Topic

Freedom & Responsibility

In the thread-that-shall-not-be-named on the subject of "bad" language, I think there are some underlying issues that would be interesting to discuss:
- What constitutes appropriate and inappropriate speech and why?
- How do you define decent/indecent, polite/rude behavior?
- What should the balance be between freedom and responsibility towards others?

Partly I'm starting this thread in the hope of discussing these issues rationally and without rancor -- and without the baggage of the other thread. Also, there was some behavior in that other thread that made me and some others uncomfortable (including my own behavior in not calling out anything I found particularly unkind). I'm hoping that in a more open context, we might come to understandings that will inform our decisions in future conflicts.

Finally, this thread is intended to be an open conversation, and doesn't need to result in any particular action (or any action at all).

Posted 8 years ago by Ooloi Subscriber! | Permalink

Replies

  • I have some ideas for people who don't like some of the raw language they see in the game. I've seen at least three people who say they don't like it, and I think some features of the game will draw hundreds more, if they haven't come here already, suffering silently, or already gone.

    I imagine most of those people will not look in the Off-Topic forum, so I'd like to post my ideas in the General Forum. The family game thread doesn't seem to me to be well suited to that purpose, for a number of reasons. I might try starting a thread for it, with a title something like "Negotiations (not debate) on the use of words that some people don't want to see in the game."

    If the mods have any objections, I'd rather know before I start it, than after.

    Here's one idea that I might post in that thread:

    ----

    Anyone who sees language in the game that you don't want to see, try saying something like "I'm allergic to that way of talking." Make it strictly about you, personally, without trying to add any aura of authority or universality, and strictly abstain from arguing about it.

    I'd like to hear from anyone here who habitually uses words that some people don't want to see, who might give that some favorable consideration, or who has any better ideas about how to say it.

    ----

    ETA:

    Maybe we could try this out here for a few days, then if it goes well and if there hasn't been any objection from the mods against discussing it in the General Forum, try it there.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I'm not sure how hard it would be to implement, but having an optional chat filter would be good for people who don't like seeing any course language. It would automatically be turned on, but the user would have the option to go into account settings and switch it off. They had a chat filter on the last game I used to play.
    Posted 8 years ago by Jeff Buckley Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Thank you, Jeff. Oh, and thanks for that reminder -- "course" is exactly the word I was trying to remember.

    I don't imagine that would really be much help to anyone who doesn't like seeing those words. It's usually obvious what the missing words are, and they will still have the same effect, even if they aren't there in black and white. Better than nothing, I suppose.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Ferond,

    With the large number of players who are and will be joining this world - as well as the fact that part of our community does not read these forums - I would venture a guess that any negotiation you might reach with such a post would be lost to the larger dynamic trends happening in our player population.

    It's a fine thread to start for the sake of discussion (as long as it relates strictly to the game), but know that in General it is likely to attract the wrong sort of attention, and I can't guarantee that it won't be moderated should the comments get out of hand or turn into a debate that stretches beyond the scope of Glitch itself. 
    Posted 8 years ago by Blanky Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Thank you, Blanky.

    I've changed my mind about trying to discuss this in the General Forum. If we come up with any good ideas here, anyone who likes them can bring them into any discussion where they see this question being raised.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Ferond says, "Make it strictly about you, personally, without trying to add any aura of authority or universality, and strictly abstain from arguing about it."

    This seems like the best approach to me. Some people are going to be rude no matter what you do, but I think most would respond to personal requests more favorably than moral arguments.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ooloi Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Any ideas we come up here could be used when we see language that is offensive to gays.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I'm all for equal rights etc, but can we please leave gays out of every discussion? It is not about gay people only, it is about all offensive language.

    I do not like a chatfilter if it replaces a swearword (and who defines those?) with **** as you still see someone was swearing. It might even make it worse, as you don't know how harsh the word was. (and I am curious) I also know some perfectly fine Dutch words are sometimes labeled as swearwords in english filters. People talking in groupchat in dutch would see the filter when they use ver normal words.

    I feel quite strongly about this in the way that I just can't understand why people don't want to behave when they're amongst other people. I know, internet, anonimity etc. But would you, if you started at a new job at an office, use curses and foul language? No you wouldn't, because that is not decent behaviour. (Almost) everyone knows that. Then why the disrespect towards fellow players here?
    Written is even worse then spoken. Speaking a word is fast, a habit, but typing it... there is a more conscious action behind it then.
    Sure, I don't mind swearing when you hit your head/toe, but then you are not communicating to others.
    Everything you say in this game is communication to others.

    So Ooloi, in you questions you ask about "speech": I hope to have made clear, that to me there is a huge difference between speech and typing words.
    Written text can be interpreted 1000 ways.
    If you're annoyed at the time of reading a post, you are more likely to be annoyed by that post too. If you're angry, you might see that post as an attack on you. If you're in a silly mood, you might see the same post as a joking post.

    Written text has always been different then (than?) spoken language.

