Sometimes your mention of well known personalities almost seems a bit
smug. This was a nice reply though, which I read completely. I guess I
just do not rate. An acquaintance of mine recently showed me the
pictures on her camera. It was on an airfield. In the foreground on
the tarmac were a couple of Tuskegee Airmen. In the background was Air
Force One, and also within the group she was standing next to
President Barak Obama. This was somewhere in the Midwest I believe,
and she lives over the NY border in Connecticut and helps to run a
local art gallery there, so I am not sure how she got that invitation;
I think it probably came from friends who had some connexions.
Occasionally I have have that forlorn hope that Judy will actually
have a discussion, for she actually does that with people she seems to
consider her support, but once you get on the list, that seldom
happens. We have had a few conversations about other things earlier in
my time on here. She is very bright, I just think she could use her
tool set in a more productive way. Of course you do not really ignore
her, you mention frequently by implication, that is, you write in a
way that allows that implication to be envisioned, so I suppose the
scars run deep from the early encounters.
I was thinking yesterday it would be interesting to see the very first
couple of exchanges the two of you had, before FFL. Do the scars of
all those years run deep? I assume that over the years your outlook on
life has changed and matured. When I look back on some of the things I
said or did early in my life, I would prefer I had had a bit, or a lot
more experience back then and handled the situations more competently.
I find that I do not learn from success nearly as much as from
mistakes, because mistakes tend to shave off a bit of ego each time if
you allow the experience to get through to you. I am not convinced ego
ever goes away entirely, you push someone enough and you can probably
find a button in there you can push, but you can train the ego to sit
and roll over. I don't see ego as an entity or a thing, it is more of
a process - a reaction to a situation tempered by past situations.
Everything we learn from birth seems centred on fashioning our sense
of individual self, our parents give us a name and nurture that sense
of identity, and then if we get interested in something like Zen or
spirituality, we find we have to undo a lot of that programming.
I now do not get the old FFL interface. The new one is running lots of
running from different yahoo.com subdomains. I have a tool in two
browsers that can selectively turn off scripts more or less
selectively. This way I can disable some of Yahoo's tracking and
advertisements. This page in Neo that I am typing into has 38 scripts
running from 8 different locations; turn off one of the locations and
certain things on the page do not work.
I get Neo on my Android device too, and it does not work as well
there. Part of the problem is the OS on the device did not allow
clearing of memory, so it is very sluggish. The latest version of
Android has fixed that for any new work, but I have to do a reset to
factory release to clear the memory that is already gummed up. Even
though I have a keyboard for that device, it is much easier to deal
with Neo on a desktop computer.
I have spent the last six months from time to time going to Windows
stores and fiddling with Windows 8 and 8.1 to see if it is a workable
OS. I have mostly figured out how to use it, and the addition of a
third party tool to recreate the Start Button and menus and suppress
the small device interface is required to bring back ergonomic
functionality for desktop use, after which it pretty much runs like
Windows 7 but a bit snappier. I really don't think Microsoft consulted
with end users much when they put Windows 8 together, but it has some
interesting ideas, and eventually could get a edge over Apple on
interface design as the interface has the potential to run the same
system efficiently on any screen size that you can read and touch from
a wristwatch to a large graphics screen which you cannot reach to
touch. A fascinating gamble. The other problem is finding out how to
turn off all the tracking, and default values that force you to save
to Microsoft's cloud services rather than to local drives. I do not
think my old laptop (IBM Thinkpad) will have enough power to run
Windows 8 well; it currently runs XP on a single-core processor, and
all the new laptops that run Win8 have four-core processors.
Worldwide OS use (based on browser statistics):
Win 7 ......... 52.73%
Win XP ........ 23.96%
Mac OS ......... 7.37%
Win 8 .......... 6.38%
Mac iOS ........ 3.60%
Win Vista ...... 3.30%
Linux .......... 1.04%
Other .......... 1.62%
There is a certain discrepancy in the data because Android systems
account for 35.53% of mobile use compared to the iOS total of 25% of
mobile use, so Android does not seem to be included in the above set.
--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <email@example.com>
Good rap. I shall avoid the temptation to reply in terms
one particular argument-beast, and instead try to expand
upon the story I told earlier about the interactions of
Albert Einstein and my grandfather, Winthrop Wright. It
seems to me that those were good *conversations*, and
that almost no one in the universe could ever accuse
them of being arguments. It's the WHY of this I'd like
>From my point of view, for a conversation to devolve into
an argument, at least one of the parties involved has to
have a fairly sizable ego, or self. That ego has to be
convinced that the way it sees things is, at the very
least, "right" or "correct" or "truth."
Now, again from my point of view, there is nothing wrong
with believing anything as silly as this (both that they
are an ego-principle with existence in and of themselves,
and that this ego-principle actually "knows" stuff, and
can consider it "right" or "truth"), as long as they don't
feel the need to get all in your face about it. In other
words, religious fanatics and such ilk are fine *unless
and until* they start trying to *make* other people
believe the same sillinesses they believe in.
This was not the case in the Wright-Einstein conversations.
Based on many stories of both of them, they were above all
humble men who didn't believe for an instant that they
"knew" anything even remotely approaching "truth." They
were also scientists, who understood that "truth" is always
a moving target, and *at best* is an attempted description
of phenomena one can only see a miniscule portion of. So
they could really have *conversations* in equations drawn
on a blackboard, seeking to come as close to a good descrip-
tion of the mysteries they pondered as possible. There was
never any crowing ("Aha! See...I've proved you WRONG and
my self RIGHT!" and never any denunciations or game-playing
("Aha! You're trying to LIE about what I believe about this
particular way that atoms line up...thus YOU are 'bad' and
I am 'good'"). Their conversations were genial, and fun for
both parties; that's why they kept having them, for years.
