/ Schism

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Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017

> schism

> noun

> a split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief.

I'm sure that there are plenty of people who will say that UKC is not representative of society in general. Perhaps it isn't? But, if it isn't, I think it will make my point even more pertinent.

There seems to be a few terms that set things off on UKC. Brexit, lawful and unlawful killings, Israel, Islam . . . I'm sure there's more. Admittedly these subjects are emotive, but many posters seem to be split between the "Alt-Right" and the "Controlling Left". If you're centralist, which is the place that rational debate should lead us, watch out, because you get it from both sides.

Despite the fact that there are a couple of obvious trolls on this site, (some are harmless pranksters, but others less so), I believe the nastiness and often vitriol on this site is somewhat representative of our society in general. In fact, if people with similar interests and I guess somewhat similar backgrounds, cannot communicate or debate with decency, what is it like in the wider world? Now, I know that I have not been perfect in this, I have reacted to posts in a way that I am less than proud of and I have apologised for my outbursts from time to time. But there have even been a couple of posters who won't even accept my apology and even have tried to use it against me. Sometimes it feels like the only thing that is important to some posters is to prove that their point of view is right and that any means of facilitating this is acceptable. Sometimes, with some posters, there seems to be no thought for other's point of view, no willingness to learn from others, no empathy and little sympathy.

As I've mentioned, I believe these attitudes are becoming representative of Western society in general. Is this simply symptomatic of the clash between the "Alt-Right" and the "Controlling Left"? Is it an inevitable conflict to aid us on our way to a new and relevant social psyche in our Brave New (post-modern) World? Or is it the disintegration of the fabric of our society? Is it a sign of the beginning of the end for the Western Capitalist Empire? Is it simply because of the new phenomenom of social media? Or has it always been like that and I just haven't noticed it?

Personally, I have been trying to make some changes in my life. Last year I realised that I had been suffering from depression for quite a few years and at last decided to do something about it. I have been on fluoxetine for a couple of months, which has helped by bumping up my serotonin levels, but I have genuinely tried to be nicer to people, more thoughtful and understanding of their point of view and where they might be coming from. I am certain that this has made me a happier and nicer person to others, in fact people have told me so. This is in spite of the many things I am really not happy about at the moment, For example the Middle-East situations, Trump, Brexit, xenophobia, corporate globalisation and general nastiness in our society that I feel at the moment.

I just feel we should be kinder and more understanding of each other. Have we thrown the baby out with the bath water when we ditched Christianity? I see no resolution to debate and little prospect of learning anything beneficial with the use of vitriol and the desire to enforce views regardless of their validity.

Or is it just an aspect of UKC that I just have to accept?
Post edited at 17:24
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spenser - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> In fact, if people with similar interests and I guess somewhat similar backgrounds, cannot communicate or debate with decency, what is it like in the wider world?

If you take a look at a Trump or Brexit related article on BBC news, or even better the Independent (I'd imagine the comments section on the Sun/ Daily Mail websites are worse but I don't visit them) you can see for yourself.
UKC is comparatively quite polite!
1
Yanis Nayu - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

I think there is a lot of division in society at the moment and it's the fault of people at either edge of whatever spectrum is being discussed. Follow the middle way, be kind and think about our similarities rather than our differences.
Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to spenser:

Yes I see your point. But then on those more socially broader sites there is much less chance of one day actually meeting a protagonist as there is with this one, so perhaps vitriolic statements are more prevalent on those?

My main point is my perceived view that some debaters on here are in no way interested in learning anything from another's point of view. Perhaps that is because they are just interesting in debating, instead of having a mutually beneficial conversation?
1
Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Follow the middle way, be kind and think about our similarities rather than our differences.

I agree. Unfortunately, rather than being seen as a modersting influence, those in the centre just seem to get it from either side of the spectrum.
1
GrahamD - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:


> I just feel we should be kinder and more understanding of each other. Have we thrown the baby out with the bath water when we ditched Christianity? I see no resolution to debate and little prospect of learning anything beneficial with the use of vitriol and the desire to enforce views regardless of their validity.

> Or is it just an aspect of UKC that I just have to accept?

I think you are mistaking an internet forum (with its inherent communication limitations) with the problems of the real world for a start.
1
Doug on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

You mean topics like the grade of Three pebble slab ?
Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Doug:

> You mean topics like the grade of Three pebble slab ?

VS/E1?
Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> I think you are mistaking an internet forum (with its inherent communication limitations) with the problems of the real world for a start.

