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To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.

-SoulRiser

The forums are mostly read-only and are in a maintenance/testing phase, before being permanently archived. Please use this time to get the contact details of people you'd like to keep in touch with. My contact details are here.

Please do not make a mirror copy of the forums in their current state - things will still change, and some people have requested to be able to edit or delete some of their personal info.


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looking for things that might prove ourselves wrong...
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Potato Offline
Pariah

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Post: #1
looking for things that might prove ourselves wrong...

...is something we need to do more often



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semi-related rant:
it's so annoying when people post their opinions and try to shield them from anyone who might disagree, when they would rather bath in a sea of supportive comments, when they only want to reinforce their beliefs, be they right or wrong. and it's annoying when people take that as acceptable behavior, opinions made public must be subject to open discourse, so that bad opinions and general idiocy can be kept in check instead of festering like an untreated gash that should have been washed with alcohol. it's just mind-boggling when people think that forums should be a place where people do nothing but agree with each other.

"I never said half the shit people say i did." -Albert Einstein

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail, there is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."-Stephen Hawking

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
(This post was last modified: 02-25-2014 09:00 AM by Potato.)
02-25-2014 08:00 AM
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Potato Offline
Pariah

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Post: #2
looking for things that might prove ourselves wrong...

dammit 0 replies. i thought i said something controversial and provocative

"I never said half the shit people say i did." -Albert Einstein

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail, there is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."-Stephen Hawking

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
(This post was last modified: 02-26-2014 02:38 PM by Potato.)
02-26-2014 02:37 PM
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Potato Offline
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Post: #3
looking for things that might prove ourselves wrong...

i was expecting a lot of hate

"I never said half the shit people say i did." -Albert Einstein

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail, there is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."-Stephen Hawking

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
02-26-2014 03:41 PM
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Subb Offline
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Post: #4
RE: looking for things that might prove ourselves wrong...

I'll say something about it.

Yes. Ideas need to be challenged. That's how the scientific method works, and that's how we generate better ideas. But, it matters how an idea is challenged. There's a huge difference between "This belief you hold and that belief you hold conflict with each other." and "You're a hypocrite for believing those things." One enlightens the person on how to better them self, and the other shuts the person out because of hurt, or causes them not to even look at their beliefs to see if you are right. Tact is key.

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02-26-2014 03:49 PM
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Potato Offline
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Post: #5
looking for things that might prove ourselves wrong...

Quote:There's a huge difference between "This belief you hold and that belief you hold conflict with each other." and "You're a hypocrite for believing those things.

you can't contradict yourself without being a hypocrite, and you can't be a hypocrite without contradicting yourself. saying that your beliefs contradict each other is equivalent to saying that you are a hypocrite, and vice versa. you may think that one is more ad hominem than the other, but that's only true in wording, not in the underlying idea. i can see why you'd react differently though. it's another example of how social emotions get in the way of everything

"I never said half the shit people say i did." -Albert Einstein

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail, there is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."-Stephen Hawking

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
02-26-2014 04:49 PM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: looking for things that might prove ourselves wrong...

Much Hate. Hardcore.

Ill post something substantial later.

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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02-26-2014 04:54 PM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #7
looking for things that might prove ourselves wrong...

Challenging ideas is good. But there's a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

It also goes both ways - challenge other people's ideas by all means, but keep an open mind about your own as well. There may be something you're missing. In fact, I'm 100% certain there is. Nobody on earth knows everything there is to know - there's always more to learn, and it can come from the least expected places.

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02-27-2014 12:22 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #8
RE: looking for things that might prove ourselves wrong...

(02-26-2014 04:49 PM)Potato Wrote:  
Quote:There's a huge difference between "This belief you hold and that belief you hold conflict with each other." and "You're a hypocrite for believing those things.

you can't contradict yourself without being a hypocrite, and you can't be a hypocrite without contradicting yourself. saying that your beliefs contradict each other is equivalent to saying that you are a hypocrite, and vice versa. you may think that one is more ad hominem than the other, but that's only true in wording, not in the underlying idea. i can see why you'd react differently though. it's another example of how social emotions get in the way of everything

I think what SubCulture meant was, there's a difference between using a single, emotionally-charged word in an a "you're an X" sentence, and giving a more in-depth, thought-through, and constructive response.

