Quad: 3rd Party Commentary

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by Gustav, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Gustav Banned Banned


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    i find this absolutely fascinating. please elaborate on how this should play out both here in sci and in real life. "why" would be good too
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Really? Did you know Gandhi channelled Thoreau and it was his experience in South Africa which inspired his activism on behalf of untouchables in India? Then Martin Luther channelled Gandhi in turn, as did Mandela. So the notion that people should opine only on their own society is bullshit. We don't need to repeat history if we learn from it

    I think anyone who wishes to limit their thought process to their own society is free to do so, but I'm not going to participate in any such regimented thinking

    Oh puhleese!

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  5. Gustav Banned Banned

    that is really funny!!
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  7. Gustav Banned Banned

    the laughter is petering out

  8. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    We live in a global economy and our food, clothing, energy and commodities is sourced from many parts of the world.

    As a conscientious consumer, why would I not be interested in the ideology of the people behind the products?

    Economies and governments are greatly intertwined.

    The everyday choices of ordinary people impacts the lives of others, half a world away, though they may not be aware of the fact.
  9. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    As you hint at there, though: that desire to so opine carries with it a strong obligation to learn the relevant history and facts, in a good-faith and open-minded manner, to ensure that said opinions are valuable. Otherwise, there is a great hazard of projecting other agendas onto people and offending their standing to speak for themselves. That doesn't educate anyone, nor advance human history in any observably beneficialy direction.

    I never expected that you would - but you'd do well to do more thinking and learning, and less obtuse agenda-pushing.
  10. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Further, how are we to know who is for real and who is a poser?

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    It is real easy to claim to be a white male with a degree in engineering living in Argentina when you are really a black female living in a cardboard box under the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Some of us are logically inconsistent in what we post up here. That is a very strong indicator that the author is not-so-honest and everything they say must be taken with a large grain of salt.....to say the least.

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  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    I think projecting your own agenda is unavoidable because all opinion filters through individual perception. When Gandhi channelled Thoreau for instance, it was as a student in London that he read about civil disobedience. But the inspiration did not come to him until after his stint as a lawyer in South Africa where he came like this:

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    and left like this:

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    identity is intrinsic to perception and being at the receiving end of racism is very different from being one of the boys.

    This however, is the strength of all ideas [it is also their weakness] that they are mutable and what applies to Thoreau in the United States can be adapted by Gandhi in South Africa or India, then back to King in the US and Mandela in South Africa. Note that they were all pushing their own agenda, which is reflected in their opinions of these ideas as applied to their own society.

    I don't think it is possible to ethically hold one position and campaign for one that totally denies it. It is however possible to accept that other people may not share your viewpoint and thats fine with me. I stand equally for the right of EVERY PERSON to freely hold and express their opinion, no matter how personally repugnant I consider it.
  12. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    "Projecting" means something much more strong and specific than you are implying there.

    If you're dealing with an issue as it is, on the relevant terms, then you aren't projecting, regardless of how your individual perception or background may figure into your views.

    Projection is when you are abusing distant issues that you know little or nothing about, as a screen for other things. It doesn't mean that you get inspired by Theoreau and then try to figure out how to apply what you learned to issues that you face. It means you do something, like, say jump into a thread about college admissions in South Africa with a bunch of arguments and talking points that deal with race relations in the USA. It's the abuse of distant, dimly-understood issues as a proxy for your own issues.

    But none were projecting their own agenda. As you say, they spent time and effort figuring out how to apply these general ideas to issues in their own societies, which they were intimately familiar with.

    Nobody is suggested that people can't or shouldn't learn from various sources, and try to apply those lessons to the problems they face. It's exactly the opposite: people shouldn't project their own problems onto others, in lieu of trying to learn about said others in the first place.

    Uh, okay.

    But when you encounter an opinion that is repugnant - or, to stick to the topic, formed in ignorance and disrespectful of the standing of those actually party to the issue in question - you also stand for telling them as much. No?

    One can simultaneously support the right to free expression in general, and also oppose actual free expression of specific, objectionable opinions, no? If we were talking about banning people for such, that might be a different story. But simply telling people who are pushing ignorant, offensive agendas that they should either fix up their understanding or shut up is a different beast - and not one that you are in much position to credibly disapprove of. Whatever your abstract support for the right to free expression, you exhibit few qualms about attacking the standing of various people to advance opinions on various subjects. The fundamental ignorance, and consequent invalidity, of the hegemonic Western discourse on Islam is itself a basic plank of many of your interactions here, no?

    So it seems that you essentially agree with me, irrespective of your attempt to rephrase my position as something you oppose.
  13. Gustav Banned Banned


    what "specific, objectionable opinions" and "ignorant, offensive agendas" do you have in mind?

    it would help if all know what actual instances are being referenced. for instance, you averred that some here (trippy/bells/sam) might possibly be unqualified to make certain comments in certain contexts due to possible factors that involve an inherent bias. what are these?
  14. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    I don't really want to personalize this thread too much. So I'll just content myself to assert that serial offenders can be expected to produce examples in short enough order, and suggest that you keep an eye out for such with this in mind.

