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Forum Information => Forum News, Discussion, and Help => Topic started by: Nottoc on September 25, 2020, 11:10:11 pm

Title: Schadenfreude
Post by: Nottoc on September 25, 2020, 11:10:11 pm
Recently noticed a post by Roper saying we need to define just what is a political thread. (Is that like trying to create a legal definition of porn, versus an artistic nude that might be found in an art museum or art book?)

Well that reminded me of something I've been considering. I started to participate in a thread that later got moved to politics. After it got moved, I made (what I thought would be) one last post. And in that post I iterated what it was about political threads I disliked. The initial responses were (to me) surprisingly devoid of the aspects I dislike. So, I made one more. And then it started, but, I stuck to my guns and made one more reply hoping the messages were an anomaly. Well they weren't.

Which got me to thinking, why so many (extends to people beyond this board) like telling someone else just how wrong they are. And then I started thinking about a time in elementary school (that was late 60's for me, so you know this stuck with me) the art teacher started with dozens of segments of string draped around her neck. Then as she started to peel them to pass them out, she said, they've become tangled. And some of the kids laughed. She then said, no worry I've found that being slow and gentle will solve any tangle that hasn't become a knot.

The pertinent part is the kids laughing. Which brought to my mind schadenfreude. In my opinion, telling someone their wrong is a type of schadenfreude.

Which brings me to the question, why do we love schadenfreude? I believe as we explore this question we can decide when a discussion gets moved to politics.
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: Roper on September 26, 2020, 12:21:30 am
Nottoc, as I read back over that thread, I didn't see anyone who said you were wrong. What I saw was people expressing a point of view which was different than yours. Perhaps I've become desensitized in our current state of discourse. If I missed what you're describing, please help me to see it. I don't want to turn this into an argument. I truly want to understand what you're describing when you say that someone is telling you that you're wrong.

Schadenfreude. Pleasure derived from another person's misfortune. I haven't considered that telling someone they're wrong is a type of schadenfreude. I'll need to think about this.

I have thought about the subtle differences among having a desire for justice, being grateful that someone learned a valuable lesson even though the mechanism was unfortunate, and taking pleasure in seeing someone "cut down to size."

About the being grateful part:  Several years ago, one of my sons was preparing to go on a campout with the scouts. I knew the weather was going to turn cold and rainy. I suggested to my son that he should take warm socks and hiking boots. He insisted that he would be just fine wearing his canvas high tops. I encouraged him again. He refused again. When he wasn't looking, I put the warm socks and boots in the bottom of his pack. After he had gone, I found the socks and boots on his bed. He had unpacked them. Sure enough, the weather turned cold and rainy. When he returned the next day, he complained about how miserable he had been because his feet got cold and wet right after they got to camp, so he had to spend almost the whole trip in his tent because he couldn't get his shoes dry. It seriously took all I could muster to keep away from the "I told you so" conversation. I told him I was glad he was home safe, and I left it at that. I have to admit that I'm grateful he learned by his own experience an important lesson about preparedness, even though I didn't say anything.

Is that schadenfreude? I don't believe so. But it easily could have become schadenfreude. Is the difference in my response? I'm glad he learned a lesson, but I didn't gloat? Is the difference in our relationship? If he wasn't my son, but instead another scout who suffered through a day with cold wet shoes, would it have been schadenfreude if I was glad that boy learned a lesson about preparedness? Does it become schadenfreude if I say anything? Who gets to decide? I don't know.
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: dyany on September 26, 2020, 12:56:45 am
Nottoc, I move threads when they become political and there starts to be disagreements. Unless I feel the need to say something (which I rarely do), I rarely pay attention to who said what. That doesn't matter. Political does not necessarily equal contentious, but as those topics often make some members uncomfortable, I move them to where it is easier for the more sensitive members to avoid them.

The Politics board isn't thread jail or a bad thing. It's just separate to help people make informed decisions on what they want to read.
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: Nottoc on September 26, 2020, 02:19:45 am
When I created my post where I stated my beliefs about how I believe humanity in general behaves I specifically did not quote anyone. Nor, did I mention anyone by name. And I avoided making it seem like I was speaking to any particular person. And yet I definitely disagreed with some ideas that were expressed.

In my other posts where I did quote someone it was always only when I was agreeing with them.

From my point of view, if I am quoted, and disagreed with, then I am being told I am wrong. What was intended is irrelevant. This is me and it is my choice. On the other hand if someone expresses an opinion and does not quote or refer to me, then I am not being told I am wrong. Once, again this is me, this is my choice. I'm not asking for any special considerations. I'm only stating how I work.

I answer political questions often on Quora. But, I have been disabling comments on my answers. I am not interested in pointless discussions. And that, in my opinion, is all political discussions are, pointless. Post a link to information, I'll read it. But, I will not go back forth over a topic where there is no hope of changing someones mind with my words. I am so done with political discussions (more like diatribes).

As I stated in the OP Roper mentioned wanting to define a political discussion (this was in the Ginsburg thread). It seemed to this was a good place to discuss that idea.

Also, my most significant dislike of a political conversation is the inherent (in my opinion) contentious nature. I don't expect or even hope that anyone will hold to the standards of congeniality that I set for myself. So, I choose to not participate for the most part. Sometimes, I may want to add my opinion, occasionally I will, but for the most I won't because I know someone will make a direct response. And then I'll need to defend what I said. Back and forth no end in sight. And that is simply not where I am right now at this point in my life.

The admins created a separate area for politics for a reason. In my opinion that reason was contention. And being contentious is not where I am at this point in my life. I want peace.

But, that being said, why be contentious? Seems to me that it's related to schadenfreude, taking joy in misery. And apparently Roper has a different view of when something needs to be moved to politics, else, it seems to me, he would not have raised the question.

I never read the Ginsburg thread, I had a feeling it wasn't going to be or stay a memorial thread, at some point I thought it would turn into a contention involving politics.

So, here's a question, let's say that none of the posts showed any rancor and yet still discussed the political ramifications of her death. Would the thread have been moved? Was it the level of animosity that initiated the reason to move the thread? Or, was it simply that political ramifications were being discussed?
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: cook on September 26, 2020, 08:15:27 am
The hard part of any dicussion is that we cannot just say "I interpret the situation this way so it is this way".

I come from Finland and I know for a fact that political discussion without contention is not only possible but also common.

Because some people don't like political  discussion, for various reasons, the matter was dicussed, polls were taken and a decision was made to make political section so that those who don't like it, don't have to accidentally stumble on it. Various posts have been moved there when it has seemed more political than not. It is for the benefit of all of us because most of us in the forum then thus wanted it. It is not because of contention. We try to avoid contention in all threads. Disagreement is not contention.

It is hard for me to understand why you feel about the quoting the way you do. To me quoting is a simple structure in any written form to point out what exactly is discussed, what I am reffering to in my post or what is someone reffering to in my or someone else's post. I cannot see anything personal in it.

I don't feel disagreement means someone thinks I'm wrong. It simply means they think differently. If I say the best colour is blue and you say the best colour is red, how can you be saying I am wrong? Of course there may be misinformation or facts that are wrong, but if they are corrected, I don't see that as saying "you're wrong" either, just that the facts are not accurate.

Sometimes people also like to "disagree" in order to make us think are we sure we really think the way we have expressed. I think challenging to  think and rethink is a good thing.

It just shows we are all so very different. Thus we need to try to look at things from other perspectives than our own too.

(Edited to change thread to section...)
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: JLM on September 26, 2020, 09:55:35 am
Pulling a quote from someone elseís post is the clearest mechanism to precisely communicate what you are responding to.
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: Taalcon on September 26, 2020, 10:45:29 am
When I quote, I tend to use it to be precice in what I am addressing.

Far too often, when there's a general sense of disagreement, it's easy to assume you believe what the other person's argument is, or what point they are going to make even if they haven't actually made it.

Sometimes, people respond to the point they think the person probably trying to make, rather than what they are actually saying.

I find quoting helpful in narrowing down what is specifically being stated, because I find it's most helpful, often, in increasing communication and finding where the base similarities are as opposed to fighting a generality against a generality.

