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Apologies all Round

by ChrisCook Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 06:08:13 AM EST

Confucius apparently said that he had many times regretted having said something but never regretted not having said something. All too often I find myself re-learning this lesson the hard way, and the turbulence of the last few days are a case in point. If anything I wrote offended anyone on this site then I deeply regret it.

To migeru, whose recent apology prompted this Diary, I say that I would nominate you tomorrow as an ET Master Editor. You have one of the finest minds I have ever had the privilege of engaging with, and I see a 4 from you as the ultimate seal of approval.

Frank Schnittger I nominate as Master Moderator. Anyone who can manage EU Diaries the way you do has a rare combination of subject knowledge, human management skills, and just plain wisdom.

I don't propose to go further with a list of nominations, tempting though it would be.  I have never come across such a fine collection of individuals anywhere, and would miss ET greatly were it not around. It has been a privilege to meet just a small selection, and I hope in years to come to meet more.

Forget "Ask Jeeves": just Ask ET and you'll get the answer.

To Jerome I say this.

For a couple of years, 14 years ago, I flew the world business class, had a flat by the river, engaged on equal terms with the CEOs' of major market participants, exchanges, clearing houses and so on. The status of my job meant I could if necessary meet top EU officials and top UK and US regulators.

I thought at the time I was happy: in retrospect, I doubt it.

Then after four years pursuing my vision of next generation markets, I blew the whistle on energy market manipulation, and lost everything I had. Reputation, income, home, and finally, family. I have been through adversity, and I think have emerged the other side the better for it.

So I can see how your recent experiences could have shaken you to the foundations.

I regard yours as a remarkable talent. We have had our differences, but they do not relate to what you do, and how you do it, but rather the architecture within which you work.

I believe we are going through a once in a thousand years transition through Telluric (© migeru) changes which result from the instantaneous direct connections of the Internet.

I have a view of the way things are going to be, and it is a profoundly optimistic view. I do not mind having my ideas tested to destruction - that is why I am here.

So, let's put the crap behind us and get on with saving the world.....


Display:
Well, as someone who is trying to understand what happened because I have been away of late, I must say I strongly agree with the main message of this post. ET is a remarkable -and, when you see us in picture, spectacularly unlikely- collection of people that we really must not break.

And as someone who has seen other blogs (as many here, of course, but in particular I discovered ET -or rather Jérôme- when he posted on the Economist's view), I reckon that our fights -not that I always understand them as they often start from a semantic issue which I missed- are rather mild compared to the level of bad faith and ideology that I see elsewhere.

One thing is for sure in my view: the get together are vital. Many a times when a post irks me (and we should always remember that there is an even chance that the writer is not using his mother tongue -and I never read in my mother tongue here), I recall that I met the person, or that one of the people I met wrote similar posts and yet I know from meeting them that such people have no reason to irk me.

So I find it easier to cool down. Not that I always do. But, really, the internet is a great but tough medium of communication. Misunderstandings are the norm. Now, for those of you who have not been to a get together, trust me, the people writing here are a great bunch (that, obviously, includes you Chris), if often so passionate that they can be a little intense.

Now, intensity and honesty are not highly valued these days -hence your life story, Chris. Now, that you would go through it and reckon yourself happier now says something and earns you a lot of respect from the people that should matter -starting with yourself.
I hope I never have to make a similar decision as yours (one gets used to a decent level of material comfort and to not having one's name rubbished in the papers -as to one's family of course), but should the situation unfortunately occur, I hope I would make the same choice.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 06:50:44 AM EST
One thing is for sure in my view: the get together are vital. Many a times when a post irks me (and we should always remember that there is an even chance that the writer is not using his mother tongue -and I never read in my mother tongue here), I recall that I met the person, or that one of the people I met wrote similar posts and yet I know from meeting them that such people have no reason to irk me.

MillMan's world tour is arriving in Paris sometime this September...

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 09:49:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am embarrassed to me named and worried that the situation has gone beyond rationality.  People are taking sides and drawing lines in the sand and a schism may be appearing within the community which may never be healed.  I have seen this happen too often.  It becomes political.  People react in ways to what others say not because of what they said, but because because of who they are and what position they took in some signature argument/conflict.  If a person comes "from the other side" his motives are suspect and his words cannot be taken at face value.

