Djkaktus & the Road to Damascus

ANALYSIS Djkaktus has leveled up. But what of his congregation, who still uphold his tenets?

Image sources: The Conversion of Saint Paul, Luca Giordano, 1690; djkaktus, from his author page.

Shaun Saxum: Good advice. And I think especially the first half of what you said, about writing something and not expecting it to be, like, big when you write it; I think that applies to honestly any form of content. Just focusing on making something that will do well, rather than something that will make you happy, just always leads to misery, burnout, stuff like that.”

Djkaktus: Well, here’s the thing about that too… For the longest time, I was very (sighs)… my approach to the Wiki was not a healthy one. When I started getting a little bit of steam behind me, some momentum going here, I started aiming for, “OK this article needs to reach this and this many upvotes, and I need to be able to get to such and such place, I want to get to this place on the top overall board for upvotes.” And I did that for a long time; multiple years. And that is not good, right?

I wasted a lot of time that I could have spent living my life if I had not been doing that, and it’s just not… there’s a healthy approach to creating any kind of content, right, where you do it because you enjoy doing it, or because it brings you joy, or because it is something that you enjoy doing in your free time; and that’s kinda how I approach it now.”

— djkaktus, Creative Stuff Podcast, 1/15/2022

This is the best possible thing to happen for the SCP Wiki; djkaktus always had it in his power to single-handedly steer it in a better direction, shadow Admin or not. It is unfortunate that it took what it did, and took as long as it did, but ultimately I’m ecstatic that he’s had what seems to be a lasting and meaningful philosophical shift, one that I never thought I would see occur, words I never thought I would hear from him, admissions that finally reduce the need for my presence as an agitator to him and his shed school of thought. No one will be a bigger cheerleader for djkaktus than me if he continues in this direction. He still has the potential for a truly stunning character arc.

My past criticisms of him are starting to lose their bite, beginning to no longer apply. That is the irony of criticism; it wills itself to become inaccurate.

In Summer 2018, I was brand new to the SCP Wiki. There was a lot going on at that time. We all know the major thing. The SCP-4000 contest would be not much further down the road, and would distract somewhat from the aftershocks of that. But another, titanic subclinical symptom of the times was then surfacing in the defocused background, one I wouldn’t appreciate the grim significance of for some years: djkaktus was desperately chasing and nearly passing Dr. Gears’ upvote total.

Starting out, I felt as though I should study the best writers on the site to get my wits about what worked. So, blamelessly — or at least I still like to think — I decided to meticulously study djkaktus’ works. Little did I know that I was studying a mind more invested in the arrogance of triumph; of surpassing an arbitrary number of his hero than someone who cared about writing as an opportunity for art, or as a spiritual exercise. Life didn’t serve as writing material, the writing material served as life. This, unfortunately, was the djkaktus I met and came to know.

“Now what I tell people is, do it because you like to do it, do it because it’s fun; don’t do it because you’re trying to hit a number or reach some kind of position that you have in mind, because that’s just a losing effort and you will not be happy as a result of it.” — djkaktus

It is hard to explain in words how pervasive and perverse the choral lust for upvotes were on the SCP Wiki then. How it still is, even now. You can only see it for yourself. Instead of being meaningless metrics of proxy self worth, which is what they are, upvotes were somehow the measure by which everyone was determined to be worthwhile or not as an author. An opioid crisis had been created out of 3 lines of snippet code. It had its fair share of distributors.

As some have noted well, this spiritual ailment is not exclusive to the SCP Wiki. It exists in many places, most notably on social media platforms that are explicitly built upon on-demand dopamine and that subsequently encourage a warped view of reality. That was my argument though; the SCP Wiki should have been the last place it took root. The Wiki was something different, something that should have been far, far above that. Power naturally centralizes unless people are actively fighting it; a decentralized and collaborative creative writing project that, by way of its format, minimized authorial self-indulgence should have been an exception. That non-attentiveness, that muscle atrophy, that inability of those who stood at the center of the gathering power to resist their own accolades, has caused SCP to lose its identity. Those with the power to change it convinced that nothing is wrong by a similar resort to numerical metrics. It doesn’t understand what it is any longer.

