Discussion about discussion

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29 Apr 2019 22:45 #337842 by Kyrin Wyldstar
@Carlos, it may be just a disparity in wording style and choice. I get what you are saying. I took no offense, I was just curious.

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30 Apr 2019 00:54 #337844 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Discussion about discussion

ren wrote: At the gym you can literally walk away without saying a single word. Online you can avoid a thread, website, or the whole web by effortlessly doing something else. If your own rules prevent you from doing so, the burden lies with you. You consciously create and abide by your rules. No one else Is responsible for that.

I don't understand why you feel a conversation should be controlled. It can be done of course, but why should it be so? Where does this need to have people say what you want to hear come from?


I literally walked away (at the gym) and the guy followed me. While I agree that could have gotten out of the conversation in a number of different ways, again, I saw no reason not to preserve this guy's feelings. I'm willing to suffer some amount of discomfort or inconvenience in order to do this even though I don't owe it to anyone. All I'm saying, is that I should not have had to feel like I needed to escape in the first place. The burden does not simply lie with the person you're annoying with your behavior. It's also the burden of the person doing the annoying behavior who may not be self-aware enough to know that it's annoying. I shouldn't have left that conversation feeling like I needed to avoid this person... FOR LIFE! That's part of living in a society with other people. It's not simply their responsibility to avoid all these things. If we all controlled ourselves then external control mechanisms wouldn't be needed. The question is what happens when a person does not, by choice, or cannot, by personality, control themselves in a discussion? Where is the line?

And again, if you are the OP of the thread then "avoiding it" isn't that simple. What if the OP still wants to have a positive discussion but cannot because too many people are more interested in a negative perspective? How does the OP separate the positive from the negative when the overall "air" of the forum has become clouded? He or she may end up so consumed by the negative posts and questions that it completely drowns out any positive benefit he or she is trying to add to the forums in general?

Case in point... if you watch any political debate there is always a moderator that controls the discussion. Imagine what would happen if the DNC and RNC had open debates with no rules? It should be obvious why these rules are beneficial. For the audience to get the benefit of each candidate's views without being unfairly impacted by another candidate's negative attacks or ability to cloud their answers. In my experience I've been subject to virtually every debate tactic you can think of. The reason why I even know of things like "ad hominem" attacks and red herrings is because I learned them while debating people in forums; people who didn't like to loose and who often sought to embarrass or shame people in public. There are "trolls" who get off on these kinds of things.

In a normal debate some amount of these things is and should always be tolerated. However, when it goes too far it stains the whole forum. I've been in situations where people just stopped participating simply because of the amount of negativity. I'm not suggesting that we need a moderator like televised debates, but every piece of commercial forum software includes "moderator" roles so that this very job can be done by individuals running the site in order to maintain the forums. I've even run a community site before and so I know how vital this role can be. Moderators need not closely monitor every conversation. But it is normal for people to seek the intervention of moderators when they feel it's necessary. And there will always be those who don't feel it's necessary, but those actions aren't taken for them, but for the ones who do think it's necessary because the moderators want to encourage more participation. Sometimes the only way to do that is to recognize when a thread needs to end. I privately indicated to someone when a particular thread should have ended and we both agreed. But the conversation didn't end there because the negative aspects had taken a life of their own and that was the point it had gotten out of control. When this happens people aren't necessarily even that interested in what the OP is trying to say, and instead their own feelings about their own interpretation of whatever they feel like responding to. And some people don't really care whether or not the website has a successful and growing population. As long as they can get their own point across that's all that matters (to them). But should it be? Should trolls and all other sorts be tolerated? Should flame wars be tolerated?

I'm simply promoting the idea of balance between chaos and order. Some order is definitely needed in order to protect future conversations.

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30 Apr 2019 01:21 #337845 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Discussion about discussion

Rosalyn J wrote: I have found two sermons:

Stretching Silence In Defense

and

Your Words: A More Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age

As for my own thoughts, I have been at other places where their public discussions have been shark tanks and I am letting us all know now that that is not outside of the realm of possibility for us either. There must be a balance between out and out censorship and the free for all that is similar to reddit.

