Escaping the Echo Chamber

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Voronwë the Faithful
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Al, with all due respect, I think you choose close to the very worst possible subject to hope that people "see the other viewpoint rather than reinforcing their own."
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by yovargas »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote:Al, with all due respect, I think you choose close to the very worst possible subject to hope that people "see the other viewpoint rather than reinforcing their own."
I disagree with that too.
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Inanna »

I was thinking exactly that this morning, what V-man said. I was also thinking lots of other thoughts regarding the common element between those two topics, and why the commonality - BUT I STOPPED before I went to "Al is a jerk" (step no 2 of the "worst case scenario"). Because I recognize that is what happens in echo chambers, and having studying people's thinking biases for a few years, I can recognize that type of thinking and I try and stop it.

Let me give you an example of what went through my mind when I read that woman-harrassment article: "This woman (the author) is right. These few women are going to screw it up for us" (note the "us" here). But then I went "hang on, this article does not quote anything objectively at all. And it doesn't give complete information (what River said). But if I argue against incomplete information, Al will just say that I am not willing to even accept that these incidents might be true. So, let me assume its true and see if data can back up that women are filing more harrassment cases than other cases". So, I went and looked. And the article I found had just data, not commentary (I avoid the latter). I checked it's veracity. Since it seemed fine, I posted it here, arguing why I think that article is biased.

But did that matter, no? Because it seems Al's definition of success is = getting people to agree with me.

It also hurts that in the last topic we did reach some common ground. I tried so hard to see your point of view. But it is all down the tubes, apparently.
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

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My hope had been that when every woman on HoF, spanning decades of age and continent​s of origin, describes her experience in a similar way, that it would give our nice guys a hint that perhaps there is something to be learned.

My hope was that a good man would realize that there are entrenched systems in place, that cause real, constant harm to women. Ideally, he would take the next step of taking a hard look at his own actions to see how he can help.

In a worst case scenario, a man would completely ignore everything women said and demand that they see his point of view instead.

I will leave it to the reader to decide where we landed.
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Faramond »

I think that what often happens in threads is that people start talking past each other, because each person has a wildly divergent idea of what the real subject of the thread is.

This doesn't mean anyone is at fault, but it does make constructive dialogue rather difficult. The real problem comes when contempt sets in.

I'm trying to decide what I would hope for if I started a thread called "escaping the echo chamber." Certainly not that people would argue for something they didn't really believe in. I'm not even sure the "seeing the other viewpoint" is really the goal I would want.

Maybe I would hope for a different kind of discussion? Something a little bit less like twitter? I think this gets closer to the mark. The times I feel this thread most lived up to the title was when the posts are the least like tweets. Meaning -- when the posts reveal something new, and don't just feel like recycled talking points or a snappy comeback.

I think I would start with the observation that the ground you stand on shapes the view you have. Exactly what ground does George Hook stand on here? I think this is an important question. Not for the purpose of excusing him, or even arguing that he should keep his job necessarily, but to understand why he said this appalling thing. To understand why other people say similar things. To understand why other people maybe don't say these things ( they have more sense than that ) but instead think these things, and guide their actions and judgements based on those thoughts. This is important to understand, is it not?

Then is surprised when somebody else comes into the room and rapes her.

This is the key sentence in Hook's comments, I think. Shifting the ground for a moment to the woman who was raped -- how do things look to her? Well, of course she was surprised to be raped. Or to find out later she was raped while unconscious. Surprise is obviously too mild a term for her reaction, but at least it should be obvious that this statement of Hook's is demonstrably false, so long as one considers the perspective of the person who was raped. So, we may begin to suspect that Hook never considered things from her perspective at all. What he probably did was imagine how he would want her to be, and then decide how she should have acted. In this case he's not treating her as a real person with her own thoughts and feelings.

So why did Hook not consider the matter from the woman's perspective here? What ground does he stand on here to leads him to this way of thinking? How does the world look to him?

Maybe you don't care. It's enough to condemn him. On twitter this would be enough, right? Everyone would retweet the snarkiest condemnation and that would be that. But I don't think it's enough. I don't think it's in any sense constructive. I don't think a mere condemnation does anything to make the world a better place.

What the conversation should be about to be the best conversation is not the fate of Hook, or just how appalling what he said is, or if he should or should not be fired, or even about the beliefs of the posters. It should be about the ground that Hook and so many other men and women stand on, and why they stand on it, and how this can be changed. There are lots of people who think that woman had it coming. What about them?

I know that what I'm suggesting here changes the topic from what Alatar posited. I don't care if Hook is fired or not, or if this is an overreaction, or if buried somewhere in his statement he had a point. Even if I for the sake of argument stipulated that the woman's behavior was in some sense risky, it's still blindingly obvious so long as we consider her as a person with her own perspective that she was of course surprised to be raped. That she was in no way at fault.

