Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Learning to help improve the world, for everyone in the world

Here are some ways I'm trying to learn to help improve the world, for everyone in the world, near and far:
1. Learning to think and act in ways that help brighten up the day for everyone around me, in everything I do, everywhere all the time.
2. Learning to be a better friend to each person in my life.
3. Learning to communicate more, and better, with each person in my life, about what really matters to me and to them.
4. Learning to help develop, practice and promote some kinds of community building, in neighborhoods and villages around the world, that I see as promising ways of helping to build a better world; and of helping to reduce and counteract the ravaging of military and economic warfare, and other natural disasters; at the same time.
5. Practicing and promoting friendship and fellowship across the widest ideological divides.
6. Spending time in side-by-side friendships with some of the people around me that I see being stigmatized, marginalized and ravaged the most.
7. Learning to improve my personality, character, health, capacities and conduct, in ways that serve those purposes, and to encourage and support others in their efforts to improve themselves.
8. Learning not to be confused, distracted, diverted and poisoned by alarm and anger, mine or anyone else's; or by discussions about social issues, and about outrageous things happening in the world.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

What the CS representatives did right

One of the GMs I talked to invited me to offer my suggestions to the company about how to improve the way they respond to situations like the one I discussed in a previous post. After some research on how to submit a suggestion, the only possible way I see for me is with the in-game suggestion option, and I might do that.

My suggestions are not for the company. Any suggestions I might have would be for individual customer service representatives who see what I see, and who would like to do more to help people in that situation, if they knew what to do. I don't see any way for me to offer them those suggestions, other than in this blog. I've posted what ideas I have, in that other post.

What I want to do in this post is to say what I saw customer service representatives doing right. Of the representatives I saw posting in the customer support forum, some of them were invariably friendly, courteous and kind, which is by far what I would want to see the most. All of them were invariably courteous. I also saw one of them offering some of the advice that I would like people to have, whose accounts have been banned and whose appeals are persistently denied.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Response to being maligned in a forum

In responses to my posts on a game forum, where I'm trying to help people who have been wrongly banned and whose appeals have been persistently denied, I've seen some personal attacks against me. Normally my only response is to report them, without responding to them or mentioning them at all in my posts. I did respond though, to a personal attack coming from one of the forum members who have a stamp of credibility from the game company.


I want to respond to two public allegations against me by --------:

1. Insinuating that I'm foolish enough to believe every person who claims that they weren't botting or otherwise violating the ToS.

I don't believe every person who claims that they weren't botting or otherwise violating the ToS. I'm well aware that most of the people protesting against their bans were actually botting.

2. Saying that I don't listen.

I'm not sure I know why she's saying that. I see her repeating some things that I've responded to, so maybe she hasn't seen my responses. I'll repeat them here.

- I'm well aware that most of the people protesting against their bans were actually botting or otherwise violating the ToS.

- I'm well aware that -------- see my wife's situation as entirely different from the situation of anyone, guilty or innocent, who was banned in the recent banwave.

- I haven't said this before in so many words, but I'm well aware that a lot of people, including --------, keep insisting that my wife is the only person in the world who has been falsely accused, and whose appeal has been persistently denied, or else that the number of people who have been treated that way is very small.

The number might be very small, but it is certainly not zero, and even if it were, that would still be irrelevant for what I've been trying to do. For discussion purposes let's presume it's only one other person besides my wife. Let's presume:
- that there's only one other person in the world besides my wife who has been falsely accused, whose appeal has been persistently denied, and who has been told explicitly by Customer Support that they will not discuss it with her.
- that the allegation against her was entirely different from the allegation against my wife.
That's the person I've been trying to help, with my posts in the forum, and with my blog post.

The specific allegation against that person, and circumstances that triggered it, might very well be different from the allegation against my wife, and the circumstances that triggered it. That's entirely irrelevant to what I'm trying to do. The problem for her, and for them, is *not* the auto-ban, or how it was triggered. The problem that my wife, and that one other person in the world, have in common, is the impenetrable wall of auto-responses completely ignoring everything they say. Those responses to my wife, and to that one other person in the world, have been identical, word for word, apart from cutting and pasting the specific allegation in the appropriate places.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Game account wrongly banned; appeal denied

This is written for people who already see what I'm seeing, and who would like to do more to help, if they knew what to do. I'm not sure I have any ideas that they haven't already thought of and tried, but I'm not sure I don't. Please, anyone reading this, if you have any ideas or encouraging words for me, please find some way to communicate them to me. My Yahoo address is geotalk.

I'll be adding to this post and revising it, as my thoughts evolve.

