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Tue Aug 14, 2012, 11:44 PM

I really hate the "It's MY PERSPECTIVE" shit.

Something that really irks me is that it seems like in the past 40 years or so the "personal perspective" has been put on a glowing pedestal to the detriment of objectivity. If someone is offended by the world "niggardly" then it is offensive, the objective fact that it has no relationship to the N-word is simply ignored. If you correct some woo-woo's factual errors you are condemned for "not respecting their own perspective". Tell someone that menstrual cycles have nothing to do with the Moon you are condemned for preferring objective fact over "what women just know". It seems like people are pressured to "respect people's perspectives", that is, don't ever "offend" anybody by telling them they are wrong, and thus "privileging one perspective over another".

This crap seems to go hand in hand with the rise of Postmodern Social Theory in Academia, in which there are no objective truths, just narrative "realities" unique to each person.

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply I really hate the "It's MY PERSPECTIVE" shit. (Original post)
Odin2005 Aug 2012 OP
DetlefK Aug 2012 #1
frankie Aug 2012 #10
DetlefK Aug 2012 #12
ericburns4 Aug 2012 #17
Chemisse Aug 2012 #2
Ron Obvious Aug 2012 #3
DetlefK Aug 2012 #4
Ron Obvious Aug 2012 #8
LeftishBrit Aug 2012 #5
trotsky Aug 2012 #6
idwiyo Aug 2012 #11
mr blur Sep 2012 #22
Odin2005 Aug 2012 #7
DetlefK Aug 2012 #9
McGee from Muskogee Aug 2012 #13
Silent3 Aug 2012 #15
Orsino Aug 2012 #14
MineralMan Aug 2012 #16
Orsino Sep 2012 #18
MineralMan Sep 2012 #19
Confusious Sep 2012 #20
Orsino Sep 2012 #24
jberryhill Sep 2012 #25
MineralMan Sep 2012 #28
jberryhill Sep 2012 #29
Orsino Sep 2012 #31
jberryhill Sep 2012 #32
Confusious Sep 2012 #21
LeftishBrit Sep 2012 #23
Odin2005 Sep 2012 #27
jberryhill Sep 2012 #30
randr Sep 2012 #26

Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 07:13 AM

1. I'm sorry, but from my perspective I didn't step on your foot, you slipped yours under mine.

Recommended reply if someone tries to use the perspective-argument:
"I will respect your perspective as soon as you respect mine, that perspectives show only a part of reality and are therefore inferior to facts."

(Maybe he will fall for the trap. )

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 11:17 AM

10. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions

but not their own facts.

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Response to frankie (Reply #10)

Sun Aug 26, 2012, 11:23 AM

12. But reality is the part of imagination we all agree on.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 08:00 AM

17. I agree.....

I agree. This is age where we cannot tolerate intolerance!

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 08:29 AM

2. It's a lazy argument that requires no knowledge of facts or logic.

People - in general - really seem to be moving away from science and logic.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 11:09 PM

3. You said a mouthful...

I've seen a lot of that sort of thing lately. Specifically, I'm sorry to say, on the left. For that matter, I've read quite a few things on this site lately I've found profoundly depressing.

A nephew of mine is a philosopher, stuffed to the gills with PM, oriental mysticism, and the sort of cultural relativism they apparently pick up at uni these days. "But it's true for them, and your science is just another point of view" God, I just want to wring his neck when he says rubbish like that. Yet, they think themselves so intellectual...

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 16, 2012, 04:51 AM

4. PM? Do you mean the pseudoscientific magazine "P.M."?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 16, 2012, 11:42 AM

8. pm

No, I was referring to post-modernism. I guess PoMo is a more commonly used abbreviation.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Thu Aug 16, 2012, 06:30 AM

5. I have a slightly different problem with it...

which is that some people think that 'This is just my perspective' is an excuse to abuse or tell lies or spread malicious gossip about other people: 'It is my perspective that Fred is dishonest', and then when challenged: 'I didn't say that he IS dishonest; I said it was my perspective that he is'. I think some of this comes from group therapy techniques, and their offshoots in group interaction sessions used in management training, etc.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 16, 2012, 07:40 AM

6. Damn good point about the link to group therapy stuff.

"How does that make you FEEL?"

I'm picturing Deanna Troi saying that.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 05:37 PM

11. I hate that bloody question, absolutely hate it!

"It might help to know that there are probably millions of people there right now who feel just as bad as you. How does it make you feeeeeeeel?"

