Making a Contribution to Threads

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MikeL

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 25, 2007 - 01:33pm PT
Occasionally, it gets a little hot in here, don't you think?

When people start a thread of stories, the thing to do, it seems, is to either to post one or to read them and say "good story" or "not good story." (Everyone gets a vote.) None of us seem to be interested in critiquing the stories as narratives.

Some other threads are more about what is or isn't, what could be, what should be, etc. These are conversations more than stories. People in conversations are supposed to make contributions.

There are two kinds of conversations: discussions and dialogues. Discussions are characterized as monologues, as if throwing something over a wall to another person. There is no give-and-take in discussions. Dialogues are different; they are characterized by adding to or taking away from what another says so that in the end, what is said is what neither said alone. In dialogue, a conversation passes *through* a person and that person makes a contribution to the conversation. Conversations are, at their heart, learning.

What, then, is a contribution to conversations that are not meant to be simple storytelling? THe following are all important intellectual skills, and skills of the heart. [1]


(i) Consciously raise the following questions:
What do we know?
How do we know?
Why do we accept or believe?
What is the evidence for?
It's always good to start with questions, not assessments or recommendations.

(ii) Probe for assumptions behind lines of reasoning.

(iii) Be aware of gaps in data in an issue or situation.

(iv) Recognize when important decisions get made, they imply tradeoffs, regret and suffering for someone somewhere.

(v) Recognize that ambiguity and uncertainty are everywhere.

(vi) Recognize that knowledge is a community language game; learn the language.

(vii) The quality of an articulation is critical. Practice, even when your position is incompletely developed. "You won't know what you mean until you see what you say."

(viii) Recognize that any advocacy will generate controversy and disagreement with others, but controversy can generate interest and learning.

(ix) Meditate on your own views and reasoning process. You need to be self-reflective. Become an observer / witness of yourself.

(x) Come with questions, and you will leave with some answers. If you have no questions, then there will be no answers for you.

(xi) No one's intellectual and emotional capabilities are immutable. People can reach beyond their grasp.

(xii) Exercise a willingness to learn what it means to be human, what compassion is, and recognize the forces that shape people’s lives.

(xiii) Learn how to ask and consider powerful moral questions.


My departed father added one thing to this list: "Make sure your brain is loaded before you go shooting off your mouth."


What do you think?



[1] (i) through (xiii) are taken from: Ken Bain, "What the Best College Teachers Do." 2004. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Ouch!

climber
Jul 25, 2007 - 01:37pm PT
Hard to practice much of that stuff since a thread can only go about 20 posts before a fight breaks out. LOL!
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Jul 25, 2007 - 01:43pm PT
What do you think?

I think you think about this too much.

Re fights:

Bullshiiit OUCH!!! Goddammit I'm tired of your posts! I pray to Satan that I die before I have to read another one of your comments and you are totally wrong on this one too. 20 posts for a fight!!!!??? AAAARRGGHHHH!!!!!! Give me a knife!!!!!
L

climber
Alaska once upon a time
Jul 25, 2007 - 01:48pm PT
(v) Recognize that ambiguity and uncertainty are everywhere.


I think Ouch! is being a bit uncertain here, and Russ, definitely ambiguous! (Or is it the other way around?)
426

Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Jul 25, 2007 - 01:57pm PT
sheezus, how 'bout just handing out a synopsis, Prof...
Ouch!

climber
Jul 25, 2007 - 01:58pm PT
"Bullshiiit OUCH!!! Goddammit I'm tired of your posts! I pray to Satan that I die before I have to read another one of your comments and you are totally wrong on this one too. 20 posts for a fight!!!!??? AAAARRGGHHHH!!!!!! Give me a knife!!!!!"

L, Russ is definitely engaging in a dialogue. Sort of like Plato, couched in Locker terminology.
Donny... the OHHH!- Riginal

Sport climber
Lynda Carter's sock drawer
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:02pm PT
Don't forget about the visual contribution. Often these can convey far more meaning than finely crafted prose. I outta know.


L

climber
Alaska once upon a time
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:04pm PT
vi) Recognize that knowledge is a community language game; learn the language.


God#@%!&# Ouch! You're F&X#@X right! Thanks for the F&%#X@% interpretation.
Ouch!

climber
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:07pm PT
Looks like the cussword scrambler is working again.
L

climber
Alaska once upon a time
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:12pm PT
(ii) Probe for assumptions behind lines of reasoning.


Ouch! Are you assuming I don't scramble my own cusswords?
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:20pm PT
How can anyone post a thread like this as anything but a troll???

In the immortal words of John Macenroe,

You cannot be serious.

Remember, it's a CLIMBING FORUM on the INTERNET, which is a recipe for almost anything, and impossible to regulate without an iron hand.

In the also immortal words of Charlie Brown,

Good Grief.




BUT, DMT = LEB, the one great unifying truth of the universe.
Ouch!

climber
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:25pm PT
"(vi) Recognize that knowledge is a community language game; learn the language"

L, you got language. LOL!
dirtbag

climber
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:27pm PT
F*#k you Russ. And you too, Ouch!
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:29pm PT
All'yall..... OUT BACK, RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!


math edit: DMT - LEB = JayBro + weschrist X .9% Jello @ .86L
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:36pm PT
I'm having some trouble getting my sourdough starter just right. I think it might be temperature variances that are keeping it from thriving. Does anyone have any tips? And the vinegar in the pickles is not real clear anymore. Is this a natural change or should I be doing something different, or trying a different brand of vinegar. And those lovely birds on the porch are now fully feathered and ready to leave the nest. Has anyone ever tried dog manure on their crooknecked squash instead of bat guano? Speaking of bats, have you ever built a bat house?
L

climber
Alaska once upon a time
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:44pm PT
(vii) The quality of an articulation is critical. Practice, even when your position is incompletely developed. "You won't know what you mean until you see what you say."


Heeeeere kitty, kitty, kitty! Want some virtual milk...toast? Heeeeere kitty, kitty!

Beatrix Kiddo

Mountain climber
Denver
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:45pm PT
Most of my online responses consist of talking about climbing, poop, sex, drinking, nudity and bud.

What more do we need to talk about?
Ouch!

climber
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:48pm PT
"F*#k you Russ. And you too, Ouch!"

See! This is the kind off stuff that we should be able to delete from our personal threads so they are not consumed by sh#t slinging cuss words. I vote for censorship. I get to pick who gets whacked.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:51pm PT
just gently pulling your chain Sybill.... I see how you do it though... I started typing and all those voices in my head wanted to be heard.... the baker, the gardener, the nature buff..... the flow just happens....

It would be nice if you kept your post just as it is, or else my post will not make much sense (nttiawwt)

atchafalaya

climber
California
Jul 25, 2007 - 02:52pm PT
"Most of my online responses consist of talking about climbing, poop, sex, drinking, nudity and bud."

I just wanted to personally say thanks for your contribution.
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