Be that as it may, in the context of a discussion, saying what you mean,
meaning what you say, conceding when you're mistaken, and generally
recognizing the difference between fact and opinion, are essential
prerequisites of credibility. IMHO 'discussions' with persons without
credibility is useful only as a kind of sparring- a contest of rhetorical
skills- but not really otherwise. Discussions with such persons who do not
even possess significant rhetorical skills will often just degenerate
quickly into something like, "All blue should be abolished, and anyone who
doesn't realize that is a plain poo poo head!"
Saying something stupid (whether frustrated or not), and then defending that
position just because it's yours (for whatever emotional reasons), is not a
discussion IMHO. It's stupidity followed by rationalization. Threatening
people who disagree with you is bullying, and I can't stand it. Never could.
As a kid, if I saw some bully picking on someone else, often before I could
stop myself, I'd end up 'having words' with the bully. As an adult, I've
taken down a couple of big ones over the years, usually on election for that
purpose by groups to which I belonged.
Anyone with youngish kids is familiar with the recent efforts to reduce
bullying, which identify permissive 'bystanders' as an essential part of the
bullying cycle. In a community (something I believe in) we're better off if
a bully is marked as such, and if persons who promote violence against
others know that they do not have the support of the group, which is what
these types really need. Silence can be seen by them, and later by history,
as consent for their cruelty.
As I've emllowed with time, my increasing reaction tothose who make their
attacks personal is to say "Well, that's your opinion, enjoy stweing in
your own juices, but as for me, I'm OH..."
I'm not saying that I perosnally approve of extremism/stupid statements,
not at all. It's mostly that, as I've gotten older, I've become less
reactive, mostly becase I don't have enough spare energy to squander.
One of the side benefits is that it allows my more rational mind a bit
more of a chance to step in and say, "hmmmm, now just *why* is that
person saying something stupid, when it's clear that s/he is not a stupid
My assessment of DOn (sorry to talk about you in th ethrid person, DOn,
it's just the specific situation here) is that he is not a stupid person,
but he sometimes peaks from emotion rather tahn from logic. As do we
all, at some time or another. Many people react badly to that, but the
longer I've corresponded here with him, the more I realize what's going
I've sometimes chided others (including Don) for resorting to name-
calling, and IIRC, you were one of the recipients of such verbiage. Just
as I assess you as being an intelligent person who sometimes says
impulsive things, I also assess Don as being similar in that regard.
Noen of which changes the fact that, IMO, name-calling is childish and
only closes off communication/idea-exchange.
Furthermroe, I've found, in general, that if one can get past all of that
and pose a question which tries to address the *root* of the frustration
that's causing the impulsiveness, things calm down and additional ideas
Nothing wrong with that, and I've also had a strong tendency to do the
same (often too strong for my own good), but I'm not convinced that this
is the same sort of situation. Given that I'm not good with things
social, I don't know how to explain the difference, jsut that I do see a
difference (at least, on my better days ;) ) between bullying, and
someone who is just blowing off steam. Again, tho', the main reason I'm
(finally) learnign to even see the difference is, as I've said, I simply
don't have enough energy to waste it on fighting/upsets/bellicosity/etc.
any more than is absolutely necessary. IOW, it takes a whole huge hell
of a lot for me to get really *angry* wioth someone - yeah, I get
irritated, sometimes POed, but that usually lasts all of about 10
minutes, and is quickly forgotten. For me to *remember* I'm angry with
someone takes a great deal of effort on the other person's part.
Obviously, that approach doesn't apply to, or work for, everyone, but I'm
me, not everyone. <shrug>
As above. Meanwhile, I do hope you are not implying that I'm some sort
of "violence enabler", becasue that would be rather an insult, becasue it
would be defamatory (i.e., a flasehood, a lie, an attack).
