Later on 11/7, two other versions of what happened during the dying days of SND appeared, on The Chosen and Mobhunter. The former is very similar to Down in Flames structure and information-wise but puts a positive spin on Myschyf (not surprising, considering that after SOMETHING BAD she approached them to take her on as a writer), and the latter is strange, concluding with a reference to EQ’lizer going down, a bizarre non sequitur but important to the EQ crowd I suppose. These accounts point out more rifts and personal conflicts that contributed to the site’s demise, miss some other details, add some details I missed, put different spins on details, etc. I have no problem with other versions of what happened, as long as they are as honest as possible and backed by research with multiple sources. What bugs me is when people say things like, "Thanks for getting an accurate version of this up there that does more than rumor-monger." It’s not so much that articles may similar to mine. The fact that the only other story up at the time was mine seems to imply that all I did was rumor-monger and didn’t have the facts straight. The whole concept of objectvism/truth is what bugs me, and I’m going to tell you now, in a situation like this, "truth" is a mutable commodity based on whom you talk to.

I wound up interviewing no less than 5 people who worked on SND while checking information out, plus others who knew them and were connected to what was happening, and while many things were constant throughout their reports, there were some blatant contradictions with other sources and the printed record. You can only ask someone, "Are you sure?" so many times after someone else says "That didn’t happen," especially when people are fixed in their position. Then you make judgment calls. Whose version of events radically differs from everyone else’s? Who gives you information that is plainly contradicted by the record? Who has been honest in the past even when they fucked up? Who is forthcoming when I ask something potentially uncomfortable to them personally? Who has an agenda at stake? Who has a grudge? Who is acting like a frothing defensive imbecile? Then you compare notes again and come up with something that makes sense, and is usually pretty close to what happened, if not dead on.

Maybe if you’re really nice you edit out things that are BAD that are potentially damaging to someone, legally or personally, even if you have documentation on it. This is something people forget when they get mad at the article for not matching their personal bubble view of the world, though they shouldn’t especially when it keeps them out of trouble and they should have just walked away from the whole mess long long ago.

Why can’t you just be dead on? Because eveyone is lying to everyone else. Nobody really knows what happened at point X in the continuity unless they were there, and if they were there, they might restructure things in their memories to make things more comfortable or just flat out lie about them to cover their asses. It’s all the headaches of middle management with none of the income.

The most reliable source when this sort of clusterfuck occurs is documentation of events, which of course isn’t easy to come by now that the site is gone. Often people will simply not produce documentation if it works against them. Actually I did get documentation from some sources: saved archives of open and priveliged forums/lists/carrier pigeon messages. No I won’t print the closed material, for much the same reasons I won’t explain SOMETHING BAD no matter how many times some people bug me about it *cough*.

At a certain point I just got sick to death of generous and profane offers to "fix my facts for me." I’m not going to "fix my facts" to suit one person’s subjective and skewed view of what happened in a way that makes them look good; write your own damn article. Eventually it came down to: If you have documentation of why this is wrong, send it to me. I don’t have to print it. I just have to know why you’re so sure I’m wrong aside from the fact it makes you look bad, and I won’t take your word for it. From this point until publication I received no further documentation, just more snippy little ICQ messages about how I didn’t post the "truth". (I rue the day I installed that application.)

The upshot is that the article as posted will not satisfy everyone, even those who seem to agree with it. Only a few former SND people have said it’s "dead on"; the rest have been a mix of "very close" and "horribly wrong." All of these answers are true… to the people themselves. I find myself caring very little, really. If people have problems with the way other people described the events to me, let them fight it out in their own space, or in some space they can connive into posting an "objective report" that they ghost write. It will never be resolved. Maybe they could at least be entertaining about it.

I have no personal stake in furthering any party’s interests via falsification. I do not, nor have I ever worked for LtM, SND, Mythic, Red Dragon Software, Whammadoodles Online, or any network or involved company at all. I have no big plans to use my involvement with any of these organizations (term used extremely generously in some cases) to catapult me into a "career" in some other organization. I have my own site that I pay for and hate updating. I don’t get free stuff from anyone for it, aside from an animated blue cow in AC that says my name in such a way as to confuse people into thinking it’s some kind of German joke.

Ultimately, this is meaningless. SND is gone. LtM is gone. Good and bad from both iterations of the site are gone. Looking to the future, one can only hope that good writers flourish and continue to publish, while boring ass writers slip into well-deserved obscurity (although the paperback rack at any airport newsstand seems to belie this). All of them, good and bad, will have tiny legions of mindless yes-men to make themselves feel good about themselves, which means they will all probably continue to publish for a while… unfortunate in many cases, but then again you can always not read them. There’s always a bright spot though: maybe they will all get their own goddamn sites instead of glomming readers off a network, so the reader can decide where to go for information without fear of it being scrolled halfway down an endlessly long page by waves of drivel. It’s easy to figure out who’s worth reading and who’s not when they stand alone. Fortunately things seem to be going this way, and in the future you can look forward to ignoring many spinoffs.

