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All I can do is express my personal unhappiness at seeing that topic discussed with such earnestness here on ET, and make it clear for the next time that discussing it after I've made that clear will be seen by me as an obvious ploy with the sole intent of annoying me.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 01:17:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to me you never have seen the topic been discussed in earnestness. This here is lighthearted bantering about the topic. :-) I have to friends who are 'serious' Astrologers, so I know.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 01:24:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That figures.

As an economist and investment banker you obviously prefer numerology over astrology.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 02:05:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The greatest difference between us J, is your compartmentalization of 'facts' and 'beliefs'.

For me, both come under the heading of 'perceptions'. I do not 'believe' that you can change the world without understanding people's perceptions of that world. It really doesn't matter whether those perceptions are 'wrong' or 'right', they need to be understood in the way that they influence behaviour.

I think astrology is poppycock, but the existence of it is fascinating, just as the existence of all superstition is fascinating. These existences are FACTS.

As you are well aware, a certain amount of social cohesion is needed to drive ET. You are also aware that it takes a tricky balancing act between hierarchy and self-organization to produce content.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 03:44:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd do a diary on irrationality if I had the time. We might find some useful insights into financial markets, religions, greed, unsustainability, alcoholism and a million other vital areas of misunderstandings.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 03:59:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Once again, Sven: focus and priorities.

You think astrology is poppycock (so do I) but that the existence of interest/belief in it is a significant fact (so do I).

The question is how much significance does it have? Should we spend time discussing it here? How much time, and in what way? What light will it throw on what? What effect will it have on ET's overall image?

(BTW, your proposed Jeromic facts-belief dichotomy seems to apply to you too, since you judge astrology "poppycock". How do you reach that conclusion without some category of discernible "facts"? To a true postmodern relativist, nothing is poppycock. Or everything is. Or whatever... ;))

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 04:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well, what effect will discussing if men shave their bodies have on ET's reputation?

personally, that is an issue I could have lived without knowing anything about

by zoe on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 04:45:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poppycock as a science, not as a belief.

Focus, priorities and social cohesion.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 04:49:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, it's much better to go on and discuss the beneficial and wonderfully mind altering effects of illicit drugs all night than talking about astrology just the one time.  The former won't affect ET's reputation will it, but the second will condemn ET in the eyes of the intellectual snobs.  Getting stoned is okay with them, even worthy of praise, but not talking about astrology.
by zoe on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 04:54:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The composition and effects of drugs can be scientifically examined and studied, and the opioidergic and neurotransmission systems can be demonstrated universally. Whether they are beneficial to the individual and/or society, is a matter of discussion.

But I certainly was NOT saying that astrology discussion should be banned at ET. I was saying it should be discussed in the context of perceptions.

However I think J is over-reacting to an Open Thread; a section of the site that functions for the social cohesiveness of ET. And also reinforcing the impression that ET is 'emotionally challenged' or, in other words, not in touch with its feminine side ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 09:45:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However I think J is over-reacting to an Open Thread
Is he really, though? I took both of his comments (1, 2) as rather tongue in cheek. A kind of: "I don't believe in any of this stuff and can't see why anyone would discuss it seriously, but whatever..."
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 10:38:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe so - but J's first comment on Damned didn't appear that way to me. Perhaps he will clarify?

BTW Your comment links didn't work for me

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 10:50:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what is "science"?

Social cohesion, I quite agree. I'm not against the discussion here, I joined in. Because I suppose it's good for a laugh, though it's 100% piffle.

For those who take it seriously, I think there are a lot of places on Internet. Once again, what is its value as a serious or regular topic for ET?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 05:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you're being very paternalistic in deciding for everyone what is good enough for ET.

If anyone had called the subprime credit debacle "piffle", they would have been troll rated.

Let's stay civil please.

by zoe on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 05:42:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think astrology is piffle. If someone wanted to say: the subprime crisis is piffle, I cannot imagine why they would be troll-rated.

I haven't lacked civility towards you (or any other user), mmmm. You, however, say I'm "paternalistic" and that I "decide for everyone what is good for ET". Which is not civil, and is false. I'm not deciding for everyone. Neither, by the way, do you speak for everyone.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 05:53:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because I suppose it's good for a laugh, though it's 100% piffle.

I don't know if I'm misreading how you meant this, but from the way that's written, it looks like you joined in to ridicule it.

Look, afew, I will never, ever tell you to believe in astrology, nor will I tell you to stop personally thinking of it as piffle. But the open threads, and even some diaries, have extolled the virtues of such topics as alcohol, drugs, ayurveda, kittens, road trips, Leicester, cars, gardens, and Harry Potter, and I can guarantee you that anyone reading that sentence recoiled internally and thought, "But there's nothing wrong with that topic!"

