2009.01.16 01:00 - Holding up a mirror

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    Wol Euler was guardian and commenter for this session.

    As usual, we began with a discussion of fashion and appearance.

    Fael Illyar: Hi Wol :)
    Wol Euler: hello fael
    Wol Euler: oh wow, interesting outfit (rezzing piece by piece)
    Fael Illyar smiles 'Thank you.'
    Fael Illyar: I happened into a victorian dress shop a few days ago.
    Fael Illyar: just one day after finishing this shape too :)
    Fael Illyar: found just one outfit I could consider wearing :)
    Wol Euler nods. that is about average for a random SL shop, in my experience.
    Wol Euler: my reaction to most lies between "no thanks" and "why would anyone..."
    Fael Illyar: :)
    Fael Illyar: but then I saw this one, first in black but as I browsed the options, I ended up buying red.
    Fael Illyar: then looked again at the other options and didn't feel at all like buying any of those anymore.
    Fael Illyar: Even though they looked great when I first saw them.
    Wol Euler nods.
    Wol Euler: the lace trim is nicely done
    Fael Illyar: amazingly sloppy work in some ways though.
    Wol Euler: mm?
    Fael Illyar: seams don't match too well in the shirt and pants.
    Wol Euler: ah
    Fael Illyar: doesn't look like there's any attempt to make them match
    Fael Illyar: but then, they're mostly hidden
    Wol Euler: laziness, I guess; presuming that the outfit will always be worn as an item, not mix-and-matched
    Wol Euler: I have to admit that I can't see any difference to your pervious shape
    Wol Euler: perhaps the outfit hides it
    Fael Illyar: possibly :)
    Fael Illyar: but it's noticeably different :)
    Fael Illyar: especially the face.
    Fael Illyar: still, relatively close

    A random visitor, just a few hours old, briefly illuminates our lives. 

    Wol Euler: morning Random
    Fael Illyar: Hello Random.
    Random: hello
    Wol Euler: welcome to second life
    Random: im only looking for sex
    Random: will you oblige
    Wol Euler: ah, you won't find it here.
    Fael Illyar: In that case, this is the wrong place.
    Random: well goodluck
    Wol Euler: one would have to commend his honesty, at least :)
    Fael Illyar: yes, was polite too.
    Wol Euler: perhaps he'll hang around in SL long enough to figure out what it is really about
    Fael Illyar: I had enough time to slip to him this newbie resource kit I carry around
    Fael Illyar: Luneko's New SL Resident Resource Kit
    Wol Euler: ah :)
    Wol Euler: that was kind
    Fael Illyar: has a notecard about sex in SL too.
    Wol Euler: I don't suppose you could slip me one too (to distribute)?
    Wol Euler reads the contents and chuckles
    Wol Euler: this is very comprehensive and organized
    Fael Illyar: It is.

    The topic of the day arrives, but I start off in the wrong direction. It took me a half-hour to figure out that out and head back along Fael's intended path.

    Fael Illyar: What do you think about holding a mirror to people to show them what they are?
    Fael Illyar: metaphorically speaking
    Wol Euler shrugs. Words like "shockingly presumptuous" come to mind
    Wol Euler: I infer that you were not asked to hold up this mirror
    Wol Euler: (the generic "you", not "fael")
    Wol Euler: it presumes that your mirror distorts less than their own
    Fael Illyar: ah, there's someone suggesting I try to do that.
    Wol Euler: and that they wish to see themselves, and that the sight would help them
    Wol Euler: to whom?
    Fael Illyar: in general
    Wol Euler: that you should go around the world telling people "you are less X and more Y than you think you are?"
    Fael Illyar: no, not quite like that.
    Wol Euler: how, then?
    Fael Illyar: more like phrasing things like "we tend to make judgements about others"
    Wol Euler: ... to suggest that the listener is overly judgemental?
    Fael Illyar: not necessarily that, no
    Wol Euler: so you would be holding a mirror that shows generic humanity, not the person who looks into it?
    Fael Illyar: I can't remember saying something like that to suggest that someone specific would be doing something. I prefer being more direct in those cases.
    Fael Illyar: and mostly asking questions... and not in public.
    Wol Euler: good, good and good :)
    Fael Illyar: ah, yes, I am trying to show a mirror of generic humanity.
    Wol Euler: ok; next question then: Why?
    Fael Illyar: perhaps requesting people to try to see if they find themselves in the image... I guess.
    Wol Euler: and this is good for them or for you because ... ?
    Fael Illyar: better understanding?
    Fael Illyar: leads to happier life?
    Wol Euler: frankly I doubt it. I htink if you walked up to a random stranger in RL and said "the world is overly judgemental, see if this applies to yourself", you would get a punch in the nose
    Wol Euler: and rightly too
    Wol Euler: I think this is an appallingly bad idea, frankly
    Fael Illyar: ah, no, I don't go around walking to random places saying things like that.
    Fael Illyar: it tends to be in reply to people talking about things.
    Wol Euler: I find it quite amazingly arrogant. It presumes that your view of their behaviour is correct and appropriate
    Wol Euler: and that you have the right to tell them that
    Wol Euler: and further that the telling will actually help them, coming out of the blue as it were.
    Fael Illyar: It's something I sometimes wish people would tell me... actually.
    Wol Euler: ok, but that is different than simply applying this to other people whose behaviour you wish to change!
    Wol Euler: it's a tricky point, I'll grant that :)
    Wol Euler: nobody wants to be offensive to others (for certain values of "nobody")
    Wol Euler: yet the telling can cause great offence
    Fael Illyar: part of my, perhaps misguided, attempt to make the world, ever so slightly, a better place.
    Wol Euler: :)
    Wol Euler: I'm sorry, I don't mean to rain on your parade, and I certainly don't want to stop you trying to make the world a better place
    Wol Euler: but it needs to be applied with great caution and after careful consideration
    Fael Illyar: I say it with the hope that someone among those who hear it might understand something and benefit from it.
    Fael Illyar: but... it does seem there is some arrogance behind it ...
    Wol Euler: a noble and worthy sentiment. BUT it is very presumptive about your rightness and their wrongness.
    Wol Euler: who are you (the generic "you" again) to know "what they really are"?
    Wol Euler: what makes your view of their behaviour less biased than their own?
    Fael Illyar: answering as though directed to me anyway ;)
    Wol Euler: this may be just a disagreement about words, though.
    Wol Euler: the expression "holding up a mirror" suggests to me that the absolute truth is in that mirror i.e. my opinions
    Wol Euler: and that is very worrying.
    Wol Euler: that is really what I object to most
    Fael Illyar: ah, the mirror expression is not my own description.
    Wol Euler ponders.