Your call to focus on the mission and not on ourselves is, of course the right one.  Too often egos get in the way.  We are not what is ultimately important here, but the vision of a better society we are seeking to create.  Yes of course a blog can be just a place to relax and blow off steam.  But what has distinguished ET is that it is also a place where people have congregated who have made great sacrifices in pursuit of their convictions.  

Arguments among true believers can be a fraught business.  Their very being and self definition can be caught up in the concepts they have so painfully etched from their personal experience.  But the trick is to keep the focus on the larger picture, on the vision we all share.  We have so much more that unites us that what divides us that it would seem, to me, to be the height of self indulgence to allow those relatively minor divisions destroy this project which has achieved so much, and could yet achieve so much more.

We need to get beyond the who's right and who's wrong paradigm.  I have never known blame games to be productive in personal relationships even if an analysis, with hindsight, and at a safe distance, can sometimes reveal some lessons which can be applied in future to mutual advantage by all concerned. The past cannot be undone in any case.  I wouldn't even attempt such an analysis now while feelings are raw.

So perhaps a diary focusing on what we have in common; on the rules (which I think we in any case all subscribe to) but which we need to move forward;  On the roles and processes which can make all that happen much easier would be productive.  Right now I think it is better for time to be a (part) healer and for people to have time to re-think how they would like to see ET develop and the roles they might or might not want to play in that process.  Jerome entitled his Diary beyond ET so perhaps he is ahead of us in that process in any case.

But my big point is: it can't be just about us.  It has to be about the bigger picture of the changes we all see being needed in our economies, societies and polities.  ET has to become bigger than any of us.  If we can't rise to that challenge collectively, then we don't have a collective future and are better of seeking progress elsewhere.  I agree with you that ET represents a unique opportunity and a unique challenge.  If I am perceived as an obstacle I am more than happy to make way.  Certainly it can't be about individual members.  It has to be about what is best for the collective enterprise, or not at all.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 07:12:01 AM EST
Frank Schnittger:
People are taking sides and drawing lines in the sand and a schism may be appearing within the community which may never be healed.

I think people stopped - for a while, temporarily, and in specific instances - seeing the other posters here as people and started treating them as personifications of arguments and beliefs. Usually ones they really really really didn't like much.

All of the mad threads seemed to have this in common. Instead of specific posters we suddenly 'That person who represents this evil thing, and therefore...'

You can't do much once that starts happening. Anything that's said becomes inflammatory, not because it is, but because it starts being weighted down with associations which go beyond what people are really thinking, saying and meaning.

But I also think people here are aware enough to fall into that hole much less often than is usual, and also aware enough to climb out of it.

We're all doing what we're doing in the real world, with varying degrees of success and failure, but we do very much seem to agree on human values, if not necessarily on philosophies, world views, or on means and ends.

For me that agreement is the most important thing. I think it's what makes ET what it is, and it's why such a relatively diverse group usually gets on as well as it does.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 08:56:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reification - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reification (Marxism) (German: Verdinglichung), the consideration of an abstraction or an object as if it had living existence and abilities; at the same time it implies the thingification of social relations

I.e. where people become mere carriers of the ideas they espouse and are hated/loved/despised because of their ideas.  Thus conservatives, eurosceptics etc. are nasty, bad, selfish, delusionary people because their ideas are perceived to be wrong.  You don't really need to know the people at all.  Merely knowing that they are e.g. "socialists" is enough to condemn them.  People are no more than the ideas they espouse and can be reduced to a one dimensional ideological position.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 09:13:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The insight in your post reconfirms my view that turbulence is what happens in a transition, and that ET more than makes up in Quality what it may lack in Quantity.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 09:13:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin Buber on empathy

In I and Thou, Buber introduced his thesis on human existence. Inspired partly by Feuerbach's concept of ego in The Essence of Christianity and Kierkegaard's "Single One", Buber worked upon the premise of existence as encounter. He explained this philosophy using the word pairs of Ich-Du and Ich-Es to categorize the modes of consciousness, interaction, and being through which an individual engages with other individuals, inanimate objects, and all reality in general. Philosophically, these word pairs express complex ideas about modes of being - particularly how a person exists and actualizes that existence (see existentialism). As Buber argues in I and Thou, a person is at all times engaged with the world in one of these modes.