Even on the Internet, and even in cesspools like FFL, you
can find such conversations from time to time. Interactions
between two or more people who have the humility to under-
stand that their egos don't know shit about nothing, but
who are willing to rap about it anyway, just for fun, and
to see if there is anything interesting that can be determ-
ined from such rapping.
Then you've got Fairfield Life, which has been shaped over
a number of years by a few people (and one in particular)
whose egos are so completely fuckin' out of control that
they have to turn pretty much *everything* into an argument.
The desire to argue RUNS their lives; they clearly aren't
having any fun if they're not in one. And so their egos
and those egos' constant need to dominate and assert its
silly "truths" on others fuck up the whole conversation
thang for other people. I think it's sad, and saddest for
the compulsive arguers themselves. What, after all, is
the epitaph they are writing for themselves by living their
lives this way? Are they going to be *happy* with the words
"She/he won every argument she/he started on the Internet"
on their tombstones? What a pathetic waste of life.
The larger question would seem to me to be how does one
*avoid* such compulsive arguers when one realizes one has
encountered them? Is there anything one can do to escape
the Argumentation Tar Babies of the world, and avoid getting
sucked into the event horizon of their black (very black)
I've experimented over the years with Douglas Adams' theory
of how to deal with nasty critters. One of the reasons every
traveler in "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" was told
to have a towel on them at all times was as a defense against
the Ravenous Bugbladder Beast Of Traal. It had a terrible
disposition, and if you encountered it, it would (as a result
of its own nature and its own compulsive needs) attempt to
rip you to pieces and eat you, just (presumably) to show
other RBBT's in the area that it could.
So according to Adams, what one should do if one encounters
a RBBT is to whip out one's towel and put it over one's own
head. The reason is that the RBBT believes that if you can't
see it, it can't see you. So the frood standing there in
front of it wearing a towel over his or her head becomes
My experience has shown me that this tactic works for *some*
compulsive arguers on the Internet. If you just ignore them,
and refuse to get sucked into their arguments, sooner or
later they move on to other suckers, and try to lure them
into the arguments they need so badly. I would guesstimate
that this defense works on about 90% of Internet RBBTs.
Unfortunately, there's that other 10%. They take the Adams
Defense as the ultimate insult, go into vendetta mode, and
persist in stalking the potential victim, often for decades.
So far -- based on my own experience and that of others who
share my view of compulsive arguers on the Internet and what
to do about them -- the only solution for dealing with this
malignant 10% is just to continue ignoring them and wait
for them to die. This defense, although it has its drawbacks,
is considered better than actually interacting with the
compulsive arguers, because although they may bark and howl
and try everything they can to lure you into one of their
arguments, if you Just Don't Go There the worst that can
happen is that you'll get splashed by a little Ravenous
Bugbladder Beast Of Traal drool.
Anartaxius opines, and asks for other opinions:
> It is kind of a habit from reading scientific papers. Because
scientists are uncertain, they always use language that waffles,
using words like 'may', or 'perhaps', or 'if'. You may notice I do
that rather frequently. When I listen to politicians, I generally
assume something is going to be lying, for example Obama's recent
'red line' backtracking. When it comes to politicians in the U.S.,
Democrats and Republicans alike are pretty much equal opportunity
liars. Maureen Murphy, an American politician said the reason
there were so few femaile politicians was it was too much trouble
to put makeup on two faces.
> Frankly, just as you seem to find my comments disingenuous, I
find the way you generally respond to people also disingenuous,
mostly combative. Presumably you are interested in spirituality.
Who or what is being 'insulted'? It is just that inbred pest
called the ego. The ego always has an axe to grind and swing. The
ego thinks it is a 'person', that it has rights, this is our
biggest problem in spirituality. It is more of a process than a
thing, it is not an entity. If a person's identity is pure
consciousness, there is no one to be insulted. I am not saying I
cannot take offense or be annoyed etc., but those who repeated
take offense at what the world throws at them are spiritual
cretins, and I hope you are not one of those, but to me you do not
speak like a person who is interested in the spiritual nature of
life, and yet, you are apparently reading about it a lot, and in
various kinds of discussions, but I simply do not see much
spiritual depth in what you say (but it is a relief that you are
not constantly saying what a great life you are leading and how
many famous people have crossed your path).
> Your method of argumentation does not build, it takes down, much
in the same way Barry's comments in reference to you are a take
down. You two are a strange marriage made in heaven. I say heaven
because if heaven makes people such snipers, it is certainly not
such a great place to be.
> From my perspective, you basically engage in the same tactics as
those you oppose. You shift context under the pretense of
maintaining context; you snip relevant parts of arguments
declaring them to be irrelevant. That is how it appears to me.
Maybe you do not experience that you are doing these things at
all. When I shift context, it is more inadvertent, because I
really do not care that much about narrowly defined context. You
might try spreading you wings and go off on tangents once in a
while to see what comes up. I find it interesting to watch moths
in flight - they never go in a straight line, in a world of
predators, they deviate from directness. So it is on this thing we
call the Internet, where trolls lie in wait.
> I am here being critical of you, whatever that 'you' is for you.
If you would only apply your skills in a more uplifting way, and
not be so critical of people's ineptness, minor mistakes, their
opacity, and have if you had a more relaxed agenda, you would be a
brilliant poster here, but for now, I think you use your skills in
a rather dark way, so that brilliance has a tarnish to it. Your
argument style has a strong polemical element, which is better
suited to the political arena, where lairs lie, than in forums
discussing knowledge. It is only when you are kissing up to
someone like Robin that you go a bit squishy. A certain softness
is required when dealing with people except in extreme circumstances.
> Perhaps both are perspectives are distorted. What do others
think of this exchange? We are not always the best judge of our