional or national tournaments. Instead, players can battle in daily tournaments for pride and profit, not to mention experience. Here, players make day-to-day adjustments [...], observing micro-trends in a very well defined metagame. From this perspective, the Vintage format looks pretty different than the year to year or even quarterly vantage point. The third perspective is a relatively new one for Vintage, and it is a way that Magic Online has changed Vintage.

I continued:

This is a fundamental difference between paper Magic and Magic Online. If you examine the metagame breakdowns of larger paper tournaments and the larger Magic Online Vintage tournaments, paper tournaments are more diverse, with more players playing marginal strategies, and even doing well. In contrast, Magic Online events are more homogeneous, with fewer fringe decks.

This is one of the sources of anxiety. The production of daily decklists changes the perception of the format, especially from the quarterly or even annual perspectives. Even two weeks of similar daily results can now result in complaints about the format being monotonous, despite the fact that this would be perfectly normal from a paper Vintage perspective, where events unspool at a slower clip. But, critically, this perception is generated among both Magic Online players and paper Vintage players from simply reading tournament reports.

This points towards another distinction consequence from the arrival of Vintage on Magic Online: the needs of different player groups. [...]Players playing three or four times a week have a very different experience than those playing once a month, or less. And their perception of the format and the metagame is accordingly different as well.

I then went onto examine how these differences shape demands and preferences for B&R policy, in ways that were creating significant unhappiness in the Vintage Community. That has hardly abated since.

Matt has always, at least in my mind, stood in for a vanguard of players who first, and primarily, encountered or were drawn into Vintage through the portal of MTGO. But more than that, he's also been a highly visible and frequent streamer, an even smaller group. And, even more than that, he's been probably the most vocal proponent of calling for restrictions based upon MTGO results on a time frame that is faster than virtually anyone else.

That last point means that Matt's statements provide a very useful frame of reference for thinking about these different groups, and that is why I excerpted his tweets, in addition to the fact that I was responding directly to him.

That is not to say that any of the groups in the paragraph immediately preceding this one are of a single-mind on any topic. Justin Gennari, who I would probably put in the first two groupings in that same paragraph, had publicly expressed reservations over a ban, although I don't think he quite came out and explicitly said "this should not occur."

Nor is that to say that no other motives or intents could be present in juxtaposing his tweets. It is, of course, always possible to do one thing for multiple reasons, as is called "mixed motives" in law. But you do not credit this motive at all.

In fact, you accuse (or in fact outright state) that my primary motive in this thread for presenting his tweets wasn't to illustrate how quickly views evolve among MTGO players. Rather, the primary motive you ascribe to me, of presenting his tweets to, among the various phrases you've used,: 1) "misrepresent," 2) "embarrass," 3) "provoke," 4) "make Matt seem 'volatile,'"5) make Matt seem like he was 'contradicting himself'," 6) "appear inconsistent," 7) "ma[k]e him appear fickle and inconsistent," 😎 " volatile and ridiculous," 9) "unflattering."

It's notable that none of Matt's posts in response to my original post in this thread accused me of any of those motives. Even at his most angrily vitriolic, the most he did was accuse me of "cherry-picking," "omission," "being disingenuous," and "shady lawyering." Only later on, in post 196, did he accuse me of "misrepresenting" his views.

Now, let's consider the 9 motives I just listed you've ascribed to me. I would ask reader perusing this thread to re-read the original post in question, which is here: http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/3156/b-r-announcement-may-18-2020/31

After reading that post, which set of motives sounds more plausible?

  1. The 9 motive list presented above, as my true purpose in constructing that post?

Or:

  1. My averred purpose: which is to illustrate a player who fits the demographic group that I was writing about, and that the swift B&R policy appeared to be overly responsive toward?

Why go to all the trouble to express my concerns about the speed of the change if my intent was the long list you have accused me of? That would all be superfluous window dressing for the real purpose of a cleverly disguised attack ad on Matt.

While I suppose one could reasonable assume I am capable of being that insidious, and I won't pretend that my motives are always pure, in this case, I think it's pretty clear that such an accusation (one could say aspersion) is patently silly and obviously baseless, based upon the content, structure and organization of the post (31 in this thread), and my long history of raising these related concerns.

