PDA

View Full Version : Just how real is violence? And where does Aikido stands in all of this?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Dalaran1991
12-05-2012, 10:51 PM
Greetings all,

I'm still young (21 years old) so I have to say beforehand I don't have a lot of real life experience in violence yet, that's why I want to ask about the reality of violence.

I love Aikido and yes in training we like to think "oh yes if we get attack we will do this and that", but seriously how often do you get into a fight that you can not foresee or back down from?

I live in Richmond where there is a decent crime rates and spent 5 months in Paris, a huge city that can get quite chaotic. I generally find that most people are really nice, and the people who are not, well I did not get myself in a situation where I have to fight.

Unless you do things like walking alone in the Bronx at midnight, get really drunk and start chatting up someone's girlfriend, or stare at somebody on the street (in all of these cases frankly you are messing up and you got it coming), just how likely is it that somebody is just gonna walk up and tries to beat us up?

There are times when shady people push and threaten me in the subway, I simply move away to a more crowded area and don't say anything or look back at them. Most of the time they leave me alone. In the clubs you have the bouncers if something goes wrong. And the fact that it's modern day, you can't kill someone without having the police up your butt, I think it's pretty safe to live.

But again I might simply been lucky enough that I haven't seen violence directed against me. I hear about talk of violence all the time though. Do you think it's possible to avoid violence altogether if we are a bit careful, which is the goal of aikido anyway?

Of course, if you work in a job that faces danger on a regular basis then that changes the story.

Janet Rosen
12-05-2012, 10:59 PM
It's like what I, as a geriatric nurse case manager, say when well-intentioned professionals want to discuss "fall prevention" : no such thing. Let's talk "risk reduction."

Some places are inherently riskier and some behaviors are inherently riskier and for most of us learning to survive falling is probably the greater benefit in terms of percentages of occurrance of aikido training than surviving being attacked.

But random things can and do happen.

Guillaume Erard
12-05-2012, 11:05 PM
That is a great question and I have recently asked myself the very same one! I actually just finished writing an article that might interest you on the topic: No, the world is not becoming a more violent place so what are you getting out of Aikido? (http://www.guillaumeerard.com/aikido/articles/111-no-the-world-is-not-becoming-a-violent-place-so-what-are-you-getting-out-of-aikido)
Would love to hear your opinion on it!

robin_jet_alt
12-06-2012, 12:42 AM
I think you are right. I've never been in a fight, and the only time I was physically threatened, I avoided fighting by remaining calm and keeping a barrier between us until security guards arrived. I don't think this is unusual.

Dalaran1991
12-06-2012, 12:47 AM
That is a great question and I have recently asked myself the very same one! I actually just finished writing an article that might interest you on the topic: No, the world is not becoming a more violent place so what are you getting out of Aikido? (http://www.guillaumeerard.com/aikido/articles/111-no-the-world-is-not-becoming-a-violent-place-so-what-are-you-getting-out-of-aikido)
Would love to hear your opinion on it!

Very well written and an overall thorough view of the declined state of violence (not counting war and armed conflict of course). As a sociologist I'm interested in this issue.

Your statistics seem persuasive although I haven't checked the source (just my annoying habit ^^) I do agree with you that violence is becoming less and less VISIBLE, which is exactly the point we're missing here.

Just because we don't see something, doesn't mean that it does not exist. That's why I started the thread. I know there's violence out there, but I personally haven't seen it.

We know that a lot of crimes go unreported, especially domestic and sexual violence crimes. I can't recall the data, but about half the victims of sexual assault do not report it. Similarly with domestic violence. Not counting the types of crimes that police "allows" in some certain areas, but that's not a topic to be discussed here.

I think it's exactly here that Aikido falls in. Well, the most basic and most underrated attack against women is a slap -Yokomenuchi!!!!!!! Or dragging her to a hidden place to commit rape etc. That's katatori and katatetori right there.

But I think overall it's the idea of situational awareness that Aikido promotes. Don't go out alone to the club... Don't go to a date with a stranger in an unpopulated area etc. And seriously, be NICE to people! Most people I meet out there are really nice, unless you are staring them down like breakfast. All of that is the spirit of Aikido that I think O'Sensei wanted to promote.

Overall I agree with you, we live in a safer world today and unless we go out to look for violence, violence won't find us.

Oh yes, next time I fall off my bike in an accident I'll thanks the ancestors I can take ukemi ^^.

kumachan
12-06-2012, 12:54 AM
I guess, from one perspective, you've been lucky in that you have not be confronted with a situation that could not be avoided. On the other hand, you may not really don't know how you'd react in a situation where your life may well depend upon your response to an imminent threat. If you ever happen to get into a physical altercation (and I hope you don't) where you have to rely on your training, it will probably not look like anything you've practiced on a mat. Yes, one can often avoid the obviously agitated and vocal crazy who's announcing their intentions. Yes, sometimes one's awareness is operating at a high level that causes them to anticipate a bad situation and cross the street, etc., so as to avoid that possible bad situation. But, sometimes, once in a while, you just don't see it coming. That's why I train. Just the other day in Manhattan, some poor guy got pushed from a subway platform into an oncoming train and was killed. Could he have escaped the situation, maybe, maybe not. That's why I train.

Your example seriously irked me. I've lived in the Bronx for the past 22 years and have often walked alone here at midnight without any incident. I don't believe I've got anything coming to me because I get home late one night. For what it's worth, the two negative encounters I've experienced, physical altercations where I needed to rely on martial arts training, have occurred in Manhattan and on Long Island in "good", "safe" neighborhoods. Both altercations were totally unforeseen, unannounced and for a moment or two, inescapable. Only two incidents and I'm 48 years old. Pretty good numbers, I'd say.

Tim Fong
12-06-2012, 04:11 AM
Two books:
War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning:
http://www.amazon.com/War-Force-that-Gives-Meaning/dp/1400034639

Meditations on Violence
http://www.amazon.com/Meditations-Violence-Comparison-Martial-Training/dp/1594391181

SeiserL
12-06-2012, 04:44 AM
IMHO, violence is very real. It might be a small percentage of people/places, but in those places it is very real.

Many people avoid violence, which only perpetuates it.

We need to face it and transform it. We need to find the pain/fear that creates it and heal it.

Aikido is only a tool. Perhaps rather than the usual fight, flight, or freeze reaction, we can learn to flow with violence and redirect it. It depends on have we learned our craft and how we express our art.

Scott Harrington
12-06-2012, 08:39 AM
To: Dalaran1991

I hope you continue to have a peaceful life - odds are against it. You may have an 'incident' at a family get together, you may have something stolen from you on the subway, you may have on-line fraud steal money from you, you may accidentally walk into a 7-11 while it is being robbed (this has always been my biggest fear - so unpredictable.) You may also not see the violence around you because you are 1) still young or 2) liberal as hell or unfortunately 3) stupid (I don't believe that in your case but it does cover some people.)

As to Steve Pinker saying violence is on the down swing - he is liberal as hell. Great scientist (I have his book, "How the Mind Works") but his latest book must have been written to a) stroke his liberal beliefs and 2) pay for a new vacation house. Went to a talk by Grossman, author of "On Killing" where he uses statistics (kinda like Pinker) to show violence is on a massive upswing because modern medicine is keeping people alive who would have been on the mortality list. When 500,000 people die in Africa from machete it is not a less violent Earth. Evolutionists talks about "punctuated equilibrium" - well nukes are just waiting to fill in the missing numbers on Pinker's graphs. Or Sarin gas in Syria.

As to martial arts and violence, particularly Daito ryu, everybody forgets that a large portion of the curriculum was police based training (see the individual names of the "Soden" books through Hisa) which were used to reduce or restrain violent offenders.

Even Ueshiba didn't come to a more philosophical outlook till Japan was bombed, their carriers sunk at Midway (insuring an eventual defeat in the war) and he moved to Iwama.

Violence is like fire, it must be contained or it runs wild. One way to contain it is to meet it headlong and change it like Lynn says. One of my favorite movies is "Amazing Grace" where by sheer will and hard work, England's involvement (and eventually most of the whole world) in the slave trade was ended. Not perfect (look at American Civil War), not forever (Egypt removes prohibition of slavery from new constitution), not a liberal pipe dream on a graph.

Scott Harrington

Belt_Up
12-06-2012, 08:55 AM
but seriously how often do you get into a fight that you can not foresee or back down from?

Krystal Locke made a good post in another thread (here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22023&page=2) IIRC) about the difference between a fight and an attack. How often do you get into a fight that you can't back down from? Most situations you can just not start doing the man dance, and most others can be de-escalated. Some cannot. Sometimes someone will attack you and there will be litte to no posturing/swearing/insulting, because it's not two parties getting themselves worked up, it is one party who has already made the decision to punch your lights out. How often this happens is really difficult to answer, and I have yet to see any facts. Most people settle for vague generalities, or recount stories of their experiences. This is fair enough, as far as it goes, but the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data' and such tales cannot be used as a basis to expand your own knowledge.

I generally find that most people are really nice

Even a cursory glance at rape/sexual assault/domestic violence statistics should firmly disabuse you of that notion. Most people, in public, are not violent. That's about as far as you can take sweeping generalities.

well I did not get myself in a situation where I have to fight.

Good! However, one day you may glance at someone, or brush shoulders with someone, and they will use it as an excuse to lamp you. Or their girlfriend will smile at your handsome young visage and they will take offence and decide your handsome young visage needs some radical alterations. Not your fault, but how could you possibly avoid it?

Do you think it's possible to avoid violence altogether if we are a bit careful, which is the goal of aikido anyway?

I don't think it's possible. We are a violent species.

As for the goal of aikido being to avoid violence altogether, I'm not sure. I thought the point was, when confronted with violence, to blend and neutralise it with little or no harm to the attacker and the defender? Avoiding violence altogether would simply mean running away whenever faced with violence, which is not always an option.

you got it coming

No-one should have it coming unless they physically assault someone. Differences should be resolvable with non-physical means. The fact that they are often not tells you something important. I find it odd that on the one hand your opinion is that society is mostly safe (I happen to agree) and then you go on to say that certain people who do certain things at certain times are asking for it. Some of us live in rough areas, some of us travel at odd times, some of us have lightweight friends who go home early on nights out on the town. A lot of it is beyond our control. None of it means we deserve a kicking. It's a bit "women who wear short skirts are asking to be raped."

Looking at the crime rate for Richmond here (http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/va/richmond/crime/), it says 1,530 violent crimes annually, from a population of 200,000+. It's not likely someone will, unprovoked, decide to murder you, but low-probability events happen with regularity given large enough sample sizes.

yugen
12-06-2012, 10:02 AM
Greetings all,
But again I might simply been lucky enough that I haven't seen violence directed against me. I hear about talk of violence all the time though. Do you think it's possible to avoid violence altogether if we are a bit careful, which is the goal of aikido anyway?

Of course, if you work in a job that faces danger on a regular basis then that changes the story.

Since your young and a beginner my only reply would be to work to really understand your kamae or posture. Don't allow openings, but have your offensive zanshin ready.

Seattle's a pretty quiet place for a big city, but a couple years ago I had 'misunderstanding' with a driver at an intersection here, which if you live here is really ironic cause the over-politeness at intersections can drive you nuts! He went all road rage and started following me in his car honking his horn and swerving to try and slam into me.

I was nearing my destination and didn't want an altercation there, so I pulled over. Before pulling over I had already undone my seatbelt and had my hand on the doorhandle - situational awareness - crazy people are going to leap immediately.

He did, but I was out of my car just as fast. The guy was much bigger than me started yelling how he just got out of prison and was wildly swinging his arms around and started circling me :crazy: . I just stood ready, arms up, and just kept turning in the same spot to face him whichever direction he went. He said he was going to f#$k me up, I just said 'ok' and I didn't say another word. I didn't give him an opening physically, verbally or psychologically.:cool:

After a minute or two he calmed down, complimented me for standing up cause most people are 'b!tches' (his words). Then got in his car and drove away (all crazy and road rage of course).:D

the end :)

lbb
12-06-2012, 10:51 AM
Violence is like fire, it must be contained or it runs wild.

Violence is like fire. It does not exist everywhere and in every time and place. The answer to every situation is not a burst of Halon gas.

One thing that hasn't really been discussed (although Janet sort of alluded to it) is the distinction between risk and consequences. If the risk of an event is high, it calls for a response, even if the consequences are low. For example, if you've got an inconveniently placed coffee table in your living room, so that people bump into it frequently -- not enough to fall, but enough to get a bruise -- you probably want to do something about that. If the risk of an event is low, it may not call for a response, even if the consequences of the event would be quite severe. If you're confronted in your house by a polar bear, chances are you'll die, but I don't have a polar-bear-proofed house. Those people who live in that town in Canada that's on the polar bear migration route...well, they might want to make some different choices, including, y'know, moving five miles down the road or something.

The term "violence" is too generic to meaningfully assess risks and consequences. The risk of the sort of stranger attacks that make up the ludicrously stereotypical "scenarios" in the typical "self-defense" mentality: low. Consequences, if such a thing ever did happen: high. Opportunity to avoid such situations: also high. What does it add up to for you?

Krystal Locke
12-06-2012, 11:03 AM
To: Dalaran1991

I hope you continue to have a peaceful life - odds are against it. You may have an 'incident' at a family get together, you may have something stolen from you on the subway, you may have on-line fraud steal money from you, you may accidentally walk into a 7-11 while it is being robbed (this has always been my biggest fear - so unpredictable.) You may also not see the violence around you because you are 1) still young or 2) liberal as hell or unfortunately 3) stupid (I don't believe that in your case but it does cover some people.)

As to Steve Pinker saying violence is on the down swing - he is liberal as hell. Great scientist (I have his book, "How the Mind Works") but his latest book must have been written to a) stroke his liberal beliefs and 2) pay for a new vacation house. Went to a talk by Grossman, author of "On Killing" where he uses statistics (kinda like Pinker) to show violence is on a massive upswing because modern medicine is keeping people alive who would have been on the mortality list. When 500,000 people die in Africa from machete it is not a less violent Earth. Evolutionists talks about "punctuated equilibrium" - well nukes are just waiting to fill in the missing numbers on Pinker's graphs. Or Sarin gas in Syria.

As to martial arts and violence, particularly Daito ryu, everybody forgets that a large portion of the curriculum was police based training (see the individual names of the "Soden" books through Hisa) which were used to reduce or restrain violent offenders.

Even Ueshiba didn't come to a more philosophical outlook till Japan was bombed, their carriers sunk at Midway (insuring an eventual defeat in the war) and he moved to Iwama.

Violence is like fire, it must be contained or it runs wild. One way to contain it is to meet it headlong and change it like Lynn says. One of my favorite movies is "Amazing Grace" where by sheer will and hard work, England's involvement (and eventually most of the whole world) in the slave trade was ended. Not perfect (look at American Civil War), not forever (Egypt removes prohibition of slavery from new constitution), not a liberal pipe dream on a graph.

Scott Harrington

....... waiting for someone else to throw this grenade back out of the bunker.......

Rob Watson
12-06-2012, 12:19 PM
There are times when shady people push and threaten me in the subway, I simply move away to a more crowded area and don't say anything or look back at them. Most of the time they leave me alone.

Yeah, them crime stats can't be real people? Maybe just those people that don't really count.

phitruong
12-06-2012, 04:07 PM
yesterday i drove to work. i saw on the other side of the highway a small car with the front crumpled. a large deer laid dead on the side of the road. ambulance flashing. day before that, a minivan and a big truck tangled, i stuck in the traffics for close to an hour and saw the cleaning up crew as i drove slowly by. here, violent is closer than you think.

Brian Beach
12-06-2012, 04:16 PM
....... waiting for someone else to throw this grenade back out of the bunker.......

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/glance/viort.cfm

Some thrive on fear.

Krystal Locke
12-07-2012, 12:27 AM
Brian, what do you think happened in 93-94 to start and maintain such a marked, long lasting downward trend?

James Sawers
12-07-2012, 01:11 AM
Brian, what do you think happened in 93-94 to start and maintain such a marked, long lasting downward trend?

Didn't the book Freakonomics have an explanation fro this?

Brian Beach
12-07-2012, 07:30 AM
Brian, what do you think happened in 93-94 to start and maintain such a marked, long lasting downward trend?

Dunno - The CIA got out of the cocaine business?

Walter Martindale
12-07-2012, 08:59 AM
Didn't the book Freakonomics have an explanation fro this?

Are you referring to Roe v. Wade and the reduction in the number of late-teen-early-twenties who had been unwanted babies before the Roe v Wade decision?

"To be sure, the legalization of abortion in the United States had myriad consequences. Infanticide fell dramatically. So did shotgun marriages, as well as the number of babies put up for adoption (which has led to the boom in the adoption of foreign babies). Conceptions rose by nearly 30 percent, but births actually fell by 6 percent, indicating that many women were using abortion as a method of birth control, a crude and drastic sort of insurance policy.
"Perhaps the most dramatic effect of legalized abortion, however, adn one that would take years to reveal itself, was its impact on crime. In the early 1990s, just as the first cohort of children born after Roe v. Wade was hitting its late teen years -- the years during which young menter their criminal prime -- the rate of crime began to fall. What this cohort was missing, of course, were the children who stood the greatest chance of becoming criminals. And the crime rate continued to fall as an entire generation came of age minus the children whose mothers had not wanted to bring a child into the world. Legalized abortion led to less unwantedness; unwantedness leads to high crime; legalized abortion, therefore, led to less crime.
"This theory is bound to provoke a variety of reactions, ranging from disbelief to revulsion, and a variety of objections, ranging from the quotidian to the moral. The likliest first objection is the most straightforward one: is the theory true? Perhaps abortion and crime are merely correlated and not causal."
in: S.D. Levitt and S. J. Dubner, (2005) FREAKONOMICS A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. Harper Collins. Where Have All the Criminals Gone? Chapter 4, pp 117-146, quoted from P.139

And there's a whole rest-of-the-chapter in the book that discusses a bunch of other factors and goes into greater depth about how different states and different countries had similar drops in crime rates a similar amount of time after legalization (or decriminalization) of abortion.

