?

Log in

No account? Create an account
There is truly something poisonous in the one-upmanship of our… - CERisE's Testing for L

> Recent Entries
> Archive
> Friends
> Profile

August 22nd, 2011


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
08:33 am
There is truly something poisonous in the one-upmanship of our society.

Some examples:

lishd had an amazing portrait of a hawk carved into her side over the course of five hours.
A friend of mine responded by saying that some of her friends get brands done.

I mentioned on facebook that I was in Titusville (the nearest town to Kennedy Space Center) for the final space shuttle launch.
A friend of mine responded with "Wow -- why are you hanging out in Hicktown?"
Another friend responded with "Why did you go out for it? There's only a 30% chance of it launching."

(I was able to have the last laugh in this case -- the probability was downgraded farther and the launch proceeded -- but if you've been reading my journal, you knew that.)

Whenever my video game console collection is discussed, inevitably someone puts forth the question: "Oh yeah? Do you have console X?" where X is a meaningless console like a Dendy or a Game & Watch watch. This usually leads to the rather thrilling continuing thread of conversation of "Oh."

On the occasions where I do happen to have X, they continue their inquisition until one is named that I don't have without any apparent recognition that their attempt at a trump is invalid. I once endured someone asking this question eight times before they gave up and they did not give me opportunity to elucidate at any point. Their response was "Huh."

The art of conversation is not a matter of flapping your lips at one another for an extended period of time. It is about listening, understanding, and responding thoughtfully. In our age of instant gratification, it is most unfortunate that people see a period of time for reflection in the midst of an argument or conversation as an imperfection.

Groucho Marx was quoted as saying "Years ago, I tried to top everybody, but I don't anymore. I realized it was killing conversation. When you're always trying for a topper you aren't really listening. It ruins communication."

(It seems to me that at some point, I have likely been a hypocrite with respect to this statement, nevertheless I hold that it does not diminish the truth of my sentiment.)

(50 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:lishd
Date:August 22nd, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
(Link)
heh. the amusing thing about my portion of this post is that brands can often hurt less, as the nerve endings are killed pretty quickly. (brands also tend to spread; i'd never be able to get this level of detail in a brand... but that's beside the point.) really though, anyone getting into a pissing contest over bodyart is Sincerely Doing It Wrong. bigger doesn't guarantee better, & the degree of pain tolerated is meaningless unless it's for a reason more substantial than "'cause i'm tough".

but yeah, people do tend to want to be more & badder & bigger than whatever you've got. it's sad.
[User Picture]
From:lishd
Date:August 22nd, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
ps. thank you for the compliment. it's particularly significant to have my mods complimented by a blank. :)
[User Picture]
From:londo
Date:August 22nd, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Not that we know each other or anything, but... carved? Can you elaborate, please?
[User Picture]
From:lishd
Date:August 22nd, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
check the latest post on my lj. it's public.
[User Picture]
From:testing4l
Date:August 22nd, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
(Link)
This post will probably answer your questions for her.

Also, it contains all the pictures of her boyfriend's ass that anyone could ever want.
[User Picture]
From:lateblt
Date:August 22nd, 2011 06:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Heck, that's nothing. I already recognized my own asshole tendency to one-up people, apologized publicly for it, and reformed my evil ways in kindergarten.

Speaking seriously, though, kudos for recognizing that "hypocrisy" does not in any way lessen the import of your words. There's some kind of strange rationale people seem to cherish that if you've ever done something in the past, that automatically disqualifies you from speaking against it because OH NO YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE HOW CAN YOU BE SO RIGHTEOUS WHEN YOU HAVE DONE THIS YOURSELF? People change. There's something inside us that always makes us want to be better than other people. Eventually, if we're self-aware enough, we recognize this tendency and correct for it, and life goes on. That's simply part of growing up and becoming a mature person.
[User Picture]
From:testing4l
Date:August 22nd, 2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Speaking seriously, though, kudos for recognizing that "hypocrisy" does not in any way lessen the import of your words.

That wasn't really the thrust of this, but thanks, I guess?

Anyway, I'm not sure that I actually am a hypocrite. I can't think of any particular case in which I acted contrary to my sentiment here. However, I recognize the possibility that I may have acted hypocritically in writing this post.

That dispensed with, I am often fond of pointing out that arguing someone is wrong by reason of hypocrisy is a form of the ad hominem fallacy.

To be honest though, people never actually seem to understand the concept of an ad hominem fallacy when I point it out as a criticism of their argument.

A great example that comes to mind -- and one you often hear from pro-choice folks -- a friend of mine said that it was wrong for men (read: male humans) to write laws which would make abortion illegal.