    Decent/indecent: hard to define. A few days ago someone said to me I looked like a sexy goth chick. I didn't like that. So I changed my looks. Was it rude to say so? Not really I think. Indecent? perhaps, it would be more decent if he had said: Nice looks!
    Rude: to say that you write what you want and those who don't want to see it shouldn't read it. That is very disrespectfull to others around you.
    You CAN say/write what you want and have respect for others. You just have to think a bit more about your words and chose them well. Do you want your argument or opinion to come across or do you just want to hurt/upset people? What is the point of barfing out your opinion and saying that those who don't like it shouldn't read it. What if no one likes it? Why should you post at all?
    The point of posting something is that you WANT it to be read. Thus, it is better to choose words wisely. To not hurt unneccesarily. To not be the elephant in the china-cupboard.

    Unfortunately, we're living in a society where people wear earphones, watch their i-pads, and yell their opinion and curses without caring wether anyone else hears them, as they don't hear their surroundings. It's an i-i-i society. Individualty, not socially. I want, I need, I demand, I have the right too... (I-pads,pods,phones fit in quite nice here) :P

    Aaanyway:

    TLDR: Sorry I was ranting about having respect for others. You can have your opinion. You can voice your opinion, but it is respectfull to think of HOW you do that and which words you use. If I want to say something about a gay couple, I could say: "Those faggots are moving in next door..." While I mean: "That gay couple is moving in next door..."
    First one would be saying what I want and not choosing words. Second one is saying what I want but watching my words as not to unneccesarily hurt people (which is not my intention.)

    Sorry for the long TLDR...
    Posted 8 years ago by Miriamele Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Shamelessly off-topic posts (NOT talking about any post in this thread)

    This was my first reaction to a shamelessly off topic post in another thread:

    ----

    Grrrmmmph! Klklklklklklkk! Wshshshshhsh!

    Resist the temptation ... resist the temptation ...

    Go talk about it in the Freedom and Responsibility thread.

    ----

    I suppose everyone knows that responding to off-topic (or unkind) posts, in the thread where they're posted, is itself off-topic (and almost inevitably unkind), and is the worst possible response. It rewards the misbehavior, and penalizes everyone who is trying to discuss the topic seriously.

    It is not enough to know that. As I see it, anyone who wants to help improve the forum environment needs make heroic efforts to learn to abstain from unkind and off-topic posts, including direct responses to unkind and off-topic posts.

    At the same time, I think anyone who wants to help improve the forum environment needs to treat unkind and off-topic posts very seriously, no matter how comfortable we are with casting the target as a villain, and make efforts to learn appropriate responses, including friendly, on-topic posts. I also think it's very important to name unkind and off-topic posts for what they are, but *not in the threads where they are posted*.

    By "name unkind and off-topic posts for what they are," I don't mean itemizing them. I mean that when a thread is flooded with unkind and off-topic posts, and people denying or excusing it, there need to be other people who say (*not* in that thread!) that, yes, those posts are unkind and off-topic, and who even dare to say into the moral near-vacuum of today's world that they think it's wrong.

    And "wrong" is one of those words that I will insist on using, no matter who it offends.

    ETA:

    Many threads are socializing threads for everyone who is posting in them, and it doesn't really matter to anyone in the thread if it stays on topic or not. I'm not objecting to that. Also, I'm not suggesting that we respond to every unkind post. I'm talking about flooding serious discussions with off-topic posts, and continual unkindness against one person.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Whether a word or action is offensive isn't the only consideration--why that word or action is offensive is also important. I've had people tell me the sight of two women or two men holding hands is offensive--I doubt anyone here will say that anyone should stop holding hands to avoid offending anyone.

    I think it's reasonable for someone to choose to risk giving offense if the reason for the offense is unreasonable. I think the offense automatically attached to certain words, regardless of context, is unreasonable. The word "faggot" can be appropriately used in the right context.

    That doesn't mean I think everyone should run around cursing and slurring, just that people have to decide for themselves when it's important enough and/or appropriate enough in the present context. One may well decide wrong, but I think offensive words or actions are a reasonable risk to take for freedom.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ooloi Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I think it would be preferable that if there was a swearing filter, it would be pre-set as off, seeing as we are all (supposed to be) adults or close to it, and then if someone says "That language offends me", the immediate response would be a polite link to the filter options page, to inform them that it can be turned on if they so please.

    I also think that it is important to note that respect is a two-way street, and while one should listen to someone's concerns, that does not mean one should necessarily be forced to do as the concerned person wishes.
    There is the idea respect for those who do not wish to see foul language, and then there is the idea of respecting that it is actually quite difficult to change your language patterns, and if someone is used to swearing when among friends, it is easy to understand that they would do so in a casual setting such as a video game.

    This game is in no way related to how most people would behave at work. You behave at work because you like a roof and electricity and food, not necessarily because you "respect" your boss or coworker.
    If playing this game gave me money to pay my bills, I would shut my mouth and nibble my piggies and reply to all concerns of rudeness with Yes Sir or Yes Ma'am. As it is, this is a communal space (among players, pretending staff do not exist since they rarely get involved), not belonging to one person with sensitive eyes and the ability to harm everyone else. This means that those who like to swear should try to accommodate some requests regarding language, and those who don't like seeing it should understand that their personal opinions do not and should not dictate everyone's behavior.

    If someone were being legitimately crude, I think many people would stand up and ask them to stop, but a couple instances of swearing is not something that needs to be outright stopped, nor something that one should expect to stop simply because you personally do not like it.
    Other than a small handful of conversations, I haven't actually seen much swearing or otherwise "adult" language.

    The problem with subjects like this is that it depends entirely on how you were brought up, and unless you remove those who disagree, you won't ever get a clear consensus. Some people love swearing, some people hate seeing or hearing swearing, some people think that politeness should be mandatory, and some people think that any form of request for restraint is imposing values.

    In my opinion, asking someone to stop is fine, repeatedly asking/telling and refusing to let it go is not fine. Having a filter is fine, but it should be optional which means not automatic. If it is automatic, new people will assume they have no choice in the matter.
    I am honestly baffled that ****s can offend some of you. I will never understand your point of view if the fact that someone swore and you did not even see it offends you. To me, that seems very over-the-top.
    Posted 8 years ago by Biohazard Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Biohazard said:

    "This means that those who like to swear should try to accommodate some requests regarding language, and those who don't like seeing it should understand that their personal opinions do not and should not dictate everyone's behavior."

    *like*
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I haven't seen much swearing going on, so to me it's more a hypothetical thing.
    And again, I think there is a difference in swearing while speaking and swearing while writing.

    About the office part: I think that is what is lost in this world. A basic respect for other human beings. The attitude nowadays is a lot: You have to earn it first. But you don't respect me now so I will not respect you. Which will get us nowhere.

    What I meant by: **** can be worse: if someone says "shit" and it is filtered out, I could read the *** as "fuck". To me, shit isn't as bad a word as the other is. I can't tell which word has been said, so (as is often the case) I assume worst.  I did not see the actual word but I did see there was swearing. It draws my attention to it and makes me focus more on it than it probably would if there wasn't such a filter on. So for me, that is not an option. What is seen as offensive is very subjective. In a way, "ffs" is waaaay less offensive to me then "For fuck's sake", because ffs is said in a hurry, it is more instinct, while the other is more deliberate.

    Ofcourse, I don't want to dictate everyone's behaviour. I might like to dicate it for the one who would keep on swearing. Or who would keep going offtopic, or trolling. Not all behaviour though, just the inappropriate part.
    Example: It is the personal opinion of those who don't mind swearing in chat that other people who are bothered by it just should fuck off. Or not read it. Or lighten up. How is that not dictating someone elses behaviour?

    It means that those who like to swear should try to accomodate some requests regarding language, and those who don't like seeing it should try to loosen up on some of it a bit. Give and take.

    Again, I don't think I've seen much swearing (or it wasn't enough to notice it or consider it annoying) other than in the other thread. The swearing in that thread was not functional, it was swearing because of the swearing. That was the only time I got annoyed about it.
    Posted 8 years ago by Miriamele Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Miriamele said:

    "It means that those who like to swear should try to accomodate some requests regarding language, and those who don't like seeing it should try to loosen up on some of it a bit. Give and take."

    *like*

    @Ooloi:

    I've seen you making efforts to help improve the social environment here. I'd like to talk to you about what I've been doing, and you talk to me about what you've been doing, like in a support group, in this thread if it isn't off topic, otherwise in some other thread or in a group. Would you like to do that? Only if it really interests you, not just to humor me!
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • There is another issue, specially with "rude" language. Not everyone is a native English speaker, so some cultural references might be lost in translation. For example, it is unlikely they would realize that "shylock" (defined by dictionaries as a usury/lending money at extortionist rates) can be offensive to those of Jewish background. It flows both ways- some perfectly innocent English words might have caught some negative connotations in other countries too, so we have to keep that in mind ("salvage" for example, around here <Philippines> is used almost exclusively to mean retribution killings).
    Posted 8 years ago by Zurin Subscriber! | Permalink
  • +1 Zurin

    @Ferond: Sure, I think its appropriate in this thread, but maybe we should talk about it in game some time, too? To hash out anything that's easier to talk about without the lag.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ooloi Subscriber! | Permalink
  • And to avoid others (like me) interfering with it and creating white noise (I'm easily distracted, sidetracked). Though I am curious about what you would speak about.

    I'll try to refrain from posting here, will stick to just reading... (that could be very hard to do!)
    Posted 8 years ago by Miriamele Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @Miriamele, No, please do post! Sometimes I think it's just easier to have a more comfortable back and forth in instant chat. In a forum, I tend to think too much (though I don't recommend to little, either ;) ) when I'm posting on a forum. Maybe it's the lack of permanency.

    On the issue of offensive names of animals, It occurs to me anonymity is likely the reason we see more of that than we see people using generally disapproved expletives in chat. If you could see who a piggy was named by, probably people would think more before they name.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ooloi Subscriber! | Permalink
  • "In my opinion, asking someone to stop is fine, repeatedly asking/telling and refusing to let it go is not fine. Having a filter is fine, but it should be optional which means not automatic. If it is automatic, new people will assume they have no choice in the matter. 
    I am honestly baffled that ****s can offend some of you. I will never understand your point of view if the fact that someone swore and you did not even see it offends you. To me, that seems very over-the-top."

    Fair call. 