    Warped mirrors, and relative truths. 

    Fael Illyar: I don't regard what I say as absolute truth though...
    Fael Illyar: all I can present is my own warped mirror.
    Fael Illyar: the image of which will be additionally warped in a different way by each person who sees it.
    Wol Euler: right, that's my point. Is your warp better than that of hte listener?
    Fael Illyar: The question then is, does my warp cancel out their warp or strenghten it?
    Wol Euler: or are they then doubly-warped?
    Fael Illyar: I know it sometimes helps to see things warped by others. It certainly has done so for me.
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: I think we are not disagreeing, but miscommunicating here - another example of the need for extreme caution :)
    Fael Illyar: Yes, very easy to do that.
    Fael Illyar: we all speak our own language (or have our own warps in our vision)
    Wol Euler: I inferred from your initial statement "holding a mirror to people to show them what they are," that you were being told to go about the world improving strangers.
    Fael Illyar: ah, no
    Fael Illyar: more like, I was told I was doing that.
    Wol Euler: oh! That you are too quick to whip out your mirror for us to look in? Hmmmm, I wouldn't have said that.
    Fael Illyar: it depends on who I'm talking to too I suppose.

    The right to be wrong.

    Wol Euler: a supplementary question would be "do people have the right to be wrong?"
    Wol Euler: where "wrong" is understood to mean "diverging from my world view"
    Wol Euler: mind you, some people are genuinely wrong about some things...
    Wol Euler grins
    Fael Illyar: well, perhaps :)
    Fael Illyar: but, I'd say that people have the right to be wrong ... can't quite live with myself if I don't have that right :P
    Wol Euler: exactly. a very important point.
    Fael Illyar: but how would you define "wrong" in this sentence I just said?
    Wol Euler: as I did in my supplimentary question: diverging from my worldview
    Fael Illyar: but in this case, both would be me, no?
    Wol Euler: oh sorry, let me read that again.
    Fael Illyar: it's referring to situations where I see myself as having been wrong.
    Wol Euler: well, "wrong" in the sense of "continuing in a behaviour that I find un-ideal" perhaps
    Wol Euler: human "wrong" is never as clear-cut as "2+2=5"
    Fael Illyar: that's not clear cut :P
    Wol Euler snorts, then sighs and agrees
    Fael Illyar: but does make the point quite well :)
    Wol Euler: "thou shalt not kill" is fine and true and good, but append to it "... someone who is attempting to kill your child"
    Wol Euler: is that combined sentence still true and good?
    Wol Euler: I would say "no"
    Fael Illyar: yet, the first sentence kind of includes it

    The difficulty with rules is balancing them between usefulness and completeness.

    Fael Illyar: that's the thing about rules.
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Fael Illyar: they're overly simplified
    Wol Euler: they are only as good and as useful as the exceptions they allow
    Fael Illyar: because no-one could understand them if they were to be put out in all the necessary complexity
    Wol Euler: true
    Fael Illyar: that is.. if anyone could actually even do that
    Wol Euler: and they would be less useful for being less clear
    Wol Euler: we were talking last night about ideal and perfection and evolution = progress
    Wol Euler: there is a certain overlap here. Rules as ideals are very good things, but htey should be short and clear and few
    Fael Illyar: you'll always find people calling your progress to be ... what's the opposite? regress?
    Wol Euler: "wrong" :)
    Wol Euler: also true, fael.
    Fael Illyar: all the ideals in the world :)
    Fael Illyar: they're kind of like rules too
    Fael Illyar: to some people
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Fael Illyar: but yes, I think we've highlighted why rules are dangerous when taken absolutely.
    Wol Euler: so we've done our good work for the day!
    Wol Euler thinks: I can go back to bed.
    Fael Illyar: Hehe :)
    Fael Illyar: kind of :)
    Wol Euler: that sounds like a good last line for the log.
    Fael Illyar: I guess so :)
    Wol Euler bangs her gavel.

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