OK…I`ll bite…


At first I did not want to. This is something I just do not do normally, especially with similar circumstances. But I`ll make an exception.

What the hell are you talking about?!” the audience of one screams. I`ll get there, in a moment. First, I want you to go over to Kisla Glista for the introduction.

Back? Good.

This type of behaviour is typical for the young adult generation of today. By young adults let`s say people who were born in the span from `75 to `79. It`s seen in other age categories as well, but you have to have a focus group. The behaviour I am talking about can be simplified into one sentence. Here it is. “I will do exactly the opposite thing that my parents did to me when I was a kid“. Sounds familiar right? It`s the mantra known all over the world, a curse muttered under thousand breaths and it`s the motto of the today`s world. Old is bad, new is good. We are the new.

This somewhat vague introduction gets us to the main question of the evening. Does difference of opinion necessarily needs to be taken into the account? Does this makes us a better person? And is ignoring or rejecting someone`s opinion necessarily a bad, retarted thing to do?

Most of the young adults of our age claim that ignoring a differing opinion is due to the bubble we/they live in. We cannot stand being criticised, so we ignore. We cannot stand being corrected, so we delete. We cannot stand being proved wrong, so we shift.

The main thing is that the general opinion right now is that all opinions are alike. That everybody should let everybody talk and that there should be no censorship, expressing yourself is the main theme of today`s soundtrack, yadda, yadda, yadda. Naturally, ignoring someone is frowned upon in today`s society. Putting a gag in someone`s mouth is frowned upon. We saw how Yahoo stocks plummeted when it was discovered that Yahoo cooperated with the Chinese government on the case of some dissidents. But is that really ALWAYS the case? Is freedom of speech always really about THAT? Or are there cases where some opinions are trivial (or simply irrelevant) compared to others?

When we were trying to act adult as kids and our parents told us to be quiet because we a) did not make much sense b) embarassed them by revealing something true yet not for the public ear or c) a weird cocktail of the first two options, we felt offended. We felt pushed away. We felt we`ve been mistreated. We never look back on those occasions, do we? We never go back in time, with our current mindset and we never really analyse what did go down that day? And were we really that mistreated?

An irrational decision can be just as good as a rational one. Feelings and emotions are not something that we should be afraid of and something that should be lower than the rational part. In our society, reason gets too much publicity for no good reason. Everything is better if it`s reasonable, if it stands to reason and if we got reasons to back the action up with. Well, in my opinion, that`s just plain stupid. Why? No reason 😉 You see? How that irritates you? How it lessens the meaning of the statement? And because of what? Because I did not quote the reason for thinking that? Proving something does not make it true. And unable to prove something does not make it false either. People tend to forget that. And reason gets the higher chair.

And another thing about expressing ourselves. Ignoring someone is also a form of expression. Telling someone to fuck off is not a “lesser” mean of communicating. And not every decision improves after a discussion. So the next time you feel like you`ve been mistreated, the next time a semi-fascist tells you to get the fuck out of his country, remember this. And know that despite the fact that every coin has two sides, there are different numbers on each coin. And some are worth more than others. Simple as that.


9 komentarjev na “OK…I`ll bite…

  1. ursa

    I actually admire the fact, that you bit the bullet and that you were willing to put some more mileage on this subject. I also imagine you probably understand that my post is more an extension of what I absorbed on your blog than it is a criticism of everyone involved.

    Anyway … right now I can only figure out the parts I agree with and … well … this post is worth more than “you are so right” or “you are so wrong”. So I’ll go sleep on it before I carve my opinion in stone 🙂

    There’s always tomorrow.

  2. Mitja

    I’ve found this whole post kinda irritating. But it is irritating in part because it is not very coherent and since it is not very coherent, I can’t really pinpoint what else irritated me about it. Except for the statement “Proving something does not make it true.”. I’m quite certain that I didn’t like that. And when I’m irritated, I feel the urge to tell others about it. So here you are.

    If you meant that proving something does not necesserily means it is true, than you may want to look ‘prove’ up in a dictionary. You can’t prove something that is not true. And if you meant that proving something does not make it true because it must’ve been true in the first place, otherwise you couldn’t have proven it, then your statement is trivially true and does not need stating. So what the heck did you mean by that statement?

  3. domen

    By that statement, I mean that the absolute truth is not always manifested. That the absolute truth is often not even the case.

    By proving something that is not true…it`s called lying. It`s called misinterpreting the evidence. You can always make the “procedural” mistake and the results are wrong…because of that mistake, although you use them to prove something.

    There are numerous cases in the history of mankind where people were proving something that eventually turned out not to be true. And there are numerous cases where people were disproving things that eventually turned out to be true.

    I hope this makes the things a little clearer…

  4. ursa

    Ok, tomorrow is now.