    With the filter though if it was automatically on there would be some sort of notification of it at the start of the game to tell you about it and have the option straight off to turn it off.
    Posted 8 years ago by Jeff Buckley Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @Ooloi and Ferond, it's just that I find that I'm sometimes a bit double minded on things, and can be the devils advocate. I disagree with myself and sidetrack, and rant :P
    I still need to learn to keep it short, and to think another bit more before I react.
    Enniehow, bedtime again!
    Posted 8 years ago by Miriamele Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @Miriamele:
    Please do post! I would regret it very much if anyone stayed out of this thread because of what I asked Ooloi to do with me.

    I see you making efforts to improve the social environment too. I would love to hear about what you've been doing, too. That goes for anyone who is making efforts like that.

    @Ooloi:

    I've updated the first post in my closet with my vision, goals, strategies and lines of action.

    Yesterday I got distracted from my purpose, trying to help resolve a conflict in one thread, and trying to help keep the discussion on topic in another. I'm having the problem I have with a lot of initiatives: How can I tell it's doing any good? Even if people start actually reasoning with each other, or even if the discussion stays on topic more than usual, how do I know if it has anything to do with what I did?

    What I did to help keep discussions on topic was to post summaries of the on-topic ideas I saw in the thread. That might have helped keep one of the discussions on topic, but how will I ever know if it did or not?

    What I did to help resolve conflict was to ask if anyone was interested in my ideas about how seek consideration for their concerns, from the other camp. Afterwards I remembered that acrimonious debate serves some psychological and social purposes that people are deeply attached to, that the feuding is actually a way of socializing, and that there's little or no hope of any of the feuding participants ever being interested in actually resolving their differences.

    Then I realized that some feuds start with someone just venting or seeking understanding, sympathy and support. It has nothing to do with trying to resolve any differences. Then people on the other side of the conflict rise up to defend themselves, again without any thought of trying to resolve the differences, and the defense soon turns into a counter-attack. Even if they do finally come around to the idea of resolving the differences, it's only for appearances and there's no substantial effort to sympathize with, or even understand, the concerns on the other side.

    "Choose your battles." I'll leave that one alone for now, and just keep up my efforts to help reduce unkindness, and counteract its effects.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Jeff, I think what you meant to say is that if the filter was automatic that it could or should have a notification at the beginning. We as users cannot definitively state that there would be.
    And honestly, there are just so many notifications at the beginning of the game, I don't know that people would necessarily see that.

    I think that the people who want a chat filter are much more likely to seek out that sort of information than those who do not want to see a filtered version. This, to me, says that it should be automatically off, because it is rare for someone to see filtered chat and ask the group if there was a way to un-filter it. We just assume it's unchangeable.

    Zurin, I think that it would be very difficult for an average person to avoid any terms that could offend people from a different culture. I had absolutely no idea that either of those would be offensive to a sizable group of people. I am most likely "in the dark" about thousands of derogatory words or phrases, as would be pretty much anyone who didn't spend a lot of time actively seeking out that information.
    Of course, if someone explained that I had something that, where they are from, means something offensive or unpleasant, I would respond with telling them that I had no idea, explaining what I meant by it, and then likely forgetting the situation altogether. I can't guarantee that I wouldn't use the word again, at it's English dictionary meaning, because the alternative meaning is not ingrained in my vocabulary.

    That is one of the things that has to be understood by some people who are offended. In most of the cases where someone is offended by something, it is accidental on the part of the person who did/said the now offensive thing. Sometimes it is not, but often it is.

    Miriamele: The difference is that the person who is offended by the swearing is asking the person not to swear. The person who is swearing is refusing to do so, and is dictating only their own behavior, as well as stating the fact that it is possible to remove oneself from the situation if it warrants that.
    The way I think it should be seen as is "If you are offended by my behavior, you do not have to remain in my presence" which is definitely a fact, unless they are actually following you around in local chat pestering you, which the staff will deal with when it is reported.
    The way some people have phrased it has been rude, and occasionally seems bossy, but it is important to remember that one person is usually asking for a behavior to be changed before such a situation arises. Either by clear declaration or passive hinting, they tell the person that they should change the way they speak (sorry, but to many of us, writing in a chat is no different or more thought out than speaking. I can type 100 words a minute when furious, I probably can't speak that quickly :P) thus attempting to change their behavior, and the reaction of that request (or occasionally demand) has often been to point out that nobody is forcing them to hear/read it.
    It is a form of "changing" their behavior, but more accurately it is pointing out that that person has a choice in the matter that does not include forcing their opinions upon others. Another choice would be to be offended in your own personal space, vent about it out loud (rather than in chat), and then continue to enjoy the chat without anyone claiming censorship. Another would be to enter a decidedly "clean" chat space with clear guidelines and the ability to remove rulebreakers.

    The point is mainly that everyone, unless told otherwise by staff, has an equal right to be within the chat space and conduct themselves as they see fit. Attempting to alter someone's behavior is a definite choice not to allow them to continue to act as they see fit. When asked to change their behavior to suit someone else's opinion on proper behavior, I see it as a valid response to remind them that they have made the choice to exist within the same space as you while you act in this way.

    In terms of respect, many people actually have perfectly valid reasons for not respecting strangers, most of my experience in implicitly respecting someone has ended with injustice towards me being committed by that person, thus I no longer trust or respect anyone, as I cannot respect someone without knowing who they are as a person, and I do not simply trust what they say they are. Respect for some is a term that is very strong. Those people respect those who have made good contributions to society, or those who have been good to them personally, not every single person they meet online.
    For example, I respect the work of my local food bank. I do not respect the secretary who answers the phone. I do not know her motives for being there, and she exudes an air of impatience and dislike towards those who visit the food bank.