Please don't take this as me advocating for abortion - I've put the quotes here for those who may not have access to a copy of the book, and who may wish to read the rest of it for themselves.

Or not.

Krystal Locke
12-07-2012, 09:36 AM
Hmm, interesting correlation. Corresponding decrease in children in poverty?

lbb
12-07-2012, 02:02 PM
Anytime women get effective control over their own reproduction, through whatever means, it tends to change things drastically.

Michael Hackett
12-07-2012, 02:13 PM
There has been a decrease in reported violent crimes in the Uniform Crime Reports for several years. What the statistics don't show is the level of violence or the distribution within a jurisdiction. The overall number of reported crimes in a specific city may have decreased, but the majority of those reported crimes may well be concentrated in a specific area of that city. The UCR stats are recorded as the most serious crime involved. An armed robbery will be reported to the Department of Justice as an armed robbery whether or not a physical assault was part of the crime. If a weapon was displayed or implied during a robbery, the event is reported as a robbery. If the weapon is used, it is still reported as a robbery unless the victim dies and then it is reported as a murder.

While the pure numbers of crimes are down, the degree of violence remains and has increased in some jurisdictions. Will studying a martial art protect you from violence? Maybe. Should you live in fear of some possible violent encounter? Probably not - it will depend on where you are, where you travel, what you do when you get there, how you conduct yourself, and a million other factors that we can think of. Common sense will protect you far more than studying the UCR statistics.

James Sawers
12-07-2012, 03:07 PM
Thanks, Walter.......I read the book (Freakonomics) a while ago and couldn't find it again in my well organized book shelves........Yes, this is what I was referring to. An interesting read.

roswell1329
12-10-2012, 08:34 AM
At this time in my life and training, I believe violence is borne out of desperation. Many of those living in first world countries no longer have to experience the desperation that comes with threats to their means of survival (air, water, food, shelter). In the first world, air may be dirty in some places, but it is surely plentiful. Water still appears by turning a faucet. Food is plentiful and available on every street corner. And for most of us, shelter is easily attained -- even if it is through a shelter. When the needs for survival are met, the reasons for real violence are dramatically reduced. I believe humans naturally avoid violence when it is an option, and one of the first world's primary offerings is options. But all it would take to elevate the level of desperation in the first world is the elimination of a few options. Perhaps a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake, or a massive food shortage, or even a prolonged power outage. I believe every human being is capable of anything when put in the right circumstances. I train for my own benefit, but also for the unexpected.

NekVTAikido
12-10-2012, 08:35 AM
"Liberal as Hell" etc ...are you trying to engage in conversation or are you trolling?

To: Dalaran1991

I hope you continue to have a peaceful life - odds are against it. You may have an 'incident' at a family get together, you may have something stolen from you on the subway, you may have on-line fraud steal money from you, you may accidentally walk into a 7-11 while it is being robbed (this has always been my biggest fear - so unpredictable.) You may also not see the violence around you because you are 1) still young or 2) liberal as hell or unfortunately 3) stupid (I don't believe that in your case but it does cover some people.)

As to Steve Pinker saying violence is on the down swing - he is liberal as hell. Great scientist (I have his book, "How the Mind Works") but his latest book must have been written to a) stroke his liberal beliefs and 2) pay for a new vacation house. Went to a talk by Grossman, author of "On Killing" where he uses statistics (kinda like Pinker) to show violence is on a massive upswing because modern medicine is keeping people alive who would have been on the mortality list. When 500,000 people die in Africa from machete it is not a less violent Earth. Evolutionists talks about "punctuated equilibrium" - well nukes are just waiting to fill in the missing numbers on Pinker's graphs. Or Sarin gas in Syria.

As to martial arts and violence, particularly Daito ryu, everybody forgets that a large portion of the curriculum was police based training (see the individual names of the "Soden" books through Hisa) which were used to reduce or restrain violent offenders.

Even Ueshiba didn't come to a more philosophical outlook till Japan was bombed, their carriers sunk at Midway (insuring an eventual defeat in the war) and he moved to Iwama.

Violence is like fire, it must be contained or it runs wild. One way to contain it is to meet it headlong and change it like Lynn says. One of my favorite movies is "Amazing Grace" where by sheer will and hard work, England's involvement (and eventually most of the whole world) in the slave trade was ended. Not perfect (look at American Civil War), not forever (Egypt removes prohibition of slavery from new constitution), not a liberal pipe dream on a graph.

Scott Harrington

lbb
12-10-2012, 09:36 AM
I believe humans naturally avoid violence when it is an option, and one of the first world's primary offerings is options. But all it would take to elevate the level of desperation in the first world is the elimination of a few options.

Here's a kind of related story that may have some meaning for those of you who have been up our way. The People's Pint in Greenfield MA, our beloved after-dojo bar, was burglarized recently. A safe was stolen containing their cash and check receipts (which is most of what they have; they only recently started accepting cards, and most of their regulars pay cash out of habit). Also stolen was the cash donations that patrons had made to the Franklin County Community Meals program (also known as Share the Bounty). When I heard the news, I thought, "Who does that?" and immediately realized that the thief was almost certainly someone who perceived that they had needs and no other/better way to meet them than to steal. The perception (and perhaps the reality) was of a lack of options; the result was an antisocial act. Here in the first world, we can have options side by side with lack of options; we can also have different perceptions of the same reality -- depending on which side you fall on, the result is optimism or desperation. I'm reminded of a dojo-mate whose home and car were badly damaged by Tropical Storm Irene, who lost a lot, but who got the help and resources needed to get by and slowly put things back together, who said, "Now we know what it is to be rich."

MM
12-10-2012, 10:33 AM
"Liberal as Hell" etc ...are you trying to engage in conversation or are you trolling?

So, if someone describes a person as "Conservative as Hell", then it's trolling, too? How about if they describe someone as "Democrat as Hell"? Is that trolling?

Conservative, Liberal, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, all describe people's views. In fact, they are but generalities as you can have a Liberal Republican and a Conservative Democrat. Far Right, Far Left, Communist, Marxist, etc are also general adjectives describing people's views and beliefs.

Scott wasn't trolling. Stating his opinion, yes. It's amazing, but I find that if you're tolerant of others, you can read things like that without getting upset. For example, Marc Abrams and I have some very different views, but we get along great. Or Janet Rosen and I.

Tolerance. It's not just for conservatives anymore. :D

Mark

Krystal Locke
12-10-2012, 11:18 AM
So, if someone describes a person as "Conservative as Hell", then it's trolling, too? How about if they describe someone as "Democrat as Hell"? Is that trolling?

Conservative, Liberal, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, all describe people's views. In fact, they are but generalities as you can have a Liberal Republican and a Conservative Democrat. Far Right, Far Left, Communist, Marxist, etc are also general adjectives describing people's views and beliefs.

Scott wasn't trolling. Stating his opinion, yes. It's amazing, but I find that if you're tolerant of others, you can read things like that without getting upset. For example, Marc Abrams and I have some very different views, but we get along great. Or Janet Rosen and I.

Tolerance. It's not just for conservatives anymore. :D

Mark

Yes, if someone slaps a "conservative as hell" label on a person's point of view as an excuse for immediate dismissal of the point of view and the person, it is trolling, it is just as prejudicial and inflammatory as Scott's post. Stating an opinion is fine and dandy. Trying to prop up an opinion with political name calling is not as nifty.

If Scott had said "I disagree with Pinker's data" or "I think Mr. Pinker has misinterpreted the information he quotes in his book" without adding in the comments about liberals, we could have a nice, productive discussion. Instead, it has been shown that the foundation of his argument is based on his perception of the author's political stance rather than the work itself. Is it then so very unreasonable to believe that Scott may summarily dismiss my participation in further discussion, since I am generally liberal in my thought? What then would he do when he found out that I am also homosexual? Should I wear a sign that says "AT LEAST I'M WHITE!" so that I can perhaps gain some respect for my opinion about an issue that I believe has very little to do with politics, sexuality, or race? Am I making a reasonable, conservative even, assumption, or am I falling into reductio ad absurdum?

Using externalities to bolster an opinion is poor argumentation no matter who is doing it. Clearly ad hominem, fallacious.

hughrbeyer
12-10-2012, 11:41 AM
Krystal, you don't understand Scott's point. As the last election showed, reality has a liberal bias--so when Scott says Pinker is "liberal as hell" he is really complementing the man as accurate and trustworthy. Please try to keep up.

