What is Civility on ILP

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What is Civility on ILP

Postby Carleas » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:43 pm

Mowk wrote:Let us just have a discussion about what you believe is civil and why you believe it matters.

Let's. Here are my initial thoughts:

Civility on ILP, like civility elsewhere, is just the practice of certain manners, certain ways of posting politely. Civility's social roles are many, but one that's important is in keeping the peace to allow productive business to continue. For ILP, that means avoiding bickering matches in favor of substantive discussions of philosophy.

Before I go further I should say that, like manners elsewhere in society, while I would hope for civility, I don't think it should be enforced through moderation. People have every right to be rude, and the only cost should be the loss of respect from one's peers.

Manners keep discussions civil largely through 'costly signaling', that is, taking steps that make posting slightly more difficult in obvious ways, but also communicate that the cost is being taken to indicate that the speaker respects the person she's speaking to. So, for example, rather than just dismissively responding, "Rubbish", I might write at length to explain what's wrong with the post. This is costly: I'm spending time I might spend elsewhere, and it will be clear throughout that I could sum up what I'm saying with, "Rubbish". Taking the time to write that out at length is a way of indicating that your post is worth responding to at length, that I value you enough to not only comment on your post, but to explain my comment, to attempt to win you over to my point of view. Those indicia of respect will encourage reciprocation, in the form of a similarly explicit rejection of my points.

If you look at the Socratic dialogues, you will see a good deal of this costly signaling. Socrates proceeds with often laborious self-abasement at multiple stages throughout the dialogues, explaining his own ignorance, showering praise for intellect and rigor, and generally criticizing an idea with as much respect as that endeavor allows.

Similarly, civility demands avoiding insults, instead criticizing ideas and doing so in a way that indicates that respect for the speaker. This is perhaps the lowest-hanging fruit of civility, as it is only costly in self-control.

The other side of how one addresses others is how one responds to incivility. This is important everywhere, but especially at a site like ILP where the ideas being criticized are often core to a person's identity and understanding of place in the world. Responding to incivility without incivility prevents a downward spiral of incivility. This takes having a bit of thick skin, presuming the good faith of others, and, while showing as much respect as possible, not taking a person's uncivil words so seriously that the only response is an emotional an uncivil outburst. It may mean legitimately doubting ones own positions, willing in the gaps in the criticism left when the incivility is ignored. Often, it just means walking away from a conversation that one has reason to believe will no longer be productive.


Take a step back from ILP to look at the role of manners elsewhere. One of the more elaborate sets of manners are in diplomatic protocols, where we find significant pomp and ceremony, a.k.a. costly signaling. The reason for this seems to be that there is no fundamental trust, so signaling must be particularly costly to convince each side that the other that they are intending to play by the rules and show each other respect. The more elaborate the rituals, the most costly it is for the participants.

Similarly here: participants are anonymous, they are internet strangers from all over the world, representing strongly held by widely diverging schools of thought, as well as cultural backgrounds. Civility here signals a willingness to engage in a discussion in good faith across those lines, and doing so means accepting some cost as a means to inspire trust.

And the purpose is the same: constructive dialogue, thoughtful and honest critique, productive-though-difficult conversations.


Civility as I described it is the ideal, in my mind. No one lives up to it, because it's extreme, it's costly, it's counter to instinct. But it scales linearly: a little civility, a little costly signaling, a little thickness of skin, actually confers a proportionate bit of the benefits of the ideal.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby MagsJ » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:42 pm

A group of adults in a social setting (which this is) should be able to exercise some self control i.e. self moderate themselves to a certain extent.

Visiting the boards to troll, revenge post, or post in anger disrupts the buzzy atmosphere that the site has going on, but some have openly-admitted to doing this... I, like Mowk, do not come here for that, and I do not expect constant uncivility to be acceptable on a forum such as this.

