Compatibilism is going to have to wait for now! Too much of a different tangent, but I'll get to it.
I reread my original post (and saw a typo I’ll correct). I was a little afraid that perhaps I misrepresented what I intended to say, but I think I’m still dead on. To summarize the conclusion of my original post: GENCON-ers dressing up like who they want to be is no different than the dentist or doctor who removes his white lab coat and puts on a leather vest and jumps on his Fat Boy, no different than the guy who puts on a Rossi helmet and gets on an R1, no different than the guy who slicks back his hair and buys a Transformers Camaro. Everyone—and that includes me—presents themselves to the outside world in a way that they see/ want to see themselves or want the world to see them. We ‘project’ our internal image of ourselves to communicate our identity to the rest of the world. And we participate in something larger than ourselves when we do so.
I don’t take issue with Harley guys, and I have no idea how you got that I have anything against sportbike riders (I am a sportbike rider). And I don’t have issues with GENCON peep (I’ve had bruises on my butt from sitting on 20 sided dice more than once). The criticism I have—and the criticism everyone in society has—is when the external image projected does not match who the person really is.
It’s like this:
• When a guy who looks like a bad ass Harley rider is a bad ass motherfucker = Much respect and fear
• When a guy who looks like a bad ass Harley rider cries when he gets a parking ticket = FAIL!
• When a guy on a GSXR-1000, dressed like Nicky Hayden, spins his rear tire out of a corner at full lean while his knee and elbow are planted on the ground = Bow down!
• When a guy on a GSXR-1000, dressed like Nicky Hayden, tries to do a stoppie but crashes because he used the rear brake instead of the front: IDIOT!
• When a GENCON guy dressed like a Ninja can run up the side of a two story building while slicing grapes using shuriken = Real Ultimate Power!
• When a GENCON guy dressed like a Ninja, but is 200lbs overweight and takes the escalator while choking down two slices of pepperoni pizza = Fail.
The distinction I’m making is that whatever outward appearance someone projects should be backed up with corresponding abilities. How can we figure out if a motorcyclist is a ‘squid’ or a wannabe just by looking at them? We can’t. And honestly, I don’t spend too much time trying to figure it out. A guy looks like a bad-ass, I’m going to assume he is. A guy looks like an AMA superstar? Same. It takes a great deal of insecurity to go out into the world constantly challenging and undermining people. My concern is with myself and authenticity, making sure that I can back up my words and back up whatever the hell it is I’m projecting to the world. And the only way to do that is through action.
My original post was meant to encourage people to become who they want to be, to identify what was most important and develop it; and to be aware that often it’s not just others we fool when we’re wearing our costumes: sometimes we fool ourselves. That’s where the greatest danger lies: at that moment, the moment we confuse our appearance for our abilities and believe we already are who we want to be, development stops.