    Politeness though, is not necessarily a symptom of respect. I do not know anyone here, so while I may respect your right to an opinion, you as human beings are not respected by me, again, because I do not know you or what kind of person you are. I feel, however, that I am being "polite". I am polite to almost everyone, in fact, unless they have done actual wrongs to me or someone I know personally. This is regardless of respect. I was polite to my partner's boss at the last company dinner, despite absolutely despising his character as a human being and the way he treats his employees.
    I can also be impolite to those I respect. I respect my family and my partner, but I know that I have on occasion been quite rude to them. The two topics are really unrelated, in my opinion, because demanding that others respect anyone they meet would be simply ridiculous (respect is often a matter of your personal opinion of the person), but demanding politeness is commonplace and beneficial to almost everyone involved, and many people indeed are polite to almost everyone (I would honestly go insane if I had to be polite to every person who put me on hold for 20 minutes to "look up my account")

    I think that the idea of respect and the idea of politeness need to be separated officially. If I were obliged to be polite to my spouse every second of every day, that would likely cause medical problems, as gas is "impolite" but it happens nonetheless. If I were literally forced to respect every person, I would never be able to make up my own mind about someone based on their actions as the Respect function would be automatic and unchangeable.
    Telling people that they should be polite is something that can be worked on. The definition of polite can be examined and discussed and altered with compromises.
    My definition of respecting someone is completely unchangeable. I cannot automatically respect someone, as my automatic response is to be absolutely fearful of other human beings. Respecting rights to ____ is perfectly acceptable, I can agree with respecting other people's right to have opinions, thoughts, and views, and to say things however they please (including complaining about how others are acting), but I cannot respect the person themselves, as that, to me, involves actually knowing them or their actions.
    Posted 8 years ago by Biohazard Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Yeah, that is what I meant, haha. Cheers!
    Posted 8 years ago by Jeff Buckley Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Profanity (just looked up a better fitting word then swearing, cussing, foul language etc.)
    About the changing of behaviour: If someone is throwing a candy-wrapper on the ground when I am near, I would like to say something of it (though not always dare to do so). If people say: "Mind your own bussiness" (or leave the scene). If they behave like that while I am around, it IS my bussiness. If they don't want anyone to interfere with what they do, they should go home and do so there.
    Sometimes I hear people say things on the phone to others which make me want to comment on it (a witty remark, something funny, asking a question as I am curious...) but I don't as I consider it impolite on listening in on people. On the other hand, if it were private, then they should'nt make calls in public spaces!
    People who swear and tell me I can leave if I don't like it, act like they are in their own home and I am a visitor. No, we are both visitors of that space, and if the behaviour of one would annoy or offend the other it would be polite to not show that behaviour instead of just saying: Fuck you, just go away if you don't like it. That would be asking me to ignore it, and if it happens in a public space where I am present I can't ignore it. It does feel like saying to a woman: if you don't want to get whistled at and get sexual remarks from men, avoid these people that do it / avoid this area or avoid wearing a (short) dress. (or uncovered arms/shoulders in Muslim countries). I know it isn't exactly the same (as the swearing isn't directed at me, but to someone else or just in a sentence) but it does feel a bit like the victim is to blame and should leave. The victim should take action so it doesn't happen again and he/she doesn't get hurt again, instead of the offenders to adjust their behaviour.

    Hmm reading back what I just said - the isssue isn't wether I am allowed to comment (I think everyone agrees I can comment on it), it's wether the behaviour is common or is accepted in that area. If I am somewhere and see someone peeing in public, the pee-er could say: Move along if you don't like it. By law this is forbidden, so most people would agree that that person shouldn't do it. But what about kissing? In some countries it is forbidden to do so in public. In others it isn't forbidden, but it isn't common either. In other countries it's common. So which ruleset does Glitch live by?
    It is something which cannot be agreed upon.
    I think that, as much right as I have to ask people to behave properly according to my context (according to the values in public spaces where I live), the other has as much right to behave "properly" according to his social context. (according to the values in public spaces where he/she lives.) This could mean we don't find a middle way. Which isn't perse bad.
    I do point out that I am talking about socially accepted behaviour in public spaces, as that is what Global chat, Groupchat or Local chat is. Partychat with strangers could be seen as collegue-chat, while partychat with friends as friendchat (though which friend determines the social acceptable behaviour?).
    Furthermore, this discussion is mostly hypothetical to me, as I have hardly seen anyone misbehave. What I mean by misbehaviour or constant swearing would be someone who has to use a foul word in every sentence at least once.

    Yesterday I saw someone who crossed the line several times. People only mentioned it when he said "fag" (or something along those lines.) That is where I get annoyed - when homosexual derogatory terms are said, immediately everyone jumps up, but not to other things that are crossing the line.
    2 lines this player said, following eachother: "C-R-A-P."
    "Fuck."
    He was clearly trolling, as he probably wanted someone to ask what was wrong. This is the kind of cursing that annoys me. Don't do it to draw attention. (And a few lines further on he responded to someone along the lines of: "you (insert adjective) fag".
    Now, as much as I was annoyed by it, even earlier on, I smelled a troll. Things trolls like is food. So I didn't feed him, just talked about something else, hoping everyone else would ignore him too instead of reacting to it. (Too bad some people did react to it, which is precisely what he wanted imo.)

    Respect
    Respect exists in different levels. To me, the basis is to acknowledge that there is another person around with his or her own motives and feelings. Yes, respect and polite are different, but I  try to start out the positive way with people: I do greet the busdriver, eventhough I don't know him. I do greet the clerk in the shop, or the homelessperson selling the magazine about homeless people. I find it very impolite and disrespectfull to just keep on talking on the phone while getting in the bus and ignoring him while he stamps my card, or pay my groceries without greeting the cassiere or wishing her a nice day too, or ignoring the homelss person as if he/she doesn't exist. Especially that last thing is difficult sometimes, as you cant to close your eyes for it, but to ignore someone is kind of like denying they are there. It would hurt me a lot if I were adressing people and would be simply ignored. Not even a "goodday" or "No thank you".
    It's difficult to explain what I mean, but every litttle human has right to basic stuff - food, shelter, water. I also think they deserve something non-tangible. Acknowledgment that they exist. Not on paper, but emotional. That is what I mean with everyone houl be treated with some respect. Maybe you have a different word for it, but I don't know another fitting one.

    I get your point also about earning respect. I have a lot of respect for single-parents who raise a baby alone with no help. That is a different thing then the base-respect I was talking about above. It also doesn't mean I respect everything of that person, just more that I know that it is sometimes hard to raise a baby with 2 people, so must be very tough on your own. Respect for those that hang in there.
    Lots of respect goes to warveterans. And I don't mean only the ones that fought in WW2, no I also mean people like my cousin, who was a med in joegoslavia. She put herself in a potential dangerous situation to help others. Would I do the same?
    I've got respect for many people who do stuff I would consider very very tough/hard or who do things I couldn't do, or who try to do "the good"thing. I don't Respect Britney Spears. She's just a person to me.I do respect Sharon den Adel and Robert Westerholt from Within Temptation, as they are honest, modest, sincere, hardworking musicians who try to find a balance which benefits their familylife and their fans. (They both play in that band and have 3 kids together.)

    So in short: I haven't seen really offensive language yet, apart from trolls and that one famous thread. Trolls use offensive language for attention, which I don't want to give em so I ignore them. The discussion about adjusting someone's behaviour regarding cursing is hypothetical to me. I bet, if someone crosses my line regarding cursing (and is not a troll) then there will be many more annoyed and mention it, because it won't be just a single curse but more like a curse in every sentence in global chat.

    Respect: I have two meaning for it, the respect I was talking about was some sort of base-respect for living beings. Like you should respect the environment, animals rights, human rights.
    Then there is Respect, which can be earned (and lost). To me it's two different meanings/values of the word respect. Maybe I should name the base-respect different (treat everyone like you would want to be treated yourself? Approach people in a positive, friendly way?) It is a sort of life-vision, philosophy, moral. But I don't know a word that catches it other then respect. (If you have one, feel free to share it!).
    Posted 8 years ago by Miriamele Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @Ooloi:

    I'm fuming again about something I saw in the forum. It's really hard for me to resist responding to every injustice I see.

    ----

    Moving on ...

    ----

    The next thing I do might be to practice posting friendly messages to people I see being treated unkindly without getting any sympathy, until it becomes automatic. Then I might participate in other discussions that interest me. If I'm disagreeing with anyone, and I see anyone treating her unkindly, I'll suspend my disagreements with her and look for friendly things to say about her previous posts.

    ----
    (later)

    This is a joke on me. Just now I was ready to take my marbles and go home, because I haven't seen any active interest in the kind of work that could sustain my interest in this community ...

    What? This is the guy who's been preaching about sustained, sacrificial efforts? Um, Jim ...

    ----
    (later)

    Maybe I'll try looking for people in the forums and in the game who look like they might be working on counteracting the effects of unkindness, and write to them about what I've been doing, and invite them to talk to me about what they've been doing.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Ferond says: "The next thing I do might be to practice posting friendly messages to people I see being treated unkindly without getting any sympathy, until it becomes automatic. Then I might participate in other discussions that interest me. If I'm disagreeing with anyone, and I see anyone treating her unkindly, I'll suspend my disagreements with her and look for friendly things to say about her previous posts."

    I'll try to do that, too.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ooloi Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Miriamele, I think the term for your base respect is along my personal definition of dignity, though apparently the dictionary disagrees with me so I've been using that word wrong!
    I think maybe the difference could be as simple as treating someone with respect rather than simply respecting them.
    Does that make sense to other people, or just me? I see a clear difference between the two, but I'm not sure that others would.
    Posted 8 years ago by Biohazard Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @Ooloi: I got sidetracked again! I went into the forum to practice responding to unkindness with friendly posts, and I ended up doing nothing but posting my ideas about a topic of discussion.

    (later) Yay, I did it! I finally started practicing!

    (later) Now I'm having trouble finding any unkindness to practice on. I might need to do some trolling to generate some!