    First of all I’ll deal with the issue that was the seed for both our posts. The reason for that is trying to eliminate that particular edge from my response to the second part of your post because that’s the part that really interests me and I don’t feel like having my reasoning tainted by the original sin.

    I followed the dispute between you and Dragan as a bystander and I still refuse to take sides. Not because not taking sides is the easier “solution” but because I refuse to choose between two sides that are equally distant to me. I won’t pretend to support an action that I feel no support for. His or yours, I don’t care. That said, I do understand and agree with particular fragments of what you chose to do. Choosing to ban him from your blog, for example … if the whole thing happened on a public forum, banning him for good would probably be a bit of a moralistic problem. But in your corner of the web, as public as it may be, you’re the one opening and closing the door. You decide, because if not you, who else? All that commotion about dictators … well, people, cry me a river. It’s my blog and if I don’t like what you’re doing in my house I can and will throw you out. I understand and support that aspect of the whole thing. If I didn’t, it would mean that together with your personal space I’m also throwing my own right out the window. Not an option. Period.

    So, all this (that I’m writing about) is not about poor Dragan. And it’s not about mean Domen. Or any other combination of the two. Both of you are very well capable to fend for yourself and can fight your battle (or what is left of it) with whichever weapons you choose. It’s not my battle and it’s not for me to say who’s right and who’s wrong. I don’t even think in rights and wrongs. My interests lie entirely elsewhere and were only brought to the front when you figured you may as well let yourself be dragged to elaborate a bit on your reasons for why it all happened the way it did. If you can, forget about Dragan when you read further. I am discussing what you wrote in every way I can grasp it at this moment and freeing my discussion from any event that happened in near past. Ok? No Dragan. No Musocookie. No crooked noses, no green skins and no hair growing out of the ears. No distractions.

    I stand firmly on the issue of letting everyone talk. My reasons are very simple. If I block someone from stating his opinion, however ridiculous it may be, I am just waiting for someone to block me. I will not give up my right to express my opinion. I also will not give up yours. Of course there’s a whole galaxy of special cases like when you’re standing in front of a guy with a bazooka in his hands pointing at you, and your best friend standing beside you starts expressing his valuable opinion that is sure to get you both blown to pieces. Should you let him blab on and is shutting him up an act of violence against his human rights? I don’t think I need to go into that, especially if I let you know that I probably wouldn’t be blown to pieces without my best friend having a very blue foot.

    On the other hand I also stand firmly on everybody’s right to not listen. Not listening to me is a valid choice. At your own expense, naturally, but still. So what do you do when you’ve already granted the other people the right to state their opinion and you’ve exhausted your right to not listen but they still keep following you around and can’t be brought to stop screaming directly at you? I also stand firmly on that issue – you throw them out of your house and get a restraining order. We do agree after all, don’t we? 🙂

    I don’t think ignoring someone is frowned upon as a rule. Putting a gag into someone’s mouth as a means to stop him from expressing himself in whatever annoying way he has should be frowned upon however (unless it’s the last resort to get him of your back, and I don’t think anyone will frown on you at that point). The logic here is that you should be careful when putting restrictions on other people because you are putting them on yourself at the same time. I often ask myself whether I want to be blocked and ignored whenever I want to say something unpleasant to someone. I am intelligent enough to know that I need to say it only once and then need to let the other person ignore me if he wants to. But I do want to be listened to at least for that first time. Am I not implicitly robbing myself of that opportunity when I choose to not listen to the others even for the first time?

    I agree with your statement about feelings and reason having the same level of importance. I also agree with your opinion about the society treating reason as something far superior than feelings. It’s a paradox of sorts. People are being told to be what they are, to express themselves and their uniqueness as best they can and at the same time the things that make them most unique, namely their feelings and actions that come from them, are put second to things like common sense and “what reasons do you have for your blow-up pretty please”. In a way I believe that everything does have a reason, but not every reason can be put to words or even thoughts. And just as I can ask you for your reasons for thinking the way you do, I also have to be prepared to accept your answer that you have no reason.

    I don’t think I ever said that telling someone to fuck off is not an adequate form of communication. I don’t like the name calling and all that and I usually stop listening when that starts happening, but I have my own share of fuck offs delivered to various specimens together with smiles and flowers and all that other bullshit. What I wrote in my post was not at all a cuddly invite to “let’s all just get along” and “let’s talk about it until we all can hug and sing and be happy”. What I wrote was my comment on something I keep noticing through the years. Many people don’t know the way their feelings work because they never took the time to step back from themselves and look at them. You weren’t the reason for that opinion, you were simply the trigger. That’s why I wrote a thank you note at the bottom. And to evolve that thought just a bit further – I’m not saying anyone’s reactions would be any different if they sat down and meditated through their anger. I don’t know that. I just think it’s a strength to know that part of yourself as well … how feelings blow up and how feelings settle back. As for the coin, yes indeed, some are worth more than others. And sometimes the most worthless coin is worth the most. Just because.

