1984: "Misinterpretation"

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1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby squall_line » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:04 pm UTC

Image

Alt-text: "But there are seven billion people in the world! I can't possibly stop to consider how ALL of them might interpret something!" "Ah, yes, there's no middle ground between 'taking personal responsibility for the thoughts and feelings of every single person on Earth' and 'covering your eyes and ears and yelling logically correct statements into the void.' That's a very insightful point and not at all inane."

Reminds me of 1028. Or, more specifically, the alt-text of 1028: "Anyone who says that they're great at communicating but 'people are bad at listening' is confused about how communication works." 1028 ranks up there with some of my more favored XKCD comics, for sure.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:14 pm UTC

It puts me in mind of "If you meet one asshole, you've met an asshole. If all you meet all day is assholes, you're probably the asshole." Or, as a Pierson's Puppeteer might put it: "The majority is always sane."

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Zylon » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:34 pm UTC

Oh my, looks like Randall's feeling preachy again. Not even trying for a joke.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Reka » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:12 pm UTC

Zylon wrote:Oh my, looks like Randall's feeling preachy again. Not even trying for a joke.

I dunno, I thought it was pretty amusing. Not the first time he's made this particular observation, but that doesn't make it any less true.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:44 pm UTC

People sometimes feel personally attacked by Randall's sarcastic observations and then complain that those comics are just preachy and contain no humor whatsoever.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:33 pm UTC

Sounds like those people are bad at listening. :wink:

Joking aside, though, that's a good example of how there are limits to this. See also: Why it's impossible to make an anti-war movie that doesn't "glamorize" war in the eyes of those who revel in senseless violence no matter how horrific it's made to look. Some people really are impossible to communicate with because they're only fluent in a dead language.

Anyway, I came in here to say that my favorite variant of the "I'm not bad at communicating" is blaming the medium itself for being insufficient at conveying meaning. Usually written language for its lack of tone of voice and facial expressions. Because, sure, it's not like written language has had thousands of years to evolve, mature, and become the dominant means of disseminating information long distance, with cases of misconstrued meaning being rare enough to become famous (e.g. A Modest Proposal, which I doubt would have been more effective if it had been littered with winky faces), while the average Internet commenter has had maybe a decade worth of English classes in one of the worst education systems in the world. No, the problem is definitely with writing itself and we should all switch to communicating exclusively through YouTube vlogs.
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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby da Doctah » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:51 pm UTC

Swift is a great example of a particular form of misunderstanding: people who assume everything is meant seriously.

I refer to such people as suffering from an irony deficiency.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Sandor » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:05 pm UTC

squall_line wrote:Reminds me of 1028. Or, more specifically, the alt-text of 1028: "Anyone who says that they're great at communicating but 'people are bad at listening' is confused about how communication works." 1028 ranks up there with some of my more favored XKCD comics, for sure.

It reminded me of 169 (There are three words in the English language...), which is one of my favourites. 1028 takes a bit too much work for me to follow easily, which I guess is the point - it's bad at communicating its point.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby madaco » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:44 pm UTC

When reading this, it is difficult for me to not imagine that the author saw someone else complaining that people were misinterpreting them frequently, when they think that they are writing clearly (perhaps they even feel like they are putting in quite a bit of effort to try to be understood).

The comic then seems to me as if it was saying that it is illegitimate and/or worthy of mockery to complain about that, due to the problem being entirely their own fault.

I don't agree that this is always entirely the fault of the person being misinterpreted. For example, {put inside spoiler box for brevity}
Spoiler:
there may be communities with certain ideological positions which lead them to be more likely to (without conscious intent, but still due to motivations) misinterpret certain lines of reasoning, in order to more easily critique them. It can be rather difficult to avoid doing this for lines of reasoning associated with an ideological position that is opposed to positions that one holds.


Maybe it wouldn't seem that way if I were reading the comic more carefully? But, as things are, that is the impression I get from the comic.
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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Stargazer71 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:37 pm UTC

squall_line wrote:Reminds me of [url=https://xkcd.com/1028/]1028. Or, more specifically, the alt-text of 1028: "Anyone who says that they're great at communicating but 'people are bad at listening' is confused about how communication works." 1028 ranks up there with some of my more favored XKCD comics, for sure.


Dunno. To me communication is a two way street. Ascribing responsibility to only one party misses the point.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Mutex » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:55 pm UTC

Stargazer71 wrote:
squall_line wrote:Reminds me of [url=https://xkcd.com/1028/]1028. Or, more specifically, the alt-text of 1028: "Anyone who says that they're great at communicating but 'people are bad at listening' is confused about how communication works." 1028 ranks up there with some of my more favored XKCD comics, for sure.


Dunno. To me communication is a two way street. Ascribing responsibility to only one party misses the point.

That's... the entire point.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:16 pm UTC

madaco wrote:When reading this, it is difficult for me to not imagine that the author saw someone else complaining that people were misinterpreting them frequently, when they think that they are writing clearly (perhaps they even feel like they are putting in quite a bit of effort to try to be understood).

The comic then seems to me as if it was saying that it is illegitimate and/or worthy of mockery to complain about that, due to the problem being entirely their own fault.

I don't agree that this is always entirely the fault of the person being misinterpreted. For example, {put inside spoiler box for brevity}
Spoiler:
there may be communities with certain ideological positions which lead them to be more likely to (without conscious intent, but still due to motivations) misinterpret certain lines of reasoning, in order to more easily critique them. It can be rather difficult to avoid doing this for lines of reasoning associated with an ideological position that is opposed to positions that one holds.


Maybe it wouldn't seem that way if I were reading the comic more carefully? But, as things are, that is the impression I get from the comic.

That is my critique as well. Clear communication requires honest effort and an assumption of good faith (what some of my philosophy classes called “charity”, trying to interperet someone in the way that makes them make the most sense possible) from both parties, and if everyone in an audience wants (consciously or not) to see you as making no sense or saying something ridiculous, they can always find some way to do so and nothing you can change about what you say will overcome that. You cannot communicate with someone who is choosing not to listen, no matter how hard you try.

Complaints like this comic are mocking seem tantamount to complaints that people are choosing not to listen in such a way, which is a totally legit thing to complain about. “Nobody will give me a fair hearing” might be a clearer way to put it.
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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby pareidolon » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:28 pm UTC

When I read 1974 I, for one, interpret that to mean that Randall believes the internet is a vehicle for spying on and forcibly manipulating the private lives of all individuals, is socially unhealthy, and therefore should never have been invented.

But only when I'm having a bad faith day.

By the by, this comic wouldn't have anything to do with a certain Scottish YouTube troll who was just sentenced under hate speech laws, would it? I only ask because if it was, I feel let down that he didn't draw a pug on Cueball's lap.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby qvxb » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:43 am UTC

Some posters inadvertently irritate people by, for example, using "Sieg heil!" as a synonym for "Gesundheit!"

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby cellocgw » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:57 am UTC

What we have here, is,a FAILURE to communicate!
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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Quey » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:21 am UTC

I totally agree with the premise of the comic, but I have to say that the opposite side is quite often shirking its responsibility. For example, I had an English teacher in high school who thought a paper I wrote contained "Neo-Nazi propaganda" (she said as much in her feedback), while in fact she had accidentally skipped over some "not"s in my prose that would lead the reader to the exact opposite, non-Holocaust-denying conclusions. I thought I had written the paper rather well, and had high expectations for my English teacher, but sometimes, the reader does mess up. Is it too much to ask my reader to understand my core message including any key words like "not"? Of course, we did clear it up later, both in matters of grading and my beliefs.

I'm not trying to denigrate the message here. The two are complementary. In my opinion, the bigger the audience you have, the more of a responsibility you have to carefully craft your message to be clear to all listeners since you probably will have a harder time clarifying things later with 100,000 followers/subscribers/fans later on, if you can muster the time to address 100,000 different confused interpretations at all. If you're just talking one on one, it's probably fair to split the responsibility 50:50.

But as Pfhorrest said, charity is necessary on both sides. Too often in the Social Media Wars of Red Pills and meanieheads and Deplorables and Antilabelists does one see outrage headline after outrage headline, only with dismissive comments giving no regard to charity whatsoever. Often, I think these people do not want to be understood, just wanting to display their devotion to their in-crowd.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Mikeski » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:23 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:People sometimes feel personally attacked by Randall's sarcastic observations and then complain that those comics are just preachy and contain no humor whatsoever.

So you're saying all 7 billion of us need to find sarcasm universally funny? I agree! There is nothing subjective about humor.

But really, nobody should act like the guy in this comic. "1984" is not an instruction manual.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby bantler » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:12 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:Swift is a great example of a particular form of misunderstanding: people who assume everything is meant seriously.

I refer to such people as suffering from an irony deficiency.


It's easy to write off her early work as shallow and immature, but reputation has some wicked cuts.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby YTPrenewed » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:30 am UTC

Both explanations assume that no one is deliberately misrepresenting what is being said. Bit of a false dichotomy there.

"Everyone else" believed all kinds of ridiculous crap. They believed that Iraq had WMDs or that those alleged witches were actual witches. It's almost as if we need a more meaningful metric of blame for misunderstandings (or misrepresentation) than mindless appeals to majority here.

Is there any one-word equivalent of "either misinterpreted or misrepresented" that doesn't imply any assumptions about which it was?

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Gammarad » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:17 am UTC

YTPrenewed wrote:Is there any one-word equivalent of "either misinterpreted or misrepresented" that doesn't imply any assumptions about which it was?


Not exactly, but you could try "mistranslated" for that.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby speising » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:24 am UTC

Quey wrote:I totally agree with the premise of the comic, but I have to say that the opposite side is quite often shirking its responsibility. For example, I had an English teacher in high school who thought a paper I wrote contained "Neo-Nazi propaganda" (she said as much in her feedback), while in fact she had accidentally skipped over some "not"s in my prose that would lead the reader to the exact opposite, non-Holocaust-denying conclusions. I thought I had written the paper rather well, and had high expectations for my English teacher, but sometimes, the reader does mess up. Is it too much to ask my reader to understand my core message including any key words like "not"? Of course, we did clear it up later, both in matters of grading and my beliefs.

that should teach you to always try formulating in a positive way, as people tend to subconsciously ignore negatives.
which is why i hate the (relatively) new announcements in our metro "please do not enter anymore", which, i'm sure, everyone hears as "please jump quickly through the already closing doors". the old announcement "step back please" had a much more effective near physical repulsive force.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Quey » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:59 am UTC

Good advice, and interesting example! Indeed, in my original paper I tried to assert the situation as well as make a comparison,but for some reason the latter stuck out, just without the negation. Describing the situation in a "positive" way sounds odd when talking about the Holocaust, but I get what you mean by positive in this situation. :p

I'm personally most familiar with trains in the SF Bay Area and in Tokyo, which respectively just have a chime and a "door closing" message. Neither is a command in the positive or negative, just a description of the situation or general warning. I have to wonder what changes led to such a long phrase as "please do not enter anymore". That sounds like a design by committee combining over-politeness with an explicit legal cover of "we told you not to" command for the next time someone sues for jamming themselves into the door.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby FOARP » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:48 am UTC

Zylon wrote:Oh my, looks like Randall's feeling preachy again. Not even trying for a joke.


Yeah, pretty much.

Thing is, I don't think I've ever had this kind of thing happen to me on social media - I mean a massive number of people being hurt/offended by what I've said when it is intended to be perfectly logical. Typically what happens instead is one of the following:

1) Someone says something stupid, but which they believe isn't stupid, and gets piled on.

EXAMPLE: "The world is flat, come at me bro"

2) Someone says something, someone else applies a load of motivated reasoning to what they've said, and the followers of the second person adopt that reasoning and criticise the original commenter based on it.

EXAMPLE:

Person A: "Do politicians really all have to wear flag-pins?"

Person B (10 million followers): "This person hates our country and disrespects our soldiers!"

3) The followers of two competing ideas seize on a comment from a neutral and then contest it.

EXAMPLE:

Neutral: "Why don't we recognise Somaliland as an independent country?"

Pro-Somaililanders: "Yeah! This person is right!"

Anti-Somalilanders: "This person is an evil imperialist. We should break up their country to show them!"

Ultimately we live in a world where motivated reasoning is a thing, where ideas are contested and its easy to stumble into this contest, and where the internet allows groups of people, including people who tend towards being easily offended, to find each other and gang together as a community. The idea that it is possible to go through that, to talk about things in a logical human way, without offending anyone, is a bit silly.

