23
   

A Call for Intelligent Respectful Discussion

 
 
engineer
 
  4  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 10:43 am
IMO, there are several factors that strongly work against having an "intelligent respectful discussion". First is this is the Internet. It is full of trolls and posers and for the rest of us, the ability to absolutely slag someone whose opinions we disagree with is occasionally overwhelming. Second, this isn't really the best medium for debate. We flip off short responses to complex issues and wonder why people misunderstand what we are trying to say, but make a post too long and no one will read it. Another issue is that of history. I don't want to debate the interesting question you just asked, I want to continue the flame war we had going on three months ago. You can see that all over this thread. I will never talk to this person because of his view of women's rights or because he insulted my dog back in '07. (I read some great advice when I was new here. This is the Internet, you are going to get flamed. If that is a problem, you are in the wrong place.) I try to treat every thread as a place unto itself. I'm sure I fail, but that is my philosophy. If the topic is interesting, I'll join in and when it gets repetitive, I'll move on but if we disagree, I'll still chat about tennis with you. (If we disagree about tennis, we're done!) Finally, I think people have the wrong expectations about Internet debate. I don't think I will ever change the mind of someone I am debating with. I am debating for my pleasure and for all those quietly reading along. That is where the undecided vote is.
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 11:02 am
@engineer,
I also enjoy the debates, because it provides other perspective than my own, learn new things, and many are entertaining.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 11:33 am
@engineer,
One of the problems is "respectful," you can't do anything respectful if you have no respect for the person you're dealing with. With some people it's there all the time, you may disagree but it's always there, you never think, this person can be really stupid. Other people it's not so easy, you may find them infuriating at times, saying stupid things but, despite that they're basically decent and deserve respect. Then there's the third group, people it's impossible to feel anything but contempt for. There's not really much that can be done about that.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 11:45 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

One of the problems is "respectful," you can't do anything respectful if you have no respect for the person you're dealing with. With some people it's there all the time, you may disagree but it's always there, you never think, this person can be really stupid. Other people it's not so easy, you may find them infuriating at times, saying stupid things but, despite that they're basically decent and deserve respect. Then there's the third group, people it's impossible to feel anything but contempt for. There's not really much that can be done about that.


One thing CAN be done with that last class of people, Izzy.

The title of this thread is: A Call for Intelligent Respectful Discussion.

Just avoid discussing anything with anyone whom you truly hold in contempt.

But there are people here, which I think is Max's point, who not only hold (many) people in contempt...but who insist on cluttering up thread after thread with a indication of their contempt.

Even the people who are not that far down the ladder...but who are, as you put it, stupid and/or say stupid things...are better simply ignored, rather than the constant and repeated "you are stupid", "you are ignorant" that permeate huge percentages of some people's posts.

I truly see your point...but in the interests of further Max's suggestion here...keep in mind that refusing to engage regularly someone who is disturbing is a hell of a lot better than regularly engaging him/her.


engineer
 
  5  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 12:09 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I also think that even if you lack respect for a poster, you can still respect every one else. Slagging a thread you are not interested in impacts all of us, not just the OP.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 01:03 pm
@engineer,
Yes
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 01:17 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
I apologize...and I recognize that some supposed newbies are greeting less than cordially. I suspect that may be happening because the practice of assuming new and multiple identities has been a problem since the Abuzz days...and it is easy to suspect that is happening when someone comes on full-throttle.

No apologies necessary. Misunderstanding is one of the main reasons for escalation and shouting matches. The amount of misunderstanding that can take place in any social interaction has been a source of amazement for me over the past few years. I used to think misunderstanding was the exception and understanding the norm. Now I think it's 50-50.

Another reason IMO is that we tend to underestimate the blows we serve to others, and over-estimate the affront we receive. This leads to escalation because if you, for instance, hit me with a blow of power 'p', you think you hit with a lower force than you did, and I think you hit me with more force than you actually did. So I will tend to hit backj harder than you did. Hope this makes sense.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 01:58 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Quote:
I apologize...and I recognize that some supposed newbies are greeting less than cordially. I suspect that may be happening because the practice of assuming new and multiple identities has been a problem since the Abuzz days...and it is easy to suspect that is happening when someone comes on full-throttle.

No apologies necessary. Misunderstanding is one of the main reasons for escalation and shouting matches. The amount of misunderstanding that can take place in any social interaction has been a source of amazement for me over the past few years. I used to think misunderstanding was the exception and understanding the norm. Now I think it's 50-50.

Another reason IMO is that we tend to underestimate the blows we serve to others, and over-estimate the affront we receive. This leads to escalation because if you, for instance, hit me with a blow of power 'p', you think you hit with a lower force than you did, and I think you hit me with more force than you actually did. So I will tend to hit backj harder than you did. Hope this makes sense.



A great deal of sense, Olivier.

We sometimes see insult or affront where none was intended at all...as I did earlier. I could just as easily have seen good sense in that earlier post of yours (the one I reacted to) than the "thinly veiled" thing I erroneously saw.