For reference, I'll briefly describe an example of what I'm seeing.
A person is falsely accused of some violation of the terms, and her game account is banned. She submits a ticket, and receives an automated response that does nothing but repeat the allegation, completely ignoring everything she says, ending with "We now consider this matter closed, and would not look to enter into further discussion on the subject." She requests a callback, and the person who calls says he can't do anything to help her.

What can anyone do to help that person? First of all, how can we even find that person, to try to help her? Some few in that situation might find their way into the forums, but there might be others who don't. My only idea for now is to publish a blog post like this, that some people might find if they search for solutions on the Internet. If I see any discussions about it in the forums, I'll mention this blog post. Some people who are falsely accused might be searching for solutions in the forums, and see that.

Some of a person's possibilities might depend on why and how this is happening. I'm not sure that I know, or ever will. For now I'll imagine that the resources and capacities needed to find and reverse all the bans that were issued by mistake, are simply not available, and never will be. In other words, some people whose accounts have been wrongly banned will never be able to have the mistake corrected.

It might be that anyone who persists patiently, and/or requests a live chat or callback, or has a friend that can do that for her, will eventually be able to have the mistake corrected, but if that is said in public, it might result in an overload on live chat and callbacks. Under those conditions, what can any individual customer service representative, or anyone else, do to help in those circumstances?

First I'll discuss the kind of moral support that I'd like to see for that person. Then I'll discuss some ideas for practical advice to give her.

Moral Support

A person looking in the forums might see a variety of ideas about how to reconcile herself to being robbed, and not being able to play the game for however long her account will be banned, which is sometimes permanently. I can see a lot of value in those ideas, but more than that, I would like to see her get some recognition and sympathy for being robbed and not being able to play the game, and some encouragement and support in trying to get the mistake corrected if she wants to. Simply repeating over and over that all she can do is submit a ticket seems dishonest, cruel and insulting to me. I see no need, with a person who has been told explicitly by Customer Service, in response to her ticket, that they will not discuss it with her, to keep repeating that the only thing she can do is submit a ticket. That feels dishonest, cruel and insulting to me.

In the forums she might see a lot of posts denying that what happened to her could possibly happen, or excusing it. That's very demoralizing. It might help her to see someone saying that it *does* happen, and that nothing can make it right for anyone to be treated that way.

Practical Advice

In some cases, it might be possible for someone else to contact Customer Support and have the mistake corrected. That's what happened in my wife's case. I was finally able to talk to someone who looked at her account, and saw the mistake and corrected it. That possibility might be very remote in most cases, but it is a possibility.

Another possibility I see for her in some cases is to wait a few weeks, and try again, then again in a few more weeks, and so on. The automated denials of the appeal might be the result of a temporary overload in Customer Service.

If a person has been accused of using third-party software, and would like to find out if there is actually something on her computer triggering that, she might bring that question to a virus removal help site. That needs to be researched carefully, because there are a lot of fraudulent ones.

Other thoughts

1. There might be much better ways that Customer Service representatives could help, that could only be found in live consultation between some CS representatives, and some of the people whose accounts have been banned by mistake, and whose appeals were persistently denied.

2. I've seen examples of this happening with at least five game companies. A person's account is banned by mistake, and every way is barred, to have the mistake corrected. One company even says openly and explicitly that there is no way to appeal a ban, at all. Even in a case like that, it might be possible to contact customer support through another account, or through a friend, to ask for help on some other topic. If that leads to some actual communication with a person, it might be possible to persuade that person to investigate and have the mistake corrected.

3. Game companies sometimes say that there's no way to appeal a ban, that the only way is with a ticket, or that it's impossible to use another account for an appeal or for a friend to do it. It looks to me like in some cases, possibly in most cases, none of that is true. Many people have had the mistakes corrected, and their accounts unbanned, with those companies, using phone calls and/or other accounts, or by a friend doing it for them.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What I'm trying to do in the Wow forums

If you're looking for my discussion about what I'm trying to do in the WoW forums, this is it. I'll post more later.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Making time

Some time ago I suspended my Internet projects indefinitely. Now I'm thinking I might go back online in February or March, if I can learn habits I want to learn before then, including:
- making time in my life now, for some things that I'm hoping will some day happen in my life.
- spending more time with some friends and family members, learning to be a better friend.
- getting some things done from my list of Things to Do.

Mostly what I want to make time for, sometimes at home and sometimes outside, is to spend with some friends that I'm hoping to have some day. Those will be friends who will be following Baha'u'llah, and studying and practicing with some of their friends, learning to work with neighbors to help improve the community life for everyone in a neighborhood, using what we're learning from Baha'u'llah. Those friends of mine and I will spend time together in fellowship, in my home and elsewhere, and exchanging ideas and experiences in helping to spread the knowledge and love of God.

