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"I disagree" vs. "I have a different position"  RSS feed

 
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Eric Hanson wrote:And again for the record, I was not about to do this, but I had no idea that the term "free speech" had become such a trigger phrase.  Sad.



Eric, also for the record... I didn't sense anything the least bit disruptive in anything you said. On the contrary I find your comments to be quite evenhanded as well as levelheaded.
 
pollinator
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What an interesting thread. Thanks to all for making it so.

I spend/t enough time on other forums to get plenty of examples of how unpleasant they can be. Kind of like high-school, plus anonymity and no option of blacking the bully's eye and damn the consequences...

I think I'd be somewhat disturbed if every forum was this well and thoroughly pleasantified. This doesn't appear to be something I need to lose any sleep over just yet, to put it mildly.

I think there is room in the world for positive change from being angry at bad guys, is what it boils down to. Oddly enough forums full of angry people are very easy to find, but they are generally not pleasant to hang out in, or easy to get useful help in. Anger and forums seem to fit poorly. Letter writing campaigns, protests and demonstrations, political graffiti...these can be anger channeled more productively.

Bring it to a forum, and you're wasting that potential energy flaming some person over a triviality, and probably exhausting potential allies.

There are forums on subjects that interest me greatly where a handful of ********* turn every discussion about specific things into a complete clusterfuck, washing out valuable data and deterring others from engaging. A real shame.

I have been moderated on one occasion here that I felt was silly; kindness run amok! Looking at the big picture, this is a very fair trade to preserve the atmosphere here. Forums with loose moderation and lots of flame wars are not an endangered species!

I am confident that its near invisibility is a sign of how excellent the moderation is, not how little it's required!

----

Following up on my previous post, in my experience, convincing someone who believes firmly in an objectively incorrect fact to change their mind is... not a great way to spend my time.

I would only try to do so in very specific circumstances, ie really dire consequences to me or a person I care deeply for.

On this forum, though, the reason that would cause me to correct objectively incorrect information is concern for innocent bystanders, ie all the other folks who read the thread and might, say, build something using a span table with the units accidentally switched from feet to metres.

This is doubly true if Poster A asks a question, and Poster B responds with incorrect data.

I am Poster A often enough that I certainly hope others share my belief in correcting bad data!

Someone who is seeking further information and is not firmly attached to their incorrect belief can often be simply corrected; a clear explanation and link to an authoritative resource on the subject at hand will generally do; if both sides have a bunch of supporting links, maybe this isn't as clearcut a situation as I'm attempting to describe!

Fortunately the same approach provides good information for question-askers/innocent bystanders, so it often doesn't seem terribly necessary to determine whether the original poster is firmly attached to their idea. If they contest this correction, well, can't save em all.
 
Mother Tree
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If they contest this correction, well, can't save em all.



Well we can try.  We can throw a 'permies does not allow to say another member is wrong' thing at them.  Or maybe a 'permies is for discussion, not for debate'.  Hopefully before the thread descends into a cycle of 'you're wrong.  no I'm not.  yes you are' and all the readers disappear to find something else less boring to do instead.
 
Dillon Nichols
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Burra Maluca wrote:

If they contest this correction, well, can't save em all.



Well we can try.



I stand corrected! :D

Exactly, arguments and flamewars are not just bad for the participants and the thread, they chase people away from forums entirely. Usually the less angry, more pleasant ones... since the angry ones want to stay and fight.

Are others familiar with the saying 'you become a mix of the 6 people you spend the most time with'? It seems to me to carry some truth.

Forums definitely have personalities.. I am well content to absorb some niceness.
 
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Well said.  It's the mark of intelligence to be able to admit even an unintentional error.

I fear you're right about "free speech" - and I'm not sure in any case that it isn't now a myth.  As may be, this and countless other forums around the 'net are NOT public places, and you only have whatever freedoms the owner and their team allow.  

more generally, I do believe that, in public, anyone should be able to say whatever they want - but that freedom comes with the price of accepting not only that others can hold other views and have an equal right to state them, but also any consequences arising.  It's kind of academic these days anyway, what with laws against hate speech and so forth, I don't think genuine free speech actually exists.
 
master pollinator
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There are no laws against hate speech in the United States.  