In other words, yeah, "you may think that one is more ad hominem than the other"

If someone does have contradictory ideas, or words and actions, simply branding them a "hypocrite" doesn't get to the bottom of why, or whether those contradictions might be resolved or changed.

It's actually quite common for people to have conflicting ideas, feelings, or intentions... hence the resulting mental state of cognitive dissonance.

So, what to do about this, in a conversation?

A key question to consider is, what is your intention in composing a given response. Is it to make a verbal attack, and vent some of your raw emotions... or is there some other purpose?

For example, might you be attempting to a change a person's mind, or suggest a different way of looking at things? Might you be trying to understand why a person is saying a given thing, or the series of events in their life that led them up to that point?

If you are, there are better ways to do all of those things than saying "you're an X."

And, for what it's worth, those things tend not to be modeled in may people's school or home situations... or, for that matter, in various threads and conversations they might encounter online.

There are counter-examples to that trend, though. And we can create more. The question is then, will people read them and engage, or just say "this conflicts with how I'm used to doing things," or "I'm not motivated to do any of that."

Thoughts?

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02-27-2014 01:23 AM
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Potato Offline
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Post: #9
looking for things that might prove ourselves wrong...

SouRiser Wrote:It also goes both ways - challenge other people's ideas by all means, but keep an open mind about your own as well. There may be something you're missing. In fact, I'm 100% certain there is. Nobody on earth knows everything there is to know - there's always more to learn, and it can come from the least expected places.

yea, i'm begging for people to challenge my post, instead of just saying "don't reply unless if you're going to agree with everything i say" -something you've endorsed

xcriteria Wrote:I think what SubCulture meant was, there's a difference between using a single, emotionally-charged word in an a "you're an X" sentence, and giving a more in-depth, thought-through, and constructive response.

In other words, yeah, "you may think that one is more ad hominem than the other"

If someone does have contradictory ideas, or words and actions, simply branding them a "hypocrite" doesn't get to the bottom of why, or whether those contradictions might be resolved or changed.

It's actually quite common for people to have conflicting ideas, feelings, or intentions... hence the resulting mental state of cognitive dissonance.

i always point out the contradictions if i'm going to call someone a hypocrite (unless if i meant it as an insult, and i don't use hypocrite as an insult because i don't think it's a good one, because as you said hypocrisy is very common). but i get the point

xcriteria Wrote:A key question to consider is, what is your intention in composing a given response. Is it to make a verbal attack, and vent some of your raw emotions... or is there some other purpose?

For example, might you be attempting to a change a person's mind, or suggest a different way of looking at things? Might you be trying to understand why a person is saying a given thing, or the series of events in their life that led them up to that point?

why do people argue on the internet in general? i think the answer is because they're bored with their lives. i could be trying to change a person's mind, or suggest a different way of looking at things, etc. but in the end, there's no real reward (for me) for succeeding in any of that (there's less actual reward in winning an argument than in losing, because losing an argument means you've learned something new), it only relieves my boredom. and very rarely do i gain any useful information. (the most productive exchange i've had on here was with duelix about SSRIs). so i think the answer is boredom if you get to the bottom of it. what's your opinion? why do you compose walls of text and how do you benefit from them?

xcriteria Wrote:And, for what it's worth, those things tend not to be modeled in may people's school or home situations... or, for that matter, in various threads and conversations they might encounter online.

There are counter-examples to that trend, though. And we can create more. The question is then, will people read them and engage, or just say "this conflicts with how I'm used to doing things," or "I'm not motivated to do any of that."

not sure what you're talking about here

"I never said half the shit people say i did." -Albert Einstein

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail, there is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."-Stephen Hawking

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
(This post was last modified: 02-27-2014 09:34 AM by Potato.)
02-27-2014 09:33 AM
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