I am just using UKC (as we are here) as an example of society in general and the problems I perceive in it. It seems to have a lot of correlation to the present clash between the "Alt-Right" and the "Controlling Left".
1
Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> . . . . for a start.

The use of these words is kind of symptomatic of what I'm trying to say. Not that I'm offended, but it just seems a little dismissive.
1
Duncan Bourne - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

I think that a lot of people like living in their echo chambers and only accept things that bolster their position. There is nothing weird about this looking for positive feedback is a natural thing but it can lead to problems. Also some people love to stir things up and that, coupled with peoples natural inclination to go on the defensive when attacked, can lead to some quite spectacular slanging matches.
In the past I have succumbed to the devil in me and deliberately wound people up, much along the lines of going "Woof!" to a dog behind a fence because you know that will get it barking. The psychology as to why certain people make you want to go "woof!" and others don't is worth of a debate in itself.
However I try not to do that now and much rather try and debate in a calm fashion. This can be hard sometimes if someone is saying something you feel to be particularly gobsmackingly wrong. But then slinging insults never won anyone over so I try and put forward arguments that I feel support my position and if the other person gives me a good counter argument then I look at it and see if it has merit.
Dave Kerr - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

UKC nasty and vitriolic? Debate sometimes gets heated but compared to lots of other web discussion it's a haven of peaceful rationality.
1
Simon4 - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:
> My main point is my perceived view that some debaters on here are in no way interested in learning anything from another's point of view.

Yes, but are you one of those "debators"? Or are you genuinely prepared to be persuaded away from your own deeply held viewpoints?

> This is in spite of the many things I am really not happy about at the moment, For example the Middle-East situations, Trump, Brexit, xenophobia, corporate globalisation and general nastiness in our society that I feel at the moment

This litany suggests that all the "nastiness" that you see comes from those of opposed viewpoints to your own, while those who agree with you are presumably all sweetness and light. Which is itself a rather blinkered and highly partisan view, rather like only perceiving wind when it is in your face, not noticing it at all when it is behind you. So your desire for niceness and harmony suggests that what you actually want is for everyone to agree with you and to be persuaded by you, when you are not remotely prepared to reconsider some of your own idée fixes. Clearly this is not going to happen, as your opponents hold their views just as firmly as you do, and will have an entirely different list of "nasty, threatening things".

This is exemplified by frequent attempts to capture and distort language - a good example is the word "bigot". This is defined as "one excessively or unreasonably devoted to a particular viewpoint, prone to hostile and aggressive reactions to alternative views", it does not imply it is restricted to a particular political slant, it is a general statement about those who are excessively partisan about any view. Similarly, using question-begging words like "progressive" does not invite debate, but rather triggers (as it is intended or guaranteed to), confrontation.

To an extent, the internet and its remoteness promotes these "dialogs of the deaf", as positions once taken tend only ever to be hardened by hostile responses, hence the endless threads becoming ever more aggressive and ever less constructive. In actual conversation, people tend to be more restrained, more likely to concede that their opponents have some points that are valid and that there are more shades of grey than obvious black and white.

One of the very few conversations that was of any merit about Brexit that I have had was with a Czech chap, in a high, remote Italian bivi hut. After the initial slight awkwardness from the meeting the night before had worn off :

"I'm sorry I frightened your girlfriend half to death"
"I'm sorry she reacted like that and hit you, then ran screaming off into the night"

we actually had a CONVERSATION, because he was genuinely interested about attitudes in Britain, not wanting to launch into pre-prepared harangues from one position or the other. One-sided harangues never, ever persuade anyone of anything, these attempts to browbeat and bully simply form a carapace of stubbornness and resentment that grows ever thicker with each successive attempt to intimidate.

I think there were actually very few conversations about Brexit, and very few people's minds were changed by the endless discussion, the campaigns had very little direct effect at all.

For genuine debate, the debators must have some respect for each other and be tolerant, must be able to accept that men and women of good will and intelligence can sincerely reach entirely different conclusions, also that there is no definitive "right" or "wrong" answer. In other words, they need to be classical liberals, not "Liberals" in the originally American sense, i.e. anything but liberal, just a synonym for left-wing.
Post edited at 18:26
1
Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:
Complete and utter nonsense you moron!

Only kidding.