On that note, for those who are interested in archived articles from LtM, some of the original authors are reposting their stuff. Several of them are planning on hosting Lum’s stuff, arguing over who should do it, which is confusing since nobody ever got permission to reprint. That’s okay though… Lum’s stuff will be archived on brokentoys.org before the inevitable catfight starts (DNS should resolve a couple days after this writing). Delusion’s old stuff is being archived at unhelpful. No doubt other authors with the wherewithal to set up a site will be archiving their work for future generations, or placing them into time capsules in foundation blocks to plague archaeologists aeons from now.

And that’s that, until I get ornery again. I stand by the story. Piss off.

Oh hell, here’s some ater the fact documentation. :P

THE STORY IS BROKEN BY ONE OF MY SUBJECTIVE AND LIE-MONGERING MINIONS

#lummies on sorcery.net
(edited log to remove the really irrelevant stuff)

<Lum_> http://mu.ranter.net/misc/endofsnd.html
<Lum_> (in case you all were wondering what I had pasted earlier)
<Delusion> Fenris: the death of SND
<Delusion> La morte le rant.
<Baastuul> That’d be Le Morte.
<Baastuul> I think. Like Le Morte D’ARthur
<Delusion> !!!
<Baastuul> Arthur.
*** Baastuul was kicked by Delusion (SYMPATHIZER!)
<Fenris_Work> You be quiet Baastuul!
*** Baastuul has joined #lummies
<Delusion> It was a trick to expose the french, SUCKER!
<Delusion> MUAHAHA
<Baastuul> Sympathizer?
* Baastuul is somewhat confused over Delusion then shrugs it off.
<abufihamet> "The community sucks." Guess that just about covers it, doesn’t it.
<PyroRaven> This is done, rightfully so. Myschyf goes nuts, and in the infamous, now deleted Hellthread 2.0 she and Arcadian attack the site viciously. Now it still sucks, but at least it’s amusing in a car crash sort of way
<PyroRaven> lol
<Nicademus> Pyro what the hell was that?
<Murgos> I kinda agree with the sentiment though, I havent been this amused by SND in weeks
<PyroRaven> http://mu.ranter.net/misc/endofsnd.html
<Technogeek> That was from the link…yeah, that one.
<Technogeek> Hmm…looking back on some of these threads, I think I should be glad I’m not on the admin e-mail list.
<StackedMidgets> bah
<StackedMidgets> it’s a good thing SND died
<StackedMidgets> got too bloated for its own good if you ask me
<Delusion> We didn’t, you’ll note.
<StackedMidgets> "died"?
<Baastuul> Who wrote the "endofsnd.html" article?
<Pika> all things must end, I’d like to think we’ll be remebered for trying, but I doubt that’ll happen
<GRAYwolf> I’d say SND played itself out.
<Delusion> musashi
<Baastuul> Ah.
<Baastuul> Okay, that’s what I thought
<GRAYwolf> It played itself out while it was still LtM
<Delusion> He gets his clues in bulk.
<StackedMidgets> Mu’s always written good stuff
<GRAYwolf> Because MU IS ALWAYS RIGHT!
<Baastuul> Muuuuu~!
<Yuan> if only there were a ClueCo, or Sam’s Clue, where one could buy bulk clues
<GRAYwolf> Because Mu knows what he’s talking about.
<Pander> good article.
<Sbot> somebody said good article was a good article = good content, which, if created consistently, is actually a rare comm
<Pander> Pretty accurate.
<PyroRaven> very accurate
<PyroRaven> where does he get his clues in bulk at
<PyroRaven> more people NEED them
<Delusion> Clue-mart.
<PyroRaven> ah or corse
<Pander> Pyro, you agree with me?
<AvgJoeHatemonger> Clue’s Club
<Pander> We were sort of held back?
<PyroRaven> ya pander
<Delusion> wooo, raise my skirt!
<Delusion> I need a raise.
<deVoca> Wipe your chin.
<Pika> I don’t think that was the issue Pander
<Pander> RF.
<PyroRaven> ROFL
<Pika> We weren’t strong enough to survive despite them
<PyroRaven> myschyf is going notus on mu
<Pander> Oh I agree there.
<PyroRaven> Poor guy
<PyroRaven> TURN YOUR ICQ OFF MAN
<Pander> I agree Pika, it was sinking.
<Fenris_Work> lol
<PyroRaven> http://mu.ranter.net/misc/endofsnd2.html
<Delusion> I tried to get him to fix my eldin-kick misspelling.
<Delusion> He wouldn’t go for it ;)
<Nemo2342> Now that was a classice ICQ history

WHY I STARTED ASKING FOR DOCUMENTATION

Snowspinner
(ICQ log, edited to remove specifics on SOMETHING BAD)

Snowspinne 11/7/01 4:11 PM
The average is beyond dead wrong. Mys didn’t even post to the Hellthread until after Eldin and Lum did, for instance.