I tried to articulate this on my way out of the community. That the junkie culture was architecturally fortified, and by its own beneficiaries — again, not at all unique for institutions, not when given publicity & time. No one was ready to hear it. They still aren’t, over 2 years later. Stampedes are always frenetic in a unified direction. The dark spiritual pits of the culture remain, at their worst, an orgiastic harem for self-interested numerists.

Mine wasn’t even a deep insight. It’s not profound, it didn’t need to be lived experience to understand or see. It was superficial, obvious, rudimentary. Artistry 101. But the denial recruited to keep any and all emperors’ clothes on made everyone a benefactor of the spoils to be had, of the needle passed around, and the dopamine pushed intravenously. There were no leaders left; no one to embody the restraint that would keep the Wiki and its culture from devolving into spiritual degeneracy. No one who knew what they were talking about was left to criticize the culture into better shape. The Staff interfered with any and all aspects of the site that they felt would better serve their own brand of upvote brain rot (and largely still interfere); one of Wikidot karma, hierarchical perks, and structural elevation above peers. The Wiki’s guardians of last resort have failed. It’s as a fellow SCF critic has put it: “The content now serves the staff instead of the staff servicing the content.” (The preemptive hari-kari of the original SCP-173 image might be a good example… so too might be the case of its gleeful & mesmeric applause.)

I saw the cult of personality at SCP, built upon upvote envy and quantitative metrics of worth, given an exponent by the lucrative sale of the site’s soul to a social media religion. These cults and the vicarious optimism of fresh blood that hoped to add to their numbers was and still is the etiology for greater cultural diseases and attributes; for example, an underage grooming circuit that leveraged site clout to manipulate the impressionable 15–19 year old demographic. That system was enabled by cults of personality worship. You can’t have cults of personality worship at SCP without upvotes. There’s a constant phrase seen tattooed in scar tissue upon the lips of those abused at SCP; “I looked up to the individual”, “I loved their articles”, “he was like a celebrity”, “I met my hero”, “I thought they were so cool”.

In mid 2020, AdminBright imploded. The consequences of his actions, long ignored hovering over the Wiki, finally broke like a weeping cloud. It was nice that the largest weed was snapped and carried off in the flash flood (albeit ceremoniously and with praise), but critics at that time were still treating the symptoms; not the chronic condition underlying them. Those merely interested in outing perverts went their way, satisfied with the outcome, but the sort of gadfly that wanted to address the deeper, less evident, and more causative mechanisms of action were just arriving on the scene.

The sad truth is that this condition of SCP’s culture, and certainly the motivating factor for most authors there — particularly most of the successful ones — hasn’t changed. No one, not even djkaktus, can reverse this — the likes on his Twitter posts seen here are now a bittersweet mockery, as those who hit it will do so as ephemerally as they have been conditioned to hit the upvote button… his words will be in one ear and out their other by the time their next article or tale is posted. This is a regrettable justice. By his hand but not his alone, writing there has by way of a runaway game of monkey-see-monkey-do become less of an interior experience and more of a social one. To this day, the SCP Wiki rewards memetics and marketing, or other skills not central or necessary to writing, but that take up an increasing portion of the site. You have to either be very good — painstakingly crafty— , or play the game in order to be noticed; which do you think most people will choose?

I was vilified for being mean, the gap between cold & cruel having been slowly chipped away by the entitlement of the dominant personalities. I was made an enemy for attempting to shame those who deep down I’m convinced knew better than to exploit the underdeveloped tastes of the primary audience to better suit their personal myth. When it came to the issue of the quality of highly upvoted works outside of their superficial numerical reception, someone was aghast that I would ascribe such little perceptual discernment to the Wiki’s audience, which was used like a shield to these individuals’ egos. (All the while, that Staff was bad-mouthing that same audience and worse, just in the concealed dishonesty of their gated chat rooms.) The thought of short-circuiting the curation and selection process, that it could be gamed, was not anything anyone wanted to entertain the idea of; despite it actively going on, and at the intention of some who wouldn’t admit it.