The generic motif Buber employs to describe the dual modes of being is one of dialogue (Ich-Du) and monologue (Ich-Es). The concept of communication, particularly language-oriented communication, is used both in describing dialogue/monologue through metaphors and expressing the interpersonal nature of human existence.

Ich-Du

Ich-Du ("I-Thou" or "I-You") is a relationship that stresses the mutual, holistic existence of two beings. It is a concrete encounter, because these beings meet one another in their authentic existence, without any qualification or objectification of one another. Even imagination and ideas do not play a role in this relation. In an I-Thou encounter, infinity and universality are made actual (rather than being merely concepts).

Buber stressed that an Ich-Du relationship lacks any composition (e.g. structure) and communicates no content (e.g. information). Despite the fact that Ich-Du cannot be proven to happen as an event (e.g. it cannot be measured), Buber stressed that it is real and perceivable. A variety of examples are used to illustrate Ich-Du relationships in daily life - two lovers, an observer and a cat, the author and a tree, and two strangers on a train. Common English words used to describe the Ich-Du relationship include encounter, meeting, dialogue, mutuality, and exchange.

[...]

Ich-Es

The Ich-Es ("I-It") relationship is nearly the opposite of Ich-Du. Whereas in Ich-Du the two beings encounter one another, in an Ich-Es relationship the beings do not actually meet. Instead, the "I" confronts and qualifies an idea, or conceptualization, of the being in its presence and treats that being as an object. All such objects are considered merely mental representations, created and sustained by the individual mind. This is based partly on Kant's theory of phenomenon, in that these objects reside in the cognitive agent's mind, existing only as thoughts. Therefore, the Ich-Es relationship is in fact a relationship with oneself; it is not a dialogue, but a monologue.

In the Ich-Es relationship, an individual treats other things, people, etc., as objects to be used and experienced. Essentially, this form of objectivity relates to the world in terms of the self - how an object can serve the individual's interest.

Buber argued that human life consists of an oscillation between Ich-Du and Ich-Es, and that in fact Ich-Du experiences are rather few and far between. In diagnosing the various perceived ills of modernity (e.g. isolation, dehumanization, etc.), Buber believed that the expansion of a purely analytic, material view of existence was at heart an advocation of Ich-Es relations - even between human beings. Buber argued that this paradigm devalued not only existents, but the meaning of all existence.

Empathy- or feeling that the other is not to be categorized into a rigid inductive schema but is simply expressing herself in a certain way at a given moment- is difficult in the real world, all the more so in the surrogate world of internet.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 09:49:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this refresher course in relating patterns because I certainly do that with public figures, as is easy to do when they only present their stone image and behavior.  Fortunately, human existence is a lot more complicated than either/or thinking, or life would be a lot less fullfilling.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 02:48:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think people stopped - for a while, temporarily, and in specific instances - seeing the other posters here as people and started treating them as personifications of arguments and beliefs. Usually ones they really really really didn't like much.

All of the mad threads seemed to have this in common. Instead of specific posters we suddenly 'That person who represents this evil thing, and therefore...'

This is spot on, from what I can glean.  

Moreover, people have not just been treated as personifications of arguments and beliefs, but somewhat confined to roles.  X is the new age person, X is the anarchist, X is the intolerant atheist, X is the nationalist, X is the Atlanticist, X is the troublemaker, X is the clown, X is the curmudgeon, X is the diva...   It's probably quite natural and not meant to be malicious.  But this is real life, not a novel or play, and no one consistently represents one idea or fills one role.   Especially here at ET where people are constantly having their horizons expanded and being asked to prove the credibility of their assertions and to step out of their comfort zones.

