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Re: What is "aggressive" argument?

by shmem (Chancellor)
on Nov 16, 2010 at 20:29 UTC ( #871822=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to What is "aggressive" argument?

So, I looked up "aggressive". And there are essentially two definitions:
  • "aggressiveness - having or showing determination and energetic pursuit of your ends; the quality of being bold and enterprising".
  • "characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight"; "a belligerent tone"
And therein lies my quandary:
  • Which of those deceptively similar, but disparately perceived, definitions am I being accused of?
  • And how do my accusers discern the difference?
Another thought crosses my mind: How much of the perception of what I say, is influenced less by what I actually say, and more by whom I say it to?

Well, I guess you are accused of both of them. I certainly don't. Or... well, yes, not accusing, perceiving, if I so choose. But not the second! because...

But, what is it, beyond personal whim, that defines the difference between the two definitions of 'aggressive' above? states:


Reading enemity into your posts is just plain rubbish, and an imputation which I utterly condemn. It is the type of nonsense which drove Abigail-II away from this site, when his "social skills" were being disputed, despite having posted an average of 5 posts per day over the course of two years, full of advice and knowledge. He didn't speak out softly. And? Does that show a lack of "social skills"?

That's for answers; the label "aggressive" is just gratuitous. Posts are WYSIWYG, and 'nuff said.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^2: What is "aggressive" argument?
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Nov 17, 2010 at 04:55 UTC


Re^2: What is "aggressive" argument?
by Gavin (Chancellor) on Nov 17, 2010 at 07:50 UTC
Re^2: What is "aggressive" argument? (enemies)
by tye (Sage) on Nov 17, 2010 at 08:35 UTC

    So your theory is that there were people who considered Abigail-II an "enemy" and this nonsense drove her away? No, after a few re-reads, I think your theory is that people read "enmity" in her postings and that misperception is what drove her away (well, it'd have to be some consequence of the misperception as I don't believe Abigail-II could read minds -- so, expressions of this misperception).

    Based on the impressive level of shouting she did preceding a round of "nonsense" ("the final round") and based on the target not being one of the sources of the claimed "nonsense", I suspect "a lack of social skills" might've included a personal difficulty in dealing with a website full of people; as much for the never-ending supply of ones asking stupid questions as for the ones failing to show the proper level of gratitude. But that isn't based on any personal admissions from Abigail-II; perhaps your theory is?

    It seems clear that you reject the accuracy of the perception by others of the expression by BrowserUk of enmity in his postings (it seems clear that your "your" was meant to address BrowserUk directly and specifically) (if such perceptions are actually being claimed).

    For the record, I have not (recently, at least) referred to BrowserUk as "aggressive". My recent complaints had more to do with misperceptions and adamant presumptions. I don't care to argue that BrowserUk needs to tone down his language or argue more politely. [Though, I did strongly object, with reasonable evidence, I believe, to BrowserUk's slanted characterization of a conversation. But my point was certainly not to complain about BrowserUk "raising the heat", but to refute his characterization to the contrary which I found humorously skewed.]

    But your highlighting of the concept of "enemy" intrigues me. I'm not comfortable enough with the word "enmity" to state whether I think BrowserUk expresses enmity in his postings.

    But when you highlight the concept of "enemy" in this conversation, what immediately comes to my mind is that somebody is perceiving and repeatedly expressing what seems very close to "having identified a list of a few enemies." With BrowserUk repeatedly using phrases like 'my sparring partners' & their supporters and Just half a dozen would-be PM despots, I think an interpretation of "my enemies" would not be a big stretch.

    So is that stretch what you "utterly condemn"? (Yes, I'm honestly curious and trying to better understand what you wrote.)

    Somewhat as an aside, part of something you quoted caught my eye (something I completely glossed over when I likely read it the first time):

    influenced less by what I actually say, and more by whom I say it to?

    Wow. So this puts forth the theory that not only are people not criticizing BrowserUk based on "what is said, not who speaks", but based on "who is spoken to"? That's a level I never even considered one would presume, much less express in public. It suggests to me a new aphorism, "examine what is written, not who you imagine the author is secretly defending". But I guess that isn't very "catchy".

    - tye        

      So your theory is that there were people who considered Abigail-II an "enemy" and this nonsense drove her away?

      No. It's not a theory - I'm writing about my perception; and then, wrt Abigail-II, it's not about enemity or enmity, but the same type of nonsense: in this case, deriving a lack of social skills by willful interpretation. Read from 369365 on. He wrote Y, so he must be X / lack Z. He wrote A, so he must be in mood B. All that without even knowing the source of the postings but through manifestations in a public forum. This is what I utterly condemn. A related sort of maltreatment happened to Abigail when his sex was discussed, and so he decided to leave. See 96213.

      I repeat: Posts are WYSIWYG. What you read is all yours. Deriving an intent, a hidden agenda, an emotion or mood of the poster based on the content is an excercise which may further human understanding. But the findings of such excercise may be discussed with, if he so wishes, but MUST NOT be stamped on the poster.

        Interesting. Reading 369365 and on, I don't see much drawing of conclusions about Abigail-II. Actually, I don't see any until a few posts later when "social skills" is finally mentioned (and Abigail-II brought up the subject of "social workers" so mentioning "social skills" seems more like following what was written than inventing things). Saying that somebody was being rude is not a characterization of the person nor their mental state but a description of their actions.

        [Update: And I don't even agree that "lack of social skills" is necessarily a conclusion about the person behind Abigail-II. I find it more likely that it is just a lazy expression of "your wording was not expressed in a socially skillful manner"; that it was a characterization of the writing not of the author.]

        In reply to that node, I do see Abigail-II jumping to conclusions about the mental state of another poster. "still you're not satisfied" is quite clearly such a deriving of an emotion or mood and "stamping" it upon somebody else.

        It's not a theory - I'm writing about my perception

        I still looks exactly like a theory to me. And you aren't just writing about your perception. You are making declarative statements about the emotional state of other posters and offering no evidence to support theories of their emotional state other than their "WYSIWYG" postings.

        You declare that "willful interpretation" is being done. You declare knowledge of the internal mental responses of abigail and Abigail-II that motivated the decisions to leave.

        - tye        

      Strawmen all.

      1. (if such perceptions are actually being claimed)

        Out of context, meaningless. In context--re-read the threads above--that is exactly the definition chosen by some.

      2. With BrowserUk repeatedly using phrases like ...

        All those uses a) come after the fact; b) are either direct quotes or paraphrase others characterisations; c) are usually quoted to emphasis that either a) or b) or both are the case.

      3. not who you imagine the author is secretly defending"

        No imagination is necessary. Just go back and inspect the records of you and others popping up in threads you've no previous involvement in; on subjects you've shown no particular interest in; 'in support of' indefensible statements.

        And you're still doing it.

        But, for at least the last 5 or so levels of the deep subthread in this thread, Argel has been exhibiting exactly the same passion, tenacity and strength of argument for which you've attacked me; but I see no sign of you wading in against him?

      Another old saying: "What is good for the goose, is good for the gander!"

      Ps. Keep this up and I'm going to start charging you on a per-use basis for using my handle.

      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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