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Master thesis done: Standalone Complex (Explaining Furries)

webkilla

Furry, brony, anon - for lulz
Greetings Furries!

Some of you may remember me from a months ago when I asked for various opinions on things like "What does it mean to be a furry" and "what don't you like about furries"

well...

about a month ago I finished my work, got my exam done, and now I have a masters degree. Go me.


so... wanna see what I made?

http://psitech.keenspace.com/images/StandaloneComplex.pdf - this is it.

Its 116 pages, contains metric flankloads of internet psychology, observations of the effects of anonymity or pseudonym-use on the internet, as well as all the other fun things one might expect a master thesis on internet anthropology to contain.

But you want a TL:DR, don't you?

Sorry, can't do that. There's a reason this is 116 pages, not 3 pages.

But, I do have a copy of the presentation video i made for my exam. it is 7 minutes long and explains fairly well what my work is about. You should quickly be able to see the connections between my theories on Standalone Compelx Communities and the furries (1:45)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj3BrMpKTTI

But beyond that, what's this good for?

Very simple: It explains how furries work. It explains that there are no true furry leaders, no furry membership lists (as that would imply that you could stricken from said list), no 'true' way to be a furry - it explains how being a furry is, for the individual, a very subjective thing, while at the same time the entirety of the furry community can seem to be a deceptively uniform entity.

I make roughly the same conclusion for the Brony fandom and that of Anonymous. It's a fun thought really: 'Mechanically' then furries and Anonymous works quite similarly.


As always, I will be answering questions for those interested.

And someone show this to Kage, I'm sure he'd love this :)



Abstract:

In this master’s thesis I propose the theory of a standalone complex to describe largely undocumented types of emergent decentralized, concurrent, non-committal communities, events or internet phenomenon. I do this to explain specific types on internet phenomena which currently cannot be explained adequately. I base this on a combination of theoretical material focused on online behaviour, specifically the effects of anonymity and behaviour of anonymous online communities, along with social emergence theory on spontaneous order. I examine three online phenomena as examples of being standalone complex based communities, first the online phenomena known only as “Anonymous”, secondly that of the “Furry Fandom” and last the one known as “Bronies”. I equally examine a series of emergent online harassment incidents as standalone complexes under the name “Online raids”, and finally I describe series of examples of internet pop-culture phenomena known as “internet memes” as standalone complex. All of my investigations into these various internet phenomena and incidents show amble support for them being examples of standalone complexes. I conclude that I have through thorough theoretical explanation of the concept and examples of existing standalone complexes made a correct, valid and useful theory to describe explain and understand certain modern internet phenomena.

Ya you're gonna need TheSaurus for this one :)
 
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LizardKing

Guest
Are there any graphs about dog penises? Graphs are awesome. And furries love that shit.
 
K

Kaamos

Guest
100+ pages? oh so I actually read a little more of the OP and I see you got the masters so now I have another question

So what did your teacher/professor/jedi master say about it?
 
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BRN

WTB Forum Mod Powers
I'll be reading this, just saying! It might take me some time, though.
 

Ad Hoc

THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
Grats on the Master's, mang. I might have a look at it later, sounds like it might be interesting.
 

Brazen

Terrorist Scum
I wish I had the sort of financial standing and job security that allows one to do a MASTERS THESIS on such a stupid topic.

Be honest, how much money did it cost for you to get your "education"? If it's a lot then I'll weep for you, if it's little then I'll weep for the taxpayer.
 
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Onnes

Member
Is the copy you linked the actual final draft? I'm not very far in, but it is screaming for additional grammar editing.
 

Mxpklx

Active Member
It sounds very interesting.

Yeah so I might skim it, I have no time to read the entire thing, but it looks pretty good :3

I once wrote a thirty page research paper on Freemason's in eighth grade :v
 

Kahoku

Forgive Yourself
Another Ghost in the Shell Fan, nice.

I didn't read your article yet, but I was curious because of the title. [ Mr. Batou is my tagname on adultswim.com ]


Just watched the video :

Interesting take on Stand-Alones. I don't want to add my two cents just yet, I want to read next.
 
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Kahoku

Forgive Yourself
”On the internet men are men, the women are men, and the children are FBI agents”
Quote 2: Anonymous, on who is pretending to be who online, AKA rule 29 of the internet (44)


Got a giggle out of that, didn't think that or any of the rules(let alone the 44) were in there.
 
S

Sar

Guest
Well that shut me up. D=

Congrats on your thesis. I read it tomorrow. But I'm surprised about the volume of written work.
 

LouyieBlu

Contemplative Nitwit
I was thinking about this recently, strange that I should find a post about it, how for each person, being a furry can be different and yet the community can have a completely different views, how each person can be a furry in their own way.
As for people hating on this because 'everyone' already know about well, I disagree. I think some people may not know about such things, and might want to be informed.
And even if most do know about it, it is still amazing that someone chose to expand and explain the idea.

Good job on getting a masters, I hope to get one myself one day.
 

Metalmeerkat

As slick as a bad analogy
Did you have to defend your thesis verbally?

Anywho, I just started reading it, and for an academic paper it's pretty interesting. I lolled at
You can’t win a pissing contest against a proverbial ocean of piss
 

Furison

New Member
It kinda reminds me of The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric S. Raymond, (link) which talks about how open source software shouldn't work because there's no formal structure to the development, but somehow seems to coalesce into something useable. Its funny how things without formal structure seem to work when traditional thinking says it should just fall apart
 

webkilla

Furry, brony, anon - for lulz
so you want us to read about something we all know about?

You, and furries might know this - but in the thesis I give multiple examples of how the furry fandom often gets misrepresented by the media (Tyra Banks show, National geographic, anyone saying we're all dog-fuckers or fursuit-fetishists)

This is scientific theory - with evidence to back up that theory (as in evidence) that such stereotypes aren't true. I have theory to explain why the stereotyping takes place. Basically, if anyone ever stereotypes furries just point at this and go "Read that, then you'll know you're wrong"

100+ pages? oh so I actually read a little more of the OP and I see you got the masters so now I have another question

So what did your teacher/professor/jedi master say about it?

My feedback at my exam? Two big bullet points basically:

1) I was commended for my bravery. Meaning that it is very brave in academia to propose an entirely new theory. Academia is critical, they want to find flaws in your work. I passed that test. my examiners and my censor couldn't find any immediate flaws in my work. That is very high praise.

2) I was told that while my theory was solid, then overall my thesis was methodically weak and a big overly descriptive. They also accused me of having gone native. I accepted all of these charges, and indeed they told that it was ok: I wouldn't have been able to explain or describe furries, anons and bronies unless I was one. So that's cool.

I wish I had the sort of financial standing and job security that allows one to do a MASTERS THESIS on such a stupid topic.

Be honest, how much money did it cost for you to get your "education"? If it's a lot then I'll weep for you, if it's little then I'll weep for the taxpayer.

Nothing? I live in Denmark, education is free (paid via gub'mint) although I guess I'll eventually pay that back via our lovely 46% income tax. and dont give me that look, denmark was rated to be the happiest country on earth back in 2007, heck Oprah did a show on that. Our taxes might be high, but the money is well spent. we're happy, so don't hate.

Only in academia can you write over 100 pages on something people already know.

Congrats on your masters degree I guess.

you might know it, but you would be so painfully shocked and surprised at how few people actually know of furries or other 'big' internet communities and phenomena. In my 6 years of studying I have met thousands of other students. Only 4 even knew what furries or Anonymous was.

Is the copy you linked the actual final draft? I'm not very far in, but it is screaming for additional grammar editing.

English, it be second language, plus me no graded no grammar. Its good enough though, lets keep it at that. (Plus I've seen far worse English skills among my peers, trust me)

Nice work. Can we have the abstract?

posted in first post now.

Well that shut me up. D=

Congrats on your thesis. I read it tomorrow. But I'm surprised about the volume of written work.

I had to describe and explain Anonymous (which required me to get into Distributed Cognition), as well as when Anonymous do their online raids - plus furries, plus bronies, plus internet memes - it takes space.

Did you have to defend your thesis verbally?

Anywho, I just started reading it, and for an academic paper it's pretty interesting. I lolled at

I did defend it verbally for my final exam. First was a video presentation (the youtube vid linked in my OP), then oral presentation for 10 minutes, then oral examination for 45 minutes (which passed remarkably quickly) - lots of talking. and I made my examiners laugh as well with my presentation.

It kinda reminds me of The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric S. Raymond, (link) which talks about how open source software shouldn't work because there's no formal structure to the development, but somehow seems to coalesce into something useful. Its funny how things without formal structure seem to work when traditional thinking says it should just fall apart

Among other things, then I use Emergence theory in my thesis - specifically Social Emergence - but in the case of programming I guess it could be argued that since everyone is using the same programming language then there is already a shared point of reference and structure, which could much easier explain why code still works together.
 

Tybis

Me beautiful barnet!
*reading*

Having seen a number of episodes of the show as part of my investigation of bronies, I have personally concluded that the show’s character Twilight Sparkle is clearly best pony.
*stops reading*
 
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Traven V

Luna-tic.
say what
 

WingDog

Member
You got a masters for this? through reading some of it, it looks rushed. Also whats with the pictures? I did not think that kinda stuff was allowed.
 

webkilla

Furry, brony, anon - for lulz
*reading*

*stops reading*

You got a masters for this? through reading some of it, it looks rushed. Also whats with the pictures? I did not think that kinda stuff was allowed.

To answer both: You'd be amazed how much crap you can get past the radar with big papers like this.

That said, rushed? It took me almost a year to make. And that was 'just' the official time spent on it. I've been gathering links, data sources, screenshots and personal observations for years. I've wanted to explain how it can be that things like the furry fandom can be so decentralizes, how it can function without any official 'core' to reference itself to. And pictures? What, the only rule 34 pic in the thesis is that of concrete wavebreakers (Rule 34 applies to EVERYTHING) - plus, all work and no play makes WK a dull boy.

Besides, its a thesis on internet culture: if I didn't explain the weird, the nasty, the obscure and the down right fucked up - then I wouldn't be doing a very good job. This is why I explain why there's occationally posted CP on /b/, why diaper and cubfurs are still a part of the furry fandom, and why there's porn and porn-fics in the brony fandom. It might not be aspects that the respective communities are too proud of, or willing to display - but the fact is that they often become the focus point for outsiders when trying to get a fix on these communities, and thus they get a wrong idea of what they're about.

And Twilight Sparkle is so very much best pony - and now its in a master thesis so it must be true - you jelly?
 
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