I'm all for self-expression, but if (hu)man cannot first control himself.. how does he expect to exert control elsewhere?
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Carleas » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:12 pm

I agree with all that. However, I've seen plenty of conversations where both sides are accusing each other of merely trolling or disrupting, or of being uncivil (and of having "started it"). I would wager that most people accused of being trolls on the internet are not intentionally trolling, and that much perceived incivility is unintentional. That's a big part of the reason why I'd put some onus on individuals, as part of being civil, to take incivility without dishing it out in kind, and to presume that interactions are in good faith, or to just walk away if they can't continue under those conditions.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby MagsJ » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:22 pm

I agree with all you have outlined.. including the fickle accusations of trolling and uncivility that gets thrown around far too much, so I guess I'm more on about what encroaches to be more on the bullying side of uncivility.

A grown up bully is surely a sad sight to behold.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Amorphos » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:41 pm

Being civil is the same as taking notice. People know if they are repeating their ideology or theories numerous times, and in reply to topics which aren’t asking for them. And they know if what they are saying would cause offence.

What is the equivalent in actions?

A punch in the face is equal to Nazi propaganda, and so I suppose is an overdose of political correctness. …but we know when we are doing that, or derailing threads with our own theories. …we should have our own theories tho.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Carleas » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:05 pm

I don't think civility is related to the theories being put forth. Civility is a way of saying something, not a certain set of things to be said. Philosophy deals with a lot of politically incorrect questions and ideas, so there's nothing wrong with presenting them. And because people feel strongly about these ideas, and because they are ideas that can't be civilly expressed almost anywhere else in life, they are likely to cause offense. So causing offense can't be the measuring stick for civility here. In a philosophical discussion, all political correctness is an overdose.

Rather, we need to look at how the ideas are expressed. Are you trying to convince people in good faith? Are you assuming an obligation to convince them? Are you courteously explaining where you think they err? If you're not, you're uncivil. If you are, even your ideas are abhorrent, you can still be civil in the context of ILP.

In my opinion.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Amorphos » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:10 am

I was attempting to point out where people know themselves that what they are saying is based in hate. Hate for a race or given ilk, is the same as ad-hom attacks, no? What’s the difference? It is an attack upon the personhood and not the politics or philosophies of an individual. People can’t stop being Jewish or black because they have been persuaded by Nazi politics or what have you. Ergo an argument based in that is patently nonsense, and doesn’t even deserve to be heard on a philosophy board.

repetition of that to the extent we get here is abhorrent imho. I've been on e.g. gaming sites where the moderators stop all such attacks and the world doesn't explode. you just get civil although still passionate debates.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby The Golden Turd » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:42 am

Ahhh, your logic is fucked Carleas, you had in those Socratic Dialogues a Mr. Diogenes, who was known to spit in people's faces and throw naked plucked chickens into a debate.

He did not give a flying fuck about your costly worldview, and was widely embraced in actual Socratic debate as worthwhile to have around, though by your explanations above, he would be the scum of the earth. He was the originator of two, not just one, ancient philosophical schools, and would regularly beat off in public.
.which gets me to my question.... My Dipping My Dick In Fondue question was civil, and posed direct science questions on biology and physics, not hostile to anyone. It was hidden. It was costly for me to develop this question and post it, and so cheap and dirty for your staff to take it and hide it.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby The Golden Turd » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:18 am


https://classicalwisdom.com/diogenes-of ... 4-323-bce/

Branch: Ethics
Approach: Cynicism
“In a rich mans house, there is no place to spit but his face”
Diogenes of Sinope is often considered one of the more eccentric, or at the very least untraditional, of the ancient Greek philosophers. He is credited as being one of the founders of cynicism and practiced these ideals through the eccentricities that filled his life.

It was his belief that all artificial growths of society, such as status and wealth, were unimportant, and could, in fact, be damaging to men’s souls. Diogenes held open contempt for abstract ideals such as reputation, property rights, or patriotism to any city-state.

He is often credited with the first use of the word “cosmopolitan” when he stated: “I am a citizen of the world (cosmopolites).”