Many of the recent tiffs make no sense to many of us; the responses seems so unnecessarily disproportionate or overly sensitive and feel distracting.  Perhaps, rather than taking comments in their immediate and logical context, we may be interpreting them according to our preconceived ideas about the person(s) making them or our expectations of their ulterior motivations.  

This is a pet peeve of mine because 1) fault is just as likely to lie with the person's preconceived ideas as with the person whose comments are being judged, 2) no one acts consistently over time: our personal mood, new information, or comfort with our situation can determine our motives just as much as any ideology or personality trait and 3) even if the preconceived ideas are correct, the comments may still have a good point, which will be missed because our focus was elsewhere, looking for the fault.

And if your are looking for something, you might think you've found it when it isn't even there.  It's called a bias.  We notice it when journalists write about France or Russia and it drives us berserk.  We notice it when fundamentalists explain events which have quite logical causes as conspiracies or divine plans and it makes us exasperated.  But ... are we willing to acknowledge that we too sometimes fall into this intellectual laziness?  I mean, we're a pretty freaking intelligent group here.  We'll admit to all kinds of vices and lurid activities and shortcomings.  But not bias.  Not intellectual shortcuts!  That's ET's version of the Holy Grail.  Which may be why we seem to be dancing around a problem while not solving it or communicating past each other.  Maybe that's the elephant in the room.  Even we are capable of bias - even against one another.  Even we are susceptible to allowing our emotions and agendas trump our critical reasoning abilities.  Even we might invent a narrative about ET to counter the annoying phenomenon of stuff not always making sense in a way that conforms to our worldview.  Can it be possible?  And can we graciously acknowledge its possibility without taking a sever hit to our pride?

Look, we might be exceptional, but we are not THAT exceptional.  Of course we do these things.  This is a blog, a medium that hardly encourages reflection and patience and with-holding of judgement!  We are not robots.  We are not omniscient.  We are humans with infinite demands on our lives.  We are not Dostoevsky characters who are good ideas or bad ideas walking about on 2 legs.  And let me remind you, that those Dostoevsky characters were like masters of the flame war.  

...

OMG maybe this IS a Dostoevsky novel!!!  Think about it.  You have the believers and the non-believers.  The hedonists and the stoics.  The progressive reformers and the commie anarchists.  The nobility and the riff-raff.  The ruined women and the unrequited love.  The hysterics and the philosophical debates.  The plots, the plans, the people who show up outta nowhere and ruffle things up.  The manifestos.  No murders so far.  But how many of us belong to that "people with names no one can spell" fb group?  And wasn't Twank just suggesting a fancy-dress ball?  Uh huh...

Well, either this 1) is a Dostoevsky novel, which means we're all not real people and someone is going to get killed and there's nothing any of us can do about it or 2) is not a Dostoevsky novel, which means we're each more than characters who personify an idea or archetype and so it would behoove us to keep that in mind was we do this blogging thing.  And also no one has to get killed.  

Which is good.

Come, my friends, 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

by poemless on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 12:49:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As usual, art from the keyboard.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:07:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whew.  I was pretty sure that comment was going to stoke the flames.  Now if anyone cries foul I'll just take the "art" defense. :)


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:32:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That deserves a 5 for being humane, empathic,  understanding and insightful.  Actually, it is very short for the profound content and vision you offer us.  Thank you!

Your personal combination of qualities/talents and you/poemless don't need a defense.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 02:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Odds and Ends: ET as Dostoyevski Novel edition?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:09:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can I be Fyodor Karamazov?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:12:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm fed up with being Kalashnikov

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:13:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Joke!


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:14:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that triggered some memories

<counting until ceebs gets stuck in>

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:16:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you want me to be the butt of your jokes?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:19:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh no, not another round of snark.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:20:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've got you in my sights

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:21:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this one might cause me to rifle through the dictionary.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:21:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Put it all in a bullet list

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:22:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was a dum-dum comment


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:23:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are attempting to muzzle me?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:24:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
don't know about you but i'm drawing a blank.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:29:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm over a barrel myself...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:30:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a rare sight.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:38:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
see I had run out.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:38:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can I be the Idiot?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 07:09:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poemless's Law (also known as Poemless's Rule of Dostoyevskian Likeness) is an adage formulated by poemless in 2009. The law states: "As ET grows older, the probability of its members resembling characters from a novel by Feodor Dostoyevsky approaches one."

