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Author Topic: The Big Model: Unchallenged?  (Read 9673 times)
Walt Freitag

Posts: 1039

« on: May 16, 2004, 02:23:44 PM »

In Perceptions of Civility at the Forge, Chris Lerich wrote:
D. I would like to see certain blocks of theory relentlessly challenged. If they're good, they should withstand it and be improved in the process. But if I may be blunt, it does look to me as though an awful lot of the Big Model and GNS have become so reified that they are defended against any question or challenge by a significant group here. If someone suggests an alternative to some established structure in the Model, a common response seems to be, "No, that's not what the Model says." If that is a legitimate response, then there is no criticism possible of the Model: it's a solid block and must be accepted or avoided. I think this is a great pity. GNS is not the only such theoretical construct here, but it is certainly the most obvious.

This was a bit of a surpise to me because my understanding is that many regular contributors to the Forge, including a goodly share of those with high post counts, disagree with the Big Model, or have serious reservations about it, or regard it as incomplete, on at least one significant point. I belive this because I recall many of them saying so.

However, for the most part they havenít said so recently. There have been relatively few major challenges to the Big Model in about the past year, compared to previous years, especially from the Forgeís most prolific correspondents. There are many possible explanations for this.

    1. The model has been altered and improved to address peopleís disagreements, so they no longer disagree.

    2. Ronís and othersí arguments have convinced people who formerly challenged the model of its correctness, so they no longer disagree.

    3. The presentation and explanation of the model have been refined, revealing that those disagreements were actually misunderstandings that have now been resolved.

    4. The presentation of the model has been under major development for about the past year, first with the Narrativism essay and then with the Glossary. People have been putting their challenges on hold awaiting a fully updated Model to challenge.

    5. Ron has occasionally expressed some frustration that the ongoing defense of the Model has hindered discussion of more interesting new work, especially (if I recall correctly) systematized codification of combinations of Techniques. People have been withholding public challenges to the Model in order to support that work.

    6. Most challenges to the Model have little merit, being either: reactions against things the Model doesnít actually say; one-true-way "theories of role playing" that elevate one particular mode of play or Technique; categorizations completely consistent with the overall Model such as yet another "types of players" breakdown; or synecdoche holding up one particular variable of play (such as rules-heavy vs. rules-light) as the fundamental issue of all role playing. One doesnít have to accept every aspect of the Big Model in order to defend it from such challenges or to use it to show the incompleteness of more limited alternative models. This creates the impression that those who use and defend the Model in these ways are staunch supporters of its every facet.

    7. When someone challenges Ronís theories on some particular point, the result isnít necessarily the challenger being "converted" to Ronís or the communityís point of view. More typically, the debate reaches a point of agreeing to disagree. The challenger will likely end up deciding, "I see role playing a little differently, and Iím going to use my own alternative viewpoint to inform my own play and my own game design efforts." Having reached that point, itís simple courtesy not to keep bringing the same challenge back up again (unless new examples or lines of argument arise), and not to sow confusion by attempting to convince new contributors -- who are likely having enough trouble grasping the standard Model -- to reject the Model or adopt oneís own alternative theory instead.[/list:u]
    Any or all of these factors might be contributing to the appearance of lockstep agreement with the Big Model, and automatic rejection of any challenge, by (among others) the Forgeís highest-post-count members. As far as I can tell, this appearance is misleading and points 4-7 are relevant.

    Do others agree with this assessment, or have any insight on Chris Lehrichís point quoted above?

    I believe it might perhaps be illuminating, if a bit dangerously close to making this a "survey thread," if people could
briefly state the major points in which they personally disagree with the Big Model. The purpose is to reveal the diversity of opinion in the Forge community about the Big Model, not to argue any of those points in the thread, so please be brief and donít try to argue the evidence for your particular ideas (or anyone elseís) here.

Iíll start.

    I believe that the Model fails to take into account a major factor in player decision-making that operates independently of, and can conflict with any of, the three recognized creative agendas. That factor is emotional investment by the player in the characterís portrayed happiness.

    I believe that understanding of hybrid modes of play might be hindered by the Modelís failure to address purpose, leaving it to be associated by default with observed priority. (By analogy, if Iím writing a sonnet and a particular expression of an idea in the sonnet conflicts with the need to rhyme, the need to rhyme will be clearly observed to win out. But the true purpose of the whole exercise is still expression of an idea.)

