At times it is difficult to make sense of how Everything2 treats us. Despite our best effort, we get only spanked. We write cool, crystal-clear nodes on obscure yet subtly interesting themes, and they sit at zero. Or worse, some random downvoter sends them at -1, and there they sit for eternity (since this is the Internet, any time period beyond two days is equivalent to eternity).
In other occasions, an innocent comment in the chatterbox gets us another spanking. People make sarcastic observations that cut us to the quick, content editors vaporize large sets of our nodes, and our small but important contributions to the nodescape don't even reach the bottom of the New Nodes nodelet.
In other occasions, silliness and fluff get well treated. Our minor nodes about how our back hurts after cycling get upvoted and C!ed and cooled, and we even get msgs complimenting us.
And again, we fail to understand. Is there no justice ? The oldsters propose XP stoicism. Major powers claim that a node that has been link and linked will not go ignored, if it is good (or bad).
Still, we are not satisfied. After all, the votes, the nukes, all come from fellow human beings, noders all of them, people that we could probably love and that we would possibly drink with.
But, as a collective, we fail to understand them. And that happens because as a collective they are not human at all. Everything2 behaves like, nay, it is a
300 pound kitten
MEOW ! purr purr purr ... meow ! *pounce* *THUD*
Just picture it: a kitten, only about a thousand times as big and heavy and powerful as it is customary. Not a puma or some other large feline, just a normal house cat of a very young age - but it weighs 300 pounds.
Its size has not changed its character, though: it still loves to pounce on things that glitter, it still likes to chase and wantonly destroy small living beings (that would be us) that run away.
At times it does things that just cannot be explained. One moment it is sleepy, and curls up in a corner and ignores the world. No matter how hard we stomp, he will not be roused. All our clever tricks with nodes and writeups and pranks and puns in the chatterbox obtain no reaction.
Suddenly, some trivial sound wakes him up. He may be in any kind of mood, from purring conviviality to bottle-tailed aggression to pure insanity.
But we can't understand it. Have you ever tried predicting what a kitten will do next ? It is very difficult. There are some general rules, true. If you pull on Everything2's tail, he may well scratch you. If you insist, he will probably eat you.
Some times of the day, the kitten is more active than others. But in general, you can only guess and hope.
Notice: this node in no way implies that you are a hamster.