2008.10.06 19:00 - Sort of a Discussion About Offending Others

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    The Guardian for this session was Threedee. He sent me, Pema, the chat log, which I put up, and he provided the title.

    Threedee Shepherd: Now there's a neat 9-sec experience. As I closed my eyes there was the distinct sensation that the scene we are in right now was coming out of the screen and washing over me.
    Adelene Dawner: neat ^.^
    Adelene Dawner: Hi Val
    Threedee Shepherd: Hi Val
    Valgaav Gartle: hrm. that's odd; some items have numbers over them today. side effect of the update?
    Adelene Dawner: It's an update of the autorecording script. The numbers are floating text relevant to that program.
    Valgaav Gartle: after the meeting with the SCA group earlier, I figured I'd try something easier, like debating the meaning of life, or surviving a meeting with a live tiger. :P
    Adelene Dawner: hehe
    is OnlineThreedee Shepherd: SCA??
    Valgaav Gartle: with Three here, I can do both!
    Threedee Shepherd: LION!!!!
    Valgaav Gartle: oh. didn't know it was a sore spot.
    Adelene Dawner: Lion, indeed. *pets Three's mane*
    Valgaav Gartle: still, my point is made. where's everyone else?
    Threedee Shepherd: not here, yet. Never know who will be here. What's SCA?
    Valgaav Gartle: Take the middle ages.
    Valgaav Gartle: Now make it so you can go home afterwards.
    Adelene Dawner: SCA=Society for Creative Anachronism... it's a live action roleplaying group, national, that does something along the lines of historical reenactments.
    Valgaav Gartle: We are NOT a LARP group.
    Valgaav Gartle: it's something of a sore spot.
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes, I know them. Just didn't recognize the initials
    Adelene Dawner: fine: explain the difference to a layperson.
    Valgaav Gartle: I just did, and was going to continue when you said that. :P
    Threedee Shepherd: so...?
    Valgaav Gartle: One of the women there has apparently taken it upon herself to make her agenda that of the entire group.
    Valgaav Gartle: Her agenda isn't particularly friendly to several rather involved members of the group.
    Adelene Dawner: Ah, yes. NT social crap.
    Threedee Shepherd: groups "can" be like that. It's fairly common.
    Valgaav Gartle: Not NT; I'm fairly sure she's past that particular moniker.
    Valgaav Gartle: Fortunately for me, her favored way of getting her way is to talk over everybody else, and not allow anyone to make any point but hers.
    Valgaav Gartle: I've had a lot of practice dealing with this particular 'argument' style.
    Adelene Dawner: 'NT' in that use does cover a variety of people who would not be covered by a stricter interpretation but are normal-in-
    Valgaav Gartle: It also carries derogatory connotations that one generally doesn't use on friends.
    Adelene Dawner: Speak for yourself ^.^
    Valgaav Gartle: Well of course. If anyone else spoke for me the way I talked, they'd be slapped.
    Valgaav Gartle: Me, it's just 'Val being Val again'. and somehow, it endears me.
    Threedee Shepherd: As long as you are satisfied.
    Valgaav Gartle: Never cared so much for my own satisfaction, except where it can be said to help others be so.
    Adelene Dawner snerks.
    Valgaav Gartle: There's ways you've changed, and there's ways I've changed. I say how I am now, and how I have been for a number of years. I allow you to do the same.
    Valgaav Gartle: If you want to present to them how I was, I welcome you to.
    Threedee Shepherd: no need
    Adelene Dawner: *you* said 'never', not me.
    Valgaav Gartle: The sentence flowed better with 'never', not 'rarely'. so sue me.
    Threedee Shepherd: So, Val, were you hoping to find a conversation in full swing, or is there something you want to talk about?
    Valgaav Gartle: either or. Just something that doesn't leave me wishing I could stop the conversation and bring my understanding of the situation to bear. I could there, but the last thing I need is someone like her angry at me.
    Adelene Dawner: hm
    Adelene Dawner: In situations like that, there's a piece of useful wisdom - you can only do what *you* can do. So what can you do?
    Valgaav Gartle: Next meeting I'm prepared, though. as I've said, I've got a lot of practice.
    Adelene Dawner: And what's *best* for you to do, more importantly?
    Threedee Shepherd: How will you handle it if she just keeps talking?
    Valgaav Gartle: carefully. And with the support of everyone there, from what I heard after.
