Civility Lecturing: The short version

The long version is taking too long to write! It is coming out well and I will publish it later….most likely tomorrow, as the first Big Picture essay.

In the meantime…
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So the short version.

I will not tell people they cannot write civility lectures.

I WILL tell anyone I see writing a civility lecture to shove it up their ass. But I will probably do it nicely!

My only disagreement with Armando was that there had been a civility lecture…There wasn’t one. So there was nothing for me to do! Armando says ek has it right in this comment….

If what you meant Armando, was that nobody can have the expectation that they won’t get their feelings hurt, and that there is no whining and complaining about hurt feelings I agree.

In the strongest terms.

If you’re not tough enough to withstand my saying your ideas are stupid acompanied by a Wrong! or a Hide without complaining about it OR worrying that it’s somehow going to negatively affect your “popularity” you are showing the same kind of craven cowardice we decry in our elected Representatives.

Think about it.


Maybe you’ll agree with me next time.

But don’t expect anyone to act toward you in any particular way, because they don’t have to.  It’s up to you to control how you act.

I find nothing to disagree with in that statement.

But….we are trying to create new forms here. And those new forms cannot, imo, start off with A RULE about civility. Then we have to define civility, then we have to discuss the definition…etc etc etc.

Not gonna do it.

New forms means among other things….finding new ways to deal with problems. Assuming people will act HERE as they act elsewhere is something I am not willing to do until it is proven to me. And until I, and I hope others, have tried a new form of dealing with it, I am not going to assume we need old forms to handle it, I don’t want to start of using the old way. Certainly NOT an authoritarian way. Top Down Authoritarianism only works with children…and even then not very well.

If a child posts here, I will treat him as a child. But until that happens, I am going to assume we are all adults.

When something comes up that needs dealing with it…we will deal with it. If we need A RULE to deal with it….we will make one.

This was not the case here.

Armando, I hope you can have the level of trust and commitment to try new forms with us. You know I understand your concerns.

And I hope you trust me/us to do the right thing.

Ok. this is turning into the long version! So I am going to publish and we can thrash it out in the comments if I have not made myself clear!


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  1. Even me!

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    • pfiore8 on September 16, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    nail shit, thereby taking away my reason to hit you with pie…

    but because i know bad pie is better than no pie, i’m throwing one your way

    smooches… pf8

    • Armando on September 16, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    endorsed by you, pretty much ends the issue for all time.

    I doubt we will ever see another civility lecture now.

    But it takes this type of action to make that the case.

    People thought it unnecessary.

    My personal experience led me to believe it very necessary.

    I am pleased and satisfied.

    It will be interesting to see if anyone else is not.

    • KrisC on September 16, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    C’mon, group {{{{{{{{hug}}}}}}}}

  2. If somebody wants to fight to establish some sort of standard of civility here….that IS allowed.

    Good luck!

  3. works nicely, and should require little if any elaboration, supporting maxims, sublaws, corollaries, etc.

    i think i get it: we need to be mindful of the notion that the sustained state of inter- and -transpersonal excellence–depending on the situation–at times requires us to mete out a dopeslap from time to time.

    no biggie. no blubbering.

    • on September 16, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    Icy, Virile Cutlet

    Licit, Cute – Verily!

    I Yell, “Vet Circuit!!!”

    I’ll Recite, Cut Ivy

    Curvy Ice Tilt-Lie

    I Truly Evict Lice (I Evict It Cruelly)

    Cruel Ivy Tit-Lice

    I, Curtly, Cite Evil

    Cutie: “I’ll Try Vice”

  4. Would I be correct in assuming you won’t be making any rules about talking about hockey, as well? Might as well throw the big issues on the table…

    • vigkat on September 16, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    I may be reading ek’s statement too literally, but I have to say that it is surprising to hear that ek and I guess other admins can “hide” comments simply because they think the comment is “stupid,” and that we in turn are not permitted to question his decision or interpretation, but must just suck it up and keep our mouths shut.  That seems just a tad bit harsh, but as I said, I may  be reading it too literally.  For now, I am willing to wait and see how this policy plays out.

    • robodd on September 16, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    I think there should be another sign, perhaps 10-20 feet before the sign, warning of the sign itself and the sign’s edges. 

    Oh and that bridge.  We’ll cross that bridge (or not) when we get to it.

    • plf515 on September 16, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    It’s like the deluge!

    If you want to call my ideas bad, go ahead.  If you back it up, I’ll try either apologize or try to refute you.  If I have to change my ideas because of something you’ve said, you’ve done me a favor.  If I learn something from you, even if you don’t change my opinion, then likewise, you’ve done me a favor. 

    Presume my goodwill, and I will presume yours.

    If you call me an asshole, I’ll give you a bad rating. And if lots of people are just calling each other assholes, I’ll leave.

  5. for ages now I’ve tried to abide by a couple rules of thumb: 

    – one, not to write anything anywhere on the internet that I wouldn’t want the whole world to see, and

    – two, always assume children and Iraqi victims’ families are reading my comments (to name but a couple of groups).

    Budhy go have a swim today too, OK?  I can see where this is becoming like stuffing monkeys in a barrel for you.  Peace.  And thank you for starting this blog.  Really, I may playfully flame here about smoking up rooms but I’m here for the oxygen, and I get that!

    Thank you!

    • nocatz on September 16, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Now about those cats….

    • Caneel on September 16, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    “… be excellent to each other.”

  6. this is exactly what you said last night.

    I expect one person’s “lecture” will go on being another person’s “free speech” though, so I doubt this will really put the issue to bed or even that it should.

    I really do find this a fascinating problem, the discussion here since last night and some of the things I’ve seen along the same issue at peeder’s. It goes to the heart of the critique (and in their view the fatal weakness) of liberalism that the Straussians have tried to exploit: How to maintain openness and freedom without acting in a non-liberal fashion toward those bent on destroying your liberal system.

    Benevolent and mild authoritarianism in defense of freedom seems emotionally and logically unsatisfactory, and frankly contradictory, but maybe it’s the only workable solution. It will be interesting to see how this evolves here.

  7. that not being civil is often confused with form, the shape of content, same with assholery. I find it much more uncivil to be stifled by another’s version of civility then being either able to speak my mind or hear what someone else has to say. I have never been offended by the ribald or opinionated but really pissed off at the nastiness of most cries for civility and witch hunts that will follow. The power tripping envolved  offends my democratic sensibilities mush more then any content would. Hate cranks and real live scary trolls are s different matter. Missed the whole thing last night but I am glad to see it was resolved?

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