I would tend to agree, but I go nowhere near Facebook and try avoid many forums and comments sections on others sites for the reason I find it so depressing to read. There are however, still a few posters on here that have no interest in learning from others, but as Duncan says, just "like living in their echo chambers and only accept things that bolster their position."
Post edited at 18:31
KevinD - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> I agree. Unfortunately, rather than being seen as a modersting influence, those in the centre just seem to get it from either side of the spectrum.

Possibly because the "centre" are often not really actually centre and are often as dogmatic as any others.
I am also not sure what you mean by the controlling left. Something that has been a trademark of the centre governments over the last few years is a love of control and surveillance.
1
Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Simon4:
> Yes, but are you one of those "debators"? Or are you genuinely prepared to be persuaded away from your own deeply held viewpoints?

Yes. More often than not this has led me to a re-evaluation of my views than an outright change.

> This litany suggests that all the "nastiness" that you see comes from those of opposed viewpoints to your own, while those who agree with you are presumably all sweetness and light. Which is itself a rather blinkered and highly partisan view, rather like only perceiving wind when it is in your face, not noticing it at all when it is behind you. So your desire for niceness and harmony suggests that what you actually want is for everyone to agree with you and to be persuaded by you, when you are not remotely prepared to reconsider some of your own idée fixes. Clearly this is not going to happen, as your opponents hold their views just as firmly as you do, and will have an entirely different list of "nasty, threatening things".

No. I see it coming from both sides of the fence. I could name posters (and previously have) but that only gets me into trouble.

The rest of your post is very good and I totally agree about the personal conversation. Maybe it is an issue with the prevalence of social media that has formed my perception?
Post edited at 18:41
Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to KevinD:

> I am also not sure what you mean by the controlling left.

I just used it instead of SJW, because if I did use SJW, I'm sure an SJW would be on my case in no time.
GrahamD - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> The use of these words is kind of symptomatic of what I'm trying to say. Not that I'm offended, but it just seems a little dismissive.

The fact that you find it dismissive rather illustrates my point on the bluntness of the communication medium. In reality you don't know anything about my intent when posting this.
SenzuBean - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> This is in spite of the many things I am really not happy about at the moment, For example the Middle-East situations, Trump, Brexit, xenophobia, corporate globalisation and general nastiness in our society that I feel at the moment.

I think it shows the mark of a good person that they cannot be truly happy when there are terrible things going on that they can do something about (however small). Interestingly one of the ideals of some forms of Buddhist enlightenment encompasses this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva

> I just feel we should be kinder and more understanding of each other.

I think you're right. However I think it's (sadly) not enough. From what I've seen, even when people try and communicate and understand kindly - they're often not using the same language (even if it 'is' English). As was going on in another thread - the word 'proves' is one example. To some people it means "it's the currently best hypothesis that the data supports", and to others it means "it must be an incorrigible truth for the entirety of the universe".
This is the case for just about every single word! e.g. what does Brexit mean? (don't answer or we'll be off on an infinite tangent). What do 'fair', 'equal', 'good' and 'deserve' mean? (don't answer, but think how you might get different answers, and then imagine those different answers being used to interpret what you say).
And the result is that when person A types a sentence 1, person B reads a sentence 2. B responds with sentence 3, which is interpreted as sentence 4 by A. Then you've got person C, who joins in and reads sentence 5 and sentence 6, and thinks what the hell are they on about, sends sentence sentence 7 - which has now multiplied to sentence 8 and sentence 9 when read by A and B. It's a bloody mess and only 3 people have joined in and said one thing each! Even when you get people trying to sort these disagreements out, it wastes time, goes off on tangents, and probably is forgotten about further on anyway.
Then you've got logical fallacies, and divergent connotations muddling things up - and it's a wonder anything gets agreed on at all, even if people do try and be nice.
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wintertree - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

Perusing threads on UKC has helped me greatly to understand the diversity of competing view points and people's often eminently sensible rational for them. It's eye opening compared to day to day "real world" interactions with the same kinds of people who populate this forum. I find this humbling.

I've also come to understand through UKC just how strongly people can base their views on their self-perceived ability at economics. I find this something other than humbling. Worrying, for a start. Edit: Oddly this statement applies equally to people's (mis)understanding of Ohm's law...

The forums also serve as a gentle reminder that a very small fraction of outwardly normal people are actually anything but.
Post edited at 19:46
Yanis Nayu - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> I agree. Unfortunately, rather than being seen as a modersting influence, those in the centre just seem to get it from either side of the spectrum.

Totally agree.
Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> The fact that you find it dismissive rather illustrates my point on the bluntness of the communication medium. In reality you don't know anything about my intent when posting this.

