Responsibility, Proselytism and Y2K (or SSDD and Carlos the Jarhead!)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Although the Duty to be a Responsible Citizen is not mentioned by name anywhere in the core documents of our civilization, it is nonetheless clear that such a duty does exist. It is often said that Responsibility is on the other side of the coin that pictures Authority. It is also on the backside of the coin that pictures Privilege. Privilege and Authority are words that we often use to describe and to define our Rights and so it should be clear that Responsibility is also on the backside of the coin that pictures Rights. Such coinage is in daily usage by all of us and, like the metal coins of our currency, it is all too easy to ignore the images that they carry.
The ultimate core document of our civilization is the one carved in stone that Moses carried down the mountain. The Magna Carta rests on it, our Declaration of Independence rests on it, our Constitution rests on it and all the myriad of laws and rulings and regulations that our legislatures and courts and governmental agencies have made, rest on it. Many are very precariously perched, but others are exactly fitted and contact the Ten Commandments as well laid masonry. These ten basic tenets of our civilization are ageless and eternal, timeless and universal.
One of those ten says, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Although there is more to it than this, clearly contained in this "law" is the concept that we are to tell the truth. It seems to me also to contain the wisdom that using true or correct statements or even incomplete ones to perpetrate or perpetuate a wrong against another is also "bearing false witness".
It is apparent then, that our Right to Free Speech is accompanied by our Duty (or Responsibility) to Tell the Truth, and that further, such Truth must be the truth as best we know it and not simply those portions of a larger whole that support our position.
Once we have told such Truth however, we have totally satisfied that Duty and have no further responsibility to ensure that the recipient of such accepts, believes or acts upon it. Being "your brother's keeper" means that you will provide him food if you can. It does not mean that you are required or even allowed to force him to eat.
The Gospel Mark tells us that Christ said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Clearly, Christ said to "spread the word" and just as clearly He knew that some would not believe. Even knowing this, He did not tell anyone to go beyond the telling of the Truth. What He did say (at a different time) was, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
Some Christian theologies hold that the above commands Christians to proselytize, i.e. to "convert" non-believers. I find such proselytizing particularly annoying, yet I try to practice tolerance to it as I believe (at least in most cases) that the offender is sincere. I find such attempts to "convert" "DGIs" (pronounced, "diggies") to "GIs" (pronounced, "gee-eyes") by "Doomers" or "DGIs" to "DWBHs" (Dont Worry, Be Happy, pronounced, "dweeb-uhs") by "Pollys" equally annoying and offensive. It is, perhaps, this practice on the part of some "Doomers" that has caused Mister Decker to assert that the "Doomers" have formed a church or religious movement around Y2K preparation. If so, it should not be, as evidence abounds that adherents to all manner of different schools of thought on a nearly universal spectrum of subjects engage in the practice. Most relevant is that of the "Pollys" who wish to "save" the "DGIs" and "GIs". . .
When we consider the public arena that contains the Y2K discussion we see that even the most extreme "Doomer", Dr. Gary North, does not go out of his way to "convert" anyone, although he probably has more motivation to do so than any other. Lest any reader think that I'm holding him up as an example in any other way, I will state for the record that the kindest thing I can find to say about him is that he thinks a great deal more of himself and his ideas for mankind than I do.
Ed Yourdon, to the best of my knowledge, has not attempted any "missionary" work either. That he has expressed his convictions through action is no more than is his right. That others should follow that example is simply a free choice and their right.
Mr. de Jager has, unfortunately, become an unreliable source for me (and I suspect, for many others) and as such is not much of a consideration any longer.
On the "Polly" side of the issue, I would say foremost is "Mr. K", who fails any test of credibility in my personal evaluation simply by virtue of association with "Slick" who appointed him. As best as I can see, those public figures who have the interests of the populace at heart and believe in the rule of law and the principles of the Founders have either abandoned "Slick" or declined to associate with him. "Mr. K" however, clearly wants us all to be "DWBHs".
All the other "Big Time Pollys" are either government or banking or industry figures who clearly have an ax to grind (which is not the same thing as a conflict of interest) or are academics who have no more understanding of the issues involved than they may draw from the circles that they travel in.
If you narrow the field of vision to this forum however, which is also a public place, you will find a plethora of "Doomers" and "Pollys" who are at "cyberwar" with each other.