I'm learning to make time for that in my life now, without waiting until it starts happening. I'm using that time now to practice things I might do with those friends in the future.

I might go back online in February or March, if I'm satisfied with my progress in learning those habits. For now what I have in mind to do, if and when I go back online, is to spend time with people following ideologies opposed to mine, learning to encourage and support them, in their best efforts that I can see, to help spread the knowledge and love of God.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


I've suspended all of my Internet projects indefinitely, but I don't want to abandon my blogs completely. I'll try to say briefly where I was in my projects, and what I might do if I ever go back online.

Please don't anyone ever hesitate to comment or to contact me, just because I haven't posted for many months. I want to remember that, myself, when I find blogs that interest me, without any recent posts.

I'll list some of my past projects and potential future projects, then discuss where I am with them.

1. Fellowship with some of the people I see being stigmatized and marginalized the most.
2. Practicing and promoting better conduct on the Internet.
3. Bringing the framework for action into online communities.
4. Learning to nurture the spirit of faith and the love of God, in myself and in others, everywhere all the time, and to help spread His knowledge and love far and wide.
5. Promoting more conscious awareness and appreciation of the spirit of faith, and of its role not only in each person's life but in improving the world for all people everywhere, rather than for some at the expense of others.
6. Practicing and promoting fellowship across religious and other ideological divides.
7. Encouraging and supporting individual initiatives outside of popular bandwagons.
8. Putting myself in the line of fire of prejudices against people promoting ideas and interests contrary to popular Baha'i thinking.
9. Freeing myself from my own prejudices and ill will, and learning to never depreciate anyone.
10. Finding more people who want to be candles for God, or some equivalent of that in non-theistic language, and learning to encourage and support them, especially in spreading the knowledge and love of God, and in serving the best interests of their communities.
11. Promoting free software, the creative commons and other movements for a more loving economy.
12. Practicing and promoting richer and deeper online communications.
13. Practicing and promoting online consultation on what any and all of us can do about Baha'i social issues.
14. Trying to create a more friendly environment in Baha'i Internet discussions for people I see being stigmatized and marginalized in those discussions, in both camps.
15. Finding people to collaborate with in my projects.
16. Learning what kinds of online interpersonal experiences help open people's hearts to God and attract them to His Kingdom.
17. Helping to develop online training for people who are learning to make better use of the Internet to help spread the knowledge and love of God.
18. To learn, practice and promote what all of us can do for the most ravaged people all over the world.
19. Practicing and promoting wider and better exchanges of ideas and experiences in studying the Revelation of God and putting it into practice; for example between people with opposing ideologies; and between people trained and experienced in various academic fields, and people wholeheartedly immersed in the framework for action the House of Justice is promoting.

If and when I go back online, I imagine some of my highest priorities will be finding blogs and other initiatives to encourage and support, practicing and promoting fellowship across religious and other ideological divides, learning to never depreciate anyone, and learning to free myself from all ill will.

After years of putting myself in the line of fire of people's prejudices, I don't see much promise in it, so I've considered giving it up. One reason I might continue is help me resist my own temptations to comply.

The kinds of blogs and other initiatives I'll be looking for, to encourage and support, might be especially ones I see best serving these purposes:
- Spreading awareness and appreciation of the gift of faith, and the knowledge and love of God, far and wide.
- Fellowship across religious and other ideological divides.
- Individual and small group initiatives outside of popular bandwagons, especially ones stigmatized and marginalized by them.
- Learning and promoting what any and all of us can do to help rebuild the world's most ravaged communities, near and far.
- Online training for those purposes.

I'm reconsidering the idea of trying to bring the framework for action into online communities, not to abandon it but to consider some adaptations that might be needed before I can even start.

I wrote a lot in the past about Baha'i feuding, and what I call the Talisman liberation movement, and addressing Baha'i social issues, and freeing the Faith from its shackles. Three of the four people in the liberation camp that I was most interested in excommunicated me, and I withdrew from all of those discussions, years ago. I'm still on friendly terms with the other one, but that one has mostly lost interest in those issues.

Even though I don't see as much of the open feuding as I saw before, I still see Baha'is online divided into the same camps, with the same animosities; and I still see the same harm in it, and the same community issues behind it, that I've always seen. I haven't given up trying to address all that, but I have given up trying to do anything about it in Internet discussions, even if I go back online. In fact I've given up hope of having any fruitful discussions about any social issues in any online social forum.