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Old 06-18-2012, 07:00 PM   #542
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,139
Re: Spiritual and i/p

As a casual reader I have some issues that stand out to me.
1. Equality and validity are different concepts. Several posters seem to use them either in conjunction or as a synonym.
2. Wisdom carries weight.
3. No one has addressed the expertise posters assume when posting a comment

First, opinions may be valid or invalid. Valid opinions carry a weight based upon the accuracy of the opinion. Second, the accuracy of the opinion is related to the ethos of the contributor and the weight of the opinion. Equality is a comparative term used in measurement; in this case we are measuring the accuracy of opinions.

Contributors have an obligation to qualify their opinions so readers may assign a weight to the contribution. One problem with public forums is that while everyone is exercising their right to post, not everyone qualifies their contributions. On Aikiweb, most comments are at least valid given many members practice aikido. The issue is the weight of wisdom assigned to the contribution.

As a point of note, if I continued the horse-racing analogy, I would argue that the termination of discourse is based upon the extent of the participants' knowledge. In this respect, the separation of the lineup would reflect the knowledge of each participant and the weight of wisdom in their contribution and the "finish line" would simply be the point at which only one participant continues the race (the others having reached their point of exhaustion). Some participants would lag behind because of grammatical, linguistic or semantic difficulty. Some participants would slow after the quarter-mile because they lack the knowledge to continue the discourse. Finally, some participants would falter as they poorly apply their wisdom to the knowledge they are trying to express. The lineup was valid, but each participate separated from the other through their own doings.

I could have a great dialogue with Albert Einstein about algebra, less so about advanced mathematic principles. Why? Because Einstein's knowledge about advanced mathematic principles exceeds mine. Alternatively, I could enjoy a great monologue from Einstein and maybe learn something. That's the kicker though... We are so busy screaming about how valid and equal our points are so we can have a "dialogue", we forget that maybe we should be listening to a monologue.

If your opinion is so much better than the competition, throw it out there and have the argument. If your opinion is good it will hold water and maybe give you the opportunity to refine it. If you are not ready to assert your opinion for argument, then engage a discussion to craft your opinion. But don't assert your opinion for discussion - that's just bad rhetoric.

Last edited by jonreading : 06-18-2012 at 07:03 PM.