No one bleeds or dies in such a cyberwar. There are no bubbas like "Bossman" to "feed anyone concrete" or leave "bootprints on their face". Instead, there are "trolls" (on both sides) who deceive us (such as Poole's VCR post). That they may believe their ends may justify their means in no way ameliorates the smell that accompanies their efforts, nor does it grant absolution or engender forgiveness for their behavior.
There are "Pollys" and "Doomers" who believe that invalid logic should be overlooked in pursuit of "a greater good". In view of the dearth of reliable and verifiable information, I submit that logic is one of very few tools that we have to examine the situation. To accept a faulty tool is to invite poor, if not disastrous, results. Bad logic must be confronted wherever it appears if we are to arrive at anything like usable and meaningful conclusions.
There are "Pollys" and "Doomers" (not necessarily the same group as reasons poorly) who attempt to "convert" through intimidation. Insults seem to be one main weapon of these folks, along with truly ad hominem attacks on their opponents.
For those of you who have joined us late, I'm going to repeat a definition of ad hominem attacks. The words, "ad hominem", translate to be, "against the man". It is incorrect to characterize all attacks against someone individually ("shooting the messenger") as ad hominem. Only those such attacks which are non sequitur (i.e. which do not reasonably follow or are irrelevant to the argument) are ad hominem. If a messenger says, "I have discovered a new method to propel a boat", but is a native of the Sahara Desert and has never been near the water, it is quite reasonable to point out how unlikely it is that he is correct. On the other hand, if he says, "I have discovered a new method to propel a boat", and is in turn denounced as a thief, the attack is ad hominem whether or not he actually is a thief.
Nearly done now, we find the "Doomers" and the "Pollys" who simply hold sincere convictions in each camp and wish only to express themselves and be heard. They are open to honest and civil debate, but frequently can find no one who will oblige them or, more commonly, nowhere that they can engage in such a debate without any or all of the above types injecting themselves into the argument.
Finally, there are those who, for whatever reason or circumstance, are just coming to the issue of Y2K and truly don't have a clue, yet. They look at the rest of us and what do they see? These people and what they come to understand and believe are ostensibly the cause of the cyberwar, yet they clearly are not to blame for it. All of the above is done in the name of "helping" or "saving" the "newbie". I would point out that while they may be new, they are not disenfranchised and have as much right as anyone else to gather information and reason according to their ability and draw their own conclusions. I suggest that it is in the best interests of getting our own perspective across (whichever or whatever that might be) by acting differently than what has become the "norm" here lately.
SSDD at one time meant, Single Sided Dual Density, as pertaining to floppy disks. Since that level of technology "Belongs to the Ages", it has come to mean, Same Shit, Different Day. That is as accurate a description of what this forum has become as can be had. Speaking only for myself, I am angered and saddened by this, but not surprised. I have spent the better part of the last two days perusing the archives of this forum and that experience, coupled with my own participation here over a period of time, has made clear that the pattern of collective behavior on this forum is cyclical and that the cycle is somewhat longer than the longevity of most participants. Visit those archives yourself and you will find that postings about "trolls" and "Pollys" and "Doomers" written in "ancient times" sound as if they were written yesterday. You will find that the censorship arguments are nothing new and the actions taken by whoever had the controls was no different at any point along the way.
Here are two examples, Troll and Troll? Bah! Humbug! . In the first one, a number of forum participants present various definitions of a "troll" and Leska provides a "dictionary" definition while the second one is a dual jackpot. It provides a good definition of a "troll" by our very own "Mac from San Diego" and it also contains a post that demonstrates clearly why Diane Squire is such an excellent choice to trust with the controls of the forum.
Now what, you ask, has "Carlos the Jarhead" to do with any of this? Just this. Some short time ago, I expressed the belief that Carlos could handle whatever trouble might come his way. In this thread at "The Bonkers", he not only demonstrates that my faith in him was justified, but provides an excellent lesson in "Troll Control". While "Ceep" (cpr) and his attendant minions manage to come off like Rumpelstiltskin with St. Vitus' Dance, Carlos sort of leans against the wall and remarks, "Yeah?, So?" and "Uh-huh." Definitely a class act, Carlos. Semper Fi.
-- Hardliner (email@example.com), July 22, 1999
Hardliner... You have used common sense,logic and intelligence in the above..Are you nuts? Political correctness and cultural dictates will not allow you to present your ideas in such a manner! I'm sure you mentioned (gasp) the Bible, and other basic tenets of our past(How could you?)Keep this up and we may have to examine your loyalty to the present administration.....Keep up the good work
-- citizen (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 22, 1999.