So what is this ground that Hook stands on? How do we move people off of it? I don't know. This subject is wide and deep and can't be properly discussed in an echo chamber. In this way I hope to escape the echo chamber.
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Alatar »

Frelga wrote:My hope had been that when every woman on HoF, spanning decades of age and continent​s of origin, describes her experience in a similar way, that it would give our nice guys a hint that perhaps there is something to be learned.

My hope was that a good man would realize that there are entrenched systems in place, that cause real, constant harm to women. Ideally, he would take the next step of taking a hard look at his own actions to see how he can help.

In a worst case scenario, a man would completely ignore everything women said and demand that they see his point of view instead.

I will leave it to the reader to decide where we landed.
If you think it was the latter I think you missed the point of the thread. The entire rest of the board is where we respond as you would hope. This thread is where we challenge the groupthink and the #MeToo's and ask what the other side of the equation is. Because shouting "But we're right" into the void changes nothing.

Thanks for wading in Faramond, I need to respond to your post more fully when its not 1:30am...
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Frelga »

Al, I still don't know what you mean by the other side.
Faramond wrote: So what is this ground that Hook stands on?
That of a system designed to benefit white, straight, Christian men at the expense of everyone else.

Understanding this, and understanding what people who see themselves as benefitting from this system are willing to do to prop it up, is crucial to understanding the times we live in. THAT is why Trump won.
How do we move people off of it? I don't know. This subject is wide and deep and can't be properly discussed in an echo chamber. In this way I hope to escape the echo chamber.
That is indeed a complicated question, but at least part of the answer is by attaching risks to maintaining that system, such as of losing one's job.
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Alatar »

Frelga wrote:Al, I still don't know what you mean by the other side.
The fact that you don't even believe there's another side to the argument illustrates my point more clearly than anything else I could say.
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

The fact that you think that there is another side to this issue makes me incredibly sad.
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Dave_LF »

What is the issue, at this point?

I still think people are trying to talk about completely different things. Because "is rape bad?" is fairly one-sided, and it would indeed be pretty sad if there was disagreement on that, but IMO, decent people can disagree on Al's original question: "should a man who makes rude remarks and/or who has the wrong opinion about a rape be stripped of all his social capital and basically be done in the world?"

(and yes, I am putting that in the worst possible way)
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by yovargas »

Dave_LF wrote: IMO, decent people can disagree on Al's original question: "should a man who makes rude remarks and/or who has the wrong opinion about a rape be stripped of all his social capital and basically be done in the world?"
I fully agree with this statement. To say there is no other side, or that no other side should even be acknowledged, is a dangerous stance, imo.
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Alatar »

I think I'm pretty much done here. :(
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

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That's unfortunate, Al, because throughout this thread I kept waiting for you to name the position you would like to defend, and I don't believe you doing that.
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

yovargas wrote:To say there is no other side, or that no other side should even be acknowledged, is a dangerous stance, imo.
The idea that every issue has two equally valid "sides" is, in my opinion, the dangerous stance. There are some things that are just wrong, period. Sexual assault and sexual harassment in all of its forms are among those things. The only way this type of conduct is ever going to be eradicated is for that concept to become widely accepted. I do not see that happening among a significant portion of the population.
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Dave_LF »

That may well be, but whether sexual harassment is ok was never what Al wanted to talk about...
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Frelga »

Is it too much to ask that people actually use words to specify what it is they DO want to talk about? I refuse to play a guessing game. Anyone who has a point to make can go ahead and make it for themselves.
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Dave_LF wrote:That may well be, but whether sexual harassment is ok was never what Al wanted to talk about...
So far as I can tell, that is exactly what thread is about, whether Al (or you) want to admit it. Sexual assault is bad, but hey, look at it from the other side, the woman is to blame too, for not taking "proper precautions". Sexual harassment is bad, but hey, look at from the other side, most complaints aren't about (to use Al's own words) "genuine harassment" if they don't involve an out and out sexual assault. Well, I've seen first hand the affect that sexually demeaning conduct in the work place of the kind that Al dismissed as "not genuine harassment" can have on women, and I'm not going to sit here and "look at the other side." That conduct is wrong and needs to be unambiguously condemned, not justified in the name of seeing both sides, or "escaping the echo chamber". Sorry, that is one game I am not going to play.
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by Dave_LF »

The discussion certainly osgiliated into that territory, but (I think!) all Al really wanted to talk about was: did the punishment this guy received for his remarks suit the crime?
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

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What do you think is a suitable consequence, if any?
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
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Re: Escaping the Echo Chamber

Post by yovargas »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Dave_LF wrote:That may well be, but whether sexual harassment is ok was never what Al wanted to talk about...
So far as I can tell, that is exactly what thread is about, whether Al (or you) want to admit it. Sexual assault is bad, but hey, look at it from the other side, the woman is to blame too, for not taking "proper precautions".
So your stance is that saying "women who don't take certain precautions are foolish" is the same as saying "rape is okay"? And that no good, reasonable person could disagree with that or possibly have a dissenting view worth considering?
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