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Incendax
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16 Dec 2012, 11:22 pm

I am absolutely sick of having to deal with disclaimers when I post in a forum. To clarify what I am talking about, a disclaimer is the necessity of writing 'most people' or 'sometimes' or 'I think', or any phrase that indicates you are speaking in generalities that should not be taken to refer to the whole.

For example, someone might write "I find men/women to be sexist". Inevitably someone has to make a follow up post detailing how "not all men/women are sexist" and "how wrong it is for you to think that all men/women are sexist".

This is an absolute waste of word space. Unless you are writing an academic treatise it should be assumed at all times that an internet post is an opinion, anecdotal, and generalized to the experiences of the writer. It should be assumed at all times that an internet poster means 'this is the way I feel", "your opinion may differ", or "exceptions obviously exist'.

Anyone else feel the same way?



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16 Dec 2012, 11:41 pm

NTs tend to think in broad strokes. As such, when you make a statement like that... they interpret it in the way described. Further, from a language stand point, when you make a statement like "I think men are sexist." You are making a pretty inclusive statement, and as such, SHOULD have qualifiers.

Now, when dealing with Aspergians, it is more than necessary. We tend to be terribly literal, and as such, very precise language is needed.

So... I disagree...


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16 Dec 2012, 11:59 pm

Incendax wrote:
Anyone else feel the same way?

No.

There are too many variables to say that "all" or "none" of most social groupings are exactly alike.

While you may rightly say, "All humans have DNA", it is wrong to say, "All persons with Trisomy 21 require lifetime institutional care" because some people with Down Syndrome can lead independent lives.

Bipolar, or "Black-and-White" thinking seems to be prevalent in fanatics of religion, politics, and conspiracy theories - there seems to be no such thing a a "Moderate" to ultra-liberals or ultra-conservatives; there seems to be only a concept of "Them vs. Us". This also seems to be common in people who have an extremely subjective view of themselves and the world - theirs is the only opinion that matters, and to Hell with everyone who disagrees.

You're not like that, are you?


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Incendax
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17 Dec 2012, 1:51 am

Feralucce wrote:
NTs tend to think in broad strokes. As such, when you make a statement like that... they interpret it in the way described. Further, from a language stand point, when you make a statement like "I think men are sexist." You are making a pretty inclusive statement, and as such, SHOULD have qualifiers.
I disagree. It should not need to have qualifiers because qualifiers should be assumed. Including qualifiers wastes word space, and people who fail to include qualifiers results in a repetitious subconversation.
Feralucce wrote:
Now, when dealing with Aspergians, it is more than necessary. We tend to be terribly literal, and as such, very precise language is needed.
I disagree again. Aspies can cope with a blanket adjustment to their perception; this would result in easier communication with others if those disclaimers were assumed in all instances.
Fnord wrote:
There are too many variables to say that "all" or "none" of most social groupings are exactly alike.

While you may rightly say, "All humans have DNA", it is wrong to say, "All persons with Trisomy 21 require lifetime institutional care" because some people with Down Syndrome can lead independent lives.

Bipolar, or "Black-and-White" thinking seems to be prevalent in fanatics of religion, politics, and conspiracy theories - there seems to be no such thing a a "Moderate" to ultra-liberals or ultra-conservatives; there seems to be only a concept of "Them vs. Us". This also seems to be common in people who have an extremely subjective view of themselves and the world - theirs is the only opinion that matters, and to Hell with everyone who disagrees.

You're not like that, are you?
You seem to misunderstand the content of my post. I am advocating that disclaimers are unnecessary because they should be assumed present at all times.



undercaffeinated
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17 Dec 2012, 2:00 am

Incendax wrote:
I am absolutely sick of having to deal with disclaimers when I post in a forum. To clarify what I am talking about, a disclaimer is the necessity of writing 'most people' or 'sometimes' or 'I think', or any phrase that indicates you are speaking in generalities that should not be taken to refer to the whole.


I do this most of the time anyway, even in normal spoken conversation; I don't think of it as using "disclaimers", but just as being more accurate. If I'm talking about a trend or making a generalization, I try to indicate that; it'd bother me not to do this.