    I believe that no-myth play breaks the association between GM authoring and Force, making The Impossible Thing close enough to possible that its assertion as typically stated in game texts is not objectionable in principle. (However, it remains objectionable in practice due to the failure of those game texts to support no-myth play.)

    I support the recently discussed and inter-related notions of "zilchplay," the importance of creation versus revelation of pre-existing elements at the Exploration level, and the importance of "the unexpected" as the focus of creative agenda, all of which the Model doesn't account for.[/list:u]
    Notice that the means for stating these ideas are provided only by the body of theory and terminology surrounding the Big Model itself. Perhaps that's another reason it seems unchallenged: it can only be challenged on its own ground, because so far, that's the only common ground that exists.

    - Walt

Wandering in the diasporosphere

Posts: 1557

« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2004, 06:42:58 PM »

Hi Walt,

Thanks for clarifying.  I take your points, and am certainly willing to grant that there is less total agreement or acceptance of the Big Model than I usually think.

My own primary disagreement has to do with the structure of the Model.  I do not think that a hierarchical series of nested boxes can adequately describe a dynamic social behavior.
Quote from: In my ritual article, I
... the dominant Forge theory generally takes social contract to be a maximally distanced structure, standing at the upper extreme of the hierarchy of RPG structure. While there has been discussion of social contract and means by which it can be negotiated in order to avoid paradigmatic or personal conflict, the emphasis fits squarely within Edwards's overall approach. That is, because social contract is seen as at a considerable remove from in-game play issues, the most efficient way to deal with contractual problems is to discuss them outside of play, e.g. by confronting a problem player outside of game time, by formulating explicit social expectations before play, and so forth. But the fact remains that these problems generally arise within game play, and prior constraint cannot fully predict or forestall such difficulties. I suggest, in fact, that precisely because RPG's are ritual behaviors, social conflict is inherent in the form. At the same time, from a practical perspective, it is worth recognizing that because structural and sign-manipulation achieve their maximal expressions within liminality, with extra-ritual commentary discourse primarily functioning to protect ritual tradition against challenge, acting disjunctively to separate possible challenges from the fragile yet powerful matrix of ritual performance, play itself will necessary be the central locus of social contestation, and importantly it is only within its structures that conjunctive solutions are possible. In other words, while extra-gameplay discourse may try to protect a game against social contract problems arising within gameplay, such strategies cannot of themselves achieve consensus; the means by which a group can resolve such questions must be sought within play.
To put that more directly, I think that RPG play as a social arena necessarily involves considerable social tension and conflict.  And I think that a great deal of how RPG's work have to do with how these tensions are negotiated and modified within gameplay itself.  So to put Social Contract above and outside of gameplay seems to me misguided: as noted here, that implies (and I hear this a lot around here) that Social Contract issues should primarily be dealt with outside of play.

In the same article, I discussed the issue of resistance in the socio-political sense, focusing primarily on the question of gender and sex, although one could certainly extend that to cover any major site of such contestation.  When you encounter a serious social problem within a game, for example when a player feels that a "line" has been crossed, the Big Model dictates that this should not be dealt with within play.  Similarly, if you encounter a serious difficulty down at the Techniques level, the Big Model suggests that this can usually be handled within play.  It's all a question of what level you're at.  But I think you could happily argue the reverse: that really interesting social contestation is going to lead to good gaming if and only if you don't cut it out of gameplay by moving to Social Contract, and similarly that you could lose sight of what's important in the game if you try to deal with Technique or Ephemera problems within it.

In other words, I think this whole hierarchical structure thing is a convenient but simplistic beginning.  But I am concerned that most of the arguing I've seen has to do with adding levels and sub-levels, or shifting things around to get the "right" hierarchical structure, or shifting the metaphors a bit so as to get the "right" relationship among hierarchically-separated terms.  All this just makes us think that hierarchical structuring must be how things really work.  But I have yet to see any attempt to demonstrate that it does, and I very much doubt it could succeed.

Anyway, that's my main beef.

