Curiosity/ Create the universe Stephen Hawking

by jam 153 Replies latest jw friends

  • EntirelyPossible

    I mean really, how far would one get for saying at the the altar, "yes, but I can't say for sure that I'll love her forever, in fact, nothing about the future is certain, but the data obtained so far seems to indicate a favorable outcome"

    It's called a pre-nup.

  • AGuest
    if you want to do that then take a presentation by a scientist rather than what happends when a film-crew cut what scientists say into a tv-show. for instance take the writings of Feymann, Hawkins or weinberg.

    Considering that the thread was about a TV presentation, I respond to the above with the following [quotes from SA]:

    "... the show didn't really "answer" the "questions", did it? While science appears to know some things (perhaps a great many, too!)... this showdidn't show that."

    "... this was about Dr. Hawkings and HIS position, as stated in the show, is that there was NO time (as we know it or otherwise)... at all... before the Bang (hence, the black hole model - because time stops in black holes... or so the theory goes). And thus, God could NOT have existed... because "there was no time in which for God to CAUSE the Big Bang.""

    "... the way it came off, they wanted you to THINK it was all over your head... when, in fact, it was quite a LOT of "smoke and mirrors." I would swear (if I were a swearin' woman)... that I thought "Any minute now and someone's gonna say, 'Well, it's all really just a big mystery and we have to wait on the cosmos to tell us, which it well do it's its own due time.'"

    "... it's put out there as "fact"... and it well may be..."

    "... the scientific world is very similar to the WTBTS in this, with its claims of "new light." Both have a VERY similar way of saying that truth is ONLY what we [think we] know... right now. Even if it changes/is subject to change. But truth... is ALWAYS truth, isn't it? Regardless of what we [think we] know... right now..."

    "... that's NOT what the show said, at all. To the contrary, it said that time WILL stop... and that there is NO time... in a black hole. None whatsoever. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. So, sounds like I wouldn't be the only one to have some questions for Dr. Hawking..."

    "... start another thread, dear Bohm... because I don't want to hijack it from dear jam to make it about you... and me."

    To dear Nomad Soul's (peace to you!) question, "... I'm just curious to know if you read the beginning of the video where it states that the following are based on his opinions": "I DID... and watched with that in mind. However, that's not how it was PRESENTED, at all. ... I watched with a totally open mind. I wasn't looking to disregard ANYTHING - I wanted to understand what Dr. Hawkings believes... and WHY. I got both... what and why... but his "hows" seemed to ME to fall really short.

    "... don't think I side with "creationists", either. Again, the lone theologian was a HOOT - a complete mess of a defender of faith in God. Absolutely NO clue, that guy. He made me squirm and cringe WAY more than the scientists. I mean, at least they made SENSE (albeit, sense that is limited to the physical/empirical world)."

    "What are you on about, dear Bohm... Not trying to "nail" anyone or anything. The show purported to nail God causing the Big Bang to the way. It didn't... and apparently I'm not the only one who thought it didn't."

    "I don't claim to be a scientist or physicist. I'm just a lowly citizen, not even a scholar... asking some questions. And I am more than willing to entertain any potential responses, including any from you. So long as they are responses... to the thread, post, my questions... and not... puerile attempts to create red herrings so that we all follow after you and your childish insecurities... rather than sticking to the actual topic."

    To Bohm's question, "which coordinate frames are we talking about?": "You would have to take that up with Dr. Hawkings. Per the show, none were given... or required. Given your comment, though, sounds to ME like you would have a question or two for Dr. Hawkings, yourself."

    "I don't have a standard... I watched a show that raised some questions in me ... if you have answers to MY questions... bring 'em on."

    "Perhaps I should have said that the WTBTS mimicks the scientific world...

    "... I didn't dispute that there ARE black holes... or positive/negative energy... or protons... or even the Big Bang. All of which science has either proven... or supports. I took issue witha TV programthat purported to give an open-minded look at an expert's theory... butwhich actually tried to covertly push the theory as "truth."

    "It still doesn't negate the "holes" presented in the presentation. ... you might want to watch the show."

    "My issue was with the PRESENTATION... which DID mimick the same tactics used by a certain evil cult. Now, was that on the scientists themselves? On the show's producers? The station? Hawkings' publisher? Hawkings? Heck, I don't know. It simply was what it was."

    "I have great respect for science..."