“I think one of the reasons the Wiki has suffered a little bit in terms of… overall quality is because our standards for deletion were high for a long time… There are just so many in this community now that anybody with a handful of friends to upvote their first article, can get it over that +10 hump, and it just languishes there… There is still great work being written on the Wiki. I just worry sometimes that it is being overshadowed by a wide variety of just [meh] being posted… I wish we had a better way to address the issue of inflation of the Wiki right now.”— djkaktus

Multiply the “friends” here x10, and you have the upvote racket pioneered by djkaktus, that saw works wildly asymmetric with their compositional quality. The lowest common denominator was perfected into a machine. Premanufactured, canned, stamped, and branded memetics are actually better for the average member of the consumption class because they’re never going to be able to properly understand — certainly not critically analyze and for themselves interpret — anything larger than that. I know it, but more importantly, so did those who decided to take that fact and virtually monetize it for all it’s worth. (There are two types of authors in this world…)

SCP’s opioid crisis has become an enthroned part of the culture. It is by now inseparable from the act of writing there; people can only deny it and hope their work speaks for them. It would much later — finally — be given some shy eye contact in a public and official place, during a site policy discussion. It wasn’t much, but it was the first enunciation of any self-realization on the part of the site and its own addicted and troubled body. The emotional honesty & vulnerability that comes from acknowledging and attempting to process the toxic obsession with upvote brain rot is something that few authors were capable of at this point in time. Few if any came close to dealing with this very real area of confic’s emotional and spiritual landscape.

Believe it or not, I had a lot of admiration for djkaktus. I still do. It’s hard not to at least partially like someone who has such charisma; the ability to have a good joke at-the-ready is the mark of a good man. But the dawning realization of what the writing was, and who the person was behind it, was not a pleasant one for me. First of all, I had wasted my time; I would have doubtless been better off studying CWW or PeppersGhost (not just because he won the 4K) or psul, or others, relative nobodies like xplkqlkcassia or ajmansfield. I had fallen for the jingling keys; though I wasn’t really aware of it, the upvote total had been my decision-maker. I was a fool. I was once everything I am now criticizing.

Before, during, and after this realization, I tore through each of his articles, typing each one by keyboard, character-by-character. I didn’t just read his works; I performed them. I caught typos no one noticed, structural flaws glossed over by fawning others, and baffling decisions of compositional navigation — all upvoted out of any grounding but spectacle, the trademark scrutiny massaged out of the reception by groupthink. I became more disillusioned with each article, leaving extensive reviews and criticisms that surfaced upon my raised eyebrows while I read, later organized in collapsibles with + signs (that you can still see today, “account deleted”).

The cracks and imperfections in kaktus’ articles scaled; the 2-dimensionality became apparent from a vantage point not directly perpendicular to the stage; the synthetic and hyperized pop wrapping paper of the CSS themes making things flashier than they were substantive; the mad-scientist-splicing of disparate bits of pre-existing and culturally-loved lore — the coattails almost ripping from the weight; the ultra commercial motives; the devoting more time to how the thing looks on mobile than the polish of the prose, than sentence composition, thought-crafting, even in fundamentals like clinical tone; the weathervane morals, and the hyperkinetic flavors of the week (both always pointing south). The bragging and posturing was a facade, covering over the real emotional fragility of the author, and the whole culture by proxy.

I saw through the paper tiger that was being fronted. I did not need to have the most upvotes to know the ultimate lessons and destination point of what I was seeing. (A long-sitting but little-noticed part of my author page reads: “I don’t need to be the sun, I don’t need to be the moon, I’m content to be the light in the corner of this room.”) This was not an artist, not a visionary, not a writer writing out of a wholesome necessity. This was a salesman who sold things to distractable children in an adolescent medium intended to be kept that way. The talent here was first political. Topline-first kind of stuff informed by the chart commerciality of a popstar diva mentality, writing with the charts in mind, and conveying a blatantly artificial quality that finds its home in a sodium bath.