Incendax wrote:
For example, someone might write "I find men/women to be sexist". Inevitably someone has to make a follow up post detailing how "not all men/women are sexist" and "how wrong it is for you to think that all men/women are sexist".


Even with the "disclaimers" people still often give replies like that -- it seems they either don't notice the qualifiers, or assume they're just meaningless filler. Of course, some people use qualifiers like that just to sound less forceful, and in those cases they basically are meaningless filler.



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17 Dec 2012, 11:28 am

Incendax wrote:
... I am advocating that disclaimers are unnecessary because they should be assumed present at all times.

Says who?

It is not wise to assume anything beyond what the available evidence will support. A literal interpretation avoids assumptions. You should say what you mean and not assume that anyone knows when you meant "All", "Most", "Some", or "None" -- unless you're just setting someone up just to pounce on them and scream, "YOU MISUNDERSTAND! THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEANT!"


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17 Dec 2012, 11:46 am

I think maybe you're kind of onto something that's sort of important, or at least you could be.

BTW, don't ever listen to Gil Fronsdal. He is a Buddhist teacher who puts his talks online. Every other word he says is some sort of hedge or softener. It's funny after a while as you listen to him.



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17 Dec 2012, 11:56 am

Incendax, I find your statements to be inaccurate... or should that be, I find some of your statements inaccurate... or even, I find all of your statements to be inaccurate. :wink:


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17 Dec 2012, 12:06 pm

OP, you have two choices.

1) Don't bother to use disclaimers, and be inundated with accusations of blanket statements, forcing you to either clarify or get into useless time wasting arguments.

2) Take the time to use disclaimers so that you are clear the first time around, and avoid all that crap.


Which one do you think really wastes more time and space?

No, we're NOT going to assume they are there. Doing so assumes that the person who wrote the words didn't really mean exactly what they said. And what if they actually DID mean exactly what they said, and we assumed they didn't?

Guess what? Misunderstandings, clarification, and time wasting arguments.

Be clear, and don't waste time. It's pretty simple.

Don't ask us to assume anything about you. That's asking us to imagine who you are, how you think, and what you really mean.

News flash! This forum is FULL of aspies, who aren't very good at doing any of that. So do us all a favor would you? Take the time, and put the effort in to be clear. Don't be so lazy as to put that responsibility on us, because it isn't our responsibility, it's yours.

If we can be bothered to do it for you, all we ask is the same in return.


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17 Dec 2012, 12:22 pm

I disagree.

Incendax wrote:
Aspies can cope with a blanket adjustment to their perception; this would result in easier communication with others if those disclaimers were assumed in all instances.


In literally "all" instances? I can't tell if you really mean "all" or if you mean "most" or if you're using the word "all" for emphasis. I'm not an Aspie (I'm just plain old Autistic) but if this was the kind of discussion where what you actually meant would change my response, I wouldn't respond at all unless I could ask you for specifics...that doesn't make communication easier for me -- it makes it harder. In this case, though, my response is the same no matter what your meaning was:

Personally, I believe that deliberately making assumptions in communication (particularly presumptions that are about unspoken generalities or specifics which can drastically change the meaning of a statement) is bad news, and likely to make communication more difficult in the long run by increasing the likelihood of misunderstandings. (Although if by "difficult/easy" you refer only to how little debate/argument occurs or how quickly/slowly the conversation progresses rather than how much meaningful understanding is exchanged then I think it could go either way depending on a lot of other factors.)

I think that adding little words like, "I think" and "your opinion may differ" clarifies the intent of the writer/speaker by providing context (i.e. "context = my thoughts; context ≠ undeniable fact") and offering a basic demonstration of respect for others, respectively. I've met too many people whose only goal in talking to me was to convince me that whatever they said/thought was the definitive, absolutely 100% unquestionably correct way to see/think about something (seriously, anything I said that wasn't "Yes, you're right," was unacceptable)...so I value that kind of clarification and respect and try to remember to use/show it myself.

