On politics :)

Posted 2 Jun 2002 at 15:43 UTC by ElectricElf Share This

Sometimes, politics can be a good thing. It brings to light that which might otherwise only occur behind closed doors. Other times, campaigning can be bad. Especially when you don't have good information.

On politics ... and information :)

Okay, I've done the politics thing in the past. Not 'net politics, real politics. Elections, runoffs, leadership, campaigning, fund-raising, so on and so forth. If you want to be a responsible public figure, there are a few things you have to remember.

If you're respected, people will believe what you say. If you state something as a fact (whether it's true or not, whether it's an opinion or not), there will be some people who will either simply accept it as fact, because yousaid it. There will be others, too, who will use that as justification for their own bitter actions towards others.

I'm not saying these people are stupid. When we gather information, there is always a measure of trust. We trust the news outlets aren't hiding too much information, that they're not scewing facts, that they're not outright lying. And, quite frankly, it's a lot easier to trust an individual than it is to trust some faceless corporation :)

So, to be responsible when you're speaking publically, you need to keep that in mind. If you have an opinion, you should state it as such. If you hear things from other people, but don't take it as fact, then you should say, "I hear from so and so that ..., but I don't know if it's true or not" :)

You should not say, "apparently, this particular opinion is being stated as fact." Note - not "I think this particular opinion is being stated as fact." Not "As far as I'm concerned, this particular opinion is being stated as fact."

Why be so anal? It's been my experience that these things tend to snowball. Quite frankly, I've never known anybody to state an opnion as a fact, unless they knew exactly what they were doing. (Whoa! Note that - "I've never known anybody", that's a qualifier :) Personally, I really think it's deplorable when somebody knowingly states an opinion as a matter of fact. Irresponsible too.

Always look for respected public speakers to state opinions as fact. As soon as they start doing that, you know they're lying.


Aha! Finally, a "Reply" link :), posted 2 Jun 2002 at 16:05 UTC by ElectricElf » (Journeyer)

Sorry about this folks, I'm new here. Meant that to be a diry entry.

Thanks for your patience :)

Missouri is the 'show me' state, posted 3 Jun 2002 at 04:42 UTC by Alleluia » (Journeyer)

Well, since advogato has no 'delete' option, and although your thoughts have little to do with open source programming, there is an essential relationship toward openness and honesty that is being expressed, and I perceive these at the core of open source, so I'll respond:

As a native of Missouri, I grew up hearing that we were the 'show me' state and not really understanding why until I had heard the term many times. Finally it dawned on me: "show me" means "I don't believe you until you actually show me" and I began studying my fellow Missourians to see whether it was a true accounting of our nature.

It is, but don't take my word for it. :-)

What you wrote about here is the attitude of patiently listening to someone who speaks, patiently listening, until we have finally grasped the unspeakable essence of his message. Then if we agree, we agree. And if we don't, then we don't. Thus there is no need for complications. You used the term "snowball," and I have heard the term "cascading effect" to describe the same experience: One explanation cascades into a whole slew of other ones because no one has the slowness of thought to evaluate whether there is sense to the whole trajectory.

This patience manifests to those who haven't the patience as a sort of slowness, a stupidity, but let that not fool you; it's simply a slower rhythm of thought; as deep or shallow as anywhere else. Just slower.

I think you're writing about honesty here. Honesty works like Occam's Razor: the fewer words it takes to make a point, usually the more honest it is.

By the way, I like the fact that advogato has no delete option. Keeps you on your toes.

and since the above post was a long one..., posted 7 Jun 2002 at 06:25 UTC by trelane » (Journeyer)

kidding, anyways, I have rarely made my voice heard on this forum, but I will tonight, Electric Elf makes great points, and although an error, one that should have positive consequences. I'm cutting this off before it becomes a monologue because I'm engaged in something that's taken my mind off my point, but I enjoyed reading this post and hope elf won't be thought of too badly for his mistake.

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