    "I don't knock what it HAS accomplished... anymore than I can knock the hospitals, relief efforts, orphanages, or other "good" done by religion. I wasn't even speaking of those things. MY point was, in their attempts to SELL what they believe... they use the same tactics as religion..."

    "I just think that if science is going to ridicule religion (and I don't blame them for doing so)... they really shouldn't be using the same kinds of tactics to DO it. Smacks of hypocrisy. You got facts? You got proof? You can prove or disspell a theory/idea? By all means, go ahead. Do that. But... DO that. Don't use the same old "holely" tactics."

    "... it really was way more pomp and circumstance than proven facts. Although the narrator indicated, stated, insinuated, and even presented... THROUGHOUT... that certain things were "fact"."

    "my ISSUE is how they "sell" their theories: I often see no difference than how religion... and one in particular... sells ITS doctrines. Same words, terminologies, insinuations, etc."

    "I personally don't see much difference, truly. But... I gave the benefit of the doubt and put MY questions out there, even to those here who "know." "C'mon, help me understand the "holes" I see in Dr. Hawkings' theories. Explain it to me, or at least tell me why what I presented is wrong. ... what I got was ridicule."

    And that's just pages 1-3. Unfortunately, a lot of people try to "hear"... with their eyes. Big mistake.


    A slave of Christ,


  • bohm

    oh yes, you are only talking about a tv-show. take this quote:

    Camp A: "We have a language some of you don't understand. It includes terms like "QM", "QFT", "Feynman Diagrams," "Quarks", "Bosons", etc. You don't understand it because you're not as smart as we are... nor do you have all of the necessary information. If you were/had, you would understand. We can't break it down for you, though, because there really is no way to do that. For instance, we can talk to you about virtual particles, but really, why should we? We know, intuitively, that they're their because our math says they have to be. No, we've never seen them (no one has or can)... but we understand how it all works so you're just going to have to take our word for it that it is and means what we say it is and means. You could, if you have a mind to, read one the "Dummy" books (i.e., "Quantum Math for Dummies," "Virtual Particles for Dummies," "How Virtual Particles Don't Really Exist But Really Do")... but you probably won't understand those, either. So, again, you really just need to take our word for it."

    • "WE" are the tv-producers who, as we all know, like to go on and on about their feynman diagrams and field theories.
    • Tv-producers like to claim you are not as smart as them because you dont understand what bosonic statistics is, which they like to ramble about all the time.
    • TV-producers often claim they cant explain their deep work in quantum mechanics to people. its a problem they have daily.
    • they know virtual particles are there because the tv-producers math says so. but they cant break it down to people.
    • tv-producers rarely see virtual particles
    • tv-producers often say they understand how all of physics work, but you have to take their word for it.
    • and so on...

    oh thats right, you were ranting about scientists there... so sometimes you rant about the tv-show, sometimes about scientists.

    the problem is that it is never very clear when you switch between the objects of your rant, thus this thread. i dont think its entirely honest for you to claim that all of this is really about finer points in tv-production, especially seen in the light that what got me engaged on page 1 was a set of claims along the lines:

    In the post-show, then, I found it quite amusing that many PHYSCISTS... actually don't agree on the origin... or cause of the origin... of the universe. Or that there even is only ONE universe. Apparently, there are several theories out there. Like... religion. And, again, the "sell" for ALL of these theories... was like listening to a badly masked "sermon."

    reading the bolded part it is EXTREMELY hard to understand why this relate to presentation at all. what you are saying verbatim is the incredibly stupid claim: "multiple theories in science is like multiple religions". but i bet you got some way to spin it, or you will just ignore this, like you did with the majority of my last posts.

    here is another really good example:

    No, no, YOU don't have slowness of mind, dear jam (peace!). THEY have an agenda that they can't absolutely, totally support... so they SPEAK "above" us common folk. Religion does it all the time. Medicine does it, too... as to... wait for it... lawyers and judges (especially lawyers!). You just have to train your mind... to LISTEN. I mean REALLY listen. Not just "hear words"... but what those words are SAYING. You can do it.

    so, you are implying that TV-producers have an agenda they cannot support, so the TV-producers talk above common peoples mind? I dont think anyone can read that and not think you are talking about scientists. again the problem is you like to talk a little bit about everything and now (as it suit you) you pull the victim card and claim you were only talking about tv-production. not-very-honest.

  • AGuest
    what you are saying verbatim is the incredibly stupid claim: "multiple theories in science is like multiple religions".