To be clear, one could more reasonably argue that my averred purpose was the primary purpose, but I had a secondary, or subsidiary motive among the list of 9 above. But you have foreclosed that possibility in your own posts. To be clear, in your responses (posts 192, 198, 200, and 202), you explicitly state that my motive was not what I claimed, but that I was whitewashing my true intent.

To wit:

-"this is a clever retroactive whitewashing of intent, but a PR spin nonetheless."
-"I'm not questioning your intent; I'm asserting it."

  • "There was no reason to reference Matt to make the banal self-evident point"
  • " I don't doubt your intent is because I can state with a high degree of confidence that it was not as above board as this implausible deniability parade suggests."

So, this isn't an instance where you are crediting my averred intend, or admitting the possibility of mixed motives. You are directly disputing the former and rejecting the latter!

I will state it again: It was not my intent to embarrass, provoke, unflatter, etc. Matt. Rather, my primary purpose in presenting his tweets was to present an example of how quickly his views evolved in raising concerns about a swift banning in this case, which I felt was overly responsive to MTGO players, and not balanced in a way that considered a broader swath of opinion.

You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion and any conclusion you wish to draw about my intent in presenting the two tweets I juxtaposed, but I assure you, and anyone else reading, that the motives you ascribed were not motivating factors in my decision to include that image in my post. Rather, I already explained several times why I included them:

  1. He is known for playing frequently on MTGO (and thus comprising part of that group)
  2. He posted clear public tweets that stood on their own that illustrated the speed with which one of MTGO players could evolve their opinions on this topic.
    I couldn't find anyone else who fit those criteria, at all, let alone so nicely. There is a notable reticence among some players to speak out publicly about B&R preferences. Matt was one of the few who did, and whose views appeared to evolve most during that short period. After all, the original tweet had not-terrible things to say about Lurrus.

@brianpk80 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

@smmenen said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

You and Matt claim that I misrepresented his position by posting the first tweet doesn't even make sense on its face. The second tweet in the same image dispels any illusions that I was attempting to demonstrate a contradiction with anything in this thread.

It was your truncation of his thread that gave an inaccurate portrayal of his position, hence the misrepresentation. Juxtaposing those two statements together made him appear fickle and inconsistent.

First of all, I didn't actually truncate any statement. I included a tweet in it's entirety. There was no 1/x or (cont'd) to signal a continuation of the same thought. The thought was complete in it's entirety, well-written, and nuanced. Yes, there were other tweets responding to it, which Matt shared here: http://www.themanadrain.com/assets/uploads/files/1589410814305-6d5795b1-b077-46a6-bb9a-e45475e1b92b-image.png

But there is nothing in those subsequent tweets that fundamentally changes the meaning in the original tweet. The original tweet's premise is that Companions are very powerful, but do not violate counterplay or end games too quickly, and it's conclusion is that they should be given time. The tweets Matt posted below it essentially elaborate on that view. He says they will "likely"(which is not the same thing as a certainty) prove warping or problematic, but re-affirms his point that they should be given time.

So, even if I had included all of the tweets in the list (which would have made the image too big and unreadable), it wouldn't have fundamentally changed the meaning for which I included it: that Matt was saying that they should be "given time" in one tweet, and then concluded a few days later (in a tweet that I didn't include) that he was sick of them, and then a few days after that, that they should be banned within a month or two.

I disagree that juxtaposing them made Matt seem "fickle" or "inconsistent." Rather, it showed that he had an evolution of views based upon his engagement with the cards themselves.

And, if it made him "seem" fickle or inconsistent, a) that was not my intent, and b) appearing fickle is not the same thing as 'misrepresenting' one's views. His conclusion changed, even if he proactively allowed for the possibility of changing one's mind. Such an allowance is entirely unnecessary. Every person is entitled to change one's mind on any matter.

That's because the second tweet in the same image was consistent with his position in this thread.

There was nothing wrong with the second tweet.

