Spirited Debate on LO LO6677

Sun, 14 Apr 1996 20:07:05 +1200

Replying to LO6660 --

Hmmm! Two points:

The idea of 'arrogance' is a quality, not a fact, and it is an inner
quality of the person making the statement, not of the statement itself.
When we ascribe the quality to any statement we are making a subjective
judgement about a person's inner state of mind which is not scientifically
verifiable.. The only FACT that is possible here is that I - or we
collectively - may form the opinion that the person who made the statement
was arrogant.

I may make a statement which APPEARS arrogant for all sorts of reasons -
for example if I am not a native speaker of English and in my ignorance
use terms which are not in usual polite useage. Indeed, one of the reasons
why many New Zealanders believe the US to be full of arrogant people is
because US useage often involves the use of phrases which are taken to
indicate arrogance in NZ useage. I have seen a listserver fall to pieces
because the most active people on it were Russians who inadvertantly used
directly translated Russian sentence structures in their English postings,
and these appeared to be highly sexist.

If we were to accept that there was a definable and measureable fact of
arrogance we would be confronted with the problem of who was entitled to
define the criteria which characterise arrogance, and how we might verify
its presence when we observe a phenomenon which appears to fit the

In fact I think that I would be guilty of hubris, if not arrogance, if I
were to appropriate to myself the right to define a statement as arrogant
as a matter of fact.

2. There is an emerging literature on the life cycle of the listserv. It
is clear that unmoderated lists burn bright and die young. The longest
functioning and most respected are those which, like this one, are
moderated according to consistently applied, transparent criteria which
are always open for democratic discussion on the list irself. I have no
desire to 'revolt' against Rick - who is in my view the most competent and
sensitive moderator on any list in which I have participated,

Phillip Capper
New Zealand



Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>