Raven · on · a · Writing · Desk


No Use Crying Over Spilled Ink

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I picked up an old diary.  Trying to decide what to do with the old diaries.  And I read two things that made sense in succession.  things that have something to do with what happened.  I always thought my diaries were disconnected.

It might actually be worth entering something.

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I got someone yelling at me the other day.  I insulted them deeply.

I told them I was smart.  this was in response to them snarking at me for being a know-it-all.  Yes, I know I can come off as a condescending prig... as long as I only do it when I don't mind pissing someone off--not inadvertently--it doesn't bother me much.  I'm smarter than most of the people I meet--or ever could meet.  There's nothing I can do about it.  I'm usually brought up short by realizing someone doesn't actually understand x and they're just not bright enough to grasp it! This is embarrassing when it happens. I usually assume that though I may be smart, I know smart people and I'm actually probably not saying anything that intellectually challenging. (Smart people! They're just like us! They wear pants! ... ok, sometimes... They knit sweaters! ... with Tim Burton characters on them ... They watch sports! ... ok, no, they don't... where was I? oh yeah!)

Usually, my challenge is to not treat everything I think, know, feel, and believe like smart-brain fodder. Other people's emotional responses aren't stupid. Relationship issues aren't always the result of not figuring it out. Right now, I'm knowing intellectually that I ought to be exercising, but I'm not. Attempting to think my way into shape is just not going to happen, but it's great procrastination. I'm even trying to be clever in this paragraph, whose entire message is "Clever is only good for so much, and that muchness is just a sliver of all the things I need to do."

But if I actually know something someone else doesn't?  To say, "The proof is here, so I cannot continue to respect your position in light of the facts," is apparently REALLY insulting.  After giving it a lot of thought, it doesn't seem reasonable that the insult is "There are other facts,"  "You don't know these other facts," "I do know other facts," or any combination of those.  The insult is "I cannot respect your position."

The reason is, of course, because I've challenged that person's status.  Specifically, I have said, "No, I will not cede the argument because I will not accept that you have a higher status/greater authority on the issue than I do." 

But when I look at it more, it seems that what we have (Internet we?  United States we?) is, in the name of individual, egalitarian fairness, letting everyone have a voice, shedding race, gender, color, etc. in the wonderful Internet--what we have is a deep-rooted denial of all status indicators.  In the voice of a U.S.-ian, "It's incredibly rude to remind me that we're not all actually equal."  In those old British books I used to read, it was also rude to talk about class, but that, as I saw it, was because if people acted as was appropriate to their status, then calling them on it wasn't necessary, so doing so was just "lording it about," especially if you were privileged enough to have a higher status.

Now.... now, something.  I have noticed pissing off a number of people, not by the content of the facts or opinions, but by the Perception (real or imagined) that I was not giving them their propers.  Maybe it's Rude to remind people of their status, or to claim a different status, or any status.  But the results of not recognizing a status conflict have frequently been much ruder and more destructive.

Other examples:  The person who dissed my offer of peer status, and unfriended me because I hadn't been studying this subject for 20 years like she has (no evidence of having actually done), or was it because I was the tricksy kind who wormed my way into someone else's confidence for personal gain, like she would never do (except that one time when she totally did and was on tv for it)?  I didn't offer disrespect, but I definitely got her pissed off that she wasn't respected ENOUGH.

I've also done it.  I have totally had people hollering at me lately that I wasn't allowing them their right to "free speech" in a "public space," because quite simply, On MY Facebook page/blog/other media, it is not public, and if you disrespect MY status, or I even think you do, I'll delete your comments, block all your comments, or outright ban you for rolling over on me.  I don't have a lot of things I totally control, so you challenge the things I DO totally control, then you have lost all privilege there.

Yes, the use of the word "privilege" is, in all cases in this entry, deliberate.

Let's just stop here and call it a work in progress.  
Current Mood:
bitchy bitchy
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Our Banana Republic - NYTimes.com

"The United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana."

The proportions DO matter, not just whether you stole it fair and square.
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It's not like Saturday, and it's not fair.  I have another 6-8 hours of work to do by (some vague time) Monday, including unpaid work like reviewing my QA evaluations, mailing /faxing my "I understand the privacy policy," and writing a report for the last quarter in my volunteer position.  I've been doing this for a 50-60 hour week already, and I don't feel like I worked hard and well.  I feel like I didn't get paid.  I was cross-training, so I got paid for something like 5-1/2 days instead of the 7 it feels like I've worked.

I feel like I'm on the hamster wheel, and the day is beautiful, and I don't WANT to be here. 

But I honestly don't know what else to do.

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It's all about me: Why e-mails are so easily misunderstood / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com

Also, in another source (I culled these links from "Cracked," BION):  "One study at UCLA indicated that up to 93 percent of communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues. Another study indicated that the impact of a performance was determined 7 percent by the words used, 38 percent by voice quality, and 55 percent by the nonverbal communication." 

I think I'm going to stop reading and responding to comments, because they're even more "immediate" and misunderstood than email.
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Derailing for Dummies

Ah, this internet thing. It keeps showing up with thing people have already researched and written so I don't have to.
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Two former Global Warming skeptics have reversed their position.  Since they're both meteorologists, I am going to spend some time reading up on them later, and what convinced them, and why they previously felt that way.

I only started to get interested in whether this was real science (as in actually happening, not theoretically how it would work) when I heard a story on NPR about how David Koch had funded dozens of slanted studies to deny global warming--a sufficient number of different studies, panels, committees, and organizations that any reasonable person might conclude that uninterested, unconnected groups were coming to unbiased conclusions.

But I expect that if I have any conservative friends left, they will be happy to tell me about the lefty conspiracy to send us back to the Stone Age.

No, really, guys.  I'm going to go talk to the scientists. 
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 I was in college when I found out about the Internet.  It was right after ARPAnet.  Bulletin boards were the hot chat item.  Unix was the operating system and C was its language.  The internet didn't have a capital "I" yet and the World Wide Web wasn't even a twinkle in Al Gore's eye.

I was amazed at how open the system was.  If I knew someone's address, I could "talk" or "msg" them, and it would show up.  They didn't have to know me.  I didn't have to fill in a captcha to get my message there.  I met and made my best internet friends through a random trolling of one Voodoo Monkey who showed me the ways of MU*.

There, I encountered my first spam.  Now, we all know spam as "junk" email with possible viruses or other malware for spice, but back then spam was anything that decreased the signal-to-noise ratio.  So scripts and macros that automatically dumped a screenload of text or an ASCII picture could be conversation-stoppers.

There's a whole science experiment here about how, with the limited sensory input of the web (largely visual), it's hard to keep our mind on what's going on when the scenery changes in the blink of an eye.  At least, that's what happened in those proto-chatrooms:  The macro would scroll all the current conversation off the screen, and we'd all have to figure out where we were, or start over.

Since then, the attacks on STN have been ever increasing in variety, including every kind of subject changing, verbal bullying, and logical fallacy, but they have been mostly confined to the internet.  When Anonymous (I suspect the /b/-tards, but I'm not a 4chan-er) rolled on the Oregon Tea Party, they did a basic STN attack.  Whatever they could throw, they threw, and the OTP server was worthless for the purpose it was set up for.  Did they break it?  Shut it down?  Or just cover up on topic posting with their napalm and light a match?  I don't know.  I know it worked.

And I know that Tea Party members went to Town Hall meetings during the presidential campaign and stopped the Signal with their Noise.

I don't need to be attacking Anonymous, 4chan, Republicans, Democrats, or Tea Party-ers to know that we're not moving forward and we're not solving problems as long as we are distracted by the Noise.  I bet you can all think of some much more attractive nuisances that are keeping you from getting something done RIGHT NOW.
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