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Who Is the Fool?

nonentity
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4/5/2011 8:42:16 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I made a thread about this before, a long time ago, but there are new people in the forums so I'm looking for more perspectives.

I'm not going to specifically call anyone out (lol you know who you are) but I've been seeing this a lot lately.

Anyway, the question is this: who is the fool---Person A, who can't get his message across or Person B who can't understand Person A's message?
Extremely-Far-Right
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4/5/2011 9:22:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/5/2011 8:42:16 AM, nonentity wrote:
I made a thread about this before, a long time ago, but there are new people in the forums so I'm looking for more perspectives.

I'm not going to specifically call anyone out (lol you know who you are) but I've been seeing this a lot lately.

Anyway, the question is this: who is the fool---Person A, who can't get his message across or Person B who can't understand Person A's message?

Person B for attempting to understand an incomprehensible message. Unless of course Person B didn't realize that it was incomprehensible. But perhaps Person B is already the fool for not realizing that it was incomprehensible.

Then again, what if the message was concealed to look as if it could be a comprehensible message but in reality wasn't? Then indeed Person B would be the fool. Or that may make Person A the fool since it was he that succesfully 'fooled' Person B.

There is also the matter that person A could be the fool since he could simply be messing up at telling a joke or getting his message across. Then he would be the fool for messing up.

Hard semantics here....
J.Kenyon
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4/5/2011 9:27:17 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/5/2011 8:42:16 AM, nonentity wrote:
Anyway, the question is this: who is the fool---Person A, who can't get his message across or Person B who can't understand Person A's message?

It's usually GodSands regardless of which side he happens to be on.
nonentity
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4/5/2011 9:42:44 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/5/2011 9:22:07 AM, Extremely-Far-Right wrote:
Hard semantics here....

The idea is either I have failed to make you comprehend what I am saying or you have failed to comprehend what I am saying. But whose fail is it? In most cases I would argue the former...

Or in J.Kenyon's example... lol
CosmicAlfonzo
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4/5/2011 11:46:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
If you immediately attempt to refute a position.. the other person explains that you do not understand what they are saying, you can do one of two things.

You can ask questions, and get on the same page like a reasonable civilized human being, and then discuss the position once you understand it...

Or..

You can ignore the other person when they say you do not understand them, and continue attacking a straw man as if you know the meaning of what the person is saying better than the person who said it.

Most people don't understand the Tao Te Ching, but calling it a book of foolishness would be awfully silly.

Most people don't understand the Principia Discordia, and if they called it foolish, they'd be right. But it is profoundly wise in its own foolishness.

If you are in a debate/discussion, you can't be blamed for not understanding something. You can be blamed if you are unwilling to put the effort into understanding something.

If someone doesn't understand what I'm saying, I do my best to get them to understand. If I see that they are more interested in waving their d!ck around than actually having an intelligent conversation, I realize that no amount of lucidity is going to get them to understand what I am saying.

"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast
ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them
under their feet, and turn again and rend you."
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
CosmicAlfonzo
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4/5/2011 11:50:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Really though, this isn't a simple thing to answer, because it is contextual.

That said, attempting to understand what another person is saying makes for a very good brain exercise, and increases your comprehension skills drastically.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
annhasle
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4/6/2011 8:05:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/5/2011 8:42:16 AM, nonentity wrote:
Anyway, the question is this: who is the fool---Person A, who can't get his message across or Person B who can't understand Person A's message?

I would argue Person A is the fool.

If you cannot express your thoughts without confusion ensuing, that is a signal that either, a) you did not fully explain or justify or b) you posted something moronic. On this site, it's usually b. My biggest pet peeve is those who are purposefully vague or oblique as though that will advance the conversation. They pose as enlightened but I find them to be the most aggravating -- and they are almost always Person A. I find such a person to be more foolish.

Now, the reason Person B is not dubbed the most foolish -- in my opinion -- is quite simple. Can you really be considered an idiot for not understanding something which was posted with the intent to cause confusion? Of course not.

And if the message wasn't posted with the intent to cause confusion but was instead a serious attempt to join into the conversation -- Person A is still foolish. Not being able to understand a bogus post is definitely not the reader's fault if the post IS bogus. That's like getting mad at Coca-Cola for tasting like Coca-Cola; if it is made of Coca-Cola, then it will taste like Coca-Cola. Same with the post; if it is made of bogus, then it is bogus and therefore not understandable by definition. That is not the fault of the reader but really the writer.

So overall, Person A is the fool.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
comoncents
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4/6/2011 8:27:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The root of the word "fool" is from the Latin follis, which means "bag of wind" or that which contains air or breath.

so... A
CosmicAlfonzo
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4/7/2011 2:30:18 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/6/2011 8:05:22 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 4/5/2011 8:42:16 AM, nonentity wrote:
Anyway, the question is this: who is the fool---Person A, who can't get his message across or Person B who can't understand Person A's message?

