Triangulation and dialogue

Jim Jaszewski ab975 at
Wed Jul 19 06:41:11 MDT 1995

On Thu, 13 Jul 1995, Chris Burford wrote:

> I, like others, I guess, have been noting your patience in trying another
> style of communicating over the last couple of weeks, which I am sure has
> not been easy because there is nothing to say that the prevailing style
> on this list is perfect. However if you are to contribute effectively I
> think it is wise to tune into the prevailing style, as well as exploring
> some of the variants.

	Actually, the only reason it started off so badly was that I
bluntly challenged some baldly un-marxist assertions, most specifically by
a rather snotty guy, name of Rahul, who while claiming to be a marxist,
stated flat-out he didn't believe in dialectical materialism(!) -- said it
was 'unscientific' (obviously, not a clue... To him, it was just a matter
of 'stalinist' faith for yours-truly.) Then he proceeded to insult me,
totally ignoring my 'proof' to the contrary, frankly exhibiting an elitist
bent. Luckily, a number of erudite people here have made it CONCRETELY
clear that the scientific method _itself_ is a mostly unconscious attempt
to apply dialectical principles to understanding nature.

	I'm not a christian, and I don't necessarily believe in turning
the other cheek... More, I tend to follow the 'prisoners` dilemma'
rule-of-thumb, as some here would put it -- 'do unto others...' Frankly,
I'd do it _all_ over again... However, a few others jumped in, and it got
really nasty. I don't accept the proposition that it was somehow mostly my
doing -- though as usual, those who speak first, loudest and most often
are too often given the benefit of the doubt...

	As for 'prevailing style' -- well, one of the reasons Joe Six-pack
sits in front of the TV instead of getting involved in politics, is
because his eyes would glaze over faster than a wavefunction collapses if
he were forced to read this list sometimes...  :>

> > I hope you are not appealing to me because I am the peckingest of the
> pecking order :) . I thought that was an interesting remark because there
> was something to it. There is not a pecking order but there is a network,
> or rather a number of overlapping networks of mutual recognition and
> respect. None of us knows how many people will be bored or contemptuous of
> our next post, but gradually an awareness builds up of what passes, and the
> positive feedbacks build recognition.

	Learning that this list was less than one year old helps me
understand why some of the discussion here was not quite up to the level I
expected...  :>

> I have just been corresponding privately encouraging someone to contribute
> who says he is uninhibited on Usenet but somehow holds back here. My
> main assumption about you, Jim J, is that you built up a fluency on other
> lists, of a quick fire nature, and were frustrated to find that the style
> was not welcomed with opened arms here.

	I appreciate that you are trying to get a handle on our
difficulties here, but my style is quite conscious, though since I haven't
written so regularly for years there are stylistic hurdles for me to jump.

	I've seen enough of how people react to new faces in their
routines that I know the 'sizing-up ritual' pretty well... I'm not really
worried about how others see me here -- as long as there is no REAL
censorship, I know that the 'Truth will out' and a balance will eventually
be reached... I flatly reject the 'academic style': if you _are_ a real
expert, you can make your beliefs easily accessible to the layman.

	However, there DOES seem to be a real problem here with terms and
frames of reference -- really basic stuff...

> I do think you have raised lots of important points but if you feel
> frustrated at still not getting as much recognition as you would like,
> I would suggest there are still some problems which you may like to
> think about.

	I'm not so worried of that as I was of being cold-shouldered due
to the initial problems -- without being given a chance...

> 1. There is not one perfect length. Most replies are too long for
> maximum accessibility, including I am sure my own, but people can be
> selective. Short replies are very effective sometimes, but I guess your
> contributions would be strengthened if you posted a little less,
> and developed an argument over two or three paragraphs.

	Everything in its time... I really haven't felt CREATIVE enuff
here yet... As you imply, I haven't found my 'level' yet -- but that goes
for a lot of people here...

> 2. Allusions. I like to drop many allusions, and in a very different style,
> so do you. I guess the problem occurs if there is an expectation that
> others should necessarily understand them. In your reply on "tercerist",
> you seemed to say you expected everyone to understand this. If I recall
> rightly Louis has actually also put in a lot of time in supporting the
> Sandanistas, or, sorry Louis, some Latin American progressive group, with
> computer techniques. His question was a little sharp but perhaps it
> brought out something about the communications problem, and you will have
> a chance of communicating with him again as you have with me now.

	Sure. That's how we find things out. Aren't you all lucky I don't
try a beatnik 'stream of consciousness' style a la 'The Subterraneans'...


> Now I have never heard of the Three Stooges, any more than I have
> heard of tercerism. Is it some long lost novel by Dostoyevsky?

	No, they aren't the Brothers Karamazov -- but I really expected
you would have known about them...

 I know
> you were very angry and I did not really mind, and I have had a good
> laugh now, but why did you call me a fool, because among other things
> I had never heard of the Three Stooges? There is an element of slapstick
> in all of this.

	Frankly, I believe it had to do with your total mis-reading of my
black humor (it _is_ a recognized style; common in wartime...) -- even
more so, the huge post raking me over the coals for some alleged verbal
homosexual aggression(!?!) As I stated then, I found it passing bizarre.
Truly. Ha ha.  :>

> Jim, when are you going to allow yourself to appear foolish on this
> list? Its OK in small doses, and quite liberating.

	Maybe when I become independently wealthy after winning the Loto...

> When I decided the moment in history had come for me to join the internet
> in October last year I spent some time in a beginners class in
> Compuserve, on internet etiquette. I did not understand how they could
> be so dogmatic to say that capitals are read as shouting, but from
> experience I would say I agree. Some psychological studies show that
> small case is understood quicker on signs. Any way I find your frequent
> use of capitals like shouting and my eyes blurr over. Very few other
> people on this list use capitals as you do. Ralph does for all his titles.
> And my guess, extrapolating from my sample of one, myself, is that many
> others of your readers on this list, Jim, will hear you as shouting.

	I get this every so often, but it's really a non sequitur, as the

	I use capitals for EMPHASIS, but actually, I am dropping more to
using the _underscore_ or even *star*. My technical problem here is that I
don't use a Windows reader, so I have little idea how my text looks in a
graphical environment. Text mode is junk and it's just that -- I'm not
going to worry too much about it -- I aim for the italics and bolds of the
graphical readers. Do capitals look the same there as in text mode? Doubt

> I think what is really happening is that you have not learned the code
> for handling conflict in this group, a code which is usually hidden from
> most newcomers to groups and which is often experienced as baffling or
> controlling.

	And I'm going to have to say again that I do not take full
responsibility for what's been going on here. Not even half.

 I think you want to highlight key words in your brief
> communications to pinpoint the crucial concept for quick clarification.
> But you do it with CAPITALS rather than *asterisks* or _underlining_.

	As I pointed out above, I use 'em all..

> I remember reading an exchange in the archives, when I was trying to
> understand what had been going on in the argument on the law of value
> in July and August, where Steve Keen had taken exception to a post
> by Rakesh, who I personally find a very non-combative contributor.
> Really my impression was that it was the use of capitals, and the
> codes had been misread between the two of them.

	I'm all for standardizing as much as possible, but it's obviously
going to be a long, tough haul...

	I suggest that definition of BASIC marxist terms is _more_
important at this juncture.


   Jim Jaszewski   <jjazz at>

   WWW homepage:   <>


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