Discussing ideas, not people

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19 Mar 2019 20:10 - 19 Mar 2019 20:10 #335889 by JamesSand
I'll paraphrase for the sake of mixed company -

I heard a joke, I'm sure there are similar versions across the world.

A young soldier is getting yelled at by his commander, and the young soldier says "you're a tosser"

and the commander turns a deep angry red, and says "You can't say that! I'm your commander! You can be flogged for saying that!"

so the soldier asks "Can I get in trouble for what I think?"

the commander stops to think

"Well, no I guess you can't"

"Okay!" the soldier says brightly "I think you're a tosser!"



You might say he ended up dicussing ideas, not people ;)
Last edit: 19 Mar 2019 20:10 by JamesSand.
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19 Mar 2019 20:25 - 19 Mar 2019 20:26 #335890 by Kyrin Wyldstar

Proteus wrote:
To be fair though, isn't this what your approach toward others here seems to be trying to do? When you challenge others to "stop all the the LARPing and be more genuine", it kinda sounds like the same thing you're claiming against.



Actually no, your assessment is not fair but thank you for committing the actual phopah that I speak of. I never CHALLENGED anyone to anything. I did not challenge them to be other than larpers and I did not even degrade them for following that path. I simply stated my opinion on the matter of specific individuals here and why I personally do not respect them. I did Express encouragement that they continue to grow but I expressed no disparaging comments about where they were beyond my own disappointment in them. There is a huge difference between these ideas and ones where people have been personally called out for not meeting some arbitrary standard of communication.

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Last edit: 19 Mar 2019 20:26 by Kyrin Wyldstar.

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19 Mar 2019 20:39 #335892 by Manu
Replied by Manu on topic Discussing ideas, not people

Proteus wrote:
To be fair though, isn't this what your approach toward others here seems to be trying to do? When you challenge others to "stop all the the LARPing and be more genuine", it kinda sounds like the same thing you're claiming against.


I would say this is a fair assessment.

Arisaig wrote: "Avoid the use of the word you."

I find the second I use that word, I'm making it much more personal than it should be. Avoid it, and people coming out of the woodwork murmuring "Ideas, not People" will quickly stop, or at least lessen.


This was my original question though: what are missing out on trying to make conversations impersonal? It is one issue to word arguments in a violent/abusive/bullying manner. It is another to avoid trying to discuss things at a more personal level. I have seen "ideas, not people" been thrown around even when the person being "defended" has taken no offense at all, and is actually getting a much fuller experience by going deeper into things.

If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.

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19 Mar 2019 20:52 - 19 Mar 2019 20:54 #335893 by Kyrin Wyldstar

Manu wrote:
I would say this is a fair assessment.


Really? Well my reply notwithstanding, who and where did I challenge anyone?

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Last edit: 19 Mar 2019 20:54 by Kyrin Wyldstar.

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19 Mar 2019 22:07 #335899 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic Discussing ideas, not people

Manu wrote:

Arisaig wrote: "Avoid the use of the word you."

I find the second I use that word, I'm making it much more personal than it should be. Avoid it, and people coming out of the woodwork murmuring "Ideas, not People" will quickly stop, or at least lessen.


This was my original question though: what are missing out on trying to make conversations impersonal? It is one issue to word arguments in a violent/abusive/bullying manner. It is another to avoid trying to discuss things at a more personal level. I have seen "ideas, not people" been thrown around even when the person being "defended" has taken no offense at all, and is actually getting a much fuller experience by going deeper into things.


Its not a matter of making it impersonal, but avoiding it can be less, well, direct.

You wanna get personal, that's what PMs are for.

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19 Mar 2019 22:39 #335901 by Kyrin Wyldstar
In informal writing “you” is actually the preferred form to specifically address the reader and "one" is used only when you want to address a person in general but not specifically the reader. This is considered good practice in general. In formal writing the latter might be preferred to the former because the former can come across as accusatory. But this is really the only circumstance to use "one" as opposed to "you." Generally, except in very formal writing, "one" comes across as rather pretentious or old fashioned. It puts distance between the reader and writer which is seen as a bad thing making “you” the preferred term to use.