    I try very hard not to speak in rights and wrongs. What is right for you might kill me and what is right for me might be anything but right for you. In words of one Catherine Jamieson … it’s a fluid world and you can’t be a rock – because we all know what rocks do in fluid substances.

    To Mitja – Domen does have a very valid point when stating that proving something doesn’t make it true. Proofs are usually based on presumptions and presumptions are (generally speaking) something that we all at some point agreed is true. So we say something is true and from that we figure out that something else is true. But what if our initial presumption isn’t so true? There’s no guarantee, you see. We didn’t start at the very begining of everything and the more digging around we do, the more possible it becomes to discover that our beginning has a tiny flaw which turns into a gigantic mess a couple of thousands of proofs later. Proofs by themselves don’t make anything true.

  5. Mitja

    Well written, Ursa. And I even agree (mostly – I’ll come to that in a moment). I suppose what bothered me about the original post is that I couldn’t agree or disagree with it beacuse I wasn’t entirely certain what Domen was trying to say. That was actually worse than if Domen wrote something I disagreed with.

    The point I’d like to bring up is the reason vs. feelings thing you two seem to agree on. I don’t. When one is making decisions concerning solely himself (inasmuch that is possible) or if he doesn’t much care about others, then sure, he can pick whatever basis for them he wants. But when others are involved, reason is socially accepted as superior, which I suspect is not a coincidence. I think it has gained the upper hand through evolution, because it has survival value. In the past this meant physical survival of individuals, nowadays it’s about cultural survival, but as long as one’s objectives are comfort and prosperity etc. (which is the case for most people), reasons is king. If one chooses not to accept this, he can, but clashes with the majority will be inevitable and the majority will win more often than not (not in his blog of course, although in a way, it will, because the majority would feel than one’s blog _is_ his own turf).

  6. ursa

    The reason vs. feelings debate … I think you are looking at a different link in the same chain. From the point of view of the person making a reaction, an emotional reaction is (or should be) no less valid than a reaction brought forth by reason. When something makes you sad, you can cry, or you can figure out that it’s not that bad at all because the one that made you sad is a sad excuse for a human being who will never improve and why bother anyway so you go bowling instead. Crying isn’t worse than bowling and it shouldn’t be disqualified because it sprouted from sadness (i.e. directly from an emotion without an explanation). It’s a reaction and as reactions go, you can’t put value on them before you decide, what it was you wanted to achieve with them. They’re all valid. Created equal so to say.

    I can’t speak for Domen, of course, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s how I see it. Right now, anyway.

  7. Domen

    Agreed, but the whole thing is funny. Reason is king. However, if you do not agree with it, the majority will crush you by sheer power of the many. Thou shall see the light 😉

    Winnings that are obtained through the aspect of who has more people on his side were always fishy to me. Surely, those winnings usually coincide with the “good” solution that most people tend to agree with, but still, the bitter aftertaste remains. Noelle Neumann and Moscovici tell that tale.

    Another thing about the majority and blogs is that there is always the problem of blogs being a public media, which is half-owned by your readers. Surely, the blogger has “complete control” and yet being too tough on your “customers” is not a very smart thing to do. Agreed, you are not writing for them and you are not trying to please your readers by being a capitalistic whore (sort of), but there is a certain synergy present. Which is why I am trying to act as a hand of god very seldomly and only when there`s is no other mean to set things right.

    Why not just ignore the silly comments and leave them be? Good question. It`s not cause I want my blog to be the perfect bubble which nobody can burst. It`s not because I would not like if my opinions would be put to the test and objected to. Please, if anything, stupid comments are only hurtful to the person who wrote them. However, I tend to see the comment part of this blog as an extension of the post part. By commenting, you are adding something new to the post section. You are enhancing it. And if your comments are not seen as an enhancement…they are deleted. I don`t think I ever wrongfully deleted a comment. And the deletion always followed the “enhancement” rule. The same rule that prevents spam comments from adds for Viagra being posted here. And that`s all. No grudge, no personal vendetta (Dragan can still post comments, but they are taken directly into the moderation queue and posted after my review) and no anger “cause you broke my toy”. Because I do believe in the freedom of speech and in the “constructive” difference of opinion.

    However, like I said in the beginning, two different sides must come from the same coin. I will not tolerate “masturbation” in the comments section. You have your own bathroom for that.

  8. Dragan

    If nothing else, the scuffle has brought this brillant article from Ursa into life. Every blogger & the whole cosmochicks forum & other intelligent life forms should read it. Copy-print-post-quote-it!

    Speaking about coins, maybe you’ll find this interesting…


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