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Response to idwiyo (Reply #11)

Mon Sep 10, 2012, 12:25 PM

22. But how, exactly, does it make you feel?

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 16, 2012, 11:27 AM

7. That reminds me of the I-Statement fetish.

In which any time you criticize somebody you should subjectivize it by saying "I feel" before it.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 17, 2012, 08:33 AM

9. "I feel that he didn't file his report on time, because he was drunk yesterday."

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 12:46 AM

13. It still doesn't change the fact that we're never colonizing space

 

The objective truth is that the human pop. is about to drop by at least 3/4ths due to climate change and you're worried about going to Mars. Another objective truth is that Robert Zubrin is a known anti-environmentalist Randian and that very few take him seriously.

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Response to McGee from Muskogee (Reply #13)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 10:30 PM

15. "Never" is a pretty long time.

Even if I bought that such a projected population drop were going to occur (I can see how something like that could happen, but I doubt anyone's forecasting and modeling is solid enough to state such a prediction as if it were inarguable objective fact), humans are likely to prove to be very robust as a species, even if many individuals die off by the billions.

Suppose humanity has to contend with Malthusian crashes and booms. We'd still be likely to rebuild technology during every boom, probably faster and further than the previous cycle since plenty of information would carry over from one cycle to the next. Further, even right now, not having to consider that kind of distant future, it's much more a matter of willingness to commit the necessary resources than our current level of technology that holds us back from having colonies on the Moon and on Mars.

A discovery that could lead to massive quantities of cheap, clean energy might just be around the corner even now. And if not so soon, it's certainly absurd to insist that in a hundred or a thousand or ten thousand years such a discovery simply can't and won't be made. Cheap, plentiful energy would solve practically all of the current problems of spaceflight, most of which are based on trying to travel through space on the slimmest energy budgets possible. If you've got lots of energy, you can fly fast, direct paths, you can carry plenty of supplies, you can lift and propel heavy spacecraft with plenty of shielding against radiation, etc.

The only significant doubts I have about humans spreading throughout space is that we may reach some sort of scientific/technological/biological "singularity" before we manage to spread very far. What would become of humanity after such a point (if anything which can still be called humanity were to exist at all) is impossible to predict.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 12:43 PM

14. Choosing to use the word "niggardly" in this day and age is suspect behavior.

Offense is a subjective matter, and your proposed lack of a relationship between "niggardly" and the n-word is far from "objective fact." It was true at some point, I'm sure, but it only takes one asshole deliberately conflating the terms--or merely appearing to do so--to turn the discussion into a minefield.

If one chooses to use terms known to be offensive, one's own motives are called into question. That's not crap; that's how people interact.

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Response to Orsino (Reply #14)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 01:30 PM

16. No, not at all. Niggardly is a very old word, with a distinct meaning.

Its use is fine. So is the use of "niggle" and "niggling." Both are also words dating back to the 16th century and have roots in old Scandinavian languages, as does niggardly. Many words came into the English language from Scandinavia, since the Vikings made forays into Great Britain often.

The other word to which you refer has different origins, and is a latinate word based on a root meaning "black." It still means "black" in a number of languages. In English, it gained a new meaning, and an offensive one.

Educated people understand words, and use them appropriately. Niggling complaints about word usage are just that.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 12:12 PM

18. Context is all.

Words and phrases rarely have only a single meaning. Insisting otherwise was a right-wing cliche decades ago.

Liberalism acknowledges that language constantly evolves, and seeks to avoid unintentional offense.

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Response to Orsino (Reply #18)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 01:48 PM

19. Niggardly has only one meaning.

It is a very simple word, understood by educated people everywhere who speak and understand English. There is no way it can be used otherwise.

Definition of NIGGARDLY

1
: grudgingly mean about spending or granting : begrudging
2
: provided in meanly limited supply
— nig·gard·li·ness noun
— niggardly adverb
See niggardly defined for English-language learners »
See niggardly defined for kids »

Examples of NIGGARDLY

<she's a niggardly woman, so don't expect a handout from her>
<niggardly portions of meat for dinner>

First Known Use of NIGGARDLY

1571

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #19)

Fri Sep 7, 2012, 08:59 PM

20. You can't use it because

it has the N, an I, two G's, an A, and an R.

Nor can you use any of the combination because you might cause offense.

God I hate the word police.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #19)

Tue Sep 11, 2012, 02:47 PM

24. What meaning would it have...

...if Mitt Romney used it 23 times in a single address to the NAACP?

C'mon. While a speaker may intend only one meaning, a given audience may receive a different message. Words are mutable according to time of day, venue, recent history and probably even the weather.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #19)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 08:17 AM

25. Oh come on... If someone is going out of their way to use it to tweak someone...

Go over the LGBT and tell them how you like to sit down on a winter morning and burn faggots.

