What do you think of other members in this forum?

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Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 02:29 am
Without attacking specific members, what do you think of other members in this forum in general?

For me, I feel that the average age of the active members is 40, and that most of them are from the United States. Some of them are quite locked up in their own thoughts, and some of them are arrogant and close-minded academics. Hey, I am not saying I'm any better, I'm probably worse than that.

The rest are fine/okay.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 06:40 am
@platorepublic,
platorepublic;163337 wrote:
Without attacking specific members, what do you think of other members in this forum in general?

For me, I feel that the average age of the active members is 40, and that most of them are from the United States. Some of them are quite locked up in their own thoughts, and some of them are arrogant and close-minded academics. Hey, I am not saying I'm any better, I'm probably worse than that.

The rest are fine/okay.


I have no idea what the average age is, though I do know that there is a broad range of ages of active members. I agree that probably most are from the United States. I agree that some are quite locked up in their own thoughts. Some of them are arrogant and close-minded people who have never seriously studied philosophy (either on their own or academically). Some have studied a tiny amount, and fit the stereotype of someone with a little knowledge (i.e., they are sophomoric). Some have no idea what philosophy is, and imagine it is just whatever BS they dream up. Some others have extensive knowledge of philosophy. Some have an intermediate amount of knowledge.

When considering what is and what is not possible, some people know more than others, and those who know more will sometimes appear closed-minded to people who know little or nothing. This is due to the idea of epistemic possibility. What is epistemically possible is dependent upon a particular individual's state of knowledge. It may be that a complex contradiction, for example, may not be recognized as a contradiction by someone, and so it may be epistemically possible for someone. Basically, the less one knows, the more things are epistemically possible. This explains why people who know little or nothing about how science works often imagine all sorts of silly things are "possible". But those who know more recognize that many things are not possible, and so they are not "open" to those ideas that are known to be impossible. To someone who knows absolutely nothing, everything seems possible.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 06:47 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;163369 wrote:
I have no idea what the average age is, though I do know that there is a broad range of ages of active members. I agree that probably most are from the United States. I agree that some are quite locked up in their own thoughts. Some of them are arrogant and close-minded people who have never seriously studied philosophy (either on their own or academically). Some have studied a tiny amount, and fit the stereotype of someone with a little knowledge (i.e., they are sophomoric). Some have no idea what philosophy is, and imagine it is just whatever BS they dream up. Some others have extensive knowledge of philosophy. Some have an intermediate amount of knowledge.

When considering what is and what is not possible, some people know more than others, and those who know more will sometimes appear closed-minded to people who know little or nothing. This is due to the idea of epistemic possibility. What is epistemically possible is dependent upon a particular individual's state of knowledge. It may be that a complex contradiction, for example, may not be recognized as a contradiction by someone, and so it may be epistemically possible for someone. Basically, the less one knows, the more things are epistemically possible. This explains why people who know little or nothing about how science works often imagine all sorts of silly things are "possible". But those who know more recognize that many things are not possible, and so they are not "open" to those ideas that are known to be impossible. To someone who knows absolutely nothing, everything seems possible.


Yes, that seems to cover the waterfront. Especially that final sentence. It explains Cicero's remark that there is nothing so absurd that some philosopher has not said it, although maybe that should be changed to "aspiring philosopher" because those who know what they are talking about will automatically eliminate absurdities from what they sey. (I hope!). A chessic analogy: to the rank amateur, every position strikes him as having a limitless possibility of legal moves. But as one begins to know more and more about chess, it soon becomes obvious that some legal moves in a particular position are absurd, and no one who knows anything at all about chess would even consider making them. And, as the chess player becomes more and more adept and knows more and more about chess, the range of legal, but really possible moves decreases, until only one, or at most two, are real possibilities, as contrasted with legally possible. Which is why, Jose' Raoul Capablanca, the great Cuban chess champion of the world, when asked by a reporter, "How many moves ahead do you see, Capa?" replied, "Only one. But it is always the best one". I suppose he would have been called "close-minded and arrogant" by those who know little or nothing about chess. But, for those who do, it is easy to see what Capa meant, and why what he said is a bit exaggerated, but substantially right.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 08:31 am
@platorepublic,
While a majority of Members are from the US, there are about as many from Canada, Great Britain, Australia and the Commonwealth. The community also has a fair amount of Members from Europe. Because this is an English language forum, it is natural that most of its Members come from countries where English is the natural language, or from nations where English is a second-language.

An unscientific impression I have is that about a third of the active Members of the community are relatively young, ranging from highschool to college age, another third roughly from 21-40, and a somewhat smaller third (if such a thing be possible) over that.

It is also my impression that a relatively few Members have had much formal philosophical training and knowledge, some have a smattering (whether formal or self-taught), and a far larger number have a desire to either learn more or just to be able to find a place where ideas and philosophical discussion of them are considered important.

Although most of my own attention is drawn to discourteous and obnoxious Members, I also have the impression that an overwhelming number of Members are genuinely interested in intellectual pursuits and understand that condescension and discourtesy are impediments to any authentic dialogue, although at the same time, positions are often defended (and attacked) perhaps a little more than vigorously.

The real challenge to this community is to bridge the gap between those wanting to understand philosophy, or indeed to participate in intellectual discourse, and those whose second nature is to do so. By providing a "middle way" the forum, it seems inevitable, never completely satisfies everyone. But then, also, a forum is not (however we hope) different from common society, is it?


[I should like to add: if there is arrogance here, it is certainly not limited to Members from one country, and definitely is not limited to those Members who have academic training.]
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 09:08 am
@platorepublic,
I can't help to think that this thread is directed at certain members of the forum without directly insulting them. It also has the feel of some classical ethnocentrism. But the thread seems to suggest that there is something wrong with members that are from the U.S. in that they are academics or lost in their own thoughts and close-minded. JG pretty much hit the demographics that matter on the head. Most members are between the ages of 16 and 80 and have little or no formal training in philosophy.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 09:25 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;163423 wrote:
I can't help to think that this thread is directed at certain members of the forum without directly insulting them. It also has the feel of some classical ethnocentrism.


I did not feel that at all, and no one is more paranoid than I am. Did you think that too? Why? Of course, if as you say, you only felt that, even you might not know why, and perhaps it does not even matter. But if you also thought that, you would presumably have reasons for doing so, and since I don't see what those reason would be, it would be interesting to hear them.
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 10:03 am
@kennethamy,
Those members who stick around long enough, those members who have found an facilitative medium in which to express, those members who find a level of comfort and or in of challenge to mind are simply and genuinely seeking mastership of both themselves and others.
Truly understand what membership is.


To address Theaetetus's concern I may come back in a while and do a little critique of what I think others may or may not think of me, 'weirdly obscurely ignorant of his failures and defeats, whilst trying far to hard to only occasionally be in control or aware of his brilliant triumphs'.
'Occasionally will succeed, usually will disappoint.'
(the 'brilliant' may be a little vanity)
I am after all trying to win you and your confidence.
I either have my own confidences or I do not.
(Lets try to help each other out a little more.)
I am only trying to beat myself, which when it turns into a game around here, I am a useless competitor.
Win you, beat myself.

It is not a game of vanity when you think you have something of worth to prove or disprove.
Worth is the thing to prove toward others and have them believe in you so you can in turn better believe in them. And yourself.
Worth is a gift.
(Self worth is a given other)
The selfish people here (not a criticism) outweigh the selfless (possible criticism).
(wont bother with the critique after all)Smile
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 10:06 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;163369 wrote:
I have no idea what the average age is, though I do know that there is a broad range of ages of active members. I agree that probably most are from the United States. I agree that some are quite locked up in their own thoughts. Some of them are arrogant and close-minded people who have never seriously studied philosophy (either on their own or academically). Some have studied a tiny amount, and fit the stereotype of someone with a little knowledge (i.e., they are sophomoric). Some have no idea what philosophy is, and imagine it is just whatever BS they dream up. Some others have extensive knowledge of philosophy. Some have an intermediate amount of knowledge.

When considering what is and what is not possible, some people know more than others, and those who know more will sometimes appear closed-minded to people who know little or nothing. This is due to the idea of epistemic possibility. What is epistemically possible is dependent upon a particular individual's state of knowledge. It may be that a complex contradiction, for example, may not be recognized as a contradiction by someone, and so it may be epistemically possible for someone. Basically, the less one knows, the more things are epistemically possible. This explains why people who know little or nothing about how science works often imagine all sorts of silly things are "possible". But those who know more recognize that many things are not possible, and so they are not "open" to those ideas that are known to be impossible. To someone who knows absolutely nothing, everything seems possible.

And then to someone who knows everything, everything also seems possible.

It's a parabola.
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 10:07 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;163435 wrote:
and no one is more paranoid than I am.
Wanna bet..........

---------- Post added 05-12-2010 at 05:22 PM ----------

I love you all,
Friendship (common goals), (not so common bet)
Charity (common wealth),(not so common debt)
Affection (common interest).(not so common art)
Eros (common ease) (not so common heart)

You all fall under at least the first two, which is how I can say, 'I love you all'.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 10:27 am
@sometime sun,
I would see the average forum member not as a demographic, but more as an idealogue. In this forum the age and the country pale in comparison to the ideal one is promoting. Granted we try to be 'open minded' but I see little of that here. What I see is people who have spent time making for themselvesa schema of the universe as they have experienced it, then promoting it. I would assume the promotion is one of self esteem building. We need to know that we are right. Since there are not often venues in everyday life to express our ideals without being ridiculed or ostracized we have latched onto this place.

So giving a general demographic idea of we have young people escaping the "tyrany" of their parent'd dogmas, or we have middle aged folk who have imposed their ideal life upon themselves, or we have older folk who have accepted the diversity of life and ideals and are trying to unify them is pointless. What it comes down to is a rabble of quixotic idealists tilting at each other's windmills, and enjoying it like only a crazy donkey riding spaniard can.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 10:32 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;163435 wrote:
I did not feel that at all, and no one is more paranoid than I am. Did you think that too? Why? Of course, if as you say, you only felt that, even you might not know why, and perhaps it does not even matter. But if you also thought that, you would presumably have reasons for doing so, and since I don't see what those reason would be, it would be interesting to hear them.


The reason why I brought it up is because the original poster is from the UK and seemed to try to make a link between close-mindedness and arrogance on the forum to being predominately a phenomenon with members from the U.S.

Lets say I posted a thread asking what the community thought of members in general without specifically pointing them out. Then I went on to write: there are many members on the forum that are Dutch. Some of them are total jacka$$es and some others are total ninnies. But I am not saying that I am any better and I'm probably worse than that.

It is the way that the original poster posted his comments. He seems to have an agenda in the way he constructed his post.
 
Leviathen249
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 10:39 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;163473 wrote:
I would see the average forum member not as a demographic, but more as an idealogue. In this forum the age and the country pale in comparison to the ideal one is promoting. Granted we try to be 'open minded' but I see little of that here. What I see is people who have spent time making for themselvesa schema of the universe as they have experienced it, then promoting it. I would assume the promotion is one of self esteem building. We need to know that we are right. Since there are not often venues in everyday life to express our ideals without being ridiculed or ostracized we have latched onto this place.

So giving a general demographic idea of we have young people escaping the "tyrany" of their parent'd dogmas, or we have middle aged folk who have imposed their ideal life upon themselves, or we have older folk who have accepted the diversity of life and ideals and are trying to unify them is pointless. What it comes down to is a rabble of quixotic idealists tilting at each other's windmills, and enjoying it like only a crazy donkey riding spaniard can.


I agree hahah, I'm pretty sure thats a Don Quixote referance. If so, you get one internetz. Smile

Wait, nevermid, you said it right in the post. Sorry haha. I FAIL.
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 10:46 am
@GoshisDead,
I don't know about you (well some) but this question has nothing to do with either age or nationality.
I am fairly young in my flesh but feel both utterly the frugally aware child and utterly the expensively aware pensioner.
My birthday has nothing to do with my awareness.
AS for nationality, I live in the U.K and apart for my appreciation of the crown and a British birth certificate I do not think this is my home and hearth land.
From the other countries I have lived in I would prefer to live there.
I would be an Italian before I would be an Englishman, and as I have plans to leave this country even if I must come back and must call it my home, this is only relevant to the fact I rent a house in England.
I lived in Scotland once and would if I had a choice be there instead of not so jolly old England.
So the members contribution and presence I would say have little if any thing to with age or nationality.
Unless you spend time in Philosophy of Politics and hold your countries as the best example and most proffer-able I would say you as a member have little if anything to do with where you are housed.
 
Leviathen249
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 10:50 am
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;163482 wrote:
I don't know about you (well some) but this question has nothing to do with either age or nationality.
I am fairly young in my flesh but feel both utterly the frugally aware child and utterly the expensively aware pensioner.
My birthday has nothing to do with my awareness.
AS for nationality, I live in the U.K and apart for my appreciation of the crown and a British birth certificate I do not think this is my home and hearth land.
From the other countries I have lived in I would prefer to live there.
I would be an Italian before I would be an Englishman, and as I have plans to leave this country even if I must come back and must call it my home, this is only relevant to the fact I rent a house in England.
I lived in Scotland once and would if I had a choice be there instead of not so jolly old England.
So the members contribution and presence I would say have little if any thing to with age or nationality.
Unless you spend time in Philosophy of Politics and hold your countries as the best example and most proffer-able I would say you as a member have little if anything to do with where you are housed.


What don't you like about England? Is it true that it's not very sunny over there?
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 11:12 am
@Leviathen249,
Leviathen249;163489 wrote:
What don't you like about England? Is it true that it's not very sunny over there?

