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View Diary: Civility Starts With Each and Every One of Us (128 comments)

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  •  Simplest rule for me: No people (8+ / 0-)

    This may sound strange, but the most consistent criticism I faced personally, when I was young, in the flesh, was that I was more interested in people's ideas than them. The first time I heard it, I thought, "Well, of course I am. What's wrong with that?"

    I don't get that criticism anymore, as I'm less avid for ideas and more tolerant of the wide range of curiosity that is humanity, but online writing is a place where there are no actual people.

    DailyKos is remarkable in bridging between the real and the virtual for purposes of activism and support, but it is doing so in a medium that invites projection and fraud. The "person" writing is not a person, but rather a construct of words, and those words will accurately reflect the person only to the degree that the writer can control tone and the reader can decode it. For me, then, I read diaries with a number of steps:
    1. Is it about persons or about ideas?
    2. If it is about persons, then it will be about that experience and must not be praised or condemned except with the expectation that a real person is going to be affected.
    3. If it is about ideas, are the ideas dangerous?
    4. If they're not dangerous, then there is no reason to oppose them.
    5. If agree, try to aid. If disagree, try to amend. If disagree fundamentally, simply go on to something else.

    What I'm not going to do is say, "Why is this diary about __ here?" People who do that need to answer, "Why is this comment here?"

    People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

    by The Geogre on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:29:34 PM PST

    •  I always enjoy a good counter argument to my own. (1+ / 0-)
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      I look for this.  I don't want to reply to insults.  I really want to test my logic and facts and well, analysis.
      I hate when threads just start getting into a wave of mindless agreement with no other perspectives allowed or acknowledged.  This site can make me crazy sometimes.
      We, as Liberals, need to punch holes in our own arguments if we expect our memes to become real.
      It is not about agreeing with each other.  It is about making our arguments bullet proof.
      It is about launching waves of influence out into the greater world.
      We are trying to instigate real change.
      We need to hear and say the truth.  We need to look at ourselves in the mirror.  Sometimes we are wrong and sometimes it aint pretty but, truth is truth.
      It isn't about the way we think things are supposed to be.  It isn't about the way we want things to be or should be.  It is about the way it is and what action or way of thinking is required to make change out there in the world.
      I offend here constantly because I try my best to reflect truth.
      My remedies can be hard and offensive but, I believe that they can work towards rational change.
      I get tired of the same old crap being repeated over and over again year after year beating like a fly against a window.  It is ineffective noise if it is not creating change in a Liberal direction.  If the situation is deteriorating or not changing out in the world,  it is time to change our argument, our words, our mentality and come at problems from new angles.
      It is going to hurt.  It is going to offend.  Truth requires courage.
      I beg you all please.  I will not be a sheep.

      •  Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to the (4+ / 0-)

        constant piefights and personal insults is that it's made people hyper defensive.  

        I've noticed that people's backs will get up if I disagree at all or point out what I perceive to be a flaw in their thinking, even when I try to do it with kid gloves.  It's as though anyone who doesn't agree 100% must be looking for a fight and, by god, they'll give me one.  It limits the possibilities for actual discussion to the point that if I disagree with someone and we can have a back and forth for more than 3 or 4 posts without it getting nasty, I find myself invariably thanking them for engaging in a courteous back and forth, even when we continue to disagree (which is more often than not).

        If the piefights and insults weren't quite so frequent, perhaps we'd all find it easier to disagree without being disagreeable and to be disagreed with.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:36:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't mind real disagreement and I love being (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kay Observer2, gustynpip

          convinced.  Sometimes, I get on here and beg for someone to prove me wrong.  I never get any takers.
          I often attempt a prediction based on events.  I seldom get a counter argument or a good reason why one of my prediction could not happen or why I could be wrong.
          I an fishing for that.  I am trying to get other people to think.
          If my thinking is flawed, tell my WHY and convince me...with civility.
          I am looking for discussion, not just an echo chamber.
          I agree with you on your experience gustynpip.

        •  BTW gustynpip, I will take your suggestion to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kay Observer2

          heart about being more gracious.  I will say thank you more often.  Good idea.  

        •  I have seen that, but only occasionally (1+ / 0-)
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          I try (and more and more succeed) to be amused when folks get so touchy these days. I say something along the lines of, "These are just bytes on a platter. No one is harmed." If they come back with why, in fact, it's the most important thing in the world, I'll just say, "I meant to help, but I see that you already know what you wish to know."

          It's rare, though. There are some people who believe themselves important. They probably are important. They may be Emperor Zhark's retinue. Best to go around such.

          People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

          by The Geogre on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 06:36:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Even sheep fart (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Let's remember that the degree of our passion should never obscure our aim. Were you always convinced of the truth of things on the first exposure, or did it ever take two or three go-rounds?

        My point is only that when we don't give our correspondents a choice except capitulation and fighting, most of the time, they'll fight. Without the false smiles of honied "politeness," it's still possible to offer the person an option to save face while maintaining the truth of the position.

        At least it seems that way to me, but I certainly know what you're talking about. I felt the same impatience when I was a punk, so I may have just moved into old fart country.

        People complain about dirt, but I'd like to see them make some.

        by The Geogre on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 06:25:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am an old fart caretaking punks. (0+ / 0-)

          I do get impatient and disappointed when people are thinking superficially and losing ground out in the real world.  
          Yes, sheep do fart.  I fart also freely and often.

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