    @Biohazard: What you said about "treating with respect" and "respecting" makes sense to me. See below for some more ideas.

    @Miriamele:

    "Acknowledgment that they exist."

    That's spot on. And that they have right to exist. As themselves, as who they are.

    Some other thoughts:

    I like the comparison I saw somewhere with respect for nature. Calling an attitude towards people we don't know "respect" can make sense if we think of it as respect towards all of humanity, or towards all of nature including people, or towards all of God's creation.

    I also see it as part of mature, responsible behavior, part of healthy living, and part of the life of a free spirit. It's like respect for private property. Despising someone, or casting her as a villain, doesn't give you a right to rob her, and it doesn't give you a right to be ugly and cruel.

    Speaking of ugliness, I don't imagine it would make sense to anyone to mess up your hair or scuff your shoes whenever you're talking to someone you despise, so what sense does it make to act ugly? Ugliness is ugliness, no matter who you're talking to. It seems so strange to me for people to pay so much attention to their clothes and grooming, and go around acting ugly in front of the whole world!

    Also, I don't think you can be habitually ugly to some people, without turning it back on yourself, and without it spreading into other parts of your life.

    (later) Thinking of contrary behavior as ugliness gave me some ideas about what to call the universal kind of respect. Civility? Culture? Graciousness? Charity? Good will? Benevolence? Nobility? Respectability? Refinement? Chivalry? Consideration? Regardfulness? Respectfulness? Sometimes one of those, sometimes another, according to the context?

    I like "consideration" because it seems to me to capture the essence of the behavior that's somehow respectful but not the kind of respect that's earned. I also like "respectfulness," because it includes the word that some of us are tempted to use, while still maintaining the distinction we want to make.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Good posts all! Thank you for your replies.

    Just a tiny post from me nuw, not much time
    About acknowledging existence: www.smbc-comics.com/comics/...
    Posted 8 years ago by Miriamele Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @Miriamele: I hope you'll elaborate on that later!

    @Ooloi: I was having trouble finding unkindness to practice on. I only found one current isolated target, and I didn't want to keep going back there. Then when I decided it was that or nothing, I wanted to try putting my friendly post in a different thread, but I couldn't find another thread where that person was posting. So now I'm going to try posting a friendly reply to someone at random, just to practice my friendly response reflex. Oh! I just did!

    I have an idea that if I see someone being treated unkindly, and I want to post friendly replies to hers, it's better to do it in some other thread where she's posting, rather than in the same thread, to decrease the risk of adverse reactions from the people who are treating her unkindly. If you ever try it both ways, let me know what you think.

    So here's my current practice exercise:

    1. See someone being treated unkindly without getting any sympathy.
    2. Post a friendly reply to one of that person's posts, in another thread where she's posting.
    3. Failing that, post a friendly reply to one of his posts in the thread where I see the unkindness.
    4. If I've already done that, post a friendly reply to anyone, anywhere.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • To clarify, I didn't make that comic, it was posted on IRC (on a channel I was once active but now I only check the image viewer). Isn't it a huge coincidence that I am talking about something like that here, and that someone else posts this picture?

    It seems we all agree on treating someone with respect. Only the word is different sometimes :)

    Ferond, I'm sometimes a very naieve person. Or I want to stay that way. I mean, I *wish*  I am a na´eve person, in regards to my view of the world. Maybe positive is a better word, but I don't consider myself an exceptionally positive person.
    I believe there is something good in everyone. I believe that can grow if people are treated with love and kindness. (Not that that means you always have to agree or you never argue or should get angry at someone). Lots of time the negative aspects are emphasized.
    A negative experience of a restaurant spreads 10 times faster then a good experience.

    An example of how I think being friendly could change the world (yup, idealistic naieve me there): When I am walking on the street, lots of people look grumpy. In villages, people greet. In cities, they don't. I can understand you are not greeting everyone when you're in a crowd, but when you are walking around your neighbourhood and pass someone, there's less greeting in a city.
    I believe, that that is adding to a "negative vibe". Why? Because basically people ignore other people. They look away from eachother. Pretend the other isn't there. They don't acknowledge the presence of the other.

    So, what do I do? (Not always though, as sometimes I'm too annoyed/grumpy/tired/sleepy). I greet people on the street with a smile. Simply say: "Goodday".
    Maybe the person who I say this to had a bad day, or is angry and because of me saying a friendly greet, he says a friendly greet too. (Because it's polite to greet back). That's a positive feeling, a distraction from the bad day. (You might know that sometimes when you're angry or sad you don't want to be happy because it feels nice to be sad sometimes. Then, when you are forced to smile (e.g. at your work helping customers) you start feeling better, just by smiling and being friendly.
    So, I hope that person I greet will have a bit more positive vibe around him/her, and that he/she has more of a positive effect on others as well. Maybe he'll greet the next person he meets. And so on.

    Another example.
    I'm a bit active on a forum of our neighbourhood. There is a square here, where teenagers hang out. A few people posted on the forum that they feel unsafe because of them, and ask if the police can come patrol there more often.
    I never had any problems there, not even late at night. Sure, there are young people hanging there and it could give me an unsafe feeling, but hey, where else should they hang out? They just want to be with friends.
    Also, as I have said before in several threads, people assume negative things.
    E.g. There could be lots of reasons that don't have to do with YOU why someone treats you unkindly. People just like to think it's about them. (If someone didn't greet me when I greet him, I don't think he's intentionally ignoring me. I just think he's afk making coffee, or just like me, has too many chats going on and completely missed the greet.)

