[LMB] Debate rules, was (Warning, Sarcasm) OT:

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Wed Aug 24 23:36:21 BST 2005

----- Original Message -----
From: <RosinaRowantree at aol.com>

> I am not going to write on either side of this discussion.  But I have
> noticed a tendency among the participants to forget that they are writing
> _lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk_ (mailto:lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk) ;
that is,
> to every other member of the list, not to a particular  individual.  Once
> spots the over-use of the second person - you, and  your - one can see
> it getting personal and probably dirty.  Such  posts, where the content is
> addressed to one other individual, should be sent to  that individual, not
> to everyone.  Maybe that is one way we can  control our own flaming -
> to whom you are writing (and there I did mean  everyone).
> Obviously there are times when 'you' is acceptable, particularly in
> responding to requests for prayers/support - it would be clumsy and
probably  counter
> productive to rewrite them in the third person.  Or simply as a
> alternative to 'one'.  But if 'you' means 'you over there  - yes, you're
> person I'm talking to!" then it is probably a signal that the  writer
needs to
> step back and think about whether the list is the proper place  to send
it.  I
> am not involved; I don't want to be shouted at; I am not the  'you' the
> has a problem with; don't write to me in that tone of  voice.
> And if sending the post is therapeutic, then the writer is making all
> list members their therapists, and therapists deserve to be paid.

You want to pay a therapist to give me therapy, fine with me.  I don't have
health coverage, along with not having employment....  you think I need
therapy, -you- can pay for it.  If you are indicating my non-existent income
should go for something YOU think I need...  free advice with worth every
cent one pays for it.

 [I don't know if you were intending me as the target of that comment or
not.  However, I tend to take many things quite literally, always have,
always will, and it's one of those things about the protocols of reading
fantasty and science fiction, of accepting face value statements at face
value, as opposed to reading allegorically-- allegory one is interpreting A
as denoting something else, there is indirection and reference involved.
It's something that social satire particularly excels at, and placing the
location of a play, a novel, etc., Somewhere Far Away and Exotic, to make
pointed political commentary about the place one is in, without getting
thrown in jail for sedition, blasphemy, etc.

[But, in the protocol of reading most fantasy and science fiction, there is
the "willing suspension of disbelief" involved and the curiosity of "what
if?'  It's something that most people strongly attracted to the science and
to engineering have an abundance, perhaps overabundance, of. The
Pythagoreans had it much to their contemporaries' unhappiness, they may be
the earliest documented examples of skeptics/people who were continually
questioning almost everything around then, and refusing to accepting almost
anything on "faith."  They questioned the existences of the gods worshipped
in the part of the world they were in.  They measured, they hypothesized,
they developed theorems and proofs and much intellectual progress in
geometry and other branches of math... and they caught a lot of flack.

[[And there were quite a number of women who were full participants,
philosphers and scientists and mathematicians, in a culture not known for
equality of women (ancient Athens, in mainland Greece, was the worst of the
lot regarding rights for women in ancient Greece... unfortunately it's
Athens that the modern world looks to as the epitome of the ancient
classical world back before the Romes took over the Mediterranean, and as
social template).]

Much of science and math involves "Assume that...."  and works within the
assumption to determine validity.  The assumptions themselves may or may not
be valid.... but inside the constraints of the assumptions, it may be
provable that the set of assumptions is internally consistent, or not
internally consistent.   It may also be that, taking Assumption A, and
applying a specified set of rules, out pops Interesting stuff....  Electron
spin "fell out" of the math that Dirac was working with, and turned out to
exist as he theorized basedon working with the math he was working with from
those assumptiong, in the real world as his math manipulations indicated.
Changing the assumptions regarding parallel lines never meeting and never
diverging, the lynchpin of Euclidean geometry (back to the Pythagoreans
again, there...), led to the development of non-Euclidean geometry where
parallel lines meet, and of non-Euclidean geometry where parallel lines
diverge, with all sorts of useful real world applications and implications.

[But again, the basis of those things is going "What it?"  and taking
something as itself, as opposed to figurative employments. .. and that gets
back to "you:" and direct versus indirect addressing.... unless a specific
person gets named as the impetus for a comment, it's subject to
misinterpretation to whom a comment is directed as "pay for therapy, don;'t
use the list.; I don't know that you were thinking of me there, but
I -also=- don't know that you weren't thinking of me and thinking of other
people.  It's, again, subject to misinterpretation.  I suspect there are a
quite a number of people here who had abusive childhoods and have been
permanently emotionally scarred, with the damage expressed differently and
set off by different triggers.  Treating Person A who triggers off Trigger
Area X  more gently of their triggers than Person B who triggers off Area Y,
and then excoriating Person B for reacting, seems vastly unfair to me....
and then there's the "A steps on B's trigger and thens COMPLAINS about B
spouting,  or A yells at B for spouting based on something C wrote,
why -shouldn't-  B step on A's trigger? If  A can't be gracious about B's
triggers, why should B have to be gracious and solicitious with A's? ! If A
left off the excoriation and indicated thereby to B that A was considerate
and gentle and gracious about B's triggers, then maybe B would consider A
worth the extra consideration, and be much more likely to get it...."


<Meanwhile,  about defense rights? Someone attacked out to have the
opportunity to defend themselves to the people they're being maligned to, in
a forum where they're present and the calumnification is taking place.
That's not quite the same things as what a ponderous but funny even in
"unedited machine translation" Soviet journal article said: the Soviet
journal article was about other journal articles, where the article alleged
that on topics where there are two people in the world, one say Piers from
the Netherlands and the other Erland from Vienna, interested in it and
writing letters to essentially one another in the journal, the two of them
should instead of writing and getting published their correspondence,
correspond directly with one another and save many trees.


Regarding the use of "you," second person in English has become an informal
third person.  I actually wrote a published trade magazine article in second
person, some years back...  but there are also time when a post is directed
to a particular person at the primary, and others as CC's, in effect.
There have been some exchanges  where Robert Parks and I have been in that
situation, commenting things to one another for each other and whoever on
the list happend to be reading the comments; there was one particular
incident where I had made a comment that he interpreted the way I
expected/intended him to receive it, but someone else who was reading it,
interpreted at me attacking Robert; there were then another exchange between
Robert and me here on the list reinforcing that the comment of mine hadn't
be made in antagonistically and hadn't been interpreted by Robert as
antagonistic, and the the person/post interpreting it as hostile, had
misinterpreted the situation and had mistakenly  taken affront on Robert's

People are gregarious sorts, and often like to eavesdrop.  And they there
are exhibitionists, who enjoy being eavesdropped on, or more openly


Last note, anything that has a subject line with (Warning, Sarcasm) has the
notification right there at the top that there is likely to be contentious
material in the content of the post.   Warning -was- given.

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