Chris Lehrich
Jason Lee

Posts: 729

« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2004, 07:41:19 PM »

Wow Walt, I've been thinking for a while about starting a thread titled 'Unfinished Business' to lay out all the currently open model issues... Cool.

I know that I've personally put off some challenges because I've wanted to make sure I'm perfectly clear on the concept before challenging it.  I've also let some challenges drop (example: Sim) because no headway was/is being made and I wanted to discuss other things.


My current disagreements:

Social Contact is too broadly defined - making it more of a dumping ground for topics that people don't want to bother talking about than a useful concept for play analysis.  Social setting, player psychology, and everything else in the big world of human behavior belongs outside the model.

I think the distinction between Premise and theme is definitional only - I don't think the distinction actually exists.  

I find wording Premise in the form of a question obfuscatory.  

I think the Nar definition draws too much from Ergi's ideas about play writing, and hence fails to convey the big wide word of story adequately.

The internal causality/Exploration squared definition of Simulationism cannot (does not) exist within the current model.  [Note my lack of opinion identifying words here, like 'think' and 'feel'.]

I think IIEE is flawed because it conflates player and character (Initiation is a character only concern).  I also think Search and Handling time are fuzzy and don't map to IIEE nicely.  Obviously, I prefer CPVI to both.

I believe Creative Agenda is motivation, not behavior.

I don't like that the model is layered in the first place.  I'm more of an 'individual concepts all thrown in the pot' guy.  Layering implies that some concepts come first and dominate others.  Any layer can be the biggest part of play  - it all depends on what the player decides is most important.  I've seen a lot of prioritizing of Techniques or Ephemera over Creative Agenda and Social Contact.

Well, that's all that occurs to me at the moment, but chances are if it didn't just fly into my head it probably isn't a big concern of mine.

- Cruciel
M. J. Young

Posts: 2198

« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2004, 09:40:21 PM »

As I read Walt's post, I was thinking that the first three points seemed to fit quite well. The model has been refined more over time; the refinements are growing finer. People have been won over who once objected. Aspects of the model have been stated more clearly.

The sixth suggestion, however, brought to my mind a reason that was not listed: at the present time, no one has put forward a theory that explains more than this model, or that explains all that this model does explain as well.

At the end of the nineteenth century, we could well have asked why no one had challenged Newton's physics. There were things it did not explain--for example, really, where does the energy come from in an oxidizing or other energy-producing chemical reaction (electrical batteries), and where does it go in a reductive one? There were holes in the theory. However, what it did explain it covered extremely well, and no one had found a way to cover that better.

Einstein's theories have in essence replaced Newton's. We still use Newton's theories, because where they disagree with Einstein's they are approximations close enough to use in most applications--the amount of change in mass in ordinary chemical reactions is too small to matter for practical purposes; the time distortion effects of velocity are immeasurably small at subsonic velocities. The point, though, is that Newton's theories have been replaced because someone found a way to cover everything Newton had covered plus fill most of the known holes in the theory.

I think that to a large degree that's where most of us are with the Big Model: it explains things no other theory explains, and explains better those things other theories address. There may be points about which we're uncertain, still wrestling, still refining, but in the main there's nothing out there that really challenges it as a comprehensive theory of role playing. Most of what is out there either fits with it quite well or proves to be flawed where it doesn't (e.g., theories which define all role playing games by eliminating any play that doesn't comport with the definition, such as the recently espoused immersionist approach or various gamist-only theories).

Quote from: Chris Lehrich
So to put Social Contract above and outside of gameplay seems to me misguided: as noted here, that implies (and I hear this a lot around here) that Social Contract issues should primarily be dealt with outside of play.
I think this misunderstands the concept. It doesn't mean that the social contract is above and outside play in that sense; it means that there are parts of the social contract that are not part of gameplay and parts that are. It has been stated many times that all ephemera are part of social contract, but not all parts of social contract are ephemera.

The point about dealing with social contract issues at the social contract level is to say that if an issue is not part of game play it shouldn't be treated as part of game play. If Bob doesn't contribute to the pizza fund, you don't kill his character--you discuss why Bob won't contribute to the pizza fund, and find a way to resolve it. If Bill's and Mary's characters are constantly fighting, it might behoove us to determine whether this is because Bill and Mary have some problem between them individually which they are expressing in the game to everyone else's displeasure.