    Stupid, perhaps, Bohm (peace to you!). I've never claimed to be anything but. However, from MY view, me, a lay person, I saw no difference in the PRESENTATION that science gave of its position, than religion does. To quote another poster... dear Skully (peace to you, I believe):

    It felt like a bunch of religionists going "Oh no he DIT'N!" vs a bunch of multiverse scientists going "Yo momma" this and "Yo momma" that.

    It did. And that happens QUITE A BIT with these presentations. Now, perhaps you believe me lacking focus in my points; I can only respond, while that may be true, it is such presentations... whether through television, magazine/news articles, or what have you... that I, a layperson, obtain my perspective. You might say, "Well, you might wanna pick up a book or two." My POINT, however, is that nothing THUS far... INCLUDING THE PRESENTATION IN QUESTION... has ever compelled me to WANT to. Just as nothing put forth by religion has compelled many to want to pick up and read about that.

    Is that folly on my part? Perhaps. But I'm just stating "how" I see these things, at THIS point in my life... and asking questions to either clarify, disspell, or understand. On an internet forum that isn't even ABOUT science, but much more about [a] religion. Now, had I made my comments and posed my questions on, say, ""... that would be another thing, entirely. In that case, I SHOULD know. That is NOT the case, here, though.

    I think it comes down to one word, Bohm... and it's not one that applies to me, in this instance: integrity. If religionists are expected to have some (and I believe they should be, given the number of people they wish to have follow them), I should think scientists just as much, if not even more so (they, too, want the world to "follow" them and their thinking. And I am NOT saying the world SHOULDN'T - that's another discussion entirely). To allow TV producers to just put stuff out there, willy-nilly, however... which is what you're suggesting (that "the TV producers make them do it!")... is, IMHO, a lack of integrity. Especially when you're not only the author of the theories being presented... but A PART OF THE PRESENTATION ITSELF. In THAT cse, it SHOULD be upon YOU... to ensure the integrity of the information presented. Or just... say... no. Or is that only a requirement for religionists? Because that it what it sounds like, to ME.

    Bottom line: I saw a show, made some comments (that you apparently don't like - so what...), and asked some questions. You never even addressed the questions until I made enough comments about that. You immediately insinuated that I had some neural problem. That that was your immediate reaction said to ME that you had some issues. Whether with me, my comments, my position, or not related to me, at all. Whatever. Whatever they were, you felt perfectly fine taking them OUT... on ME. Yes, I know: I was "supposed" to do the "christian" thing (based on your expectations)... and just let you get away with that: turn the other cheek and such. And I did... but not without brushing across yours, first. You didn't like that and so made this issue about me and you... rather than the presentation in question, such presentations in general, the theories set forth in the one... and/or my questions about those theories. You even took it to another thread (shaking head), where others tried to tell you, "Leave it at the door." And you were unable to do that.

    And what has occurred? THUS far, you have focused solely on ONE question, although I asked three (all of which were compounded)... and even MORE on your position regarding my audacity to even ask them. If YOU were truly about this matter... and not about trying to make this about you and me... YOU would have simply focused on... and responded to my questions. Perhaps even without insinuating that I was delusional... or stupid. You displayed not even a modicum of respect for ME, from the outset... and so I returned none to YOU.

    Now, I can continue this, if you wish. I think, though, that you and I will continue to butt heads... because it is not about what you think it is... and never was. Even if my focus seemed off, I have attempted to REFOCUS it... a number of time. Obviously, you're not having it, no matter what I say: it is about what YOU believe it's about, not what I state... and restate... even including quotes to SHOW that... it's about. It is interesting to ME, though, that YOU tend to think it's okay to see what you say YOU see... yet find it perfectly fine to take issue with me for doing the same (seeing what I say I see).

    Eyesalve, dear one. Integrity for Dr. Hawking... eyesalve for you.

    Again, peace to you!

    A slave of Christ,



    bohm Having just read through this thread in it’s entirety , I feel compelled to comment on your performance. From your reluctance to get involved at the beginning, it seems that had you not been called upon to defend yourself, we would not have benefited from your years of study and learning. For that I am grateful to AGuest.

    I have been impressed by your restraint, politeness and patience throughout this debate. Your detailed explanations of virtual particles & quantum mechanics has been most enlightening and educational.

    I have avoided commenting before for two reasons. Firstly I didn't want to get involved in the fireworks. Secondly I have learnt that it’s better to remain silent than demonstrate on a public forum that that I know absolutely nothing about a subject being debated.