    Now where could this unsafe feeling come from?
    Person A walks across the square, sees the group but ignores their presence. The group might be offended by it, there's tension in the air. So the group might deliberately greet that person (ofcourse, with a bit of a challenge in the tone of it). Person A feels unsafe, and hurries along. The group now has received more negative points to their mood because of this. It's a downward spiral.
    I've had it, in a difference region, once were there was a group of teenagers sitting on a bench late at night while I passed. They stopped talking when I approached. (Most people do when someone approaches, has nothing to do with threatening to tease.) I greeted them, they greeted back, and when I was gone they continued their conversation.
    Another example: Two metalheads passed me late at night, greeted me, and I greeted back. I heard one say to the other: See, at least SHE greets back. I bet that, because of their looks, other people ignored them and didn't reply.
    I sometimes feel safer at night when I greet people. I also think that if you show fear you are more prone to being attacked, and by greeting people you say: I see you, you are here. It removes the tension, I can focus on something else instead of the person I just passed.

    Lots of examples, but I think, a greet and a smile are tiny things, we should do them more often as they can bring more positivity into this world.

    This forum: It is in the nature of people to discuss. To find disagreements. Someone here said that sometimes it's good if there are some bad guys because it unites the good guys. I agree with that. I also just ignore the person that is going offtopic or is overreacting/getting angry, just not to fuel the flames. If you try to soothe someone who is not ready to be soothed, or if the offender is still angry, then it will only fuel the flames. Both will get more defensive / offensive.
    There was a thread where I concsiously ignored the post of the person (a few posts?) before me, as reacting to that meant more offtopicness and more fuel. So I instead reacted to the OP.

    Another opinion from me: Everyone who says they don't want to change peoples behaviour is untrue to themselves. Ok, maybe you don't want to FORCE a change, or maybe you don't WANT to make people have to change, but it's a fact that you do!
    An extreme example: We all want murderers to change the way they think, behave, so they stop murdering and show regret.
    Ofcourse I wouldn't mind if everyone playes and thinks (about glitch) like I do or according to my morals. (which would still mean conflicts as I disagree with myself, change minds, etc.)
    Why? Because I am enjoying the game the way I play it, and sometimes have a hard time seeying how anyone can enjoy the game to the max the way they play it.
    Having acknowledged that, (that I DO want players to play/say/think/act according to my values) makes it also easier to let everyone play as they wish: I see that it is my desire that is causing the conflict, not their behaviour in itself.
    I'm not perfect, I'm no saint, and too much goodnes, mushiness, makes me go eeeew and makes me a bit rebellious. (I'm sometimes a bit allergic to people who try to please everyone and keep apologizing.) Negative emotions are part of us, they have a right to exist and should not always be covered/smoothed out. ?I think we all agree about that. Here, I think it's mostly about boundaries. Some negativity, discussion, is ok, but there's a line.

    Ferond, about posting a friendly reply: I hope you are not agreeing with someone just to be nice, because that would feel "false" somehow. Friendly replies are always nice, and you can disagree in a friendly way.

    TLDR: "Wall of text hits you for 2000" (sorry. I just like to rant about my ideals and views on how to contribute to eutopia ;) )
    Posted 8 years ago by Miriamele Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @Ooloi: I might need to nerf my practice exercises even more for now, and just practice posting friendly replies and questions to anyone, anywhere.

    @Miriamele: Thank you for writing about your feelings and what you're doing for friendliness. I like it. That's exactly what I've been wishing and hoping for.

    I might agree with you about everyone wanting (and trying) to change people's behavior. I wouldn't say there are no exceptions, only that I've never seen any. I do it openly and shamelessly.

    When I said I would suspend my disagreements with someone, I meant I would stop discussing them, not that I would start agreeing. I don't say anything that I don't really feel. I would try to find something in her posts, preferably in another thread, that I didn't disagree with. No matter how much I disagree with someone, I can always find something to sympathize with. For example, you may have noticed how much I deplore unkindness, and flooding a serious discussion with off-topic posts; and even more, people ignoring, denying and excusing those behaviors. Those things arouse my (self-)righteous wrath more than anything else I've ever seen in Internet discussions. Even so, I can still sympathize with people doing those things because I'm often tempted to do the same things. Sometimes I have a lot of the same contrary feelings about an isolated target of unkindness as some other people do, and I get some laughs out of the insults and clowning, even when I'm the target.

    Even if I couldn't find something to sympathize with, I would try to find some friendly questions to ask. That's something I want to practice some more. That doesn't come very naturally or easily to me.
    Posted 8 years ago by Ferond Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I type pretty fast. There's no excuse for swearing (even masked vulgarity) in an online text chat - you have ample opportunity to self-edit/censor as needed. And I don't buy 'I was angry/upset' as an excuse, because fine motor control (i.e. typing) is one of the first things to go when you're that upset.
    Posted 8 years ago by TK-855 Subscriber! | Permalink