Everyone wishes they could change the past.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

And justice, and love - the things for which

Why learn? Because knowledge is power.

The compulsion.

A merest hypothesis, yet how endearing it is! Against all odds, it sticks around like an unpleasant odour. I will warn that for the remainder of this post, I will be referring to other records, written by other people. I do not like doing this, but it demonstrates just how endearing this conjecture is.

The first mention that I can recall was written by the contemptible Robert(Lunatic), or whatever title he has acquired by now. I won't pretend to care for the man or his deeds. This is an excerpt of some of his writings, which are in my former friend's 2010 notebook.
I think the erratic behavior concerning appearances should be explained, see if there's any correlation between aggressive/passive activity and location of appearances. If I can determine the /Construct's/ appearances are coupled with a physical prese 
Ah, damn. -Compulsion- is making me write about things I need to keep secret. Can't delete it, either, find myself experiencing extreme nausea and near paranoia/nervous breakdown when I attempt to delete. Record this, and keep focus. Alexis(Victim), just think about Alexis(Victim) and don't consider anything else.
The name for this hypothesis, clearly, has endured. This was, according to this notebook, written in late 2010. I have previously referred to the blog of Steward. Whatever his state of sanity, he gave us the following in mid-2011:
Many of you have felt it-- the compulsion to tell your stories in a public forum. The need to share your tales of Master with all you can. Even those of you who believe that He becomes stronger as you do continue to blog, continue to succumb to that compulsion.
I could not dredge up any more explicit examples on short notice, although the tendency to give every intimate detail in places regarding "Master" are certainly connected to the phenomenon, if it exists. It's also worth keeping in mind the "scribbled posters". Frantic scribbling, warning posters. Warning against "Master"'s presence. They are of no benefit to the writer; they can only help those who look in. They are a message to the outside - "this way lies danger". And that forbidden zone created by them? Of course people will become curious.

And it's not just writing or drawing. It's cameras. Photographs, videos - people just happen to be recording when it's nearby. Perhaps, it cannot be mere coincidence that the same thing happens so often - it seems closer to downright manipulation, should you believe in the theory.

Now that I have outlined the core tenants of the theory, allow me to elaborate. What is presented before us is what I shall dub the Compulsion Hypothesis. The idea that those followed by "Master" feel some sort of urge to spread the tales to the four winds. Whether this is created by "Master" or by some other force is largely irrelevant.

That is the premise. The trouble is that it is quite impossible to test - we are aware solely of the people who did scatter the tale and spread it. This means that our sample group is weighted heavily in favour of the speakers. Now, think: how many people do you see in a day? One, two? No. You likely see dozens, if not hundreds of people. Could you tell, just by looking, if one of them was being pursued by that most dominant of memetic beings? Very likely not.

The Compulsion Hypothesis is something born of confirmation biases. It is quite possible that a few individuals were, indeed, compelled to tell their story to all, as that "Sage" was compelled to. This is likely a sign of weak will, but that goes away from the topic - the hypothesis is incredibly unreliable. Take myself, for example - I had no compulsion to write about my tales of related phenomena (if not "Master" himself). One could argue that I am doing so right now, but this was of my own free will (to my knowledge: it is worth considering that my "free will" is merely an illusion) and I had endured for a length of time before creating a blog or, indeed, telling my story to anyone.

And the one I told it to was already steeped in trouble anyway.

But, once again, I'm moving away from the point! From the given evidence, I can draw no real conclusion about the Compulsion Hypothesis; the "blogosphere" as a whole would confirm it, but how would one know who was not submitting to it? Those that tell no stories do not speak up - there could well be a silent majority of humans pursued by "Master", and we'd know nothing about it! So, I must conclude that the evidence is extremely biased and thus that no conclusion can be drawn regarding the concept of this Compulsion. The closest found is that regarding the video cameras, but I've seen little to connect it with the Compulsion Hypothesis. But it is best to err on the side of caution - recording and capturing photos is not productive in these circumstances, since it may simply aid it.

... this is something I was aware of before I began typing, of course. But some people need things spelled out for them to the letter - this is for them. Do not be seduced by the promise of easy solution - there is an easy way to do things, and a way that will work. Keep this in mind. Do not forget.


  1. I think people consider it a compulsion because they are not just compelled to write about the Slender Man, but to write many personal things, secrets and stuff. I mean, I've only read a handful of blogs, but they seem super-detailed (more like stories), unlike some of the regular blogs I used to read which were just like "Hey, guys, [insert television show] is awesome! Take this quiz to see which [ninja/cat/television character] you are!"

    People's lives don't really have a narrative. It's just random events strung together by time. So maybe the compulsion isn't to write everything down, but to make everything into a story. Make it into a narrative, where everything that happens is important, where nothing is ever just random.

  2. An interesting point. No, indeed, quite interesting; at first, I was going to swat it outside, out-of-hand, saying that I'd covered it in one of my paragraphs.

    But I didn't, so I'll just deal with it here. The real issue in your statement is unfortunately the same as the original; whereas the "story" resembles a narrative, if they include details which were later revealed to be unimportant, we would not note them because they were unimportant, thus enhancing our view of the narrative. This is a nice demonstration of the confirmation bias; we remember Chekhov's gun, but not his shirt. The shirt was there, yes, the shirt was in plain sight - but do you remember it?

    There is some sense in what you say, however. Of course, there's the possibility that those who preach "Compulsion" are those who are most inclined to tell stories. And it does not account for the scribbled drawings, either.

    But, as I said, I can see some sense.

  3. But Chekhov's shirt was never described. If the shirt -was- described in such a way to make it seem interesting ("the shirt was the color of vomit after a night of sushi and binge drinking"), it might be brought up again later. The shirt would become a gun.

    Then again, perhaps not. Perhaps those are just little details that make up our lives, unconnected to anything else. You're right about the confirmation bias - any "proof" that we have is just ourselves telling us that it is proof because of our opinions.

    But then, wouldn't that mean that any proof of anything could be subject to confirmation bias? Could the Slender Man just be a shared delusion? I mean, scientists are theorizing now that the universe is just two-dimensional information creating a three-dimensional hologram. Nothing is real - we're all just shadows.

    Or perhaps this is off-topic.

  4. I'll continue this tomorrow (or, rather, later today), B., for I have rather pressing things to attend to right now.

    You've given me some minor inspiration, however, for which I must be thankful.

  5. http://nowheretohyde.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-am-i-doing.html

    The above, I had not found when I published the post. It's a very frank description of the Compulsion in the text-based format I outlined above.