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Re^34: What is "aggressive" argument?

by Corion (Pope)
on Nov 14, 2010 at 09:44 UTC ( #871304=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^33: What is "aggressive" argument?
in thread What is "aggressive" argument?

I maintain, I am perfectly polite to those that are polite to me.

But consider what would happen if you met a slightly varied clone of yourself (or, for the Gedankenexperiment, a BrowserUk from the Mirror Universe). That clone might feel offended by some slight misspelling on your part, and return the favor to you. This will end in endless aggession and of course without any resolve in sight, as both of you will continue to escalate, as both of you feel they have the right to do so.

As a second example, I take slight offense on people writing in ALL CAPS, because to me, this is akin to shouting. But I try to be polite about this and to tell people how their text looks to me. I find that people usually take the courtesy to write in a way that makes it pleasant for me to read their message. If I were to go another route and to berate people for expressing themselves in a way that they might not know I find unsightly, they could feel offended in turn, and might escalate the efforts on their side, with the intention to "get even" or to "one up" me. I consider this quite unproductive and a waste of my (and maybe their) time, so I try to avoid that.

I don't feel that continouus aggression and/or escalation is either a good way to behave on this site nor is it a good way to behave in general. It will only make the person isolated, as all people not forced to interact will turn away, unless they like playing bullfighting. The people not turning away will likely get locked in a spiral of escalation which helps neither of the involved parties.

And for other to judge individual incidents of "impoliteness"; that term needs to be clearly defined, and applied universally.

That's not how society works. politeness (OK, a Wikipedia reference, but let's just stay with it for the moment) has a definition of "politeness", and "manners" that seems quite acceptable to me:

Politeness is best expressed as the practical application of good manners or etiquette. It is a culturally defined phenomenon, and therefore what is considered polite in one culture can sometimes be quite rude or simply eccentric in another cultural context.

If you think that (wanting) politeness is a sign of oppression, then I'm not sure what you want instead. I prefer people making an effort to convey their message, and making sure that no secondary signals can dilute the primary message is beneficial to that. In the example of ALL CAPS, the form really detracts from the content for me, so I prefer to read a well-formatted email/post over one that makes it hard(er) to find the message in it.

Comment on Re^34: What is "aggressive" argument?
Re^35: What is "aggressive" argument?
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Nov 14, 2010 at 10:05 UTC
    If you think that (wanting) politeness is a sign of oppression,

    But I never said that. Indeed, what I did say is almost identical to what you've quoted from Wikipedia. Vis. From the very post to which you responded.

    "Etiquette" is a nebulous, subjective concept who's definition varies from: culture to culture; country to country; person to person; and even by the mood of the person judging. In some societies, showing the soles of one feet is considered "impolite", or worse. In others, baring ones arms in public is "offensive". Should we be bound by those definitions in our general lives, because someone somewhere decided that was the case?

    I never use all caps. Not in respect of that illogical usenet meme, but because I find it hard to read, and it looses its impact.

    I do occasionally use a few words in caps for emphasis. A practice wildly used in literature, media and correspondence, through out all languages and cultures.

    I was not wrong to put 6 words in caps. Those judging me were wrong to equate that use with the usenet 'all caps is shouting' meme.

    (And IMO for subscribing to that illogical meme in the first place; but that's subjective.)

    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

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