[LMB] Discussions

Elizabeth Holden alzurite at gmail.com
Sun Jul 18 15:04:08 BST 2021

markus said:

> essentially we are running up here against Aristoteles' "zoon politikon"
> - ultimately EVERYTHING a human does or says is political (in the sense
> of society or state forming / building / participating)

And in their different ways, other topics like religion, culture, sex,
biology, and so on, are so encompassing as to surround us like an ocean and
crop up (at least in implication) at any time.

> .. and excluding
> this from the list at the whim of some plain member who do not want to
> read "nasty things" (defined as "anything that i do not like") seems to
> be a diminishment of the list

I don't think that is the problem. The problem is not, IMHO, the topics
themselves but the tonality with which people discuss them. People become
rude (i.e, offensive) when they become defensive. A bush fire ensues. That
isn't fun; and at that point it isn't a good discussion.

But there is no way of anticipating when or how the conflagration will
begin. No point saying "no personal attacks" because if someone attacks,
say, blue t-shirts, and someone on the list is wearing one, sparks will
fly. (I use "blue t-shirt" as a euphemism for any item of culture, race,
religion, political stamp, and so on.)

> ob bujold - forex, any serious discussion of Beta society / mores will
> very fast become political ..

Sure. Ditto Barrayar or Jackson's Whole or wherever. And discussing what
Bujold meant by what the text said, and what Miles made of it, and what we
made of it, is all part of the same continuum. No problem, in my
opinion,unless and until we reach that unanticipated conflagration point.
Hence, pizza.

And sometimes there are arsonists amongst us who seem to want to start a
conflagration. Because they can? Because they don't understand human
conversational dynamics? I don't know why they do it, but they do.

> and in order to have any meaningful
> discussion we will have to compare and contrast to other societies -
> societies that are known to us and can thus serve as touchstones

Not a problem, I would argue,unless and until it is made personal. Saying
"no American politics" is a way of depersonalizing it, keeping it abstract.

> about the only person i would accept having a veto on subjects is her
> ladyship herself

She has better things to do with her time than worry about us squabbling.
Writing, for example. Her thoughts lie in her words in the books and it's
up to us to understand them.


Elizabeth Holden <azurite at azurite.ca>


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