I agree with you, Charles. These fallacies are quite transparent. And it is
too bad that much good effort and input to the Wikipedia initiative can be
lost due to those who feel it is their to be "forthright" (wiggle word)
rather than helpful. There is nothing wrong with being helpful. There
is everything wrong with a nasty officious edge. Even the Rutgers coach
behaviors was finally seen as unacceptable and he sure wasn't as
"forthright" as some editors.
On Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 7:44 AM, Charles Matthews <
On 16 April 2013 02:07, Carcharoth
Incivility is difficult to deal with.
That may be the case; but it's not for the reasons usually given.
One of the reasons is because there is a school
of thought that a
certain level of frankness and brusqueness is necessary in a place
like Wikipedia. The trouble with that is that people draw the line in
different places, partly due to cultural differences, partly due to
personal levels of what they will accept.
Yes, well, one of the "differences" is between people who think that
what they find acceptable should constitute a universal standard; and
those who realise this is no way to set universal standards.
Some people also treat this as a matter of
principle, rather than as
one of being nice. The way I would describe it (though you really need
to find an exponent of this view to describe it properly, as I don't
support this view myself) is that it is more honest to say what you
really think in simple language, than to dissemble and use careful and
diplomatic language to essentially say the same thing. I favour the
latter approach until a certain tipping point is reached, and will
then be more frank myself.
Excessive frankness usually does nothing for relationships. "To be
frank" usually prefaces something that can usefully be omitted.
I can see the point people are making when they
say that being more
forthright earlier on and consistently on a matter of principle is
better, but the end result tends to be the same. Hurt feelings all
round for those who don't get that viewpoint, and those who have a
tendency towards the more brusque approach sometimes (not always)
being baited by those who like winding people up. The other effect,
most damagingly of all, is that the 'community' (which is a localised,
nebulous entity that is in flux at the best of times and varies
depending on location and timing) ends up polarised over the issue.
So you get periodic flare-ups, exacerbated by the nature of online
communications (the lack of body language to and verbal tone) and the
lack of empathy for others that some who are drawn to Wikipedia
The point being that those who actually use incivility as a wedge to
divide the community are quite well aware of that, and this is what
needs to be stamped out as disruption, not intermittent breakdowns of
the civility code.
I saw a recent study suggesting, alarmingly, that online many people
find angry language and comment relatively persuasive; presumably
because they assume it is sincere, and assume that sincerity has
something to do with being right. I find this much more worrying than
the traditional "lack of affect" argument, because you'd assume over
time people would adapt to that (have we not adapted to the phone?)
I think there are probably a couple of serious fallacies being allowed
to dominate this discussion, still.
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