So, here you are claiming not that I misrepresented his position, but that I was trying to "make him look bad"? How exactly? By suggesting a contradiction? I thought I already answered that charge before: the juxtaposition of the two tweets demonstrate not a contradiction, but a 10 day change of opinion, based upon intervening experiences.

Again, the overall effect made him look volatile and ridiculous. It was reminiscent of an attack ad.

I totally disagree. Both the first and second tweet appear to be well-written, nuanced, and thoughtfully considered. Juxtaposing them doesn't make him seem volatile or ridiculous. Rather, his posts here do, where he angrily lashed out.

Like most pseudo-controversies on The Mana Drain, the analysis does not actually call for legal skills.

No, it doesn't call for it, but it does help from time to time. Law provide clarity and well-worn guidance. Law has established workable definitions and elements that can be applied to adduce evidence or draw conclusions that might support one claim over another.

Matt claims I misrepresented his views. In law, a "misrepresentation" is a "false statement of a material fact."

No, there is no universal and ubiquitous definition of misrepresentation in "law." There may be one in some edition of Restatement of Torts. Some jurisdictions may decline to use it. It's used in Contract Law in ways that are not identical to Torts. It shows up in multiple additional areas of law, random subsections of statutes, international law, and of course then must be defined in any number of languages which opens the quest for precision up to any further number of adulterating factors.

Well put. I should have clarified that one legal definition was...

But my point remains: law provides workable definitions tested over generations that can provide clarity, guidance and structure to debates such as this. Does not mean we should always apply them, but they can be of use.

Additionally, a misrepresentation is not simply a lie or a false statement of fact as one would find in defamation. A true statement of material fact can be presented in a manner that misrepresents its truth in context. For instance, "Bette said 'I ate my children' " is technically true because Bette did use those words when stating "I deny that I ate my children." But the former statement conveys something close to contradictory to what the full statement actually conveys. Hence, her statement was misrepresented.

I agree. But, I further deny that there was any contextual information that changed Matt's conclusion or the meaning here. I have already explained why. I further deny that the juxtaposition was intended or had the effect of making him seem volatile, ridiculous, etc. for reasons I also just offered.

Applied here, it is more likely that participants in this thread used the term misrepresentation as it is understood colloquially rather than legally, even setting aside the lack of a universal term definition. That means there was no shying from engaging with your technical analysis; I simply found it inapposite as I believe I've communicated previously.

No, but you did shy away from it: not the legal analysis, but the argument based upon the structure, content, and organization of the post (31). For example, you completely ignored my point about the text that immediately precedes and immediately follows the use of the image as shedding light on my motives for its inclusion.

If he or you wish to accuse me of something else, I would certain consider that accusation on its merits, but let's be as clear as possible about what it is we are accusing me of. Because if my "crime" is something else, then don't label me as misrepresenting his views. Call it for what it is.

You are not being accused of any crime or being sued.

That is why I used the word "crime" in scare quotes here. I meant: if you are accusing me of malicious intent, other than misrepresentation, then be clear about it, and drop the claim that I 'intended to misrepresent" Matt's views.

My point was far more important than Matt's comparatively trivial tweets. I was arguing that DCI policy should be more balanced, and that a swift banning was too fast. Matt's tweet was buried in the middle of this much larger point. You seem to think that the main purpose of my post was to jab Matt. Quite the contrary. The purpose was to argue against a swift banning, and Matt's tweets nicely illustrated some of the premises to my argument.

I don't believe you're unable to understand how positioning two contradictory statements by one person next to each other is unflattering. Surely you remember a certain someone who "voted for" the war "before I voted against it" and how damaging that clip was. Saddest November of all time.

Oh, I absolutely do remember, but I disagree that that was the saddest November. You are referring to the November of 2004, but the saddest November was that of 2016.

In any case, I agree that such juxtaposition can have that effect. But I deny that it either does here or was intended to do so. The reason is simple: the tweets are not sound bites. They are complete, balanced, nuanced, and well-written thoughts. They weren't brief or truncated excerpts. They illustrate an evolution of opinion, not a contradiction.

Full transparency:

The reason I even had an image of Matt's two tweets was because I took a phone screen shot of both, and text messaged them to Kevin without any note or commentary.