Again, goign back to the opening statements, you said somethign about
Don's "threats" (I assume you're referring to his thing about "culling th
eherd" or some such similar statement). THat is not techinically a
threat, becasue he did not say that any one specific person ought to be
culled - it's acerbic, aggressive, an dmisanthropic, but I can't comndemn
it because I've sometimes had similar fleeting thoughts. But I'm
fundamentally a peaceful person who jsut sometimes becomes angry, even
emotionally hurt, and distressed when treated ill by others, or when it
seems as though other epople's orneryness is intentionally designed to
put obstacles in to other people's paths. Maybe part of that is the
Asperger's, maybe part of it is due to having been abused as a kid, maybe
part of it is just being "milky in th efilbert", I don't kow, tbut th
eessential fact is that, no matter how misanthropic I sometimes biol over
into being, I *_never_* would intentionall harm another person, unless it
was self-defense and even at that, only if I felt like I was backed into
a corner and had no other option than to defend myself. As for Don, I've
been reading his posts for a couple eyars I guess, at this point, and my
impression is that, at the core, he's ntoall that much different. I'd
feel mroe comfortable being in a room with Don and a bunch of guns, than
I'd feel being in a room with most "average" people and a butter knife.
Yeah, sometimes he says things that do sound kind of stupid - btu I can't
think of anyone I know who has never said anything that sounded stupid.
When he says something like that, maybe I'll say something like, "THat is
beneath you to say that", or maygbe something a bit stronger (I've done
so more than once), and I've doen the same with other poeple as well.
I just don't think he is quite the monster that it *seems* (intentionally
or not) you're making him out to be, just as you're not the dwibble he
sometimes amkes you out to be.
If I'm some sort of "permissive 'bystander' (i.e. violence enabler)"
because of sometimes being able to see past the smoek'n'heat to try and
find some light, well, all I can say is that the fefinition of the phrase
IMO would require revision.
WHat cracks me up the most is that here I am, officially declared barely
fit to participate in human society, saying this stuff to the people who
are considered of good standing in society...I'm the "nut job", and yet,
looking at "normal" poeple in society, I see so much insanity...
It's not aimed at anyone in particular. Provision of an safe arena is
important for that sort of thing to flourish. That's what I believe, and it
guides my actions.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
Isaac Davis: Has anybody read that Nazis are gonna march in New Jersey?
Y'know, I read this in the newspaper. We should go down there, get some guys
together, y'know, get some bricks and baseball bats and really explain
things to them.
Socialite: There is this devastating satirical piece on that on the op-ed
page of the Times, it is devastating.
Isaac Davis: Well, a satirical piece in the Times is one thing, but bricks
and baseball bats really gets right to the point.
Woody Allen, "Manhattan"
In some discussions with Don with some things, I simply feel like I'm
debating Christianity with a Christian missionary, hence my previous new
BTW, I think I came across another code-bubble, but I forget where. But
maybe it was just from a dream...
(Michael, were you online here when I posted that? It was an
architectural element, of a hotel in Vancouver, gone funky.)
Ah yes, the contortions of face-saving...
One would think that someone in his fifties would more or less be beyond
that-- assuming you're insinuating Don.
Maybe it's face-saving and maybe he really believes it. Either way...
Bully for you.
Points well taken, and of course then there're the bullying-environments
those who bully often live in... Can a community bully?
I wonder how to deal with a bullying government.
The one about ridiculous things that buildings sometimes do? I remember
Many of the regulars are telling me, "you can't take him seriously", or "he
doesn't mean what he says", "he get's frustrated sometimes and says extreme
things", etc, but my reading of recent history tells me I have to take
people at their words, unless they themselves recant, or could pass for 'not
responsible' in a court of law.
If I'm *not* to take hime seriously then I'm to toy with him in some kind of
code like Virginia Vagina, or whatever that guy's name was a while back. I'm
not really interested in that type of thing at all.
Ockham's razor says to asume the simplest explanation. There are many people
who do mean the types of things he says. They're fairly common from what I
can tell from the media. Why do I assume that he's not one of them? If he
looks like a duck, walks like a duck,....
Maybe name can equal destiny. I've wondered whether my bully-thing comes
from having an icon of my namesake over my bed as a kid...
Fair enough, although to be similarly fair, our whole culture, or at
least many areas within our media channels-- the net, television, radio,
film-- throw those kinds of thing around all the time.
I've mentioned that phenomenon on here before years ago, if Don recalls,
but he continued to exercise that freedom... although, freedom of course
is a double-edged sword indeed... maybe even a lot more edges than just 2.
I was thinking that another potential problem with snarl-words,
negative-labeling, "threats-as-metaphors" and so forth is that it might
actually serve to progressively undermine the users' own rational
thought processes-- shoot themselves in the foot-- by, in part, creating
a kind of mental smokescreen around what exactly is going on and why and
(At this moment, I recall the recent thread on the topic of 'evil' and
IOW, on one hand, you have ad hominem attacking and the like, and on the
other, by their constant usage, their subsequent effects upon the
individuals' thinking and perceptions over time.