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/lee-v-tam/
 
pollinator
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The link above sent me to a case about:
The disparagement clause of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment's free speech clause.
Lanham Act is about Trademark and false advertising
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanham_Act

I am not too sure if the wrong link was cut and paste or if I just misunderstood some deeper meaning.
That said in general, the laws says I have to be nice to individuals and groups and I cant provoke people. But I can defend myself if I am threaten and deescalation steps didn't work or was unwise.
 
pollinator
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Greg Mamishian wrote:

Eric Hanson wrote:And again for the record, I was not about to do this, but I had no idea that the term "free speech" had become such a trigger phrase.  Sad.



Eric, also for the record... I didn't sense anything the least bit disruptive in anything you said. On the contrary I find your comments to be quite evenhanded as well as levelheaded.



Greg, thanks for the kind comment,

Eric
 
Tyler Ludens
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S Bengi wrote:
That said in general, the laws says I have to be nice to individuals and groups and I cant provoke people.



I am not aware of that law.  I've never heard of it.

More discussion of the case linked above:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/06/19/supreme-court-unanimously-reaffirms-there-is-no-hate-speech-exception-to-the-first-amendment/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4362821729e5
 
Greg Mamishian
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Tyler Ludens wrote:

S Bengi wrote:
That said in general, the laws says I have to be nice to individuals and groups and I cant provoke people.



I am not aware of that law.  I've never heard of it.



It's the law of political correctness and is fully enforced in our society.

 
Tyler Ludens
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I've not seen it.  One can hold as many Klan rallies and Nazi marches, etc as one wants.

 
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Rebecca Norman wrote:
I think it's often possible to just launch into describing one's own knowledge, experience or references on the issue without saying "I disagree" or a synonym. For example:

Strawman wrote:
35 MPH is hurricane force winds!



Rebecca Norman wrote:
My location gets 35 mile per hour winds pretty often, and they are not horribly strong or damaging. The hurricane that hit my area in XX year supposedly had 80 MPH winds. I found this chart of hurricane wind speeds on Wikipedia.




I love this, but I have a slightly darker view of human nature and the general level of reading comprehension out there.  So I usually open with something like:

My understanding is that hurricanes are defined by {whatever authority}, whose chart says... {link}



It's just a bit more direct, because otherwise some people won't even follow the chain of logic well enough to understand that the original information was called into question.  But by talking about myself and my relationship with the facts that I think I know, I leave room for the other person to persist in their opinion should they so choose and still be perfect.  Maybe I can't read a chart, who knows? I didn't address myself to them, I didn't say a word about their opinion.  If they get huffy and feel attacked, everybody in the room, rhetorically speaking, could turn to them and say "Er, nobody was talking to you, but if you recognize that the shoe fits, perhaps it does?"
 
master steward
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Eric Hanson wrote:

Greg Mamishian wrote:

Eric Hanson wrote:And again for the record, I was not about to do this, but I had no idea that the term "free speech" had become such a trigger phrase.  Sad.



Eric, also for the record... I didn't sense anything the least bit disruptive in anything you said. On the contrary I find your comments to be quite evenhanded as well as levelheaded.



Greg, thanks for the kind comment,

Eric



I saw this article on BBC yesterday https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46846467?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_source=facebook.

According to it, British people use language passive-aggresively/sarcastically more than Americans do. So, Americans often can't tell when British people are insulting them... One can assume, then, that British people might think someone is being passive aggresive with their language, rather than being nice, as American actually intended.



This table also came from the same article:
What the British sayWhat the British meanWhat others understand
I hear what you sayI disagree and do not want to discuss it furtherHe accepts my point of view
With the greatest respect...I think you are an idiotHe is listening to me
That's not badThat's goodThat's poor
That is a very brave proposalYou are insaneHe thinks I have courage
Quite goodA bit disappointingQuite good
I would suggest...Do it or be prepared to justify yourselfThink about the idea, but do what you like
Oh, incidentally/by the wayThe primary purpose of our discussion is...That is not very important
I was a bit disappointed thatI am annoyed thatIt doesn't really matter
Very interestingThat is clearly nonsenseThey are impressed
I'll bear it in mindI've forgotten it alreadyThey will probably do it
I'm sure it's my faultIt's your faultWhy do they think it was their fault?
You must come for dinnerIt's not an invitation, I'm just being politeI will get an invitation soon
I almost agreeI don't agree at allHe's not far from agreement
I only have a few minor commentsPlease re-write completelyHe has found a few typos
Could we consider some other options?I don't like your ideaThey have not yet decided


Ain't language grand? It's one of the things that makes moderating so hard. One moderator might think someone is passive aggressive and sarcastic, while another may think they're nice. Same words, interpreted differently by different people who have different upbringings and experiences and personalities.
 
Dillon Nichols
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Love that table. Naturally interpretations in Canada are a joyous mishmash of the two columns.

Except we're always sincere about apologies, eh?

('I'm really sorry that offended you' is also a really nice way to call someone an idiot... sometimes.)
 
gardener
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May we not forget as well, freedom of speech allows an individual to step outside and speak their mind as they see fit, but what more aptly applies on this web site and any other being run by someone other than the speaker, is freedom of the press. While we can say whatever we like, Paul is not bound to print it.

Since we tend to lose cultural cues or verbal nuances when writing versus speaking face to face, the goal of providing a welcoming space for people to discuss permaculture is great, and trying to avoid phrases that can be construed as negative is a worthy goal.

Some people will disagree with such a goal, and fortunately they have the freedom of speech on the internet to create as many web sites as they like to express themselves in a format that works best for them as well. But sometimes a person can confound that freedom of speech with freedom of the press, and gets upset when a web site won't post their comments.
 
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This is very interesting to me because I deal with people around the world. I would love to see more comprehensive charts for other countries that speak and write their own versions of English. I only realized how different UK English was when a client tried to use a British content writer. I never knew how many of their words we don't know.

One word that all British writers use that most Americans did not know (but that is starting to change) is bespoke. Americans don't do bespoke anything. We do custom whatever it is.

What we really need is one for India. No matter how many different ways I try to explain something, getting my point across is just often not happening.  That they provide support for apps I am currently learning makes it a real challenge.
 
pollinator
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In response to Gail Gardner's wish for  charts for other countries that speak and write their own versions of English:

A very unofficial table, based on my experiences. I do believe it's a pretty widely held understanding though that typically Finns tend to say what they mean and mean what they say. However, we are careful about saying anything too strongly. Especially the positive stuff has to be downplayed. (I myself am a bit abnormal in this respect: I tend to say positive stuff more freely than what is the norm here.)

What the Finns sayWhat most Finns mean in my experience]
I hear what you sayI hear what you say, you don't need to shout
With the greatest respect...I'm trying to disagree politely
That's not badThat's good
That is a very brave proposalThat is a very brave proposal
Quite goodVery good
I would suggest...I'm pretty sure this is the way you should do it, but it's your project not mine
Oh, incidentally/by the wayAnother important point
I was a bit disappointed thatI was disappointed that
Very interestingExtremely interesting
I'll bear it in mindI'll try to remember/ I don't know what to say because I haven't thought about it much
I'm sure it's my faultI think it's partly my fault and partly your fault, but you need to acknowledge your own part, I don't want to criticize you
You must come for dinnerI want to invite you for dinner
I almost agreeI agree in part
I only have a few minor commentsI only have a few things I don't like, most of it was good
Could we consider some other options?I don't like that idea


 
Gail Gardner
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Nina Jay wrote:In response to Gail Gardner's wish for  charts for other countries that speak and write their own versions of English:

A very unofficial table, based on my experiences.



It sounds like we wouldn't have too many misunderstandings there. Even in the United States, there are very different ways of saying things. The most common one is to be very businesslike and professional with peers, potential clients, or people they consider important, but not so polite with those someone considers to be under them or employed by them.