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:27:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you sure it isn't Kafka?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:58:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I were sure, it's couldn't be Kafkaesque, now could it?

:D

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 06:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, yeah, but where is the cross-post of your comment as an Odds and Ends?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:59:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the best thing would be for this madness to spawn yet another meta diary?

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 06:04:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least we'd have one of literary quality.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 06:04:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good point....

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 06:21:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though still quite unaware what the fuzz is about, I can still recognise a good comment. But this part puzzles me:

poemless:

X is the new age person, X is the anarchist, X is the intolerant atheist, X is the nationalist, X is the Atlanticist, X is the troublemaker, X is the clown, X is the curmudgeon, X is the diva...

Why do you bad-mouth X? Sure it is true that X has not made much noice since becoming one of the early members, but that does not (in my book (not Dostoevsky)) make it ok to scapegoat. Just because someone is not around all the time (or ever writes a comment) does not constitute a licens for using that person as an all-encompassing representation.

X for president!

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:06:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh my god, Swedish - what did you do with the real member no.60?!!!!

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:11:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More worryingly - where's Number 6?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:13:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:17:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow - somebody else remembers that series. I had completely forgotten about it, only to have the opening sequence spontaneously come to mind when hearing about the U.S. killing the latest Al-Qaeda Number 3.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 12:58:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps we should get In Wales to go to Portmeirion to check if nowadays it's full of Imams?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 05:41:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I went to Pormeirion in 2005... Lots of tourists but no Imams :-)

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 05:42:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The commie anarchist in me had to strike.

And you thought no one had to be killed... Bah!

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:16:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death:
X for president!

He should win as well, everyone votes X in the UK.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:13:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This comment deserves to be posted above the UGs to express the attitude we need to aspire to, because it is as complete a view as I have seen and has wide agreement.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 03:09:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and, if I may ask, believers in what? Please provide names and ideas, otherwise it's just too damn easy to take this personally.

As to ET "having to be bigger than any of us", just like your recent pretty specific accusations of authoritarianism, let me say that this is also rather unfortunate.

Have you been forbidden from taking any initiative in the name of ET? Have you tried to get a "collective entreprise" started on any issue? People  cannot complain (more or less openly) about this blog being too much about me and then wait for me to get anything done.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:36:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The term "true believer" is not a pejorative one for me.  It denotes people who genuinely believe in something (e.g. the EU, Democracy, peer-to-peer finance, state technocratic competence/excellence) or whatever and who argue passionately for whatever it is they believe in.  I would contrast that with cynics or pragmatists who either don't believe in anything or for whom everything has a price.  I would consider myself a true believer on some issues and would prefer to argue with people who actually believe in the case they are making - acknowledging that those arguments are almost impossible to win and are more about understanding other positions better.

I did appeal to you to retract a personalised comment you directed at another member, but as that is an emotive issue which has nearly torn this community apart I think it is better for us to discuss that matter privately by email if you wish.  If you felt that any comment I made was unfair or hurtful, I apologise.  I was trying to assist in resolving a dispute which had arisen between others, not to make matters worse.  You had previously challenged me and others not to leave all the moderation to front pagers. Obviously I didn't succeed.

Yes I have tried to get some collective enterprises on ET going - e.g. a wind turbine; LTEs to Irish papers on Lisbon by Europeans who don't want Libertas/Sinn Fein to speak/act on their behalf when it comes to any claimed democratic deficit in the EU; EU grant application for funding ET 2.0 multilingual capabilities - and have been disappointed but not surprised when they didn't get anywhere but I didn't blame anyone, least of all you, for that.  I think it is worth while exercise to float concrete action proposals sometimes to see if any of them might fly.  ET can be a useful sounding board or launching pad for initiatives without them ever necessarily become "official" ET projects.  I hope you don't object to that.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 02:42:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
may I suggest "enthusiasts" rather than "true believers", then?

