[PD] Carpet sweeping (was Re: Any relation between pidip and Gem??)

Chris McCormick chris at mccormick.cx
Tue Jul 17 04:56:07 CEST 2007

On Mon, Jul 16, 2007 at 04:44:27PM -0400, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
> On Mon, 9 Jul 2007, Chris McCormick wrote:
> >On Mon, Jul 09, 2007 at 06:02:10PM -0400, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
> >>Ignoring each other also comes from the impression of talking past each
> >>other. Compared to hostility, it's more mature, polite, civilised and
> >>insidious.
> >Even better than ignoring,
> It sounds like I mean that ignoring is better than arguing, but that's not 
> what i mean. (what does "insidious" mean to you?)

Pretty much this:

I thought maybe you were making a joke by tacking it on the end of that

I agree with the idea that silently ignoring is usually better than
hostility, but I don't think that either of those options are better
than measured argument.

> >it is possible to use non-provocatory language and to purposely disarm 
> >your own writing by eliminating emotionally charged content, and still 
> >communicate your point clearly.
> OTOH the content is then still about controversial ideas and it's still 
> about promoting some people's ideas at the expense of some other people's 
> other ideas. This happens regardless of the amount of spin-doctoring 
> performed to dull it.

Yes, I see your point. Let me put it this way; I beleive that it's
very often (but not always) possible to promote a contraversial idea
that is at the expense of other people's ideas in a way that does not
offend, but that that option sometimes isn't even attempted on this list,
and ironically this decreases the likelyhood of the contraversial idea
being widely accepted.

I am saying that I think we could try harder on this list to not offend
people, and that doing so would have the distinct advantage of lubricating
the gears of communication and making the software and the lives of
all users, better.

Then again, politically correct, non-offensive language could turn this
list into the most boring list since the discussion on speciation of the
cephalote genus Cryptocerus on the Myrmecology-international list. ;)

There is another advantage to trying to be 'nicer' though, which is
that people who are more timid, and who also have great ideas, will be
less afraid to speak up about them. Unfortunately the people who speak
the loudest and most aggressively aren't always the ones with the best
ideas. I think I can sum this concept up with one word: politician.

> Sometimes, valid questions look essentially 
> like trolling; but some mindframe's trollish questions is some other 
> mindframe's theoretical underpinnings.

Yep, I definately agree with that. I guess the best way to combat that
is to give people the benefit of the doubt and try and use neutral,
scientific language as far as possible when discussing topics that might
incite verbal violence.




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