I have a lot of trees on my property, and I get so many faggots here, that I don't even have to use much cordwood.

Last winter, I burned one really queer faggot which gave off a rainbow colored light. I recall it clearly, because it penetrated the annals of my memory and has become a permanent fixture there.

I have so many faggots to burn that I have to get aides to help me burn them. My aides have a gay time collecting faggots for me. It makes my aides so gay to burn faggots, they keep coming and coming again.


...and then you can feign surprise and disdain if anyone thinks you are trying to offend them.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #25)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:08 AM

28. Niggardly and the word you used are quite different.

On the other hand, I don't believe I've ever used the word niggardly in any public speech or writing, and I write for a living. The reason is that it is not a word that is in most people's active or passive vocabulary. It's a perfectly good word, but the goal of speaking or writing is communication, and if the words you use are not understood by a majority of your listeners or readers, you will not be communicating effectively.

Audience is everything. Adjusting vocabulary to suit a target audience is a crucial part of public speaking or writing. That said, if I were writing to an audience that would be likely to have "niggardly" in their active or passive vocabulary, I wouldn't hesitate to use it.

As for your example, the word you used, which I will not use in this post, can refer to a bundle of sticks, as you suggested, or a bassoon, which is named for its similarity in appearance to said bundle of sticks. If I were writing about the history of wind instruments, I would use the word, and its Italian equivalent, in that writing. It would be understood in context to mean what I meant it to mean. The same word has a historical use in referring to cigarettes in England, again for the resemblance of a cigarette to a stick. That usage has largely disappeared, even in the UK, but you might hear it, or the shortened version, if you hung around a pub long enough.

Context, audience, etc. are all important in choosing words to use.

However, niggardly has only one meaning in English. Its root, "niggard," used to be in use fairly often, to refer to a Scrooge-like character who is stingy, mean, and a pinch-penny. It has no relationship whatsoever to the racial epithet. Nobody has ever used the word "niggard" as a racial slur. The same basic root has also produced the word "niggling," meaning a small, insignificant matter, as in a "niggling detail." The verb form, "niggle," is rarely used by anyone, but means to fiddle with small details, as in "Let's not niggle over the details." Most people don't have any of those words in their active vocabulary, and they wouldn't come to mind in speech or writing. Far more people, though, have them in their passive vocabulary, and understand the words when they see or hear them. People with very large active vocabularies most likely include all of those words, but may not use them unless they believe their audience will understand them. That "niggardly" was misunderstood in a particular setting is not surprising. I'd have chosen the word "stingy" in that setting, instead.

Word choices are made by the speaker or writer. If they don't suit the audience, the speaker or writer lacks certain skills.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #28)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:59 AM

29. "Context, audience, etc. are all important in choosing words to use."

Precisely.

And while I used to be firmly in the "there's nothing wrong with 'niggardly'" camp, I have come to realize there are those who will use it PRECISELY because of the fact that others may misunderstand it.

I'm not buying the dodge anymore.

We've all changed the pronunciation of "Uranus" for the same reason.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #29)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 02:11 PM

31. I don't want to be guilty of the same sort of fallacy in turn...

...and forbid others to use the word. I would only recommend that any speaker or writer be aware of the mutability of words, and take a little extra care in how this one is deployed.

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Response to Orsino (Reply #31)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 05:04 PM

32. My faggot-burning gay aides thank you

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Response to Orsino (Reply #18)

Fri Sep 7, 2012, 09:02 PM

21. That is probably the exact reason nobody calls a lie a lie these days

They don't want to cause offense.

Fuck that.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #21)

Mon Sep 10, 2012, 12:38 PM

23. It's not just 'these days'

For a long time, MPs have been forbidden to use the word 'lie' or 'liar' in the House of Commons. If they do, the Speaker can send them out of the room like a naughty child. As a result, politicians are inventive in coming up with euphemisms such as 'terminological inexactitudes' and 'economical with the truth'.

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Response to Orsino (Reply #18)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 09:28 AM

27. You do not have a right not to be offended.

If we tried to censor everything that offended by something we could not talk at all.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #27)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 11:00 AM

30. Nobody is saying that


Yes, you have a right to offend people.

And people have the right to think you are a dick when you don't give a shit about how other people may feel.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 08:23 AM

26. I run across people who say things

like, "I don't believe in *whatever*", and it drives me nuts. Try to have a conversation about any topic with someone who brings "belief" to the discussion. I sometimes just respond with "you can believe in the tooth fairy as well and it doesn't make it so".

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