Wednesday, February 13, 2008

TheVeracity of Blogs

What is a Blog on FLR?

Let’s say that I have a fertile imagination (I do). Let’s say that I have a fair skill of literary style and the use of the English language (I do). Let’s say that I am horny as hell (I am), and other than manual self-satisfaction I have no sex life (not true). Let’s say that I would love to be dominated in the bedroom (extremely true). Let’s say that I could spend the rest of my life lovingly serving a woman (I do). Let’s say that she may or may not be all that my fantasy requires (true). Let’s say that I am male (I am).

If I were to throw all of those into a plot of erotic adventures, I would come up with one hell of a story. But our context here is neither a novel, nor a short story. It is a realistic interaction with humans who are attuned to similar ideas, and like to read and deal with real life scenarios from like-minded people. I have just described hundreds of FML blogs, including mine. I have never played a video game, but I imagine that this is somewhat analogous to them. The difference is that the players are real in every way, and in most cases so are the scenarios.

How Can We Tell Fantasy from Reality?

First I want to say that fantasy has its place in reality (you will have to think about that a bit). I am not dismissing fantasy at all. It can be fun during otherwise boring idle moments, say when you are waiting to have one of your molars extracted. If all you can afford is fantasy, then go for it! Just don’t try to sell it to us as your life. It may amuse you to fool some of us some of the time. But when it’s over, all you still have is your fantasy, while the rest of us have moved on with our real lives.

Reality sucks, and I am not making excuses about it. I would love to be able to write about my perfect FLR, and be the envy of all. It is not going to happen. So, will I embellish just to juice it up enough to keep prurient interest alive? Neither will that happen. I will tell you when what I write is not real. I have never taken an identity that I did not actually possess. My aversion to faking my self borders or encroaches paranoia. I don’t ever want to be “found out as a fake”. I would rather just write my fantasy and present it that way.

And there is the rub!

How can you tell that anything I say is not just a literary creation based entirely on my thoughts? That brings me to the essence of this pontification.

The Turing Test

I am interested in psychology, logic, computer science, and history. One of the outstanding aspects is an overlap of the disciplines. It has to do with research on human and artificial intelligence. I will not bore you with the detail; you can look it up in a number of sources. I will just give you the essence: Alan Turing proposed a simple test in 1950 (before most of you were born). Paraphrasing the test, “A human judge conducts a textual conversation with a human and a machine. If the judge can not have a reliable way to distinguish the two, then the machine passes as intelligent.”

Many have accepted this as “Of course! That makes sense.” But when one begins to analyze the implications, one runs into problems with it. There are many things wrong with the test, the assumptions, and the definitions, and I will not go into them in detail to save space. Suffice it to say that today there is no known test that can be applied and to succeed consistently. Maybe there will be one in the future. If you want to ask me about the details of why it fails, send me an email and I may elaborate.

Parlor Games

There is a party game that has a certain similarity to the Turing Test. A man and a woman are the test subjects hidden from the judge. The judge is expected to decide which of the two subjects is man and which is woman via textual communication. During the test each subject is trying to convince the judge that he or she is the other gender. It is a fun game, and as before, no true test can do it justice.

Blog Veracity Tests

This brings us to the blog test: “Is this blog describing the author’s reality or fantasy or both?” As discussed in the previous two tests, there are a lot of undefined elements for which there is no true test that will succeed in telling reality from fantasy. But it is fun to try! My previous entry, "Extremes" dealt with the subject of a blog being so good, that it could be fantasy.

“The better it sounds, the less real it tends to be.” Consider this a rule of thumb. It is unscientific, likely to fail, and may be unjust to apply. And we will never know whether our conclusion based on it is right.

Then again, as we have heard, “Truth can be stranger than fiction.” I admit that I have a tremendous imagination, but am I also humbled by some folks who make a tongue-in-cheek comment on my pontifications and thereby making mockery of it. So, all you smart and intelligent readers, please propose some rules with appropriate definitions that will be successful in this nascent "Blog Veracity Test." There can be any number of rules, but try to be precise in your definitions. For example, words like “reasonable”, “fairly good”, “mostly”, etc., are not precise and likely to be useless for this purpose.

Let’s hear some good rules. If there are some, I might put them together and publish them here, so that we can all use them, and adjust them over time.

10 comments:

whatevershesays said...

My first rule when trying to determine if a blog is real or not is some type of fantasy vs. "normal" with respect to the number of posts.

My guess is that if the majority of posts are very sexual (and pretty hard core at that) then it's either all BS or embelished.

I'm past the point of reading blogs for titilation. I like reading ones that make me ponder my own situation and how I could improve it.

bossed hubby said...

Pet -

Glad to see someone in the community addressing this. I agree that there is nothing wrong with fantasies. I have enough of my own, and don't like to read fiction. I wish that the people that are producing fiction would be honest about it (there is a market for it I believe).

I peruse the various blogs from time to time, mainly just to be assured that there are others out there with similar struggles as mine. I offer encouragement or advice when I have some common experience.The blogs that describe a picture-perfect "WLM fantasy-correct" relationship are not that interesting to me (regardless of their believability). If someone has attained the "dream relationship" more power to them. Its just not where I am at. I can't relate to Bill Gates either! I am much more interested in the fellow small business owner down the street.

I am not much on psychology. I use the razor as much as possible. I am a good southern' boy though, and I know bullsh*t when I see it.

Regards

Susan's Pet said...