The one thing I know about people from India is that no matter how many times I mention it to them, they will persist in calling me "dear". I have tried explaining that I personally find it inappropriate to have a total stranger using a term of endearment - but it seems to be a particularly ingrained habit there.

It does make it easy to tell where they are from on first contact, though.
 
pollinator
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Gail Gardner wrote:
The one thing I know about people from India is that no matter how many times I mention it to them, they will persist in calling me "dear". I have tried explaining that I personally find it inappropriate to have a total stranger using a term of endearment - but it seems to be a particularly ingrained habit there.

It does make it easy to tell where they are from on first contact, though.



I see this as no different from much of the Southern parts of the USA, where 'ma'am' & 'sir' are are used in dealing with everyone, regardless of age(though utterly mandatory, with the speaker's elders), socioeconomic status, or hierarchical employment status. It is spoken as though it were simply impossible to speak another word, sans this polite reference. Because to those raised in the region, it is beaten into their heads - sometimes, not entirely metaphorically - from their first phrases and social interactions. It is an important part of the societal structure, and while it becomes ingrained and automatic, it is each individuals personal reminder to treat other with kindness and respect. Insisting they stop can actually be very upsetting to them and, in their eyes, even rude. It's part of who they are. It would be far easier for you to simply accept this as a quirk, and part of life, than to actually expect them to stop. That's not to assume that such acceptance, on your part, will be easy. I still struggle with being called 'ma'am', as it tends to make me feel old, lol. But, I have begun trying to remind myself that this is essentially the opposite of the intention. I also was raised with the fairly consistent usage requirement, myself - but, I was raised by southern parents, in the north, so it became something in my mind, that was expected primarily with my parents, thus applied primarily to my elders.

Wow. That was a lot of words, to say, 'just let it go', and your life will be more pleasant, lol.
 
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Gail Gardner wrote:

Nina Jay wrote:In response to Gail Gardner's wish for  charts for other countries that speak and write their own versions of English:

A very unofficial table, based on my experiences.



It sounds like we wouldn't have too many misunderstandings there. Even in the United States, there are very different ways of saying things. The most common one is to be very businesslike and professional with peers, potential clients, or people they consider important, but not so polite with those someone considers to be under them or employed by them.

The one thing I know about people from India is that no matter how many times I mention it to them, they will persist in calling me "dear". I have tried explaining that I personally find it inappropriate to have a total stranger using a term of endearment - but it seems to be a particularly ingrained habit there.

It does make it easy to tell where they are from on first contact, though.



I was traveling in the south many years ago and everyone called me "Honey".  As a male raised in the midwest, that was a new experience for me
 
Gail Gardner
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Yes, the first time someone called me "ma'am" was at a drive-thru in southern California. (He had recently moved there from the south.) I asked him if he thought I looked that old. He said, "would you prefer I call you 'miss'?" Lol...that sounded equally weird to me, so I said, "I guess not".

I haven't had people call me "honey" even though I lived in Texas a long time.  It is more associated in my mind with sarcastic waitresses on TV comedy sitcoms. Getting people in the south to stop calling you sir or ma'am or miss would be pretty hard for them because, as someone mentioned, that is drilled into them at a very young age.

The reason I mention it to people I collaborate with who are from India is because they are trying to get work from Americans, so it makes sense to not do something that Americans will find strange. If I knew something was offensive to people in India, once made aware of it, I would stop.

I don't usually bring it up when people from India that I do not know contact me because it is useful to know where someone is from to know why they are trying to reach me.

 
pollinator
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it is beaten into their heads - sometimes, not entirely metaphorically - from their first phrases and social interactions. It is an important part of the societal structure, and while it becomes ingrained and automatic, it is each individuals personal reminder to treat other with kindness and respect.

I would have to say from my opinion, beating politeness or respect into someone is completely antithetical. And, while I agree that the intent is often to teach children to teach others with kindness and respect, it doesn't automatically do that. Someone who is politely expressing evil/hateful opinions is still bad, that's not to say that anyone here is trying to do that, but rather that it occurs.
 
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