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Author Topic: About terminology  (Read 8121 times)
Kester Pelagius
Member

Posts: 508


« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2002, 12:06:47 AM »

Greetings Irmo,

As this is my first post to you let me just take this opportunity to say "Hi!", and welcome.

Quote from: Irmo
Just to get started in this discussion, I challenge the validity of this paragraph, for a very simple reason.  We're not talking law and medicine here. We're talking roleplaying. All of us have a pretty good basic grasp of what roleplaying is for us, and what it can be for others. As such, all of use SHOULD be able to grasp the basic terminology. This isn't about two completely different academic fields, or about academia vs. lay people.


If you haven't already peruse my article Role-Playing and the GNS Theory[/color], might be interesting since some of the things mentioned in this thread are touched upon therein in general terms.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2002, 10:33:39 AM »

Quote from: Irmo

The issue is precisely that not everyone understands it.


That's an untennable standard, and leads to exactly the slippery slope that Mr. Mendes notes. I'm sure you don't mean to imply that while even one person does not understand the theory that we must change it until they do? That would lead to neverending changes, as there is no useful model that absolutely everyone can understand.

No, the standard must be that the terms must be suitable enough that the theory can be understood with effort, and taught when effort fails. And that has been proven to be the case many, many times here.

On another topic, while the audience here may not, strictly speaking, be academic, they are intelligent, and with effort have all been able to grasp the theory as presented. I would posit that a less adademic tone would have, in fact, confused even more people. The topic is complex, and as such requires complex description. To whit, every time someone writes a GNS for dummies (it's been done several times), it leads to more confusion than understanding.

Ron's only human, people; yes his presentation is, like every other ever made, imperfect. I find it irksome that people go so far to denigrate his efforts. That said, his efforts have not only been sufficient for the needs of many, but incredibly helpful to a great number of people. I see few other people contributing to the discourse as much as he does, and he deserves accolades for bringing the discourse to a higher level, not criticism for trying.

And in any case, speaking about academic tone in a thread that's supposed to be about terminology is missing the point a bit, no? I've seen nobody yet who's suggested that the terms are too academic or the like, so isn't this a case of misdirection?

Mike
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Irmo
Member

Posts: 258


« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2002, 11:08:12 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: Irmo

The issue is precisely that not everyone understands it.


That's an untennable standard, and leads to exactly the slippery slope that Mr. Mendes notes. I'm sure you don't mean to imply that while even one person does not understand the theory that we must change it until they do? That would lead to neverending changes, as there is no useful model that absolutely everyone can understand.


No. And I didn't. I was replying to the previous poster's remark that everyone understood the terminology.  But participants in this forum aren't everyone, but a)have experience with roleplaying and b)have given roleplaying some theoretical thought above and beyond the pure consumption as entertainment. Yet still, several quite obviously have problems.

Quote

No, the standard must be that the terms must be suitable enough that the theory can be understood with effort, and taught when effort fails. And that has been proven to be the case many, many times here.


No, the standard must be that someone who has a basic grasp of the issue can understand it, at least on a basic level.

Quote

On another topic, while the audience here may not, strictly speaking, be academic, they are intelligent, and with effort have all been able to grasp the theory as presented. I would posit that a less adademic tone would have, in fact, confused even more people. The topic is complex, and as such requires complex description. To whit, every time someone writes a GNS for dummies (it's been done several times), it leads to more confusion than understanding.


The problem in my opinion is precisely that the theory does NOT comply with academic standards. Complex and confusing aren't the same. I never argued for GNS for dummies, but what is necessary is clear and precise and uncontradictory definitions.

Quote

Ron's only human, people; yes his presentation is, like every other ever made, imperfect. I find it irksome that people go so far to denigrate his efforts. That said, his efforts have not only been sufficient for the needs of many, but incredibly helpful to a great number of people. I see few other people contributing to the discourse as much as he does, and he deserves accolades for bringing the discourse to a higher level, not criticism for trying.


Lack of contribution can have many reasons, and as I already pointed out, unnecessarily complex explanations tend to bog down fruitful discussion, while people try to figure out what the basic premise is rather than discussing it.

Quote

And in any case, speaking about academic tone in a thread that's supposed to be about terminology is missing the point a bit, no? I've seen nobody yet who's suggested that the terms are too academic or the like, so isn't this a case of misdirection?

Mike


Um, sorry, but I fail to see how this relates to what I said. But judging from what you said before, I have the feeling you misinterpreted what I said anyway.
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greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


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« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2002, 01:26:46 PM »

Irmo,

Having a grasp of role-playing and a sort-of loosey-goosey understanding of the reason I/they play does not entitle one as the lowest-common denominator.  Everyone has a "basic grasp of physics" too, because we're biologically wired for it -- however, some understand the actual scientific/academic study of such easily and some do not.

To me, the argument that "anyone who sort-of understands why they play role-playing games should be able to unerstand the theory at a glance" is an argument standing on the shaky, unrealistic grounds of equality.

Also, your description of terms is off-base.  You state that terms function as definitions for things...which I entirely disagree with.  Terms are shorthand for definitions.

Further, despite your argument with my statement*, the definitions of the terms appear to work just fine, once one gets past any personal confusion arising from the actual terms and what they seem to define as opposed to what they do define.

* which I note is not an argument with what the preciseness of the terms actually contained in the definitions in the theory, but rather a, "well, if you say this, then this other thing must be true because you said that first thing" without actually looking at and judging the second supposedly true fact.  In other words, we are not here to play intellectual games and piss back and forth in the wind -- if you actually have a beef with the definitions themselves, then say so, don't try to discredit them on anything but their own terms, or because I or anyone else misspoke, was unclear or gave a poor example.

And welcome to the Forge, BTW!
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Cassidy
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #49 on: November 11, 2002, 01:41:06 PM »

Some personal views...

I think the opinions that Irmo has expressed are quite valid and I share them to some extent.

I'd love to be able to direct the guys in my group to the Forge and say, "Hey, take a look at this GNS thing.", but I won't because I know that GNS would probably go right over most of their heads. The academic style in which it is written makes it largely inaccessible and prone to misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

As a consequence my own feeling is that GNS in it's current form will never reach the widespread audience that it probably deserves.

To their credit the participants in this forum (including Ron himself) are always willing to answer questions and explain aspects of the GNS text which at first reading may be difficult to grasp. For me their input has been invaluable. Frankly, I'd have been lost without it even though I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent and literate individual.

The academic style that GNS is written in and the level of debate that is present on this forum are somewhat intimidating. Unfortunately I'm no academic. I'm just a guy who like to roleplay and who wants to get the most from the hobby.

Me? I'll take what I can from GNS and try to put it to practical use in the games that I run which is I suppose is one motivation that Ron had for writing the article in the first place. i.e. for players to put his theory in practice. I'll give it a go.

As for actually modifying the text in an effort to accomodate a wider audience, that really is entirely up to Ron.

I personally feel that doing it would be beneficial.
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Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #50 on: November 11, 2002, 02:10:45 PM »

Since some of my comments seem to have provided the tinder for this thread, let me just weigh in, that I'm perfectly happy waiting for the next version of the essay to see if a change in presentation can help alleviate the issues.

I think Ron's made it amply clear that he's heard what people are saying and is taking it all under advisement.  I'm not really sure at this point there's any benefit to continueing on this thread.

Hopefully, the very busy Mr. Edwards will be able to complete the article in the not too distant future.  Until then, the theory is imminently useable, has been being used successfully for years (some of the newer members of the Forge may not realize just how long GNS has been around and how many games have been successfully designed drawing on its principals).  If it takes a little extra effort to explain, then at least for the time being, that can be something we all are aware of and can take into account.

Yes?
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Irmo
Member

Posts: 258


« Reply #51 on: November 11, 2002, 02:19:03 PM »

Quote from: greyorm

To me, the argument that "anyone who sort-of understands why they play role-playing games should be able to unerstand the theory at a glance" is an argument standing on the shaky, unrealistic grounds of equality.


Grounds that I never advocated. But people who have given roleplaying some THOUGHT rather than just playing should be able to come to a BASIC understanding, rather than struggling to understand what the heck people are talking about. That is not any less unrealistic than a patient gaining a basic understanding of the disease he is suffering from. Coincidentally, the latter is happening by the dozens in every major hospital and by the hundreds, if not thousands, around said hospital with outpatients. People suffering from chronic diseases are frequently VERY well informed because they can relate what they read to what they experience with their own body and mind. Likewise, a roleplayer should be able to relate what he reads to what he experiences around the gaming table, at least on a basic level. That's neither shaky, nor unrealistic, and you are the only one to bring up equality.

Quote

Also, your description of terms is off-base.  You state that terms function as definitions for things...which I entirely disagree with.  Terms are shorthand for definitions.


I think you might want to reread what I said. I never said anything to the contrary.

Quote

Further, despite your argument with my statement*, the definitions of the terms appear to work just fine, once one gets past any personal confusion arising from the actual terms and what they seem to define as opposed to what they do define.


So you say. But the only thing that illustrates is that the definitions are problematic.

Quote

* which I note is not an argument with what the preciseness of the terms actually contained in the definitions in the theory, but rather a, "well, if you say this, then this other thing must be true because you said that first thing" without actually looking at and judging the second supposedly true fact.  In other words, we are not here to play intellectual games and piss back and forth in the wind -- if you actually have a beef with the definitions themselves, then say so, don't try to discredit them on anything but their own terms, or because I or anyone else misspoke, was unclear or gave a poor example.


I don't think you understand what I have been saying at all, nor do you understand the gravity of being unclear. As long as someone doesn't understand the definitions, they can't discuss them on their own terms. That IS a problem, not the least when the "understanding" is largely on the part of proponents of the 'theory', since it makes it hard for the critic to determine whether "you don't understand" is a fact or a cop-out. It is in the very interest of the concept to be as clear as possible. Writing for the own standard of knowledge, rather than that of a target audience, is bad, extremely bad style. The purpose, as another poster already pointed out, is cited as "... to provide vocabulary and perspective that enable people to articulate what they want and like out of the activity, and to understand what to look for both in other people and in game design to achieve their goals." That defines the target audience NOT just as an elite group of people intent on metaphyscial discussion of roleplaying.

Whether I personally have a beef with the definitions I neither mentioned so far nor is it at issue. The point is that several people have problems with the meaning of the basic terms, precluding them from engaging in meaningful discussion about the theory itself despite their desire and effort to do so. The point is that the above-mentioned goal in the writing of "GNS AND OTHER MATTERS OF ROLE-PLAYING THEORY" is apparently not reached if extensive study is needed to come to even a basic grasp of the writings.
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JMendes
Member

Posts: 379


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« Reply #52 on: November 11, 2002, 04:06:38 PM »

Hey, Irmo, :)

I'm not going to dispute your points, as it seems that we are looking at the same situation through very different glasses and it would take ages before either one managed to convince the other.

However, I would like not to be misunderstood. So:

Quote from: Irmo
Quote from: JMendes
Well, what's gonna happen when some guy has a quibble with some other term that everyone understands, but manages to suggest an alternative that actually is a lot better? Do we change it?
The issue is precisely that not everyone understands it.


What I meant is, if we change it now because some people don't understand it, what's gonna happen when blah blah blah. Do we change it again?

In other words, what I was aiming at is that what the issue is today is rather irrelevant when faced with what utter chaos and mayhem might ensue in the face of such precedent. Again, and graphical language aside, this is all in my humblest of opinions.

Quote
Quote
So, and again this is all just my humble opinion, a policy of 'no changes unless the theory itself changes' just makes more sense. <emphasis added>
No, it doesn't make sense.


Do note the emphasis.

Cheers,

J.
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url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer
Irmo
Member

Posts: 258


« Reply #53 on: November 11, 2002, 04:34:31 PM »

Quote from: JMendes


Quote


What I meant is, if we change it now because some people don't understand it, what's gonna happen when blah blah blah. Do we change it again?

In other words, what I was aiming at is that what the issue is today is rather irrelevant when faced with what utter chaos and mayhem might ensue in the face of such precedent. Again, and graphical language aside, this is all in my humblest of opinions.


And I don't see why chaos and mayhem should ensue, given that the practice to revise terminology when it has become unsuitable is (and I quoted one example) commonplace in academia. Of course, it is entirely possible that your experience with academia is one of utter chaos and mayhem. It's not that rare  ;)
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Jonathan Walton
Member

Posts: 1309


WWW
« Reply #54 on: November 11, 2002, 05:09:23 PM »

Quote from: Cassidy
As for actually modifying the text in an effort to accomodate a wider audience, that really is entirely up to Ron.


Not completely.  I think there's a great deal that us game designers can do to educate people about modern game theory (including, but not limited, to GNS).  Personally, some of the more impressive works of roleplaying theory that I've read (GNS, Ergo, etc.) are written for game designers, not for players, and certainly not for the average joes on the street.  They are highly academic because they're discussing complicated topics, and rendering them in non-opaque language would take pages and pages.

However, the easiest way that I've found for teaching game theory is through examples.  Every time someone's said "well, if this happened, that would be fairly Narrativist" I've understood things much faster than by reading essays on theory.  Likewise, the easist way to teach game theory to the masses is to make games about it.  Afterall, everything I know about WWI-era geography, I learned from playing Diplomacy :)

Instead of those huge WW-style glossaries of in-game factions, wouldn't it be cool to include a glossary of game theory terms?  You wouldn't just be telling people what your game was about, you'd be telling them all the different ways they could play it.  Even better, reference game theory in the actual mechanics.  Storypunk is going to do this by having the players actually specify the different Stances they are taking in different parts of the game (part of the reason I've been obsessed with making sure I understand them).  They'll be learning game theory without even knowing that they are!

Also, waiting for Ron to be the "GNS Apostle" is silly.  Go ye and do likewise!  Anyone with half a brain can explain GNS, so why put all the responsibility on Ron?

Later.
Jonathan
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greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #55 on: November 11, 2002, 07:30:49 PM »

Irmo,

You defend yourself as not saying what I've accused you of saying, then went on to say precisely what I was arguing you said.  Somewhere along the line we're missing each other.

What you say about someone who has given thought to the matter being able to understand the theory is exactly what the definition I used ("anyone who sort-of understands why they play role-playing games").  I don't believe that this sort of lowest common denominator can be used effectively when attempting to define a theory, as some will simply find it easier to grasp than others -- thus there will be an endless amount of "dumbing down" to be done, possibly to the detriment of the theory.

The thing is that nearly everyone here, with a little work, understands the essay. This doesn't bode well, to my mind, of a need to rewrite the terms & definitions of the theory from their current state. It works, obviously, because almost everyone does get it.

Could they get it better if it were rewritten? Perhaps or perhaps not...and when do you stop rewriting for clarity? It isn't when "everyone gets it by reading it"...that state of affairs is a fiction.

So what is the precise, definable point you (Irmo) believe a rewrite could effectively be ceased?

In my mind, the current situation is no different from anything else: a little work is required to comprehend something new, for some it is easy, for some it is more difficult. Some will put in the effort, some will not.

As I've stated elsewhere, it took me a year to develop a solid understanding of GNS, but I have no problem with that and do not blame the essay.  It isn't like learning to tie your shoes, it is fairly in depth, with a number of nuances and critical thinking involved.

Related example: I still can't do algebra very well, nor am I particularly good at balancing my checkbook (without work)...this doesn't mean that math theory or application needs to be dumbed down even further for me so I can grasp it or "get it" right off.  It means I personally will have to work harder to get it.

Theory rarely "just clicks" for the majority, and attempting to make it so that it does so is an exercise in futility, because it never will do so.  Can it be clarified with more rigorous example?  Yes, I think it can be.

As to your defense about never having made the statement you did about terms, please reread your own post: "Terms are tools. They have one, and only one task: To describe the model."

I disagreed with this.  Terms are not there to describe the model.  Terms do not provide definition.  Hence my taking issue with your phrasing.

The terms are there to provide shorthand for the definitions.  Currently, the problem being discussed is that it is the terms themselves which are causing the problems with understanding said definitions, because of the nature of the terms chosen conflicting with the definitions they stand for.

Finally, as to my ability or lack thereof to understand the gravity of being unclear, that was not the issue.  The issue therein was: Do you yourself find the definitions themselves unclear?

Anything else -- my own understanding or lack thereof of the -- is really unfit for this discussion, as it does not guide towards a solution to the problem posed and will simply result in endless arguments where I can claim I DO TOO understand the gravity, and you can simply counter I DO NOT.

Thus, whether or not you have a beef with the definitions themselves is definitely at issue, because you, as a reader, are there to judge: Are the definitions too hard to understand as they stand?

If you think they are too hard to understand, then bring that up and, more importantly, why you found them to be so. Such a response can be dealt with on a solvable level, and can be discussed objectively and productively.

Edit: BTW, I apologize if the above sounds hostile or argumentative in tone; not my intention, so take any perceived tonal implications with a grain of salt.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Irmo
Member

Posts: 258


« Reply #56 on: November 17, 2002, 02:46:57 PM »

Quote from: greyorm
Irmo,

You defend yourself as not saying what I've accused you of saying, then went on to say precisely what I was arguing you said.  


No, I didn't.

Quote

Somewhere along the line we're missing each other.


Yes, and I think you are guilty of very cursory reading. I spoke of achieving a basic understanding, not an understanding at a glance.


Quote

What you say about someone who has given thought to the matter being able to understand the theory is exactly what the definition I used ("anyone who sort-of understands why they play role-playing games").


No, it isn't.  I spoke about giving the matter serious thought.

Quote

  I don't believe that this sort of lowest common denominator can be used effectively when attempting to define a theory, as some will simply find it easier to grasp than others -- thus there will be an endless amount of "dumbing down" to be done, possibly to the detriment of the theory.


I am sorry, but getting derogatory over other people's position won't give you any points. There is no dumbing down whatsoever involved in simplified explanation. I would suggest you actually look around more thoroughly in real life. I hold the equivalent of a Master's degree in chemistry. I am far from claiming that I fully understand quantum mechanics. But I have a basic grasp of the issue as far as I need it for my work. I know what the basic Schroedinger equation for a hydrogen atom looks like and what parts of it get more complicated and not accurately solvable when we come to more complex atoms and molecules. I know what Heisenberg's relation describes. But I am far from able to weild both as day-to-day tools, not having specialized in the field, and I have precious little idea about quarks. I am currently working towards a degree in molecular biology. I am far from claiming that I understand the medical implications of everything I do. But that doesn't keep me from understanding their basic concepts. As long as I don't actually attempt to treat someone, that is sufficient. I have already given you the example of patients, i.e. complete laypeople, coming to a basic understanding of the disease they suffer from. That has nothing to do with dumbing down, but with understanding on different levels.

The whole point, however, is a completely artificial argument, since it has no relationship whatsoever with the actual essay. Once again, the assay does not attempt to create a model system to be usable by an academic elite to describe a phenomenon. It is "to provide vocabulary and perspective that enable people to articulate what they want and like out of the activity, and to understand what to look for both in other people and in game design to achieve their goals. " with the explicit address of role-PLAYERS who "are tired, bitter, and frustrated." The address is not a handful of select game designers, but the playerbase, so that they can articulate what they want out of a game.


Quote

Could they get it better if it were rewritten? Perhaps or perhaps not...and when do you stop rewriting for clarity? It isn't when "everyone gets it by reading it"...that state of affairs is a fiction.


To answer your second question first: Never. Look around you: Basic textbooks are constantly being rewritten. I think the horror you have of refining the concept is a far greater danger for broad acceptance than the actual act. ANY academic model is CONSTANTLY being refined to comply with new data.

Quote

So what is the precise, definable point you (Irmo) believe a rewrite could effectively be ceased?


See above. But if at all you want to cease, then achieving its self-declared objective would be a pretty good point. And that is not to be understandable for a select elite, but providing a vocabulary for the community as a whole (with the stated exception of those who are perfectly happy in their RPG experience).

Quote

Related example: I still can't do algebra very well, nor am I particularly good at balancing my checkbook (without work)...this doesn't mean that math theory or application needs to be dumbed down even further for me so I can grasp it or "get it" right off.  It means I personally will have to work harder to get it.


It has, in fact, nothing to do with dumbing down. The goal of the essay is explicitly laid out. It is somewhat weird that you try to defend it against alterations by altering its intent yourself. But you again completely miss the fact that understanding is possible on very different levels. You might not be able to do algebra well, but you can obviously do it well enough to function in day-to-day life. And it was never the intention of algebra to provide a universally usable vocabulary.

Quote

Theory rarely "just clicks" for the majority, and attempting to make it so that it does so is an exercise in futility, because it never will do so.  


Then the goal of the essay is unachievable in your opinion?

Quote

As to your defense about never having made the statement you did about terms, please reread your own post: "Terms are tools. They have one, and only one task: To describe the model."

I disagreed with this.  Terms are not there to describe the model.  Terms do not provide definition.  Hence my taking issue with your phrasing.


Providing a full definition or not has nothing to do with describing the model. You say yourself that they are shorthand for definitions. As such, they abbreviate the full definition. They stand in its place. If they had no task in describing the model, there would be no point in having them. More, the definitions define the TERMS, not the model as a whole. Merriam-Webster: Definition "statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol", Term "a word or expression that has a precise meaning in some uses or is peculiar to a science, art, profession, or subject". If the definition fails to describe the term, then it fails in its objective.

Quote

Finally, as to my ability or lack thereof to understand the gravity of being unclear, that was not the issue.  The issue therein was: Do you yourself find the definitions themselves unclear?


Um, no, sorry, that was not at all the issue. It is in fact completely irrelevant to the case.

Quote

Thus, whether or not you have a beef with the definitions themselves is definitely at issue, because you, as a reader, are there to judge: Are the definitions too hard to understand as they stand?

If you think they are too hard to understand, then bring that up and, more importantly, why you found them to be so. Such a response can be dealt with on a solvable level, and can be discussed objectively and productively.


I didn't start this thread, but if you go back at its beginning, you will find that there ARE people who find it too hard to understand. That makes my own understanding completely irrelevant. As long as there are people who don't understand it, the essay FAILS in its objective. It is only by ignoring that objective that any of your points actually can get some weight.
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greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


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« Reply #57 on: November 18, 2002, 08:48:01 AM »

Irmo,

I'm not sure if you have, but if not, now might be a good time to read the discussion etiquette rules for this forum (check "Site Discussion"); I mention this because dissecting posts to reply line-by-line is frowned upon, which I realize is unlike the majority of other discussion forums on-line (you will find the Forge is atypical in regards internet disussion).

Unfortunately, you've stated only denials of previous statements you have made, though no clarifications for me, thus I find much of your post impossible to respond to.  For example, you may maintain you "did not," and this is impossible to respond to, for we will go around and around in a "did so" and "did not" competition.  I have no answer to this sort of argument.

Also, the degrees you may have or be studying for, your IQ or EQ, or other similar pedigrees is irrelevant to the discussion (I think it would have been possible for you to easily make your point without mentioning these facts), though I do see the analogy you are drawing:  I simply don't agree it is the correct one.

As you believe your own reaction to the terminology and so forth are irrelevant to the issue, there is no common ground here for discussion between us, as I believe quite the opposite (that your reaction is relevant).  I have no basis to respond to any problems other than you say "it's broken."

If it is, please feel free to give Ron specific examples of how it is broken, and if possible suggest changes in line with your stated goal for clarification...a number of other individuals have already done so.

Given all that, I let what I've said already stand on its own as my final explanation as to why things are the way they are.

Also, I'm confused by what you mean by "derogatory" in regards to my statement.  Are you stating I was being derogatory towards you in my response?  If so, I apologize, but I am uncertain what you find to be insulting, or whom you believe I am insulting (if not yourself)?  Could you please clarify this?  (privately, preferably, as it is off-topic)

Another of the things I can respond to is to note that I make a serious distinction between "rewritten" and "clarification," the latter which I have no problem with, but find no reason for the outcry for the former, given the reasons stated already about people who do get it after some work (this includes nearly everyone here).

Finally, the choice in this matter ultimately isn't mine, as it isn't my essay.  What Ron chooses to do is ultimately up to Ron.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Irmo
Member

Posts: 258


« Reply #58 on: November 18, 2002, 09:56:58 AM »

Quote from: greyorm
Irmo,

I'm not sure if you have, but if not, now might be a good time to read the discussion etiquette rules for this forum (check "Site Discussion"); I mention this because dissecting posts to reply line-by-line is frowned upon, which I realize is unlike the majority of other discussion forums on-line (you will find the Forge is atypical in regards internet disussion).

Unfortunately, you've stated only denials of previous statements you have made, though no clarifications for me, thus I find much of your post impossible to respond to.  For example, you may maintain you "did not," and this is impossible to respond to, for we will go around and around in a "did so" and "did not" competition.  I have no answer to this sort of argument.

Also, the degrees you may have or be studying for, your IQ or EQ, or other similar pedigrees is irrelevant to the discussion (I think it would have been possible for you to easily make your point without mentioning these facts), though I do see the analogy you are drawing:  I simply don't agree it is the correct one.

As you believe your own reaction to the terminology and so forth are irrelevant to the issue, there is no common ground here for discussion between us, as I believe quite the opposite (that your reaction is relevant).  I have no basis to respond to any problems other than you say "it's broken."

If it is, please feel free to give Ron specific examples of how it is broken, and if possible suggest changes in line with your stated goal for clarification...a number of other individuals have already done so.

Given all that, I let what I've said already stand on its own as my final explanation as to why things are the way they are.

Also, I'm confused by what you mean by "derogatory" in regards to my statement.  Are you stating I was being derogatory towards you in my response?  If so, I apologize, but I am uncertain what you find to be insulting, or whom you believe I am insulting (if not yourself)?  Could you please clarify this?  (privately, preferably, as it is off-topic)

Another of the things I can respond to is to note that I make a serious distinction between "rewritten" and "clarification," the latter which I have no problem with, but find no reason for the outcry for the former, given the reasons stated already about people who do get it after some work (this includes nearly everyone here).

Finally, the choice in this matter ultimately isn't mine, as it isn't my essay.  What Ron chooses to do is ultimately up to Ron.


While I will adhere to the etiquette from now on, I consider the rationale absurd. There is a reason by the convention has developed as it developed: Since immediate followup-questions for clarification are not possible, it is otherwise impossible to quickly find out what precisely was being referred to. It has nothing to do with tearing something out of context, especially not when the rest of the text is quoted further down or the reference is linked. I think it is silly to attempt to revert a development that has happened precisely to avoid confusion.

As for your claims that I did not provide anything but "No, I didn't" and nothing for you to reply to, they are patently false. I specified EXACTLY where I think the misunderstanding lies, namely that you claim that I advocated at-a-glance understanding, and understanding by anyone, whereas I in fact spoke about BASIC understanding and by people who have given the matter some thought.

Sorry to say, but if you are unwilling to read my posts, there is not much sense in continuing a "discussion", in which you address completely made-up arguments I allegedly made instead of addressing what I actually said.

Lastly, you should finally settle down on a solid position, instead of skipping from one interpretation to the other. Either the essay has to be seen in an academic context, in which case academic parallels as I provided them are perfectly valid. Or it has to be seen in the light of the task it sets itself, in which case the posters who started this thread are testimony that it didn't achieve its task.

As for your failure to understand what I referred to with a derogatory attitude towards the position of others, referring to others' suggestions of a more clear explanation as a request for "dumbing down" is in my eyes not particularly polite.

Let me close by saying that making your own understanding the standard of clarification is un-academic, since academics lives through the exchange of information, making the understanding BY OTHERS the ledger, and it is not the least selfish, and can easily be seen as testimony of elitism.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #59 on: November 18, 2002, 10:56:31 AM »

Hello,

I am moderating. This thread is now closed.

Any further discussions of terminology are welcome to continue, based on substantive concerns or ideas, on their own threads, beginning with fully-articulated assertions or inquiries.

Best,
Ron
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