While living in Athens, it is said that he resided in a large ceramic jar on the outskirts of the marketplace. He made a career out of begging and lying about; all while surviving on a steady diet of discarded onions. During the day, he wandered the streets with a lantern because he was “looking for an honest man”.

Diogenes was constantly dirty, disheveled, and often smelled of filth. He urinated and defecated in public, and it was not uncommon for him to literally spit in the faces of those who disagreed with him. For this reason, Diogenes was sometimes referred to as “Diogenes the dog”.

Rather than being offended, Diogenes reveled in the idea of being more like a dog. A dog, he believed, was more in touch with nature and therefore more closely in tune with true happiness. The dog does not care for social status or material possessions; the dog does not make himself a slave to the superficial desires that so plague the hearts of men. The dog lives life in the present and does not concern itself with abstract notions that might damage the soul.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby MagsJ » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:45 am

Times have changed..
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby James S Saint » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:47 am

What is civil to dogs is oft not civil to cats .. not to mention the apes, snakes, and rats.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
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It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby The Golden Turd » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:32 am

Times have changed, stop living in the past Magsj.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Meno_ » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:56 pm

Carleas wrote:I don't think civility is related to the theories being put forth. Civility is a way of saying something, not a certain set of things to be said. Philosophy deals with a lot of politically incorrect questions and ideas, so there's nothing w
rong with presenting them. And because people feel strongly about these ideas, and because they are ideas that can't be civilly expressed almost anywhere
else in life, they are likely to cause offense. So
causing offense can't be the measuring stick for civility here. In a philosophical discussion, all political correctness is an overdose.


Rather, we need to look at how the ideas are expressed. Are you trying to convince people in good
faith? Are you assuming an obligation to convince
them? Are you courteously explaining where you think they err? If you're not, you're uncivil. If you are, even your ideas are abhorrent, you can still be
civil in the context of ILP.


In my opinion.


Good one, but expressions are one thing, and impressions another.

What's missing is the gage to measure the effect of a certain way of expression, on those impressed by them. It's not an objective criteria at any rate, consideration is variable, here as well. It is not a case of the cat and dog example, that's too easy, there are obvious behavioral twists and turns which can be applied, but in Men, and Shame on Darwin to reduce civility to such a trite and shameless civility.

If this question would have been asked before the advent of devolution, such animal farm analogies would have been disallowed.

Behind the times? Not at all, ahead of disingenuous efforts to further erode standards.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Mowk » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:12 pm

Carleas, Thanks for taking your time to express your ideas.

For ILP, that means avoiding bickering matches in favor of substantive discussions of philosophy.


And you believe your moderator of SG&E practices this art?

...while I would hope for civility, I don't think it should be enforced through moderation. People have every right to be rude,...


I must disagree with your thinking that people have "every right" to be rude. The notion of a right often is combined with the idea of responsibility. On an internet forum, as you have mentioned, there is anonymity that precludes the sort of loss of respect of ones peers you mention as being the only cost. Even with regard to the right of freedom of speech, there are limits that involve responsibility. Lets say, I and the other members of ILP are not peers of moderators. Have you lost any respect for a moderator that lacks the responsibility to avoid bickering matches in favor of substantive discussions of philosophy?

If you believe that it is just bickering that is being engaged in then you should issue a warning to both parties engaged in it and avoid the whole argument of who started it. But this isn't a case of bickering over who started it. It is a systemic case of a moderator participating in it. And it, in this thinking, is not merely a question of incivility, it is a case of an individual using tactics that appear very much like bullying. That is not something we as human beings just walk away from because the conversation appears no longer productive.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Mowk » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:33 pm

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=192006

Take a look at the exchange above. It does take a downward spiral.

Rather, we need to look at how the ideas are expressed. Are you trying to convince people in good faith? Are you assuming an obligation to convince them? Are you courteously explaining where you think they err? If you're not, you're uncivil. If you are, even your ideas are abhorrent, you can still be civil in the context of ILP.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Uccisore » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:46 pm

The first thing to notice is that this place isn't really any more or less civil than other places on the internet that discuss religion, politics and such.

