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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Tue Nov 20th, 2007 7:06pm Post subject: Getting Overheated
Fantastic new blessay, an interesting and quite thought-provoking read.
I'm not sure, however, about the different debating cultures in Britain and the US. Does this difference really exist or was Jim just a random example for someone who's not used to being contradicted. I'm used to heated debates myself and I quite enjoy the battle of arguments and counter-arguments. But not everyone is the same, and I wouldn't go so far as to say that a certain debatorial style is typical for a whole nation. I for once would love to have a heated debate with Mr Fry, because he's such a strong and fascinating counterpart.

Oh, and I wish people would stop complaining that they have to wait too long for new blessays. Has anyone subscribed to the blog site? What right does anyone have to demand new blessays every week? It's not very hard to post drivel every second day, but to compose lengthy essays of a certain depth, believe it or not, takes some time, even more so when you're occupied with a few other things. So instead of complaining people should acknowledge the time Mr Fry puts into this.

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Tue Nov 20th, 2007 8:17pm Post subject: Getting Overheated
Fantastic new blessay, an interesting and quite thought-provoking read.
I'm not sure, however, about the different debating cultures in Britain and the US. Does this difference really exist or was Jim just a random example for someone who's not used to being contradicted. I'm used to heated debates myself and I quite enjoy the battle of arguments and counter-arguments. But not everyone is the same, and I wouldn't go so far as to say that a certain debatorial style is typical for a whole nation. I for once would love to have a heated debate with Mr Fry, because he's such a strong and fascinating counterpart.

I found it interesting how he talked about this whole 'over dinner debate' concept. It's not one I'm familiar with. In my experience people don't like to debate, they don't like to have their views challenged and they just snort disdainfully at alternative viewpoints or roll their eyes and just moan "who gives a damn?" and go back to babbling on about what's happening on Big Brother or something equally boring. The only places I've ever experienced debate is in colleges and universities. I haven't come across that many people who are really reflective, they're always lecturers and students.

Oh, and I wish people would stop complaining that they have to wait too long for new blessays. Has anyone subscribed to the blog site? What right does anyone have to demand new blessays every week? It's not very hard to post drivel every second day, but to compose lengthy essays of a certain depth, believe it or not, takes some time, even more so when you're occupied with a few other things. So instead of complaining people should acknowledge the time Mr Fry puts into this.

I can't believe people have been comlaining and moaning about that. His blessays are always really long usually around 5000 words. That's much, much longer than any articles he writes/has had to write for newspapers. He has so many other committments to keep I wouldn't want him to put himself out just to write blessays every week.

Assuming direct control...

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Pseudo_lawyer


Member

Posted Tue Nov 20th, 2007 8:58pm Post subject: Getting Overheated


I found it interesting how he talked about this whole 'over dinner debate' concept. It's not one I'm familiar with. In my experience people don't like to debate, they don't like to have their views challenged and they just snort disdainfully at alternative viewpoints or roll their eyes and just moan "who gives a damn?" and go back to babbling on about what's happening on Big Brother or something equally boring. The only places I've ever experienced debate is in colleges and universities. I haven't come across that many people who are really reflective, they're always lecturers and students.



Amyl, my experience has been the same.

Reading this blessay made me sad. It's yet another example of an American who is willfully ignorant about global warming (I've met many of them). His attitude is, "How should I know? How can I be expected to take a side when I don't have the scientific knowledge or technical training? Since I can't evaluate the argument, I'll just go on living my life and to hell with the rest of the world."

Well, my response is: it doesn't take much technical knowledge to review the evidence. I'm hopeless when it comes to science. That's why I stuck to reading and writing and am now a lawyer instead of a scientist. BUT--I learned enough in a basic climatology class to be able to understand some (not all) of the evidence for global warming. It's not that hard. I guess what irritates me is that people like this "Jim" don't take responsibility for their own education. They expect to be spoon-fed. He could read a little about climatology and oceanography, learn some basic facts, and then be able to understand some of the global warming debate. But he doesn't. And so he listens to what he thinks he understands--the political debates about global warming--and he is persuaded by the conservative pundits who don't know anything themselves. All they know is that they're pro-business, and because Al Gore is a member of the Democratic Party (perceived as the party of the people, not business), he should be bashed.

Oh yes, then there are the scientists who are PAID by corporations to make statements that global warming doesn't exist or isn't a big problem. How does "Jim" know that the scientists to whom he listens aren't being paid to say a particular thing?

Sorry, this really turned into a rant. I guess I'm like Stephen--I get hot under the collar

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Tue Nov 20th, 2007 9:48pm Post subject: Getting Overheated
me too... overheated.

i posted a comment that might seem vague, but i was trying to keep it short.

i can't stand watching debates on tv, they seem to boil down to yelling "flip flopper" over and over. no one's allowed to change thier minds anymore... something that is essential to really examining anything and doing anything about it.

can i tell my al gore story??

i saw him at a fundraiser during the clinton era, and he was shaking hands with everyone. right near me a guy handed him a card, and said "will you give me your autograph sir?" as it passed over my head, i saw the back side. it said "ARYAN NATION." (apparently this is a trick some groups like that use, and then they blackmail the person who signed it) Mr. Gore reached for his pen, then flipped the card over. The look on his face....he laid into that guy full force. Whenever someone says "I think Al Gore is wooden and has no passion" well, they haven't seen him cuss out a nazi.