It may very well be that some have gotten so used to this kind of
discourse, that it's corroded some of their thinking facilities...
rather like a few drinks too many.
I'm chuckling right now, but see your point.
(Actually I'd read some of that thread in question and vaguely wished
that more hetero women were more straightforward and humourous with that
subject. Some women make me think they'd rather die than get laid or
talk about sex. ;)
In fact, one can get into real legal trouble with uttering some kinds of
things, at least in many contexts, and/but there are very fine lines to
navigate very carefully in those regards. There's freedom-of-speech and
then there's real intent-- and yet more reason, if you ask me, to
consider very carefully the usage of negative labeling, threats as
metaphors, and so forth.
An icon? In what sense?
Anyway, I was referring to the "good for you" expression, rather than
your name. :)
I know what you mean. Many have posed the same questions regarding the
antisemitism of the nazis. Early on, one could easily reduce it to plain
vanilla demagogery, in order to gain power by scapegoating a group of
outsiders, but then eventually the 'race' obsessions began to jeopardize the
very power gains made by their means. Was genocide the focal intent all
along, or did the issue come to dominate their thinking the more they
convinced themselves of its importance? They did go from "crazy like a fox"
to "plain crazy" pretty quickly...
Talking in code.
Yeah, I know. Other kids might have had a Bobby Orr poster, but I had an
orthodox icon (literally) hanging on the wall over my bed as a kid. It was
of the Archangel (AKA Saint) Michael. He's often depicted with a sword
(sometimes of flame), sometime also a balance beam(scales), with one of his
feet on the neck or head of the devil, usually represented as a dragon or
serpent, but sometimes in the more usual anthropomorphized form.
What kind of role model is that for a kid? When I look back at my life so
far, it would appear to have had an influence.....
Maybe it's more like getting soft?
"The brain is much more like our muscles than we had thought, even in the
sense that specialized exercise affects different parts of the brain.
Autopsies show that the brains of London taxi-drivers are peculiar. They
have an enlarged hippocampus, which is the brain area used for navigating
three-dimensional space. Here we see spatial abilities being developed
without comparable development of other cognitive skills. To develop a wide
variety of cognitive skills you need a wide variety of cognitive exercises."
(from http://tinyurl.com/yvwjly )
That was really unnecessary :p . We all have our various "icons" so to
speak, representations of an idea or ideal of inspiration or aspiration,
sometimes one specific one, sometimes various ones as time passes, as we
reach different stages of life. I don't think it's either right, *or* good
karma, to belittle someone's 'spirit guide' for lack of a better term -
even if you don't like the person, it's just not good karma.
((OTOH, just on general principle, there are good reasons to not hang one's
'spirit guides' out naked in the glare of public opinion - people *will*
try to take your personal power away by ridiculing them.))
As long as it works for you - personally, tho', my own "guides" (for lack
of a better term) remain things I am loathe to discuss, and do so only on
rare occasions and generally with those who are knolwedgeable in these
areas and can offer me an enhanced understanding.
ALl of which is terribly vague, I know. But anyhoo...
I was the one who said the "frustration => extreme statements" thing - it
was a speculation on my part, not a statement of fact. I do not know for
a fact why Don might say something extreme.
I also didn't say or imply that "you can't take him seriously" - that is
not the same thing as what I'd said. I don't know that you can or
cannot. I'm probing in part to see how much I can take seriously, but
mostly for my own reasons. THat's not the same thing as telling someone
to not take someone else at his word - that isn't my call and I'm not
going to pretend it is, but I also am not going to allow anyone to say or
imply I'm saying it is.
I was only saying that as hominem attacks (regardless of who indulges)
are *IMO* a waste of time. Obviously, a great many poeple disagree,
which is, of course, their choice.
Don't set me up as being your enemy merely because I'm not going to say
I'm Don's enemy. I have neither the time/energy, nor the inclination,
for that sort of game. OTOH, I'm also not going to just lay down in the
road and let people drive trucks over me.
I don't know what more you need to substantiate the claim that you wonder
something other than to make the claim. The only person who could possibly
know what Warm Worm wonders is Warm Worm himself, and so he'd be the
ultimate authority on his own wondering...
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