Wait! I said that but...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by William Draven, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. It's not news. There's currently a storm brewing between forum members, and I've self inserted myself at it's center. The important question here is why are we here? The answer comes in many forms, and has been given by many people here. The unified form for why this community exists is to help others who are like minded in their pursuit of magical knowledge be it for commercial use or for personal. Often it's that divide right there that causes more tiffs to open up over the forums than anything else.

    We're blessed to have a large mixture of aspiring students, to working professionals here on this board. This gives us a wide range of opinions from ideas based in theories, and pipe dreams, and others from years of experience, and exposure. Some opinions can be cynical, and jaded, often tainted from years of having the "real life" drive the point home for the ones making them, and others are less acidic but no less valuable. So if everyone is playing at the same game, using (basically) the same rules, then why is it we are having issues with members like myself getting into rows with other guys who we basically agree with on a founding level?

    A large part of the problem I believe exists with the method for which our messages are delivered. I have always said that text base communication does a wonderful job of imparting facts, but takes the humanity out of the intentions or delivery. Added into the faceless anonymity of the internet, and unfortunately that acts as a sort of cyber alcohol that removes our otherwise well practiced social inhibitions.

    When we communicate with each other in the real world, we express our ideas, concerns, problems, and solutions through a complex display of verbal language, emotional tones, and non verbal physical cues that deliver intent and meaning to those we speak to. As any student of mime will tell you, you can say a hell of a lot with your body without saying a single word. Example in motion is the Disney Pixar movie "Up". Disney Pixar managed to tell a more emotional love story in 9 minutes than Stephany Meyers did in four books of her Twilight saga. The impressive part is that Disney Pixar never said a single word!

    When we speak on the internet we lose the ability to deliver solid tone of voice, or other non verbal cues into our messages that would signal or indicate to others participating that we mean no harm, are trying to be helpful, or in the direct opposite trolling with the intention of being difficult and an ass. The only saving grace that we get is the experience we build up with each other over a course of time that we can use to vouch for their good intent and personality. Sure that works for those of us on the forum that have been putting threads out there on a daily bases, and have been active here for a length of time, but what happens when a working professional that we haven't really gotten to know yet, an adult with equal right to voice an opinion on a topic of discussion (and enough experience to back it up) steps out to be heard? They place themselves in a position to not be received warmly, especially if their messages are viewed to be contrary to what is being discussed. This of course becomes a breeding ground for miss-communications.

    In part I guess this is why we have a bio section on our profile, a signature area where we can display our websites or other useful information, and social networking pages that can back us up and verify who we are if a search is done, but that doesn't help much when your forum user name is magicboy1990. Further why is it that unknowns are at such a disadvantage? In part I think it has to do (with this website in particular) the young average user base this place cultivates. The average user base here is in their teens to twenties. The youtube magician generation, and it's easy an easy crutch to assume they have no real world experience. Of course I'm not saying that everyone in that demographic has no experience, or worse that their opinions aren't important, but how many threads have we seen that squabble over insignificant points such as who is better Criss Angel or David Blaine or what is the BEST deck of cards, etc? Most of the time it isn't your workers who are doing the squabbling. It's just very hard to separate well grounded experience from an elitist attitude when the only method for the delivery of your ideas is a crude form of text based communication.

    I know it's been said that people here on the forums tend to "pick apart" others posts, and this was a point that was addressed in a similar thread, however I don't feel this is entirely fair. I think that a statement like this undermines the intent of those involved. Obviously this board has a diverse community, and equally filled with people of all ranges of intelligence. When someone posts a long post, and makes several points during it, it's just easier to sit there line by line, and address each instance as it were, as opposed to just trying to sum up a crap load of information and give a reply that works for the entire mess. If you took the time to type out something that monstrous, then obviously you feel like you have something worth being said. To that, I intend to show you the same level of respect by taking you at your own points line by line if I need to until I feel I've properly replied to you. Others like me share this mindset. We're not doing it to be lawyers, or jerks. It's just an effective way to make sure everything gets covered.

    At the end of the day, of course I believe that every single one of us on the forums who have been here for a minute are all playing towards the same goal. We all want to succeed, and we all want each other to do so too. When someone wins the SNC, an event a lot of us put into, it's not harsh words that are spoken, but congratulations across the board. So I don't think we're in any danger of having a harsh community here. I think we just don't always get our meanings across before the other guy takes offense, and for the most part we don't always know who it is we're talking with or what grounds they have to hold their opinions on until after we've had a chance to get to know them better. I think we can certainly all get along better once we begin to understand why it is conflict starts to form. Nipping a disagreement in the bud prevents it from escalating into a full out war, and often times it comes down to a simple miss-communication.
  2. There is no "storm" brewing William. Stop taking things so seriously and relax with some eggnog.
  3. X.x I'd love to but eggs will kill me. Perhaps a glass of Merlot instead. Am I seriously wrong in all this?
  4. Of course not. No one is wrong or right because it's just our opinions about a community we don't control, nor do we have the ability to make people agree with us. I will help people out IF I am able to help and if they genuinely seem like they want to better their magic rather than know another secret but I have an elitist attitude where I think magic should be kept completely underground and only shared between close circles. So I don't completely agree with either of you.

    It's one of those topics that cannot and will not be resolved over the internet, which is why I'm saying you shouldn't be taking this so serious. .
  5. Draven, I've always appreciated the time you put in to your posts. Sometimes lengthy posts seem like they are meant to dig, but like you said.. its because we are reading it.

    If I have a bad day, and I read a post by you, I will interpret it as a negative post probably. If I have a great day, I will maybe interpret your post differently. yes, that is the problem with forums. mix that with different people from different cultures, different ages, different mindsets, and good/bad days - you are gonna get some mixed feelings on your thought out posts.