“It’s hard to tell people, especially from the position I am in now, because it’s easy for me to say “Ah yeah, upvotes don’t matter; go live your life.” People will say, “Yeah well you’re the upvote guy, you’re #1 overall, how can you possibly say that?”

And what I try and tell people is yeah I can say it from experience that this is… this is where that leads. I spent a lot of unhappy years where I was just sort of masking my own personal issues with upvotes on the Wiki. That little hit of dopamine you get whenever you see that little number go up. And that’s not good. That’s not a healthy place to be.” — djkaktus

As he says here, Kaktus thinks it is hard to tell people this given his situation. You should try it when you’re a nobody.

I don’t recall exactly when I first came across his author page. Your nose would have to be stuffed to not become sick. It was nothing short of the genesis of an archnemesis. The most smug, undeserving, yet self-congratulatory thing I had ever seen. The hubris was unbelievable; a blasphemous slap in the face not only to the spirit of the Wiki and what it should be used for, but to the name of God in the process; that spirit, whether phenomenological or literal, that calls us to strive and struggle against such hells as what djkaktus now empirically describes in his modern quotes; the intuition that would guide us away from such headspaces at the fore rather than the end, and even easily, if we are interested in communion with it.

This individual had strangled the Wiki, something very important, into a distressed exhalation of sycophancy. This was the moral character of the “best” (at least the most-paid-attention-to) author on the site, something others threw roses at no less. There was not enough facetiousness in that epithet for it to be dismissable in jest or good fun. The worst thing isn’t to write poorly and lose; it’s to write poorly and win — that way, you are told and think that such mediocrity is good enough.

Mockery and ridicule are highly effective on individuals who take themselves too seriously, who have delusions of grandeur. It is nearly ineffectual for those who don’t. The reason is emotional security. Interacting with the SCP Wiki made me realize just how spoiled I’ve been in my artistic career prior to it; I’ve known artists with more talent in a flake of dead skin than is in the average egoist SCP author, and they have no self-aggrandizement to speak of, no need for it. For those who fall prey to the lie that they are defined by their reception, that their worth must exist in the minds of others, all it takes is this litmus, a pinprick of the bubble, and pop!

It’s Xerxes Syndrome; if you build up a strong-man image — like kaktus does, complete with a broad-shouldered cavalry uniform in profile pictures — you can’t abide a bleed any more than you can the idea of others seeing it. (Kaktus is quoted in paraphrase as once saying to CFOperator: “If you come at the king, better not miss.”) It’s the ultimate frailty. When given such a full aura of appeal to authority, that weakness is virtually held out; you can surgically evacuate that braggadocio with parody.

I could do that, be the bad tasting medicine; an antidote to the siren-blaring of self-worship that people seem to be frantically jotting down notes to. Would be honored in fact. This would require malfeasance, rebellion, and obscenity. Being nice ain’t gonna get the shit done when “niceness” itself is being weaponized as suppression fire; when the disciplinary structure is fortifying the corruption. I wasn’t going to get through this with my head down. It would cost me what would likely by now have been a respectable reputation and a successful writing career at the SCP Wiki.

I came to observe quickly that Mr. Upvote had remarkably thin skin for someone so accomplished. When I wrote and posted “JK Daktus”, it was an odd texture of fractured admiration, and confused most everyone, including myself. But it was the perfect reflection of the artistic state; someone who had so much accomplished, had so much power, so much potential to gift the Wiki his strengths, but who also gave it all his flaws. JK_Daktus’ emotion and logic seemed to operate by their own laws of physics, splintering under invisible pressure. It was an eulogy for the naivety that brought me with wonder to the site; the requiem mass of what made the medium and genre unique. Parts of the initial admiration still existed there, but it was cracked, irreparable. Shortly after posting it — which I enjoyed watch go positive, then go negative, then hang around for so long before meeting deletion criteria — I DM’d kaktus and apologized, something I don’t recall he ever responded to, not that he should have or needed to.

