the metathread over who owns whoSep 26, 2007 by libjpn
Sep 26, 2007, 21:16:50 OCSteve wrote:
“I just get peeved when newbies, especially non-native one, catch the kind of flak that Lurker did.”
Agreed. It gets frustrating enough with the regulars. Telling someone what they *really* thought or felt when they relate a personal anecdote is bad enough, worse when it is someone new.
OTOH “lurker” is an appropriate handle for this discussion as I’m sure ObWi has many lurkers who just decide they don’t want to enter the fray given what goes on in some threads. I can’t blame them. There are plenty of times I decline to comment myself before I actually hit “Post”. A is going to read it this way and assume I meant this which I don’t. B is going to go ballistic because it’s a hot button with them. C is going to correct my grammar and typos. D is going to accuse me of trolling or more carefully “troll-like behavior”. Screw it – move along…
ObWi is an intimidating place to jump into the conversation. IMO the site has a higher than normal number of highly intelligent and well educated regulars: academics, lawyers, scientists, engineers, historians, etc. It’s like walking into the teacher’s lounge and interjecting yourself into their conversation while an attendant peanut gallery scores your effort.
Sep 26, 2007, 21:48:12 DaveC wrote:
That's why I do the "drive-by" style of commenting that pisses off so many people. You kind of have to not take things personally; sometimes sticking around too long can be too much of an investment of time.
Sep 26, 2007, 23:49:04 john miller wrote:
Actually, I think this has increased at ObWi of late. The readiness to jump all over commenters (either now or established) without clarifying what is really meant in a commenthas caused many threads to degenerate quickly.
I didn't get a chance to read the whole thread with Lurker involved, so I can't comment completely on that, but I have noticed a tendency for people not even being willing to accept a clarification.
When I was working with couples I needed to constantly point out that no two people speak the same language all the time, even those who were raised in the same country.
Imagine how someone from another country, trying to participate in a thread here must struggle when the special nuances of American English are unknown to him/her.
Is it really that hard to ask someone what they meant rather than accusing him/her of meaning something?
And OCSteve, it can be intimidating as you say. There are times that I (who consider myself relatively intelligent and well educated) feel like a kid just learning to spell.
BTW, DaveC, the knife it is.
Sep 26, 2007, 23:50:51 matttbastard wrote:
I started reading [constantly lurking] sometime mid-2004. Took me about a year before I felt comfortable offering more than a quick pointer to an interesting link.
Once again OT (and this is the last I'll mention it here, just in case the comment got lost in the shuffle, we @ Comments From Left Field (along with a growing number of participating sites) have undertaken a bit of a charitable endeavour (OCSteve: this one will especially appeal to you.)
Sep 26, 2007, 23:50:59 DaveC wrote:
The best part of the discussion was Gary saying
"It's also wise to assume the best of people, rather than the worse. It's easier on one's self, in making it easier to get along with the world, and easier on the world, and it's also, I find, more often right, than wrong. YMMV.
I find that assuming hostility where none, in fact, exists, tends to work out poorly. Delightfully common as that unnecessary tendency is on the interwebs."
Yeah, preach it!
Sep 27, 2007, 00:02:22 DaveC wrote:
Good luck on that, john.
Sep 27, 2007, 00:03:16 matttbastard wrote:
"I didn't get a chance to read the whole thread with Lurker involved, so I can't comment completely on that, but I have noticed a tendency for people not even being willing to accept a clarification."
Clarification was accepted; Lurker took no offense, either. It was parties on the periphery (eg, Gary & rilke) who decided to make an unsolicited fuss about Jes and Aimai's(who is also fairly new to ObWi, JFTR, although I have seen her commenting in other blog threads for years) unforgivable impertinance (yes, that was sarcasm--html tags are desperately needed here).
Frankly, I find myself getting more impatient with the personal grudges that seem to fuel the meta (especially when Jes is the target of self-righteous ire), to the detriment of important discussions--in this case, honour killings, one of my areas of interest with regards to social justice advocacy.
Just wish more people would take the meta outside (or the main pagers would DIRECT folks to take it here) before a thread completely derails--especially when the digression appears to have baggage attached to it. I love ObWi, precisely for the reasons OCSteve outlined above, but the constant meta can get extremely tedious at times.
Sep 27, 2007, 00:43:19 john miller wrote:
Thanks, DaveC. On the bright side, it means I'll have (for a few weeks anyway) the ability to access ObWi during the day.
Sep 27, 2007, 01:01:46 matttbastard wrote:
Oh, and good luck John. Enjoy the medication. ;-)
Sep 27, 2007, 04:19:47 Jeff wrote:
John, we expect many drug-induced posts during your recovery. Best wishes!
Sep 27, 2007, 04:56:25 Platosearwax wrote:
I am a huge lurker, and have been since the days of Moe. Hell, I am even listed on the side of ObWi as "Regulars", probably because there was a time when I did comment from time to time.
I don't post over there very often but it has nothing to do with any apprehension or feeling inferior or anything. Mine is all time, and time difference. I live in Norway, though I am an American. I either get to the threads just as they are being written, in which case I could leave a comment but then will be away for eight hours. Or I get to them after there are already 50 comments and wading in at that point might be difficult. And my internet usage time is erratic, and I don't feel like wading in with a comment that I can't ever count on being able to defend (I guess I could be like DaveC and piss everyone off). Two kids under six doesn't help the time problem any.
But anyway, it has gotten a bit hostile over there lately. Still worth reading (it is at the top of my bookmarks and the first blog I look at every day). The life of a lurker is weird, in that you start to feel like you know these people but they have no idea who you are.
Keep up the good comments. Perhaps I will try to poke my head in once in a while.
Sep 27, 2007, 05:27:57 john miller wrote:
Jeff and matttbastard, vicodin is my friend, or at least will be in early November.
Some people would say some of my comments in the past already have been drug induced, which is why, perhaps, some of them have been misinterpreted.
Relating to Plato's comment (may I call you Plato for short?)time elements can be tricky. I have seen somoen make a comment, get challengeed on it and then blasted for not answering the criticisms, when it is just as likely that that person has been away for several hours.
On ObWi, I can comment early in the morning and then not be able to get back to it until early evening. Sometimes a person has responded to my comment (or 2 or 3) but by then the thread has gone in a different direction and I am hesitant to go back to that theme.
I can imagine this is particularly frustrating for those overseas.
Sep 27, 2007, 06:55:00 Jesurgislac wrote:
DaveC: "The best part of the discussion was Gary saying"
...that he found it best not to assume hostility? Yeah, that was extremely funny, in a mordant kind of way.
john, best wishes and hope the operation goes well and the medication is fun.
Sep 27, 2007, 06:58:00 nous wrote:
It's too bad that Lurker felt attacked, since I didn't read anything particularly personal in Jes's comment. It seemed to me more about cultural/societal matters than it was about Lurker as an individual. We are all inside a culture that has long term societal structures based upon patriarchial standards. That's not a personal attack.
From there, though, it is all about rhetoric and group dynamics and Jes v. Rilkefan or Jes v. Gary or whoever it is that insists on rhetorical analysis this time. And the defenders are just as liable to read institutional critiques as personal critiques.
And from that point on it becomes mostly about rhetoric and less about the underlying issues until tempers fray and it does become personal.
I'll comment earlier in a thread on ObWi, but once it's past the meta and into stubborn sniping, I'm usually done.
FWIW I can see where Lurker was coming from and think that his(?) response is "natural" in the way that any culturally conditioned expression of care for kin is natural. It's part of a long-standing set of cultural relationships. It is motivated by care and concern and expressed in cultural dynamics that end up denying agency to women.
That's gotta change.
It's not going to change quickly. It's too deeply entrenched. But it won't ever change while society refuses to say that it needs to change or even acknowledge that it is happening in the first place.
Which is why I won't condemn Jes or Aimai for using sometimes uncomfortably pointed rhetoric.
Sep 27, 2007, 07:30:44 marbel wrote:
I live in another timezone and have little time. The kids keep me occupied a lot and I have more intrests to pursuit. I also feel oblidged to defend my remarks once I made them and writing more or less coherent English is hard work so that takes a lot of time. Which is why I often don't post a comment.
Tio is easier, more informal, so I'm more inclined to drop a note here.
Language does make a difference though. As I said; it takes me much longer to write in English than in Dutch. I also hate being so clumsy and not being able to put nuance in what I write. I don't mind clarifying myself, since I recognize the language problem, but I do hate the derailing about minor points. It takes the fun out of the discussion, stops the flow, and is a hugh energy waste. I have to be a basketball referree a few times per year, and (at our low level) the game is nicest when you know which faults to note and which ones to let go. Discussions here remind me of that.
I also agree with the more hostile tone recently at ObWi. It's not just personal likes/dislikes, it's like quite a number of folks suddenly decided to bring their pet-issues to the blog and decided that emotional fencing is more fun than verbal fencing.
John: best wishes and speedy recovery.
Of to bed now, it's past midnight in the Amsterdam time-zone.
Sep 27, 2007, 07:46:41 libjpn wrote:
I don't know. It gets a bit tired to say something and have Jes say 'well, that's because you hate women'. It also gets a bit tired when Gary eschews any additional meaning and burrows into his previous statements. Gary noted that it aggravated him that I offered unsolicited advice. Regulars all have their tics, and it is easy to see the potholes as you drive. This doesn't hold for newbies.
The 'you hate women' trope works well if you want to say that the answer is simply stop hating women and the world immediately gets better.
This is not to say that this view shouldn't be expressed, but when it is trotted out as a triumphant 'see, you hate women and you don't even know it', against someone like Dutchmarbel, it's roll your eyes sort of funny. When it is directed at a newcomer, who is not a native speaker (again, that really gets my goat, not only because the opportunity to have a commenter from a non-English speaking country is so rare, it is just bullying, which I really hate) it seems to fray the ObWi cloth.
The back and forth I saw was that Jes dropped the line on Lurker and then left and aimai felt it important to defend Jes' battleworks. I certainly understand that Jes' timezone makes extended response difficult sometime. And the answer to that amazing conundrum is.... don't drop bombs on people and then leave. The comment that Jes left leaves no room for compromise, and makes no assumption that Lurker might have expressed himself poorly. And when positions rather than individuals' opinions are set up as what is important (and a sign of this is the rushing to classify newbies into various camps), then getting an advantage by questioning reading comprehension, mindreading and all the other tricks become fair game.
Eschewing the simple answer and trying to make sense of the underlying complexities is why the discussions are more interesting at ObWi.
Sep 27, 2007, 15:49:59 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>I don't know. It gets a bit tired to say something and have Jes say 'well, that's because you hate women'. </I>
It also gets a bit tired to have people consistently claim I say this, when in fact, I never do.
The 'you hate women' trope works well if you want to say that the answer is simply stop hating women and the world immediately gets better.</I>
Ignoring what I'm actually saying, claiming that what I'm saying is "you hate women" and arguing against what you claim I said rather than what I actually said, is a trope that never works - except, of course, as a means of dismissing what I'm actually saying.
<I>The back and forth I saw was that Jes dropped the line on Lurker and then left </I>
Which is not exactly what happened. It may be your perception of what happened, but as far as I can tell, it doesn't even match Lurker's perception of what happened.
Eschewing the simple answer and trying to make sense of the underlying complexities is why the discussions are more interesting at ObWi.</i>
Yep. Which is why it's a pity you just want to focus on the simple answer "Jes is just saying 'you hate women'" and never trying to make sense of the complexities. Dismissal is always easier than actually trying to understand.
Sep 27, 2007, 16:26:32 libjpn wrote:
You admitted that your one line comment was only because lurker's English was excellent and you wouldn't have made it had you known. So now, you were plumbing the depths of gender relations with that comment, but neither I (nor the several other commentors who noted it) had the nuanced vision to see it? It's nice to think that you can have it both ways, but you really can't.
Sep 27, 2007, 19:04:55 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>You admitted that your one line comment was only because lurker's English was excellent and you wouldn't have made it had you known.</I>
Yes: Although Lurker's comment, as aimai outlined later in the thread, did imply ownership of women in the way it was expressed, I would have responded to it differently had I known Lurker was writing in a second language.
<I>So now, you were plumbing the depths of gender relations with that comment</I>
Straw man, lbjpn. Really, have you got nothing else? You are attempting to claim that my comments on that thread were all just "well, that's because you hate women". Now you're attempting to claim that if I point out that I never said that, I must be claiming that I'm "plumbing the depths of gender relations". When will you try just responding to what I <I>said</I>, rather than making up stuff that you evidently wish I had said, and responding to that?
Sep 27, 2007, 19:25:26 libjpn wrote:
No, I am claiming that you asserted what lurker thought and you admitted you were wrong. Now, you are backtracking, implying that you were right. Of course, tt's hard to figure out what the 'to be fair' means (be fair to you? fair to lurker? fair to the regulars who watch you go back and forth?) Now you argue that if lurker had been a native speaker, you would have nothing to apologize for, which is precisely the issue here, that you leapt in with your own interpretation, and you were wrong.