    Valgaav Gartle: a classic is to ask her to stay quiet while I make sure I sum it all up properly and don't miss anything.
    Adelene Dawner: hold on
    Valgaav Gartle: then, when she does try to talk over me, tell her 'I'm not done yet. correct me after'.
    Adelene Dawner: to what end would you be doing that?
    Valgaav Gartle: To present to her how she seems, and to give everyone else - including the one running the meeting - an easy 'out' for going 'well. can't see talking about that much longer'.
    Valgaav Gartle: If I'd done that tonight, I'd have cut out at least a half hour.
    Threedee Shepherd: She might simply ignore you. Rational behavior does not seem to be what she is about, from your description.
    Valgaav Gartle: She doesn't have much of a choice. Such meetings generally have at least one of the fighters there. If we ask someone to leave, because they're disrupting the meeting, they're generally willing to.
    Adelene Dawner: 'fighters' = big guys with wooden swords.
    Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm, truly dangerous in SL ;D
    Valgaav Gartle: 'fighters' is pretty well self explanitory. They're the bigger guys. think six feet for the short ones.
    Valgaav Gartle: And yet my mother still intimidates them. there's some people with natural presence, I guess.
    Threedee Shepherd: what do you mean by "mother" in SL sense?
    Threedee Shepherd: Welcome, Avastu
    Adelene Dawner: Love to you, Avastu :)
    Valgaav Gartle: the woman who gave birth to me and cared for me during my formative years.
    Avastu Maruti: love to you my friends
    Valgaav Gartle: oh, hello there!
    Threedee Shepherd: And she is in SL to intimidate the SL big guys? Or I missed something.
    Adelene Dawner: No, Three - this is a first-life group.
    Valgaav Gartle: at the meeting, yeah.
    Threedee Shepherd: OHH, I did not realize that, sorry
    Threedee Shepherd: Evening, Steve
    Adelene Dawner: Hiya Steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Avastu Maruti: hello my old friend
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Avastu
    Threedee Shepherd: I see SCA does have a SL group, which is what confused me.
    Adelene Dawner: ah
    Valgaav Gartle: EVERYTHING has an SL group
    Valgaav Gartle: 'there are too many SL groups' is probably an SL group.
    Adelene Dawner: I wish. If there's a discordian one it's well hidden.
    Threedee Shepherd: Steve, YOUR MELTING!!
    Valgaav Gartle: isn't that as it should be, though?
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Valgaav Gartle: er, Adelene's, though Threed's makes for a good response too
    stevenaia Michinaga: I noticed that, it;s either my new boots, or I;m the wicked witch of the west
    Avastu Maruti: hahaha!
    Valgaav Gartle: hyenas laughing; what's the joke?
    Threedee Shepherd: that's better. I can never figure out why SL does that.
    Valgaav Gartle: so I don't believe I've met either of you! I'm Val. Adelene's brother, and someone that makes it when he remembers to and has the free memory.
    stevenaia Michinaga: Brother? RL or SL?
    Valgaav Gartle: RL. the concept of SL families sprouting up, while predictable, remains odd.
    Adelene Dawner chuckles. ^.^
    stevenaia Michinaga: not the only thing that's odd around here
    stevenaia Michinaga: but please to meet you Val
    Valgaav Gartle: there's a very large number of things I could say to that. Approximately two thirds of them would get me at least outcast from the group.
    Adelene Dawner: now that would be a first ^.^
    Valgaav Gartle: and not the kind I particularly enjoy being the first at.
    Threedee Shepherd: So, I had an experience today re SL that I would relate...
    stevenaia Michinaga: ...listens
    Adelene Dawner: (by the way, if that was too subtle - 'that would be a first' translates to 'nobody's ever managed that and I doubt you would either')
    Threedee Shepherd: I was talking to a computer science class undergrads and grads about the social nature of SL.
    Valgaav Gartle: (I assure you, that level of 'subtle' isn't)
    Valgaav Gartle: oh, undergrads. always interesting. do go on?
    Threedee Shepherd: I was talking about the Teen vs. regular grid and how having so many museums in regular SL was really depriving teens and kids of real educatioonal opportunities.
    Threedee Shepherd: I was asked what could happen and I mentioned that a group of young kids would not be a good audience for a "Group of Flying Penises." which is a common example.
    stevenaia Michinaga: but what about how nudity obviously corrupts youth (as opposed to violence, which they have total access to)
    Valgaav Gartle: aah, yes, dongs. and isn't nudity its own entirely seperat philosophical issue?
