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I understood everything you wrote until I reached this comment. Care to elaborate? :)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 05:21:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you've studied writing then you should be familiar with the concept of "voice". I'm certain I'm preaching to the choir here, but that's the closest analog I can think of.

There's always a way of expression that differs from the suburban/working class background I come from. One of the most disconcerting interactions I've ever gone through (many times) is in dealing with the wealthier, prep-school males living right here north of Boston. Without exception, whenever I have spoken with them, I am subject to a blatant stare, as if I'm being sized up apart from what I say. I find it impossible to interpret, and hard to describe. That's the sort of the thing I refer to here.

With Jerome, there's a certain flatness (though I got his "I'm a banker and not all of us f*cked up" right off the bat). Idiom plays a part, I suppose.

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

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 11:46:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think get what you say now, but further elaboration wouldn't hurt either. Diary material even? :)

But it's funny, how I haven't thought about it all, at least on this site. No problem understanding what people mean at all, at least in the threads I read. And by that I mean there's no problem understanding their, shall we call it, presentation or jargon? I still might not understand what it actually is they mean, but not because the presentation is alien.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:35:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think get what you say now, but further elaboration wouldn't hurt either. Diary material even? :)

Seconded. I'd be curious about "all those assumptions one places on ordinary conversation", about the recognisable different elements between papicek's and Jérôme's complex of values, and what has to be translated from Jérôme-ish, in much more detail.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:42:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will note one observation for my part, when I felt similar to what I read papicek to describe.

OnUS blogs and web forums, I became aware of a form of argumentation I would call "conviction politics" for lack of a better word. I largely sense it as the logical fallacy "it must be true because I/someone I quote display/s a strong conviction in it". But I sense that there is more to it: it is used even alongside "strong" arguments, not just to coat BS in it; and it can be effective for BS even when I'd think the snake-oil-mna-ship should be obvious to anyone.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:53:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Faith-based debating?

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 Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 02:44:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reaching back...decades ago when I was in anthropology class (I don't believe you guys never heard of this stuff - the whole complex cultural norms in conversation) one of the topics was about intercultural communication.

People in different cultures converse differently, which can at time be disconcerting and be misunderstood. Things like personal space. Cultural norms about when people conversing look at each other and look away. Gesture.

There was a story about a US ambassador to Brazil (I think. Somewhere in Latin America anyway.) The Brazilian, trying to be welcoming, kept approaching the ambassador and invading his personal space (a cultural norm among white North Americans). The ambassador felt uncomfortable (intimidated?) and kept backing away. The Brazilian, thinking that the ambassador wasn't getting the good vibes he was trying to express, kept closing in, and so on. The way I remember it, the two of them did this dance around a table a few times.

We were given an assignment. Describe the ways white and black American males converse differently. We all missed one glaringly obvious trait: when two white males converse, the listener watches the speaker and the speaker gave no more than an odd glance to the listener. Who looked at whom reversed when the other spoke. Among black males, the opposite was true. The speaker stared at the listener, the listener gazed elsewhere. I can speak to this behavior myself, having repeatedly observed it (though this may have been a temporary faddish mannerism - I hardly see it at all nowadays.)

Obama has a habit when he speaks of filling his pauses with an, "uhhhhh". He exhales when he does this, which signals that he's lost the train of thought. Were he inhaling, it would signal that he has a firm grip on the idea, but that he needs to marshall the proper phrasing. And appears much more sure of himself.

I'm usually pretty good at spotting emotional reactions in myself. Lemme look. . . .

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

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 12:11:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe it's not a cultural thing, but a style thing. I had to reread the last half-dozen diaries Jerome posted. He's fluent, and has idiom down pat. So neither of those are it.

His sentences though. The sentences are correct. The rule of thumb is that a sentence expresses a single, simple thought, and even in his longer sentences, Jerome's not missing this from what I see here. Even in his longest sentences, the subject-predicate-object relationship is always clear. His rhythm is a bit off for me though, and I think that's it. That, and I would expect more linking words than he uses in his longer (lots of those - more than I expected to see there) sentences as well.

