Author Topic: Negativity  (Read 1203 times)

Demolition Squid

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Negativity
« on: December 12, 2014, 11:09:57 pm »
Do you ever get the feeling that other people view the world as though it were a photo negative?

'We don't provide enough for our poor or disabled, but THOSE PEOPLE let them starve to death in the gutter'
'We don't try to find common ground with our neighbours, but THOSE PEOPLE are actively attacking theirs'
'We aren't really offering you any choice, but THOSE PEOPLE don't get to vote at all.'
'We have sexism, racism, homophobia, but THOSE PEOPLE legislate to enshrine those things!'
'We commit torture, but THOSE PEOPLE bury their victims alive by the thousand.'

But you can't build a positive image out of negatives.

Telling people what you aren't says very little about what you are. The subtext is the most telling thing; it could be worse, so shut up. Idealism has become a dirty word, because who can afford to be idealistic in a world with so much horror?

People fall short of ideals, yes. That doesn't mean they aren't worth having, or that they should be ignored because it is hard to live up to them. The correct response to falling short of those ideals is not to shrug your shoulders and say 'well we tried but oh well', it is to strive to overcome those failings. Really work at it, not just say you will and then carry on exactly as before.

If the future is going to be better than the present, by definition, you have to believe that the present isn't as good as things are going to get. And that is, overwhelmingly, the sense I get sometimes. In fact, most people I talk to believe things are going to get worse.

Then, things DO get worse.

And nobody does much of anything.

Why would they?

That kind of negativity fits very nicely with their worldview.
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Doktor Howl

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Re: Negativity
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2014, 12:01:26 am »


But you can't build a positive image out of negatives.


This.  Very much this.
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The Johnny

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Re: Negativity
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 12:06:27 am »

Great part of it is the "us" vs. "them" mentality up to a certain point.

"We" do the best we can, with all the excuses and rationalizations for doing poorly.

But "them" they deliberately are doing a shitty job, and all their shortcomings are bullshit.

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Re: Negativity
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2014, 03:18:04 am »
Quote
People fall short of ideals, yes. That doesn't mean they aren't worth having, or that they should be ignored because it is hard to live up to them. The correct response to falling short of those ideals is not to shrug your shoulders and say 'well we tried but oh well', it is to strive to overcome those failings. Really work at it, not just say you will and then carry on exactly as before.


Thank you.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Negativity
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2014, 05:29:17 am »
I like this

I hope someone bumps it so I can remember to reread it and respond in more depth tomorrow.

ETA: accidental edit when I meant to quote, dammit.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 10:05:18 pm by Mesozoic Mister Nigel »
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


Nephew Twiddleton

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Re: Negativity
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2014, 05:47:37 am »
I like this

I hope someone bumps it so I can remember to reread it and respond in more depth tomorrow.

Bump
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Demolition Squid

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Re: Negativity
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2014, 09:06:13 am »
Thanks guys! I saw:



And it got me thinking along these lines. I'm glad you liked it!
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Re: Negativity
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2017, 03:38:48 pm »
BAMP

Anybody know how to get in touch with demosquid for permissions?
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The Wizard Joseph

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Re: Negativity
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2017, 03:49:23 pm »
I like this a LOT. Thanks for bumping! If you can get in touch with Demosquid ask if I can read this please. :)
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

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Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Negativity
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2017, 10:05:26 pm »
I like this

I hope someone bumps it so I can remember to reread it and respond in more depth tomorrow.


Oh hey, look at something I never did!

I'm supposed to be grading, so of course this is a perfect time to do this instead.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Negativity
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2017, 10:10:47 pm »
So, yeah, I think the OP is getting at something really important, and if there isn't a name for this in the psychology literature, there should be.

It's sort of a blame game; "people never..." seems to make some people feel absolved of any personal responsibility. I suspect we all do this, to some degree or another, but that it becomes pathological when this is the only response to a bad situation. It sort of combines the fallacy of relative deprivation with bystander effect and shifting the blame; this response also seems, IMO, pretty closely tied to simple cynicism. It all culminates in an individual who is determined to convince everyone around them that they can't do anything to change a bad situation, because nobody cares, people are doing it to themselves, and nobody can make a difference.

It's like a form of active apathy.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


The Wizard Joseph

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Re: Negativity
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2017, 10:18:31 pm »
Choosing to not care because *insert convenient assertion or partial fact*.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz: