Author Topic: Disagreement as positive  (Read 420 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Disagreement as positive
« on: 29 Oct 2021 08:43PM »
I was thinking whilst on a thread here today how much I love hearing different angles on things so I can re-think how I see things, even if they don't end up the same as the  person I disagreed with, but still lead to fresh agreement on some aspects.

I grew up with a father who caught the bus to his main employment and read papers on the bus and also at mealtimes.  He subscribed to oodles of papers, ranging across the political spectrum.  I didn't keep up with reading papers for years, but in recent years ended up reading lots of varied online news and opinion sites.

Last night, I was re-organising my bookmarks and thought how far I've narrowed down which sites I frequently look at.  Lots of bookmarks I don't click on.  Then I thought how various people try to warn of how far we're in our own echo chambers, and how that is a valid concern if, like me, you also pop into Youtube each day and find the algorithms recommending stuff to watch based on what you previously watched.

I'm now learning to click on videos I don't want to watch but from outlets I'd stopped watching and want to keep an eye on for items that explore different angles of stuff I'm interested in.

I wonder whether there are sites that are what I'll call civilised but vigorous exploratory debating groups.  The sort where people with very different political views from one another debate current and past events and issues without hurling insults or reducing it to repetitive slogans.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

On the edge

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Re: Disagreement as positive
« Reply #1 on: 30 Oct 2021 10:23AM »
Having watched Jo Cox's husband on TV recently he made this very point.  Online people set up sites and operate cliques, prefer only like-minded participants and actively ban others who don't share their views, so how on earth can any consensus be arrived at? or any compromise happen?   Such areas are breeding grounds for closed minds and extremes. A few year ago I challenged aspects of deaf culture and sign language application.

It wasn't a confrontation or a personal attack on the people that go with that, but a view from someone else deaf and included examples of where failings (And successes), can be identified without allegiance to any 'norm' others insist exist, direct experience exposed the reality everyone was different, and these areas considered it hearsay and discrimination.

Here mods will know my views, we challenge each other, I like to think I have never made a personal attack, how I respond here is how I do everywhere else, but can assure readers other sites dedicated to the sign language and social areas are near all closed shops and do not encourage any sort of discourse as happens here, you would be banned in hours or days at best.  Recently the deaf decided to operate 'Deaf' sites to discuss aspects of politics/EU etc, and is horrifically biased and opposing views to the site owners invoke immediate bans, so in  effect, you support their view or leave.

Alarmingly such sites are run by very able deaf people, very adept at searching out facts etc, i.e. their interpretation of them when they can be suggested a supporting their own status quo, however, you cannot quote facts that suggest everything isn't black or white, or that various sources used, are from people the same as them so not without bias.  FB doesn't ban such sites that are basically undemocratic and don't offer freedom of view exchange.

To be banned by such areas does help actually, it exposes the oppressive nature of some site owners who prefer to bask in their own glory.  I've isolated some sites doing it by exposing it.  As a free exchange of views and debate, it doesn't happen. Obviously, nobody is going to stand for personal assault, but again what offends? can vary person by person it's a difficulty.  I've seen someone's disability utilised as a weapon to ban others when reasoned debate lost them points.  For my 10p's worth, I feel this is where inclusion, equality, acceptance, and access, is failing.

You have to accept everyone is different, it's a glaring faux pas for us all.  It means really most of what we all say we want, is not going to happen, because too many don't want it to.  Apathy rules not reason or fairness.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Disagreement as positive
« Reply #2 on: 30 Oct 2021 12:44PM »
I think how we express ourselves can be a factor.

I think that's more of a problem in some languages than others.  British English is a linguistic nightmare because of our wide vocabulary, with lots of nuances, and culturally the English are traditionally very indirect when interacting in many (most?) social contexts.  It's something I muse a lot on.  I've never really managed to be sure how much our Celtic neighbours are or aren't like that. 

The language thing means that often it's difficult to find a neutral word.  For example, I reckon the following words would be, in many contexts, synonyms, but all with different overtones:-  network, club, group, grouping, gang, chumocracy, old boys'/girls' [something], association, league, meeting, cartel...

There's also the issue of who says/writes something.  The gender, age, social class etc. of the person saying them changes how we interpret what we hear.

Then we get into the added complications of differences between the English of different countries.  Take 'liberal'.  Economically liberal?  Socially liberal?  Politically liberal?  If the latter, right, left, centre?  Add in a time factor of even a few decades and liberal is a nightmare word understanding-wise.  I think our use of the word is shifting back and forth and causing all sorts of confusion.

So then if someone writes 'handicapped' not 'disabled', are they from a non-UK country, or if they're UK, are they not aware of controversies over the use of the word, or are they very much aware of them and making a point?  Aargh.

Now I'll get personal.  (Ah, but do I mean 'offensive'?  No, I mean simply turning to how you and I interact.) My pet hate when reading what you've written isn't something bad, it's just a difference in usage.  You write about 'the deaf' and 'the deaf community'.  To me, both include me.  They're what I'll call universal collective terms.  And given that you generally use those terms when describing people you disagree with, I then instinctively think "But you're deaf and..."  Then my mind's off on one.

But reading what you write over time, I don't see what I'd mean by 'the deaf'/'the deaf community' as the same as what you mean by those and similar phrases.  Now I mentally substitute phrases like 'the deaf people that seem to be paid attention to' or 'the deaf people that think they represent us all'.

In my head I map it onto the politics of other conditions/issues.  I gave up on Bipolar UK after they published an article on their site "I'm not bipolar, I have bipolar."  It wasn't a debate or discussion.  I wondered when I read it whether people with diabetes/who were diabetic or people with epilepsy/who were epileptic were as dictatorial about it as BPUK was about how people should conceptualise and describe themselves?  I then thought of lots of other stuff they say, promote, campain for and thought "They don't represent me and I wish they'd stop behaving as if they did." 

So when you write 'the deaf',  I have to step in quickly mentally to suppress my scream of "I'm one of the deaf and that's not what I'm like, nor lots of other deaf people I know!" and map it onto the bipolar thing.

I really do think that overall when people are discussing things, these things can trip us up.  Sometimes I play around with words to avoid it.  E.g. current gender politics.  I try mostly to avoid the term ciswoman unless someone I'm chatting with is using it because it riles some people so the discussion can get focussed on it.  Natal woman is slightly more gender-politics neutral.  Born woman is my preference.  It doesn't seem to annoy anyone.  (Yet.)  The trouble is, though, that personally I can't do that sort of thing instinctively, I have to analyse it.  Oh dear, as I edited that for punctuation, I found myself remembering a discussion where someone went berserk when 'people' was used where she thought 'women' should have been used.  Cue frenetic row which made sense in terms of how different people read different things into the choice of word in that particular context.

I can't help but think that some sorts of politics are better discussed in some languages than others.  To extend the gender politics analogy, what pity that when we're discussing that in this country, we couldn't all switch to debating in a language that doesn't use gendered pronouns?  I believe that's the case for Finnish.  Could we discuss D/deaf issues in Japanese, which doesn't have capital letters?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)