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Reply #24: I can't tell you how much a statement like this helps me! [View All]

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-09-05 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #18
24. I can't tell you how much a statement like this helps me!
"In other words, it works backwards from the vote to calculate the exit poll results..."--TIA

I am almost 100% human language oriented (with a dash of talent in geometry). I am one of these people whose brain freezes when I am faced with a page of numbers and formulas. If I concentrate, and am able to get a good mental diagram of what the numbers/formulas may mean--for instance, "working backwards" (very helpful phrase), then I CAN comprehend the numerical--often quite well. But my initial response is to run for the hills!

I understand about lurkers and naysayers. I've followed your threads for a long time and I think I have some idea what you are up against. I am actually amazed at your patience, at times. But do keep in mind that any given "lurker" may be a potential freedom fighter (or a current one) who is trying to understand what's wrong with his/her country and looking for ammunition to fight back with. If they are in a nascent stage, your abruptness might turn off the revolutionary lightbulb that is trying to light up their minds. If they are already active, it might delay or stop their inquiry into the exit polls, thus depriving them of vital information. (Naysayers and mere troublemakers are another story--and I know it's hard to tell the difference sometimes.)

Also, I can grasp the analogy to my own work--creative writing (fiction, poetry) and public advocacy, often in written form, on sometimes quite complex issues. I tend to be comprehensive about facts and details, and I tend to see all their nuances, and I sometimes bristle at having to simplify (and over-simplify!) a complex matter, or explain it to people who are insensitive to facts, details and nuance, have other things on their minds, or are just intellectually lazy, or worse, have ulterior motives for not paying attention (such as corrupt government officials).

What I do with this need to simplify, to get over being irritated by it--and it is truly a need in some cases--is to regard it as an intellectual discipline (maybe akin to the way mathematicians reduce the elements of a problem to symbols in a formula). I think simplifying is also related to compassion--or, rather, to a desire to be compassionate. Intellectual types can go off the deep end, and plan bombing raids over the whole of the Vietnamese countryside (or today, the villages of Iraq), leaving their own humanity--and humanity in general--completely out of the picture. One of the smartest men in our country in the 1960s--Robert McNamara--did just that. So, anyway, simplification is a way of reigning in pure intellect, so that we (I) do not commit the sin of coldness and obliviousness. It is also a way of respecting other modes of being (other than the highly intellectual) and other ways of learning and wisdom.

That has been a big life lesson for me--learning that dancers and musicians and organic farmers and "Mother Earth" and "Father Earth" types have OTHER ways of knowing--and may indeed have tremendous intelligence, in its broadest meaning--that they cannot translate into words, and sometimes their mode of being, or mode of learning, makes it difficult for them to understand me!

Example: I find it very hard to respect any writer who makes frequent grammatical or spelling errors out of ignorance. Yet I've had to learn the meaning of the following: that William Shakespeare spelled his own name six different ways, because he didn't give a damn about spelling--it was IRRELEVANT to his genius! And the fact that there WERE no rigid rules of English in those days positively contributed to his genius.

So, what the hell am I doing being so "school marmish" about language? I've learned the value of language discipline--and it does have value--but I've also learned that there is value in tossing the rules right out the window, and allowing the FREE SPIRIT of language with all its joy and emotion and fundamental connectedness to the body and to the earth, to come forth. Balance between these two modes--intellect and body--is in fact the key to language genius, and perhaps to all happiness in this life--and we Westerners have a great deal of difficulty maintaining that balance.

And so, to take a long trail here back to my original request--that you explain these models more--it is simply a request, and it is absolutely not a demand, nor is it a criticism (except for the word "snotty"--which I think was fair re: "go read a book").

Please know that when you do explain, you explain well, and it is very helpful.
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