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Author Topic: Civility  (Read 3601 times)
KU5Q
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« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2009, 11:27:07 PM »

"Just some ideas...waddya think?

73 de Jim, N2EY"

=========================================================

As usual you do a great, considerate, thoughtful job of expressing yourself, and you usually do better than stating "the obvious" (I'm surely guilty of stating the obvious, which is why I don't post much. I'd rather read something that is at least a different perspective. I'm very lacking that way. In fact, I'm lacking in many ways, and have no problem admitting it).

I do respect the fact that you consider ham radio more than a hobby. I think the trite, and banal internet deludes and dilutes many things that were taken so much more seriously before it came along. That's surely something that should be obvious, and perhaps forgive me for "stating the obvious" once again.

I prefer discussions "face to face", but often enough, "voice to voice" is the usual method. Although I do my best to take anything less than that as serious as I can (for if nothing else, a courtesy to the author) it is another one of my shortcomings, based on past experience, not to do so. These days I do the best I can to at least be nice about it, although that can be hard to do at times as well.

But I don't believe in hiding behind monikers, callsigns, and other facades. I don't do it. I list a valid email address, and if folks are interested, a valid phone number as well. I hide from no one. I've had folks call me down on other forums with threats, and I always reply, you know where I live, and if you don't, you should be able to find out without much trouble. I tell them when they're tired of hiding behind their keyboards, microphones, keys, or mouth pieces, come look me up when they're in my locale, and we'll discuss whatever they want, face to face, man to man.

No takers yet.

But I don't hide.

KU5Q
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N2EY
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« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2009, 03:59:58 AM »

W5RRP writes: "It would seem that the small degree of anonymyity in the current modes of immediate communication has begun to overflow into face-to-face communication, and in many ways emboldens people to say and do things they never would have done in the past."

Interesting! But it makes perfect sense; the person who gets used to acting a certain way online may not turn it off easily in person or on the air.

W5RRP: "A large part of the problem today seems to be that a lot of people have no respect or acceptance for any view other than their own. Many in our culture today hear something they don’t agree with, and they are only willing to scream and jump up and down, instead of listening and talking (in a civil manner). John Danforth talks about this in the context of the U.S. Senate in his book “Faith and Politics.” "

I think there are a couple of forces at work there.

One is that some folks like to "grandstand" - to behave a certain way in order to impress a certain audience, to look and feel powerful and resolute. For example, in politics, some folks like to yell and pound the podium in a "wrath of God" manner, thinking it impresses others. Unfortunately, it works often enough that people keep doing it.

I'm reminded of the time Soviet premier Nikita Kruschev (sp?) pounded the table with his shoe while addressing the UN General Assembly. I read somewhere that the CIA watched films of it closely, and discovered that Kruschev had both shoes on when he did it - so the whole thing had been planned and orchestrated, and was not the spontaneous outburst it seemed to be!

There's also the effect of television and other media, which often portray exaggerated or downright unacceptable behavior as normal for comic or dramatic effect. Trouble is, some folks don't realize it's for comic or dramatic effect!

I also think a lot of folks carry around a lot of stored-up anger, and it boils over in odd ways. IIRC the shrinks call it "transference", where a person transfers the feelings from one situation to a similar but different situation. The person whose ex-spouse cheated might suspect dishonesty from people who look similar to the ex, even though they have given no reason for it.  

Couple more observations:

I think a lot of intolerance and other behaviors stem from a combination of fear and ignorance. People are afraid of the future and the unknown, and don't understand how things work, so they behave according to feelings rather than rationality. For example, I remember the health-care-reform critic who hollered something like "keep your government paws off my Medicare!" - not realizing that Medicare is a government program! Or the people who are adamantly against cell phone towers, yet expect perfect coverage for their cell phones wherever they go.

I think Americans have some unique characteristics that come from the way this country came to be. One of these is that most of the Europeans who came here were those who weren't happy or successful in the old country. Some came to escape religious/ethnic persecution, some to escape war, famine, poverty and hardship, and some to seek adventure and fortune. IOW the misfits and discontented came here and the happy, successful, rich Europeans stayed home.

That led to a progressive, expansionist culture, which has lots good points (lots of creative new things going on) and some not-so-good points (lots of rootlessness, complaints, conflict). The ubiquitous advertising doesn't help; we're constantly bombarded by ads that tell us we lack something, feeding the discontent.

Of course not all Americans came from Europe, but those who did had a major impact.

Where all this connects to uncivil behavior is the idea of "rights". American culture has a clear focus on rights, and that's a good thing, because those rights were hard-won and must be defended, or they'll be lost.

But what is not made so clear is that every right carries with it certain responsibilities. I think the Founders didn't emphasize the responsibilities so much because, to them, the responsibilities were so obvious it wasn't worth mentioning, but the rights had to be defined and won.  

For example, freedom of speech carries with it the responsibility to speak only the truth, in a civil manner, and the responsibility to listen to others even if you don't agree.