A2K CAN be a nicer place to have discussions...and I hope it becomes that. I hope we all build on the thoughts that have been shared in what Max started here. We can all read what others say more carefully...and not be so expectant of incivility that we find what is not there.

We do not have to be milquetoasts, but we can at least be civil to each other.

I intend to be.

0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 02:06 pm
@oralloy,
there is no real parallel A2K on Facebook, there is an A2K page where folks who have left here can sort of keep up with some of the folk that they miss, Jespah post updates if the board is acting wonky, and folks, if they so feel can post there A2K monikers so they can friend members real name Facebook pages, though some few still use their A2K name

0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 02:12 pm
every time a topic like this arises i'm reminded of one of my favourite quotes from Tim Burton's Batman

when the mayor claims he wants to make Gotham a place for decent people, the Joker to be says

Jack Napier: Decent people shouldn't live here. They'd be happier someplace else.
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 02:44 pm
@Olivier5,
Or as Gotlib put it:

http://www.je-mattarde.com/public/CLEMENT/LECTURE/SLOWBURN/slowburn.png
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 03:29 pm
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

every time a topic like this arises i'm reminded of one of my favourite quotes from Tim Burton's Batman

when the mayor claims he wants to make Gotham a place for decent people, the Joker to be says

Jack Napier: Decent people shouldn't live here. They'd be happier someplace else.


I've put it differently: If you can't stand the heat...A2K probably is not the place for you. (Feel free to read that: If you don't have a thick skin, the Internet is probably not the place for you.)

But there is another dynamic involved.

Humanity has to learn that existing is pretty much a cooperative effort.

If a group as small and tight as this one can't get along better than some of the crap I've seen here...it bodes poorly for humankind.

I do not want to be pessimistic. I want to think that we have a shot at making it big in the universe.

Getting along better here would be a step in the right direction. Not a big step...that is for certain. But make no mistake about it...every step no matter how tiny...is forward movement.

Or we can keep the crap going and help humanity in its stumble backwards.
Kolyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 03:35 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Another reason IMO is that we tend to underestimate the blows we serve to others, and over-estimate the affront we receive. This leads to escalation because if you, for instance, hit me with a blow of power 'p', you think you hit with a lower force than you did, and I think you hit me with more force than you actually did. So I will tend to hit backj harder than you did. Hope this makes sense.


This is why the tit-for-tat strategy Dawkins talks about in The Selfish Gene doesn't work in real life.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  5  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 03:39 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I can stand the heat Frank.

What I can't stand is having intelligent discussions on topics that interest me being drowned out by pages and of personal insults. It is almost like there are a great number of people who prefer name-calling to intelligent debate.

Call me a prick if you must, but you can do that in one post. But if you are going to engage with me, at least make it interesting.

I want my beliefs challenged in an intellectually tough way. It is easy to slough off personal attacks. I would much rather you come at weaknesses in my opinions (if you can).
timur
 
  4  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 03:41 pm
Frank wrote:
Or we can keep the crap going and help humanity in its stumble backwards.

I think the crap will keep going.

It's my opinion that your rhetoric is that of a Christian minister preaching from the pulpit while filling his pockets.

I haven't seen you doing anything to improve the well being of the humankind, despite your assertions on the contrary.

0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 03:50 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I can stand the heat Frank.

What I can't stand is having intelligent discussions on topics that interest me being drowned out by pages and of personal insults. It is almost like there are a great number of people who prefer name-calling to intelligent debate.


Then you can't stand the heat.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 03:54 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
It's funny how he manages to post his own contradiction in one sentence.
Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 06:58 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

It is almost like there are a great number of people who prefer name-calling to intelligent debate.

It is not ALMOST like that, Max. It IS like that. Some people don't like your idea of an 'intelligent discussion' so much. They either think their own debating style is much smarter, or they simply oppose a particular discussion on some subject or another, for some particular reason of theirs, and so they try to derail that discussion. It's what a 'troll' is basically trying to do, on any board: prevent a civil debate. Crowd it out. Shut it up. And some people who are not usually trolls feel threatened by some particular debate and start to behave as trolls. The only possible response is to ignore them.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 07:09 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
It's what a 'troll' is basically trying to do, on any board: prevent a civil debate. Crowd it out. Shut it up
But here is the thing....what is so sacrosanct about civil debate? Why should I care? What I care about is whether we have intelligent debate or not, I have no idea why I should care much about the civility level. Let there be all kinds of places for people to go to trade ideas, we can easily have soft cushy places for the victims who are so traumatized that they fall apart then someone looks at them "wrong" and places for gang banging thugs to trade ideas and everything in between. Let A2K be rough and tumble if that is what it is supposed to be. If it is too rough for you then take yourself somewhere else that you like better. I am sure Robert will notice if many poeple do leave, maybe he will change his mind about what he is willing to allow on A2K.
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Thu 29 Jan, 2015 07:11 pm
@hawkeye10,
He will not allow censorship.
0 Replies
 
 

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