<ducking and running>

NekVTAikido
12-10-2012, 11:53 AM
Hi Mark, I'm not assuming that Scott is trolling, I'm asking him. I think it's a fair question, based on his post.

"Liberal as Hell" is not the problem. The problem is that there are multiple occurrences of that phrase, and others, in a context that is generally derisive.

I disagree with Scott's conclusions, but I recognize that it's grey area, and I'm interested in discussing it with other open-minded people. Scott's raises interesting points... but his tone (e.g. word choice) in this post seems to indicate that he's pretty judgmental about people who don't agree with him. If he continues in such a tone, then I'm not interested in talking with him. I'm still interested in the ideas...but I'm not interested in participating in a conversation where people are called stupid.

(Liberals as a bad as conservatives in this regard - and in many places both sides seem to be competing to out-do one-another in general nastiness. I can't do much about that in most places, but I hate to see it happen on Aikiweb.)

So, if someone describes a person as "Conservative as Hell", then it's trolling, too? How about if they describe someone as "Democrat as Hell"? Is that trolling?

Conservative, Liberal, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, all describe people's views. In fact, they are but generalities as you can have a Liberal Republican and a Conservative Democrat. Far Right, Far Left, Communist, Marxist, etc are also general adjectives describing people's views and beliefs.

Scott wasn't trolling. Stating his opinion, yes. It's amazing, but I find that if you're tolerant of others, you can read things like that without getting upset. For example, Marc Abrams and I have some very different views, but we get along great. Or Janet Rosen and I.

Tolerance. It's not just for conservatives anymore. :D

Mark

MM
12-10-2012, 12:28 PM
Yes, if someone slaps a "conservative as hell" label on a person's point of view as an excuse for immediate dismissal of the point of view and the person, it is trolling, it is just as prejudicial and inflammatory as Scott's post. Stating an opinion is fine and dandy. Trying to prop up an opinion with political name calling is not as nifty.

If Scott had said "I disagree with Pinker's data" or "I think Mr. Pinker has misinterpreted the information he quotes in his book" without adding in the comments about liberals, we could have a nice, productive discussion. Instead, it has been shown that the foundation of his argument is based on his perception of the author's political stance rather than the work itself. Is it then so very unreasonable to believe that Scott may summarily dismiss my participation in further discussion, since I am generally liberal in my thought? What then would he do when he found out that I am also homosexual? Should I wear a sign that says "AT LEAST I'M WHITE!" so that I can perhaps gain some respect for my opinion about an issue that I believe has very little to do with politics, sexuality, or race?

Oh, I wouldn't go around, blasting out the info that you're white, btw. You'll probably get major retaliation for it. Best to go with the other two because you'll be treated better. :D I find that there are a ton of things that I am barred/banned/removed from because I'm a white male. Heck, if I go by most commercials, I couldn't find my rear from a hole in the ground and am too stupid to function on my own. Toss in that I'm from West Virginia and wow, I have absolutely no chance at functioning in Society.

So, when someone says, oh just a dumb hick, it's nothing to me. First, there are some dumb hicks. Second, I'm not one of them. Third, it's a stereotype and using it means the person is either generalizing, doesn't understand the culture, or is really referring to one of those dumb hicks. Truth is a hard pill to swallow.

BTW, for those wondering, yes, the family tree in WV does just go straight up. :freaky:


Am I making a reasonable, conservative even, assumption, or am I falling into reductio ad absurdum?

Using externalities to bolster an opinion is poor argumentation no matter who is doing it. Clearly ad hominem, fallacious.

You were until you used "conservative even". Remember, we shouldn't use those labels to bolster an opinion. :D


(Liberals as a bad as conservatives in this regard - and in many places both sides seem to be competing to out-do one-another in general nastiness. I can't do much about that in most places, but I hate to see it happen on Aikiweb.)

I think we all agree with that.

Mark

lbb
12-11-2012, 10:03 AM
Oh, I wouldn't go around, blasting out the info that you're white, btw. You'll probably get major retaliation for it. Best to go with the other two because you'll be treated better. :D
Interesting point of view. How is it that you know this to be a fact (that liberal homosexuals are treated better than white people)?

I find that there are a ton of things that I am barred/banned/removed from because I'm a white male.

What would these things be? Are any of them things that you actually want to do?

gregstec
12-11-2012, 10:30 AM
Conservative, Liberal, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, all describe people's views. In fact, they are but generalities as you can have a Liberal Republican and a Conservative Democrat. Far Right, Far Left, Communist, Marxist, etc are also general adjectives describing people's views and beliefs.....

Mark

I am an independent liberal conservative extremist - I am so full of opposites I must be a natural for the dual opposing spirals of Aiki - either that or I need thereby; maybe both :D

IMO, the use of stereotypes and generalizations is an extremely limiting factor that is guaranteed to keep you in the dark about the true things in life :)

Greg

Cady Goldfield
12-11-2012, 10:48 AM
"I'm a Mog: half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend!"
-- John Candy in "Spaceballs"

:D

Human nature is such that we look for categories and labels by which we can recognize and identify ourselves and each other. It starts with infants learning to discern "self" from "non-self" and adds layers from there. Even Koko the gorilla (trained in a form of American Sign Language) was able to identify herself as "Koko fine gorilla."

I think that if we didn't have words and terms for these things, we would still make intuitive distinctions based on our feelings and self-perceptions, compared to our perceptions of where others are coming from.

gregstec
12-11-2012, 11:09 AM
"

I think that if we didn't have words and terms for these things, we would still make intuitive distinctions based on our feelings and self-perceptions, compared to our perceptions of where others are coming from.

That is all true - but the hard part is to recognize that for what it is and to establish a frame of mind that allows for other perceptions instead of summarily dismissing things because that don't match our initial perceptions of truth to us.

Greg

jonreading
12-11-2012, 12:19 PM
Greetings all,

I'm still young (21 years old) so I have to say beforehand I don't have a lot of real life experience in violence yet, that's why I want to ask about the reality of violence.

I love Aikido and yes in training we like to think "oh yes if we get attack we will do this and that", but seriously how often do you get into a fight that you can not foresee or back down from?

I live in Richmond where there is a decent crime rates and spent 5 months in Paris, a huge city that can get quite chaotic. I generally find that most people are really nice, and the people who are not, well I did not get myself in a situation where I have to fight.

Unless you do things like walking alone in the Bronx at midnight, get really drunk and start chatting up someone's girlfriend, or stare at somebody on the street (in all of these cases frankly you are messing up and you got it coming), just how likely is it that somebody is just gonna walk up and tries to beat us up?

There are times when shady people push and threaten me in the subway, I simply move away to a more crowded area and don't say anything or look back at them. Most of the time they leave me alone. In the clubs you have the bouncers if something goes wrong. And the fact that it's modern day, you can't kill someone without having the police up your butt, I think it's pretty safe to live.

But again I might simply been lucky enough that I haven't seen violence directed against me. I hear about talk of violence all the time though. Do you think it's possible to avoid violence altogether if we are a bit careful, which is the goal of aikido anyway?

Of course, if you work in a job that faces danger on a regular basis then that changes the story.

I posted on the other thread, so I guess I'll also post here. Great questions and I have bolded a couple of statements to address specifically, then we'll see how things go...

I believe the world is no less dangerous than it has been. We have different hazards now, but I don't see people waving the "We Have World Peace" flag yet.

First, if you are in a fight, then your opportunity to avoid the fight has passed and you should concentrate on fighting. If you were able to foresee the confrontation or de-escalate the confrontation those would be my first 2 options. However, sometimes the best solution is to deal with the problem and fighting is the best option.

When you look at animals, we are pretty much the only specifies that will deny danger exists. Animals will identify danger and follow a flight or fight response; we look away. This response is largely the result of socialization and a dependency upon a greater entity to influence behavior (namely laws).

Second, aikido does not avoid anything. I take issue with this point because I believe the philosophy of aikido is centered upon understanding confrontation and the path to resolution. I think it prudent behavior to be vigilant in our lives. I think it prudent behavior to curtail risks interacting with people. I think we are fortunate each day our prudence pays off. I think the modern entitlement ideology begs us to embrace the universal understanding that we will not be harmed. As the other thread discussed, we write books advocating this ideology. When we are harmed, we use excusatory rhetoric to project cause anywhere but as a direct challenge to that universal belief.

The reality is that danger exists. It may be the pick-pocket in the subway, the burglar interrupted during his robbery, or the investment banker managing your retirement. Violence is the manner in which a type of danger is acted. Don't give it more power over your life than that.

Kevin Leavitt
12-11-2012, 08:15 PM
great post Jon

Lyle Laizure
12-17-2012, 04:44 AM
[QUOTE=Long Trinh;320235]Greetings all,

Unless you do things like walking alone in the Bronx at midnight, get really drunk and start chatting up someone's girlfriend, or stare at somebody on the street (in all of these cases frankly you are messing up and you got it coming), [QUOTE]

You have it coming? This is rediculous! Since when is it ok to physically attack someone for any of the reasons you listed? You can't really mean this.

