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    Your Elvenar Team

A bit of moldy cheese?


Chef - loquacious one
I started to post this in public but decided it was both off topic and might incite too many negative responses. I then attempted to start a conversation with one who engaged in a critique of my writing style in private. Unfortunately, the systems says I can't talk to him/her privately. So here it is, stripped of some of the details and focused on on why my posts tend to be longer and why just "making a point," is not enough.

"My response too you was probably not actually a critique or disagreement with your point. It was a response, I felt, explaining the difficulty of determining what a "fact" is, in light of the general use of the term to treat theories of knowledge as factual. That I wasn't clear, is obvious. That I used too many words to make that point, is tenable only if you think my entire purpose was to make a point. It wasn't, and seldom is. My purpose is to make a point and prove it. You object, I suppose, to the additional verbiage needed to demonstrate why I think my point should be believed. Which leads me to a critique of your statement.

Here's the nub of your critique, as I see it, then. You thought the purpose of my statement was to make a point. And you thought that point could have been and should have been, with fewer words. And, that may be true. But to have just made a point and moved on would have been persuasive only to those who know, and probably agree with me, already -- or are willing to just take my word for it because I'm so brilliant and knowledgeable and couldn't possibly be wrong? It would not have been persuasive to those who were on the fence, hadn't thought about the subject, or were of some other persuasion. Making an eloquent statement of what you consider to be the case is only persuasive to those who are already persuaded. It's like a man standing on a street corner yelling that the world is going to end in twenty minutes. A waste of time because anybody who believes him is already in their bomb shelters and the rest have no reason to believe him.

Now, I"m not arrogant enough to think that just because I said it, others should agree. So I explain WHY I think as I do. That's probably a better approach if you want others to actually be persuaded.

Now here's how this applies to your own statement. You claim I used too many words [just] to make a point. I assume you thought the concluding statement used too many words. If so, how would you write it differently, and would it be significantly shorter? Would it have the same impact and be as clear or more clear? On the other hand, you probably meant meant that the entire discussion was too long. How could it be, considering it's purpose, shorter? The reason these questions are important is because they get to the actual document and force you, if answered, to actually tell me what and why you think the post had too many words. AND, with the benefit of helping me see where I was too wordy. Without this type of actual critique I could just as easily conclude the reason you responded as you did was, as Scrooge thought of his response to the ghost of Christmas Past, you were suffering from a bit of undigested cheese.

So, please, next time you decide to actually make a claim of any kind, write some more words to explain why you think as you do, so I can be persuaded and not have the easy out of just assuming it's the moldy cheese talking. Just stating your feelings as if everybody automatically feels the same way is preaching to the choir. It's a congregation that includes the choir, but the choir isn't the whole congregation."



Silly Bubbles

Active Member
I do read your posts when I have time to be on forum and I think they're interesting, they're surely different.

Now, I"m not arrogant enough to think that just because I said it, others should agree. So I explain WHY I think as I do. That's probably a better approach if you want others to actually be persuaded.

I think that this is a great approach when you want people to understand your thinking. If you want to persuade others, it might be easier to address their thinking (if you know enough) as we all have a different way to get from A (eg problem) to B (eg solution). Just a thought.