It's strange that someone who so regularly jokes about not understanding how basic human interaction works and how difficult it can be, doesn't get that this also applies to not offending people, as if all the other stuff was hard, but not this.

gmalivuk wrote:People sometimes feel personally attacked by Randall's sarcastic observations and then complain that those comics are just preachy and contain no humor whatsoever.


Nah, he's not even really joking here. The setup appears to be that he's seen some guy saying the things quoted and he's being sarcastic at that guy. The pay-off isn't even really his - it's a common phrase or a variation thereof.

Don't get me wrong. Ultimately this is a webcomic which I read for free and Randall is a very funny guy who writes a fun comic that I enjoy reading and which I'm grateful for, just not in this case.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby speising » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:09 am UTC

Quey wrote: I have to wonder what changes led to such a long phrase as "please do not enter anymore". That sounds like a design by committee combining over-politeness with an explicit legal cover of "we told you not to" command for the next time someone sues for jamming themselves into the door.

yes, exactly my thoughts, and as good as admitted, since they said when they changed it that they wanted to sound more friendly. also, it's really in german, so it's even longer.
and then we have the stupidest anouncement of all, which goes like: "Dear passengers! You are inhibiting the continuation of the journey! Please keep free the area marked in yellow!". By the time she comes to the important bits, the train usually has already left the station.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:57 pm UTC

FOARP wrote:Ultimately we live in a world where motivated reasoning is a thing, where ideas are contested and its easy to stumble into this contest, and where the internet allows groups of people, including people who tend towards being easily offended, to find each other and gang together as a community. The idea that it is possible to go through that, to talk about things in a logical human way, without offending anyone, is a bit silly.

It's strange that someone who so regularly jokes about not understanding how basic human interaction works and how difficult it can be, doesn't get that this also applies to not offending people, as if all the other stuff was hard, but not this.


There's a difference between "It's hard to avoid offending people" and "It's their problem if they get offended and there's no reason for me to try to avoid it in future".

"It's hard to avoid offending people, but I can try to do better at it" is often a better position than "It's hard to avoid offending people, so it's fine for me to consistently offend people"

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby throw_away_22167 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:26 pm UTC

Another take on the problem:

Say there are some ignorant/not quite so bright people that insist that its either A or B, and also B is terrible and evil and yuck.

You go on to say C. They, predictably, decide that you said not A, therefore you really mean B and support B, and are terrible and evil and yuck.

To avoid this "misunderstanding" with them, there is only one thing you could have said: A.
Anything other than A, and you are saying B, you are evil and terrible and yuck.
Or, of course, just shut up (usually, but not always, you are given this option)

So, I think a more charitable/interesting position for computer guy to take is "you know, I said C, but these people live in a world of A and not A. I don't wanna say A, so let them understand or misinterpret however they like, I guess".

Its a real problem. But whatever. Rather than engaging charitably, apparently Randall prefers to draw up strawmen and them defeat them. Congrats to him!

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Jorpho » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:26 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:That is my critique as well. Clear communication requires honest effort and an assumption of good faith (what some of my philosophy classes called “charity”, trying to interperet someone in the way that makes them make the most sense possible) from both parties, and if everyone in an audience wants (consciously or not) to see you as making no sense or saying something ridiculous, they can always find some way to do so and nothing you can change about what you say will overcome that. You cannot communicate with someone who is choosing not to listen, no matter how hard you try.


Stumbled on this today: The Principle of Charity.

  • The principle of charity denotes that when criticizing someone’s argument, you should criticize the best possible interpretation of that argument.
  • This means that whenever possible, you should not attribute logical fallacies, falsehoods, or irrationality to other people’s arguments, when there is a plausible rational alternative.
  • Furthermore, even if there is an issue with the other person’s argument, you should give them the benefit of the doubt when it’s reasonable to do so, and assume that the issue is unintentional on their part.
  • To implement this principle, you can start by re-expressing your opponent’s position as clearly as possible, while listing any points of agreement and things that you’ve learned from them, before stating your own argument.
  • Beyond the moral ideal that this principle represents, implementing it also offers practical benefits. Specifically, ensuring that you don’t always focus on the small issues with your opponent’s arguments can help you improve the way you construct your own arguments, and will make the other person more willing to listen to what you have to say.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:57 pm UTC

The point being made in the comic is that the guy's claiming everyone misinterprets him. At that point, it's perhaps worth considering that he is communicating badly.
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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Weeks » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:28 pm UTC

YTPrenewed wrote:Is there any one-word equivalent of "either misinterpreted or misrepresented" that doesn't imply any assumptions about which it was?
Yes the word is "miscommunication"
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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Mutex » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:01 pm UTC

throw_away_22167 wrote:Another take on the problem:

Say there are some ignorant/not quite so bright people that insist that its either A or B, and also B is terrible and evil and yuck.

