Re: virus: Being a slave to <reason> leads inevitably to delusion
Sun, 21 Feb 1999 19:22:19 EST

In a message dated 2/20/99 3:42:21 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< I guess Reeds wonderful little story of learning to communicate better with his wife was completely lost on you wasn't it? >>

No, in fact it was well noted. His dismissal of most of the important things I was saying as "semantic games", and then again as "too abstract", seems to be a prime example of exactly what he was talking about.

>>Reed was one of the most rational (if not rabid :-) voices on this list when
I joined it some ??? (2 or 3, I think) years ago.<<

He seems to be capable of rationality, but he also seems to have some very confused ideas about rationality.

>>Your posts seem to take the attitude that "if only we had the same
information as you" then we would necessarily reach the same conclusions. So, I assumed it might be informative to let you know that, yes, we do have the same information as you, but that it does not always lead to the same conclusions.<<

Yes, but you see, we weren't even having the same argument. I can accept reasonable minds differing about the same things, but we haven't even been talking about the same things.

>>And if your purpose was to tell us what you think and why,
trying another method might yield you better results.<<

We must also consider the possiblity that there may be no effective method. If somebody is in their own world, (as Reed's last message seemed to indicate to me), I can't command him to join me or the rest of us. I may humor him occasionally on his turf, but in general I have already told him, that his terms are not acceptable. He says I play "semantics games", and that I am too "abstract", and then he turns around and accuses me of a "lack of imagination" when I say similar things about his stuff. Some gaps may never be closed. And that is fine with me also.

>>Have you found that overreaction is a successful communication strategy on
mailing lists? (We never did have that discussion, did we?)<<

We have had similar discussions. Some times it is difficult to know how a message is intended in cyberspace, or the motivations for it. We only have words, after all. Still I choose an interpretation and go with it. I know I may be wrong, but once I choose one, I generally don't hedge. I can always change course later on, more easily than IRL.

>>Somehow I doubt you would do the same thing in RL, so I assume you must have
found this approach to work well for you under circumstances such as these.<<

IRL, I generally have more cues to go on, body language, inflection, expressions, and generally a larger context. If I find it appropriate, I react as much as I feel necessary, though the net result is that I am far more reserved and conservative IRL. If it was appropriate, I would do a similar thing IRL. If you go back and read that post I did about "cruelty", though, you would see that on very rare occassions I act even more extreme IRL.

>> What led you to that conclusion? (Tell me a story.)<<

Subj:	 Re: virus: Re: Thinking clearly about faith
Date:	2/12/99 2:50:48 PM Central Standard Time
From: (Tim Rhodes)
::Is it just my imagination, or do many of the self-proclamed rationalists on this list show a distinct lack of interpersonal skills? Wouldn't it seem rational to work on those if your goal in writing is communication?

-Prof. Tim::

I responded with an explanation - all "arrogances" directed at Brodie not you.

Subj:	 Re: virus: Levels
Date:	2/18/99 2:32:52 AM Central Standard Time
From: (Tim Rhodes)
::Couldn't you just have said, "No" in response to his question? Or maybe even "I don't want to think about this, a week is to long for that!"? Or are you afraid that, like some Douglas Adams character, if you stop talking for too long your brain will seize up?

-Prof Tim::

I responded with simple explanation. Slightly ironic undirected humor.

::We've all visited these sites, most of us well before you ever began posting to this list. You're re-hashing very, very old territory.::

There certainly was more data than just this, but these seemed salient. Other interpretations were possible, but I don't spend forever on these decisions. I hadn't drunk my morning coffee yet, and it seemed time for a response. I didn't think it was a particularly harsh response, but it was clearly and intentionally sarcastic.

And there you have it.