  • Curtains

    i agree gladiator, I only stumbled across this thread last night and I think the science here is breathtakingly good. thanks bohm.

    as to the disagreements between aguest and bohm - I'm not going to get involved or take sides . as far as I am concerned two adults are arguing, sometimes heatedly - its what people do.

  • EntirelyPossible

    However, from MY view, me, a lay person, I saw no difference in the PRESENTATION that science gave of its position, than religion does.

    That, my dear, is because you are fundamentally (again) misunderstanding science.

    Lets level set.

    TV Shows about science are NOT science. Just like food using all the same ingredients but prepared by different people, some end results will be better and some will be worse that others. Complain about the editing to your hearts content. The show is NOT science, however. You can stop confusuing the two and complaining about both as if they are one in the same because they aren't.

    Religion speaks in terms of truth for one reason, control. Yes, they do change what they are saying from time to time ONLY because overwhelming evidence exists that will make them look silly or to change their dogma to better suit the masses. That's it.

    Science does NOT speak in terms of "truth" despite what you gleaned from the TV show. Science speaks in terms of hypothesis, theories, and presented understanding. The DIFFERENCE is that scientist (and lay people like myself) KNOW the single greatest truth, if there is on, is that we don't know everything, that we don't know yet what we don't know. Science readily admits new understanding will come along and theories will change. We look forward to it. It's what keeps it going.

    To equate the two based on your impression of the editing of a TV show is using the wrong source material and making a faulty conclusion. It would be like going to court and representing yourself because you watched a lot of Law and Order.

    Bottom line: I saw a show, made some comments (that you apparently don't like - so what...), and asked some questions.

    If that was the bottom line, that would be fine, but that's not what happened. you use a TV show to judge science, equate it religion, backtrack and change the idea of what you wrote and the meanings of the words you used. For this reason, having a debate with you in a science thread is like trying to nail jello to a wall. You slip and slide around your words, meaning and ideas so much it's impossible to even know what you are saying then when you are called on it you play the victim card as if you being attacked.

    I like you, Shelby, I think of you as a friend. As a friend, I will help you in the same way my best friend helps me. He calls me on my BS when he sees it and doesn't let me get away with it. As your friend, I am telling what I am seeing in this thread.

  • bohm

    Just fact-checking aguest a bit.

    Bottom line: I saw a show, made some comments (that you apparently don't like - so what...), and asked some questions. You never even addressed the questions until I made enough comments about that.

    no i did not. you want to know why? I am entirely incompetent to evaluate string theory. its a very important point, i want to say it again: i do not have a phd in high-energy physics and i am incompetent in terms of evaluating hawkins ideas, and answer to finer details in them.

    Even if i had a phd in high-energy physics i would be reluctant to do so because i suspect you have an agenda with your questions (along the lines of science=religion, hey, not saying you do, just saying that is my impression), and explaining string theory would be a multi-hour posting session.

    You immediately insinuated that I had some neural problem.

    i like to think i have a better sence of humor than thinking it is funny you have a neural disorder. I made the following joke:

    Oh boy, Jesus must have answered the first 10'000 questions before you accepted the voice you hear is actually him and not the average neural dysfunction!

    poor man!

    the point being i think you apply your sceptisism unevenly, not your mental health which is not something i would joke about like that.

    As for you having a neural dysfunction? yes ofcourse i believe that! everybody who does not accept you are actually communicating with god must believe that. its nothing personal, its just the way words are used in medicine: Talk to things which does not exist for years? ---> you most likely got a neural disorder.

    I wouldnt dream of judging you based on your mental state. i think you are a nice person most of the time (i would have said all the time 7 days ago).

    For the record, i would hope my loved ones would be a lot more agressive in telling me i had a neural disorder and had to see a doctor than people here generally are for you, were it the case i began to hear voices.

    That that was your immediate reaction said to ME that you had some issues. Whether with me, my comments, my position, or not related to me, at all. Whatever. Whatever they were, you felt perfectly fine taking them OUT... on ME.

    i dont know what the above sentence mean... i suppose you are referring to the issues you have diagnosed me with and want to say something about that. cant really get any more specific. you still think that analysis is spot on?

    Yes, I know: I was "supposed" to do the "christian" thing (based on your expectations)... and just let you get away with that: turn the other cheek and such. And I did... but not without brushing across yours, first.

    i think your should say what you honestly feel and what you think is the best in the situation, not let what you say be dictated by religious dogma. most atheists, as you will find, hope their religious friends do not let their actions be dictated by dogma.