I encourage us all to remember that though this is open discussions, this is also the public forum and anyone on the web can see it, so its important that it demonstrates the sort of culture that we want to promote (whatever that is). I'm not on Council, so I don't get to decide that.

There are some good points brought up here and I don't think anyone was wrong per se. I read the thread being mentioned covertly (:P) It will be a sad day for us when we cannot even discuss ideas for fear of upsetting people. Luckily it seems we are moving to some pragmatic measures to ensure that does not happen.

I am in favor (as much as it counts, matters) of a disclaimer of sorts that explains the use of the Open Discussions forum. In fact, such disclaimers should exist for other areas as well.

I am in favor of not locking threads as that doesn't solve whatever problem existed in the first place.
We take a risk when we post anything publically on the internet. It will be discussed and we cannot always direct the discussion. I guess its just my empathetic self that feels for the OP. I remember that when I was a novice I had some pretty far fetched ideas. I think I would not be nearly as far along as I have come if my ideas had been critiqued as the OP's were. At the same time though, I would not be as far as I am now if my ideas had not been critiqued. Alexandre was good for that. But that also happened in a different season of my time here (apprenticeship). As we well know, apprenticeships are built on trust so that they can be...challenging.
But I mean, if I had put my ideas out there and had them critiqued and I had not been ready for that I would not have bothered continuing. It would have felt like bullying and it would have felt invalidating. That's just me. I'm not the OP, so I don't know what they felt.

I think its important, before we go swinging our lightsabers around as seekers of truth and crushers of delusion, that we keep in mind to whom we are speaking. In some cases, they are making their first foray into what will be a lasting practice, so we may have to point out errors using different strategies. I like the complement sandwich myself, but there are others.



I actually think that swinging light sabers is a very fitting analogy (and I've used it myself) in reference to debates. That said, when it's one on one, that's a fair duel. In this case you have a good chance of winning and can control the course of the fight based on your own skill level. The more experienced debater will naturally come in with an advantage.

When you're in a duel and 2 more people jump in, then 2 more, and then 2 more, it can quickly become overwhelming and your chances of survival (escape without dishonor) dwindle substantially no matter how good you are. With 4-6 swinging light sabers you're going to be pretty much on defense and the sheer numbers can push you backwards.

The (example) thread should have took a different turn on page 5 because that was when the OP conceded. However, with so many people trying to battle these points people didn't even noticed the concession and at that point I decided to defend him. You can have a duel for training purposes that helps to build you up. Especially if the criticism is constructive. However, if your opponent surrenders and you keep going then its kinds of like you're trying to kill them and wont be satisfied until his corpse is left smoking.

When a duelist has provoked a battle, then I think whatever happens should be "reasonable force" to subdue their argument. But like, if SWAT shoots a rocket launcher at a shoplifter then, yeah, I'm going to side with the shoplifter. If an OP comes out swinging, saying others are wrong and touting their own views as supreme in some way, or if they're very argumentative, offensive, without tact, lie, etc. then to that extent I feel like they're asking for it. And if they're dishing it out then I feel it is justice that they be served. But none of that is what I observed of the OP so after he conceded and his views were still being criticized my empathy took over. And it wasn't like there was some kind of delusion to fix. He literally explained why it didn't need to be true. But people got so caught up in the act of disproving and arguing that they didn't stop to think whether or not they should or if he was really inviting that kind of scrutiny or if it was applicable or necessary. As Jedi I feel like we should thinking of debating as if we are "Swinging lightsabers" and be self-aware enough to question whether there is honor in the mob or if it is better to protect people from the mob.

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30 Apr 2019 07:14 #337850 by ren
Replied by ren on topic Discussion about discussion
Moderators do not offer the equivalent of a guided debate. I have suggested this before, but to be fair, if political debates teach us anything, it is that no truth will come out of such debates.

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.

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30 Apr 2019 09:12 #337853 by Gisteron
What if it is about ideas and not people, for a change? What if it is entirely insubstantial whether the OP made any concessions or what they were, because it was about the ideas themselves, not about who held them or to what extent, or how much they say their mind changed? Now maybe a discussion is moot when it is about a position none present stand by, but is that a reason why it must not be continued? Sure, any other day when someone argues against some kind of ridiculous straw man I'd be happy to point out that that is what is happening and that there is no point making the argument they make, but would we really argue that they must discontinue at once, let alone forced through administrative intervention? Why?

