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Label This!

Label This!
April 05, 2012, 01:36:30 AM
Everybody loves labels.
Our entire Western culture is awash in them.
Signwriters used to have it real good, before vinyl letters arrived on the scene.
I used to be one. As is usual, for me, just in time for the craft to plummet into obsolescence and oblivion.
Lettering defines the West. As does the curiously judgmental behaviour of Westerners.
Not content to label everything inanimate, manufactured, natural and spiritual, we like, also, to label each other.

I used to wonder why I would get to wear labels, on forums, that were so far from the truth.
I used to wonder, too, why there were so few labels, to describe the infinite variety of humanity.
Then I had a moment of clarity...

People label anything, whether or not they know what it is.
If something, or someone, comes along that is unlike anything they are familiar with, they will label it in accordance with the closest thing - in their experience - to what they judge it to be.
With predictable results.

The simple souls that populate forums, for the most part, have experience of only two modes of being.
Aggressive, and defensive.
That's it.
Everything else is merely a variation on those two themes.
You're either the one, or the other, or both, at different times.

What do you think? Is it conceivable that other modes of being exist?
Could you describe them if you had never encountered them before?
Could you understand what was going on?
If you could, by what mechanism would you be able to understand?


 

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 01:58:25 AM
The purpose of a forum is to exchange ideas, but people prefer to use them to feed their egos, hence they are either aggressively attacking someone else to appear stronger than they are, or they are defending themselves against these attacks.  Someone who wishes to use a forum properly neither attacks others personally or bothers to defend themselves against personal attacks, this does not mean that one does not attack or defend ideas.  Also most forum users confuse the two, if you attack their ideas they believe you are insulting them, if you defend your ideas they believe you are being egotistical.

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 02:03:05 AM
Very good. Clear thinking. Thank you.

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 02:35:21 AM
You label me, I label you, so I dub thee unforgiven.

Don't belong, don't exist, don't give a shit, don't ever judge me.

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 02:56:30 AM
I dub thee:

tl/dr

(kidding.... maybe)

Phoenix

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 03:13:13 AM
The purpose of a forum is to exchange ideas, but people prefer to use them to feed their egos, hence they are either aggressively attacking someone else to appear stronger than they are, or they are defending themselves against these attacks.  Someone who wishes to use a forum properly neither attacks others personally or bothers to defend themselves against personal attacks, this does not mean that one does not attack or defend ideas.  Also most forum users confuse the two, if you attack their ideas they believe you are insulting them, if you defend your ideas they believe you are being egotistical.

Actually I disagree. When I participate in forums, besides the subject matter in question I'm also engaged in an exploration of the human condition in not what other posters say but in how they say it, taking into account their entire manner and personality. As personal attacks are an aspect of the human condition, I engage in that realm from time to time (on defense or on offense as well); I tend though to couple the personal with other content, to not only hit the poster's ego but deliver a message through the opening at the same time.

Furthermore, as you point out, personal attacks and attacks against ideas are often confused, so I don't necessarily let personal attacks slide if I'm worried the average poster may interpret it as a blow to my ideas.

Certainly pacifism is a valid option if that's your way, but I wouldn't unequivocally equate it with "using a forum properly".

As far as being egotistical about it, I believe you can engage in personal defense or attack without actually taking it personally. For example, if all personal attacks bounce off Crow like water, I would hypothesize that this mechanism is different and separate from that pertaining to his moral or philosophical decision to refrain from or engage in personal defense / attack; I know it is separate in my case.

The simple souls that populate forums, for the most part, have experience of only two modes of being.
Aggressive, and defensive.
That's it.
Everything else is merely a variation on those two themes.
You're either the one, or the other, or both, at different times.

What do you think? Is it conceivable that other modes of being exist?
Could you describe them if you had never encountered them before?
Could you understand what was going on?
If you could, by what mechanism would you be able to understand?  