I don't speak for others, but I  use it to be more precice, and to help find at times where there might be some talking-past-each-other going on. I appreciate it when others do it to me, because at times it helps me realize I may not have been as precice in my language as I had hoped, and it helps me understand the confusion at times.
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: Roper on September 26, 2020, 10:56:54 am
There are many reasons why people voice disagreement.

Sometimes people voice disagreement just to start an argument to prove the other person wrong. I think that could be considered a form of schadenfreude--taking pleasure in the public humiliation of another person by demonstrating "superior" debating skills.

Sometimes people voice disagreement to assert their right to participate in public discourse--to ensure their voice is heard. While I don't think that exercise will lead to changed positions, I think it's still valuable in avoiding the suppression and domination of those who think differently. It also shows other people who disagree that they are not alone.

Sometimes people voice disagreement to continue the discussion. Again, I don't think it will lead to changed positions, but it allows for continued examination of the subject at hand, which may bring other things to light. Continued discussions have often helped me to examine my own understanding of things, and to question myself about why I believe certain things.

Sometimes people voice disagreement to arrive at a greater understanding. I have never done a 180 degree flip on issues I have discussed here or elsewhere. I have, however, revised my position, often with a "softening" and greater acceptance when I understand why someone would choose to see things they way they do. This has been true for political discussions. It has been even more true for gospel discussions. Moreso, I have learned an incredible amount from the forum members here, even when I didn't agree (and said so) at first.

I have found over the course of my life and in my experience as an educator that a dialectical approach to learning is the most successful and meaningful to me, and that intentionally means initial disagreement.
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: Roper on September 26, 2020, 10:58:30 am
I don't speak for others, but I  use it to be more precice, and to help find at times where there might be some talking-past-each-other going on. I appreciate it when others do it to me, because at times it helps me realize I may not have been as precice in my language as I had hoped, and it helps me understand the confusion at times.

+1.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: Nottoc on September 27, 2020, 04:35:29 pm
I agree it's possible for political discussions to be free from contention.

Upon reflection I shall modify what I said about quoting and disagreeing. The character of the response is key. For example, one of the responses to me appeared to have been written as if intended to be comedic, I'm so funny I'm making fun of your assertion. Which I picked up right away, and then immediately stopped reading.

Now, the character of a message is of course wholly dependent on the reader, and is of course put on the message by the reader. And this is true of all messages, once let go, the creator no longer has control over the message nor how it is interpreted.

Very early in my relationship with my wife, she told me how her mom would say things in tone that she found disagreeable (there were multiple times each with its own distinct form of disagreeableness). She told me how she tried to address this with her mom. Her mom said, pay attention to the words, not to how I say the words. I don't think my wife said this to her mom, but she told me that wasn't possible for her.

But, going back to the message that might have ben intended to be humorous (I'm not going to finish it). This is the source of where I started to consider the notion that it's possible for a message, that intends to tell someone they are wrong, to be schadenfreude. Because the message presented itself as being funny, the message to me the reader, is that the writer is having fun writing their response. Which is say they are feeling joy at telling someone they are wrong, schadenfreude.

So, I back off my assertion that a quote/response associated with disagreement is always a form of schadenfreude.
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: JLM on September 27, 2020, 07:20:20 pm
Hang on.  Iím confused.  When someone makes a nonsensical argument, one of the strongest tools to point out the nonsense is through humor.  Attacking the argument does not necessarily mean attacking the person.  Disagreement is not schadenfreude.
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: Nottoc on September 27, 2020, 08:51:16 pm
Ridiculousness is a point of view argument
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: cook on September 27, 2020, 11:23:22 pm
I understand if you want to keep this theoretical only, but it would be helpful if we could see what you are talking about. Care to tell us which thread we are talking about? I thought it was the death of that judge and the political aspects, but clearly it's another thread we're now talking about. I'm a bit confused as well.
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: Nottoc on September 28, 2020, 01:20:16 am
Worked on a post for an hour, gave up, couldn't figure out a way forward. Decided this is going further and further away from a topic that I'm interested in participating in.

Feel free to delete if it tickles your fancy.

Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: cook on September 28, 2020, 11:53:18 am
Nottoc, I am sorry if I somehow offended you.

Sincerely.
Title: Re: Schadenfreude
Post by: Nottoc on September 28, 2020, 08:18:30 pm
We're good, Cook
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