I don't think anyone intends to be dismissive of an issue by saying it is a social contract issue. All issues, including ephemera, are social contract issues; the point of the statement is that something has been raised that is a problem with the relationships between the members of the groups and their expectations of each other quite apart from play, and trying to solve it by tweaking the number of dice each character gets to role in a contested challenge isn't going to solve it.

Looking back at Jonathan's problems, I'm interested in the notion of emotional investment by the player in the character's perceived happiness. I'm not sure this is a distinct creative agendum, but put so simply I can't really get a handle on exactly what it is or how it impacts play.
Quote from: I would also comment on this that he
I believe that no-myth play breaks the association between GM authoring and Force, making The Impossible Thing close enough to possible that its assertion as typically stated in game texts is not objectionable in principle.
I think this is a misunderstanding of the problem.

No one says that there is no way to resolve TITBB; what is said rather is that game texts present it as if the means to resolve it were self-evident. Jonathan proposes that No-Myth play resolves TITBB; I'll accept that it does. I will counter-propose that Trailblazing solves TITBB--if the players are up front committed to finding and following the referee's pre-planned story, and the referee is committed to doing nothing that would push them back on track if they miss the clues, TITBB is fully resolved, as the referee has full control of the story and the players have full control of the characters, provided only that what they want to do through the characters is find and tell the referee's story. Participationism is also a fully functional resolution to TITBB.

The problem is that the game text doesn't say which of these completely incompatible approaches to gameplay should be used to resolve TITBB.

We've been through this before. Whenever someone says that it's "obvious" that the conflict is resolved by what they think is a self-evident understanding of the text, it is shown that that is only one of many supposedly self-evident understandings of the text which would resolve the conflict.

I should end with this. When the core of the model was first presented in System Does Matter over on Gaming Outpost, I was all over it. I attacked many facets of it, particularly the assertion then made that every gamer played to a single primary agendum (then called Mode). I think that some of my criticisms resulted in refinements to the model; I know that some of my criticisms led to clarifications in those threads. I would say that the entire model is both very different from what it was then and essentially the same at the critical core, and that I am overall very satisfied with it, even if at times I think Ron doesn't have as clear a picture of simulationism as he could.

--M. J. Young

Jason Lee

Posts: 729

« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2004, 10:51:33 PM »

This is an addition to my last post.

I think it is worth noting that despite my many disagreements with the big model it does serve its purpose.  The big model is, well, a model - it is only a representation; only a tool for broadening understanding and not a perfect simulation.  In that capacity it has worked very well for me, even though it will likely never fit my perspective accurately.  Meaning, even though I consider some of the model flawed, I consider the model a success.  My instincts tell me I come from a very different life and mindset than Ron (and others). For the model to be my model I'd have to be the one to design it.  Doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for perfection though...

I'm stating the obvious, but I didn't think stating the obvious would hurt.

- Cruciel

Posts: 61

« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2004, 12:19:54 PM »

I've occasionally participated in discussions here, mostly lurking for some time now...I have one major difficulty with what I find presented, which I fear may be a bit hot.  I'm coming at this issue from the perspective of an amateur playwright.

Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing is, fundamentally, a manual for writing "modern drama" or Realist drama, one of the two main subgenres of early 20th century playwriting, precipitated by the work of Henrik Ibsen.  (Its counterpart was Chekhov's Naturalist drama.)  Egri uses works other than Ibsen's in his discussions, but only Ibsen and his followers actually wrote using methods resembling Egri's theories.  Realism is far from de rigeur in theatre nowadays, and indeed never was all that popular to begin with.

Egri was a hardcore prescriptivist, and I fear this harshly colors what is considered "Narrativist" play.  His insistence that everything be infused with the strong, overarching Premise functions to tilt the student strongly in the direction of writing polemics.  The wisdom among playwriting texts of the current day and age is that what you write will carry what you feel with it in any case, and determining a preset theme is to hamstring yourself - for Egrian Premise creates a stilted, unnatural worldview that is ultimately far less compelling than plays written in the more naturalistic (or epic) style that has been favored of late.