    You didn't like that and so made this issue about me and you... rather than the presentation in question, such presentations in general, the theories set forth in the one... and/or my questions about those theories.

    another sentence where i have to do my best to interpret it. i think you are saying i should have answered your questions. like i wrote previously i am incompetent to do so.

    You even took it to another thread (shaking head), where others tried to tell you, "Leave it at the door." And you were unable to do that.

    now that sound really bad, but that wasnt really what happened aguest now was it?

    Lets go back to the thread you mention:

    you made the following comment (my bold)

    The comments are interesting, dear Unshackled (peace to you!). Correct me if I'm wrong, but with one or two exceptions, it seemed to ME like the atheists were misunderstanding... and arguing with (indeed, even openly reviling)... the atheists.

    And, yes, that is exactly what Dr. Hawking said. He stated this at the end of the show that some of us were discussing (if you can call it that) on another thread. It was this statement, actually, that prompted me to think (gave me hope, actually) that I could even deign to HAVE questions regarding his theories, little 'ol insignificant "believer" that I am. I got the impression that he might entertain them... and, unfortunately, somehow made the same assumption (hope) as to some who profess atheism here. Found out THAT was NOT the case, BIG time! If I didn't learn anything else, I learned... do not question the [dis]beliefs of an atheist... OR deign to make any comparisons to religion... even if such exist.

    Appears from the comments on your link... that that would be the same among those atheists in general, as well. Either you "get" what they do... or you're so beneath their intellectual level you're not even worth a civil comment. At least, that's how I see it.

    Again, peace to you... and thank you for giving me yet another reason to believe that atheism, while perhaps different in ideology... isn't very much different, in literal PRACTICE... at least, when you get to the layfolk... when it comes down to "discussing" with those who think differently than them... from religion.

    A slave of Christ,


    It was very hard for me not to get the impression the bolded segments related to me.

    So i responded in two parts, the later being addressed at you:

    I think hawkins is stating the scientific account is complete as far as describing what happends in a human brain, but unable to give quantitative answers for a range of questions due to the complexity (to many equations).

    People then make alternative (bad!) models which include God. God exist in that sence.

    Aguest, may you have pease and reconsider your passive-agressive behaviour. you spend a good part of that thread calling me arrogant, hypocrit and making a barely coherent personal analysis of me all while you compared science to a religious cult and claimed science was so easy a child could understand it. If you despite this think you got crucified in the midst of making honest inquieries (rather than a large set of self-validating questions) i recommend you take that up in a more direct manner or just leave it at that. playing victim and making badly veiled snide remarks accomplish nothing.

    which i stand by 100%.

    Should i have responded in this thread? perhaps (but if i was offtopic so was you!). the problem was at the time you were analyzing me and had paused in posting on that thread (and written you was done), which led me to be a bit annoyed to see it jump up and used in the way it was.

    I like to think you are a person who try to be very honest. Therefore i cant help wondering why you would represent what happened the way you did. Did you really recollect the thread as me jumping on you yet one more time?

    I think this thread is getting to the point where you are saying things which are not very true, and not responding to what i write (the bullet list i made previously is another example).

  • AGuest

    Dear EP and Bohm... peace to you both! As a JW, I often witnessed, first hand... how two (or more) people could completely misunderstand what one another was trying to communicate. Even when they were talking among themselves. I truly feel like that is what is occuring here. And I don't believe that science... or my opinion/perspective of it... is even the issue. I don't have a problem with science. Never have. Never said I have. I do have a problem, when I am coming from a sincere place of trying to understand... which I do by asking questions that occur to ME... when someone responds to those questions... or my asking them with:

    Oh boy, Jesus must have answered the first 10'000 questions before you accepted the voice you hear is actually him and not the average neural dysfunction! poor man!

    It was insulting... and it was meant to BE insulting. It wasn't intended to be anything else... regardless of what you wish me to believe. And the fact that this is overlooked is, IMHO... where the dishonesty starts. I could have let it go, yes... you know, done the "expected" christian thing. Instead, I countered that Bohm apparently had issues. What issues? I initially said I had no idea. Which was the truth. But I believe... and I stick by this... that if you cannot address a sincere set of comments and questions with a sincere response designed to counter the COMMENTS and/or answer/respond to the questions... you have [some kind of] issues. Otherwise, why respond at all? Of if you suspect the motive or sincerity, why not ask and get clarification?