I would argue Person A is the fool.

If you cannot express your thoughts without confusion ensuing, that is a signal that either, a) you did not fully explain or justify or b) you posted something moronic. On this site, it's usually b. My biggest pet peeve is those who are purposefully vague or oblique as though that will advance the conversation. They pose as enlightened but I find them to be the most aggravating -- and they are almost always Person A. I find such a person to be more foolish.


You'd probably feel less aggravated if you asked honest questions when you don't understand something, instead of presuming that you actually understand.

You can't blame person A if they are completely willing to help the other person understand what they are saying if only they'd ask.

Now, the reason Person B is not dubbed the most foolish -- in my opinion -- is quite simple. Can you really be considered an idiot for not understanding something which was posted with the intent to cause confusion? Of course not.


How can you say that something was posted with the intent to cause confusion if you don't understand it? When you jump to conclusions, you turn into the fool.

And if the message wasn't posted with the intent to cause confusion but was instead a serious attempt to join into the conversation -- Person A is still foolish. Not being able to understand a bogus post is definitely not the reader's fault if the post IS bogus. That's like getting mad at Coca-Cola for tasting like Coca-Cola; if it is made of Coca-Cola, then it will taste like Coca-Cola. Same with the post; if it is made of bogus, then it is bogus and therefore not understandable by definition. That is not the fault of the reader but really the writer.

So overall, Person A is the fool.

You're entire position is an arrogant assumption that if someone says something that doesn't make sense to you right away, that means what they say is bogus.

It is a position that fits the very definition of fool, and is counterproductive to gaining actual understanding.

If we simply look at the definition of what a fool is, and look at the definitions of the words that make up said definition, it is obvious that person A cannot be the fool if person B simply doesn't understand what person A is saying.

Like I said, judgement would have to be based on context, and I would say that person B only becomes the fool when they take the kind of attitude that Ann here takes, which is to assume something is bogus when they don't understand it. If you don't understand something, ask honest questions with the intent of understanding rather than attacking a straw man.

Definitions from Merriam-Webster

Fool

If we look at the relevant definitions...

3. a harmlessly deranged person or one lacking in common powers of understanding

I wouldn't say that misinterpreting person A shows a lack of understanding.. I would say that making no attempt to get on the same page and actually comprehend what person A is saying would make person B a fool by definition 3, as they have failed to understand that in order to refute a position, they must first actually be talking about the same thing as the other person.

If we look at definition 1...

1. A person lacking in judgement or prudence

~Prudence

1: The ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason

It is completely unreasonable to pass person A's statement as being bogus before establishing a mutual understanding.

3: Skill and good judgement in the use of resources

Given that the resources available allow person B ample opportunity to understand person A, person B would not be exercising good judgement in the use of their resources if they judge person A's statement as being bogus before establishing a mutual understanding.

4: Caution or circumspection(defined as "careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences") as to danger or risk

To immediately pass of something as bogus before understanding it is not exercising caution or circumspection. The risk of course, being that person B is mistaken in their understanding.

~Judgement

5:a The capacity for judging : Discernment( defined as "The quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure". Obscure being defined as "Not readily understood or clearly expressed. ")
b The exercise of this capacity.

The definitions speak for themselves.

Person A would only be actin' a fool if they demonstrated these qualities as the conversation continued to go on.

Some ideas take a little bit of discussion before they can be fully comprehended. The person who takes an aggressive stance towards anything that confounds or escapes their immediate understanding is not only be definition a fool, but an anti-intellectual sh!t for brains. They aren't going to go anywhere until they swallow their pride and actually establish communication.

There is a reason that when you get into the higher levels of education, the books tend to be written in hard to understand English. It is because to properly understand something, you MUST understand the language. If you seriously want to educate yourself, authors intentionally make it so that the use of a dictionary is mandatory.

The difference between a fool and a non-fool is a matter of communication. A fool is easily lost in semantics, because they do not understand the language. They do not bother to make an attempt at understanding the language. At the same time, when talking to someone, they do not make the attempt to understand the other person.

If someone is telling you that you do not understand them, it is probably for good reason. An arrogant person with a poor understanding of linguistics is nearly impossible to communicate with, and should either be ignored, or mocked when they persist in openly displaying their ignorance and stupidity.

Fools are the embodiment of arrogant stupidity when it comes to communication. If they weren't so humorous, I'd probably advocate rounding them up and pressing them into slave labor. After an honest attempt at breaking their egos and getting them to the point to where they can be educated of course. They are the scum of the earth, and deserve whatever hell and suffering they bring onto themselves.

