Re: Re: Society

CurtAdams (
Sun, 4 Jan 1998 11:39:56 EST

In a message dated 12/30/97 12:32:50 AM, wrote:

>> However, in most forms of day to day interaction, there is no
>> reason *not* to be polite; there is a substantial difference between
>> politeness and doesn't necessitate the other. Neither
>> politeness or rudeness will contribute to social breakdown...they are
>> simply two ways of looking at reality: through an optimistic, polite view,
>> or a pessimistic, rude view.
>I don't see politeness as optimism at all; I see it as capitulation
>to irrational standards. Learning to use the dribble glass, as it
>has been put so eloquently. And the expectation of politeness gets
>in the way of plain no-bullshit communication.

In some ways, but complements and positive ways of putting things
make people more receptive and more likely to deal with you. It might
be irrational but at present we're basically stuck with it.

Since it's so difficult to distinguish friend from foe and assistance
from covert interference, perhaps reacting more positively to those
with good things to say about you works out in the cost-benefit
analysis. If so, politeness will get you ahead with a meta-rational
actor, and a Red Queen chase will lead to the common situation of
excessive politeness.