Walter Kerr describes in his How Not to Write a Play in some detail how even Ibsen's characters struggle against the bonds of their too-restrictive Premises; if the character embodies the idea, then the character can never have true life.  He justly describes Nora in A Doll's House as having nearly escaped, but just barely not quite, and the title character of Hedda Gabler as having gotten away - but shot by Ibsen in the finale.  It is not surprising, then, when Hedda is a superior play to Doll's House.  So it is with Willie Loman, who is fascinating precisely because he fails to make an unmistakable point about America.  (Again, Kerr's observation.)

Ultimately, I feel that Premise was the wrong tool for the job when Egri wrote The Art of Dramatic Writing, and remains wrong for Narrativist roleplay in the here and now.  Premise is a cart before a horse, and its role as the basis for Narrativism needs to be strongly rethought.

Walt Freitag

Posts: 1039

« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2004, 12:21:41 PM »

M. J., I completely agree with the physics analogy. It was what I was trying to get at when I called the Model "the only common ground that exists." But you said it much better.

As for the specific points you quoted, again, I don't want to get into discussing them in this thread, but it sounds like they would be interesting topics for threads of their own.

- Walt

Wandering in the diasporosphere
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2004, 12:52:56 PM »

As a relative newbie to the Forge, I'd like to offer my view of the issue.  Since the model has been around for a while and discussed in such detail, it has become very difficult for a newcomer to say something both new and interesting about it.  I know I've hit the Abort button on more than one reply to an interesting thread.
Ian Charvill

Posts: 377

« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2004, 08:58:51 AM »

GNS is a strongly science-based model which is highly reliant on behaviourist theories of psychology - intent and consciousness eschewed in favour of observed behaviour and so forth.  This kind of thing runs through a lot of Ron's work - sex and blood only Relationship Maps are a product of sociobiology.  This means that a lot of the basic ideas of GNS are going to somewhat alien to a lot of people.

If you think behaviourism is wrong - if you think conscious thought has a significant role in human behaviour - certain of the foundational ideas of the big model are going to be counter-intuitive.

Ian Charvill
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2004, 10:18:36 AM »


People over-react to the "observed behavior" thing because they wrongly read it as Nothing But. The fact is that I fully support inserting any degrees of consciousness, intent, or whatever into one's understanding of the model as long as these terms are not used in an explanatory fashion. Just pop'em in where you think they "go," in order to justify or clarify the existing terms' relationships, and everyone is happy.

For the record, I do not identify my work with behaviorism as typically construed at the undergraduate level , i.e. hard-core Skinner, blank-slate learning templates, and anti-cognition. That's been a favorite pointy-finger for a few years now, but it hasn't applied yet.

« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2004, 10:40:03 AM »

One view: Behavior matters because it's evidence of underlying cognitive states (beliefs and desires). The cognitive states drive the behavior.

Another view: 'Beliefs' and 'desires' are pseudoconcepts of folk psychology (also known as 'the theory of rationality') and remnants of a bad explanatory pattern, leftover from ancient times.

A third view: 'Beliefs' and 'desires' are shorthand for statistical tendencies in observed behaviors; predictively useful fictions.


Does any of this necessarily matter at the level of the work Ron and others are doing here? I tend to think it doesn't. That is, if we can meaningfully observe and describe certain behavioral tendencies that gamers have in terms of the three CA, then it doesn't matter whether beliefs and desires (or other conscious states) exist or serve to 'explain' any of that or not. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but it's sort of like asking about molecular composition: it's another level down in the picture of what's going on.

The counter-argument to this would be that since we can't conceptualize human behavior except in terms of intentions, directions, or goals - an argument going back to Brentano and beyond - we can't even describe the various CA except by use of concepts that essentially involve notions of intention, belief, or desire, which notions are in turn not behaviorally articulable.

Even if that's true, though, I don't think it matters for the categorization, because that argument is still about that deeper level. What it would show was not that the behaviorist analysis was fundamentally flawed from the beginning, but that the behaviorist analysis was actually a disguised intentionalist analysis from the beginning. The response to which should be "OK, fine."