Musashi 11/7/01 4:12 PM
yes and? i never said she didn’t

Snowspinne 11/7/01 4:13 PM
OK, who the hell were your sources, just so I know? Because there’s a shitload of agendas in play here.

Musashi 11/7/01 4:14 PM
i know there are a bunch of agendas, and this is why i didnt go into detail on SOMETHING BAD

Snowspinne 11/7/01 4:15 PM
Good. If you’d gone into detail on that, I’d be a lot more furious at you than I am now. Now I’m just trying to figure out what the hell you heard, so that you can put something that actually resembles the truth up. Since I’m assuming that’s your goal.

Musashi 11/7/01 4:17 PM
ive heard about 5 versions of the truth, all skewed toward whomever i was talking to at the time, if you want to send me some documentation of things i’d be more than glad to check it out, though i doubt it would be a good thing to spew a bunch of stuff from the SND admin boards or mail list in public

Snowspinne 11/7/01 4:18 PM
I don’t have access to the admin boards anymore, so I couldn’t send you much anyway.

Musashi 11/7/01 4:20 PM
someone must have archived them before the site was destroyed

Snowspinne 11/7/01 4:21 PM
Actually, the forums are still up.

Snowspinne 11/7/01 4:21 PM
But I quit before the site went down, so I can’t see that board anymore.

Musashi 11/7/01 4:22 PM
that seems to be happening a lot :P

Snowspinne 11/7/01 4:22 PM
Yes.

MYSTERY WITHIN MYSTERY

 #lummies on sorcery.net
(IRC log, edited to remove irrelevant mumbling that plagues all IRC channels)

<Soul|lunch> uhm
<Soul|lunch> how the hell did mu find out so much.
<Lan|leveling> hehehe
<Lan|leveling> Mu is god
<Pyro|civ3> Duno
<Lan|leveling> lots of people want to talk now that
<Pyro|civ3> But he kinda nailed it didnt he soul
<Pander> Soul: He talked with Lum.
<Lan|leveling> "it" is over
<Soul|lunch> It’s close.
<Soul|lunch> He is missing a few things, but he is closer than he should be.
* Soul|lunch shakes head
<Lan|leveling> oooh and the soap opera continues
<cevik> what is the BAD SOMETHING that happened soul?.. and what is he missing? :)
<Pander> I know he is.
<Pander> Especially about SOMETHING BAD.
<Soul|lunch> I won’t ever fucking tell.
<Pander> I wonder how much Mu knows.
<cevik> was worth trying.. ;)
<Soul|lunch> It’s none of your business.

RECEIVED ICQ MESSAGE # 70 WITHIN 3.5 HOURS

Myschyf 11/7/01 4:22 PM
i guess it was too much to ask that you actually post the truth. oh well

MORE AMMUNITION FOR PEOPLE WHO DISLIKE ME TO USE AS EVIDENCE THAT I AM BIASED

Mr. Poppinfresh
(ICQ log, cropped to avoid boring people even more than they already are)

Mr. 11/7/01 6:18 PM
I take it that the fact that I just wanted a quiet place to write doesn’t really matter anymore :)

Mr. 11/7/01 6:22 PM
Interesting times, baby.

Musashi 11/7/01 6:26 PM
no kidding, well it was sorta inevitable

Mr. 11/7/01 6:26 PM
You really have no idea. I assume from that update that you know what The Big Thing was.

Musashi 11/7/01 6:26 PM
yes but i wont discuss it :P

Mr. 11/7/01 6:26 PM
Well, there were more just like it. A dozen Big Things all spinning off into an infinity of Suck.

Musashi 11/7/01 6:27 PM
you dont want that happening until youre a protected corporation with a lawyer friend… and good HR control to prevent crap from happening in the first place

Mr. 11/7/01 6:28 PM
it’s a bit hard to manage things when people are a) scattered across a continent, and b) apparently self-destructively retarded

Mr. 11/7/01 6:29 PM
I honestly didn’t think he’d post something like that, I expected we’d draw it out for at least another six months and either fail or catch our footing finally

Musashi 11/7/01 6:29 PM
so at what point are you going to tell me how i got everything wrong and made huge factual errors, then clam up when i ask for documentation because im tired of averaging 4 versions of truth… this has been my life today :P

Mr. 11/7/01 6:29 PM
no, you were dead on

Mr. 11/7/01 6:29 PM
it’s a little bit from Lum’s perspective (he was no saint either), but perception is like that and you did a great job

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