That's my point; as annoying as astrology is to you, it's not annoying to others, and a topic that you like to discuss might annoy others (I rejoice in kittens, but there's probably at least one ETer who can't stand the sight of them). So please realize that it's somewhat unrealistic to try to prevent most topics from being discussed, especially by deciding if they fall in the realm of science. I'm trying to be careful how I phrase that because I know you're pretty much just expressing an opinion, but others are going to have their opinions too.

I don't know if I'm being clear or just confusing the situation more, but mmmm has a good point with the drug diaries and threads. Not everyone here is thrilled with those, I'm certainly not. But I've stayed out of them for the most part (I had like one or two posts regarding lung problems) because I know if I tried to stop them there'd be hell to pay. No one would stand for my ridiculing drug use or telling people to stop talking about it. So I'm amazed that astrology elicits the response it does (you've been relatively calm, but I've gotten a couple of rather nasty replies in earlier diaries).

by lychee on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 06:22:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Astrology doesn't annoy me, lychee, and I didn't join in to ridicule it. When I say I think it's piffle (paraphrasing Sven's "poppycock"), I mean I don't believe in it. And it is a belief system (for some).

If I'd thought we shouldn't be talking about it in an open thread, I'd have said so much sooner. Of course there are heaps of topics that are discussed in OTs, and I can't think of an occasion when I have spoken against any of them.

But this spat today began when I discussed with Sven his response to Jerome. I think ET has other priorities than discussing astrology. That's an overall view, not a criticism of this particular open thread.

BTW, I think you can perfectly well argue that drug use shouldn't be discussed here (in a manner that "extols its virtues", as you say). You might find yourself supported in surprising quarters.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 06:40:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In my definition, is the examination of phenomena and the construction of theories about these phenomena that show internal and external relevance or correction to existing knowledge, and that can be universally verified.

Science is always in flux. It is often wrong. It is always being improved. It is the work of scientists to improve our understanding.

Poetry is not science.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 09:53:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What effect will it have on ET's overall image?

We've got an open thread with pictures of stilletto races and crop circles, and you think astrology is the only thing that's gonna make people question our reputation?

by lychee on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 05:30:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is not the discussion in this thread, it's whether astrology os a serious future subject for ET.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 05:39:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you sound like an intellectual snob.  are you?
by zoe on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 05:43:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You sound like you enjoy picking fights with front-pagers. Do you?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 05:55:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oh the front pagers.  excuuuuse me.  I didn't realize there were two classes of people here.n  I think that must be one of the most arrogant comments I have ever read on any blog.  

as for your question, the answer is no.  I doubt I will ever pick a fight with Bob or Fran.

by zoe on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 05:58:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and stiletto race heels are fun and there's nothing wrong with them

it's very paternalistic to be cherry picking topics like this and deciding which are ok and which are "not good for our reputation"

a very good way to hurt people's feelings and lose contributors

I also apologize for the comments about the discussion about drugs.  If anyone wants to talk about that, I am not the arbiter of good taste, and it's as valid as anything I have to say.  I was lashing out and that's not right.  

men shaving their privates on the other hand ....

by zoe on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 05:40:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and nothing wrong with crop circles either.
by zoe on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 05:59:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Definitely not (and to ThatBritGuy, I wasn't trying to go after you or your crop circle photo either).
by lychee on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 06:27:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi people, I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So could you please exhale deeply and then count to ten. :-)

I lkove it, when people love to disagree - but I think we had enough. In the end we are just a big ET family! and I guess there are disagreements in every family.

And I hope your statement about not picking a fight with me holds true, mmmmm. :-)

Oh, and lychee this comment is not for you personally, I think it just fits in well in this place. :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 06:05:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
of course.  your name holds a lot of weight with me.

you would never judge people that way either.  

by zoe on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 06:11:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We all love you too Fran!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you didn't think the comment about stilletto races was directed at you, either-- I was just using it as an example.

by lychee on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 06:25:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I feel that on the open thread you have to "let it all hang out." (unless it's unnecessarily disgusting or demeaning)

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 05:47:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone's rather grumpy for having spent a week at the beach...

I know there's no sense in telling you to chill out.  Or in pointing out the long list of less than intellectually sound material you have posted on such threads in the past.  So let's just agree that there are many other diaries and stories to read here if you are in the mood for something more cerebral or reality-based.  We're never all going to share the same interests or agree on what is worthy of discussion.  But I'm pretty sure that censoring otherwise harmless banter is not the solution to that problem.  Learning to peacefully co-exist, on the other hand...

And if the OT is now off limits for silly banter, I'd like to offer up my Odds and Ends series as a safe refuge for anyone wanting to talk about anything they like.  :)

And as for the impact discussion of astrology may have on the credibility of the site, I wouldn't worry very much.  Most comparable blogs have a healthy dose of silliness accompanying the serious news, debates, initiatives, etc. they exist to promote.  I suspect it will remain that way until we are all replaced with robots.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Tue Aug 21st, 2007 at 12:37:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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