You go on to say C. They, predictably, decide that you said not A, therefore you really mean B and support B, and are terrible and evil and yuck.

To avoid this "misunderstanding" with them, there is only one thing you could have said: A.
Anything other than A, and you are saying B, you are evil and terrible and yuck.
Or, of course, just shut up (usually, but not always, you are given this option)

So, I think a more charitable/interesting position for computer guy to take is "you know, I said C, but these people live in a world of A and not A. I don't wanna say A, so let them understand or misinterpret however they like, I guess".

Its a real problem. But whatever. Rather than engaging charitably, apparently Randall prefers to draw up strawmen and them defeat them. Congrats to him!

Or, he's talking about a different situation. It's possible for both what he's talking about, and what you're talking about, to happen.

It's kinda like he's saying C, and you're getting mad at him for not saying A.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:20 am UTC

I had someone ranting at me a few days ago during a discussion of aeroplane oxygen masks.
They posted such gems as telling me to read their previous reply over and over, which I had to do anyway as that post was an incoherent word spew.
They demanded that I wasn't listening rather then considering the possibility that they were not being clear about what they were trying to explain.
It ended with an incredulous comment from them that I "want people to die" before they flounced off.

When someone starts throwing insults in a discussion, generally they don't care about understanding anything, they are having a tantrum.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:24 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:It puts me in mind of "If you meet one asshole, you've met an asshole. If all you meet all day is assholes, you're probably the asshole." Or, as a Pierson's Puppeteer might put it: "The majority is always sane."


Try mentioning the need for gun control on twitter. People you've never heard of will try to dismiss any argument you make and start making personal comments about you. You could even say that you have been surrounded by assholes. Doesn't make them the sane ones.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby FOARP » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:44 am UTC

Wee Red Bird wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:It puts me in mind of "If you meet one asshole, you've met an asshole. If all you meet all day is assholes, you're probably the asshole." Or, as a Pierson's Puppeteer might put it: "The majority is always sane."


Try mentioning the need for gun control on twitter. People you've never heard of will try to dismiss any argument you make and start making personal comments about you. You could even say that you have been surrounded by assholes. Doesn't make them the sane ones.


Yeah, I pretty much assumed that Twitter was the context of this cartoon because it generates this kind of situation so regularly.

Mutex wrote:Or, he's talking about a different situation. It's possible for both what he's talking about, and what you're talking about, to happen.

It's kinda like he's saying C, and you're getting mad at him for not saying A.


In which case, according to the logic of this piece, Randall is to blame for being misunderstood so regularly on this point.

rmsgrey wrote:There's a difference between "It's hard to avoid offending people" and "It's their problem if they get offended and there's no reason for me to try to avoid it in future".

"It's hard to avoid offending people, but I can try to do better at it" is often a better position than "It's hard to avoid offending people, so it's fine for me to consistently offend people"


Again, my assumption is that the context of this is Twitter or a Twitter-like forum. In a more closed forum, if the protagonist regularly caused offence, people would know the protagonist (and thus be less likely to be offended at them) and/or they would already be banned. You are told that the person causing the offence is not doing so intentionally. This can actually happen quite often on Twitter, regardless of how carefully you Tweet, simply because of the problem of motivated reasoning (case 2) and contested ideas (case 3) discussed in my comment above. Sure, the person may also just be an stupid (case 1), but since it's left open, and cases 2 and 3 are more common in my experience, I slant towards those. The fact that the protagonist is arguing in apparent good faith makes the harshness directed at them inappropriate and unfunny.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Mutex » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:59 am UTC

FOARP wrote:
Mutex wrote:Or, he's talking about a different situation. It's possible for both what he's talking about, and what you're talking about, to happen.

It's kinda like he's saying C, and you're getting mad at him for not saying A.

In which case, according to the logic of this piece, Randall is to blame for being misunderstood so regularly on this point.