Don't get me wrong, I can't fault his writing. It's better than that of most Americans I know. However, if he had named himself Jerome a New York, I think I'd still feel there was a foreign influence there.

Just to test myself, I took a quick glance at Bradbury's memo to Rizzo concerning interrogation techniques permissible under 18 USC §§2340-2340A. (It was handy.) By the opening of the second paragraph: "A paramount recognition emphasized in our 2004 Legal Standards Opinion. . ." and I was saying to myself, yup, that's an American voice. I can hear that officious-sounding voice as I read. It sounds fairly youthful, very clear, and forthright. It's a voice that puts an emotional content behind his text in a way that I recognize. I can't hear Jerome well at all. It's as if he's mumbling. The exception was his "I am a banker. Some of us didn't f*ck up" diary. That one came through very clear throughout. (Jerome's voice is something like..."husky", in case you wondered. Throaty. Not nasal at all.)

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

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:18:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL

It would be interesting if you did this kind of "voice" analysis for more diaries and posters...

I'm curious: what is my voice like, and why?

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 Apr 22nd, 2009 at 03:29:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All of us use many 'voices' - talking to friends, colleagues, the kids, the dog, in court,  at ET, etc. Most of us do not change our voice consciously, it is behavioural - based on the stimulus and the context.


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:17:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Writers and actors can modulate their "voice". It's not like it can't be done.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:19:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you don't "hear" what you read? I always have. I talk to myself when I write as well. I thought everybody did.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:09:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm asking you what you hear when you read me.

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 Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:13:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Something sardonic. A little angry.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:23:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't. (It shouldn't be surprising as I'm much better at written than spoken English.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:00:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yup, that's an American voice. I can hear that officious-sounding voice as I read. It sounds fairly youthful, very clear, and forthright.

IOW, straight-talkin'? Funny, that's how I would characterise Jérôme's writing. Certainly not mumbling. (Even funnier: I haven't met him in real life yet, but in a BBC clip of him, he does speak as if mumbling, and certainly at a for me surprisingly slow pace.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 05:20:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He does write like that. He just doesn't sound like it.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:24:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"He does write like that. He just doesn't sound like it."

Let me clarify. One of the things I was looking at was if he marshalled his arguments in a way unfamiliar to me. But that wasn't it. I found his thoughts flow naturally one to the other as I would expect. It's really his sentences.

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

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 10:09:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Jerome's voice is something like..."husky", in case you wondered"

That's hilarious.

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

by poemless on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:03:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We all missed one glaringly obvious trait: when two white males converse, the listener watches the speaker and the speaker gave no more than an odd glance to the listener. Who looked at whom reversed when the other spoke. Among black males, the opposite was true.

In a previous comment, you also wrote:

the wealthier, prep-school males living right here north of Boston. Without exception, whenever I have spoken with them, I am subject to a blatant stare, as if I'm being sized up apart from what I say.

Maybe it's the same thing with black males and wealthy white males?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 05:22:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could very well be. I tend to watch and then look away, then re-engage when the speaker is wrapping his comment up. I've no idea why I do it. There's a rhythm to it though, and I have no feeling of not being engaged with the speaker at any part of the conversation.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:41:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For years, I've been calling that the "what I believe constitutes a moral imperative for everyone else" syndrome.

Let me embolden that.

The so-called "democratic fallacy". It's a blind spot for many of us in the US, and it becomes a stronger trait as one's level of education rises.

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

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:36:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about the if you don't believe what I believe you must be a liar or a moron syndrome?

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 Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:38:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was being charitable. I'm a smoker who has been battered by this attitude for decades.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:44:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't let Jerome find out.

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 Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:47:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Et pourquoi? What has my habit to do with his life? Am I not free?

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:50:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thirded, because I have NO idea what you guys are talking about, but it seems really interesting.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 02:30:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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