What you need to know about me - a manual

Hi. I'm Sven Slootweg, better known as joepie91. I do lots of things on the internet, and I behave somewhat differently from most people. A lot of people have trouble getting used to how I do or say things, so I've created this page in the hope of clarifying how and why I do things.

I don't sugarcoat.

If you ask me for criticism, I will give you clear, unfiltered criticism. No sugarcoating. I will tell you exactly what I think how I think it. If you cannot deal with this, either try and get used to it, or don't ask me for criticism.

If I see something happening that I consider unacceptable, I will respond to it - again, not sugarcoating. I can be a giant pain in the ass, some of the most notable examples involving web and application security.

Why do I do this? Although it is commonly claimed that I do, I have no desire to feel 'right' or 'powerful'. I simply believe that avoiding or sugarcoating does noone a favour.

If I were to sugarcoat what I said, you would never have a clear idea, and I would have to tread carefully not to offend you. We both lose. Therefore, I will be straight-forward with you.

I desire the same from you. If I do something stupid, tell me so and explain what I'm doing wrong. If I'm doing something unacceptable, tell me so.

I argue.

I have a lot - and I mean a lot - of discussions with people. Sometimes about major topics, sometimes about things so small you're going to be annoyed at my nitpicking.

I can be extremely persistent, constantly point out any fallacies, and tear apart an argument with seemingly complete disregard for your feelings.

Why do I do this? The only way to solve problems and challenges correctly, is by thinking critically. Constantly putting discussions in front of people and being extremely persistent in them, makes people think more critically.

Most people get the urge to either try and 'beat' me at discussing, or to avoid making unsupported arguments because they know I will follow up with a rant. Past experiences show that this works to make people think more critically.

Honestly, the importance of critical thinking is massively underestimated. Nearly every problem that society has could easily be solved if all of the parties engaged in critical thinking.

I don't mind you hating me, as long as I can improve your critical thinking in the process. The easy way or the hard way.

As a final note on this, know that even if I am arguing with you vehemently, I don't hate you. I simply want you to get better at critical thinking.

I manipulate.

In case it hasn't become obvious to you yet, I am a social engineer. Full-time. 24/7. I use manipulation and other psychological tactics in nearly every conversation I have. I will try to change the way you think, and try to solve problems you might not even realize you had.

I will also gladly tell you why and how I am manipulating you, if you're willing to take the time to listen. If you believe you cannot be manipulated, then don't bother, disregard this, and move on.

If you do want to know, just ask. But don't be surprised if my answer, at first, reads like made-up non-sense. Social engineering is very subtle.

Why do I do this? You are being manipulated every single day of your life. Marketing, propaganda, and many other aspects of society are focused entirely around manipulation. Nearly all of it for commercial or other selfish gain.

One of the hallmarks of social engineering is that you can change peoples beliefs and habits, without those people even understanding why they hold that belief, or why they have that habit. It's largely unconscious, and many believe they are immune to it.

The only way to counter manipulation through irrationality, is by manipulating people back into rationality. That is what I do. That is also why I will gladly tell you what I am doing to manipulate you. Manipulation for a good cause doesn't need to be hidden to be effective.

I'm a moralfag.

I am a moralfag. I disregard laws for anything other than practical purposes. I judge solely by morals, and constantly put my morals to the test by discussing with others. I ignore 'mass opinion' when defining my morals, and hold some very unpopular opinions as a result.

I can explain to you exactly what my reasoning is for my moral standpoints, and when you interact with me for an extended amount of time, you will notice that I take morals into account in virtually everything I do.

I can also become very annoying about morals. I will make a fuss over something that you consider insignificant, just because it conflicts with my morals. I will refuse to work on or endorse something, because it conflicts with my morals.

My morals are always open for debate. If you believe I am misjudging something, by all means tell me so - but be sure to explain why. Mass opinion alone will not change my view on things.

I don't keep grudges.

Perhaps the hardest thing for people to understand, is that I don't keep grudges. I don't believe that an individual is inherently bad, and believe that the only things worth judging are someones acts and attitudes.

Even if I've lashed out at you in the past, no matter how violently, don't hesitate to talk to me again. I don't hate you, I don't hold a grudge against you, and if you decide to genuinely change that which I criticized before, you will notice my criticism vanishes instantly.

I also don't judge people from rumours. Never feel afraid to talk to me. The only case where I will escalate a situation to more severe things (think doxing), is when I have already talked to you, and you actively refuse to listen while harming others in the process. Very few people have ever reached this stage.

Final words

I am comfortable with who I am, I am aware of how I act, and I have a good reason for doing every of the above things. You will not convince me to do otherwise unless you have a logical counter-argument that does not involve your own opinion.

I do not mean ill to anyone, even if it seems like I do. I am simply very determined, and very unwilling to make moral compromises. If you do not like raw criticism, then feel free to ask any of the millions of other people that sugarcoat their responses for you. Don't ask me.

In practice, all of the above things have turned out to work well, making people more aware and making them 'think better'. Don't try to tell me that it doesn't work - I've already seen it work. I'll also gladly give you some examples.

If you want to talk to me for whatever reason, you can find my contact details here.

Note that this page is mutable; it may change in the future if I decide I worded something badly, or if something is missing.

- Sven