The secret of successful collective endeavors is that there has to be a benevolent dictator (ie a not-authoritarian leader) to carry them to fruition.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 03:23:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
enthusiasts works for me

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 03:40:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amen, brother. That right there, says it all. Let me repeat it (with feeling)

It Can't Be Just About Us!

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 09:08:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I said about the Irish too a couple of weeks back?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 11:17:56 AM EST
Having two relations who are Irish Jesuits probably qualifies you to say whatever you want.  As Samuel Johnson once said: "the Irish are a very fair people,  they never speak well of each other".

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:26:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I really do think I went over the line when I invited Ireland to rejoin the UK.

That was a bridge too far, and I recognise that.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 02:27:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... the UK that could not be solved by England leaving.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 04:34:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When Scotland does leave the UK the little Englanders will have their wish anyway.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 04:53:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Scotland wants to leave the England, but not EU they could leave UK and join Ireland...

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:08:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No it will be England leaving the EU and Scotland remaining behind.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:13:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm shocked ... shocked ... that you'd be forgetting Wales.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:21:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales does her own thing.  I'm thinking of taking over Jersey myself.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:50:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...for tax reasons?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 06:11:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea - to get my hands on some tax!
#
See Bono video posted by Irishead on U2 using Netherlands as a tax shelter.  I thought the Irish were supposed to be the tax avoidance have?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 07:14:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 11:20:20 AM EST
You too, Chris - and Migeru for good measure. :)/:(?

Jeez - a few sour remarks, and ET is a goner.  I guess that's what happens - Obama gets elected - obviously a millenial event which mitigates all problems - and we can all go back to our ego games.

I wish that I could duplicate Melancthon's gentle humor and prodding about the recent blow-up, but I'm too busy with actual projects and agit/prop.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 12:41:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:38:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chris Cook
To migeru, whose recent apology prompted this Diary, I say that I would nominate you tomorrow as an ET Master Editor. You have one of the finest minds I have ever had the privilege of engaging with, and I see a 4 from you as the ultimate seal of approval.
A resounding second!  To which I would add that a 4 from Jerome can be the penultimate seal of approval.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 12:52:51 PM EST

So I can see how your recent experiences could have shaken you to the foundations.

I am not claiming the temporary insanity defense, and I'd rather not have anyone involved in the recent disputes do it on my behalf, as it rather cheekily implies guilt on my side, even if kindly excused.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:43:26 PM EST
No one thinks you are insane, temporarily or otherwise.  

Acknowledging when another person is going through something difficult is a way many people express empathy.  

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 01:57:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what I meant, to be more specific, is that I don't accept blame being pinned on me because I was supposedly distraught or weakened. Excusing my supposed weakness is a rather direct way to put the fault for the dispute on me, even if (or rather specifically if) to then gallantly let it be.

Just saying.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 02:31:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Acknowledging when another person is going through something difficult is a way many people express empathy.

I think you probably know that an expression of empathy may bear a number of subjacent messages, or serve a purpose in an overall rhetorical scheme. It's not for me to judge intention (conscious or not). But it's perfectly conceivable that the recipient of the expression of empathy, in this case Jérôme, may feel frustrated that it rather conveniently buries his standpoint in the past discussion, along the lines, You're going through shit so we can all understand you were (excessive/wrong etc, provide pejorative epithet).

I insist that I am not judging intention. Just saying that one might feel frustrated in Jérôme's shoes.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 03:16:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Jérôme feels he has done nothing wrong, then from his point of view there is nothing to be excused, and therefore whether or not he was going through shit isn't relevant to the dispute.  (It is of course relevant to anyone who knows and cares about Jérôme).  

If, on the other hand, Jérôme feels he might have phrased certain comments better, Chris' comment shows understanding and acknowledgement that we all go through shit sometimes, and this can effect how we react in certain situations.  It is an acknowledgement that no one expects us to be perfect all the time and the occasional fall from grace is understood and forgiven.

I took Jérôme' response as a rejection of any notion that he has done anything to apologise for, and thus that any expression of empathy is not necessary in this context (and perhaps even unwelcome as it might be seen to imply that he might have done something he might wish to apologise for).