You realise the line from the person out of frame is meant to be sarcastic, right? And if that wasn't enough, the alt-text made it plenty clear he's not saying the speaker is at fault if *anyone* misinterprets them. If most people misinterpret the speaker, the speaker is probably at fault. That doesn't seem to be the case here.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby HES » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:28 am UTC

FOARP wrote:
Wee Red Bird wrote:Try mentioning the need for gun control on twitter. People you've never heard of will try to dismiss any argument you make and start making personal comments about you. You could even say that you have been surrounded by assholes. Doesn't make them the sane ones.

Yeah, I pretty much assumed that Twitter was the context of this cartoon because it generates this kind of situation so regularly.

Flicking through a twitter thread under the video of the arrest of the Toronto attacker, reminded me why I don't use twitter.
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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby FOARP » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:25 am UTC

Mutex wrote:You realise the line from the person out of frame is meant to be sarcastic, right? And if that wasn't enough, the alt-text made it plenty clear he's not saying the speaker is at fault if *anyone* misinterprets them. If most people misinterpret the speaker, the speaker is probably at fault. That doesn't seem to be the case here.


But, as you can see here, many people have misunderstood him (if that was his intended meaning). Therefore, according to the apparent reasoning here, it is his fault for being misunderstood.

I am aware of the concept of sarcasm, ultimately, though, it is merely a way of conveying a point - and what point is being made here? It at least appears to be "If you are regularly misunderstood by a large number of people even when communicating logically and in good faith, this is likely your fault".

HES wrote:Flicking through a twitter thread under the video of the arrest of the Toronto attacker, reminded me why I don't use twitter.


Yeah, but apparently the reason why large numbers of people are stone-cold certain that they know the appropriate way to respond to the attack and who are raging at people of differing views is the fault of the people they are raging at. You might say "but people also agree" but the experience of the people getting raged is basically "everyone is angry at me".
Last edited by FOARP on Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:55 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Mutex » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:53 am UTC

FOARP wrote:
Mutex wrote:You realise the line from the person out of frame is meant to be sarcastic, right? And if that wasn't enough, the alt-text made it plenty clear he's not saying the speaker is at fault if *anyone* misinterprets them. If most people misinterpret the speaker, the speaker is probably at fault. That doesn't seem to be the case here.


But, as you can see here, many people have misunderstood him (if that was his intended meaning). Therefore, according to the apparent reasoning here, it is his fault for being misunderstood.

I am aware of the concept of sarcasm, ultimately, though, it is merely a way of conveying a point - and what point is being made here? It at least appears to be "If you are regularly misunderstood by a large number of people even when communicating logically and in good faith, this is likely your fault".

In the comic, the guy says "everyone" is misinterpreting him. Which implies the cutoff point where Randall believes the speaker is probably at fault is higher than "a large number of people". Presumably not literally everyone, but at least the majority.

Randall certainly doesn't seem to be saying there are no situations where no matter how well the speaker is communicating, a lot of people will nevertheless misinterpret them.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:56 pm UTC

Is the conclusion here that attempting to communicate about controversial topics on Twitter is a sign that you need better communication skills (so that you'd know not to try)?

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby YTPrenewed » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:16 pm UTC

Weeks wrote:
YTPrenewed wrote:Is there any one-word equivalent of "either misinterpreted or misrepresented" that doesn't imply any assumptions about which it was?
Yes the word is "miscommunication"

That... hardly seems satisfactory. It sounds just as biased in favour of the idea that it was by accident as misrepresented does in favour of the idea that it was on purpose.


gmalivuk wrote:The point being made in the comic is that the guy's claiming everyone misinterprets him. At that point, it's perhaps worth considering that he is communicating badly.

See this post.

If an alleged witch's explanation of why she isn't a witch was misinterpreted in a way that made it sound incriminating, would that be her own fault, or a reflection of everyone else's bias against the possibility that she wasn't a witch?

It sounds far-fetched, but that's the exact scenario that plays out in webforums all the time, albeit on lesser offenses.

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Re: 1984: "Misinterpretation"

Postby Mutex » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:25 pm UTC

The guy in the comic apparently has "everyone" misinterpret him frequently, and at no point has he considered it might be his communication skills at fault.

Again, Randall isn't saying there are no situations where the speaker isn't the one at fault for being misinterpreted.


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