I started to see what I had discovered in djkaktus everywhere. The Wiki as a system of lopsided causal arcs, each funneling into the dark gravity of baseless superiority complexes, mainly in popular authors and Staff participants (“the ruling class”). I remembered the initial limerance I had in my introduction to the Wiki and to the format, and grew increasingly constricted in the stark awareness that very few here took pleasure in the skill of sentence construction, in the rigorous pressurization of clinical tone, or in what it meant to participate in the asymptote of approaching a-scientific things as scientifically as possible; to sacrifice some audience palatability and entertainment value in order to write fiction in as non-fiction of a method as possible, and in a way never done quite like this before. I wrote this sentence, intended as a supreme compliment to SCP, the rhetorical handshake before the starting bell:

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.

Well what the hell does that mean? Another’s quote dilutes it out into less polysyllabics and less confusion:

“The bounds of the ‘familiar’ can be drawn so generally, so broadly, as to encompass the entirety of our existence. At best this encourages a false jadedness, the impression that one has “seen and done it all” when range of actual experience is limited. At worst, it serves to inform a deep and seemingly inescapable despair.

Poetry can propose many approaches for engaging experience. It bypasses the mechanisms of familiarity, offering both permission and instruction in how to approach our personhood and perceptions as remarkable. Poetry describes the familiar in unfamiliar terms, proposes unfamiliar relations between familiar things, describes the common in uncommon ways. Our narrative history is rich, savory, heavy with opportunity to thus rediscover ourselves. We can draw from this history, put what we’d dismiss as common place alongside the heroic, the monstrous, and try, at least try, to see what happens when we consider ourselves in those terms.”

Confic is poetry to me. It is inherently redemptive — not only of myself, but of a world that has lost all semblance of mystery; a world whose myth is that there is no more myth. At SCP, I was looking for other poets in what turned out to be a gladatorial shouting contest. The myths created in the societal void here were restrung to puppet people’s idealizations of themselves, not of the project or its principles.

Djkaktus was quick to reply to my thesis (or “manifesto”) leveled against the philosophy and approach to writing containment fiction that he was the patron saint of. He replied first of all, in fact (and the comments did come quick). I knew the intended audience would see it, and in not a lot of time. The unhealthy obsession and networks that inform nearly all actions on the site and community demands that people hawk the Recent Edits page, whether by the mandated neurosis of bureaucratic purview, or a willful impersonation of it. But the message was specifically intended for kaktus. I suppose that worked according to its design, then. When you study the anatomy of something, you’re fairly certain where you can tap the rubber hammer to get a reflexive reply.

His response began this way:

It is perhaps presumptive of you, someone who has had such a seemingly unhealthy relationship with this website, to decry authors on this website for not posting for the love of the craft and medium, as if you somehow know their intentions and motivations. Frankly, there are few people I would trust less with that call than someone with such an unfortunately altered view of reality.

I knew it was idiotic to reply; it is very difficult to get a man to understand something when his ego depends on him not understanding it. And so it was for most of those commenting in the thread; several of whom have since had worse landings from their relative heights than me. I wish I could call it my hex, but it isn’t mine — it’s Cerastes’. You know, the person who wrote SCP-DISC-J.

I spent about 6 months absorbing the reactions and turning them over and over again into a sort of cocoon. I noticed and wrote down which comments made my heart skip, and laughed at the ones that didn’t. In that time, I spoke with no one from any confic community. Curious if there was any other commentary on SCP similar to my own, I searched the internet for it one day; I can’t believe I hadn’t done that earlier. There was a thread about the SCP Foundation on a site I hadn’t the slightest idea about; KiwiFarms. They were criticizing SCP, some very insightfully. Keep in mind, this was back in the day when those on the SCP Wiki proper were generally kept in more of a Plato’s cave of misinformation and placation, especially when it came to things like the Staff and their behind-the-scenes operation. Finding holistic criticism of SCP was like finding a fairy. I read every post of the KiwiFarms SCP thread that day.