There's a certain negative tone here, but it's not driven by an unusual amount of hostility, it's driven by familiarity and ignorance.

We don't have an upvote/downvote system here or anything like that; which probably is a good thing given the small community size. But one consequence of that is that people can prattle on about stupid nonsense without any feedback as to whether or not their prattling is appreciated. We have multiple threads going on, for example, in which one person is basically just writing to themselves over and over and over again, with no sign that anybody else is reading a word of it. Without that instant feedback, people aren't steered away from saying stupid shit, and at the same time, readers don't have any way to express their reaction other than to post and say "Shit, that's stupid."

Another thing is that this place is pretty tiny. We all basically know what to expect from each other. If Anarchist A says something to Paleocon B, they both know it's going to result in one of them calling the other a pussy or a faggot or whatever. They already know each other, they know they don't like each other, and they chose to step into that interaction anyway. It's not as though unsuspecting newcomers are being attacked by trolls ruining otherwise wonderful conversations.


A third thing I notice is that the couple people here who write long-winded, detailed, thought-provoking posts aren't reporting other people to me and don't seem to have a problem with getting harassed. But everybody who creates one-liner threads or writes one-liner responses to other people's threads seems to have this super important line in mind, and they seem to think anybody who responds to them has crossed it.

Fourth, and relatedly, when you have strict civility rules on any online community but especially small online communities, those rules just become methods of people who can't 'win' a debate in the usual ways to feel like a victor. Mowk pretty clearly has a vendetta against me for making him look stupid over the years, which is something he doesn't manage to hide even in his first post here. And I've seen that behavior lots of times, with lots of people over the years; if a "ILP rules need to be changed!" thread crops up, you can bet your ass somebody just lost a debate.

I'm not particularly interesting in telling grown-ass adults that know each other that they aren't allowed to say 'shit' or 'fuck'. I'm certainly not interested in creating a bunch of complex bylaws and regulations that people can use against each other when they get butt-hurt. My advice to Mowk remains the same as it was when he raised the topic in Chamber of Debate: write interesting content, and you'll get interesting responses.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Mowk » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:01 am

First off, have I ever claimed that I know anything. No, I will always admit all I have to base anything upon is a best guess, given the limited data available without making that one study a life calling. I am a generalist, in as much as time affords and circumstances allow.

That being said. I will attempt to respond as if a conversation between friends is taking place.

Ucci, your are a smart fellow. End of sentence. I am sorry if you believe my contempt for you is vindictive. I am simply tired of you calling anyone a retard or any of the other demeaning labels you have such propensity too, as if you have some omnipotent capacity. I am tired of your act. You have not an inclining of the respect I have for you as a thinker, My complaint sadly is with you as a human being. You do not have the right to be as flipping rude as you can be.

You and I share at least one condition in common, as long as you as a meme has been here I have occupied a singular meme. I can search every post you have ever made and you can search every post I have made. In that we know (can make an informed guess) the value in a name. My grandfather told me you are born with just one thing, don't fuck it up, and the world is your oyster.

I'm guessing here and you might find the admission a weakness. But why the fuck aren't we friends?
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Uccisore » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:43 am

Mowk wrote:Ucci, your are a smart fellow. End of sentence. I am sorry if you believe my contempt for you is vindictive. I am simply tired of you calling anyone a retard or any of the other demeaning label you have such propensity too, as if you have some omnipotent capacity. I am tired of your act.


Well, alright. I didn't want to have to do this.

Here's the actual thing that happened: I made a thread about an item of current events. You dropped by the thread and called me an liar, accused me of having a chip on my shoulder, swore at me, and in general acted like exactly the kind of shit head you're complaining about in this thread and several others. This was completely unprovoked, I might add; the two of us hadn't spoken for years. Then, after I responded and met your tone, you edited your posts to make them look more polite, so that I appeared to be the one getting all aggressive for no reason.

