Subject: Re: Societal differences and rudeness calibration
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/09/27
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Marcus G. Daniels
| I'm not inserting that premise into the argument.  It seems to me
| emotions are an important part of motivation and thus thought.

  a tacit premise for a reasonable discussion is that the particants do not
  contradict themselves simply because it suits their argumentation.  I
  find it rather bizarre that you believe you can get away with it.

| I believe you practice what you preach, in terms of directly stating what
| you think and feel.  (You might do this out of necessity, but I can't
| prove that.)

  why do _you_ need to engage in such foul play, Marcus?  is it because you
  would have nothing to say otherwise?

| However, directly stating what one thinks and feels can be an obstacle to
| communication, if there are alternative ways to express oneself that are
| less likely to create a fight, but still get the message across.

  I wonder, why is this a choice between "directly" stating what one thinks
  and hiding it behind polite language?  why did you need to narrow the
  argument down to _directly_?  is it because it's a good argument that you
  can't defeat unless you narrow it down to something much more specific
  but also wholly irrelevant to the discussion?  why do you go out of your
  way to make this as unpleasant as possible?  is it to see how I react to
  your twisting my words, shifting the context, and narrowing the argument
  so it is no longer what I have said at all?  yes, Marcus, you succeed in
  making me quite annoyed at your inability to stick to what I say, but I
  have seen your kind quite a lot: people whose distaste for something
  cause them to _invent_ something that is clearly bad in order to get an
  easy time fighting it.  such propagandistic communication is perhaps the
  _one_ thing I find most to be disrespected in somebody.

| I'd replace the idea of politeness with the notion of civilization and
| social order.  I often wonder how different suburban neighborhoods I know
| would degenerate if the water and power went away or if the police and
| emergency support was not available.  It's not hard for me to imagine
| seemingly nice people turning into cruel people in a short period of
| time.  If that happened, it wouldn't necessarily be because the
| hypothetically cruel people in the degenerate neighborhood didn't have
| their own morality.  It might be that civilization gives them enough
| latitude that consequences of the deep structure of their beliefs are not
| superficially evident.

  well, let's take a similar stretch of imagination and deprive somebody of
  air.  I "often wonder" how people would react if you took away their air
  supply.  it's not hard for me to imagine nice people turning into cruel
  people in a very short period of time, making a hell of a lot of noise
  and commotion.  but what does that have to do with polite discussion?

  why do you think this is a valuable comparison to anything we're talking
  about?  do you think a newsgroup is the victim of deprivation of power
  and water or police and emergency support when somebody is direct and
  clear and does not cushion every possible criticism so hypersensitive
  twits won't have anything to react to?  you seem to be arguing about the
  final stages of an all-out war, but who cares what you have to say about
  that if you are so opposed to it becoming that way?  what should have
  been interesting is to discuss how it all starts and develops.  I suspect
  you don't have a clue.  nobody starts off with the insanity you seem to
  take for granted, just as no conflict starts with depriving people of
  power and water.  I'm beginning to suspect that you are emotionally
  disturbed by the absence of such necessities of your life as polite
  conversation in a newsgroup that you don't even _see_ that those who
  start these things are incredibly rude people who have already dispensed
  with decency when they start firing at me.  imagine starting a war over
  not being polite enough?  who are they _kidding_?

  you certainly give of an air of wanting me to be blamed for all ills, but
  being a tad more intelligent than Raffael Cavellero, understand that you
  have to be more circumventious to achieve your goal of removing all
  responsibility from those who do what I react to: (1) post a bunch of
  false accusations, (2) assume the worst without even the possibility of
  making a mistake, and (3) react as if they have been personally hurt and
  in need of defending themselves from bodily harm.

  in short, you are so off the mark that your smug, nasty drivel is
  obviously completely irrelevant to anything I do or say, and can have no
  bearing on it except what slander you might make people believe, and I
  think even you would agree, if you were able to think about it, that such
  abuse of a medium in order to destroy somebody is cause for mounting a
  defense.  consequently, I'm not sure if you're doing this for the same
  kind of demonstration purposes as your comrade-in-arms Raffael Cavellero,
  but it sure looks like you're just as shifty and unable to stick to your
  arguments as he is.

| If a person mainly values a pleasant atmosphere, and someone goes out of
| their way to make it unpleasant to see how they'll react, then its easy
| to see how the interaction will be violent.

  I detect the foul smell of hatred in your words, Marcus.

  why do you have to make this complex issue into a simple black-and-white
  who's-to-blame?  first of all, there is no grounds for anything you're
  saying here.  if anything, people who accuse me Nazi sympathies or accuse
  me of favoring murder and torture of third-world workers are certainly
  going out of their way to make it unpleasant, and we already know that
  one of them did it to see how I'd react.  whatever is wrong with you
  manage to decide that everything is my fault?

  please take your nicely worded hatred elsewhere, Marcus.  I would prefer
  if you engaged in a little introspection, but I now have to assume that
  this would only lead to even stronger hatred and destructive desires,
  complete with the passive-aggressive "politeness" of your words.  which
  sort of proves my point: if you can lie and inflict harm with a smile,
  are you better or worse than if you do it while it is obvious that you
  are angry at something?  in my view, somebody who acts to destroy while
  appearing friendly at the same time is bordering on psychotic, and is
  certainly in no position to speak of pleasant athmospheres.

  if you have anything to say about the present situation or anything that
  could be applied to the present situation, I'd be interested in hearing
  it.  as long as you keep making statements that purport to be relevant to
  the present situation that couldn't even apply to it in a fantasy world,
  communication with you is indeed impossible, and will never be otherwise.