His reply: "MTGO moves quickly when you're a streamer."

Exactly. That was on May 12th, the day before I wrote post 31.

Kevin understood exactly my intended meaning AND the effect. He didn't interpret the juxtaposition as an attempt to embarrass, provoke, or make Matt look inconsistent or volatile. He understood immediately the purpose and effect even without the benefit of my prefatory language or larger post to make that point.

If Kevin got it without those benefits, it's likely most readers, reading it without also seeing your and Matt's subsequent accusations and imputation of my motives, probably would have drawn similar inferences.

Maybe next time, avoid jumping to conclusions?

Best,

Stephen

last edited by Smmenen

So for anyone still following this BANNED AND RESTRICTED announcement, Lurrus was banned, just wanted to make sure people who click this link can see what actually happened with B and R. Your welcome!

The word juxtapose is being used entierly too much in this thread about kitties.

@smmenen said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

Brian,

You've lost sight of the forest for the trees.

The issue here is the swiftness with which a card was banned in Vintage, based, I believe, on an over-solicitousness to the most-frequent MTGO players.

I started expressing my concerns on this topic nearly three years ago, including with this article here.

In that article, I wrote, with growing unease, about how the change in the format is being experienced, and how it underlies widening cleavages between segments of the player base regarding B&R policy. The article is brief (for me) and worth revisting in its entirety.

These are all legitimate concerns and I agree, they are worth revisiting. Of course I understand they were integral to your overall position here and mine is not that far off from yours.

Nor is that to say that no other motives or intents could be present in juxtaposing his tweets. It is, of course, always possible to do one thing for multiple reasons, as is called "mixed motives" in law. But you do not credit this motive at all. [] To be clear, one could more reasonably argue that my averred purpose was the primary purpose, but I had a secondary, or subsidiary motive among the list of 9 above. But you have foreclosed that possibility in your own posts.

I appreciate what, at long last, appears to be a tacit confession. I figured it was implicit that having a motivation to shade someone as well as one to make a valid point are not mutually exclusive. Certainly on a final exam, we would articulate every seemingly mundane and self-evident morsel of thought to demonstrate actual knowledge but outside of that context, I assume an understanding on your part that doesn't require me to insult your intelligence. This can be received as a compliment, but it certainly should not be misconstrued as me waiving (lol) an argument that's self-evidently part of the original one.

To be clear, I believe your concern about the celerity of B&R action is real and something worth discussing. I also think that the flow of the thread gave you an opportunity to sneak in a catty jab at Matt that was impulsive and not particularly calculated or diabolical. I don't believe this is a severe offense; you're not a bad person and you're not on trial. Again, it's all water under the bridge. I enjoyed this exercise but there is nothing more to say on this topic! ❤

But my point remains: law provides workable definitions tested over generations that can provide clarity, guidance and structure to debates such as this. Does not mean we should always apply them, but they can be of use.

It can. I may be more pessimistic but my experience has led me to believe law is often a Rorschach test where normative actors see what they want to see (and even pretend to see for argument's sake). That's certainly true for Con Law (that stands for Constitutional Law, peanut gallery, not laws about fraud!). 😄 But certainly there are parts that are as close to unambiguous as we can hope given the limits of language. A drinking age of 21 is clean and straightforward for instance.

Oh, I absolutely do remember, but I disagree that that was the saddest November. You are referring to the November of 2004, but the saddest November was that of 2016.

What much of the country experienced in 2016 hit me in 2004. I'm sure you can appreciate how much closer I was to its impact cough cough, ballot box Constitutional Amendments fueling turnout The first shocking disillusionment is the hardest. Numbness mitigates subsequent ones. I'm very bothered by attempts to rehabilitate figures from that era.

@tittliewinks22 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

The word juxtapose is being used entierly too much in this thread about kitties.

That's Stephen's fault. 😄

@serracollector said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

So for anyone still following this BANNED AND RESTRICTED announcement, Lurrus was banned, just wanted to make sure people who click this link can see what actually happened with B and R. Your welcome!

Oh no, did we vacuum the oxygen out of the thread? Wait, wait, don't answer.

last edited by brianpk80
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