If you had made your comment along the lines of 'I'm sure that Lurker didn't intend it this way, but the remark struck me as implying that women are owned by men', I don't think you would have gotten the same kind of reaction from others, and certainly not from me (though note, I didn't flog you, but took up points directly with aimai about this) But you wrote what you wrote and you got some reactions from regulars that suggest the thing you used to always point out to Charles, that if everyone says you are staggering around drunk, it might be better just be to lie down rather than to loudly assert you aren't drunk.
Sep 27, 2007, 21:41:43 Jesurgislac wrote:
OCSteve: Here's a link for your <a href="http://mediamatters.org/col...">long-promised TIO post</a> on the issue of past Presidential military service in the 2004 election.
lib: <I>No, I am claiming that you asserted what lurker thought and you admitted you were wrong. </I>
Wow, are <I>you</I> now accusing me of attempting mindreading? I never claimed I knew what Lurker <I>thought</I>. I reacted to what he <I>wrote</I>. (Charles Bird was fond of complaining that I'm "mindreading" because I <I>don't</I> read his mind and give him credit for the good intentions he later claims to have: he seems to think that because I read what he writes and respond to what he says, I must be "mindreading".) Please don't sink to the Bird level of discourse.
What Lurker wrote used language that claimed women as property. Re-read aimai's analysis of it, with which I concur. Now if I'd known Lurker was writing in a second language, I would have figured he was entitled to a large amount of slack - but, as I didn't, I reacted to the clear language of ownership used in his comment.
Your insistent raising of straw men rather than responding to what I actually wrote suggests that you do not want to address the issues I raised, but to dismiss them all as feminist man-hating. When you can actually read a comment of mine and respond to what's in it, we can have a discussion: so long as you insist on talking to straw dolls of your own making, I'll just have to keep pointing out that your self-conversations are nearer prostate-cancer-avoidance than intelligent discussion.
Sep 27, 2007, 23:01:31 libjpn wrote:
Jes' first comment
"As I said: the notion that women are property, to be disposed of by their family, is pervasive."
Jes' later comment
"To be fair, if I'd realized Lurker was writing in a second language, I'd probably not have picked him up in that way - but I didn't know because his English is excellent."
Own your words, Jes.
Sep 28, 2007, 03:58:05 marbel wrote:
Can I add a remark about spoilers? In m newsgroup, where we discuss SF and fantasy, we use spoilerspace. I now had to close the open thread on obwi because I'm not uptodate with the new Heroes.
Sep 28, 2007, 05:46:11 Jesurgislac wrote:
Yes, libjpn: I see you can cut and paste. Well done. The next step would be for you to admit that the comments of mine you cut-and-pasted do not, in fact, resemble the straw dolls you have been talking to...
Marbel, I agree it would be nice to have spoilers warned for... but IME, Americans don't play well with others in that regard. :-(
(On the other hand, we get our revenge with regard to Doctor Who and Torchwood *evil laugh*)
Sep 28, 2007, 07:17:24 libjpn wrote:
more cutting and pasting (from, well, you know)
`There's glory for you!'
`I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'
`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.
`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'
Sep 28, 2007, 16:26:24 marbel wrote:
March Hare: …Then you should say what you mean.
Alice: I do; at least - at least I mean what I say -- that's the same thing, you know.
Hatter: Not the same thing a bit! Why, you might just as well say that, 'I see what I eat' is the same as 'I eat what I see'!
March Hare: You might just as well say, that "I like what I get" is the same thing as "I get what I like"!
The Dormouse: You might just as well say, that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe"!
Sep 28, 2007, 22:53:31 Jesurgislac wrote:
`Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.
`I won't!' said Alice.
`Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.
`Who cares for you?' said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) `You're nothing but a pack of cards!'
Sep 29, 2007, 07:41:34 libjpn wrote:
Well, the meta thread got meta-stasized back at the mothership.
Oct 02, 2007, 22:23:13 matttbastard wrote:
A clarification: in my previous comment I used Gary as an example of someone "who decided to make an unsolicited fuss about Jes and Aimai's...unforgivable impertinance". Gary took exception to this, and I apologize for mischaracterizing his contribution to the discussion.
His comments were a metacommentary on what is or isn't mind reading:
( original comments from Gary here:
Again, my apologies for the erroneous slander.