So I guess I don't agree with you, Ian, that GNS is strongly behaviorist in character. Some do like to focus on 'observed behavior' around here, either to (hopelessly) forestall precisely this sort of philosophical discussion and stick to 'the facts', or because they have complicated commitments of a behaviorist-friendly character in philosophy of mind more generally. But I don't think the categorization of the various CA is at all intrinsically behaviorist in character, and of course blood and sex were widely thought to be relevant to human behavior long before behaviorism.
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 10459

« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2004, 02:09:57 PM »

Yeah, I've said that the Beeg Horseshoe doesn't conflict with the Big Model, but it obviously does in one way. Basically I see a perceptual problem with how the Big Model presents the modes as somewhat "equal." So, I'd like to think that I'm an iconoclast, too!

More in depth, I think that there are more things that go into the creative agenda than are currently identified.

Are we just telling where we disagree here, or are we actually trying to make specific attacks on the model? Walt, do you just want us to discuss your problems with the model, or is this an enumeration of the arguments made against the model?


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John Kim

Posts: 1805

« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2004, 04:20:23 PM »

Quote from: Walt Freitag
  Notice that the means for stating these ideas are provided only by the body of theory and terminology surrounding the Big Model itself. Perhaps that's another reason it seems unchallenged: it can only be challenged on its own ground, because so far, that's the only common ground that exists.  

From my point of view, the Big Model is challenged pretty frequently.  The reason why it might seem otherwise is that the challenges are in forum threads, while the model itself is in permanent articles.  So a few days after debate over the challenge ends, the thread is pushed off the first screen and lacks visibility -- while the essays remain unchanged.  While it might seem that the essays are victorious for having weathered the assault, that was never really in question.  

I disagree with the physics parallel because artistic theory of any sort is not like scientific theory.  An artistic theory is never really disproven.  At best, it can go out of style -- but that takes a long time.  Further, several mutually contradictory artistic theories can be in place at once, artists may learn them and even claim to draw from them all.  

As for my personal view, I feel that GNS Simulationism is problematic.  GNS Simulationism is defined roughly as "exploration for exploration's sake" as opposed to "exploration for the sake of something different than exploration itself".  But I don't think that really grasps the clash of preferences that is commonly thought of -- such as between cause-and-effect mechanics and metagame mechanics.  I discuss this to some degree in my essays http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/theory/threefold/simulationism.html">Threefold Simulationism Explained and http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/theory/narrative/immersivestory.html">Immersive Story.  In contrast, the idea of "Exploration Squared" or "The Dream" is IMO incredibly nebulous -- it does nothing to distinguish what is considered a good Simulationist game from a poor Simulationist game.

- John

Posts: 228

« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2004, 05:31:14 PM »

I did challenge the Big Model, although erroneously calling it GNS, when I meant the whole enchilada.

I think the attempt to shoehorn GNS into the Big Model is not working for me.  I think both are worthwhile... but I feel that the Big Model came about because of fundamental flaws in GNS...trying to explain away and account for inconsistencies.

The biggest inconsistency is that I feel that all players have to be Gamist, Narrativist and Simulationist at the same time.  You cannot roleplay w/o those three building blocks.  Certainly emphasis is placed on one over the other.  But the theory colors it, and discussions about gamers, as being one way or another.  And that just doesn't sit with me.

Especially when in comes to Creative Agenda.  And where it gets regulated in the Big Model, I simply disagree with.  It seems tagged onto G/N/S to me... and the creative process is the beginning of all of it.. not some add'l subcatagory.  Even if that isn't the intention of the Big Model, that's what it seems to me as I sifted thru all of this stuff.

And there is still TOO much wordage.  It still needs to be seriously boiled down.  As J Kim said, it ain't physcis... we don't need blackboards and blackboards of proofs.  I agree, it is an artistic theory.  Some brevity would go a long way to cleaning up a lot of the turf wars over vocabulary and definition.

Ian Charvill

Posts: 377

« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2004, 12:17:55 AM »

Sean, Ron

You've both pretty much demonstrated my point.  Because you both come from a position where you have a fairly sophisticated understanding of the kind of scientific ideas I'm talking about it doesn't even occur to you as a problem.  But if you look at some of the people who aren't getting it, some clearly fall into a category of people who don't get it cos the underlying ideas are alien to them.

Now, that doesn't mean anyone has to do anything about it.

PS: And Sean - sociobiology stuff influences Relationship Maps pretty plainly.

Ian Charvill
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