It is not that I don't like it, it is that I feel better suited to other climes.
I don't feel my needs are met.
Sure we have possibly the best health care in the world, but the country does not feel homely to me, I do not feel I can relax here when I have found this relaxation elsewhere.
It is not that I do not appreciate or 'like' my country it is just that it doe snot feel like my home.
This may have nothing to do with England at all, just me thinking the grass is greener elsewhere.
I have lived hand to mouth in a few other countries and felt at home there.
Again this may not even be about the benefit system, this may just be that I felt truly employed in other countries.
I lived the exact same lifestyle here as well as in other places and there is just something more self possessing about these other countries than my own.
I found I could not survive here as I did there.
I had to quit a lot of ideologies and convictions here, where elsewhere i new a higher level of freedom, even though I being the lucky one was not under the national conscriptions or laws as a foreign national that the indigenous people must have much complaint and issue with.
So I don't really know, maybe I am better off here?
I do not doubt my British passport is one of the things I would quickly dissolve without.
But England is also going through a weird transition and I am sure it is happening everywhere but things are getting worse.
Again probably just a case of the grass is greener.
Even this 'war' did not bring us together as wars have done in the past and Britain was a place to be proud of.
We just seem to be losing our identity and ideology and even our spirit.
I blame the punk movement.Smile

---------- Post added 05-12-2010 at 06:19 PM ----------

It may be a generalisation but English people are just more miserable.
We lost our pride somewhere and I don't think enough can be bothered to find it.
Fall of the Empire I suppose.
 
Emil
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 11:25 am
@platorepublic,
platorepublic;163456 wrote:
And then to someone who knows everything, everything also seems possible.

It's a parabola.


For someone that knows everything (which means knows all truths) nothing but the truth is possible. That would mean that most things would seem impossible.


  • Some members here are extremely or very well read, but they are few (and one is an admin that posted in this thread, another is the top poster, another is the one that really hates faith).
  • Some are obnoxious, annoying, harassing etc.
  • Most are waste of time talking with due to lack of knowledge about philosophy and lack of discussion skills.
  • Some are generally friendly.
  • Most are from the US.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 11:58 am
@Emil,
Emil;163500 wrote:
... another is the one that really hates faith ...



I am reasonably sure you will take this in the spirit in which it is intended. Grammatically, it is one who really hates faith, not one that really hates faith. Many people for whom English is their native language get this wrong. And so, in the future, it may become correct to say "that" in such a context, but for the moment, it is still incorrect.

In such phrases, one properly uses "who" for people, and "that" for things.

Thus endeth the grammar lesson.


As for hating faith (when defined as "belief without support of evidence"), what could be a better mark of virtue than that? For why, see:

The Ethics of Belief
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 12:02 pm
@Emil,
Emil;163500 wrote:
For someone that knows everything (which means knows all truths) nothing but the truth is possible. That would mean that most things would seem impossible.


  • Some members here are extremely or very well read, but they are few (and one is an admin that posted in this thread, another is the top poster, another is the one that really hates faith).
  • Some are obnoxious, annoying, harassing etc.
  • Most are waste of time talking with due to lack of knowledge about philosophy and lack of discussion skills.
  • Some are generally friendly.
  • Most are from the US.


Yay for me falling directly in the middle of the bell curve!
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 01:59 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;163476 wrote:
The reason why I brought it up is because the original poster is from the UK and seemed to try to make a link between close-mindedness and arrogance on the forum to being predominately a phenomenon with members from the U.S.

Lets say I posted a thread asking what the community thought of members in general without specifically pointing them out. Then I went on to write: there are many members on the forum that are Dutch. Some of them are total jacka$$es and some others are total ninnies. But I am not saying that I am any better and I'm probably worse than that.

It is the way that the original poster posted his comments. He seems to have an agenda in the way he constructed his post.

Just so we're clear - not really - I wasn't trying to link close-mindedness and arrogance to being in the United States. No agenda.
 
Amperage
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 02:02 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;163369 wrote:
When considering what is and what is not possible, some people know more than others, and those who know more will sometimes appear closed-minded to people who know little or nothing. This is due to the idea of epistemic possibility. What is epistemically possible is dependent upon a particular individual's state of knowledge. It may be that a complex contradiction, for example, may not be recognized as a contradiction by someone, and so it may be epistemically possible for someone. Basically, the less one knows, the more things are epistemically possible. This explains why people who know little or nothing about how science works often imagine all sorts of silly things are "possible". But those who know more recognize that many things are not possible, and so they are not "open" to those ideas that are known to be impossible. To someone who knows absolutely nothing, everything seems possible.
Not that I have a problem with this in theory but, perhaps just to play devils advocate, I think this can be a dangerous line of thinking.

I will start off with a quote from a movie a quite enjoy. The setup is two guys discussing the best way to get out of a precarious situation. Guy1 poses a possible solution to which Guy2 responds, "can't be done."
To which Guy1's retorts, "The person who says it can't be done is always interrupted by the one who just did it!"

I think historically this is bore out time and time again. Then there is Socrates who said I know I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing.

As I said, in theory what you said sounds good, but more often than not people too dogmatically cling to what they "know" to the point that they are unwilling to explore or be open to anything else.
 
 

 
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