Whatever,

I am with you on the assessment and comparison to my own situation. However, I still get titillated by some real scenario presented by real people, so I keep reading when I have the time.

Bossed,

I can add a comment on your well stated opinon. "Being in and living a perfect relationship may be wonderful at first. But it is like eating only the frosting on a cake. After a while it is too much." Any story that it worth telling, whether it is presented as true or fiction, must have some element of struggle, friction, obstacles, and at least partial or occasional resolution. That is how I see most real FLRs. It is because FLRs are no different from any loving relationships that may be good, but imperfect.

Knight-in-Waiting said...

SP, I agree with Bossed Hubby it's interesting that you are addressing this point.

There are guys out there like myself, yourself and the obvious others that are genuinely trying to implement, or documenting the successful implementation of a FLR. It helps immensely to read genuine blogs and on the contrary can be detrimental and discouraging to read phonies. That said if you've identified a blog as pure fantasy it doesn't make it any less interesting to read, just less authoritative or applicable.

I suppose I apply the "Why" test.

Why is this person blogging about their experiences. Are they fishing for feedback, teaching or enlightening readers, simply documenting their life or, amongst other reasons, just "getting off" on writing about what they wish they were involved with.

... or possibly even all of the above?

Basically I think that if the blog doesn't come across as *purely* someone "getting off" then there is a real chance that it's genuine.

VeezKnight said...

A couple of thoughts:

I don't think there is a truly reliable way to ferret out the fantasy from the reality. Often I will read something that somehow just doesn't seem to ring quite true. That's when I move it over into the bullshit category.

The perfect FLR? One thing I have learned is that nothing is ever quite what it seems to be on the surface. Perfect is never truly perfect. And when you think about it, in some ways, wouldn't perfect translate into being boring as hell?

Why do Goddess V and I maintain our blog? One reason is it has helped yours truly (who does most of the writing) sort through and develop my thoughts about female domination. which, by the way, was new to me.

Secondly, because we've found that female leadership works so well in a marriage, we really do want to promote it to others who may be considering it. That especially includes the many male submissive wannabes out there who are trying to work up the courage to confess their wives.

Susan's Pet said...

Veez,

I agree with all that you have said. In my earlier posts I pointed out that to me, "Anticipation of a journey and the journey itself is the joy. Once there, it may be pleasant, but it will not last, so the stay may be tainted by the inevitable."

So, enjoy the journey, and may it never end!

At all Times said...

I don't know which blogs others are referring to as I haven't found many blogs that I have felt are fantasy because the relationship sounds too perfect. All the other blogs that I read have a true to form element of frustration, and an ongoing struggle as the couples battle to reach, what for many seems to be at first, an uneasy balance between desire, fantasy and normalcy (whatever normalcy is).

Susan's Pet said...

At All Times,

Thank you for your response. You bring up two points that were not addressed directly in this posting: “perfect relationship” and “normalcy”.

The measure of veracity as I propose it is a tongue-in-cheek topic not to be taken too seriously. What I said was, “The better it sounds, the less real it tends to be.” The reference is not to the perfection of the relationship, rather to the almost complete satisfaction of a man’s or a woman’s fantasy. Even in fictional stories there are usually some elements of contention, but they tend to have the flavor of self-satisfaction by the writer. There have been blogs with that characteristic.

You are right in easily identifying those that are real by saying that there is a presence of, “…true to form element of frustration, and an ongoing struggle as the couples battle …” Even when there is not too much strife or struggle, this element of reality can be and often is there. It’s those other blogs that we can’t really tell whether they are real.

The second word that caught my attention is “normalcy”. As you hint, it is nebulous at best. All I can say is that any relationship may have a normal state, but it is a measure of only that one relationship. The definition of the word normal admits to having abnormal or off-the-mean events whether we are talking psychology or economics.

I was not trying to dismiss writings that deal with somewhat more than just reality. They can be entertaining. My concern was that I would rather deal with real bloggers as opposed to characters in a novel, and that I need a way to tell before I get too involved with them. It may be an ego trip for the novelist, but it is embarrassing for those of us who might have believed them.

Ironically you and I may have just given these novelists some more ammunition on how to make their writing more believable.

s said...

Even a sincere WLM blog is written from the perspective of somebody passionate about the subject. I like to think of my own blog as being sincere...but sometimes when I go back to read my own older posts, I recognize the power of wishful thinking in my writing. Maybe my wife did something I found erotic, and I read far too much into it (because that's what I wanted to believe).

The intention to describe my marriage, as I see it, is earnest. But I doubt that either my wife or an objective observer would share my perception.

Susan's Pet said...

S,

If you continue writing, whether it is in a blog or elsewhere, your style and expression of thought will evolve. What you have said early may not be accurate later.

In one of my earlier postings I mentioned a comment from someone (I can't find it now) who said in essence, "An FLR may entirely be in the mind of the man..." He was referring to how much wishful thinking can color one's perception. This is a bit extreme interpretation of a struggling and evolving FLR. I believe that there is alwas some element of FLR in the relationship, and we may all have experienced seeing something that was not totally there.

You say, "The intention to describe my marriage, as I see it, is earnest. But I doubt that either my wife or an objective observer would share my perception." That is true. It would also happen that if you were to experience the same thing later, you would see it differently.

Reality is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. Just think how successful illusionists and actors can be in conveying reality. The true test for yourself is what is left for you when the dust settles.

Given all that, I doubt that your writing would be tagged as fake because of wishful thinking or interpretation. Relax, my friend, and keep on wishing while you are doing something about your wishes.