    Threedee Shepherd: It was a guest lecture in the course of a Professor friend of mine.
    Threedee Shepherd: After the class, one of the students took HIM aside (he told me later) and said she was a strict, religious Christian, and was offended by my reference.
    stevenaia Michinaga: see, I told you
    Valgaav Gartle snorts. "Oh no, genitals on the internet."
    stevenaia Michinaga: was it a man or woman?
    Threedee Shepherd: He tried to *explain* but doubted she *got it*.
    Avastu Maruti: is that genitals or gentiles?
    Threedee Shepherd: the student was a woman, the Prof is a man.
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Valgaav Gartle: nice shot. genitals, though.
    Threedee Shepherd: ohhhhhhh, Avastu ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: The point I want to make is not that she was or was not needlessly shocked, but how to live in the world and give the least amount of offence?
    Adelene Dawner: ... ... ... should we even be trying?
    Valgaav Gartle: don't, that's my opinion. or at least don't try to not-offend. No concept is innately sacred.
    Valgaav Gartle: Concepts are created by people, and therefore can be destroyed by same. Everyone has their own 'sacred' things, and it's impossible to tell at a glance.
    Threedee Shepherd: Giving and taking offence is a key reason for violence and war. At least one coould try not to, perhaps, although I am not sure I even realized the potential in this case.
    Adelene Dawner: hm
    Valgaav Gartle: I'll openly admit I'm wired uniquely; nobody else that I've found matches me, and even the usual 'oh, you fit in this box' was guesswork.
    Adelene Dawner: a recuring theme recently is that the obvious solution to a problem is often the worst one. I submit that trying not to offend people leads to more self-ness, and the specific idea that it's *possible* for the world to be non-offensive, which causes wars & etc. when it's shown to be wrong.
    Valgaav Gartle: How I do it is to admit that any offense caused is accidental, and then just speak my mind.
    Valgaav Gartle: it's not possible to go through life without offending someone, yes. The trick is to make holding an offending view inoffensive.
    Adelene Dawner: Yes
    Adelene Dawner: if people are constantly presented with potentially-
    offensive stuff, they'll learn to take it in stride.
    Threedee Shepherd: Good point about worst solutions, Adelene. I still am trying to think in terms of "right action"
    Adelene Dawner: hiding it away *makes* it a big deal.
    Adelene Dawner: Yes, Three - that's what I'm talking about too.
    Valgaav Gartle: however, they have the distinct possibility of viewing it as not only not-a-problem but acceptable, which for many things opens a different can of worms.
    Threedee Shepherd: Well, let me take a different view. I was "teaching". Someone who is offended will turn off.
    Adelene Dawner: how so, Val, if they still react appropriately to actual harmful/dangerous situations?
    Valgaav Gartle: There's any number of ways. things that we've deemed taboo for a reason; if one is gotten used to, say, the idea of 'guns', then 'loaded guns' isn't that far away, and from there...accidents happen.
    Valgaav Gartle: it's one of the more textbook examples of a slippery slope. if you choose it carefully, I could see it.
    Adelene Dawner: it's far enough away that the difference is relevant
    Adelene Dawner: Yes, my idea would require people to actually think - but is that a bad thing?
    Valgaav Gartle: In short, yes.
    Valgaav Gartle: because it requires people to constantly think.
    Valgaav Gartle: and everyone slips.
    Adelene Dawner: mm.
    Valgaav Gartle: flies in the face of everything you want, I know.
    Adelene Dawner: would those 'slips' honestly bne *worse* than what we wind up with now?
    Valgaav Gartle: Every change you plan has to accept that everyone in the world is an idiot at sometime or another.
    Threedee Shepherd: Val, I am not clear what you are making of this situation I described, in terms of thinking about future action?
    Valgaav Gartle: the way that she's putting her suggestion indicates relying on a mental maturity that people, as a whole, just plain do not have.
    Threedee Shepherd: If I accept that, then what. Should I not give this circumstance any more thought, or is there some lesson hidden here?
    Valgaav Gartle: I'm not sure myself. I've been trying to think of something new and unusual that hasn't been done for this, but all of them have glaring flaws once I actually look at them with scrutiny. Some are more obvious than that plan's flaws, some are less...
    Adelene Dawner: hi Corvus. ^.^ Have you met Val yet?
    Threedee Shepherd: Hi Corvi, good to see you :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hiya Adelene..I haven't....and I can't see none of ya yet.
    Valgaav Gartle: If she has, the pleasure hasn't been shared.
    Valgaav Gartle: I'm the lump sitting on my own, beside the three lumps.
    Valgaav Gartle: :P
    Valgaav Gartle: I'm pretty much just here for the discussions, so my avarar's just a premade
    Valgaav Gartle: heh, avarar. avatar, rather.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire grins and sits between Steve and "Val"
    stevenaia Michinaga: hi Corvi
    Corvuscorva Nightfire grins at Steve..Hi.
    Valgaav Gartle: The innate thing, as I was thinking/saying, is that everyone has something 'sacred' or important to them. It might not be something big - it might not even make sense - but it's there.
    Valgaav Gartle: the question is whether we have the right to remove that, and if so what's the best way to do so.
    Adelene Dawner: Hm, I don't think that what I was saying is the same as removing it.
    Valgaav Gartle: then I misunderstand. explain?
    Threedee Shepherd: I have no desire to change others, only a desire to offer things they might consider useful if they want to.
    Valgaav Gartle: hrm. going to go in a half-hour. would normally go now, but this ep's a poor one.
    Valgaav Gartle: well yes, but by offering them useful things that are against what they're prepared to think of, you're changing them, neh?
    Adelene Dawner: You can hold something as sacred and still understand that other people have a different view of it.
    Threedee Shepherd: Everything one does can affect others. Intent is important
    Valgaav Gartle: which is why my method is always to make sure everyone knows I mean no ill.
    Adelene Dawner: There's a difference between '*my* body is sacred and I won't show it to anyone but my life partner' and '*all* bodies are sacred an nobody should ever expose themselves to anyone but their life partners'. You don't get to dictate what other people do.
    Valgaav Gartle: And why not? If what they would do is innately harmful, as far as you believe, why should you not stop them? Playing blatant devil's advocate here.
    Adelene Dawner: Other people's lives aren't yours to dictate. You can make your point, but if someone wants to jump off a cliff, that's their right.
    Valgaav Gartle: this is something that you believe very strongly in. thank you for answering so predictably, by the way.
    Adelene Dawner: It's something that seems very obvious to me.
    Valgaav Gartle: If someone else believes, instead, to the same degree, that it will be directly and deeply harmful for them to - say - expose themselves to others before marriage, why should your beliefs trump theirs?
    Valgaav Gartle: because they're easier to instate?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I am confuesed..I don't see Adelene saying anything about how others should behave...or think.
    Adelene Dawner: I also don't get to force them to expose themselves. I choose what I do, they choose that they do.
    Valgaav Gartle: and it's that belief - that they should get to choose to harm themselves no matter what, that you hold sacred.
    Adelene Dawner: Yes - not everyone believes that, and I respect that belief, but
    Adelene Dawner: I still have the right to do as I please.
    Valgaav Gartle: This is a belief that you have deep within yourself, on the level many have religion, that is fundamentally a part of the world. and there are those that hold contrary eliefs. I ask again: Why should your beliefs be rights?
    Threedee Shepherd: No one's beliefs are "right", with what looks like one paradoxical exception, as follows
    Valgaav Gartle: ooh, paradox.
    Threedee Shepherd: If I believe everyone has a right to live their own life by their own ideas and ideals, and one of those people has the ideal that they should be able to dictate how I live my life, we get to a paradox if I support them, or perhaps even try to respect them.
    Valgaav Gartle: the point I'd been making, yes.
    Threedee Shepherd: So real-life, let alone ideal-life is complex beyond formulaic solutions.
    Threedee Shepherd: Let me turn the example hypothetical...one sec
    Valgaav Gartle: as an aside during that one sec, I love having a mind that can go from 'how can I contest this' to a wel reasoned, long argument within ten seconds.
    Threedee Shepherd: What if I was not a guest lecturer but it was an ongoing course I taught, and the student told me she was offended, and we discussed it. If a similar situation arose a few weeks later, should I still not care that she would be offendced, now that I knew it?
    Valgaav Gartle: Presuming you were obligated to teach this course, correct. you may want to add in a throwaway 'hey, in this class there's mentions of dongs' so she could brace herself, but I'd go on anyway.