The right to vote carries with it the responsibility to be educated about the candidates and the issues, from a standpoint of facts and logic, not emotion or one issue.

The right to own and use property (of all kinds) carries with it the right to use it safely and with respect for others' property.

Etc.

But all to often, IMHO, Americans forget the responsibilities but not the rights.

For just one example, look at California's budget mess. The voters there have consistently voted for all sorts of government services (roads, universities, parks, public safety, etc.) which is all well and good.

But they also voted against the taxes needed to support all those good things. The result is a bricks-without-straw situation, and a crisis.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W5RRP
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« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2009, 07:05:54 AM »

Jim, K2NY, writes "But all to often, IMHO, Americans forget the responsibilities but not the rights."

Jackpot!!

Now, how would we be able to go about instilling this balance of rights/responsibilities, and in so doing, open the way to civil discourse, even with those whom we might disagree with?  Can it be done, or must we move ahead simply believing that bad behavior in relationships of any kind is the norm?

Thanks, Jim es vy 73,
Ron W5RRP
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KA4AAA
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« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2009, 07:24:26 AM »

"Kill 'em with politeness" -- works just about everywhere.
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2009, 07:25:54 AM »

"The problem with all this is that technology precedes sociology; we get new gadgets and only after a while do we really think about how they should be used. Just look at the driving-while-texting idea..."

Man, you nailed it.

In the late 1960's people wondered what "2001 A Space Oddysey--Odyss--Oddyss..."(oh, screw it) was all about. What did it mean?

It was about mankind and his tools. His inventions outpaced his ability to manage them, and examples were given in nearly every frame of the film.

The allusory novel "brave New World" had a similar message, and it was written...in the 1930's (?) I think.

So yes, we swear at other drivers from the private anonymity of our cars, from the internet, and so on.

I'll tell you what is embarrassing: expressing your disapproval non-verbally to another motorist...and then finding out it is someone you know.

Or, when someone honks at you and you respond with sign language...only to find out it is the preacher's wife just saying, "hello" by tapping on the horn.

It's a brave new world, and we all need a "soma" and to learn to say, "Ford it all."

(to the illiterate, "Ford" is not an f-bomb.)
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N2EY
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« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2009, 10:04:03 AM »

W5RRP writes: "how would we be able to go about instilling this balance of rights/responsibilities, and in so doing, open the way to civil discourse, even with those whom we might disagree with?"

I think KF4YOR summed it up quite well: "Kill 'em with kindness". IOW, don't drop down to their level.

The problem is that such a solution is often a long-term effort.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K5END
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« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2009, 10:50:59 AM »

From what I have noticed (yet still attempting to implement)is the method of diplomatic people and how it works.

Unless one is dealing with a deranged or ill individual, the otherwise rude person will respond according to how he is treated.

If an otherwise rude person is treated with genuine kindness and respect, he is likely to respond in the same way.

If we let the rudesters bring forth rude behavior in ourselves, then we have let them manipulate and control us.

It should be the other way around.

Easier said than done. But I think that is how it works.
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N5LRZ
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« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2009, 01:28:19 PM »

Re K9FON..

re re "some will say that hams changed after the CW requirements were dropped.  


I beg to differ in so much as that there was always rudeness even before the FCC dropped the CW requirement.  

Certain sections of 80 meters have always been on the Adults Only menu as far as I can remember going back to the 1970s when I got my first license.

So its definately not new to hear rude and crude.
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N5LRZ
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« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2009, 01:31:24 PM »

Re W0TA..

OOOOH I make sure they notice but a good blowing of the horn to make them look me strate in the eye and then I flip them off.

And being as I do not have that dark tinting on the windows, THEY SEE.

And sometimes they flip back in anger.

But then again, I truly dont give a flying duck (spelled with an F) what the hell they want think or desire.
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N2EY
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« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2009, 03:18:26 PM »

K5END writes: "In the late 1960's people wondered what 2001.. was all about. What did it mean?"

I remember seeing that film in the movies when it first came out. btw, one of the family cars is a 2001 Honda Odyssey, which I call "Discovery". Too few people get the reference these days.

K5END: "It was about mankind and his tools. His inventions outpaced his ability to manage them, and examples were given in nearly every frame of the film."

That's an interpretation I've never heard! But ol' Stanley K. was nothing if not subtle.

I took "2001" as an attempt to explain why humans are the way they are - the explanation being, that way back at "the dawn of man", aliens came along and planted some suggestions in our distant ancestors minds. They left a recording/alarm device on the Moon, to let them know when we had developed to the point that we'd be worth watching again.

And then they left. We got to the moon, dug up the device, and let them know we were still around. And so were they.

The book explained so much more than the film. The sequel, 2010, is also very good.  

K5END: "The allusory novel "brave New World" had a similar message, and it was written...in the 1930's (?) I think."

1940s, I think. No later, anyway. Sort of the opposite of "1984".  

There's also the excellent film "Demolition Man" about a future in which everything is excessively nice and controlled.

