NEW YEAR AND WHAT WE COULD MAKE BETTER....

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I have been on WB now for more than 3.5 years. And, what I see is: Nothing has changed. People fight about religions, about -isms, about political orientation, about human rights etc.

 

Some bash the US (admitted, I belong to that sort, but against their politics, not the people, and who can change the politics, if not the people....?), some bash Islam, some bash Trump and some that have not checked that time doesn't stand still.....they still talk about the woman generally known as HC. As if one single person whose expiry date has arrived since would still be important. Hey, future is now :-)

 

Some recite religious citations endlessly, and some cite historical facts (are they really ?) endlessly. Some think that knowledge and intellect can solve every problem while forgetting that empathy would bring us a lot closer to a more peaceful world.

 

Some criticize science, and some criticize the counterpart, religion. Some reply emotionally until "fuck you" shows up, and some seem to have no emotions or deliver opinions which can be interpreted in any way - means they could be called "neutral" (or without POV, if you want).

 

Some never write articles but write comments which could easily make up an article. Why ? Do they fear exposure or too much critics ?

 

Some concentrate on one single subject, desperate to bring their point across, but with not much success. Why ? Because returning to the same subject over and over again tires readers.

 

And there's the ones who write articles about different subjects, often personal and with experience and not newspaper cut'n'paste. Hats off to those writers who succeed to not only deliver facts but also arrive to develop a relation to their readers. These are the ones I like, and that kept me here.

 

Too many of them are gone, because their work seems not to have been appreciated (I call no names here), or the replies weren't appropriate or put down in a hurry without even reading the article.

 

Attention span is one thing, and showing the "I am right, fuck you" is another.

 

May that change. And that counts for me too. Always imagine that the person you reply to is sitting across. We wouldn't react that way in reality as we do on unsocial media, would we ?

 

Happy New Year ! 

Comments

Chris Crawford Added Dec 31, 2017 - 10:55am
Excellent points, Mr. Friedli! I myself am curious to see how much of a role rationalism plays in commentary here, as opposed to emotionalism. 
Stone-Eater Added Dec 31, 2017 - 10:59am
Chris
 
Being rational doesn't mean not to be emotional. But the balance is the trick. And I guess all of us have to fight for that. Once we are aware of that we can start working on it.
 
But as you might well know: Action - reaction LOL
Chris Crawford Added Dec 31, 2017 - 11:11am
My concern with emotionalism is not with emotion as a human attribute; emotion is, after all, the wellspring of art. My concern arises when emotion usurps rationalism in the discussion of non-artistic topics. Screaming "FUCK!!!" is an appropriate expression of emotion. It communicates nothing other than one's emotion; it has zero intellectual content.
Bill H. Added Dec 31, 2017 - 11:24am
I'm hoping for the new year that more people begin to realize that things always work better when people work together for the good of humans worldwide. It is quite obvious here in the US and some other countries that we are all being manipulated to provide benefits for the tiny percentage that have the resources and control the puppet strings. These people on top are laughing all of the way to the bank while they happily sit back and divide us into opposing forces for their own gain and entertainment.
Looking back in the past to try and justify all of the recent negatives certainly will not fix or improve matters.
I like the quote from Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell who passed away early last year at the age of 85:
“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.”
Edgar D. Mitchell
Stone-Eater Added Dec 31, 2017 - 11:58am
Bill
 
Excellent.
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 31, 2017 - 12:29pm
Great article Stone and we do have so many things to look forward to Getting Better at! I mean that quite sincerely, as life would be pretty dull if did not have things to passionately work at.  
It is the folks with the "I am good enough" mentality that concern me.  
Stone-Eater Added Dec 31, 2017 - 1:26pm
Stephen
 
"I'm good enough" would be ok. "I'm better" is the problem ;-)
Tubularsock Added Dec 31, 2017 - 1:31pm
Well Bill, it appears that the only global consciousness that seems to be present, in at least Russia and the U.S., is to prepare for any invasion from outer-space.
 
The assumption due to self-reflection is that if a force would come to earth from “out-there” it would be hostile and its intent would be invasion.
 
With a human group mind like that the new year is just the old years dressed up with a new number. Get in line earthling!
Same as it ever-was.
 
But Tubularsock does believe that we should all grab politicians by the scruff of their necks and drag them a quarter of a million miles out into space AND LEAVE THEM!
 
For Tubularsock, as soon as his rocket returns ET and Tube will boogie out of here!
 
Cheers!
Tubularsock Added Dec 31, 2017 - 1:44pm
Chris Crawford, now hold on just one minute here, “Screaming "FUCK!!!" is an appropriate expression of emotion. It communicates nothing other than one's emotion; it has zero intellectual content.”
 
Tubularsock agrees that FUCK is an appropriate emotional comment BUT would contend, only because it’s a slow day for Tubularsock, that within “FUCK” contains THE ENTIRE INTELLECTUAL CONTENT OF HUMAN EXISTENCE.
 
Oh sure, Tubularsock may change his mind next year but until midnight Tubularsock stands firm on his fucked beliefs!
Tubularsock Added Dec 31, 2017 - 1:46pm
SEF, great post as usual. Happy Whatever, Tube.
Stone-Eater Added Dec 31, 2017 - 1:47pm
Hey Tube
 
Same to you ! Keep on your refreshing and original style :-)
George N Romey Added Dec 31, 2017 - 3:40pm
Coming to social media won’t usually get you deep meaning. Think WB is full useless crap look at other websites. 
 
People for the most part think on the surface. More troubling in our Google search world critical thinking is look down on. People would rather read tweets than truly investigate subject matters. And worse off they believe themselves to be “informed” based upon an active Twitter account. 
Tubularsock Added Dec 31, 2017 - 3:51pm
George, it all depends on how many "likes" one can collect! The more "likes" the more you are SOMEBODY.
 
Oh content? Ahhhh, what's that?
Stone-Eater Added Dec 31, 2017 - 6:04pm
00:10 ! We've arrived in 2018 here in Switzerland and I'm still alive LOL
Mark Hunter Added Jan 1, 2018 - 3:15am
Balance ... there’s a concept.
 
Happy New Year!
opher goodwin Added Jan 1, 2018 - 5:12am
Good analysis Stone. Variety is the spice of life!!
Happy New Year!!  Africa looms!!
Dino Manalis Added Jan 1, 2018 - 8:32am
Happy; Healthy; and Prosperous 2018!
wsucram15 Added Jan 1, 2018 - 8:52am
First Happy New Year SEF..May it be Healthy and Prosperous for all.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 1, 2018 - 9:02am
Thanks Stone! Froehliche Neu Jahr!
Stone-Eater Added Jan 1, 2018 - 9:13am
Thanks again guys ! Same to you all :)
Dave Volek Added Jan 1, 2018 - 9:25am
Stone
 
Nice article about the state of affairs on WB.
 
I have found the climate on WB rather refreshing from other places I have been. Other forums have far more talkers than listeners--and Autumn's rule of making comments before one puts out articles provides a nice balance. Other forums are very caustic, with very little intellectual discourse whatsoever. There are a few trolls on WB, but they can be easily ignored.
 
I have hired a professional internet marketer to promote my book (on top of other things that I am doing). This company (WEB.com) has put together some great Facebook ads and getting them out there. But the commentary to these ads is very shallow. WB is indeed at a higher intellectual plane than most of the internet.
 
I think we need to understand the "I am right, fuck you" discourse that dominates the internet and is part of the WB culture as well. Our political culture has inculcated that kind of thinking into us very deeply. Anyone who thinks differently than "me" is obviously a fool. And "I" can always find my set of alternative facts to support whatever position I have taken.
 
I have tried to cast whatever position I take based on logic. I find it interesting that often my logic is ignored and not refuted in any way.
 
Your original article asks the reader to find some sort of balance between empathy and reason. I have a quote that you might find interesting: 
 
He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate repel him away from the truth.
 
 
 
 
 
Stephen Hunter Added Jan 1, 2018 - 9:29am
Actually Stone, "I am Better than you" actually means to the ego "I am good enough". None of us are good enough imo(and from the perspective of spiritual masters like Tolle and Chopra), and we must remain humble, admitting our faults and always have our listening ears on, so we can learn something new. That is living! And that is where we make progress and solve problems. 
Chris Crawford Added Jan 1, 2018 - 10:23am
I applaud the sentiments you give voice to, Mr. Volek.
opher goodwin Added Jan 1, 2018 - 3:28pm
Dave/Chris - me too!
Neil Lock Added Jan 2, 2018 - 5:52am
Yes, thank you for the article, Stone-Eater, and a happy new year to you.
 
And I, too, applaud the sentiments in Dave's comment.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 2, 2018 - 5:53am
Dave
 
Thanks-good quote !
 
 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 2, 2018 - 5:54am
Stephen
 
Never heard of those "spiritual masters". Gotta check that.
 
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 2, 2018 - 11:00am
Stone, may I echo your enjoyment of the writers who provide a diverse palette of opinions and experience to their posts. I even enjoy those posts that I disagree with as long as they are written well. I do think this is an unusual forum and look forward to my second year being a WB author.
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 2, 2018 - 11:47am
You make an interesting and very true point SEF, about writers who return to the same topic for almost every post becoming boring to readers. Ironically, one of the essential tactics to make search engines your best friends is to stick to a single topic, which in the warped reasoning of Artificial Intelligence will eventually identify you as an expert (especially if your article never deviate from the academic orthodoxy).
Stone-Eater Added Jan 2, 2018 - 3:21pm
EABC
 
Right ! I like it too when writers not only distribute their own wisdom about politics but also write personal stories about their life. It gives a picture of daily life in other countries which realistic and quite often tell more about the state of a nation.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 2, 2018 - 3:23pm
Ian
 
I guess here I could be more difficult to categorize by some AI than on LI where I often comment about what happens in Africa :-)
Bill H. Added Jan 3, 2018 - 12:47am
SEF - Hopefully things change for the better very quickly.
Trump's latest "tweet" just put us closer to nuclear war than we have ever been, according to some high-up military leaders.
If this kind of crap is allowed to take place on Twitter, then Twitter has no moral standards whatsoever. How can they allow themselves to become a tool that will inevitably lead to a nuclear conflict and the deaths of millions?
The adults in the White House need to take away Trump's Twitter Toy  IMMEDIATELY, and Twitter needs to suspend his account.
And those who still support this fool need to have some second thoughts.
Thomas Napers Added Jan 3, 2018 - 2:52am
“And there's the ones who write articles about different subjects, often personal and with experience and not newspaper cut'n'paste. Hats off to those writers who succeed to not only deliver facts but also arrive to develop a relation to their readers. These are the ones I like, and that kept me here.”
 
I spot bullshit.  Everyone knows, including you, those articles suck and provide nothing interesting to discuss.  Just look at yourself writing and commenting on political matters and ignoring the rest.  Dave Volek wrote an article about dogs, where are you in his comment thread?  Flying Junior wrote an article on London, your comment was “fun to read.”  The Burghal Hidage wrote a poem on winter…0 comments so far. 
 
Or look at your own articles, you provide plenty of controversial political fodder that gets tons of comment traction.  The non-political stuff is all a bore.  The only reason this article got any comment traction is because your title and opening paragraphs suggested another political rant.  
Stone-Eater Added Jan 3, 2018 - 4:22am
Thomas
 
Dave Volek wrote an article about dogs, where are you in his comment thread? 
 
Can you maybe imagine that dogs are not my prime interest ? BTW about a year ago I commented on an article of Tom concerning St. Bernard dogs. But I guess you memory doesn't go as far back....
 
Flying Junior wrote an article on London, your comment was “fun to read.”  The Burghal Hidage wrote a poem on winter…0 comments so far. 
 
Maybe because in a time of holidays I have other things to do ?
 
The non-political stuff is all a bore.
 
Nobody expects you to be interested in anything else than politics. Probably since you don't seem to know the world a bit except from hearsay, you concentrate on the US.
 
your title and opening paragraphs suggested another political rant.  
 
NEW-YEAR-AND-WHAT-WE-COULD-MAKE-BETTER-
 
That suggests a political rant ? Man, man. Can you read ? No further comment.
 
 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 3, 2018 - 4:26am
Bill
 
Agree. That latest tweet war between Dump and Kim is juvenile bullshit of the sort "My dick is bigger than yours". What happened to the clear mind ??? Trump should be put away for mental examination and Kim should be put back in a school where he has to stay 24/7.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 3, 2018 - 5:57am
The writers know who they are, the right knows who they are and the left knows who they are. No one has ever forced me to join a thread. There are many I choose not to read and my reasons for this are irrelevant. Just as any others' reasons for not reading my material is irrelevant. I dont seek to change minds nor do I seek anyone's approval. I can say what I have to say and move on to something else. Thats how this thing works. Or doesnt work, however you may perceive it.
 
If there are any who somehow take offense at my recent call for more non-political material do not expect an apology from me. I don't ask anything that I dont contribute myself. If my rant isnt your thing? Oh well. Plenty else to choose from. There is much I read and do not comment upon. I've no reason to believe that doesnt work in reverse
Sam Nowaczynski Added Jan 3, 2018 - 8:26am
Sans Thoreau and Whitman, I can’t think of anything more painful to read than a poem. 
 
As for the various fights one can have over religion and politics, those fights will be fought until the end of time.  However, I wouldn’t say nothing has changed, things are changing all the time.  Opinions are fluid and subject to all sorts of gyrations as the debate rages on.  By way of example, Trump’s approval rating was a record low at the start of a presidential term and now it’s on par with Obama’s after one year in office. 
 
There is a fight happening over human rights?
Stone-Eater Added Jan 3, 2018 - 8:38am


There is a fight happening over human rights?
 
"Human rights" definitions depend on the culture and history of a people. What is human rights for us may not be necessarily the same for others. It's like "democracy" (another term, which does not exist in reality). We have no right to force that we find (in theory) the best system on others.
 
One sees that on Iran today. Western media talks of demonstrations for democracy, human rights and free speech while independent reports show that people simply rebel against high prices and a lack of jobs....


 
Shane Laing Added Jan 3, 2018 - 12:10pm
Some never write articles but write comments which could easily make up an article. Why ? Do they fear exposure or too much critics ?
 
Yep that's me.  Not because I fear exposure, its just that I am not as clever as other contributors. I know my place.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 3, 2018 - 12:13pm
Shane
 
British understatement ;-)
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 3, 2018 - 2:39pm
All other possibilities having been exhausted, one can always count on the English to do the right thing.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 3, 2018 - 3:58pm
TBH
 
For example ? Irony on or off ?
opher goodwin Added Jan 3, 2018 - 6:15pm
Burger - hey - I'll do the write thing!
opher goodwin Added Jan 3, 2018 - 6:18pm
Stone - one thing is sure and that is that I'll always write what I feel or think. That's the beauty of writing. It is all about honesty and expression. Sometimes that's a poem, sometimes a rant, a story, an anecdote or even a novel. It is whatever I am inspired to write. Who cares?!!
Stone-Eater Added Jan 3, 2018 - 11:00pm
Oph
 
Right. And right now I suffer from insomnia. Glad to go to Senegal end of the month. That will also get me away from Internet for a while ;-)
Michael B. Added Jan 3, 2018 - 11:57pm
Stone, I would have infinite respect for you if I read a news item that you:
 
Destroyed the U.S. Embassy;
 
Firebombed at least 50 McDonald's;
 
Provided the leaders of North Korea and China with at least 50 hookers;
 
And, last but not least, leaked the video of Russian whores "leaking" on Trumps hair...at least it would explain why his combover has such "body", lol.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 4, 2018 - 12:40am
LOL
Benjamin Goldstein Added Jan 4, 2018 - 1:19pm
Happy New Year to all!
 
I personally hate articles that are too much about private stuff, but I'm a contrarian anyway. Nothing against those articles. They just don't meet my personal taste.
 
I don't know many authors who stick to their own topics. There is Miessner and I appreciate his expertise, but I wouldn't read this climate change stuff much if it was rare either.
 
For a while some went on and on about Jews, but this has become better now.
 
My topics are also narrow. I did some civil rights stuff and Germany. The interest in this is not that big here. So I wrote about ideologies to generalize it enough for everybody to connect. Once people had a hook on my stuff, I lost interest in my own message. I thought about human nature in general, about the sexes, the boundaries of morals and violence. Somehow this series made for more article than I anticipated.
 
Anyway, I just hope that we get MORE writers. It will diversify itself.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 5, 2018 - 9:49am
Ben
 
Any writer will sooner or later leave when he has said it all in his view.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Jan 5, 2018 - 10:13am
SEF: That is true. My Islam article is quite surprising for myself because I had an Islam fatique for a while. Writing is such a guilty pleasure. I'm afraid, I'm like Ann Coulter. Something is always there that needs to get out. Bad for me. It's a sign of madness ;-).
Stone-Eater Added Jan 5, 2018 - 5:50pm
Ben
 
Most people which are called "mad" are simply not understood by the so-called "normals". I had a young lady as a client today who told me that she feels to move out of town because she's a schizophrenic, hears voices and sees images of non-existing people. Nobody wants to talk to her because she admits being "crazy".
 
I referred to African cultural things like Djinns and ghosts, and I pointed out that there people are close to nature, and by the way, my grandmother had visions (which came true).
 
She sat down in our internet room, googled and read for about 3 hours, and when she left she gave me a hug and appeared somehow relieved.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 5, 2018 - 5:52pm
BTW: I didn't refer to your last sentence ;-) Just came to my mind when I saw the word "mad" and what happened today.

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