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View Diary: You see, it's like this... (70 comments)

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  •  What you're trying to do is figure out (1+ / 0-)
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    how to exercise control over another person or persons. Have you considered you don't have a right to do that?
    Yes, you have information you want to share, but every person to whom it is offered has a right to reject the offer, without you taking offense.  See, rights are worthless, unless they're respected.

    Making people do as you want or think what you want them to think is very difficult, even if, by your lights, it's for their own good.  That's why there's that old saying about leading a horse to water.

    People who have something to give need people who are willing to take.  So, very competent and productive people actually need freeloaders, whether they recognize it or not--like that father in the parable needed wedding guests for his daughter's wedding. Freeloaders, who don't make a material return immediately or later, still have an obligation to accept the gift as offered -- to don a wedding garment to be a proper guest.  But, nobody's got an obligation to accept your gift, express gratitude or be subservient.  It's that last part our eleemosynary institutions really have a hard time with.
    On the other hand, freeloaders, who only stand and take, have a hard time not demanding what they are going to get.  That's currently our big problem.  We are best by freeloading politicians who not only refuse to serve as public servants are obligated to do, but they want to tell the public what to do. That's where they overstep their bounds.

    If you don't mind my observing, you seem to be making some progress in getting to know yourself.  Now, try putting yourself in other people's shoes.  One thing you might try and remember is that every persons time on earth is limited and, if you waste their time, that's an irreplaceable theft. Which is why I stopped reading about a third of the way and why I'll completely understand if you don't want to respond.

    by hannah on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 12:04:47 AM PDT

    •  Wow talk about two people getting something (12+ / 0-)

      different out of the same diary. I certainly didn't come to the same conclusion you did, which is why I read it to the end. I thought it was quite interesting. Of course, if someone doesn't want to listen, they don't have to, but presenting your information in a way you think will make it better received doesn't seem to me to be a waste of someone else's time. Should they prefer not to listen, they can leave and stop paying attention, just like you did here, which is, of course, your prerogative.

    •  Good Lord . . . (15+ / 0-)

      . . .  but I don't understand this comment at all.  Talking with people, debating ideas and trying to persuade the other person that your opinion is correct (or more accurate, or what have you) is one of the most human things we do; I'd go even further, and argue that it is the most elevated things we do.  

      I believe that the nature of "humanity" has nothing inherently to do with DNA, but with consciousness.  I am conscious, ergo I am human.  I also believe that the essential and inescapable tragedy of human existence is that the very nature of our separate consciousnesses keeps us all, in a way so fundamental that we usually never even notice or think about it, separate from everyone else.

      By talking and exchanging ideas, we get to know each other and also get to share a little of who we are.  It is a communion -- in all the best meanings of that word.

      Sometimes our ideas are different, and when that happens we try to explain ourselves to each other.  This really is the essence of persuasive speech -- not, as you describe it, an attempt to "exercise control over another person or persons" -- but really and fundamentally to have the other person understand who we are; why we think the way we do, why we believe what we believe, why we consider our beliefs to be correct . . . at the heart of all that is really just an issue of identity.  We seek to persuade others, because we want others to know us.  When we have persuaded someone else that our way of understanding or seeing something is correct (or, in other cases, useful, or aesthetic, or in any other way beneficial) then that person knows us a little better.

      But the truly wonderful thing about all of this is that it works the other way round too.  As we discuss things together, it is not just we trying to persuade others . . . those others try to persuade us as well.  If we're discussing things in an honest way, we might change our own minds, or both sides - looking at the same phenomenon from different perspectives - might change together, to form a greater and better understanding of our world.  And in this way, debate and persuasive speech is a growing together, a growing closer; in fact, I think it is the only true way that humans, creatures of consciousness that we are, truly can grow close to each other in any way that really matters.

      Politics is the never-ending story we tell ourselves about who we are as a people.

      by swellsman on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 03:35:14 AM PDT

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    •  Actually (6+ / 0-)

      I figured that the Diarist was simply attempting to explain ways in which we may communicate ideas to another, more effectively.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 10:50:46 AM PDT

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    •  hannah, having respected your presense (4+ / 0-)

      here for a long time, I ask that you read  this all again and try to open to it.

      What I get from your comment is that you think it is somehow immoral to try to persuade someone to see another view; that to do such is "manipulating" them.  I can't imagine that is what you meant.

      "Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it. If he loses to obstructionist Republicans, Americans will know who is to blame."---NYT

      by claude on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 10:52:30 AM PDT

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    •  oh, b*** me! (5+ / 0-)

      I've got an ex-brother-in-law like you. No matter what I do or say, he has to put a crimp in my premise and do me one better, regardless of what I'm talking about. He always gets the last word, too, so I'm waiting with bated breath for your retort. I probably won't reply to it because I know that won't be the end of it.

      What in hell, exactly, are you telling me? Is it that I have no right to explain Arabic orthography, or is it that introducing old people to modern music is some kind of cultural sin? If you're telling me that my techniques don't work, that's something else. In that case, please relate a true-life case study where you did something else and it worked better. My strummers really like what I do in that group and the Arabic piece got some good reviews. It, and this piece, are both featured in Community Spotlight, for crissake! Have any of yours ever made it there?

      I've also met a lot of people in karaoke shows who say things similar to what you said in your comment. These are the people who pick to pieces everyone else's performance, yet rarely, if ever, go up to sing. When they do, they always suck, but no one ever says that to their face because it's karaoke and one just doesn't do that.

    •  I'm not done with you yet. (4+ / 0-)

      Your comment really got me steamed up. I got another cup of coffee while I was trying to figure out why. I think it's because you tweaked some raw nerves that I have.

      • You explain to me what's going on in my own head and point out the error of my ways with your superior analysis. I've got an ex-wife who was great at that. The first girlfriend I had after we split up snapped at me in an argument when I did that to her. (It was learned behavior from marital squabbling.) She pointed out what I was doing by saying, "Don't do my thinking for me. I'll tell you what I think and you can comment." I took heed and have taken pains ever since not to tell others what's going in their own heads. I've found that they can usually tell me just fine. In case you don't get it, I'm rankling about about that comment about "getting to know yourself". You have no idea what I do or don't know about myself, and probably never will, due to my pathetic inability to express myself. We'll probably never meet in person because I strongly suspect that you wouldn't be caught dead in the kind of places that I frequent.
      • You use some pointless, convoluted premise as a springboard for an oblique philippic enumerating my faults and pointing out my general unworthiness as a human being. Just where do you get off expounding on the dynamics of communication as an offhanded way of invalidating my premise? Do you have something to add to my feeble essay or to Chomsky's work on transactional analysis? Please do a piece if you do. I'll check your page out after I finish this comment to see if you already have.
      • You give inane, unsolicited advice. According to you, I should, "try putting yourself in other people's shoes." Right. You don't think I did that? What about my "parallels to the familiar"? Is that what you meant?

      Please try thinking a little more before you react and bloviate in a comment.
      •  taking my own advice (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, chicagobleu, Oh Mary Oh

        It seems that Hannah is a big-time Kossack with a lot of followers. OK. I'll read some of her stuff before I mouth off to her again. Chastised and contrite, I shall retire to my ivory tower and lick my wounds a bit before daring again to venture out.

        Still, she was a bit dismissive and superior in her commentary, wasn't she? That bit about freeloaders and having the moral right to present my arguments to others really set me back on my heels. All I got out of it was, "You're not a good person because you violate the ethics of my personal world view." It may not be what she intended to say, but that's the way it came off to me.

        That, dear Kossacks, is the point I was trying to make. I didn't heap scorn on the other guitar players for being a half century or more behind in their musical awareness. I introduced them to something newer, only 36 years old, and used persuasive speech to get them to accept it. I'm trying to figure out how to deliver political messages effectively rather continuing to excoriate redneck jackasses as I have in the past.

        •  right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oh Mary Oh, TX Freethinker

          it's about how to communicate with people you want to smack upside the head. I really get that and have the same problem...often. But I loved the way you introduce unfamiliar music to your people. And I find the parallel to political discussions perfect. Actually your method can be applied universally to broaching unfamiliar or uncomfortable territory. Thanks, very helpful.

          you get what you give

          by chicagobleu on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 03:22:53 PM PDT

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          •  bingo! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I'm trying to be creative rather than throwing up my hands in despair and abandoning the field to some tea-bagger in a three-cornered hat. There has got to be a way to get through to low-information people so we can change things before they start rioting for food and gasoline. I'm not the only person who is looking over their shoulder in fear of violent revolution by the discontented, disenfranchised poor.

            I'm not the first one to have this take on things by a long shot. Another commenter cited a work by Saul Alinsky as saying something along the same line. That let me know that I'm headed in the right direction.

            You have the same down-to-earth, practical air that I often hear from Chicago people (e.g., "communicate with people you want to smack upside the head"). I like Chicago writers like Studs Terkel who tell it like it is, with no frills. Do you like his writing too?

            •  indeed, I do (1+ / 0-)
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              enjoy Studs Terkel. Since his main focus seemed to be talking to all Americans, or listening to them, I'm sure he had to use some creative communication. He also seemed to have the same respect and interest for everyone regardless of their differences. There does seem to be something to the 'midwestern' practical outlook....not a lot of bs. And, yes, Saul Alinsky, another practical thinker, imo.

              you get what you give

              by chicagobleu on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 05:23:43 AM PDT

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    •  What a bizarre reaction n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, Oh Mary Oh, TX Freethinker
    •  Your comment has really bothered me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh, rhubarb, TX Freethinker

      It seems almost hostile, and I can't understand why you would have that reaction to the diary. You have many diaries you have posted, and presumably each carried with it your hope to inform or peruade us about a subject of interest or ijmportance to you. Do you really see that as an attempt to exercise control over others, and if so, why do you do it?

    •  I can't believe you can write a comment like this (0+ / 0-)

      without reading the entire post.

      It seems to be a very personal attack, and is almost Hide worthy.

      Politics is like driving. To go forward, put it in "D". To go backward, put it in "R".

      by TX Freethinker on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 10:50:04 PM PDT

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