04 March 2004

I'll label my response preliminary...

Subject: I'll label my response preliminary...
From: Geoff
Date: Mar 30 2004 4:53PM

to pre-empt the charge of undue haste...

I agree that the "smart/dumb" dichotomy has no place, because intellect has no correlation I've observed with wisdom. I'm not quite sure the "genius/fool(or idiot)" dichotomy goes out the window with it, if we use a more archaic sense of "genius."

My recollection of the Tempo "bang" debate was two people flinging their shit at me and asking me to figure out which one had just eaten roses. I think I've once mentioned that back then I placed far greater emphasis on demonstrated malice then than I do today, and as the obviously more empathic of the two, I faulted you for knowing better than to engage in such behavior. Of course, enough time spent wading in the cesspool and such early judgments seem ludicrous.

Tempo seemed an exclusively social poster who was censorious and malicious, but she demonstrates such a colossal lack of introspection, I had no idea how one could even ask her to improve her behavior. I do still very much believe in human autonomy, and I don't believe that Tempo, however venal she may be, is yet incapable of self-recognition and thence improved behavior. I wouldn't put any money down on the proposition, but it seemed and still seems possible. If I've decisively washed my hands of her, it's because I've realized that there's a danger in her pathology that I am foolishe to involve myself with and helpless to protect others from. Tempo is a parasite. She extracts sensitive biographical information from posters then deploys it online to destroy them when they cross her. There's nothing I can do about that. As for whether I ever "ran with the pack," I can't say I feel I ever did.

Intellect and empathy are both traits, both of which can be used creatively or destructively, upon ourselves and upon others. You seem to possess a good deal of both, but I have yet to see you wield either in a manner that I'd find admirable. I feel your frustration, but too often it seems you choose your targets based upon their obvious insecurities rather than their redressable failings. Most of us have a scabrous sense of self-regard, and you can demand that others pick at it and cause them pain, or you can insist that they clothe themselves with habits of civility which, if nothing else, are designed to mitigate the social cost of our human shortcomings.

Humans are innately as they are. Haut or Tempo aren't going to change. But even if Haut remains a pompous idiot, there's no harm in encouraging him not to act as one. Even if Tempo is an evil bitch there's no harm in encouraging her not to act as one. If scorn and derision are the only tools at hand, then I'm not afraid to use them. Either my vision is flawed, or it is solitary, and they can write me off as the lonely voice of delusion, or it is not, and the chorus of calumny that they face should at least inspire them to conceal their shortcomings, which is as good as destroying them... The only way I change my behavior is from learning I'm thought an asshole (or whatever else), so I call others assholes when their behavior needs changing. I'm one brick in the wall, if you will. But picking apart GodOfWine's sense of masculinity or slamming Laurie the way you did... or callously echoing REW_OEM's words... I couldn't find much to justify such behaviors... they weren't criticisms of any specific behavior, they weren't criticisms which, if conceded, would have any salutary benefits for their objects. The alternative to our innate shortcomings is non-existence. All we can control is our behavior.

Our actions in this forum aren't much. Sure, the social dynamic that develops here is as valid as any other society. Sure, we can't hold ourselves to standards higher than our natures can bear. But if you elicit consistent criticism for your wanton cruelty it is because you appear wantonly cruel. Interestingly, you bring it into the sphere of autonomy when you say:

In fact, I suspect you could tell the people of Hauteur's universe what they wanted to hear better than Hauteur ever could if you put your mind to it.

What if we DO live in his universe? What is the relation between what we feel we could do and what we choose to do? If we choose NOT to do something and follow up on that choice, what profit is left in the awareness of that former distinction between our capacity and our intent?

I dunno. Consistency of vision and consistency of action probably aren't my forte. What was it? "Mostly manic?"


that's right. he wasn't the freditor when he wrote this...

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