Given that this appears to be Jérôme's position, I think it best we leave it at that.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 03:40:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome, I cannot fathom finding the most remote offense, or trying to improve that quote.  Reading it and twisting it, as if cerebral illness could possibly be considered an insult, is much more work than taking it at face value, when you know the source.  This is an expression of a kind feeling and having met and read ChrisCook here for a long time, I have every reason to believe he's sincere.  

I-don't-understand the possible doubt.  Yes, there are hidden messages in communication and people play games, but most people don´t find it worthwhile, most of the time.  

How can I/anyone say anything right, if you will read it as mean-spirited, or have different connotations for words?

Do you believe that most of us make the effort to  write just to underhandedly insult you, make you look bad, undermine you, or ET, or try to sneak one past you?  

I hope you have more trust than that.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 04:28:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... from my lazy lack of contribution to the seeming dust-ups (of course, duly noting that it is quite often hard to beat the offensiveness of a lazy little 'I am sorry if anyone took offense' apology).

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 04:38:02 PM EST
at my continued and obvious satuslatant postings about windpower.  They are all false.

In truth, i am an astrologer hired by the coal industry to ascertain the appropropriate date for press releases to be released.  (h/t robert zimmerman)

I also apologize for being a Global Village Idiot, trying to make sense of an impossible blogging medium.  (Speaking of mediums, i was recently in a scéance with Charlie Babbage, and she told me if she had seen how ET would develop, she would never have invented the computer.)

And of course without question or plausible deniability, i apologize for placing my tongue in too many cheeks.

I apologize directly to J for spending two hours tonight sowing attempted mirth here, instead of working on what i've been so dedicated to the past days, and i will get in touch.

But mostly i apologize to Fran, for making the Salon such a major portion of my ersatz life, and not thanking her (and team) every single day.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 05:32:04 PM EST
Cheer up lads - I reckon the english and the irish will be on the same side in the next rebellion.
by irishhead on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 06:13:37 PM EST
Led by Declan Ganley?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 07:41:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there's more of us than there are of them thank god
by irishhead on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 08:18:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is an eu 'rebellion'with a small r already imo  - recent diaries about iceland, spain, france, greece, and italy and ireland indicate something significant happening in terms of a nascent networked european left. The climate camp people in the Uk for example would identify with that kind of idea. So would sections of the population in Ireland. I don't see any of these lining up behind Libertas, who, like the PDs, are wolves in sheeps clothing.
by irishhead on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 08:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow--never heard your story before.  I haven't had much time to follow everything that goes on here.  But I have to say I agree with you in this.

believe we are going through a once in a thousand years transition through Telluric (© migeru) changes which result from the instantaneous direct connections of the Internet.

I have a view of the way things are going to be, and it is a profoundly optimistic view. I do not mind having my ideas tested to destruction - that is why I am here.

Don't really know what your ideas are specifically, but I look forward to picking up on them more over time.  

I absolutely believe that the current problems in the economy are because our economy, and financial system have not caught up with, or kept up with our technology.  Perhaps it is because the forces that hold things close to their chests have been hanging on for dear life, and the vesuvius or the tsunami (whichever image you prefer) can no longer be held back.  I think ultimately it will have a positive outcome, but unfortunately I'm afraid "there will be blood." I don't know if this is pompeii and the poor dears are clutching their chests as they breath in the burning air, but I think it might be.

by jjellin on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 06:41:40 PM EST
jjellin:
Don't really know what your ideas are specifically, but I look forward to picking up on them more over time.  

If you have time for a browse through my Diaries you should get the idea...

jjellin:

Perhaps it is because the forces that hold things close to their chests have been hanging on for dear life, and the vesuvius or the tsunami (whichever image you prefer) can no longer be held back.

I don't see a revolution boiling up (although it's possible).

I see a quiet networked evolution from the ground up as people start to self organise - simply because they can

Napster is the example I like, even though it wasn't strictly "peer to peer". Where the music industry has gone, the financial services industry - and hence entire economies - is about to go.

And there is nothing whatever that those in charge can do other than go with the flow, or be left gasping on the beach....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 07:30:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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