Re: META: what is verbal abuse, anyway? (Caution: foul languageahead/not wo...

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Thu Dec 13 2001 - 10:48:58 MST

> > (1) Humor is important, and ridicule can be an effective communication
> > technique, especially in a medium such as this, where the person with
> > whom you are directly responding is not the audience of your speech.
> >
> > (2) Probably the majority of what people find "offensive" was not
> > intended to be by the speaker, merely misinterpreted as such by the
> > listener. People /are/ often offended by simple honesty.
> The krap that I was the target of when I expressed unpopular
> views on this list (for one) was most certainly intended to be
> offensive.

I agree. Again, you seem to be reading more than what I am writing.

> I am really running out of patience for this
> over-intellectualizing ignoring of the obvious and the refusal
> to say what sort of communication is and is not acceptable and
> live by it.

"Intellectualizing" is what I (and others) do. Philosophy
matters. It's also important for us to examine ALL the assumptions
our culture makes when we are dedicated to overthrowing many of
them. Certainly some of that culture is useful, but we do have
to examine it carefully to determine that.

> What I received and what I have seen others receive
> is not acceptable to me. Some of what I myself have said when I
> have lost my patience with certain individuals is also not
> acceptable to me. I will not be party to it by doing it myself
> nor will I excuse, ignore or condone it when others do it.

Sounds good to me. The only thing I generally object to is the
creation of written policies without proper examination. Personal
policies, commitments, and judgments are good things: if someone
wants to killfile me or rebuke me, I won't object. But written
policies can have the effect of limiting the scope of discussion,
and it's important that those not be taken lightly, or based on
purely cultural assumptions like "civility" without examining
exactly what their costs and benefits are.

I agree that politeness has considerable benefits. I completely
reject the idea that is has no costs.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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