Then, after the other people in that thread laughed at you, you starting whining across three separate sections of the forums about how awful the tone is here, and how something had to be done about me. That's what you did. Everybody here can see your edit history, everybody here can see the original content of your posts, because I quoted them in my replies.

Now, it has been two weeks, and you have done absolutely NOTHING on this forum except pursue this vendetta against me that all began with you being a complete fucking cunt for no reason. At any time you could have started a thread, participated in a thread, done any of the things that you claim to wish this website permitted, but instead, you have done this and only this.


Your behavior is precisely the reason I don't enforce strict tone or civility on my section. Once there's strict enforcement of a code, some people will decide they'd rather play silly games and try to get folks kicked off the website instead of actually engaging in discussion. In case you haven't noticed, I've been here forever. I was here for the years where a 'three insults and your gone' type policy was enforced, and the entire fucking website was people like you starting bitch slap fights over what counts as an insult and what doesn't, trying to leverage the mods into banning everybody who make you look like a chump in a debate.

Well fuck off, we ain't going back there. You're just gonna have to learn to have conversations with people instead of trying to leverage power over them. The irony is, if I was big about enforcing the civility that you say is so important, I would have tossed your ass out of here weeks ago. But no, you are allowed to persist, contributing nothing but bad attitude and petty agendas against people who make you look foolish, and it's all thanks to the fact that I'm ignoring your advice.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Mowk » Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:19 am

Then don't. But as you have, I'll let who ever wants to judge. There are still a few who's opinion I respect.

The mistake you made is you did not respect my intelligence, as arrogant an accusation as that may be, I simply set a trap guessing you would trip on your own words. And sadly regardless of how I reach out you are falling. I am not proud to have done it but that gun metaphorically speaking is only loaded with blanks when I am considers it appropriate. You my dear friend could learn to be more human, and who among us can't afford it.? Your perspective is but a drop in a bucket and by no means is accurate.

I forgot that I must argue in good faith. Dammit, I am inclined to forget that the faith is not only directed toward who you argue with but as well as to who is listening.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Mowk » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:43 am

No, that last line feels odd. Yet there is sentiment there that I did not honor properly. Grouping for the words. >sigh< So yeah sometimes I do talk to myself. Do you want to make that a quality of idiocy? I'm thinking a good long talk with yourself may be in order. In good faith.
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby James S Saint » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:59 am

Mowk, you are hardly one to be talking about arguing in good faith .. to either your perceived opponent or to your perceived audience. It is pretty obvious that you simply don't care about such things, especially to those who have watched you for years.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Mowk » Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:11 am

James S Saint wrote:Mowk, you are hardly one to be talking about arguing in good faith .. to either your perceived opponent or to your perceived audience. It is pretty obvious that you simply don't care about such things, especially to those who have watched you for years.


Wow, I hadn't realized you cared enough to watch. I always have suspected as much. All this potential, no fucking clue where it belongs. But I still think you are an idiot for thinking that coil would spin. You for some inexplicable reason I halfway respect. And if I had like a hundred thousand years I may figure it out.

You? Yes it has been a while since I carried that mantle. What of it?
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Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby James S Saint » Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:28 am

Mowk wrote:But I still think you are an idiot for thinking that coil would spin. You for some inexplicable reason I halfway respect. And if I had like a hundred thousand years I may likely nail it.

Perhaps you should think a little more carefully after relealizing that I had already mentioned what happens if you lie. My ass was covered. Your ass .. you exposed. :lol:

That's what happens when bad faith tries to trump good faith. 8)
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 24795
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby Mowk » Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:47 am

You are right I merely recognized the conditions and sought out reason to exploit them. Work in progress. I am still one of those just guessing. But shit; draw me the correlation picture, don't just stand there on your high and mighty, produce.
Mowk
Thinker
 
Posts: 976
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:17 pm

Re: What is Civility on ILP

Postby James S Saint » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:17 am

Mowk wrote:draw me the correlation picture

??? :-s
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 24795
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

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