Between Scientists & Citizens

Posts Tagged ‘blogosphere

How to insult

with 12 comments

Judith Curry has recently brought up both the Bard and insults–a thought-provoking intersection.

Once upon Shakespeare’s time, the art of disagreement was pursued with elegance.  Degrees of challenge were measured out by the book, as one of his characters explains:

as thus, sir. I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier’s beard: he sent me word, if I said his beard was not cut well, he was in the mind it was: this is called the Retort Courteous.  If I sent him word again ‘it was not well cut,’ he would send me word, he cut it to please himself: this is called the Quip Modest.  If again ‘it was not well cut,’ he disabled my judgment: this is called the Reply Churlish.  If again ‘it was not well cut,’ he would answer, I spake not true: this is called the Reproof Valiant.  If again ‘it was not well cut,’ he would say I lied: this is called the Counter-cheque Quarrelsome: and so to the Lie Circumstantial and the Lie Direct.

As You Like It V.4

Alas, we’ve mostly lost that art, especially in the blogosphere.  Disagreements proceed pretty quickly to the Lie Direct.  That’s dull!  Let’s review the wisdom of Touchstone the Fool to recover more sophisticated practices.

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Written by jeangoodwin

August 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Some communication principles for an e-salon

with 11 comments

There are going to be a thousand diverse ways to run a worthwhile blog on a controversial topic.  As long as the blog community is willing to try things out, reflect on their experiences and then enforce their own standards through modeling and (civil) correction, I think they’re likely to come up a with their own workable practices.

Judith Curry in 1688?

Still, it’s not like the online world is completely separate from the world of face-to-face communication, and the blogosphere can draw from communication skills already well-developed and understood in “meat-space” contexts.  I’ve done a series of posts, for example, on how debate can work online (here and here).

Similarly, in a very interesting post, Judith Curry has identified her objective on her own blog as translating an old communication activity into a new setting:

I am striving for something different, sort of an e-salon where we discuss interesting topics at the knowledge frontier.

Three hundred plus years ago, another prominent woman wrote extensively about salon communication;  let’s see what we can learn from her.

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Written by jeangoodwin

August 5, 2011 at 11:28 am

Posted in in theory

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Debate in the blogosphere: A small case study

with 27 comments

Steve Patterson over at RAIL recently wrote a typically fine piece on How Comments are Killing the Commons.   Coming at the subject as a student of public discourse, I find myself a little more tolerant of the blogosphere’s “partisan clowning” etc.  I’m more curious about specific communication strategies we can adopt to make comment threads work.  Steve McIntrye of Climate Audit recently referenced an essay by myself & Michael Dahlstrom, and my participation in the comment threads gave me an opportunity to observe close up several helpful and unhelpful strategies at work.  Here are three things I learned about blogospheric debate, especially in contrast to communication in more face-to-face settings.

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Written by jeangoodwin

July 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm

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