Re: spiritual hyperspace

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue Jul 18 2000 - 17:24:41 MDT

Dana Hedberg wrote:
> "Michael S. Lorrey" wrote:
> >
> > Dana Hedberg wrote:
> > >
> > > If I wanted to have an argument, I would write more like M. Lorrey or L.
> > > Crocker. =) Bygones. Seriously though, when I talk/write with someone, I
> > > don't view it as adversarial. I view it more as an attempt by all
> > > parties to discover something new, together. More of a cooperative
> > > push/pull towards some undiscovered country of the mind (and all it
> > > entails), rather than a here's my opinion, bow down. If you'd rather
> > > have an "argument" I'll oblige, but I'd rather not if it's all the same
> > > to you. =)
> >
> > Ha. Well, I understand that some people view my conversational manner as
> > confrontational or argumentative. I know that in plenty of my posts, I do lose
> > patience with opinions or statements that I see as uninformed or in willful
> > denial of the facts, even after the facts have been clearly posted and
> > referenced. People who prefer to think the best of themselves obviously resent
> > when I call them by their proper names, names they deserve if they are to
> >
> I try not to call anyone names. The portion of people that I see through
> fora such as this is very tiny as to their actual being, as well as
> being a medium that seems at times to thrive on miscommunications. What
> I will do is call into question their statements, their use of
> words/phrasology, their logic and reasoning, their assumptions, etc.,
> but rarely, if ever, will I call into question their character. It seems
> counterproductive and often fosters more road blocks to useful
> communication. Now, don't get me wrong Mike (if I may take the liberty).

Anyone on the list is free to speak informally with me.

> Your style of communication is one that I enjoy in that you are very
> straightforward and do not mince words. I suppose that I tend to give
> others the benefit of the doubt more so than I should, but at the end of
> the day I can honestly say that I tried to be very reasonable in
> understanding others. It just doesn't seem profitable to engender anger
> in others over a set of topics if in the future they may be able to
> present information to me on other topics in a manner I agree with, but
> I would never realize because I called them something less than
> pleasant. Do you agree?

I guess its part my Scottish heritage and part my Yankee upbringing, but
in my book, a spade is a spade, and failing to let someone know where
they stand with you when they are engaged in a conversation is akin to

> > beleive the things they do without significant thought. Other people who do not
> > like to have their most cherished misconceptions challenged dislike dealing with
> > myself, or Lee, or others on the list who do not suffer fools so gladly as
> > others seem willing to do. Being of the school that 'that which does not kill
> >
> I might argue they dislike dealing with you (and L. Crocker) not because
> their misconceptions are challenged, but rather due to the manner in
> which they are confronted. Which do you think is more engendering of an
> exchange of information? 1)"Your opinion is unfounded, because of x.",
> versus 2)"Your ignorance is showing, because of x." It's a question of
> style, I suppose. And like anything in that subjective realm, is open to
> interpretation, granted. For me, my style is an approach based on
> eliciting communication, not reducing the conversation to mudslinging.
> Which is in no way meant to imply that you (and L. Crocker) do this on
> this purpose. But, it does seem to happen frequently with the
> discussions you have with others that you disagree with.

I find that to change someones mental paradigm, you have to sometimes
shock them out of their mental straightjackets. When someone is
blathering on in meaningless linguistic hysteria, they sometimes need a
verbal smack up side the head to jar them out of their rut, to get their
attention. We can talk and talk all day, but if they don't actually
LISTEN, then I am wasting my time.

> > you makes you stronger', I look at my adversarial manner, which IMHO I actually
> > rarely release in full force, as a tool by which others may improve themselves.
> >
> It seems slightly disingenuous of you to live by this creed unless you
> make it clear upfront. If you come to the table of conversation thinking
> of war, then of course I'm going to lose. How do I get stronger, if I'm
> crushed right off the bat leaving me with no emotional fortitude to
> explain that my last post had an unfortunate typo? A silly example, to
> be sure, but the point is illustrative. IMHO, it's very easy to be
> adversarial, it's very difficult to elicit cooperative communication.
> For me, I'd rather improve my skills at the latter than the former. It's
> hard enough understanding people you are very close to, let alone
> someone I only see written words from. Name calling seems to make the
> odds even worse.

There is a difference between calling a person a name and labeling their
ideas. If someone has a fascist idea, I will call it by its right name,
not mince words or describe it diplomatically. If someone has a racist,
luddite, or other idea, I will call it that. I find that many people who
dislike labeling things tend to have emotional distast for confrontation
and standing up for what they beleive. I respect fortitude and
integrity. Mealy mouthed hyperbolizers practicing linguistic hopscotch
are what insult me.

> > I know that when others come back at me to bring my own misconceptions to my
> > attention, it does improve me as well.
> >
> Very true. Let me ask you this: How would you want those misconceptions
> presented to you?

I like them presented as straightforward as possible, with the facts and
refs. If I'm being an absolute idiot, I expect someone to say 'Hey
idiot'. I'm quite aware that people in other geographic areas tend to be
put off by my decidedly northeastern US style. I saw a demonstration of
this quite clearly on my trip west to Montana, when Eric, who is from
the Bronx, I, and Julie, a 19 year old Russian emigre, were involved in
discussions while traveling. Eric is extremely straight forward and
verbally agressive, so much so that even I could tell, causing Julie to
constantly feel that she was under personal attack, when that was not
Eric's purpose or intent at all.

> > That being said, I do not come to the list 'looking for an argument', however,
> > as seen in the stats posted regarding the percent of the population that
> > beleives in creationism, there is obviously a large chunk of the population that
> > is living in Egypt at any given time...
> >
> I'll be the first to let my stupidity and ignorance show and say I have
> no idea what this means. The Egypt part, that is. =)

People imprisoned in the land of de nile... ;)

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