A-men. Just alittttttttle lonnnnnnng. Keep it up. Smokey
-- Smokey (Smokey1057@aol.com), July 22, 1999.
As an interesting follow up to the original post, here's an enlightening view into the way other and unrelated to Y2K forums perceive and handle "trolls".
Autopsy of a troll
-- Hardliner (email@example.com), July 22, 1999.
Good read Hardliner!
-- Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 22, 1999.
One problem, prove to me that God's finger etched the Ten Commandments in stone, and gave them to Moses. Obviously God's Ten Commandments mean nothing to society today for all of us have broken every single one of them today......if you have broken one you have broken them all! Nice try though.
-- heretic (email@example.com), July 22, 1999.
blah blah blah god blah blah ...
jeeeez, I hope the next dominant monotheistic cult can at least make sense *once* in a while.
-- renta.brain.com (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 22, 1999.
renta.brain: Do you keep the true Saturday Sabbath (the 7th day of the week which is Saturday)? You should cause it's etched on stone by God's own finger and he commanded you to do so.
-- heretic (email@example.com), July 22, 1999.
You are closer than many so-called "christians" to God's Truth than you know. I hope you are willing to take the next logical step.
-- Elbow Grease (LBO Grise@aol.com), July 22, 1999.
Elbow Grease: I'm well versed on the subject, I like a good debate. Those who weave a web soon will get tangled in it. P.S. don't let my name scare you.
-- heretic (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 22, 1999.
I miss your more frequent posting but if lurking more and posting less means I have a chance to read this kind of post from you every once in a while, well, I'm cool : )
One thing bud, I wonder how in the heck I ever got up the nerve to tangle with you over the "Clinton is Hitler" thread! : ) In the end, I must have learned much more than I gave in return during that heated discussion. There are so many lessons I've learned in my time here and you've had a hand in many of them sir.
You're a gentleman and a scholar and I thank you. Best of luck to you and all of us now and forever.
-- Michael Taylor (email@example.com), July 23, 1999.
Keep tossing those coins of wisdom, Hardliner.
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 23, 1999.
does =reaping & sowing; have meaning? WHO,S really in CONTROL?
-- wow=bigtime. (email@example.com), July 23, 1999.
You've managed to strike out all the way around.
Proof (or the lack thereof) of Whose finger etched the stone alters not in the slightest that those ten tenets have, for thousands of years, been the standard of behavior that men of our civilization have strived for and held as just. Clearly, such does not present a problem except perhaps for theological debate.
Your assertion that they. ". . . mean nothing to society today", is plainly at odds with the furor in Alabama (was it?) where the judge hung the Ten Commandments on his courtroom wall and refused to remove them in the face of orders from the PTB. The state's governor got involved, and although I do not recall all the details, my recollection is that they still hang in that courtroom. Clearly, they mean something.
Your statement that, ". . .all of us have broken every single one of them today", is so bizarre that I scarcely know how to reply! Personally, I have had a pretty good day today, and I have broken none of them. Unless you can support this statement by some trick or device of language, I'm afraid that it must be consigned to the lunacy category.
There is no logic in your conclusion that they mean nothing, as proven by a patently false premise. That conclusion is both invalid and false.
And, to say that black is white or that off is on would be as accurate as your self contradicting statement that, . . .if you have broken one you have broken them all." Surely you don't believe that a liar is also a killer and a thief?
Would you care to present anything further, or should we consider you a prime example of "troll" whose only purpose is to foment distraction and discord? Your second post in which you asserted that which you demanded proof of in your first would seem to indicate the answer, to my question, at least.
-- Hardliner (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 23, 1999.
Only quoting what the Bible says about the ten commandments. And, are you saying that just because the Ten Commandments are hanging in some court room makes everyone who enters a saint? The court rooms where justice is to prevail opted to take prayer out of schools and the mention of the word God from graduation speeches. Are you saying that any judge who places the Ten Commandments in his court room is free from deceit? I have no faith in the judicial system much less man--regardless of where the ten commandments hang.
-- heretic (email@example.com), July 23, 1999.
You are too cryptic. On what (or whom) does your faith depend?
-- Elbow Grease (LBO Grise@aol.com), July 23, 1999.