After noticing that Psyantroose (previously Cyantreuse) had only superficially blackboxed some WikiDot user names in a released letter to Staff, and that a text-to-speech program would pronounce those names unredacted, I started seeing what else I could observe or contribute. Because Staff locked my author page for further commentary, KiwiFarms became my express postal service to the SCP Wiki. Hey, you don’t always go to war with the army you want.

An odd dynamic exists with SCP and KiwiFarms. Most will consider even pronouncing its name a cardinal sin, as if it were Voldemort, and will pretend like they don’t go there. Like looking at pornography, this is mostly given the private browser treatment, phones figuratively pulled towards the chest like a poker hand, lest fellow high-strung SCP influencers find out how much you also routinely check the site for any bad PR (or maybe even some rare ego basting). The truth of the matter is; I didn’t care who was around me on the site, and I still don’t. I don’t give a shit what KiwiFarms does on other threads or before I got there, what idiots have what to say, or what they do now that I’m gone. I am not inescapably defined by the people next to me or behind me. I am defined by what I say and do. KiwiFarms was the only option for someone who still wanted to say and to do things; who was outcast, but who didn’t want to slink away with a tail for a dick.

I poured research and tedium into the deepening social decay of a community in its death throes— work on SCP and its social dynamics which I am still brazenly proud of, doesn’t matter what site it exists on, or what context it exists in. When Harmony fell from the ivory heights of SCP and into the slums of KiwiFarms, it did more than just triple the number of pages in the thread, or equip some of us with an insight into the history and nuance of SCP that not many can say they are familiar with. It confirmed to me that my message delivery system was dramatically effective.

My analyses of the SCP Wiki and its culture started reliably hitting the character limit for KiwiFarms posts. I had by that point basically been misusing the forum thread as a personal blog. So, I decided to pack up and migrate to a less visible and less intruding set-up. Understandably, no one was particularly enthusiastic about it. My view counts restarted at zero (not that I was keeping track). I didn’t mind. I did it because I knew it was the correct artistic step to take. If I cared about internet stickers, I would have stayed. Just like I would have excused all the warning signs in order to stay at the gold mine of SCP, like so many others.

Shortly after, I was swept up in the development of something that is guaranteed to outlive the SCP Wiki; the larger category that it is merely one of many participants in, and that the opportunity to first homestead was wasted by them in favor of a stubborn narcissism that would delude itself into being the only example of its kind. That category is the very genre and medium I’ve watched be quietly abused by egotistical authors at SCP for years. The genre, captive for so long, slipped the leash just as I got started, and now I’ve finally caught up, and even helped it leapfrog the SCP Wiki.

That brings us to the here & now, to this blog, to the magazine, to the Confic Wiki, and to the Society for Containment Fiction. I found something I’m passionate enough to create a business over. I spend what time I’m not with my family or at work sulci-deep in containment fiction; everything to do with it, writing it still; everything except the upvotes.

We can watch the cleaving of kaktus’ old self into a new, more mature mindset in real time. But it isn’t quite a Road to Damascus, because it’s messy; he’s still in a transition state, in a probability wave that hasn’t yet collapsed to one side or the other, but is both dipoles simultaneously. Even mirror images look in the same direction.

People sometimes within this community kinda get hung up on the idea of articles being a certain way and I think it is more important, especially when you are talking about, you know, writing for an audience that you have to remember, you are trying to entertain people. Right? Like you are trying to do something creative in a way that provides a benefit to an audience. And, for my money, if I think I can do that more effectively with a story that doesn’t fit within the boundaries of the format, then I don’t give a shit about the format. It is more important to me that I’m able to tell a story that is cool and that people like, than it is that I tell a story in a way that fits within a certain set of rules.”

— djkaktus, Creative Stuff podcast, 1/15/2022

The above mentality is responsible for the runaway, manufactured focus that has sent the spiritual and compositional standards of the SCP Wiki — its version of the genre — into a tailspin. The damage is incalculable. In this above philosophy, rabid self-seeking attention hides behind the pretense of writing for the edification of others (which of course happens). The unadmitted benefit is truly that of the self-serving author, who counts the edification most in terms of upvotes; not comments, or smiles that the work has quietly made in their own hearts.

