Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Is our society really so negative and pessimistic?

Posted Sunday, June 22, 2008, at 8:53 PM
View 9 comments
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  • Steve,

    That is a very good question and my opinion, You are pretty much on target.

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sun, Jun 22, 2008, at 11:02 PM
  • Sometimes saying what you believe,could be antagnizing to someone else.

    -- Posted by sand-flea on Sun, Jun 22, 2008, at 11:19 PM
  • Do I think we have people stirring up conflicts as polite and sincere as the W W W F or the remarks Jane Curtin and Dan Ackroyd used to have on Saturday Night Live?

    Surely not.

    That would imply that they think so little of their target audiences that they assume the readers wouldn't be able to keep up with a real exchange of ideas and would prefer to watch the antagonists play in the increased traffic until they wound up with road rash.

    Genuine discussion can be provocative enough.

    Efforts to learn,inform and persuade can be exhilarating.

    There is no need to degrade them into verbal bloodsports.

    We've yet to see the emergence of an equivalent to Lincoln and Douglas,Bryan and Darrow,Buckley and Vidal or even Bill Reilly and Al Franken.

    Maybe,we should try leaving off the fussing and posturing and have people talk and listen to each other and see what sort of ratings that would get.

    The blogs without the nasty,negative elements may have fewer posts but I think they accomplish more of their stated goals than the more notorious blogs.

    -- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Jun 23, 2008, at 12:05 AM
  • Well since you asked, yes I do believe society is both negative and pessimistic. It is not like us to ever be content. If we do not have food, we assume that life would be great with food. If we have no home, we think surely we would be happy with a home. If we do not have a PC...It never ends. It appears that we also need to feel superior in some cases and only justified in others to determine who we are. It is easier to accept our own faults if someone else has some showing, preferably worse than we believe ours are.

    As far as the news goes, I believe it takes two roles. The first is to distract and divide, and the second is to affirm. The affirmation is the hook, the others are just side benefits to the providers, sometimes utilized but sometimes not. I think that we must need to not only be a part of something, but also to know and understand our place in it. The news provides this affirmation as do these forums to some extent.

    You are certainly correct about sensational news getting more attention. I also do agree that it does sell, but why do you think that is? What do you think the draw is for the average person?

    I would guess that if we could master our self esteem issues, we would not need the affirmation, but to me, it does not seem likely to happen.

    Most of the posters on the blogs I have seen (only linked from the TG website) most assuredly bring their egos with them. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is a hindrance to communicating. What I would like to find is a place to engage with people that have different world views than myself and through a dialogue (not necessarily always polite)everyone is put in the position of not only thinking and defing their views (even to themselves) but also being compelled to dedicate a little time to study to help develop their beliefs.

    If everyone is being defensive, and trying to protect their beliefs without being open to consider the opinions of others, a pecking order develops and teams are chosen. It becomes more of a goal of changing others opinions than just understanding.

    Just my opinion, but you did ask. By the way, if you are concerned that your garden posts do not get as many comments, most of the people I know that love gardening are not really computer literate. Also, many of the busier posts are about opinion, I think everyone has an opinion about politics and religion. I have read many, or maybe all of your subjects since the ebay one, but I just didnt have anything to add.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Mon, Jun 23, 2008, at 1:22 AM
  • I agree with you, "memyselfi". It does seem that on the blogs some cannot feel good about themselves or validate their opinions without making someone else look or feel bad.

    It isn't only on the blogs. Look at the new management books that promote demeaning an employee to get more work out of them. Look at how rudely some speak to and treat each other in the real world. It seems we have lost the ability to be kind, polite and respectful to one another. Maybe some fear they will be mistaken for weak or not secure in their beliefs or opinions. They appear to believe that "attack" is the only way to prove that they are right and to validate what they believe, as it often silences beliefs and views other then their own. Some people mistake kindness (or civility) for weakness.

    A holocaust survivor once observed that the Nazis had silenced the dissenters and the Jews, but they never managed to change his personal views or beliefs - his thoughts and beliefs were still inside him, even if he couldn't say them out loud. Some take silence as concurrence.

    In speaking with someone yesterday they observed how it seemed to them that "blog" attitudes are creeping into our face-to-face encounters, which they felt moved us further away from civility and respect for each other. I think they may be correct also.

    -- Posted by amalphia on Mon, Jun 23, 2008, at 8:29 AM
  • As long as what you are saying is what you believe, I have no issue, but being civil at the same time would be nice. I tend to turn away from a blog when it turns nasty, even if I am not actively in the discussion.

    If I am in the discussion, I will try to answer in a level headed manner and if civility does not return, I'm gone. Life is way too short to spend it in a negative battle.

    As far as blogging here, I would like to know the number of people who click on a topic, but I also understand that some may not have anything to say. I don't expect a response on my post regarding our cat Cooper. It is therapeutic and a way to share our feelings.

    I read most of the posts, but respond only occasionally.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jun 23, 2008, at 10:13 AM
  • Steve,

    I'm not a betting person, but I would almost bet a lot of folks are like me, it's very hard for me to write a appropriate sympathy regarding Cooper, almost reminds me of each of my four footed friends that I have lost. I know how hard it it to loose a young cat that you think will be around forever. I loved the picture you posted of Cooper what a wonderful memory to have of him.

    I also enjoy reading the gardening blogs, and all your wonderful advice. My garden has not bit the dust, but due to family obligations, I have not been able to spend time with my plants like I should. I do know that one of these days I will be able to produce more fruit and vegetables.

    Keep up the post, I love hearing critter stories(esp. about spoiled kittens).

    -- Posted by Sharon22 on Mon, Jun 23, 2008, at 10:57 AM
  • I couldn't add anything either.

    I just watched my housmates shed into the keyboard and thanked Heaven we have these wonderful fur-persons to love for as long as we do.

    (Even if they do try to plant our seedlings in a Posturpedic bed instead of the one in the back yard.)

    -- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Jun 23, 2008, at 12:52 PM
  • I truly understand your thoughts Sharon22 and quantumcat. Just responding to your post brings on a stuffy nose and all the rest that comes with it. Thank goodness we get to write and not speak in these forums.

    I usually use Cooper's screen shot as a way to break the ice in my eBay classes. I refer to him as my resident computer specialist. I may have to remove his picture for the classes, since I would have to leave the room shortly after starting to speak about him.

    Kind of defeats the purpose of teaching if the teacher has to leave.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jun 23, 2008, at 2:34 PM
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