I can see the value in giving people the benefit of the doubt rather than assuming that they are trying to shove their opinion down my throat as if it were fact, but I still think that in most cases it's better to clarify (or try to be as clear as possible -- i.e. use disclaimers if I can remember them) than to make assumptions (or assume others will be able to read my mind). There is enough meaning lost in communication even when people are extremely specific.


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17 Dec 2012, 12:35 pm

Feralucce wrote:
...when dealing with Aspergians, it is more than necessary. We tend to be terribly literal, and as such, very precise language is needed...


I agree with you on this. I believe most of us with Asperger's are like this. I am quite literal. I try to use words like: (most, some, many, etc.) whenever I write about issues.


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TallyMan
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17 Dec 2012, 12:37 pm

Explicit statements are very important as others have said. There is enough confusion regarding communication as it is without deliberately making ambiguous statements. People cannot assume what you mean because they do not know you or your intentions. There ARE people who make sweeping statements about other groups of people based on gender or race and you are just inviting heaps of trouble by omitting qualifiers such as "some".


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Incendax
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17 Dec 2012, 1:38 pm

Fnord wrote:
It is not wise to assume anything beyond what the available evidence will support.
It is necessary to make assumptions on a constant basis throughout your day; you cannot function in civilized society without an excess of assumption.
MrXxx wrote:
1) Don't bother to use disclaimers, and be inundated with accusations of blanket statements, forcing you to either clarify or get into useless time wasting arguments.

2) Take the time to use disclaimers so that you are clear the first time around, and avoid all that crap.
I am aware that this is nothing but a pipe dream. I am quite convinced that assuming disclaimers exist would facilitate easier communication after several successful experiments amongst my peer group. But a nationwide change is simply something that would not happen no matter how much support I might rally on this forum.
MrXxx wrote:
Which one do you think really wastes more time and space?
If everyone were on the same page regarding assumed disclaimers? That would waste less time and space, but they are not so it does not. It is a self-fulfilling condition.
MrXxx wrote:
No, we're NOT going to assume they are there. Doing so assumes that the person who wrote the words didn't really mean exactly what they said. And what if they actually DID mean exactly what they said, and we assumed they didn't?
Very few people manage to say what they mean already. The english language is lauded as an extremely precise language, and the number of people with sufficient grasp of the language and the inclination to use it to say exactly what they mean is extremely small. The majority are already speaking in varying levels of generality, and use words to approximate their intent.



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17 Dec 2012, 1:44 pm

Incendax wrote:
Very few people manage to say what they mean already. The english language is lauded as an extremely precise language,


By WHO?


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17 Dec 2012, 2:02 pm

I have no problem with disclaimers but I also find them pointless sometimes. People will read something and ignore the disclaimer because they see it as a backpedal or a contradiction and still get upset. I know the person is trying to be clear and un offensive and that isn't always useful when they put a disclaimer down.

I prefer to say "some" or "most" but people still take offense to the word most because to them "most people" implies them too because they are the majority of the world. But I don't get that logic because if they don't do something I say claiming most people do, then they are the minority then and shouldn't take offense. I will also say "usually" meaning it's common. Like I may say "people on the autistic spectrum will usually meltdown when there is a change in their routine and you keep trying to push them out of it to do something else."


But people interpret things differently and have their own definition of words so misinterpretations will still happen no matter how clear you are. It's frustrating, they come off as stupid, someone who is looking to take offense, you feel you can't communicate right because people aren't bothering reading what you are saying, you may find them to be stupid and who can't even read. Or you wonder if they are really that stupid or if they are just trolling pretending to be daft. I will drop the argument if I am pretty clear and I won't argue with stupid and if they are trolling, I won't give them what they want and arguing would be giving them what they want because they are getting a reaction out of me and that is what trolls do. It's pretty common in the internet so it may not just be me having problems with communicating. I have been seeing it happening to others too. Does that mean they all have autism or some form of communication problem? So it makes me wonder if it's all normal when it happens to me and it had nothing to do with my disability.


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