21 votes

What's something that you're pretty sure of, but can't really prove or demonstrate?

It's always nice to learn what going on people's minds!

30 comments

  1. [4]
    bhrgunatha
    Link
    The world is full of wonderful, kind and thoughtful people. Unfortunately we focus incessantly and almost exclusively on the relatively small amount of "bad actors". That includes despotic...

    The world is full of wonderful, kind and thoughtful people.

    Unfortunately we focus incessantly and almost exclusively on the relatively small amount of "bad actors". That includes despotic autocrats and dictators as well as that asshole at the coffee shop around the corner. the thoughtless woman next to you on the bus, or the car driver that just cut you off.

    We're made more aware of these thanks to the internet and modern media, but I think if you could measure and plot the graph of all the interactions you have daily, you'd see that the majority are neutral or above the "line of decency".

    I like the idea of a gratitude diary, where you force yourself every day to actively find and list and think about the things that happened to you today that you are grateful for.

    It's extremely hard at first. You feel awkward as hell and you strain to think of a single thing, but that's the whole point. We've been trained into putting attention on our base, instinctual, animalistic and emotional responses and not giving ourselves a chance to choose to let our higher cognitive faculties overcome them and to choose to focus on the brighter things instead of the darker.

    Like most habits, practise makes perfect.

    To re-iterate the question - this is my hunch but I have no proof.

    20 votes
    1. vord
      Link Parent
      There is much evidence of this, it is true. My hunch is that part of the problem is the bad actors being in power, and our current voting methods are at least partially responsible. The same...

      There is much evidence of this, it is true. My hunch is that part of the problem is the bad actors being in power, and our current voting methods are at least partially responsible.

      The same people who will vote to stamp out human rights will also just help random strangers in need. But our voting system, particularily party-based FPTP representation, encourages groupthink to absolve the self from the sins of the group.

      We revert to democracy by lot (representation via random lottery), paired with a healthy increase in direct democracy, and I'll bet a lot of systemic issues fade away.

      8 votes
    2. lou
      Link Parent
      I have a similar outlook on life. I was never able to write a diary, I'm a bit too lazy for that, but I find that praying helps me appreciate the many positive aspects of life that we overlook on...

      I have a similar outlook on life. I was never able to write a diary, I'm a bit too lazy for that, but I find that praying helps me appreciate the many positive aspects of life that we overlook on our day to day lives. We usually associate praying with asking for something, but praising life and thanking God for the good that comes to us is also important in my view.

      5 votes
  2. [9]
    lou
    (edited )
    Link
    So here's one of my intuitions: Americans of all political persuasions are more likely to be intensely preoccupied with language. I believe that, in the United States, the control over how...

    So here's one of my intuitions:

    Americans of all political persuasions are more likely to be intensely preoccupied with language. I believe that, in the United States, the control over how language must be used is viewed as something of the utmost importance, more so than other nations of similar characteristics. This is not to say that language is not widely debated elsewhere, but in the United States this theme seems even more preponderant. Discussions often revolve around words, expressions, and certain kinds of phrasing themselves. It's almost as if language is the actual issue, and not the things to which it refers. I also believe there's a connection to religion and puritanism here, evident in the apparent belief that curse words have the power to instantly corrupt the young and turn adults into degenerates. I must stress that I do believe that it is important to discuss and even police language, but I have the feeling that the modification of language can elicit a false sense of progress, while the underlying issues remain unresolved.

    15 votes
    1. [8]
      vord
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      A quick, simple example. Left uncensored because I think it highlights the gravitas of the situation. See also War on Drugs and Welfare Queens. "We're not talking aboyt systematic racism, it's...

      but I have the feeling that the modification of language can elicit a false sense of progress, while the underlying issues remain unresolved.

      A quick, simple example. Left uncensored because I think it highlights the gravitas of the situation.

      You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
      --Lee Atwater, famed Republican campaign manager

      See also War on Drugs and Welfare Queens. "We're not talking aboyt systematic racism, it's about economic and health for the country."

      Language gets warped and twisted by propaganda, the biggest export of the USA.

      12 votes
      1. [7]
        elcuello
        Link Parent
        A great example of the point @Lou is making. This shouldn't be necessary. It's a direct quote.

        Left uncensored because I think it highlights the gravitas of the situation.

        A great example of the point @Lou is making. This shouldn't be necessary. It's a direct quote.

        2 votes
        1. [6]
          lou
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I have a theory about that. Some gestures and utterances are actually transcendent in the sense that they'll always produce their effects regardless of quotes (they transcend). Some words have a...

          I have a theory about that. Some gestures and utterances are actually transcendent in the sense that they'll always produce their effects regardless of quotes (they transcend). Some words have a tendency to explode through all attempts to tame them, like a painting that grows beyond its frame.

          I'm actually black, and I won't write the n-word because even in an indirect context it might produce its negative effects. Another example is the Nazi salute.

          The main exception, I think, are works of fiction, because in that case industry parameters and the intrinsic workings of fictional worlds provide enough distancing to make the audience understand that the utterance of a particular slur must not transcend, since its effects are already staged in the movie, play, etc. But even then, there's a risk.

          4 votes
          1. [5]
            elcuello
            Link Parent
            I understand that and to be sure your point is understood the way you intended it you're just paving the way for any unnecessary sidetracks. But aren't you in some way upholding exactly what...

            I understand that and to be sure your point is understood the way you intended it you're just paving the way for any unnecessary sidetracks. But aren't you in some way upholding exactly what you're challenging then?

            2 votes
            1. [4]
              lou
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              I do believe that some words are better left unsaid. Certain expressions are so loaded with egregious history that it is impossible to reform. They're at the core of intense collective trauma. I...

              But aren't you in some way upholding precisely what you're challenging then?

              I do believe that some words are better left unsaid. Certain expressions are so loaded with egregious history that it is impossible to reform. They're at the core of intense collective trauma. I must recognize that. However, at the same time, I also believe that certain groups invest too much energy in the censorship and modification of language, to the point that more concrete matters are left untouched.

              They can also reduce the expressivity of an idiom, suppressing colorful vocabulary that is integral to a culture.

              I would never defend the notion that language, by itself, cannot carry terrible consequences. It most certainly can. But there's a balance to achieve, and radical language censors could benefit from a dose of moderation.

              2 votes
              1. [3]
                vord
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                FWIW, I generally agree with you. My contextual parameters are different, but then so is my life. For me, directly quoting uncensored is important, because I think it's important to see/hear...

                FWIW, I generally agree with you. My contextual parameters are different, but then so is my life.

                For me, directly quoting uncensored is important, because I think it's important to see/hear (especially hear) what and how something was uttered. Big difference these days between an old grandma saying negro because that was the PC term she knew in her youth, and a politician using the full n-word in their stump speeches. I'm broadly against all word-based censorship rather than intent-based, but especially online it's often hard to distinguish between them.

                Circling back to your one example, I don't Nazi salute, because I'm not one. I really do appreciate when the nazis do though, so I know they're nazis and don't have to work very hard to figure it out.

                The n-word in particular is one where I actually don't think censoring it via law is philosophically correct, though is very practicle. I think it amplifies the dogwhisling behavior we've seen, and makes it harder to weed out the explicit rascists. But I would love to see it disappear because we've managed to educate people enough to not want to use words like that.

                The problem of course being that online discussions are rarely the best platform for this kind of education, because it's insular and not very humanizing.

                1 vote
                1. [2]
                  lou
                  Link Parent
                  To be clear, I'm not defending a draconian enforcement of word prohibitions. There are instances in which it's necessary to quote and mention slurs verbatim. How else would researchers in history,...

                  To be clear, I'm not defending a draconian enforcement of word prohibitions. There are instances in which it's necessary to quote and mention slurs verbatim. How else would researchers in history, linguistics, and philosophy of language approach such subjects? But that is a careful approach, there's an epistemological apparatus supporting its use. I personally do not possess such apparatus, and I'm not prepared to deal with the consequences of using offensive slurs in regular conversation.

                  3 votes
                  1. vord
                    Link Parent
                    Oh no judgement, and agree typically not worth. But the discussion is veering into exactly what you mention, since my instinct is to think "are we using the word censorship the same way." I...

                    Oh no judgement, and agree typically not worth.

                    But the discussion is veering into exactly what you mention, since my instinct is to think "are we using the word censorship the same way."

                    I couldn't begin to guess why this is so, or if its exclusively American, but this thread is the first time I've kind of been aware of it in myself.

                    1 vote
  3. [3]
    FishFingus
    Link
    Ohh, various basic Cisco networking commands. I managed to squeeze in my assessment last ni- this morning, then squeeze in 3 hours of sleep after. :,)

    Ohh, various basic Cisco networking commands.

    I managed to squeeze in my assessment last ni- this morning, then squeeze in 3 hours of sleep after. :,)

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      th0mcat
      Link Parent
      router(config-if)# shit ^ % Invalid input detected at `^` marker. Heh, whoops router(config-if)# shut router(config-if)# no shit ^ % Invalid input detected at `^` marker. Goddamn it.
      router(config-if)# shit
                           ^
      % Invalid input detected at `^` marker.
      

      Heh, whoops

      router(config-if)# shut 
      router(config-if)# no shit 
                              ^
      % Invalid input detected at `^` marker.
      

      Goddamn it.

      2 votes
      1. FishFingus
        Link Parent
        Yeah, pretty much. Thank goodness for the Tab and ? help buttons, because I frequently forget what can be done in which mode. This time it was trying to set the DHCP and DND info to come from the...

        Yeah, pretty much. Thank goodness for the Tab and ? help buttons, because I frequently forget what can be done in which mode.

        This time it was trying to set the DHCP and DND info to come from the VLAN interface IP address (I think) that gave me enough aggro to give up early.

        2 votes
  4. autumn
    Link
    Dogs are capable of loving their people. That doesn’t mean all of them love their people. In fact, I’d argue that one of mine does not really give a hoot about me, haha.

    Dogs are capable of loving their people. That doesn’t mean all of them love their people. In fact, I’d argue that one of mine does not really give a hoot about me, haha.

    9 votes
  5. [5]
    drannex
    (edited )
    Link
    Consciousness does not exist. The laws of thermodynamics are only applicable in a vacuum, and are not in fact universal. Dark matter (or equivalent) is the result of information building upon...
    • Exemplary

    Consciousness does not exist.

    The laws of thermodynamics are only applicable in a vacuum, and are not in fact universal.

    Dark matter (or equivalent) is the result of information building upon itself as a verifiable history of events, I hate to say it, but a rough mental example would be in a form of a blockchain database to ensure continuity, but again, I despise that relation.

    Human clones exist, in some form, either in mind (cybernetically) or body, by atleast one government.

    ...alright, time to send me away, I get it.

    6 votes
    1. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Interesting. Precisely, what is the notion of consciousness which you believe does not exist?

      Consciousness does not exist.

      Interesting. Precisely, what is the notion of consciousness which you believe does not exist?

      4 votes
    2. mtset
      Link Parent
      Depending on your definition of cloning, this is done semi-regularly to acquire stem cells.

      Human clones exist, in some form, either in mind (cybernetically) or body, by atleast one government.

      Depending on your definition of cloning, this is done semi-regularly to acquire stem cells.

      3 votes
    3. Wolf
      Link Parent
      This is one of the coolest comments I've seen on Tildes!

      This is one of the coolest comments I've seen on Tildes!

      2 votes
  6. [3]
    Wolf
    Link
    I am pretty sure that everything is going to be okay. With the state of the world right now, it's hard to see beyond the doom and gloom. I was a prominent doomer for most of my life. But after...

    I am pretty sure that everything is going to be okay. With the state of the world right now, it's hard to see beyond the doom and gloom. I was a prominent doomer for most of my life. But after going through my worst years over the pandemic, I think I am really starting to believe that everything will end up okay. It won't be a utopia by any means, but it won't be as bad as people expect it to be. There will be pain but I think it's something we can manage and grow from. I think Americans especially need to hear this.

    8 votes
    1. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I wholeheartedly agree. If you look at the history of humankind, it is quite evident that we're incredibly adaptable and resilient as a species. I think it was Kami Sama from Dragonball that said:...

      I wholeheartedly agree. If you look at the history of humankind, it is quite evident that we're incredibly adaptable and resilient as a species. I think it was Kami Sama from Dragonball that said: "a lamp shines stronger right before it bursts". Evil seems stronger right before it fades. We're gonna be fine ;)

      4 votes
    2. inwardpath
      Link Parent
      I want to believe this, but I live in a privileged enough position in life that it feels privileged to do so. Sure, things might be okay for me ... but I honestly don't know about everyone else

      I want to believe this, but I live in a privileged enough position in life that it feels privileged to do so. Sure, things might be okay for me ... but I honestly don't know about everyone else

      3 votes
  7. [4]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Some data company out there has a profile on me that is more accurately and completely “me” than I am myself because their data stores don’t forget important parts of me over time like my own...

    Some data company out there has a profile on me that is more accurately and completely “me” than I am myself because their data stores don’t forget important parts of me over time like my own faulty human memory does and their algorithms are less susceptible to biasing things in my favor than my very self-serving human brain.

    My digital shadow yields a better composite of who I am than I ever could myself.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      You can relax. As someone who partly does work on internet advertising, you don’t need to worry about this. Profiles are terrible and generally don’t do a good job of describing people. Google has...

      You can relax. As someone who partly does work on internet advertising, you don’t need to worry about this. Profiles are terrible and generally don’t do a good job of describing people. Google has more data on me than anyone else in the world does and yet somehow they have no idea what I care about or think about any given thing. They have so many examples of me giving out basic facts about me and yet their advertising profiles can’t tell what gender I am.

      People get to know you by watching what you do or say. Most advertising companies only have your browser history. They don’t exactly have a full picture to build their profiles from.

      9 votes
      1. knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        My greatest comfort is knowing that for some reason advertisers are more aggressive after I've already bought the thing. It really demonstrates that they aren't tracking me that close.

        My greatest comfort is knowing that for some reason advertisers are more aggressive after I've already bought the thing. It really demonstrates that they aren't tracking me that close.

        4 votes
    2. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      That's a very interesting observation. However, since the algorithm cannot forget, one might also say that your digital profile is a less accurate representation of your current self.

      That's a very interesting observation. However, since the algorithm cannot forget, one might also say that your digital profile is a less accurate representation of your current self.

      5 votes
  8. EgoEimi
    Link
    All media—films, TV, music, books—is effectively propaganda, to some degree of benignity or malevolence, for life imitates art more than art imitates life. They can be positive, they can be...

    All media—films, TV, music, books—is effectively propaganda, to some degree of benignity or malevolence, for life imitates art more than art imitates life. They can be positive, they can be negative, but they're never doing only nothing. They're always moving some invisible needle in some way.

    If I were very young I would argue that there's no such thing as inappropriate media. I grew up consuming very mature media, playing violent video games and whatnot. I remember defenders of violent video games arguing that they're harmless.

    But now as a gay man observing the microcosm of gay culture, I can see that the community produces and consumes and in turn is shaped by its media. The most extreme example is how porn rewires men's expectations about sex — for both others and themselves.

    So surely other media is similarly molding people's conceptions of others and themselves. Not only about how they appear, but how their life purposes, life problems and their causes, threshold of thriving, etc.

    Artists are compelled to push boundaries. But it's long struck me how society and its cultural norms gradually expand to meet those boundaries, so new artists need to find new boundaries. I realized that's why it's hard to appropriately appreciate old ground-breaking media through my contemporary eyes: because the ground they broke is now subsumed in the mainstream.

    3 votes