Politeness Policy Feedback

Jazzy

Closed Account
I especially value the "not even-handed" idea. And I expect to visit the cooler. It's not easy to be effective without some emphasis... LOL.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
A timely article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/opinion/sunday/this-story-stinks.html?_r=0

Half of our sample was exposed to civil reader comments and the other half to rude ones — though the actual content, length and intensity of the comments, which varied from being supportive of the new technology to being wary of the risks, were consistent across both groups. The only difference was that the rude ones contained epithets or curse words, as in: “If you don’t see the benefits of using nanotechnology in these kinds of products, you’re an idiot” and “You’re stupid if you’re not thinking of the risks for the fish and other plants and animals in water tainted with silver.”

The results were both surprising and disturbing. Uncivil comments not only polarized readers, but they often changed a participant’s interpretation of the news story itself.


In the civil group, those who initially did or did not support the technology — whom we identified with preliminary survey questions — continued to feel the same way after reading the comments. Those exposed to rude comments, however, ended up with a much more polarized understanding of the risks connected with the technology.


Simply including an ad hominem attack in a reader comment was enough to make study participants think the downside of the reported technology was greater than they’d previously thought.
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Quantumbeliever

Banned
Banned
Mick,
As one who often takes the "other side" in this forum, thanks for this post. I would like to say that you and most of the users of this forum have been respectful and not insulting in my experience. This is a breath of fresh air that I think is critical if we are ever to start improving our understanding of a range of phenomena and issues.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Mick,
As one who often takes the "other side" in this forum, thanks for this post. I would like to say that you and most of the users of this forum have been respectful and not insulting in my experience. This is a breath of fresh air that I think is critical if we are ever to start improving our understanding of a range of phenomena and issues.

Thanks, and based on your posts you might find this article by Karla McLaren interesting, relating to the above:

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/bridging_the_chasm_between_two_cultures
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
Mick, I do fully support the politeness policy...... however, I think that there is value in having on display, for the world to see, the ad hominem attacks that occur and the evasiveness of the persons that (say they) come here to debate the facts, yet they do anything but. I think that reasonable people that come to the forums for information and debunking of disinformation, ought to be privy to the tactics that are being employed to muddy the water rather than to debate facts. As for myself, I take into account not only the merits of an argument but also the manner in which someone makes their case.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Mick, I do fully support the politeness policy...... however, I think that there is value in having on display, for the world to see, the ad hominem attacks that occur and the evasiveness of the persons that (say they) come here to debate the facts, yet they do anything but. I think that reasonable people that come to the forums for information and debunking of disinformation, ought to be privy to the tactics that are being employed to muddy the water rather than to debate facts. As for myself, I take into account not only the merits of an argument but also the manner in which someone makes their case.

That's true if you are debunking an individual. But if you are addressing a theory of some particular claim of evidence, then the the tactics of insults actually DO muddy the waters.
 

Marcus Mudd

Member
Thanks, and based on your posts you might find this article by Karla McLaren interesting, relating to the above:

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/bridging_the_chasm_between_two_cultures
this article is really not about bridging gaps at all, its about changing a persons way of thinking, from acknowledging the unknown, to ignoring it and relabeling it as knwn. A actual bridge, however, must be achieved to merge these two ways of thinking, and not sacrifice one for the other. ;)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
this article is really not about bridging gaps at all, its about changing a persons way of thinking, from acknowledging the unknown, to ignoring it and relabeling it as knwn. A actual bridge, however, must be achieved to merge these two ways of thinking, and not sacrifice one for the other. ;)

Perhaps you missed this bit where she's specifically asking skeptics to try to see things from the New Age point of view:

I respectfully ask that you in the skeptical community consider making a similar (though hopefully not so jarring) shift in your behavior and approach to us. I understand now, after years of reading and research, that the skeptical culture exists because of a very real concern for the welfare and well being of others. Of the two cultures, I can honestly say I now vastly prefer the skeptical one. However, I know firsthand that the skeptical viewpoint cannot be heard or assimilated in the New Age and metaphysical community; it is anathema, and that’s a shame for every single one of us. It is a shame because the search for the truth, the concern for the welfare of others, the need to be treated with respect, and the need to be welcomed in a culture—are all things my people share with yours. We have a different language and different references, but we share these basic human needs. I would ask you to respect our humanity, and approach us not as if you are reformers or redeemers. I would ask you to approach us as fellow humans who share your concern and interest in the welfare of others. I would ask you to be as culturally intelligent as you are scientifically intelligent, and to work to understand our culture as clearly as you understand the techniques, ideas, and modalities that have sprung from it. We are a people, not a problem.
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And science is about the unknown. That's really the big thing in science.

"The unknown" is what most scientists are working on.
 

Marcus Mudd

Member
Perhaps you missed this bit where she's specifically asking skeptics to try to see things from the New Age point of view:

I respectfully ask that you in the skeptical community consider making a similar (though hopefully not so jarring) shift in your behavior and approach to us. I understand now, after years of reading and research, that the skeptical culture exists because of a very real concern for the welfare and well being of others. Of the two cultures, I can honestly say I now vastly prefer the skeptical one. However, I know firsthand that the skeptical viewpoint cannot be heard or assimilated in the New Age and metaphysical community; it is anathema, and that’s a shame for every single one of us. It is a shame because the search for the truth, the concern for the welfare of others, the need to be treated with respect, and the need to be welcomed in a culture—are all things my people share with yours. We have a different language and different references, but we share these basic human needs. I would ask you to respect our humanity, and approach us not as if you are reformers or redeemers. I would ask you to approach us as fellow humans who share your concern and interest in the welfare of others. I would ask you to be as culturally intelligent as you are scientifically intelligent, and to work to understand our culture as clearly as you understand the techniques, ideas, and modalities that have sprung from it. We are a people, not a problem.
Content from External Source
And science is about the unknown. That's really the big thing in science.

"The unknown" is what most scientists are working on.
that is still an appeal for reason to bestow humanity upon the irrational, which is an irrational approach. A brtter approach is to concede that there is a misunderstanding of reality at a fundamental point, and new interpretations are just that, and since we are still at a basic lvel of understanding, they too deserve attention and understanding, not just tolerance, as that blurb suggests
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
that is still an appeal for reason to bestow humanity upon the irrational, which is an irrational approach. A brtter approach is to concede that there is a misunderstanding of reality at a fundamental point, and new interpretations are just that, and since we are still at a basic lvel of understanding, they too deserve attention and understanding, not just tolerance, as that blurb suggests

So you are saying that the best approach for scientists is to accept they are wrong about everything?

Anyway, getting a bit off topic here.
 
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