That is something which I can't deny. However, as it is fact, perhaps we should be more careful about what we write to avoid being misunderstood and more enquiring as to other's intent? No easy task and perhaps a bit laborious.
john arran - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

I think it may partly be a result of our society becoming more combative in general, maybe as a result of ever increasing competition in all walks of life, at the expense of valuing cooperation. The way to get ahead nowadays is definitely perceived to be to 'better' those around you, rather than to work with those around you to increase your collective worth.
Timmd on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> I just used it instead of SJW, because if I did use SJW, I'm sure an SJW would be on my case in no time.

I'm not sure if I know what/who either are...why is Social Justice Warrior a pejorative term (as it can seem to be used )?
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Hugh J - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Timmd:
The first paragraph pretty much well nails it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice_warrior

I always considered a social justice warrior to be a person who feigns outrage at the slightest hint of bigotry aimed (or sometimes not even that) at any minority group for the purpose of scoring social points,, "Look at me, I'm just soooooooooooooo politically correct!".

Others would suggest it is a pejorative term that has darker roots:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=656005&v=1#x8471777
Post edited at 00:02
Timmd on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:
It strikes me that it can be a handy label to apply to anybody who is just 'trying to be good' as a way of undermining them, as well as sometimes being a valid observation of somebody possibly seeking personal validation or reputation enhancement, too.

A better (more interesting) approach might be examine what it is somebody is actually saying to see if it makes sense?

I kinda think it's up there with 'Guardian reader' or Daily Mail reader' as useful things to say in a discussion, in that it doesn't move things on.

Edit: I know a passionately vegan and pro equality for all hippie type of person who'd be really pissed off at being called a SJW if the meaning was explained as well. Having gone vegetarian since she was 3, and it making her friends laugh at her wedding when he Dad mentioned her very strong moral sense of what is right ( she can fix people with a look which speaks volumes), it's 'in her blood' you might say.

SJW seems almost like a way of saying 'You're not really this good, you're just pretending to be.'
Post edited at 00:48
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Hugh J - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Timmd:

Yeah, I think you're probably right. I can see how it can be deemed pejorative and also you're right it doesn't help any debate. I think I shall only use the term if it truly fits from now on. Like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-nvNAcvUPE

Cringe worthy!
Timmd on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:
I don't think I know enough of the legislation these trans people are talking about and the back story to them wanting to be referred to as they/them to comment.

Not being trans or American it's not something I've been aware of.
Post edited at 01:02
Hugh J - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Timmd:
I think this is a case of "gender fluidity" and they want people to use "they", "their" and "them" as gender specific pronouns. It is not always possible to know at what stage of the process a transgender person is at, so I would say it is therefore incumbent on that person to inform others which pronoun they would like to be used and not just fly off the handle if someone gets it wrong. I would also say I don't find this to be as a big deal as they are making it and are showing some classic SJW traits. They really should have more respect for this reasonable and intelligent man.

Just to clarify, this is a prelude to the other video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAlPjMiaKdw

It is worth checking out some more Jordan Henderson stuff. He is a very impassioned, intelligent and articulate man. His conversation with Gad Saad is very good, it addresses the C16 legislation that is mentioned:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpim_n0r0z0
Post edited at 01:15
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Timmd on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:
> I think this is a case of "gender fluidity" and they want people to use "they", "their" and "them" as gender specific pronouns. It is not always possible to know at what stage of the process a transgender person is at, so I would say it is therefore incumbent on that person to inform others which pronoun they would like to be used and not just fly off the handle if someone gets it wrong. I would also say I don't find this to be as a big deal as they are making it and are showing some classic SJW traits. They really should have more respect for this reasonable and intelligent man.

I generally don't like to say something isn't a big deal if I've never been affected by it. Have had people saying similar about things relating to me, so it's become something of a rule (there's probably exceptions but generally I don't). If I find the time I'll check out some of what Jordan Henderson has to say.
Post edited at 01:22
ben b - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

Schism (noun).
A sudden outpouring of gentlemanly love for climbing on schist. In winter frozen schism can be seen all over the upper tier of Beinn Udlaidh.
e.g. "Zimpara you dog, you've got schism all over the guide"

b
Hugh J - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to ben b:

Haha, brilliant !
Hugh J - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

> I think this is a case of "gender fluidity" and they want people to use "they", "their" and "them" as gender specific pronouns.

Apparently, it's more radical than that. They want people to use pronouns like "zee, zim, zer and zerself" !

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34901704

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