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There is truly something poisonous in the one-upmanship of our… - CERisE's Testing for L

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August 22nd, 2011


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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.)

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Comments:


[User Picture]
From:majesticzaichik
Date:August 22nd, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
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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:majesticzaichik
Date:August 22nd, 2011 08:27 pm (UTC)
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Fix your HTML.

Dogmatic

Second definition- fits you to a T.
[User Picture]
From:testing4l
Date:August 22nd, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC)
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Fix your HTML.

Would if I could. LJ doesn't allow one to edit comments that have been replied to.

Second definition- fits you to a T.

That is not at all what "dogmatic" means to me -- especially in as much as it doesn't relate to dogma. Perhaps in that opinions are expressed with the same certainty as one would express dogma? Hard to say -- I shall have to borrow an OED and see if they have an opinion on when that definition began as it's quite an unheard of usage to me.

In any event, if expressing conclusions as certainties is something that you object to, then I'm happily guilty as charged. I do not believe it a crime to dispense with hand wringing and hedging bets with respect to logical conclusions. Ahh -- but that's another post of a similar format to this one waiting to be written.

Anyway, if it's not complimentary in your view to respect one's own intellect, then I'd really have to question which virtues you find admirable. It must be quite unsettling to you to read things like the Bohr-Einstein debates given that they discussed things -- which, by definition, are uncertain -- with absolute certainty.
[User Picture]
From:majesticzaichik
Date:August 23rd, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
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Would if I could. LJ doesn't allow one to edit comments that have been replied to.

Wow! You're right, that's totally new. I will have to test it on other things. wtf :|.

Phil, if the definition is in the dictionary, you can't really argue with it, sorry. DOGMA AT WORK LULZ.

I find a lot of your personality traits undesirable and offensive (but then again, I'm sure you're completely used to that given how often you like to argue with people). If you really want to know what I find admirable I guess I can give you a list.

I don't think that what you find logical and certain is really logical and certain at all in many cases.
[User Picture]
From:testing4l
Date:August 23rd, 2011 07:12 am (UTC)
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Wow! You're right, that's totally new.

It isn't, actually. Ever since they introduced that capability, that's always been the rule. They claim it's for reasons with their database, but I've wondered if that's not just an excuse to do what they consider the right thing.

After all, if you could edit a comment that someone's already replied to, you could do some rather decidedly unpleasant things to their words.

Phil, if the definition is in the dictionary, you can't really argue with it, sorry. DOGMA AT WORK LULZ.

Quite the opposite -- it's dogmatic to assume that a dictionary is unquestionably correct. Just as much as it is to assume that any particular text is.

It also happens to be a logical fallacy --- argument by authority.

Have a little respect for etymology and you'll realize that you'd do well to doubt dictionaries. Note, for example, that there are well established differences between Noah Webster's dictionary and the OED. That is, after all, why we spell "honor" and the Brits spell "honour" -- it turns out that Webster was a spelling reformer.

But this is a side point -- The fact is that I didn't argue with the dictionary. I merely said that I do not associate that meaning with the word "dogmatic" and I expressed an interest in seeing how that meaning is derived in the OED.

If you really want to know what I find admirable I guess I can give you a list.

Don't misread me and don't flatter yourself. As you should find entirely unsurprising, I couldn't care less what your opinions of me are.

I don't particularly care about others' opinions of me and this is why I feel perfectly free to pay no mind to political correctness and argue with folks who come to the game night group and try to get us to fill out a survey.

What I said was that if you consider the traits of being logical and certain to be failings, then I'd wonder what traits you believe to be virtuous.

In other words, it is surprising that traits which can be established as valuable (and, indeed, have been established as valuable in popular fiction) are ones which you consider odious.

Your opinions are strange and I'm always curious to learn about the strange, illogical ways in which people act.
[User Picture]
From:majesticzaichik
Date:August 23rd, 2011 08:24 am (UTC)
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It isn't, actually. Ever since they introduced that capability, that's always been the rule. They claim it's for reasons with their database, but I've wondered if that's not just an excuse to do what they consider the right thing.

I never noticed this until now. Oh well, maybe it is the right thing.

Don't misread me and don't flatter yourself.

I wasn't. I didn't think you cared about what I find admirable. YOU I certainly don't find admirable in many ways. I also think it's funny that you said for me not to flatter myself when you are also one of the biggest egoists I have ever met, but whatever.

I think that there is no such thing as certainty in basically everything. It's certain that 3+3=6, but with the vast majority of things, there is no such thing. I find logic to be a highly desirable trait. What I said was that I don't find your logic logical in most of your inflammatory posts.

Yeah I think it's pretty pointless for me to continue this. You just said you don't really care of peoples' opinions of you which is very clear, which is also why it's kind of pointless to argue with you. You obviously like saying really inflammatory things to gain peoples' reactions. I used to think this was fun about... 10 years ago. And I guess it kind of is still fun. Look how many replies you got to this short post and mine was the only bitchy one. Kind of shocking, but ok.

Also, you probably don't know that I also don't care about peoples opinions of me overall. I have more self-confidence than most girls and I think pretty damn highly of myself too. I don't care if people think I'm a giant bitch or whatever negative thing they think of me. They should all think I'm awesome because I think I'm awesome but if they don't, then that's ok, it's their problem. The only difference between you and me in that respect, I suppose, is that I don't like showing people what an arrogant asshole I am : ).

Edited at 2011-08-23 08:25 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:testing4l
Date:August 23rd, 2011 08:59 am (UTC)
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They should all think I'm awesome because I think I'm awesome but if they don't, then that's ok, it's their problem.

I think this is the difference between you and me.

You think you're awesome.

I know I am.
[User Picture]
From:lishd
Date:August 23rd, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
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The only difference between you and me in that respect, I suppose, is that I don't like showing people what an arrogant asshole I am : ).

you're joking, right? the emoticon was to represent "eheh just kidding", yeah?

this is not to defend phil in the slightest, as he doesn't need anyone to defend him, but... seriously?

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