    Although personally I don't find Trippy to be too bad about this. Maybe others will disagree with that.

    If that leaves you wanting for conrete examples, well, this thread is a tangent of another to begin with, yes?
  15. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Thats a contradiction. People don't deal with issues as they are, they deal with issues as they perceive them to be. Relevance means difference things depending on how a person perceives the issue

    Is that an example of projection? One's perception of an issue is what decides the stance one takes on it, yes? The notion that someone's opinion of an issue is "formed in ignorance and disrespectful of those actually party to it" assumes that you have a better perception of what constitutes knowledge of that issue and you imagine that my opinion is generally not reflecting this perception. Which is fine, since I am reflecting my own perception of the issue, not yours.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    At school, we are taught critical thinking, and one of the requirements is to be able to form a critical opinion about any topic.

    The media are offering us news from the whole world, so we get predisposed to think about all kinds of topics, and tend to be considered "uninformed" or "a redneck" if we don't have opinions on current political, economical, environmental and other issues.

    As this is an online discussion forum, it is per definition designed to discuss all kinds of topics, and preferrably in a critical manner.

    The practical consideration is, of course, whether it makes any sense to discuss such a broad spectrum of topics at all, as these discussions are often basically attempts to solve a problem over which some or most participants have no jurisdiction. Which is, basically, irrational behavior.
  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    "An issue as it is"?
    "On relevant terms"?

    As if an issue could "exist as it is" and on objectively "relevant terms" that would be independent from anyone and everyone!

    "Objectionable" according to whom?

    Perhaps that Western discourse is simply a matter of politics.

    In politics, as well as in litigation law, what matters is who can provide arguments that the other party cannot refute or that convince the judge and the jury.
    The selection and presentation of facts is then merely a secondary matter.
  18. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    ... and this is the other extreme.

    Quad argues for objectivism, and you argue for subjectivism. Both are, ultimately, untenable positions: the objectivist eventually presumes to have divine status, and the subjectivist vanishes into irrelevance.

    And I know enough about communication to know how unresolvable all this is ...
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Well thats assuming that it is possible to resolve global issues by issuing competing narratives from armchair advocacy on opposite sides of the globe.

    I don't think one can argue for objectivism or subjectivism. It is because people have differing perceptions of what ultimately is defined as reality that we have competing narratives none of which, on their own, fully describe any issue.
  20. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    People are complicated.

    Wondering if there's commonality.
    But you'd have to know the race situation better in S. Africa than most of us do...whatever Wiz4ard says about his country, I generally am going to assume he knows what he's talking about, unless it sounds really off.
    I did not get in on that thread because I know I don't know enough to comment intelligently.
  21. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    No. Like I said:

    Yet people do it all the time.

    This is objectivist.
    The corollary of objectivism is the stalinistic "No man, no problem."
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Hopefully a deeper consideration .....

    The thing is that Quad's point is a slightly more eloquent expression of a somewhat popular argument.

    Arguing on behalf of the British during a concert, U2 singer Bono once criticized international support for the Irish because so many of the pro-Irish crowd had never been to Ireland.

    Even here at Sciforums, I've seen it said that if you're an American, you should keep your opinions of British-Irish politics to yourself. (Of course, that didn't stop the person who made that point from commenting on other nations' politics, which suggests another question all its own.)

    I think the underlying issue, though, is the tendency of people in one nation to frame the politics of another according to the outlook of their own. That is, Americans looking at South Africa might compare apartheid and what has come since to the Civil Rights era, but they do not as often contrast the situations. As a result, many of the same bland generalizations thrown into the American discourse of racial and ethnic politics are generically applied to South Africa. This is, of course, an erroneous presumption of similarity.

    Unfortunately, politics in the twenty-first century has become one of conditional literalism. Where we might read through a generalization we are sympathetic to, saying, "Well, yeah, I know what you mean," we might also tend to scrutinize more closely, demanding a more literalist interpretation, if a similar generalization is applied in a manner we do not appreciate.

    Quadraphonics' point can be well-taken in the context that Adoucette might be offering up balbutive from the American discourse to apply generally in South Africa, or it can be criticized as yet another exclusion intended to assert controlling authority over an unruly discussion.

    To wit, Adoucette's underlying argument in that part of the thread is superficial at best, but Quadraphonics' criticism can, as you have noted, be viewed in a context of problematic exclusion.

    I think rather than ripping Quad specifically on the argument, you have provided us, Gustav, with an excellent opportunity to consider its general dimensions, merits, or otherwise, and perhaps we can develop some sense of the community's expectations about cross-cultural political commentary and the obligations of comprehension.
  23. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    How about: comprehension is a prerequisite of cross-cultural political commentary.


    (Most of the posters here have access to the media, whether they like to use it or not. If the essentials of that medium are then called into doubt in their totality, there is little reason to have a forum.)

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