I have no pity for fools.

On the other hand, if you look at definition number 2 of fool...

Fool

2: A retainer formely kept in great households to provide casual entertainment and commonly dressed in motley with cap, bells, and bauble

I like these fellahs, they are spiffy.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
nonentity
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4/7/2011 9:31:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
But Cosmic---shouldn't a wise person be able to convey their messages so that others can understand, even if what Person A is saying is incredibly profound?

Let's say you're trying to explain a concept to a 5 year old. Your failure to make them understand what you're trying to say is your failure, because a 5-year-old does not have the faculties to comprehend certain things. And that would make you the fool.

Now other people are not 5 years old. But, for whatever reason, they do not have the faculties to comprehend what you are saying. I would still hold that it is Person A's fault. Because if someone does not comprehend what you are saying, then you need to explain it to them in a way they will understand.

If a child cannot understand something I am trying to say to that child, then I am the fool. I think the same goes for everyone else, in most cases.
annhasle
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4/7/2011 10:55:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/7/2011 2:30:18 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 4/6/2011 8:05:22 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 4/5/2011 8:42:16 AM, nonentity wrote:
I would argue Person A is the fool.

If you cannot express your thoughts without confusion ensuing, that is a signal that either, a) you did not fully explain or justify or b) you posted something moronic. On this site, it's usually b. My biggest pet peeve is those who are purposefully vague or oblique as though that will advance the conversation. They pose as enlightened but I find them to be the most aggravating -- and they are almost always Person A. I find such a person to be more foolish.


You'd probably feel less aggravated if you asked honest questions when you don't understand something, instead of presuming that you actually understand.

I see no reason to derail this thread into another fight. If you have a problem with the way I address people in conversations or how I ask questions, then send me a PM.

You can't blame person A if they are completely willing to help the other person understand what they are saying if only they'd ask.

Did I ever state otherwise? No.

But I do recall you posting, "Yes, I'm fully aware that you don't know what I'm talking about. >.>" when badger asked a honest question... Why are you not willing to clarify what YOU post?

Now, the reason Person B is not dubbed the most foolish -- in my opinion -- is quite simple. Can you really be considered an idiot for not understanding something which was posted with the intent to cause confusion? Of course not.

How can you say that something was posted with the intent to cause confusion if you don't understand it? When you jump to conclusions, you turn into the fool.

It's quite obvious when someone posts for a reaction rather than furthering intellectual conversation. And when they're being purposefully vague for the illusion of enlightenment -- then they are the fools.


And if the message wasn't posted with the intent to cause confusion but was instead a serious attempt to join into the conversation -- Person A is still foolish. Not being able to understand a bogus post is definitely not the reader's fault if the post IS bogus. That's like getting mad at Coca-Cola for tasting like Coca-Cola; if it is made of Coca-Cola, then it will taste like Coca-Cola. Same with the post; if it is made of bogus, then it is bogus and therefore not understandable by definition. That is not the fault of the reader but really the writer.

So overall, Person A is the fool.

You're entire position is an arrogant assumption that if someone says something that doesn't make sense to you right away, that means what they say is bogus.

Not at all. If someone has something sensible to say, they should be able to express it in such a way that the normal person can understand it. Even the deepest of thoughts can be extrapolated. But what is bogus (and I am willing to call anything purposefully misleading or vague bogus) will not be understood. If you actually read what I wrote, you'd notice that I didn't condemn everything I do not understand as bogus.

It is a position that fits the very definition of fool, and is counterproductive to gaining actual understanding.

Your assessment of what I wrote is invalid. Read it again.

There is a reason that when you get into the higher levels of education, the books tend to be written in hard to understand English. It is because to properly understand something, you MUST understand the language. If you seriously want to educate yourself, authors intentionally make it so that the use of a dictionary is mandatory.

Aren't you the one who argues against semantics? I've asserted multiple times that language which then leads to agreement on terms is mandatory while you've asserted that semantics is for idiots.

The difference between a fool and a non-fool is a matter of communication. A fool is easily lost in semantics, because they do not understand the language. They do not bother to make an attempt at understanding the language. At the same time, when talking to someone, they do not make the attempt to understand the other person.

With one sentence, you assert that language is a MUST and that definitions are useful. And then the next, you condemn all who study language and the very study OF language (semantics). Make up your mind.

If someone is telling you that you do not understand them, it is probably for good reason. An arrogant person with a poor understanding of linguistics is nearly impossible to communicate with, and should either be ignored, or mocked when they persist in openly displaying their ignorance and stupidity.

No one has ever told me that they don't understand me. They've asked me to expound upon certain contentions but never out of confusion -- so this is hardly a concern of mine. However, I have posted "I don't understand X. Etc., etc., etc." A couple times it was directed at you. And I've never gotten a straight answer -- but I don't expect much from fools.

Fools are the embodiment of arrogant stupidity when it comes to communication. If they weren't so humorous, I'd probably advocate rounding them up and pressing them into slave labor. After an honest attempt at breaking their egos and getting them to the point to where they can be educated of course. They are the scum of the earth, and deserve whatever hell and suffering they bring onto themselves.

I have no pity for fools.

Obviously.

I do not care about your dislike of fools. It has nothing to do with my assessment of who is the fool.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Cliff.Stamp
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4/7/2011 11:02:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/7/2011 10:55:48 PM, annhasle wrote:

I do not care about your dislike of fools. It has nothing to do with my assessment of who is the fool.

On a curious note, by your logic, if you can not make him understand you, you are a fool. And if he disagrees, then by his logic he is the fool.
annhasle
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4/7/2011 11:05:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/7/2011 11:02:39 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 4/7/2011 10:55:48 PM, annhasle wrote:

I do not care about your dislike of fools. It has nothing to do with my assessment of who is the fool.

On a curious note, by your logic, if you can not make him understand you, you are a fool.

He understands me. He's just making invalid assumptions about what I have posted.

And if he disagrees, then by his logic he is the fool.

What logic? :P
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
FREEDO
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4/8/2011 1:40:13 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The scenario does not depict who the fool is. It simply depends. Usually, they are both fools.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
nonentity
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4/8/2011 10:12:47 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 1:40:13 AM, FREEDO wrote:
The scenario does not depict who the fool is. It simply depends. Usually, they are both fools.

There is that saying that if you argue with a fool, from a distance people can't tell which one is which :p

But if what Person A says is always incomprehensible and nobody understood him, I'd say he is the fool. Even if what Person A says is completely profound and yet nobody understands him, I would say he is the fool.
CosmicAlfonzo
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4/8/2011 11:44:18 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/7/2011 9:31:05 PM, nonentity wrote:
But Cosmic---shouldn't a wise person be able to convey their messages so that others can understand, even if what Person A is saying is incredibly profound?

Let's say you're trying to explain a concept to a 5 year old. Your failure to make them understand what you're trying to say is your failure, because a 5-year-old does not have the faculties to comprehend certain things. And that would make you the fool.

Now other people are not 5 years old. But, for whatever reason, they do not have the faculties to comprehend what you are saying. I would still hold that it is Person A's fault. Because if someone does not comprehend what you are saying, then you need to explain it to them in a way they will understand.

If a child cannot understand something I am trying to say to that child, then I am the fool. I think the same goes for everyone else, in most cases.

You cannot explain anything to someone who isn't actually willing to listen and wanting to learn. If you could, it would be a lot easier to fix our school system I'd imagine.

At the same time, take any dude considered to be wise, exceptionally intelligent, etc. If you actually understand what they are saying, it becomes obvious that most people don't.

I do not believe that the average child on the street is going to be interested in hearing *insert random theory, philosophy, etc*, even if it is described in a way that it could be put on Sesame Street. A pigheaded and arrogant adult is even worse than an inquisitive child

Failing to convey a message doesn't make you a fool. Some people will get what you are saying, others will never get what you are saying.

If you've ever had experience teaching, you'd realize how difficult it is to transfer information. When you teach(I give guitar and music theory lessons), you realize that conveying even the simplest idea can be like pulling teeth with certain slower students. One student will get it right away, and the next week they can show they have it. Another, you have to sit with and explain the exact same thing in many different ways until eventually one way clicks in their head.

I'm not even joking. Try to explain something to a red neck or a ghetto boy that goes outside of how they think things are. Try to explain something to a stupid and arrogant old lady who thinks she knows everything, and should have unquestioning authority due to her age. There are some people who can't be taught. They probably won't understand anything until you point a gun to their heads.

The old saying, "The mind is like a parachute, it doesn't work unless it is open" is true. You want to respond to information, you do not want to react to it. Most people are quick to react without having given something much thought. If they do not understand after thinking about it, that doesn't mean that they are foolish, that doesn't mean that the person conveying the message is foolish.. it means that questions need to be asked so that both sides are on the same page.

This simple concept of establishing mutual understanding when discussing things seems to be hard for people to grasp, and it is a simple. I'd like to think that it is obvious, and that anyone who understands me can say, "why yes, that's right, we do need to understand each other before we can have a meaningful conversation".

It is naive to think that person A can be called a fool for being incapable of conveying a message.

If you ask questions that aren't just thinly veiled attacks, and make an honest effort to understand, you'll have a lot easier of a time understanding what someone is saying.

Also, I will say this.. One can't be blamed if the reader skims a text, and doesn't pay attention to detail.

Conveying a message isn't about being wise really, wisdom in that context is little more than street cred in the ancient days. People were more likely to actually take the time to try to understand you if you are said to be wise. Otherwise, someone listens to what you say, and laughs without giving it much deeper thought. Ideas stand on their own, and even a fool can say profound things. A wise person would be able to pick out the corny nuggets of wisdom from the load of sh!t that comes out of a fools mouth. A fool immediately dismisses anything another fool says as BS.. Or they immediately believe anything another says. A fool is simply someone who lacks discernment.

Everyone is foolish to some extent. You could argue that a "wise" man would simply not say anything, because a wise man knows that people are not going to immediately understand him. Just by speaking, you've become a fool. Course, where is the fun in that? That's far too serious of an outlook to take. A true wise man probably wouldn't give a sh!t about whether the people around him understood him or not, because he'd probably be laughing at everyone the whole time.

TL;DR - No one gives a fvck.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Cliff.Stamp
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4/8/2011 11:53:08 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/7/2011 11:05:45 PM, annhasle wrote:

He understands me. He's just making invalid assumptions about what I have posted.

And how do you think he would comment in regards to what you are saying?
nonentity
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4/8/2011 12:04:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 11:44:18 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:

You cannot explain anything to someone who isn't actually willing to listen and wanting to learn. If you could, it would be a lot easier to fix our school system I'd imagine.

You're assuming that if someone doesn't want to be taught, they won't understand what you are saying. Some people understand perfectly well what you are saying, they just don't agree with you.


At the same time, take any dude considered to be wise, exceptionally intelligent, etc. If you actually understand what they are saying, it becomes obvious that most people don't.

I do not believe that the average child on the street is going to be interested in hearing *insert random theory, philosophy, etc*, even if it is described in a way that it could be put on Sesame Street. A pigheaded and arrogant adult is even worse than an inquisitive child

Failing to convey a message doesn't make you a fool. Some people will get what you are saying, others will never get what you are saying.

But just because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean you can automically say that they "don't understand" you.

So if someone doesn't understand something you are saying, it is your job to make them understand.


If you've ever had experience teaching, you'd realize how difficult it is to transfer information. When you teach(I give guitar and music theory lessons), you realize that conveying even the simplest idea can be like pulling teeth with certain slower students. One student will get it right away, and the next week they can show they have it. Another, you have to sit with and explain the exact same thing in many different ways until eventually one way clicks in their head.


I have had the experience of teaching. I've taught math, English, and a pre-kindergarten class. And I can tell you it's incredibly easier to teach math to 11-year-olds who already have a basic understanding of it, than to teach the alphabet to a bunch of 4-year-olds. I failed at teaching the alphabet to 4-year-olds. Does that make them foolish? No. I was foolish for not being able to teach it.

I'm not even joking. Try to explain something to a red neck or a ghetto boy that goes outside of how they think things are. Try to explain something to a stupid and arrogant old lady who thinks she knows everything, and should have unquestioning authority due to her age. There are some people who can't be taught. They probably won't understand anything until you point a gun to their heads.


Again, the fact that you think people need to be "taught" only shows arrogance. If you are trying to "teach" everyone, how can you be willing to learn?

If Person A and Person B are in disagreement, and Person A claims "You just don't understand what I am saying", Person B can turn around and say the exact same thing.

Just because someone disagrees with you, does not mean they do not understand what you are saying.

The old saying, "The mind is like a parachute, it doesn't work unless it is open" is true. You want to respond to information, you do not want to react to it. Most people are quick to react without having given something much thought. If they do not understand after thinking about it, that doesn't mean that they are foolish, that doesn't mean that the person conveying the message is foolish.. it means that questions need to be asked so that both sides are on the same page.


How can Person A be "open-minded" if Person A's intent is simply to "teach" Person B?

This simple concept of establishing mutual understanding when discussing things seems to be hard for people to grasp, and it is a simple. I'd like to think that it is obvious, and that anyone who understands me can say, "why yes, that's right, we do need to understand each other before we can have a meaningful conversation".

It is naive to think that person A can be called a fool for being incapable of conveying a message.


If Person A cannot explain themselves in a way that Person B can understand, then Person A is a fool. I'm currently dating someone whose third language is English. When I speak to him, my vocabulary changes. Of course, I'm not going to speak third grade English to everybody. But when I speak to him, I change the way I speak. If you cannot tailor the way you speak to your audience and say things in a way your audience can understand, that makes you a fool.

This is long so I'll post a second post.
Ore_Ele
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4/8/2011 12:11:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/5/2011 8:42:16 AM, nonentity wrote:
I made a thread about this before, a long time ago, but there are new people in the forums so I'm looking for more perspectives.

I'm not going to specifically call anyone out (lol you know who you are) but I've been seeing this a lot lately.

Anyway, the question is this: who is the fool---Person A, who can't get his message across or Person B who can't understand Person A's message?

Depends on the individual case. But most likely, "the other person" is the fool. Meaning that Person A will believe that B is the fool, and B will believe that A is the fool.
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nonentity
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4/8/2011 12:14:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 11:44:18 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:

If you ask questions that aren't just thinly veiled attacks, and make an honest effort to understand, you'll have a lot easier of a time understanding what someone is saying.


That's where logic comes in. If Person B simply does not understand what Person A is saying, it is Person A's job to think of a different argument, or provide analogies or examples.

Also, I will say this.. One can't be blamed if the reader skims a text, and doesn't pay attention to detail.

That is true. But it would be Person A's job to tailor their response to their audience. If you know Person B will only skim the text, and you know Person B has a limited attention span, use fewer words.

Conveying a message isn't about being wise really, wisdom in that context is little more than street cred in the ancient days. People were more likely to actually take the time to try to understand you if you are said to be wise. Otherwise, someone listens to what you say, and laughs without giving it much deeper thought. Ideas stand on their own, and even a fool can say profound things. A wise person would be able to pick out the corny nuggets of wisdom from the load of sh!t that comes out of a fools mouth. A fool immediately dismisses anything another fool says as BS.. Or they immediately believe anything another says. A fool is simply someone who lacks discernment.

Everyone is foolish to some extent. You could argue that a "wise" man would simply not say anything, because a wise man knows that people are not going to immediately understand him. Just by speaking, you've become a fool. Course, where is the fun in that? That's far too serious of an outlook to take. A true wise man probably wouldn't give a sh!t about whether the people around him understood him or not, because he'd probably be laughing at everyone the whole time.


A true wise man would not argue with a fool.

Like I said, it is Person A's job to come up with analogies and examples that Person B will be able to understand, as well as to use language that Person B will be able to understand.

I realize that sometimes it's like trying to explain quantam physics to a monkey... but in most cases, it's not. And if you cannot reduce your ideas to concepts simple enough for anyone else to understand, then you are the fool.
nonentity
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4/8/2011 12:15:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 12:11:12 PM, OreEle wrote:

Depends on the individual case. But most likely, "the other person" is the fool. Meaning that Person A will believe that B is the fool, and B will believe that A is the fool.

But as a third party, who would you observe to be the fool? Regardless of who you agreed with.
Ore_Ele
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4/8/2011 12:25:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 12:15:41 PM, nonentity wrote:
At 4/8/2011 12:11:12 PM, OreEle wrote:

Depends on the individual case. But most likely, "the other person" is the fool. Meaning that Person A will believe that B is the fool, and B will believe that A is the fool.

But as a third party, who would you observe to be the fool? Regardless of who you agreed with.

It would depend on what attempts each side made. Who attempted to use standard communication principles (i.e. grammar, proper definitions, and such). There is no one side that is always the fool in that kind of disagreement, it could be either.
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Ore_Ele
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4/8/2011 12:41:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 12:14:27 PM, nonentity wrote:
At 4/8/2011 11:44:18 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:

If you ask questions that aren't just thinly veiled attacks, and make an honest effort to understand, you'll have a lot easier of a time understanding what someone is saying.


That's where logic comes in. If Person B simply does not understand what Person A is saying, it is Person A's job to think of a different argument, or provide analogies or examples.

Also, I will say this.. One can't be blamed if the reader skims a text, and doesn't pay attention to detail.

That is true. But it would be Person A's job to tailor their response to their audience. If you know Person B will only skim the text, and you know Person B has a limited attention span, use fewer words.

Conveying a message isn't about being wise really, wisdom in that context is little more than street cred in the ancient days. People were more likely to actually take the time to try to understand you if you are said to be wise. Otherwise, someone listens to what you say, and laughs without giving it much deeper thought. Ideas stand on their own, and even a fool can say profound things. A wise person would be able to pick out the corny nuggets of wisdom from the load of sh!t that comes out of a fools mouth. A fool immediately dismisses anything another fool says as BS.. Or they immediately believe anything another says. A fool is simply someone who lacks discernment.

Everyone is foolish to some extent. You could argue that a "wise" man would simply not say anything, because a wise man knows that people are not going to immediately understand him. Just by speaking, you've become a fool. Course, where is the fun in that? That's far too serious of an outlook to take. A true wise man probably wouldn't give a sh!t about whether the people around him understood him or not, because he'd probably be laughing at everyone the whole time.


A true wise man would not argue with a fool.

A "true wise man" (since really, we are only using our own opinions on this) would try to communicate with "a fool" (he would not know that the fool is a fool until after communicating) and teach the fool. But would know when to give up.


Like I said, it is Person A's job to come up with analogies and examples that Person B will be able to understand, as well as to use language that Person B will be able to understand.

I realize that sometimes it's like trying to explain quantam physics to a monkey... but in most cases, it's not. And if you cannot reduce your ideas to concepts simple enough for anyone else to understand, then you are the fool.

simplifing ideas also runs the risk of making them fallacious. For example, if I try to tell someone how a computer works, and simplify it down to "you plug it in, push this button, and it works," that is the super-simplified way, and many people would understand that (while the vast majority will not understand how it truely works), but it is not accurate.
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CosmicAlfonzo
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4/8/2011 2:56:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 12:04:53 PM, nonentity wrote:
At 4/8/2011 11:44:18 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:

You cannot explain anything to someone who isn't actually willing to listen and wanting to learn. If you could, it would be a lot easier to fix our school system I'd imagine.

You're assuming that if someone doesn't want to be taught, they won't understand what you are saying. Some people understand perfectly well what you are saying, they just don't agree with you.


I'm able to tell the difference.


At the same time, take any dude considered to be wise, exceptionally intelligent, etc. If you actually understand what they are saying, it becomes obvious that most people don't.

I do not believe that the average child on the street is going to be interested in hearing *insert random theory, philosophy, etc*, even if it is described in a way that it could be put on Sesame Street. A pigheaded and arrogant adult is even worse than an inquisitive child

Failing to convey a message doesn't make you a fool. Some people will get what you are saying, others will never get what you are saying.

But just because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean you can automically say that they "don't understand" you.

So if someone doesn't understand something you are saying, it is your job to make them understand.


I don't know where this "You don't agree with me, so that means that you don't understand me" business comes from.

I don't think you understand that this whole time I've been flat out saying that some people are not willing to understand, and would rather just argue for the sake of arguing. No matter how lucidly you speak, they still don't get it, because they aren't interested in getting it.

I know when I'm in the position of person A, I do my best to help people understand. People who take an aggressive stance from the start tend to ignore you when you address their misunderstandings.

If you've ever had experience teaching, you'd realize how difficult it is to transfer information. When you teach(I give guitar and music theory lessons), you realize that conveying even the simplest idea can be like pulling teeth with certain slower students. One student will get it right away, and the next week they can show they have it. Another, you have to sit with and explain the exact same thing in many different ways until eventually one way clicks in their head.


I have had the experience of teaching. I've taught math, English, and a pre-kindergarten class. And I can tell you it's incredibly easier to teach math to 11-year-olds who already have a basic understanding of it, than to teach the alphabet to a bunch of 4-year-olds. I failed at teaching the alphabet to 4-year-olds. Does that make them foolish? No. I was foolish for not being able to teach it.


I never said that made them foolish. I thought I made it quite clear that not understanding something right away is not an indicator of foolishness. As long as you are still open to learning, and do not adopt an arrogant attitude while being taught something, I wouldn't say you are foolish.

There is a difference between ignorance and foolishness. It'll take time to teach the alphabet to those 4 year olds, but I wouldn't call you foolish simply because they don't grasp it right away. After all, those are a lot of letters to memorize.

I'm not even joking. Try to explain something to a red neck or a ghetto boy that goes outside of how they think things are. Try to explain something to a stupid and arrogant old lady who thinks she knows everything, and should have unquestioning authority due to her age. There are some people who can't be taught. They probably won't understand anything until you point a gun to their heads.


Again, the fact that you think people need to be "taught" only shows arrogance. If you are trying to "teach" everyone, how can you be willing to learn?


I'm making broad general statements. Take into account the context of a situation where you are with a fool, and they are about to do something stupid that could potentially cause harm to themselves and others. If you actually know something about what they are doing, don't you think it would be a good idea to at least make an attempt at warning them that they are performing a certain action wrong?

This is what I'm talking about.

If Person A and Person B are in disagreement, and Person A claims "You just don't understand what I am saying", Person B can turn around and say the exact same thing.

Just because someone disagrees with you, does not mean they do not understand what you are saying.


I already addressed most of this, but of course Person A and Person B could claim that the other doesn't understand the other. They both probably don't understand each other.. It basically comes down to reading what is said, and determining who is actually paying more attention to the other person.

Or, you could just ignore the bickering ninnies, because it doesn't really matter, right? XP

The old saying, "The mind is like a parachute, it doesn't work unless it is open" is true. You want to respond to information, you do not want to react to it. Most people are quick to react without having given something much thought. If they do not understand after thinking about it, that doesn't mean that they are foolish, that doesn't mean that the person conveying the message is foolish.. it means that questions need to be asked so that both sides are on the same page.


How can Person A be "open-minded" if Person A's intent is simply to "teach" Person B?


By listening to the other person, and making an attempt at establishing mutual understanding. Person A could simply be teaching their opinion. Person A doesn't necessarily have to be teaching anything as fact, they could just be giving an opinion.

Person A can listen to contradicting opinions, but contradicting opinions are utterly worthless if Person B doesn't have an understanding of Person A's opinion.

When 2 people get to the point to where they are discussing meaning, and they both know what the other is talking about, discussion is more productive. The closer 2 sides are to understanding each other, the more productive and informative the conversation is to both.

Even when you have a discussion with 2 people who agree with each other, there are bound to semantical misunderstandings, and these are able to be cleared up if both sides are patient and willing to take the time necessary to get back on the same page.

This simple concept of establishing mutual understanding when discussing things seems to be hard for people to grasp, and it is a simple. I'd like to think that it is obvious, and that anyone who understands me can say, "why yes, that's right, we do need to understand each other before we can have a meaningful conversation".

It is naive to think that person A can be called a fool for being incapable of conveying a message.


If Person A cannot explain themselves in a way that Person B can understand, then Person A is a fool. I'm currently dating someone whose third language is English. When I speak to him, my vocabulary changes. Of course, I'm not going to speak third grade English to everybody. But when I speak to him, I change the way I speak. If you cannot tailor the way you speak to your audience and say things in a way your audience can understand, that makes you a fool.


communication on a 1 on 1 basis is easier than communicating with a group. Even then, there are some people who simply cannot be communicated with, because they are fundamentally dishonest. Believe it or not, there are people who will just argue for the sake of arguing, and they are not interested in having an insightful conversation. They are the fools I'm talking about.

Person A or B are fools if t
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CosmicAlfonzo
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4/8/2011 2:56:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 12:14:27 PM, nonentity wrote:
At 4/8/2011 11:44:18 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:

If you ask questions that aren't just thinly veiled attacks, and make an honest effort to understand, you'll have a lot easier of a time understanding what someone is saying.


That's where logic comes in. If Person B simply does not understand what Person A is saying, it is Person A's job to think of a different argument, or provide analogies or examples.


Yes, this is true. However, if you are dealing with a person who isn't making an honest effort to understand, person B would then be the fool.

This isn't as simple as Person A says something, Person B doesn't understand.. Who is the fool? Further rounds of discourse would have to take place before such a judgement could be made, if such a judgement is necessary to make at all.

Also, I will say this.. One can't be blamed if the reader skims a text, and doesn't pay attention to detail.

That is true. But it would be Person A's job to tailor their response to their audience. If you know Person B will only skim the text, and you know Person B has a limited attention span, use fewer words.


To be honest, if person B is too lazy to read something before responding, they've already established themselves as a fool, or at least have made a foolish move.

Conveying a message isn't about being wise really, wisdom in that context is little more than street cred in the ancient days. People were more likely to actually take the time to try to understand you if you are said to be wise. Otherwise, someone listens to what you say, and laughs without giving it much deeper thought. Ideas stand on their own, and even a fool can say profound things. A wise person would be able to pick out the corny nuggets of wisdom from the load of sh!t that comes out of a fools mouth. A fool immediately dismisses anything another fool says as BS.. Or they immediately believe anything another says. A fool is simply someone who lacks discernment.

Everyone is foolish to some extent. You could argue that a "wise" man would simply not say anything, because a wise man knows that people are not going to immediately understand him. Just by speaking, you've become a fool. Course, where is the fun in that? That's far too serious of an outlook to take. A true wise man probably wouldn't give a sh!t about whether the people around him understood him or not, because he'd probably be laughing at everyone the whole time.


A true wise man would not argue with a fool.

Like I said, it is Person A's job to come up with analogies and examples that Person B will be able to understand, as well as to use language that Person B will be able to understand.

I realize that sometimes it's like trying to explain quantam physics to a monkey... but in most cases, it's not. And if you cannot reduce your ideas to concepts simple enough for anyone else to understand, then you are the fool.

Yes, I never said that Person A was incapable of being the fool, I simply said that the problem was more complicated than that. Context is required, and so is a discussion about the misunderstanding.
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CosmicAlfonzo
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4/8/2011 2:58:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Also, I agree with what OreEle has said so far, he's basically saying what I'm saying.
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Cliff.Stamp
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4/8/2011 2:59:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 12:28:01 PM, nonentity wrote:
At 4/8/2011 12:25:31 PM, Sieben wrote:
I don't understand the OP

lol

What don't you understand about it?

Are you saying you don't understand Sieben's post?