Hi Bill,
Eryn Ammons

However, I will not engage with people who feel the need to belittle others to get his/her point across.

And how do you determine this? Why is it you insist on knowing what is in my mind? You provide nothing more than your assertion of knowing what is in my mind. Is that not a pre-eminent belittling of someone, to assert what is in their mind, assert why they do what they do, then proclaim it insultingly? I have belittled no-one in this discussion, and have no intention to do so. I have levelled no insults at anyone in this discussion, and have no intention of doing so. Can you, honestly, say the same?

Maybe our conversation would have been better in person?

I’d agree with that, and to correct your invalid assertion: this is the reason I have responded to your responses — because I suspect we would be more in agreement. But to dismiss someone out of had and and label them rather than engage in the actual discussion is not in alignment with wat you claim. I don’t think this is intentional, and rather than assert and act as such I continue to engage. If you’ve looked at my other postings where soemone has indeed acted as you accuse me of, you know that I disengage from them and block them. That I continue to engage with you is prima facie evidence I do not consider you as such a person, despite you treating me as you claim I have done.

If you want to see a specific example of belittling someone, here it is:

“…instead of hiding behind data and facts that anyone can find on the internet”

That is condescension. It asserts that “experiences” overrule “facts and data”, despite the fact that that data is demonstrative of people’s experiences. If I were intending to be condescending or belittling I’d have accused you of “hiding behind feelings and beliefs”. Yet I did not. It didn’t even occur to me to make such a statement.

As well, I don’t believe that I can be wrong when I am simply sharing my own experiences.

In that sense, you are correct. However, your experiences are not necessarily representative of everyone else’s. This is why I do not often share my experiences, and when I do I do not assert they are representative of society or that they counter the facts of the world we find ourselves in. I am keenly aware that my experiences are often at odds with that of the whole. Hence, it is often the case that my experiences are irrelevant to the larger discussion.

I’ve also seen that we can easily focus too much on our own experiences, and this is often detrimental. If someone doesn’t applaud our experiences, or accept them as represenative of the larger whole, we can easily get insulted. We can easily descend into the pit of experience comparison, and in so doing lose sight of the larger problems. How many times do we see arguments where one side is saying that the other is “invalidating” their experience by sharing their own? Far too often, in my view.

My experiences have informed who I am but they do not define me. My experiences inform my view of the world, but they do not override it. If I relayed an experience of working in a field related to a degree I had, for example, what does that have to do with the reality that so many people face: that they get degrees that don’t benefit their career. Neither of us have a career in a field related to a degree.

You repeatedly assert that you know what I am doing and why, that you know my mens rea. But you are wrong, and very wrong. As a future lawyer and potential jurist (according to your bio) I consider your future role in society, and rather than dismiss or belittle it, seek to understand it. In my view a law based on feelings as opposed to facts is doomed to failure and to cause misery. History is replete with feelings oriented laws causing untold misery on millions, when facts and data would have shown the invalidity of them.

Not sure why you feel the need to continue an online conversation that I’m clearly not interested in having.

Yet you continue to partcipate. Why is that? Either you are interested in it, or you simply want the last word.

I do take notice that you have avoided the actual arguments and statements I have made, and instead use your time to level accusations and insults at me. You assert that we probably agree more than it appears, but yet you instead cast aspersion to me as a person. What is your purpose in doing that to someone whom you specifically state you agree with on “many, many fronts”?

You rightly acknowledge that textual discussion is much more difficult than in-person ones — a theme I have often written about myself. But why not then internalize that instead of assuming ill intent on my part. Is it not possible you are misunderstanding? The height of condescension, to me, is telling someone what they think and why they do what you think they are doing. In your previous commentary we were much more engaged in the topic, but in this most recent of yours you have done nothing but level accusations and insults at me. That fundamentally changes the discussion.

So with that in mind I leave you with the question after the quotation, which you will answer by your action.

If you are simply responding to “have the last word”, feel free to repeat the aspersion and you can have it, after which I will block you because I’m not interested in reading the words of someone who avoids the topic to level insults — especially of one who claims we agree on many fronts and acknowledges that it is easy to misunderstand someone online. If you are actually interested in the discussion without leveling insults at me, we can return to the facts, data, and experiences. We could even explore where we agree to develop an even better understanding of each other.

We may find we agree on key aspects of this particular discussion, we may find (as I suspect) we are talking past each other. We may find we are both right and wrong (also quite likely, I suspect). But so long as you continue to focus on insulting me personally rather than engaging in discussion, we can not build on that common ground. So it is up to you. You can end this by repeating insults, or you can end it by leaving them behind and returning to exploring the issue.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Bill Anderson’s story.