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View Diary: The Human Behind the User Handle (194 comments)

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  •  Strangely enough, I've been here a little bit more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, paradise50

    lately - though I have been very cautious.  I've generally stayed out of the gun diaries unless I get some kind of info from another thread or something that it's a reasonable one.  But I sure have read some strident comments.  I've tried to stick to diaries not on the subject and am waiting for people to calm the hell down. It's only been about a month since Newtown and naturally feelings still run high...things are sure not helped a bit by the Conspiracy Wackos and other RWNJs one finds out about through other media, either.

    I just try to take a deep breath and tell myself that human beings are going to act stupid when they are emotional, mentally forgive them, and go read the horse forums when I can't take DKos any longer.

    •  when I can't take sociology any more (6+ / 0-)

      I come to dkos....

      dkos is my horse forums x_x

      •  dkos IS collective behavior. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, paradise50, Kevskos, sidnora, zett

        Viewed through that prism there is no need to be offended by any of it.  People behave differently in groups than they do one on one; even more so when in the greater anonymity of the internet and within a large enough blog, like  this one.

        REMINDER: California now has a balanced budget.
        All they had to do was get rid of most of their Republicans.
        ~~ @LOLGOP

        by smileycreek on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:39:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed. Dkos is a system of social behavior for (11+ / 0-)

          sure. Doesn't mean all of the said behaviors are conducive to a conversation about actual issues though. In my view, there are some things that go on here that detract from the overall conversation and silence those who would normally want to participate.

          I don't get offended here that often but I am not going to lie -- the fear of being personally attacked does silence me at times here. If its happening to me -- and I have been on some of the most rough-and-tumble places on the internet in my long history of commenting on forums and blogs, then its gotta be happening to other people.

          •  is that silencing effect (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            paradise50, smileycreek, Kevskos

            part of the system?

            "Let's do this!" - Leeroy Jenkins

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:54:46 PM PST

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          •  Let me know if this makes sense . . . or not. (6+ / 0-)

            In this kind of venue, there's no reason to fear personal attack and remain silent because of it.  

            Statement #1
            At DailyKos writers post their diaries and in the comments we discuss them.

            Lesson #1
            English is an unclear language. In the statement above, when I say "we discuss them"  am I referring to the diaries or the writers?  

            The ambiguity inherent in English makes it a language that works better in voice to voice communication and certainly in person because we have many more cues about meaning than we get from the written form.  

            The answer to the question above is "the diaries."  When I post something I wrote on DK, I don't do it to start a discussion about me.  I'm putting some ideas up for consideration if they're interesting enough to warrant it.

            Lesson #2
            Then why does so much of the discussion default to the diarists and to the readers who comment?  The burden of proof is too heavy. Let's say I post a diary to note a new development in science.

            Down here on the farm we have a rooster and it crows every morning. A little while later the sun comes up. This is so with roosters all over the world. There are no exceptions.  It's true 100% of the time.  The rooster's crowing makes the sun come up. Now we have a different explanation we're being asked to believe. It says that the Earth is a rotating sphere revolving around a giant fireball.  People can believe whatever they want but they want to teach this nonsense in schools nowadays and I pay for that in taxes.
            The comments come in.  Leftreborn, you didn't make it past third grade did you?  Leftreborn, you rightwing theocrats have reached your demographic dead end.  Leftreborn, you're an example of the acute mental health problem we face today.

            The subject was what makes the sun come up and each reader failed to comment on it.  Instead, they changed the subject to leftreborn, the diarist.  

            All debating, all discussion about the relative merits of one idea or another divides into two categories:
            1) the use of reason, logic, facts, and the intellect to promote an assertion with persuasive proof of it, or
            2) comments about the person(s) making an assertion.

            We change the subject to discuss people instead of ideas because we don't even understand that they're two separate things. And it's much easier to disparage, insult, ridicule.  Look at the example above.  To be pertinent, a commenting reader needs the fluency to access his own knowledge of a long established scientific fact, the heliocentric solar system. He might also explain that when one event follows another it never proves that the second resulted from the first, or that the first caused the second.

            We, as a society, do not observe this important convention in expository speaking or writing and we are drifting farther and farther away from it.

            When a Kossack attacks why should I be afraid?  I just remind them not to change the subject. Bring me a comment about the topic. Prove me wrong, But don't change the subject and comment about me instead.  Insulting me isn't an effective or convincing way to refute my point of view.  

            Either Kossacks are going to lash each other or they're going to focus on idea content. It takes effort to introduce this standard, observe it, and draw a line that excludes lashing from the standard we expect.  More people are starting to speak up about it because we want to preserve the community.  It's a valuable resource.

            "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

            by leftreborn on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:00:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But Sometimes the Writer IS the Subject (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bring me a comment about the topic. Prove me wrong, But don't change the subject and comment about me instead.
              When a diarist gets in a pattern of taking a consistently strong position on one particular hot topic, it becomes difficult for the experienced reader not to be aware of the writer's baggage.

              An experienced reader, X, may start to think the diarist is beating a dead horse and say so. But does so at his or her peril. That's because the diarist or the diarist's allies accuse X of not being respectful to dead horses. Or of even wanting all horses to be dead. Dialogue then turns into monologue in a frenzy of crossfire which rapidly deteriorates into a pattern of rinse and repeat.

              Diarists who write predictable diaries about hot-button topics are aware of what they are doing. Despite the, "How could you!" outrage they, or their allies, often express, I suspect most of them enjoy the heat emanating from the very fires they started. So the really experienced reader has three choices: ignore the fire; yell at the fire: or ask the diarist why he or she is so fond of starting fires.



              Strange that a harp of thousand strings should keep in tune so long

              by jabney on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:33:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Sure it is. It happens to everyone. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Every collective has a dominant paradigm.

            The gun issue right now is in flux.

            Some people want the dominant paradigm to be NO GUNS! Period.

            Some people want it to be, Some Guns.

            And some people have want the current laws to not change at all.

            The fight is over orthodoxy and who represents that.

            The problem here is that DKOS wants to attract more people to vote Democratic or for Progressive Policies. But in attracting more people, you run the risk of challenging traditional progressive values.

            If this place wants to be big tent, it has to learn to tolerate some things that might run counter to favored traditional positions.

            If it just wants to embrace the same old same old, then it doesn't.

            Right now, there has been an influx of undecided voters, recently who voted Democrat in the last two Presidential Elections, who might have also leaned in that direction in other smaller elections. But that doesn't mean that these people who used to lean to the right, abandoned their old values and beliefs entirely.

            So the fights like this that erupt are in part over their resistance to the feelings of being pressured to become someone other than who they are.

            Perhaps more specific language could be used. Civility of course is always nice. Acknowledging anger and hurt, often gives people permission to feel what they feel but be more mindful. But also, understand that while there may be an orthodoxy for every political party and ideology--for purists, that in times of flux, those parties might swell temporarily with members who may never fully embrace all the the planks in a platform.

        •  I don't understand what you mean. (3+ / 0-)

          Do you mean that dkos is collective behavior just by being an aggregation of individuals? Or is are we acting somehow in a more collective fashion by posting here?

          "Let's do this!" - Leeroy Jenkins

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:48:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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