But the very best explanation of the whole mess is given in Douglas Adams' excellent four-book trilogy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Consider that he thought up the Babelfish long before the internet was devised.

K5END: "So yes, we swear at other drivers from the private anonymity of our cars, from the internet, and so on. "

Some do - I try not to.

K5END: "I'll tell you what is embarrassing: expressing your disapproval non-verbally to another motorist...and then finding out it is someone you know."

Which is one reason I don't do it.

K5END: "It's a brave new world, and we all need a "soma" and to learn to say, "Ford it all."

I think there have always been such things going on; the media simply didn't cover them. Watergate had a big effect on that.

73 de Jim, N2EY

"open the pod bay doors, Hal"
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K5END
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« Reply #40 on: November 05, 2009, 04:08:10 PM »

Cool on the "Discovery" car!


K5END: "It was about mankind and his tools. His inventions outpaced his ability to manage them, and examples were given in nearly every frame of the film."

N2EY: That's an interpretation I've never heard! But ol' Stanley K. was nothing if not subtle.


Oh, yeah. My English professor called it "insistently vague.," and he was not paying Kubrick a compliment. I didn't get it myself. They had to explain it to me. Everything from the bone tool/weapon in the beginning, and everything in the movie, to the floating pen, to the space craft and... the space suits...which is why the breathing sound was so emphasized. Breath is life, and without the space suit (just another tool) in space...well. Ya die. And then man evolved to the next level where tools are no longer needed.

But then again, Mick Jagger said it was about a large brick of Hash. Each to his own interp.


"brave New World" ... written...in the 1930's (?) I think."

1940s, I think. No later, anyway. Sort of the opposite of "1984".

I had to google it: 1932. I read it in 1974. Can't believe I remember so much after 35 years.



N2EY "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."



That is about a dominoes game of "42," correct? <cough>


K5END: "It's a brave new world, and we all need a "soma" and to learn to say, "Ford it all."

By the way, for those who don't know. "Ford" was the deity name to be taken in vain in the novel.



N2EY: "open the pod bay doors, Hal"

HAL: I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave.
No wait. What'd you say your name is? Jim?
Dang.

I made another mistake. Gonna self destruct now. Hang on while I sing, "Daisy, Daisy..."
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K5END
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« Reply #41 on: November 05, 2009, 04:09:53 PM »

I guess no one got my joke about being addicted to spell check:

"In the late 1960's people wondered what "2001 A Space Oddysey--Odyss--Oddyss..."(oh, screw it) was all about. What did it mean?"
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K7KBN
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« Reply #42 on: November 05, 2009, 04:10:11 PM »

The movie was based on Art Clarke's short story "The Sentinel".  A very short story, but a very good read.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sentinel_(short_story)
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N5LRZ
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« Reply #43 on: November 05, 2009, 04:19:44 PM »

Re 2001, the original...

OK as movies go, followed the book fairly close.


2010 The Year We Made Contact was better.
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N2EY
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« Reply #44 on: November 05, 2009, 05:38:28 PM »

K5END: "Everything from the bone tool/weapon in the beginning"

One of the greatest bits of moviemaking, IMHO, is when the man-ape is rummaging through the skeleton of the wild hog, looking for bits to eat, and he picks up the legbone. And the idea slowly forms that it has other uses....

" and everything in the movie, to the floating pen, to the space craft and... the space suits...which is why the breathing sound was so emphasized. Breath is life, and without the space suit (just another tool) in space...well. Ya die. And then man evolved to the next level where tools are no longer needed."

SOrt of. What actually happens is that there's another monolith in orbit around Jupiter, only it's a gate to hyperspace. It sucks Dave Bowman and his pod into itself, and delivers them to a place run by the aliens, who then transform him into something like themselves - beings of pure energy.  

The reason HAL goes bonkers is that only he knows the real reason for the trip to Jupiter, but he can't tell anybody on board.

The recent version of "Hitchhiker's Guide" had Zooey Deschanel as Trillian, and a new device not seen anywhere else in the books: the Point of View gun.

The POV gun isn't a weapon in the normal sense - it doesn't shoot projectiles or energy beams.

But if you aim the Point of View gun at someone and pull the trigger, they will immediately see things from *your* point of view.

A very useful tool.

N2EY: "open the pod bay doors, Hal"

HAL: I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave.
No wait. What'd you say your name is? Jim?
Dang.

K5END: "I made another mistake. Gonna self destruct now. Hang on while I sing, "Daisy, Daisy..." "

There's an episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" were Joel offers the bots a tasty RAM chip if they can say one good thing about the movie they just watched. Tom Servo tries, but the movie was so bad that the strain is too much and smoke begins to pour from his bubble-shapped head. He sings a few words of "Bicycle Built For Two" and then there's an explosion, and he shuts down.

btw, "Bicycle Built For Two" was the first example of computer-generated speech, way back about 1957.

Then there's "Harold and Maude", a somewhat different kind of movie...

73 de Jim, N2EY
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