Opinions & Articles by Others

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Nalates
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Opinions & Articles by Others

Post by Nalates » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:43 pm

I think many people have recognized the problem of not being able to discuss issues. This thread is where I'll, and others, can link to those ideas and opinions.

Things we can't talk about
Jimmy Jones wrote:I haven't blogged in a while.

It's not that I've been busy, although that is the truth of it. More to the point - I haven't wanted to write anything.

Maybe it's just me, but I have been realizing that people in general seem to be locked into the reality that their filters create - myself included. So what's to talk about? We cannot debate anything political, religious, economic, or ecological now, without getting mad at each other, and the remaining material for conversation is rather drab.
Unfortunately he has no solutions other than to not talk about controversial issues. America used to talk politics under the Liberty Trees in the town squares. Who came up with the idea not to talk politics or religion? ...more importantly why?
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Re: Opinions & Articles by Others

Post by JWPlatt » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:52 pm

Owners of the sites responsible for the behavior of the crowd congregating on their "property" and the consequences of that behavior, either legally or to the image of the company.
Perfect speed is being there.

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Nalates
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Re: Opinions & Articles by Others

Post by Nalates » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:35 am

On a web site... or forum... yes. But, this is becoming a a saying for everywhere regarding anything controversial.

The problem is not just in regard to politics and religion. The ability to discuss any controversial topic is becoming more of a problem. Forums typically have an interest and focus on that. But within any interest there are usually controversial topics. Is the solution really to not talk about them?
Nalates
GoW, GoMa and GoA apprentice - Guildmaster GoC - SL = Nalates Urriah

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Marten
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Re: Opinions & Articles by Others

Post by Marten » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:26 am

Here in the Portland, OR area, the local afternoon radio show hosts "Mark and Dave" (on the predominately conservative 1190 KEX), who run their 3-hour show under the premise of "hate free radio." And by and large, they accomplish this noble goal. They do a good job of discussing issues sanely, without hyperbole or hand-waving. Recently, they had a guest on their show who is a practicing doctor (whose name I cannot recall) and who runs a website (whose name I also can not recall at the moment, sorry) about how health care in the US really needs a reset. It is unfortunate that I can't recall these details, because there is one thing the doctor said that I really agreed with.

He said that the problems of health care can't be solved by Congress... everyone wants to blame Congress for their fighting, but Congress is fighting because their constituents don't agree on what to do.

So, let me take that point and expound upon it, and bring it back to what Nalates is saying.

Aside from the required social interaction at work (or school) - where it is generally a poor idea to discuss controversial topics - many families today seem to have very limited interaction with their neighbors.

People can hop onto the internet - like I'm doing right now - and find people who share their ideas and feelings, and sequester themselves in "communities" of like-minded individuals. We can buy our food and goods at megastores, where we don't even see the same cashier from week to week... so the pressure to get along with others is greatly lessened. You can have an opinion that is whacked out far from reality, and still get along day to day. You don't have to find consensus with those immediately around you. You don't have to face people who disagree with you.

I'm not blaming the internet, or Wal-Mart, but I am suggesting that people are letting these modern conveniences have a negative effect on society as a whole. It seems increasingly, people don't want a solution they can live with; they want things to be their way or the highway. People don't want to share and debate ideas, and they certainly don't want to let their own opinions be influenced or arrive at any sort of agreement... because they are no longer compelled to do so in order to survive.

So what I'm trying to say here - relating this all back to Nalates' concern - is that (I believe) the lack of places to talk and work through our differences is a result of people deciding that they don't want to work through their differences anymore.

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Re: Opinions & Articles by Others

Post by Mac_Fife » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:16 am

I can relate to the kind of things Marten talks about: Society has changed to become less sociable in many ways. Geographical proximity has far less of an influence on who our friends are now. The ability to escape to communities of like minded individuals means we lose the social skills required to deal with difference and I could probably throw in a comment on the journalistic standards of newspapers, which in the UK have now largely thrown off editorial neutrality in favour of open support of particular political viewpoint, meaning you can choose to read news that reinforces your own prejudices. At the same time we delude ourselves into believing that our society is becoming more inclusive, more integrated.

When I was young in the 1960's, we knew all the neighbours extending out over several streets; many were so friendly that they were referred to as "aunts" or "uncles". Most people lived in the same house for maybe 20 or 30 years. You chatted in the gardens, met them in the street, the local shops, on the bus into town. You didn't always agree with them, but you got along with them - you had to. Personal mobility increases, people prefer using cars over public transport, move home more often, will travel further for shopping or social activities, etc., along with more recent things like the internet, meaning that you don't need to get along with your neighbours in the same way. I'll confess that I've lived in my present house for about 8 years and really only know the people in the immediately adjacent houses: My wife does better on that front because she's home a lot more than I am and can walk to her work.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that it's become easy to wrap yourself up in an environment where the majority of opinions are fairly closely aligned to your own. When that environment comes into contact with another with a different viewpoint, the expressed opinions can become quite highly charged because each camp has "evidence" to support their perspective. Trying to cut through subjectivity and replace it with objectivity becomes difficult.

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