Adder, I noticed that in your last two posts, you did not quote me at all and in fact only made one direct refutation of a point I had made, which was that they had enough money to register fake accounts. I have responded to this, and I would like to see you actually respond to the points I make, not go off on tangential character assassination.
This post will be long enough that I am going to have to break up this wall of text for easier reading. Thus, I will be splitting it into two parts. The first concerns the consistent allegations of cheating, which I feel I have sufficiently debunked here, but which AdderXYU continues to debate. The second part was not something I originally planned on including, but in the end I felt it essential. It concerns what I view as Adder’s harmful and deluded statements regarding art and freedom of choice.
N.B. To keep things simpler and to reduce the sheer aggravation of having to type their names over and over, I’ll refer to Ramy and Seki as R and S. No shirts were harmed in the writing of this post.
I’ll cut any expository introduction here and skip straight to the meat of my argument. The main thrust of my ideas on R and S’ cheating is thus: There is no even vaguely firm evidence linking them to any kind of cheating, which I define as gaming the system through technological means, (aka hacking of some sort) or by registering fake accounts and voting. I do NOT view asking friends on other sites to vote as cheating, and the same goes for anything not defined by Woot as a bannable offense. Adder and others have relied on conjecture fueled by personal dislike of the artists in question, and relentlessly attack them using strawman arguments that fail to stand to even the most cursory logical examination. Adder cites several ‘suspicious behaviors’, including their sudden burst of popularity and their sustained success, which in his eye is impossible from an artist he does not personally care for. I am also not a R and S fan, though I own one shirt by R (Blue Moon), but the behaviors he lists are easily explained in a vastly simpler way in accordance with Occam's Razor, namely that R and S have lots of exterior support and have a knack for creating designs that, while they aren’t the most appealing to me or to Adder, have (to me and to the majority of people) a clear popular appeal.
Adder also contends that R and S register new accounts, make a purchase with each of them, and then use them to “stuff the ballot box.” This, to me, is the most far-fetched and silly of the claims, for several reasons.
- First, this would require a very sizable amount of money. While R and S have found plenty of success both on Woot and on other sites, I find it amusing to imagine that they would ferret away their winnings sitting in front of a computer for hours registering accounts (each with separate emails I might add) and making purchases with them simply to bump their votes by a few hundred.
- Second, I have no lack of faith in the technical abilities of the Woot staff. If they noticed that several hundred people voted for R and S each week had only bought one item, never made posts, and probably had similar sounding names and were otherwise inactive on the site, would you not think that they might run an I.P address sweep on the votes? Or does Adder think that R and S are actually using separate I.P addresses for each account, an idea that is patently ridiculous.
- Third, and last, this idea stands directly contrary to their immediate success on the site from their first derbies. Does Adder think that when they first started out here, they had the cash flow to create accounts and make purchases with them? Where would this money have come from? And why would R and S make such a risky move as to invest thousands of dollars in “startup costs” of a t-shirt regime?
In conclusion, the whole idea that R and S are cheating is completely unfounded in any fact, and is riddled with logical fallacies. I believe that I have sufficiently and logically demonstrated this, and I would welcome any response.
It has always jumped out to me that Adder seems to have some interesting ideas about art; concerning namely exactly what it is, the superiority of one piece of art over another and whether people can be objectively wrong about the art that they enjoy.
Regarding the first part of that sentence (what art is), I find it handy to take a look at a comment Adder made on an S shirt when it won the derby last week. I found this phrase inherently ridiculous, and I hope you will agree.
Artists should profit from their work, not work for profit.
This is one of the silliest, and to me, offensive, phrases I have heard on this site. I am a working photographer. When I am paid to shoot a wedding, I create beautiful photos. I view them as art, the couple views them as art, and the world views them as art. I was paid to make them. Are those photos art now? Or are they inferior, somehow, to the photos I take on my off time, the stuff I don’t make specifically to get paid for, even though many of my wedding photos I view as better than my off-time photos. Or, for instance, think of Michaelangelo’s David. It was created for profit from the patronage of the Medicis. Would Adder look at that beautiful sculpture and say “Sorry, it was made for profit, it is not art.” Adder, I hate to break this to you, but every single shirt on woot and the vast majority elsewhere is created for profit. This is especially apparent in the derby, where all the shirts are made with the hope of getting printed and netting the artist profit. Yet, I would call every original design here art. Would Adder agree? Probably not.
This leads me to the second part of my argument, which is that Adder, in claiming the superiority of one type (or piece) of art over another, is ruining the very idea of what art is, which is that to the unbiased viewer, all art is completely equal. As he says,
You can't deny that Jeff Buckley was more talented vocally than Lady Gaga, and if you do you don't have a right to talk. It's that obvious.
While this statement is clearly slightly humorous in its writing, its meaning and the motives behind it are completely serious and, to me, disturbing. What if there were one person who really, with all their heart, believed that Lady Gaga was the best singer ever? That is viewpoint on art, and you cannot objectively tell someone that their view is incorrect and invalid, because that runs completely contrary to the very idea of art! When Adder decries all the people who buy R and S shirts as flawed in their perception of art, he is wrong, because NOBODY is flawed in their perception of art. The very concept is ridiculous! As another anecdote, I showed my little cousin a photo I took recently, and he looked up at me and said without a shred of doubt “That is the best photo ever!” I don’t think it is, but I didn’t try and correct him, because to him, to someone who believes in what they like, saying that what they like is not art is completely heartless, and I am amazed that someone whose self-professed goal on this site is to “maintain art” could hold such beliefs.
In conclusion, I have made my case that Adder’s views on art are extremely overreaching and flawed in their clear embodiment of his ego. For Adder, what he views as art is art, and everything else is not. That’s fine. What is NOT fine is telling other people what they can and cannot like. That was the reason that I have made these posts protesting his and his ideas, and it is the reason I will continue writing them, however long they may be.
P.S. I am not alone in my beliefs. I received a message from a popular, well-respected artist that Adder has praised in the past, with the subject: ‘You’re my Hero’, and continued
Thanks for pointedly sticking it to Adder and Wednesday. I have thought along the lines of many of your arguments but it's potential suicide for an artist to get too caught up in politik. I actually support Adder on some of his points too but it's infuriating when they use if/then logic that doesn't work and impose their personal preference as fact. Thanks
To that artist, thank you for the message. To everyone, thank you for reading this, all 1781 words of it, if you did. I really do appreciate it, and I feel that what I say is important. But hey, in the end: