Joe Jackson (email@example.com)
Thu, 14 Dec 2000 12:38:23 -0500
I think there are principles of relativism and principles of absolutism.
Some people are more relativist, they possibly view folks that are
relatively absolute as being inflexible. Some people are more absolutist,
and it is possible that they may see folks that are more reletive by
comparison as wishy-washy or standing for nothing.
Everyone is a combination of those two traits, and the degree to which they
see others having these traits is entirely in comparison to the degree they
experience the traits.
Using words like "inflexible" or "rigid" are just derogatory ways of saying
they "have integrity" or "principles". Using words like "wishy-washy" is a
derogatory way of saying relativists "see the whole picture" or are "more
Needless to say, painting folks more relativist as "flexible" and painting
folks that are more absolutist as "rigid" is a double standard, and in my
view not conductive to equitable exchange.
In fact, there is a growing trend in Internetland of the practice of
moderated listserves prohibiting metaconversations (conversations about
conversations) and attribution (addressing what someone else has said,
rather than freshly advancing an idea without reference to a previous
point). If those rules were in place here, many of the messages of the last
24 hours would have bee rejected.
I see that trend as being restrictive and somewhat extreme; I like having
freedom of speech in this list. But along with that feedom is that if we
want to post metaconversation we should be responsible about it, and
consider avoiding this "being right" thread, the invocation of which seeming
to comically suggest that we aren't all trying to "be right" every time we
click the "send" button.
I hope we can all agree that on our collective journey, our world needs both
principles of relativism, which allow for creative growth and the beauty of
learning, as well as principles of absolutism, which provide rock-solid
integrity and the non-capitulating protection of rights like liberty and
freedom for all.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of
> Eduardo Cortina
> Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2000 12:54 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: DSM: Education/Science
> Dear everyone on this discussion about rightness and freedom:
> I read once in a book a quote that went something like this:
> "Being right is a destination, I am merely on a journey."
> It was actually a Star Wars novel. In light of the work I do (I'm a
> massage therapist/bodyworker/T'ai Chi and martial artist instructor and
> in a training to become an Alexander Technique teacher) this made a lot
> of sense to me. When people try to be "right" they are literally
> arriving at a fixed place. And its not just mental, it is a
> psychophysical rigidity. Being on the journey, to me is freedom, and
> that also implies venturing into the unknown.
> In terms of my martial arts training and practice, I find that these
> people get upset easily, and are very easy to manipulate. Poeple who are
> more psychophysically flexible do not get un centered as easily, and when
> they do they can learn from it more quickly.
> Also thought I'd mention that it may be that adults who support the
> model, but didn't get the opportunity to actually experience it as
> students, not staff may have more of a tendency to be rigid in their
> thinking about the model. I've definitely noticed this within myself
> (having not had the privilege to attend a SM school). For me it was
> finding something that finally made sense, and so oftentimes I felt and
> feel like this is right, this is it, accompanied with a bitterness toward
> the system that I actually was a part of. I think the needing to be
> rightness comes out of the anger for the traditional system that we all
> had to endure. Anyway, this could open up a whole other discussion about
> adults who support the model's perspective vs. students of the model's
> perspective on the model.
> I guess I'm mentioning this in response to Stephanie's last post,
> because it might give you some perspective on why some adults (me
> included) might have a tendency to want to be right about the SVM, or get
> rigid at times in our arguments.
> On Thu, 14 Dec 2000 08:55:46 -0800 (PST) Stephanie Miller
> <email@example.com> writes:
> > --- Avenfeliz1@aol.com wrote:
> > > In a message dated 12/14/00 11:02:42 AM Eastern
> > > Standard Time,
> > > firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> > >
> > > << Kathleen, I believe my record of accurately
> > > quoting sources remains wicked
> > > good, as we say in northern New England.
> > >
> > > On 12-12-2000 at 10:07 pm you wrote "It wasn't a
> > > minority whining
> > > about "the white man keeping me down." When I
> > > wrote, "For all protests to
> > > the contrary, I believe this was a case of someone
> > > inferring, "the white man
> > > is keeping me down" what I quoted was accurate, I
> > > just disagreed with you.
> > > In the vernacular this means : just cause you say
> > > it ain't so doesn't mean
> > > it ain't so. I did not misquote you.
> > > >>
> > >
> > > Dawn,
> > > If it's so damned important to you to be right, I
> > > will give it to you.
> > > You're right, ok?
> > > Now, can we talk about the model?
> > > Kathleen
> > Dawn,
> > That you took all the time to prove your "rightness"
> > is absolutely sickening to me. Are you actually a
> > Sudbury advocate? You have little to no respect for
> > other people. My hope is that you respect children
> > more than you respect adults.
> > I believe you "did" take that quote out of context to
> > suit your needs.
> > Steph
> > __________________________________________________
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