In this quote, the maturity that would consider the necessary role of restraint is betrayed, the solid walls of the genre sledgehammered. The uniqueness of the format is sacrificed without hesitation in search of “more audience to entertain” (in the podcast here, alluded to as “a perpetual arms race”). Again, this entertainment value is most often translated into the individual dopamine parcels of numbers and praise; upvotes. (Otherwise, criticism would not be reacted to violently and with the resentment we see from many modern SCP authors.)

The following picture, fun at one point, doesn’t seem to be a laughing matter anymore:

Yea, verily an image (CC) that still exists on The Upvote God’s author page.

Despite the above quote (stated after the Twitter posts), and the remnants still projected more loudly on his author page, djkaktus seems to have decided, nominally at least, to stop trading the respectability and fundamentals of the genre for internet points:

“The big thing you can really stress for people is; sit down and try to tell the story you want to tell. And if that resonates with people, then that’s great. But you won’t get there by trying to turn something into something that it’s not.

I’ve written a bunch of different articles in the past… I went into them thinking ‘OK this is going to be my next big thing’ and they have floundered, because you know, I was approaching it with the wrong headspace. I went into it thinking ‘I need to do everything I can to make this the next Big Thing’. Inevitably, if I even got the article out, it would just kinda be disappointing; it didn’t do the way I wanted it to do, and I would get discouraged… and I think that’s not a healthy way to approach it.

I think the better option is to you know, find the story you want to tell, tell the story in an interesting way, and then see what happens; and don’t get turned off if its, you know, not performing the way you want it to, and understand that, reactions to things on the Wiki are fully fluid. You can’t really predict or nail down what any one reaction to an article is going to be based off of past experiences.”

Quite honestly, it is remarkable for someone to pull themselves so fully out of so deep a pit. This is like watching Boba Fett crawl out of the Sarlacc. It is a tremendous feat; as serious of an accomplishment and as respectable as any SCP. Not many others will have this amount of emotional honesty or strength of character; even if they wanted it.

So, I encourage kaktus to be way, way more vocal with his new message. It’s potentially a saving grace to the SCP Wiki, and is the least he can do in recompense for his years of mushing the Wiki in the wrong direction, which others have idiotically imitated like lemmings off a mental cliff. It is one thing to say such things in the fugacious form of a tweet, or on a podcast that too few people will listen to, much less listen to closely. How about somewhere more meaningful? Practice what is preached, back the easy-to-come-by speech with some hard-to-find action. For example, de-flatter the author page, that monument to what is admitted as toxic; that which stands unchanged despite these grand statements and philosophical tectonics, and that still says the opposite of djkaktus’ new takes.

Mephiphestiny — Devil of Insatiable Quantities, Sin-Lord of Measurands — might be finally excised from “the king”, but it is still and unto this minute deeply permeating the oxygen in his court, coloring the grout of his halls, saturating and squelching the paper shoes of his courtiers. Twitter threads aren’t, and will never be, enough to turn the ship; this is a massive wheel we’re gripping. The course correction is on the scale of years.

And like it or not, that’s why SCP still needs and will still have coalitions of dedicated agitators (now politically dubbed “AHT involved communities”), including people like myself, to be as grating and obnoxious as ever. Because it is worth trying to better.

“It is very easy to get distracted; to get lost in the politics of the thing… You can’t get rid of the noise; it’s ever-present… My best advice to anybody who gets caught up in that cycle of noise, is just take time off. … That was the biggest deal for me; this idea that I could take the time to get my head right... if you are in a situation where you are overwhelmed by noise, go work on something else. This is not your life.” — djkaktus

All boats rise with the tide.

I encourage everyone to go listen to the podcast that is the source material for this post, it is a very good one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQeM_aXRB1k

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Lack of Lepers

Lack of Lepers

Separation of confic and state. The SCP Foundation Wiki’s most dedicated and hated critic. Co-founder @ Confic Magazine LLC.