How PC and eGPU Communities Morphed into Bait-and-Switch Props

Originally I was planning on publishing how-to tips on accelerating internal displays using eGPU. Unfortunately that did not work out as I had hoped. And as such, I am taking this chance to address one of the issues that are lingering in the eGPU communities, and perhaps the PC communities in general.

PC communities are unique in a way that they discount their own efforts, their labors, and criticize anyone who does. Skills and designs are considered luxury, as long as they believe they can replicate it or find no need of it. So if there is a fictional checks and balances to grade each posts, no labor is always a failure, some labor or more is always passing. For example, if a person builds a gaming PC with LED-illuminated water-cooling system, nobody has any problem with it. They share the same aesthetic palate, and they think they can do the same as long as they are given the budget for it. But if someone buys the same computer, everyone goes nuts. Because that person is in ‘negative’ in checks and balances in the eyes of the community, and is frowned upon for showing-off only the capacity for money but not the skills.

This creates certain filters when an information is published among the PC communities, and eGPU communities are certainly not free from it. Any information with some popularity, which on internet translates into accuracy, does not immediately translate into real-world practicality. Take water cooling computers, for example. They are de facto setup for gaming PCs proudly displayed on front pages, while most of casual players and major businesses have decided water is big no-no to electronics. At the end of the day, most of these articles are merely a proof of concept. If everything shared on the communities was true, we wouldn’t be seeing growth in AIO. This principle seems to apply universally without a proper acknowledgement.

This subconscious behavior sometimes result in global censorship of certain information or skills. Many of them simply withheld them with certain condition, ranging from “I have done it but will not share it” to “I have done it but I need a grand celebration beforehand”. Monetization is not even the issue anymore; the contents they post is too coarse and inelegant to be consumed by general public. The real issue is the power of these few who choose what to publicize or not in the name of a community. When applied right with economic transparency, this method can be used to monetize and advertise their services to provide vital information to users. iFixit is such an example; they share detailed guides to fix electronics, and in doing so they expect to make earning by selling tools and parts. They are not hiding behind the curtains to influence you to either buy their products or grow respect of them.

When the people of eGPU communities were investigating TB1/2 blockage, a streak of information led people to a rather positive outlook on the matters. The speculation was that considering it is unlikely for Apple to put effort to sabotage their own legacy project, with enough time it can be re-enabled on older machines. Apple certainly can do it; but there was simply no report of it. During the course of public betas and developer betas, many active users have reported the progress on Apple ditching the older devices, while the same active users, who published scripts in the past, had abandoned the project. As more people started to dig through earlier posts and threads for hints, these users spilled the beans; there were a hidden chat channel where ‘renowned’ users would be able to work on crucial information. The progress was intentionally halted by these few users for an unknown gain. Once they released only some of the information they had, it took a couple of days for manual methods and half a week for an actual script.

We can always openly criticize multinational IT manufacturer’s policies on internet. But activism is not an excuse for information quarantine. There are bad posts and articles revolving around toxic pseudo craftsman cultures these communities are brewing. If their information cannot be applied universally, then that is merely a proof of concept. If that contents are coarse and illegible, they are raising a ruckus, not a rock concert. I can’t believe a bait-and-switch scheme was naturally cultured through internet exclusivism.

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