    Valgaav Gartle: I'm imagining someone trying to say that with a straight face to a room full of people and failing. I'm clearly not meant to be a teacher.
    Threedee Shepherd: My tendency would be to try and find a different way to make my point the next time that might be heard, not disregarded.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods..that makes sense.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: but...offending nobody? one misses alot if treading between land mines.
    Valgaav Gartle: I sort of presumed that if you were using such a blatant term to make your point, you didn't have much of a choice in the matter, else something softer would be used.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I wish we could pull up a few more of those.
    Threedee Shepherd: Also, I *believe* an underlying attitude of respect for all others has to be consistent.
    Valgaav Gartle: what, conversational landmines?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: all of them.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: but those in particular for now.
    Valgaav Gartle: had a good speech on taboo last time I was here. but I leave in ten minutes, so I don't have time to repeat it.
    Adelene Dawner: We keep logs for a reason ^.^
    Valgaav Gartle: yeah, I poked through the ones on the PaB wiki, searched each for Valg, and didn't find myself. am I abbreviated, or did I miss me?
    Adelene Dawner: o.O perhaps it's not up yet...
    Valgaav Gartle: perhaps I fouled up and it wasn't quite october yet; I only looked in the october ones.
    Adelene Dawner: 9/30 19:00
    Threedee Shepherd: Corvi, I am not clear on your thoughts about the more general question I raised?
    Valgaav Gartle: durrhey. that explains it.
    Adelene Dawner: http://playasbeing.wik.is/Chat_Logs/
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I think if one can easily think of a way that is "less offensive" to say something it's good...but feel sad and frustrated that important stuff doesn't get said because we all try to tread so carefully.
    Valgaav Gartle: I'm going to go, so I am ready. Three, eat Adelene for me while I'm out,w ould you?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire laughs.
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, I am suggesting that the stuff does get said, but perhaps in different ways, at least when acting knowingly about the other.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Val..you are Adelenes brother?
    Avastu Maruti is offended
    Valgaav Gartle: Sadly. :P
    Corvuscorva Nightfire throws a pillow at Avastu.
    Valgaav Gartle ducks as quickly as he can
    Avastu Maruti smilesAdelene Dawner laughs at Corvi
    Corvuscorva Nightfire laughs..I'm glad to meet you.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and throws a pillow.
    Adelene Dawner: Val and I ... reacted very differently to the world, Corvi.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yes, clearly from both conversations.
    Adelene Dawner: We don't get along well, though I get along better with him than with the rest of my family.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Threedee Shepherd: So, I started the conversation, sort of, participated and what I observed in that last 9-sec is that my gut *hurts*.
    Adelene Dawner chuckles. "Val will do that."
    Avastu Maruti: why do we have balls over our heads?
    Threedee Shepherd: back to genitals, Avastu?
    Adelene Dawner: They're part of the new autologging system, Avastu. It's not working yet but hopefully will be soon.
    Avastu Maruti: hahaha!
    Corvuscorva Nightfire snorts.
    Adelene Dawner: >.<
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Avastu Maruti: geritols?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hahahah
    Adelene Dawner laughs
    Avastu Maruti: that was ball, singular
    Threedee Shepherd: oh, dear, we are degenerating fast, or is that degenerates?
    Avastu Maruti thinks he came to the wrong meeting
    Corvuscorva Nightfire rolls her eyes.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: it's clearly too late for us.
    Threedee Shepherd: Indeed.
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Avastu Maruti thinks there is a lion nibbling on his toe
    Threedee Shepherd: ^.^
    Adelene Dawner: ... "moo"?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire laughs.
    Threedee Shepherd: Well friends, I think this Guardian will announce that we are closing this session, unless others think otherwise ^.^
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: sounds good to me.
    Avastu Maruti: 3D, is that your gut?
    Threedee Shepherd: hahaha, could be ^.^
    Avastu Maruti: well, it's been real and it's been fun - you know the rest
    Corvuscorva Nightfire laughs...
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye, Avastu.
    Threedee Shepherd: Thanks, all. see you soon. g'night :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: gnight 3D.
    Avastu Maruti: love to you my friends
    Adelene Dawner: Love to you, Avastu. ^.^
    Adelene Dawner: And to you, Corvi. ^.^
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Love to you, Adelene.
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
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