Same goes for so called “softening” phrases like I believe, I feel or I think. These phrases do not inspire confidence in the reader, In fact they do the exact opposite. Their use causes the reader to question the author’s authenticity and honesty. These words make the writer sound unsure of themselves and the topic discussed. It also forces the writer to overuse pronouns and that’s not effective writing.

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19 Mar 2019 22:39 #335902 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic Discussing ideas, not people

JamesSand wrote:
"Okay!" the soldier says brightly "I think you're a tosser!"

You might say he ended up dicussing ideas, not people ;)


Haha, but no.

He was 'both' thinking it and saying it. So I imagine he would have still got in trouble, but it would have been for saying it not thinking it. While he was allowed to think it, he was not allowed to say it.
So saying he thought it is still saying it. It doesn't matter if he makes it a personal belief or observation because its still about a person and not an idea. That's how I see that anyway.

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19 Mar 2019 22:50 #335903 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic Discussing ideas, not people

Manu wrote: I get that, being a Temple, we are bound to have an influx of people who come from backgrounds that include verbal abuse, mental disorders, anxiety, etc., that might make deeper probing ver uncomfortable. But the alternative seems to simply stoop to the lowest common denominator of what we are allowed to discuss, similar to how PC culture has made communications a nightmare, because there is always someone we might be offending with something we say.


It's probably a bell curve.... for I see that it goes the other way as well, being where the loudest and rudest people are effectively white noise to any diverse discussion, its either there way or get attacked. There are lots of people out there that crave attention and want to be the centre of it, and take pleasure in 'winning' internet arguments... or even getting the last word. It's that which I consider the lowest common denominator as well. The middle ground is probably what should be aimed for, and I tend to think ideas not people is well within that exactly because it tries to stop venturing to either end of the curve, where on one hand people take topics personally and on the other people take attacks personally.

Manu wrote: Why not take advantage of the fact that we have forum categories, to actually set aside those topics that are marked for casual conversation and endless head bobbing as we all agree with each other in our own little heavenly corner, and separate them from more serious topics, clearly marked for deeper exploration?


I agree. The Faith forum was probably meant like that but people wanted to criticize people in there as well. It speaks to genuine intent I think, if someone helps a place run by trying to work with it versus working against it. It's those people who make rules required. And they are examples of why we can't have nice things :D But they exist at both ends of the curve and we all can interact at any point at any given moment - its up to our intent and effort to chose how to interact. Rules are just holding people responsible for their decisions. The trouble is no body of rules cannot cover all possible behaviours, which is why so much time is spent with these topics - because rule breakers spend too much energy on trying to break them. It cannot be black or white, so again a middle ground is sought.... and defended, else it slips one way or the other.


Manu wrote: I for one, consider it invaluable when we can go deeper into something, even if that requires owning up to my own discomfort.


Yea I think most would agree, but the question might better be how best to do that. Open slather is probably not the best way to do it IMO.

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20 Mar 2019 00:25 - 20 Mar 2019 00:26 #335913 by Proteus

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote: Same goes for so called “softening” phrases like I believe, I feel or I think. These phrases do not inspire confidence in the reader, In fact they do the exact opposite. Their use causes the reader to question the author’s authenticity and honesty. These words make the writer sound unsure of themselves and the topic discussed. It also forces the writer to overuse pronouns and that’s not effective writing.


Well, let's be clear here. Who is the reader here? Are you speaking for everyone who reads these forums? I have felt plenty inspired many times by posts that use these phrases and I have also had many times I've received loads of Thank You's for posts I have used these phrases in.

It seems that I know that I know.
What I would like to see is the 'I' that knows me when I know that I know that I know.
- Alan Watts
Last edit: 20 Mar 2019 00:26 by Proteus.
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20 Mar 2019 00:47 #335915 by Kyrin Wyldstar

Proteus wrote: Well, let's be clear here. Who is the reader here? Are you speaking for everyone who reads these forums? I have felt plenty inspired many times by posts that use these phrases and I have also had many times I've received loads of Thank You's for posts I have used these phrases in.


The reader is the person reading the writers posts. I am speaking for no one, I'm stating good rules for informal writing. I didnt know this was a thank you contest. I dont consider it that but if you do, good job on your plethora of thank you's! Keep up the good work, I'll be over here having deep meaningful conversations. :P

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