Logic dictates that any given forum post could be more aggressive or defensive to varying extents, both aggressive and defensive to respectively varying extents, or neither aggressive nor defensive at all. These are the only three options, that is, if you insist on using such labels. This framework could be applied to any post, but is hardly definitive of course as countless other frameworks could be applied to the same post simultaneously, such as how humorous it is, how brave it is, etc; a post could be both defensive and funny, for example. To look at everything exclusively in terms of aggressiveness or defensiveness is not only an extreme polarization of the spectrum of aggressiveness / defensiveness, it's also ignoring all other possible types of spectrums and I should think is most bizarre.

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 11:52:02 AM
The purpose of a forum is to exchange ideas, but people prefer to use them to feed their egos, hence they are either aggressively attacking someone else to appear stronger than they are, or they are defending themselves against these attacks...Also most forum users confuse the two, if you attack their ideas they believe you are insulting them, if you defend your ideas they believe you are being egotistical.

I think this is very true.

The crowd loves conformity. It enforces it through non-conformity. The best way to do that is to make everything personal.

Remember when in this forum we all started using numbers instead of usernames? To be random, and anonymous.

That way it was just ideas.

Which when you think about it is the RIGHT formulation for a medium consisting entirely of symbols...

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 01:15:29 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POISDmuOWVw

I am not a number, I am a free man!

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 01:51:11 PM
The purpose of a forum is to exchange ideas, but people prefer to use them to feed their egos, hence they are either aggressively attacking someone else to appear stronger than they are, or they are defending themselves against these attacks...Also most forum users confuse the two, if you attack their ideas they believe you are insulting them, if you defend your ideas they believe you are being egotistical.

I think this is very true.

The crowd loves conformity. It enforces it through non-conformity. The best way to do that is to make everything personal.

Remember when in this forum we all started using numbers instead of usernames? To be random, and anonymous.

That way it was just ideas.

Which when you think about it is the RIGHT formulation for a medium consisting entirely of symbols...

John Rawls believes this is a grand way of determining what is right/good/true/universal, but we have enough japanese shitting dick nipples on that other anonymous website...

Phoenix

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 03:04:00 PM
Ideally I would love there to be more content-oriented discussion on forums and of a more substantive nature, but that simply isn't realistic, it isn't what the medium of a discussion forum is meant for.

In order to explore and examine ideas very deeply, many paragraphs are required. If you are willing to write these paragraphs, why would you post it on a discussion forum? A column, article, blog or book would be a better option because it would reach a wider audience.

I remember when I used to write huge chunks of text on discussion forums, and I was frustrated that others did not wish to engage in the discussion as much as I did. I thought they were just simple-minded, but it turns out they simply had other things to do (...they may well have been simple-minded too!).

I believe a forum setting is best suited for information giving (where you reference other people's big texts), interpersonal communication, and debunking false ideas as it can be much easier and quicker to debunk a big idea than to build / argue one.

Perhaps an ideal sort of forum could circumvent these problems with a hand-picked high-quality member base, a constantly mature tone of discussion, and a forum layout and technology well-suited for displaying and preserving threads: a thread could evolve, and subsequently be published elsewhere as a column, article or some new type of text, or at least the direct link could be preserved and the thread could be referenced in the future when people (not just forum members) search for information on that subject.

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 07:14:50 PM
"What do you think? Is it conceivable that other modes of being exist?"

Yes but you have to have wings to escape the defensive/aggressive mode. But even then, the people on the ground will always want to shoot you don't by jealousy.

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 11:16:37 PM
I've often said that crows are, by nature, well-balanced.
They have two wings; a right and a left.
The trick to flight, is to find the balance point, between the two.
While flying close enough to humans, to get their attention, but not close enough to get shot.

Re: Label This!
April 05, 2012, 11:49:59 PM
I like crows,  but they can make it hard to grow crops.

Re: Label This!
April 06, 2012, 12:05:57 AM
Crows can be too social for their own good. Nothing is always balanced, all the time.
Too many, together, can spell trouble.
And maybe the wrong kind of crops.

Re: Label This!
April 06, 2012, 02:44:51 AM
Are the crows growing dope in the corn fields again?