Walter Martindale
12-17-2012, 07:51 AM
[QUOTE=Long Trinh;320235]Greetings all,

Unless you do things like walking alone in the Bronx at midnight, get really drunk and start chatting up someone's girlfriend, or stare at somebody on the street (in all of these cases frankly you are messing up and you got it coming), [QUOTE]

You have it coming? This is rediculous! Since when is it ok to physically attack someone for any of the reasons you listed? You can't really mean this.

It may not be OK to attack for the cited reasons, but it does happen. "What the FZZK you lookin' at M***** F*****!!!" One may not DESERVE to be attacked, but that doesn't matter to the territorial wanker who's "hood" includes the patch of sidewalk one happens to be walking on in the attempt to get from point a to point b..

*ridiculous

Brian Beach
12-17-2012, 08:59 AM
You have it coming? This is rediculous! Since when is it ok to physically attack someone for any of the reasons you listed? You can't really mean this.

Those are aggressive acts. If you act aggressively toward someone you can generally expect them to act aggressively toward you. Behavior correction and attitude adjustments come in many forms, some physical.

Krystal Locke
12-17-2012, 09:35 AM
Those are aggressive acts. If you act aggressively toward someone you can generally expect them to act aggressively toward you. Behavior correction and attitude adjustments come in many forms, some physical.

What is aggressive about walking outside anywhere at midnight? It may be an unfortunately unfortunate choice or condition, but it isn't aggressive. Getting drunk, losing awareness and talking to an attached woman is not an aggressive act, even if it is three kinds of dumb. Why should looking at another human be met with a fist? It isn't like our IP is good enough to hit someone with a glance.

Those actions may be cause for a conversation, not a conflict. I think that humans are complex animals, we have a huge capacity for violence and a brain that cannot always figure out when the violence is appropriate.

phitruong
12-17-2012, 10:10 AM
It may not be OK to attack for the cited reasons, but it does happen. "What the FZZK you lookin' at M***** F*****!!!"


exactly what happend to me. years ago i was walking in a small town, didn't pay attention to things around me. i was looking down. i happened to look up as this man approach. he started to scream at me for looking at him and acted agressively. i circled a bit wider and kept my distance but sill looked at him. he walked off and still screamed loudly. learned a lesson on situational awareness.

Brian Beach
12-17-2012, 10:16 AM
What is aggressive about walking outside anywhere at midnight? It may be an unfortunately unfortunate choice or condition, but it isn't aggressive. Getting drunk, losing awareness and talking to an attached woman is not an aggressive act, even if it is three kinds of dumb. Why should looking at another human be met with a fist? It isn't like our IP is good enough to hit someone with a glance.

Those actions may be cause for a conversation, not a conflict. I think that humans are complex animals, we have a huge capacity for violence and a brain that cannot always figure out when the violence is appropriate.

You're strawmanning it. Walking down the street I agree but drunkenly chatting up someone's girlfriend and staring at someone are aggressive acts. I agree that conversation should proceed but some people lack the communication skills.

What I was reacting to was the expectation of bodily safety regardless of your actions. There is a civil expectation of boundaries. If you willing venture outside those boundaries it is an aggressive act. If you get drunk (your choice) and chat up someones girlfriend (your choice) and they or the girlfriend get angry about it, you created the situation not them. How they react is on them but you can't expect them to act civilly when you are acting stupid and aggressive.

You can hug a stranger, it can be an act of love, but it's still an aggressive act of love. They can react in a myriad of ways but you still created the situation.

jonreading
12-17-2012, 12:08 PM
Greetings all,

Unless you do things like walking alone in the Bronx at midnight, get really drunk and start chatting up someone's girlfriend, or stare at somebody on the street (in all of these cases frankly you are messing up and you got it coming),

You have it coming? This is rediculous! Since when is it ok to physically attack someone for any of the reasons you listed? You can't really mean this.

Yeah, I kinda ignored this part earlier, but since it has come up...

There are few scenarios when physical conflict is the correct solution, either on the initiating end or the receiving end. No one should have "anything coming" for most decisions; that said, as I posted earlier you should reduce your chances for...miscommunication.

As a later post comments, we have some control over the situations in which we place ourselves. Sometimes not as much as we'd like, but there you go. I do not excuse poor behavior. If a guy is really intent up picking a fight because you looked at him or talked to his girl, he is gonna pick a fight - we are just haggling over the "why". We need to recognize the intent and look past the why. Because if he cannot find a reason to fight with you, he'll find it with the next guy.

There is a civil expectation of boundaries.
Not necessarily. I think this is a major problem with some of the violence in the US. People pick fights because they think they will [successfully] get away with it. Your actions may facilitate their decision-making process, but they are considering whether or not it is "worth it" to pick a fight with you. I think the above example of intimidation is not uncommon in urban environments and clearly falls outside the realm of "civil".

We intimidate because we can. It advances our personal status. Wanna know why I am chatting your girlfriend? Because I am better than you. Wanna know why I am staring you down? Because I am higher status than you. Wanna know why I am stealing from you? Because I want your money. These are not "civil" behaviors, but they are primal behaviors. Don't excuse the behavior, but recognize it for what it is...

Brian Beach
12-17-2012, 04:17 PM
Not necessarily. I think this is a major problem with some of the violence in the US. People pick fights because they think they will [successfully] get away with it. Your actions may facilitate their decision-making process, but they are considering whether or not it is "worth it" to pick a fight with you. I think the above example of intimidation is not uncommon in urban environments and clearly falls outside the realm of "civil".

We intimidate because we can. It advances our personal status. Wanna know why I am chatting your girlfriend? Because I am better than you. Wanna know why I am staring you down? Because I am higher status than you. Wanna know why I am stealing from you? Because I want your money. These are not "civil" behaviors, but they are primal behaviors. Don't excuse the behavior, but recognize it for what it is...

I agree - That's why I labeled them as aggressive. By engaging in those acts you are choosing to go outside the civil norms and not respecting the boundaries. If you go outside the boundaries you can't be surprised when the person you are engaging also go outside the boundaries. You called them out there.

"Why are those hornets so angry and following me? All I did was tap at their nest with a stick" :rolleyes:

Garth
12-17-2012, 04:30 PM
[QUOTE=Lyle Laizure;320645][QUOTE=Long Trinh;320235]Greetings all,

Unless you do things like walking alone in the Bronx at midnight, get really drunk and start chatting up someone's girlfriend, or stare at somebody on the street (in all of these cases frankly you are messing up and you got it coming),

It may not be OK to attack for the cited reasons, but it does happen. "What the FZZK you lookin' at M***** F*****!!!" One may not DESERVE to be attacked, but that doesn't matter to the territorial wanker who's "hood" includes the patch of sidewalk one happens to be walking on in the attempt to get from point a to point b..

*ridiculous

Movie: The Unforgiven
Gene Hackman's character upon being shot by Clint Eastwood's, " I don't deserve this , I was building a house"
Clint Eastwood's reply, "It aint got nothing to do with deserve".
As having lived in the "big bad city" , Brooklyn not the Bronx by the way, there are things that you can do to put you in a bad way in a hurry, or a little situational awareness goes a long way. It has been my experience that trouble finds those ignoring even the most basic situational awareness. But the question also begging to be asked, since I am male and raised to believe in the role of the male as the protector in a relationship is , "am I? "(too much hesitation and indecision have resulted in the questioning of the male traditional roles in this society) or even better, "how long should good men ignore evil?" , until its in your backyard(at which point you are caught off guard and disadvantaged).
So now you have a highly stressful situation(fight or flight ) which you train all your life(some people) to resolve and control because we are not chimpanzees, too which we have added layers of additional doubts about liability, sensibilities, racial identifies, drug use (legal and illegal), people already operating outside the law most of their lives.
I dont think today there is any doubt that violence is real. Do we want to have an unconditioned knee jerk reaction or a conditioned response to it?

Lyle Laizure
12-18-2012, 06:10 AM
Some of these posts are really terrible. This attitude of "he deseves what he gets" is appauling. Just because a person makes a poor decision about where they choose to walk, who they talk to or who they look at doesn't mean they deserve any kind of physical correction. Does the same apply to the woman who's out and is raped? The guy's defense is he could tell by the way she was dressed that she wanted it. Is that ok? Where do you folks draw the line? No one, no one (in any of these scenarios) deserves to be physically or even verbally assaulted. First of all it is against the law. Secondly, what kind of moral character do you have if you believe that it is ok to assault someone for these reasons. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but I am saything that it is WRONG!

Walter Martindale
12-18-2012, 07:20 AM
Some of these posts are really terrible. This attitude of "he deseves what he gets" is appauling. Just because a person makes a poor decision about where they choose to walk, who they talk to or who they look at doesn't mean they deserve any kind of physical correction. Does the same apply to the woman who's out and is raped? The guy's defense is he could tell by the way she was dressed that she wanted it. Is that ok? Where do you folks draw the line? No one, no one (in any of these scenarios) deserves to be physically or even verbally assaulted. First of all it is against the law. Secondly, what kind of moral character do you have if you believe that it is ok to assault someone for these reasons. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but I am saything that it is WRONG!

I don't think there's much in the discussion that implies it's OK to be assaultive for any of the above reasons. It happens, but it's not "right"... And yes, assault is against the law. There are a few things that can't be legislated.. Sanity for one, "law-abidingness", for another..

Brian Beach
12-18-2012, 08:41 AM
Some of these posts are really terrible. This attitude of "he deseves what he gets" is appauling. Just because a person makes a poor decision about where they choose to walk, who they talk to or who they look at doesn't mean they deserve any kind of physical correction. Does the same apply to the woman who's out and is raped? The guy's defense is he could tell by the way she was dressed that she wanted it. Is that ok? Where do you folks draw the line? No one, no one (in any of these scenarios) deserves to be physically or even verbally assaulted. First of all it is against the law. Secondly, what kind of moral character do you have if you believe that it is ok to assault someone for these reasons. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but I am saything that it is WRONG!

I was pointing out the causal relationship. If you act like an asshole people are going to act accordingly. If you poke a bear and he attacks you there is a causal relationship. They are not innocent in the interaction. Can the situation be handled better? - sure. Should you be shocked when it's not? - no. Staring people down is an aggressive act. If you act aggressively toward someone they will act aggressively towards you. If you don't regulate your own behavior eventually someone will regulate it for you.

gregstec
12-18-2012, 08:46 AM
I agree with Walter, I do not think anyone here is saying anyone deserves to be a victim of violence due to the various scenarios mentioned here- but, those type of scenarios can bring on violence from those with deficiencies in their moral behavior for a myriad of reasons and the prudent thing is to be aware of potential threats and take appropriate steps to avoid them.

Greg

lbb
12-18-2012, 08:52 AM
I was pointing out the causal relationship. If you act like an asshole people are going to act accordingly. If you poke a bear and he attacks you there is a causal relationship. They are not innocent in the interaction. Can the situation be handled better? - sure. Should you be shocked when it's not? - no. Staring people down is an aggressive act. If you act aggressively toward someone they will act aggressively towards you. If you don't regulate your own behavior eventually someone will regulate it for you.

I agree with what I think you're trying to say, but I disagree with your diction. Words and phrases like "act aggressively" imply a conscious choice to provoke, harass or intimidate; "staring down" assumes an intent that may not be present; "regulate" implies that the "regulator" is upholding some kind of order. Acting with an intention to provoke, by deliberately stepping over another person's reasonable boundaries, is not the same as acting in a manner that does provoke because of another person's poorly defined boundaries (not "your rights end where my nose begins", but "I will jump in front of where you're walking and then blame you for pushing me"). That's not "regulating", that's drawing an unreasonable line that a reasonable person can't help but trip over and then calling it a transgression when they do. The distinction matters, very much so. A person walking late at night is not "acting like an asshole", "poking a bear" or "acting aggressively" -- let's be very, very clear about that.

Brian Beach
12-18-2012, 09:36 AM
I agree with what I think you're trying to say, but I disagree with your diction. Words and phrases like "act aggressively" imply a conscious choice to provoke, harass or intimidate; "staring down" assumes an intent that may not be present; "regulate" implies that the "regulator" is upholding some kind of order. Acting with an intention to provoke, by deliberately stepping over another person's reasonable boundaries, is not the same as acting in a manner that does provoke because of another person's poorly defined boundaries (not "your rights end where my nose begins", but "I will jump in front of where you're walking and then blame you for pushing me"). That's not "regulating", that's drawing an unreasonable line that a reasonable person can't help but trip over and then calling it a transgression when they do. The distinction matters, very much so. A person walking late at night is not "acting like an asshole", "poking a bear" or "acting aggressively" -- let's be very, very clear about that.

I agree, I was representing one side. In your examples there is one that is acting outside the social norm. I will jump in front of where you're walking and then blame you for pushing me That is the person who's behavior will be regulated, eventually. :)

You can be a generally nice person that occasionally makes a bad choice. Sometimes those choices come with unwanted consequences. Sometimes we are at the receiving end of another person's bad choices. Sometimes we are the regulator sometimes the one regulated, sometimes removing yourself from the situation post-haste is the best course of action. Either way we have a responsibility for our own actions and the part we play.

I think we are on the same page. Basically - Masakatsu Agatsu. Sometimes we need help and sometimes we need to help others.

lbb
12-18-2012, 11:08 AM
I agree, I was representing one side. In your examples there is one that is acting outside the social norm. That is the person who's behavior will be regulated, eventually. :)

Eh. This is a kind of sick use of the word "regulation", and I dislike it very much. The "regulation" you describe really doesn't have anything to do with right or wrong, or reasonable or unreasonable boundaries. It's a matter of might making right. If I'm powerful, I get to "regulate". I get to say what's "reasonable". Our world teems with examples of oppression in which the powerful "regulate" where others may walk, what they may wear, when and how they may speak. Regulation is civilized when it says that no one may speak with a bullhorn at 3 AM outside people's homes, no matter what it is you're saying. Regulation is uncivilized, and a sick, barbaric distortion of the term, when it takes the form of a powerful person (physically or otherwise) bellowing "Shut your pie-hole!" at a less powerful person who is saying something that the powerful person does not like, and then forcing the less powerful person to be silent.

Brian Beach
12-18-2012, 11:39 AM
Eh. This is a kind of sick use of the word "regulation", and I dislike it very much. The "regulation" you describe really doesn't have anything to do with right or wrong, or reasonable or unreasonable boundaries. It's a matter of might making right. If I'm powerful, I get to "regulate". I get to say what's "reasonable". Our world teems with examples of oppression in which the powerful "regulate" where others may walk, what they may wear, when and how they may speak. Regulation is civilized when it says that no one may speak with a bullhorn at 3 AM outside people's homes, no matter what it is you're saying. Regulation is uncivilized, and a sick, barbaric distortion of the term, when it takes the form of a powerful person (physically or otherwise) bellowing "Shut your pie-hole!" at a less powerful person who is saying something that the powerful person does not like, and then forcing the less powerful person to be silent.

You're not listening to what I'm saying. The person who is attempting to intimidate needs regulation... but feel free to rant on :)

Lyle Laizure
12-20-2012, 07:13 AM
The person who is attempting to intimidate needs regulation... but feel free to rant on :)

What you are saying is that the person that is attempting to intimidate needs to be taught a lesson.

So what you are saying is that if someone is staring at me, or if someone is chatting up my girlfriend I should teach that person a physical lesson? This is flawed thinking and will likely cause the lesson teacher to be arrested.

If I am out walking and someone physically attacks me I will defend myself, but not with the intent of teaching a lesson.

Lesson teaching is for the courts.

lbb
12-20-2012, 07:23 AM
Mmm, yeah, gotta agree with Lyle. Brian, I didn't succeed in communicating my point. I think your idea of "regulating" needs closer examination; in my mind, it doesn't stand clear and separate from the simple notion of enforcement of the wishes of the more powerful over the less powerful. If someone stares at you and you decide they're being "aggressive", you can "regulate" if you're the more powerful one in the situation. If not, oh well, I guess "regulation" doesn't happen. And maybe, if it's something only the powerful can do, "regulation" is not a good word for it. Now call that a "rant" if you want.

Walter Martindale
12-20-2012, 11:37 AM
Wasn't there a movie about the wild west where a group of what were essentially "regulators" kept some form of "order" in a county/region? That may be the sort of "regulation" being discussed here, but it's not really what the general public views as "regulation"... is it?

I tend to avoid the parts of town where you get attacked for walking by (and I'm also getting old enough to not look like a threat - victim, perhaps, but not a threat) or looking at someone, but then sometimes you wander into the wrong neigbourhood. Doesn't mean you deserve a lickin'.

I recall once being in Boston - we were staying "across the river" from Harvard etc, when we were there for a rowing competition - the Head of the Charles. (turns out the district was at the time known as "the war zone" by the cops) After the regatta was over, we wandered into a corner "chicken" restaurant - all wearing the same team jackets. Well... some of the locals saw all these 6 foot tall (plus) guys in the same 'colours' and decided to get territorial. After a few minor fisticuffs and discussions of "going home and coming back armed" some of our number chatted with one who seemed to be a leader, and let them know we were a rowing team, in town from the west coast of Canada, flying out in the morning (if we were still alive) and in that particular restaurant looking for food, having raced (or in my case, coached) earlier in the day... When it was clear that we were not horning in on anyone's territory, things calmed down, we finished eating, went back to our digs, slept, flew home without incident.

Michael Hackett
12-20-2012, 01:18 PM
There are places and situations that are simply not safe to wander into for the average person. No one should ever be accosted or assaulted simply for walking in the wrong neighborhood or similar, but it does happen. That person doesn't deserve the result, but shouldn't be terribly surprised if something negative happens, even if they remain civil and faultless in their conduct. Obviously if one is looking for trouble and conducting himself in an uncivil and rude manner, he should control his own behavior (or regulate his own conduct) to avoid an incident. As Brian said, if he does not, his conduct is likely to be regulated (or corrected) by some entity, whether it be the criminal justice system, the civil courts, the displeasure of his own friends, or perhaps at the hands of another knucklehead who has a similar mindset. It didn't appear to me that Brian was suggesting that he had an obligation or a right to correct the behavior of another, but merely suggested the conduct would deserve correction in some manner and that it would eventually happen.

Each one of us has the right and should be free to walk down any street at any time. In most cases we are. But there are some places in the world, this country, and even in my home town where it isn't the best and safest idea. I can think of no place in the world where I could count on being safe if I chose to act aggressively, rudely or violently. Consequently I choose to regulate/control/temper my personal behavior so I'm not viewed as a dangerous knucklehead to others.

At least that's how I interpreted Brian's posts.

mathewjgano
12-20-2012, 03:15 PM
You're not listening to what I'm saying. The person who is attempting to intimidate needs regulation... but feel free to rant on :)

I think I hear what you're saying. When people step on our toes it's helpful to let them know so they can be more careful. In more extreme examples, it would be nice to think we could correct their behavior with a lesson, but one of the things I've come to associate with aggressive personalities is the pronounced lack of learning that tends to go with it. Where blind emotion does give way to the faculties of reason, it's usually just to generate excuses to reinforce the emotion. I grew up with a number of people who liked fighting, viewing it as THE mark of manhood apart from the other f-word. It takes something far more comprehensive than a momentary lesson to change attitudes like that; and in fact, a moment's "lesson" often only serves as fuel to a later fire. This isn't to say we shouldn't stand up for ourselves, but there's a fine line between needing to stand up for one's self and wanting to. The latter isn't so altruistic and socially-minded.
...not that you haven't already considered these things...just joining in on the topic before a much needed nap.
Cheers y'all!
Matt

Brian Beach
12-20-2012, 05:15 PM
Thnk you Michael and Matt - I think we are the same page. I jotted this down earlier today so it's a bit redundant. There are two sides that I am addressing. The first is knowing your part in the interaction. If you are acting aggressive and you are presented with a physical correction you have learned a lesson. For someone to act out physically toward you, you have crossed a boundary real or imagined. You can choose to not see staring someone down as aggressive but you are wrong.  

 On the other side if you are being bothered you should explore all non physical options first. 

I don't see the physical as taboo. The goal is connection. You try and connect verbally If that fails the next way is physically.  There are many options on that scale. A  hand on the shoulder may do it or it may take something more drastic. 

There is a personal responsibility in both sides of the equation. I won't advocate abdicating your responsibility for your actions nor for your personal safety.  If you are not willing to make a connection than I don't think you are practicing Aikido. I'm not talking about punching people in the nose that simply piss you off. As a side note I also don't judge my morality simply on the fear of jail.

lbb
12-20-2012, 10:04 PM
Thnk you Michael and Matt - I think we are the same page. I jotted this down earlier today so it's a bit redundant. There are two sides that I am addressing. The first is knowing your part in the interaction. If you are acting aggressive and you are presented with a physical correction you have learned a lesson. For someone to act out physically toward you, you have crossed a boundary real or imagined. You can choose to not see staring someone down as aggressive but you are wrong.  


Emphasis mine. Don't these contradict one another? If the boundary that you've crossed is "imagined", then are you still "wrong" about your actions not being aggressive?

Michael Hackett
12-21-2012, 12:25 AM
Mary, I think you misread Brian's post. You emphasized a couple of words and I think you have misinterpreted what he said. I will paraphrase what he wrote from my understanding. If Bad Person acts out physically towards Victim Person, then Victim Person has crossed a real or imaginary line. Victim Person can choose not see see staring someone down as aggressive, but Victim Person would be incorrect in his assessment. In other words, staring someone down, maddogging them, may not be intended as an aggressive behavior, but may well be viewed as aggressive by the subject of the staring and may trigger a violent reaction. Context is everything of course, but usually staring down a young male in particular is a poor idea.

Brian cited two distinct concepts that aren't mutally exclusive. Nor are they interdependent. One can intentionally cross a social boundary and provoke a violent reaction. One can also cross an imaginary boundary without intent and be on the receiving end of violence. Just wearing the wrong color in some neighborhoods can get you killed. Staring someone down is an example of the former.

I don't think the two of you are that far apart in your expressed thoughts.

Brian Beach
12-21-2012, 07:42 AM
Thank you again Michael. The real or imagined - we mistakingly believe that we live in an homogeneous culture because we live in the same country, it's not. What you may not intend as offensive may be perceived as so. It doesn't make them less offended.

lbb
12-21-2012, 10:23 AM
Mary, I think you misread Brian's post. You emphasized a couple of words and I think you have misinterpreted what he said. I will paraphrase what he wrote from my understanding. If Bad Person acts out physically towards Victim Person, then Victim Person has crossed a real or imaginary line. Victim Person can choose not see see staring someone down as aggressive, but Victim Person would be incorrect in his assessment. In other words, staring someone down, maddogging them, may not be intended as an aggressive behavior, but may well be viewed as aggressive by the subject of the staring and may trigger a violent reaction. Context is everything of course, but usually staring down a young male in particular is a poor idea.

I think you misread my post - not sure why else you insist on seeing the entire problem within the context of an imagined incident that has a very specific meaning and intention for you. Try to step beyond that for a moment and generalize, and look at your statement again:

"If Bad Person acts out physically towards Victim Person, then Victim Person has crossed a real or imaginary line."

Okay. So, what line did Victim Person cross? Let's leave your Young Male "staring down" Other Young Male example, and the question of how "real" that line is, and look at another. Let's say instead that it's Malala Yousufzai who "crossed the line" by going to school, and got shot in the head. Do you say she was "regulated"? Do you?

Please don't treat me like a five-year-old; I understand quite well the distinction between cause/effect and transgression/justified response. My point, made several times already, is that I dislike the use of the word "regulate" to refer to the capricious and sociopathic acts of a powerful person just as much as I dislike the use of the phrase "ethnic cleansing" to refer to genocide. Call a sociopath a sociopath and be done with it.

Michael Hackett
12-21-2012, 12:38 PM
Mary, admittedly I used a specific example even though I was thinking in a more generalized way. Each of us knows what is acceptable conduct in our own society and environment, with the obvious exception of those who have mental disabilities or illness perhaps. Sometimes our conduct is "regulated" in the sense that our society has created specific rules, laws and regulations to prohibit certain conduct. Even if the conduct isn't regulated in a formal sense, it may be met with some form of opprobrium. It may result in a responding scowl, ostracism from a group, a nasty note in the mailbox, a letter to the editor, harsh words, perhaps even a violent response.

In other circumstances, the offending individual may not even realize that he is creating offense as he is in an environment that he isn't familiar with and may meet with the same results.

There are other times when a quietly heroic person such as Ms. Yousufzai crosses a line knowingly for a noble cause and suffers tragically. Do I think her conduct was "regulated"? No, but there were certainly consequences. And before anyone asks, I am aghast as what happened to this young woman in this barbaric act.

I understand that you don't like the use of the word "regulate" to be used in the manner you described. Recognized and noted.

phitruong
12-21-2012, 12:46 PM
My point, made several times already, is that I dislike the use of the word "regulate" to refer to the capricious and sociopathic acts of a powerful person just as much as I dislike the use of the phrase "ethnic cleansing" to refer to genocide. Call a sociopath a sociopath and be done with it.

mary, you are just not up to speed with the modern day subtle psychological manipulation of the mass. take "ethnic cleansing" for example, "ethic" is a nice positive word that everyone can relate too. "cleansing" is another nice positive word that triggered happy mood to folks who enjoy good cleaning, long shower, with scented soap, and so on (ya, i like scented soap ok! you got problem with that!). so you put those two words together and you got a nice, warm and fuzzy phrase that folks just enjoyed hearing it, instead of the word "genocide" which brought up image of death camp, concentration camp, and so on; and really make you want to throw-up and outrage feeling swell up. so if you repeat the nice, warm and fuzzy phrase like "ethnic cleansing" long enough, folks actually start to like it, because it gives them the nice, warm and fuzzy feeling. ;)

Lyle Laizure
12-22-2012, 07:07 AM
mary, you are just not up to speed with the modern day subtle psychological manipulation of the mass. take "ethnic cleansing" for example, "ethic" is a nice positive word that everyone can relate too. "cleansing" is another nice positive word that triggered happy mood to folks who enjoy good cleaning, long shower, with scented soap, and so on (ya, i like scented soap ok! you got problem with that!). so you put those two words together and you got a nice, warm and fuzzy phrase that folks just enjoyed hearing it, instead of the word "genocide" which brought up image of death camp, concentration camp, and so on; and really make you want to throw-up and outrage feeling swell up. so if you repeat the nice, warm and fuzzy phrase like "ethnic cleansing" long enough, folks actually start to like it, because it gives them the nice, warm and fuzzy feeling. ;)

Positive phrasing, positive spin....I find these to be offensive. Call it what it is. Society has become to sissified.

Lyle Laizure
12-22-2012, 07:18 AM
Thank you again Michael. The real or imagined - we mistakingly believe that we live in an homogeneous culture because we live in the same country, it's not. What you may not intend as offensive may be perceived as so. It doesn't make them less offended.

Ahh, but just becasue someone has offended me doesn't give me the right to "regulate" them.

Regulate, used as a verb: to control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc

I'm not saying a person doesn't have a right to defend him/herself. If I happen to be starring at a young man and he takes offense to it he still has no right to regulate my starring via physical force. Nor should he try to regulate my starring using aggressive language as this would only escalate the situation. Maybe I wan't starring, maybe I was just spaced out in thought. Perhaps I am starring but not at him but at the young lady that is in his general vicinity.

Brian Beach
12-22-2012, 07:50 AM
Ahh, but just becasue someone has offended me doesn't give me the right to "regulate" them.

Regulate, used as a verb: to control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc

I'm not saying a person doesn't have a right to defend him/herself. If I happen to be starring at a young man and he takes offense to it he still has no right to regulate my starring via physical force. Nor should he try to regulate my starring using aggressive language as this would only escalate the situation. Maybe I wan't starring, maybe I was just spaced out in thought. Perhaps I am starring but not at him but at the young lady that is in his general vicinity.

I like to be made aware if my mistakes so I have a chance to correct them. Hopefully it doesn't take a punch in the nose to clue me in. A lesson is a lesson though. :)

Lyle Laizure
12-22-2012, 04:39 PM
I like to be made aware if my mistakes so I have a chance to correct them. Hopefully it doesn't take a punch in the nose to clue me in. A lesson is a lesson though. :)

I too like to know when I have made a mistake. I do not beleive for one moment that someone punching you in the nose because you were starring at him or chatting up his girlfriend would be acceptable to you. Are you saying if the fella comes up to you and punches you in the nose and says don't stare at me or don't talk to my girlfriend you are going to look at him and apologize for your behavior and walk away?

Brian Beach
12-22-2012, 04:48 PM
I too like to know when I have made a mistake. I do not beleive for one moment that someone punching you in the nose because you were starring at him or chatting up his girlfriend would be acceptable to you. Are you saying if the fella comes up to you and punches you in the nose and says don't stare at me or don't talk to my girlfriend you are going to look at him and apologize for your behavior and walk away?

No, when I needed the lesson I fought him. I learned the lesson though. Getting drunk and chatting up someone's girl friend is a bad idea. Luckily I don't need to learn that lesson anymore :)

Messias
02-10-2013, 09:03 PM
Hi there,

I just wrote about this violence in the "off-the-matt" section, so Iīll spare you the duplicity, but about the reality of violence nowadays and contrary to many opinions here, I would have to say that itīs getting more and more real. Even worse... itīs getting into a whole new level of violence.

I was raised in a culture of respect not only for our parents, but generally to elder people. It was still unthinkable to be disrespectful to a teacher and, as a boy, I was supposed to "look after" the girls. No matter which ones! It it was a girl, it was to be respected by everyone around. This obviously brought some scenes of fist fighting, but that was that. Broken noses, bruised stomachs and so on... but we could call it as fair! Nobody was in a hurry to get into a fight, but if the other guy still insisted, nobody was backing down.
Then I moved from Portugal to Switzerland... nothing happened nowhere!
Then to Boston, where I used to hear about violence, but I never saw much of it and came out "clean" back to Portugal again.
Years later I was getting my first degree in violence in Luanda, Angola, a place where everything happens... and it can happen very fast. A funny thing about it is that they HATE robbers, and if one is caught by civilians...letīs say that itīs unlikely to make it to court. Guns were common, but big knifes were like a "trend" and the "free usage" of them made me re-think the possible solutions for a confrontation. The old-school fist fight was no longer available...

After gettting married I moved to the Czech Republic where apart from quite a few drunks and some really discrete vietnamese cartels, nothing really relevant happens. I could walk home with my wife after the theater without having to look over my shoulder (that is a precious thing to have).

Now weīre in Brasil... and itīs like Texas in the 1800īs! Shoot first, ask later (hell...just shoot, donīt bother asking). There are guns everyhere, carjackings daily, whole buildings robbed in a flash, kidnapps...and shooting. All the time shooting. There is almost absolutely no chances of getting into a clean and fair fight.

Every now and then I have the chance to visit my home country, but I see the headlines getting more and more violent. Kids in the streets are all a "bad boy wanna be" and thereīs clearly a complete disrespect not only for the institutions, but for the family values (any values apart from "whatīs in it for me?" ) And most parents have completely transfered the education role to schools... isnīt it a clear evidence?

Weīre counting the days to return to the Czech Republic... and walk home. Just walk.

Cheers,
Messias.

Messias
02-10-2013, 09:30 PM
My point with all this "bla,bla,bla" is that weīre mainly discussing "violence" as we know it from our civilized, organized, supervized with police and courts... the places where we usually carry on with our lives. We have jobs, food on the table, kids in private schools and itīs even enough to pay for hobbys and vacations, but that is NOT the reality of the vast majority of the rest of the world. New and unknown levels of violence are just arround the corner and one is most likely not to be prepared for it when leaving our comfort zone.

Cheers,
Messias.

Dan Richards
02-10-2013, 10:24 PM
Just walk.

Messias, I've been reading your posts. (also the other long one, and others.) I see a beautiful theme developing here. Just walk. Just train. Same thing. : )

Kevin Leavitt
02-11-2013, 05:32 AM
Agree, violence is all local. It depends on where you stand...and walk. I think the important thing is that we are mindful about it. That is, our own reality may not be what is really going on and we need to be aware of the dissonance that our own reality brings us. It may neither be as peaceful or violent as we imagine or experience it. I think this is what budo is about. Not about judging, but about growing and understanding...awareness.

lbb
02-11-2013, 10:28 AM
My point with all this "bla,bla,bla" is that weīre mainly discussing "violence" as we know it from our civilized, organized, supervized with police and courts... the places where we usually carry on with our lives.

We're all discussing it from wherever we carry on our lives, and whatever our life experience has shown us. Even with the best of intentions, it's hard to speak knowledgeably about situations that you've never experienced; those who do speak about such experiences are usually blowhards and not knowledgeable. If there's a lesson there, perhaps it's that we need to be cautious about making broad assertions and sweeping generalizations about the nature of violence, current trends, "kids today" etc.

With that said, I would cautiously offer the very broad and sweeping generalization that it's always easier to destroy than it is to build, and it's always easier to disrupt peace than it is to create it. An American politician (really more properly called a statesman), Sam Rayburn, once said that any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one. And acts of building, mending, and making peace tend to be subtle and much more easily overlooked than acts of destruction and disruption. So no, I don't think we live in a world that's becoming more violent. We live in a world where violence has always been cheap and easy to come by, compared to peace -- as it has always been. We live in a world where the work of civilizing the young is challenging and takes patience and persistence -- as it has always done. We live in a world where uncivilized people, grown to adulthood and empowered with adult privileges, can wreak havoc -- as it always was. But we also live in a world where the tools of civilizing -- reading, writing, exchanging ideas -- are more easily come by than at any time in the past. Those who would build rather than break, the lonely voices of peace, are perhaps less lonely than in the past (or at least less alone). This doesn't make the work of civilizing any easier -- it is still just as hard and must be accomplished one person at a time. But we have some better tools and at least we can know that it is happening in many different places.

Michael Neal
04-01-2013, 02:56 PM
I avoid violence whenever possible, always have. That includes avoiding places and people that are more risky and backing down even if I am confident I would prevail. Not worth it.

JP3
04-06-2013, 07:24 PM
On the initial post, I agree, it seems that, with some judicious use of common sense, it is possible to avoid nearly all of the confrontations which drive violence. However, that is, as I've recently discussed with other martial-artsy folks, sort of the "duel mentality," as contrasted with the "Predator vs. Prey" mentality. The former is a simple one to avoid through the use of one's own behavior modification, but the latter might just jump out and grab you (literally) with no warning.

I tender to you that the best way to survive the latter is to spend long hours in the dojo as uke, getting whomped by friends and fellow students, so that the ukemi is polished to an unconscious sheen, the fall reactions are fluidly flexibly ready and available at need without one having to consciously reach for them.

It might be a very good thing to be sitting minding one's own business, and the next moment find oneself coming up out of a roll with a split on the side of one's scalp -- rather than still being IN said chair with a cracked skull. I think that one's survivability in a real "bad guy" situation, where they don't want to humble you, but to really hurt you, goes up geometrically with an increase in the time one spends on the receiving side of practice.