Slow day

I think I was overdue for a downtime day. I was wondering if yesterday would be that, but yesterday I ended up going into work and doing intense catchup, so it caught up with me today. I read (belatedly) a con report from the last Worldcon, read part of the latest Emerald City, watched a really good final round of golf (and Tiger even won), cleaned up the apartment a little, and otherwise did not very much.

There's a long discussion in comments about my essay a while back about terrorism, which isn't surprising. The last couple deserve a response, but for whatever reason writing that felt too stressful to me today. So tomorrow, maybe. This always happens to me with political issues. I come up with something that I really want to say, and then I'm often better off personally not actually saying it, since even if I get my point across, it always requires a ton of energy afterwards to deal with the comments. I do a lot of saying "that isn't the point I was driving at," the discussion drifts into other things that I have strong opinions about but haven't thought through to the degree that I'd thought through the original material, and the whole thing ends up feeling rather stressful.

This is why I never want to be involved in politics. I just can't take the discussion day in and day out. Also, it seems like nearly everyone, myself most definitely included, who discusses politics gets sucked into a very confrontational way of phrasing things ("you're forgetting" versus "did you think about?", that sort of thing), and that just makes it worse.

Ah well, it could be quite a lot worse -- it's actually a very interesting thread, and about as good of a discussion as I could hope for. It's just still a huge energy drain, and I always end up begrudging that energy afterwards. And yet, at the time, the comment always seems too important to not make. I'm not sure there's a good solution. At my most cynical, I find it easy to decide that no one ever actually changes their mind, all political discussion is just a matter of repeating one's personal positions, and none of it matters in the slightest in the long run. I'm not even sure my own behavior contradicts that, so I can hardly expect more of anyone else.

I'm actually not feeling as cynical as this sounds. I've just been wanting to get that off my chest all day, and that's the reason why I rarely post about politics even though I almost always have a strong opinion.

Anyway, good dinner out tonight with Quanah and Digant, the latter being a new employee on the Linux client support side of things at work. I think he's going to be a great addition to the team. Staff meeting tomorrow where we're supposed to talk about build systems, which should be an adventure, and then later tomorrow afternoon I have to sit in on a meeting about taking over support of some Oracle servers for undergraduate admissions. Thankfully the meeting load looks light for the rest of the week.

Posted: 2006-01-29 20:54 — Why no comments?

"I find it easy to decide that no one ever actually changes their mind...."

One of the things that happens, I suspect, is that a fair part of the mind-changing (perhaps most of it) occurs in people with similar views, who find their view changed subtly after the discussion.

Posted by Brooks Moses at 2006-01-30 00:56

And my apologies for getting confrontational; I also tend to avoid discussing politics unless something gets me really stirred up, which means I'm reacting with a full head of steam and a lot of frustration. I try to keep my phrasing as neutral as possible, but don't always succeed. Again, I'm sorry.

Posted by Travis Butler at 2006-01-31 20:24

Oh, no, no, sorry Travis, I didn't mean to particularly get upset at you. You're totally forgiven, and it wasn't really much of a problem. I'm mostly annoyed at my own reactions to the political discussions, and heaven knows I do exactly the same thing. As you may have noticed, I've already largely stopped discussing politics elsewhere; I'm just not coping very well right now.

The point you raised was an interesting one, to which I do have a reply, although I didn't get to that today either.

Posted by eagle at 2006-02-02 23:46

Great reading, keep up the great posts.
Peace, JiggaDigga

Posted by JiggaDigga at 2006-04-07 09:40

Last spun 2013-07-01 from thread modified 2013-01-04