    The "picking" apart posts aspect - yes, it seems like that. but I think you've explained yourself fairly. and I agree - you are giving the person the time of day by responding to every piece you want to respond to. Sometimes you want to do it to prove a point, and sometimes you do it, so things don't get too confusing as to what you were referring to.

    bottom line is, I think it seems you are picking it apart, but I doubt everyone feels that way. Especially since you've explained your ideas behind it. I think its cool. You could easily NOT reply, but then you'd be short changing the community by not sharing your ideas.

    personalities will always clash for the above mentioned reasons, even on a forum with "more" seasoned professionals like the cafe. but at times, they have good points come up here and there.
  6. Without picking sides, I'm going to try to add onto this a little bit, if I may.

    When I was reading through the earlier "Remember why you are here" thread and there was a conflict of opinions regarding arguments/discussion and real life, vs. what they are like on here...well you have addressed most of the issues between the two forms of communication above. But when I was reading the thread, I was merely thinking about the fact that discussions and arguments ARE completely different in real life, and that's why people may perceive so-called "nitpicking."

    Let me give an example of an discussion between two disagreeing people in real life:

    Them: Alright, here's my opinion on this issue.
    You: Okay, but here's mine
    Them: Yes, however, (rebuttal)
    You: I understand, but on the other hand (rebuttal).

    And the conversation continues in this manner, with each participant making small, short points that express their opinion, while the other offers a rebuttal on that opinion, and adds their own comments and ideas. Is that nitpicking? I'd say no, and I imagine most would as well..that's just discussion.

    Meanwhile, from what I've seen on the forums, one person writes a giant wall of text, and then another, and then another. Yet when someone pulls out quotes, sentences, and little pieces to respond to specifically we call it "nitpicking"? Oh heck no! That's the equivalent of back-and-forth conversation!

    Perhaps now you see the point I am making. Because of the nature of the beast, that is, non face-to-face communication, we can't have a conversation that's "normal." Rather, we address each other's ideas in large swaths of text and rhetoric.

    Is quoting, and specifically addressing points nitpicking? Hardly. As said previously, it's the equivalent of back-and-forth face-to-face conversation. It's the best we can do with the resource that we have, which is, in the end, excellent magicians and an excellent forum.

    Oy, my response seems pretty one-sided, but I was just trying to add on to the point that communication on the internet provides a hotbed for as you said, miss-communication.

    I hope my point doesn't conflict with yours Mr. Draven.

  7. Eggnog is delicious ;)
  8. I respect each of your replies, and digress that I can't enjoy egnogg. No worries Crede, no conflict here.
  9. Did I miss something here? It's been a while since I actually contributed regularly, but from reading Draven's post it's seems that something in the forums is a tad different( I mean the users ). Further reading is required.
  10. A Conversation is like a game of tennis, somebody serves a ball which is like starting a conversation, then the people conversing take turns swinging the ball back
    it simple, But who wins the game?
    You decide!
  11. Nothing is really different RD. I had recently participated in a few forum discussions with a couple of users whom I feel we shared at a base level the same basic understanding and compassion for why we're here on the board but something got lost in the translation and sparked a minor spat. So thinking about it, I made this post trying to better understand why different people with the same basic ideas can disagree with each other so much.
  12. I think that you already said the answer man:

    Trying to contributing to the topic at hand, I believe that meanwhile the ideas that you all have (and I mean those with the same ideas) are the same in the end, you said it yourself "different" people, meaning for me that meanwhile the conclusion is the same, maybe the way that each person got to that conclusion is different, and maybe there is where the differences go afloat.

    P.S On the other hand, I don't have idea of what you were discussing with them, so maybe my point doesn't applyes (Did I wrote that word right?)
  13. Probably. Of course I may also making a mountain out of a mole hill too. It's quite possible that I've somehow drank my troll potion instead of my Earl Grey tea by mistake this morning.

    If so I'll gladly retreat back to my cave and wait for the side effects to wear off before I come back out to play.
  14. Hahahaha Yeah, I used to post a lot in the forums but then I took an arrow to the knee.....

    (High five to those that get the reference)
  15. :giving you a high five:

    Anyway, I think that we should all just relax and continue doing what we've been doing so far - share experiences and advice. I really don't see the point in sharing experiences and advice about the way we share experiences and advice just because we don't like the way others share their experiences and advice and...you get the point.

    Greetings from cold Croatia!
  16. I think we have a gamer in the room... Anyway, just saying that to Draven and other: if 10 peoples sitting at the table have all the same opinion, 9 of them are not required. There is some argument that we can make to express ourselves, but I think what Geraint (sorry for the mispelling) tried to say was that some people just seems to blasts off some steam at other insteed of telling them in a more "appropriate" manner. There is a way to argue and there is a way to blast. Some people will see some post as blasting and other will see them as arguing. It's depend on the people. I consider myself someone with a high "tolerance" to arguing, but sometime I see some post as blasting. Is it the true intention? Maybe not , but generally I stop arguing with them since most of the time, we talk about opinion. And like an humorist has said: An opinion is like an a**h***, everybody got one. So cheer everybody!
  17. Hmm.. so true.
  18. Goldmos ..... you're totally right.
  19. There is no storm... you've attached yourself to a generalisation from a locked thread and by proxy, became the very thing I was hoping to move past.

    Tone isn't conveyed well in text, and for that reason, some things are mis-understood. You're right about that, but by your
    own admission you self-inserted yourself into an argument that wasn't targetted at anyone.

    You made it about you.
  20. You didn't specify it wasn't about me so blanket statement applies to all who read into it.

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