In spite of the fact that she's generally a sharp person, several rounds of Facebook comments did not succeed in getting my point across to her.

People change.

And here, I suspect that you might have hit on the reason why. People seem to really believe that changing your mind is a sign of intellectual weakness rather than a sign of good character.

As a first approximation of a sociological (or perhaps, semiotic) explanation, I'd guess that it's because of our interest in determining trends. Thus, we perceive that admitting that you're incorrect now is a sign of being incorrect in the future.
[User Picture]
From:londo
Date:August 22nd, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Irritation over this sort of thing is why I started declaring that my penis was *so* large, it was visible from space. I'd see two or more people (usually, but not always, guys) one-upping each other over something stupid, and in the hopes of short-circuiting the conversation (or at least getting a chuckle) I'd just declare, regardless of actual topic, that my dick is "no small moon" or whatever.

Which is to say, I was noticing this before noticing this was cool. Also, don't call me Ariel, my name is Helvetica.
[User Picture]
From:testing4l
Date:August 22nd, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Two important point missing one-ups!

1) "no small moon" -- the line is "That's no moon!"

2) Also, don't call me Ariel, my name is Helvetica -- actually the font is spelled Arial.

Which is to say, I was noticing this before noticing this was cool.

I think I've firmly established that noticing it still isn't cool.

I'd just declare, regardless of actual topic, that my dick is "no small moon" or whatever.

I didn't know that this was the origin of that. I was -- if you'll forgive the lewd pun -- a Johnny-come-lately to that party.
[User Picture]
From:majesticarky
Date:August 22nd, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
(Link)
There are so many things wrong with this entire post.

A friend of mine responded with "Wow -- why are you hanging out in Hicktown?"
Another friend responded with "Why did you go out for it? There's only a 30% chance of it launching."


What is wrong with those answers? I would have said the exact same thing. I would not want to hang around Hickville even if it's the same name as my boyfriend and going to Florida with a 30 percent cancellation rate is WAY too risky for me.

I also don't get what's so wrong with the brands answer.

The art of conversation is not a matter of flapping your lips at one another for an extended period of time. It is about listening, understanding, and responding thoughtfully. In our age of instant gratification, it is most unfortunate that people see a period of time for reflection in the midst of an argument or conversation as an imperfection.


Yeah this is just incredibly hypocritical for you to say this.
[User Picture]
From:testing4l
Date:August 22nd, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
(Link)
What is wrong with those answers? I would have said the exact same thing. I would not want to hang around Hickville even if it's the same name as my boyfriend and going to Florida with a 30 percent cancellation rate is WAY too risky for me.

Because it's completely missing the point.

It was the last shuttle launch. If you wanted to see a shuttle launch, you had to be in Titusville (AKA "Hickville") during the launch window. 30% is not 0%, after all.

It turned out to be a good thing. You would have missed it. I did not.

I also don't get what's so wrong with the brands answer.

I'm convinced that you don't get what my objection is, so we'll ignore your comment about hypocrisy for the time being. I actually find that comment somewhat odious as it implies that from your viewpoint, I don't value what other people have to say.

Branding was not related in any way, short of being something else that people do to make a mark on themselves. It does not in any way, shape, or form address what I shared or why I shared it.

Simply put, it is not a continuance of conversation, but a change of subject.
[User Picture]
From:majesticarky
Date:August 22nd, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
(Link)
If you want me to understand your objection better, you will have to be much clearer because much of this made little sense other than it knocking down peoples' responses to certain comments.

I'm not sure if I would exactly say that you don't value what others say, I think that you may value it in some way, but whatever anyone says is completely irrelevant to you because you are incredibly dogmatic ,actually possible the MOST dogmatic person I have ever met in my life, and that's no compliment. So you may acknowledge what they say in some regard, but it doesn't matter because you are set in your ways and will not change your mind. I don't really know you so well, so maybe there have been occasions where others have changed your mind, but I know of none.
[User Picture]
From:kenshiro
Date:August 22nd, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I still find it incredible how people can't believe there's a Wii version of Black Ops. Granted, you get the complete game on HD.
[User Picture]
From:testing4l
Date:August 23rd, 2011 07:16 am (UTC)
(Link)
I have to admit that I don't find first person shooters to be very compelling -- it seems like most of them are ultimately still Doom with a lot more finger ballet.
[User Picture]
From:philled2thebrim
Date:August 23rd, 2011 05:49 am (UTC)
(Link)
heyheyhey. even a hypocrite can recognize the truth, even if they then callously disregard it.

> Go to Top
LiveJournal.com