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Canzonett


Member

Posted Tue Nov 20th, 2007 9:50pm Post subject: Getting Overheated
One wonders how "Jim" might react if he was diagnosed with diabetes. Would he obey the doctors' recommendations or would he refuse any kind of treatment with the argument that he could not claim to understand the underlying metabolism entirely?!

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Pseudo_lawyer


Member

Posted Tue Nov 20th, 2007 10:22pm Post subject: Getting Overheated
Whenever someone says "I think Al Gore is wooden and has no passion" well, they haven't seen him cuss out a nazi.

Awesome!

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Wed Nov 21st, 2007 12:11am Post subject: Getting Overheated
That's a great story, banjo!

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Wed Nov 21st, 2007 2:54am Post subject: Getting Overheated

i saw him at a fundraiser during the clinton era, and he was shaking hands with everyone. right near me a guy handed him a card, and said "will you give me your autograph sir?" as it passed over my head, i saw the back side. it said "ARYAN NATION." (apparently this is a trick some groups like that use, and then they blackmail the person who signed it) Mr. Gore reached for his pen, then flipped the card over. The look on his face....he laid into that guy full force. Whenever someone says "I think Al Gore is wooden and has no passion" well, they haven't seen him cuss out a nazi.

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Wed Nov 21st, 2007 4:46am Post subject: Getting Overheated
Good lord, it will be common advice for people to not discuss politics, religion or the environment next (although the third might be argued to be a sub genre of the first these days).

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Wed Nov 21st, 2007 4:49am Post subject: Getting Overheated

I'm not sure, however, about the different debating cultures in Britain and the US.

It isn't the debating Americans dislike, it's the indigestion.

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Wed Nov 21st, 2007 5:08am Post subject: Getting Overheated
One wonders how "Jim" might react if he was diagnosed with diabetes. Would he obey the doctors' recommendations or would he refuse any kind of treatment with the argument that he could not claim to understand the underlying metabolism entirely?!

"Jim" would probably follow his doctors orders. He might be less inclined, however, if his child was diagnosed ADD which, like the environment but unlike diabetes, can be perceived as coming with an associated socio-political agenda.

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Hanny


Member

Posted Thu Nov 22nd, 2007 1:33pm Post subject: Getting Overheated
i really enjoyed stephens blog as this topic as it is something i am very interested in. i could really see where stephen was coming from as in my family i was brought up in an environment where it is completely normal to have debates. Arguements have never broken out although things often get heated and we usually finnish by agreeing to disagree, having a laugh about it then moving on.
im not sure about the differences between british and americans as i myself have not had the joy of debating with any!!

thankyou banjo that was a great story- i will never see al gore the same way again!

i hope stephen doesnt feel too bad about the gaps between blogs, im sure everyone on this forum understands how busy he is but to those who are bothered that he isnt writing more- he doesnt owe you anything!!!

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RighthoJeeves


Member

Posted Sun Nov 25th, 2007 10:49pm Post subject: Getting Overheated
In in my opinion its fine to discuss politics, religion, or the enviornment as long as everyone has the understanding that everyone is entitled to their opinion and are not going to get into the Your'e right, No, I am right" battle. If one sees the other's point and thinks Hey you got something there, thats different, it wasn't pushed on you or preached at you, what they said made sense to you and now you might want to include it in your life, . I am an American I try to recycle my cans ( go to the redemption center and get cash for them) and so do my folks but at the same time I don't have a big I love Al Gore poster on my wall. I didn't see Dicaprio's thing he did recently but I doesn't mean I don't care about the world, want it to be a cleaner safer place.
I definately do but I am not a fanatic but as I see something I can put in place in my life, I do it. Likewise I am active churchgoer but not a zealot, and a voter, not a sit- on-the-fencer... There is nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe in political, enivornmental, religious as long as you are civil to others who may not share that view.

in a side note we need a spell checker on here, I am ok but not brilliant at spelling.

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ClareBear


Moderator

Posted Mon Nov 26th, 2007 12:28am Post subject: Getting Overheated
Use Firefox, it has a built in spellchecker.

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Tue Nov 27th, 2007 1:57am Post subject: Getting Overheated
In in my opinion its fine to discuss politics, religion, or the enviornment as long as everyone has the understanding that everyone is entitled to their opinion and are not going to get into the Your'e right, No, I am right" battle.

The problem is, of course, that there is no way to guarantee such an understanding, particularly between two or more strangers (although I suppose we could always bring about the practise of writing up an accord before discussing such matters). The ban on discussions of the religious and the political actually has more to do with manners than anything else. The basis to all manners is, of course, to make those around you as comfortable as possible - discussing hot button issues is likely to make people uncomfortable (and crazy, I mean if parliament and congress members can't manage a discussion -- i.e. THEIR JOB -- without occasionally beating each other up, how can the average lay person NOT skilled in debate and fence sitting do so?).

The other issue with discussing such things outside close friends or family is that strangers, unlike either of the other groups, aren't more or less required to still like you AFTER you've finished howling at them and accusing them of being debased and free of between-the-ears matter. Your friends will likely still stick around and your family is generally stuck with you and you with them.

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