    Instead, a "game" began... and I went along with it: yeah, you've got issues like I suffer from neural dysfunction. And so on and so on. All the while trying to stay on track.

    It has now turned into something that... well, I don't know what. Now, I feel like you're both actually patronizing me: "We LIKE you, Shelby, but..."

    If you LIKED me, dear Bohm, I would think that your initial response TO me would have reflected that to some degree. Not set forth insults.

    That neither of you (or dear Glad - peace to you!) can "see" this is... or what MY intention and motive was says, to ME, that we're just never going to see "eye to eye"... because our vision isn't the same, at all. In addition, what occurred is the same as when someone doesn't accept, agree with, understand, or asks "ignorant" questions about that very religion that I compared it all to. To ME. And it was this that I was actually speaking of. Someone asks question about something they don't understand... and they SAY they don't understand, something didn't make sense... and the result, off the bat, is an insult. A "snickering behind the hand but loud enough for everyone to hear" kind of response.

    A better way to have responded, perhaps, would have been to say something to the effect of: "You can't take those shows to heart, Shelby. You're right: they are propagandic, as you said, and sometimes leave a lot out. They are more for entertainment that education, although they have SOME educational value. True, someone should make sure they maintain scientific integrity, because it COULD cause some people to be skeptical... for instance, when they detect "holes" because some info is left out. But the science behind Dr. Hawking's theory isn't really like that - there's more to it. For example..."

    But that shipped sailed with Bohm's first comment. And I think that no matter how I break down what I "see"... you are only going to "see" that I had the audacity to even ask questions... little bit of knowledge and understanding that I have. Or even none. Only those who "know" should do so. And if you want to know, don't ask "us"... read a book. THAT is the IMPRESSION I have.

    I did not respond to your bullets, dear Bohm, for a couple reasons, the first being that I was simply tired of the back and forth between us at the time... and so didn't want to misunderstand yet again, or let my feelings about this whole thing get any further in the way and say another thing that you were going to misunderstand. So... I refrained. Secondly, I found it odd... in light of what it took to even get a response... good or bad... to MY questions. I find it even odder that you're taking an issue, in light of that, as well.

    Okay, enough. I am a layperson who took a science presentation too literally. Call me stupid (which you pretty much have), but I made the mistake of thinking that I COULD... indeed, was SUPPOSED to... when the person signing off on it is part of it. Had it been a program where others were SAYING, "Stephen Hawking says/said"... then the way MY mind works would be to say, "Now, how do I know that? That's what YOU'RE saying he says/said." Here, Dr. Hawking was part of the program. And said some things. Including, apparently, something that even some in his field are confused by (and some here, as well).

    No worries, though: if I learned nothing else, I learned to watch these shows with a greater level of skepticism. If indeed I watch them at all.

    I am tired of this, now, though... so I will concede to whatever it is you're saying I should concede to (but, truthfully... TRUTHFULLY... I haven't a CLUE as to what that IS - my mind apparently just doesn't "work" the way yours does because I truly cannot "see" it. I am reluctant to say that this difficulty is founded in the difference in our genders... and how the two communicate differently sometimes... because I don't tend to think the way my gender does, either. So...).

    But I must thank you before I go because, as a result of this thread, someone has deigned to answer those questions which actually have answers. And do so without insulting me. So... I am moving on.

    Again, peace to you both, truly...

    YOUR servant and a slave of Christ,


  • Qcmbr

    AGuest - if you want to be clear what you are saying say less. You make loads of statements which are loaded with what if , maybe and insinuation which is why you get lots of comments back.

    I gave up thinking that tact was useful on certain types of thread since it leads to imprecise comments that avoid critiquing the idea or bias behind the idea. My expectations of and delivery of respectful discussion - I'll say it again - on certain thread types is low. These threads tend to be ones where we get close to discussing a fundamental issue ( this thread was never simply about a tv show which nevertheless I think has been well chewed over). Most threads are great examples of shared empathy, shocked outrage or cheeky humour but there are some threads that are necessarily divicise and will get heated. Entering those threads while investing your personal worlview will bring yourself under the microscope, the trick is to try and avoid responding in a 'don't pick on me' manner. Just stay on message and let the slights and personal stuff roll. The more you try to defend and explain yourself the more you dilute your message.

    One of the greatest strengths and uses of an uninhibited forum is that , if you can suppress the pain of getting cherished ideas exposed and handled with disrespect , you can find better ideas or at least gain greater insight. Great thought thrives while drivel dies.

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