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30 Apr 2019 14:46 #337863 by Carlos.Martinez3

ren wrote: Moderators do not offer the equivalent of a guided debate. I have suggested this before, but to be fair, if political debates teach us anything, it is that no truth will come out of such debates.



From my little extent of tv time - political debates are NOT discussion but sides presented. There’s no debate- it’s who’s better for the spot - truly the egos best moment to shine - PICK ME I’m better here’s why. Not much debate when the two sides have no intention of sway in a public setting.

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30 Apr 2019 14:57 #337864 by Carlos.Martinez3

Gisteron wrote: What if it is about ideas and not people, for a change? What if it is entirely insubstantial whether the OP made any concessions or what they were, because it was about the ideas themselves, not about who held them or to what extent, or how much they say their mind changed? Now maybe a discussion is moot when it is about a position none present stand by, but is that a reason why it must not be continued? Sure, any other day when someone argues against some kind of ridiculous straw man I'd be happy to point out that that is what is happening and that there is no point making the argument they make, but would we really argue that they must discontinue at once, let alone forced through administrative intervention? Why?


Why is a discussion moot when we - or a single individual doesn’t agree with it? Does it continue after others have left ? Can it? Can you have a discussion without the original poster? Can you move it some where else ? In a different light ? Room ? Section? Group of people? Out of respect I can see that you kinna give the OP their moments but as a human being - we can use our words to figure things out in a way that still continues the “seek” of some things. I thing in discussions and especially here , there can be a ::: peaceful or honorable way to do things:::decently and in order, if we choose to do it like that. We don’t have to but I think as Jedi - in our discussions there CAN be a little think added to things. Again then it’s all to the person and how they choose to do it.

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30 Apr 2019 15:40 - 30 Apr 2019 15:45 #337866 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Discussion about discussion

Gisteron wrote: What if it is about ideas and not people, for a change? What if it is entirely insubstantial whether the OP made any concessions or what they were, because it was about the ideas themselves, not about who held them or to what extent, or how much they say their mind changed? Now maybe a discussion is moot when it is about a position none present stand by, but is that a reason why it must not be continued? Sure, any other day when someone argues against some kind of ridiculous straw man I'd be happy to point out that that is what is happening and that there is no point making the argument they make, but would we really argue that they must discontinue at once, let alone forced through administrative intervention? Why?


What you suggest is basically saying someone said something. Let's talk about that thing regardless of who said it. While this would seem to have merit in theory, in practice what you're asking is for everyone to divorce themselves for everything they say and every idea they share so as to not be offended. You're moving the burden of offense onto the offended rather than the offensive person. To me this is the same as telling a woman to cover herself to keep men from lusting after her and possibly forcing themselves upon her. Just because one person can avoid something (in many cases just by being a man or being part of a dominant religion, race or economic class) doesn't mean that everyone else, without the necessary privileges, can simply avoid all those pitfalls.

I'm going to link to this thread (which was also locked) simply as a teachable moment.
www.templeofthejediorder.org/forum/open-...hat-you-want?start=0

Even though no name was mentioned you'll see that the person who fit the shoe in question immediately responded because it was taken personally. And therefore the response was in-kind, according to the poster's perception and subsequent offense. And this occurred without a name being supplied. Was this idea, posted in "Open Discussion" divorced from the people originally involved? Clearly not. In this case the OP couldn't have known that his post would cause offense because he took precautions against it by not using names; trying not to make it personal. Why? Because if the person is known (like the OP of another thread) then now there is a person attached to that idea.

If you and I are sparing with a lightsaber and I see an opening, I'm going to stop short of actually cutting you. If I cannot anticipate the harm that my lightsaber can cause during a non lethal duel then I have no business wielding a lightsaber. And as novel an idea as it might sound you cannot swing a lightsaber against another lightsaber without understanding there is a real person attached to and holding the other weapon.

If someone is telling you they believe in Santa Claus your job is not to debate them on the existence of Santa Claus. Yes, you may disagree just like every other person on the forum. However, if that's their personal belief then it isn't just an idea. It's personal. If someone calls your mother names and says "hey, why are you upset? I wasn't talking about you so don't take it personal." that's stupid. It is personal because that's your mom. Your connection to the idea makes it personal. And the whole "no attachment" doesn't mean that you shouldn't have personal possessions because if it did you should not own a house, car, or even clothes. It simply means that if you lose these things you aren't lost as a person. You don't become someone else (like how Anakin became Vader). That doesn't mean don't be sad when a parent dies. In other words, one should be balanced between having and not having.

Personal
4 : relating to an individual or an individual's character, conduct, motives, or private affairs often in an offensive manner
6 : of, relating to, or constituting personal property

I'm not saying never debate anything personal. There are times in a discussion I may include a personal experience, someone I know, etc. However, whether it is fodder for the other person to use is based on my intended purpose in bringing it up. I expect people to be sensitive with such things and it should be discussed only with my invitation. If I resend that invitation that should also be respected. Religion and politics are typically thought to be too personal to discuss causally for this reason. If you don't really know the person then you don't really know what you might say that will offend them. And if someone doesn't care whether or not they're offended then in my opinion that person should refrain from discussing private or personal matters. Because while it may "just" be an idea to you, it's not "just" an idea to them. Therefore consent is necessary.
Last edit: 30 Apr 2019 15:45 by ZealotX.
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30 Apr 2019 16:15 #337867 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Discussion about discussion

Carlos.Martinez3 wrote:

ren wrote: Moderators do not offer the equivalent of a guided debate. I have suggested this before, but to be fair, if political debates teach us anything, it is that no truth will come out of such debates.



From my little extent of tv time - political debates are NOT discussion but sides presented. There’s no debate- it’s who’s better for the spot - truly the egos best moment to shine - PICK ME I’m better here’s why. Not much debate when the two sides have no intention of sway in a public setting.


well they aren't just sides.

If the debate is between members of the same party then one is trying to highlight their own approach and experience vs others. Another candidate may have more or less time to rebut what's being said but they're "being political" so their not trying appear overly aggressive. In fact there is much to learn from this approach since we here are "same team". They might say something like "what my esteemed colleague failed to mention is that..." and then they insert their rebuttal. Even though they disagree they don't have to come off disagreeable. That's the key. I like to find something that I do agree with so I can tell the person and validate their viewpoint to the extent that I can. This usually makes people less guarded and more open to hearing my viewpoint where it differs. Because I'm not saying YOU'RE WRONG! or implying they're stupid. By recognizing common ground I can somewhat control and keep the conversation more positive.

In a political debate of opposite parties the expectation is different. Opposing parties often have opposing views. One may believe in climate change, for example, and the other might outright deny it. One might believe in helping the poor and middle class and the other might believe in trickle down economics because they believe the rich provide the vast majority of jobs and economic stimulus. At this point they're debating, not only these ideas, but each other's understanding of them. And this is a key point and why many arguments get personal. An idea is an idea is an idea. However, people's understanding of an idea is personal by its very nature. Therefore, if someone is questioning the idea as to how the other person even came up with it then it is likely to quickly become personal as the understanding of the idea is now being challenged and not simply the idea itself. Now the person isn't just debating their own idea but their and the other person's thinking and understanding. I've done this intentionally in the past because the other person did the same to me so I know how easily things can escalate and devolve. And some people insult others without calling that person names because essentially they're insulting that person's intelligence. In politics you usually have to be very wary and careful of this which is why it may not seem like such a debate. Their tactics simply help prevent the debate from becoming a useless exchange of insults which benefits no one.
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30 Apr 2019 16:18 #337868 by Kyrin Wyldstar
I dont see any conversation here as being owned by anyone, no matter who the OP is, in the public forum. I see it as equivalent to presenting a subject for public consumption. At the point its presented it becomes all of ours. This is consent that the conversation will take a life of its own. And yet it is the responsibility of the OP to either be offended or not at that point. To use the more lewd example - its equivalent to a female laying down spreading her legs and giving consent but then complaining that the experience was not what she wanted later.

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