Misunderstanding + being misunderstood thread

Misunderstanding and Being Misunderstood are often the cause of fights. This is true among friends, romantic partners, families and even nations. One of the techniques often used during a misunderstanding is to rally the support of friends, family, neighbors and other nations. To do this, you have to tell a story. If you tell the story “well enough”, you take ADVANTAGE OF the misunderstanding the one you’re fighting against has about you, and use that to be able to say, “See!? See!? This proves our story is true!”

One example in World Politics is the fight between several Western Nations and Extremist groups in the Middle East. These newer Extremist groups are *masters* of communication, which is why they are able to rally support rather quickly, while the West has been having a lot of trouble accomplishing the same goal. Fact is, the West HASN’T BEEN LISTENING to the story the Extremist groups have been telling; to get into the mind of a person who already in agreement but just looking for someone to give them the right words is not easy;

This is not an isolated situation; it happens everywhere there are Groups. Within any Group above a certain amount of people, there always ends up being SIDES; and it’s rare there are TWO sides within a group, but rather MANY.

Some examples: a) Many extreme Christian groups in the USA will use the Bible to rally support in this fashion;

b) a prominent scientist or group of scientists may use validated but selective Evidence (especially References) to help get funding for a project; and will often disparage other scientists or groups of scientists in the process; This sometimes has a ripple effect in Education; leading Textbooks to not only favor certain ideas but to reduce or eliminate many other ideas that don’t cleanly fit. If masterfully done, a competing scientist or group can be set back DECADES in research, as they will struggle to get the funding to continue their work, now that the stacks are against them within that whole system.

c) Politicians may quote famous politicians of the past to rally support for an election; but even moreso, using the other’s words against them. This doesn’t require any explanation as simply watching TV during an election year in the USA and you WILL see this kind of “setting the other party up for failure” in action quite clearly.

d) The #1 place this is used worldwide is: Law. The WHOLE SETUP of Law – whatever that system of Law happens to be for; happens in this fashion; not Law in a pure sense; but as with all human endeavors, we are not computers; there’s always SOMEBODY who someone else wants to CONVINCE – both FOR something and AGAINST something else simultaneously.

And yes; I’m doing it too, right in this writing; it’s part of the nature of ‘convincing';

Now that I’ve potentially offended a good portion of readers; if you’ve made it this far, Here is the results of a study done by the Center for Strategic Communication at ASU. It was funded by the US military intelligence because, well, it’s an area that the US military NEEDED more intelligence in – and got it. And now, I quote:

“The most surprising is the near absence of the well-known “Verse of the Sword” (9:5) from the extremist texts. Widely regarded as the most militant or violent passage of the Qur’an, it is treated as a divine call for offensive warfare on a global scale. It is also regarded as a verse which supersedes over one hundred other verses of the Qur’an that counsel patience, tolerance, and forgiveness.

We conclude that verses extremists cite from the Qur’an do not suggest an aggressive offensive foe seeking domination and conquest of unbelievers, as is commonly assumed. Instead they deal with themes of victimization, dishonor, and retribution. This shows close integration with the rhetorical vision of Islamist extremists.

Based on this analysis we recommend that the West abandon claims that Islamist extremists seek world domination, focus on counteracting or addressing claims of victimage, emphasize alternative means of deliverance, and work to undermine the “champion” image sought by extremists.”

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  • Lisa Davila, Gary Wayne and Trevor Tidwell like this.
  • Trevor Tidwell Know thine enemy as thyself.
    20 hrs · Unlike · 1
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor Tidwell I love proverbs and sayings; they can successfully compress a whole load of complications into just a few, well chosen words. Thank you! That sums it up perfectly.
    19 hrs · Like · 2
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor TidwellI also surprised myself; I almost never write about politics because I don’t care for any of it; but at least I’m understanding better *why* I don’t like it; it’s the whole process of making someone else MAKE THEMSELVES look bad by tellinSee More
    19 hrs · Edited · Like · 1
  • Trevor Tidwell As a politically active person, I totally get that. That said, everything wrong in politics, also happens to be the stuff that’s most thrilling, intriguing, exciting, and fun about politics.
    10 hrs · Like
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor Tidwell I completely respect that – I don’t follow sports – but I see a lot of parallels between sports and politics. I also see parallels in The kind of drama in reality TV – novellas and soap operas in the old days, and, in short, anywhere that you are rooting or booing with great attention to detail xD I tried reading the sports pages a few times in my life, and it read like a testosterone filled soap opera drama, set in the Fields of Battle. And I’m not criticizing any of it – I think the existence of all of these things is marvelous! And, as much as I say “I don’t like politics ” I know it’s not entirely honest. There are causes that I could see myself fighting for – and, I have in the past and even subvertively at present. Fighting for a cause is completely political in nature – collecting negative things about that which I fight against, and collecting things supporting the sides I believe in. The one thing I HAVENT found – is a banner under which to join others. If the urge to fight becomes strong – and I have to create the banner myself? THEN I’ve just entered Politics itself – and could easily get shredded to bits if I wasn’t prepared xD
    7 hrs · Like · 1
  • Trevor Tidwell Oh it’s terrible. I wish we didn’t have to fall under party banners in order to get anywhere. I would rather just have a discussion as a whole, than try to keep up with factional conflict management.
    6 hrs · Unlike · 1
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor TidwellYes – the discussion side of politics is interesting; but the “factional conflict management” (ooh what a great combination of words – I love it and may use it one day) is the part that makes it distasteful.

    Factional Conflict Managemen
    t. Wow, 3 words and you’ve summed up successfully one of the things that I get ‘political’ about; no matter what the topic is; It’s when someone says, “ideal, ideal, ideal, ideal – and this is why MY ideal is better than YOUR reality”

    So, I find it my duty to point out, “I’m sure your ideals are great; but your REALITIES are just as bad as your opponents”

    Them: “Oh, our realities have nothing to do with our ideals. Our ideals are AWESOME, but THEIR realities are ATROCIOUS (lists examples)”

    Me: “But THEIR ideals are also pretty good too”

    Them: “Oh their ideals? hah! Laughable. I mean… just look at their REALITIES? (cites more examples)
    6 hrs · Like
  • Trevor Tidwell Yep. And the hard part is that Madison expressly meant for our system of government in America to be factional conflict management. Our system is the way it is, protestations to the contrary, by design.
    6 hrs · Unlike · 1
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor TidwellYes – James Madison was quite the genius in understanding group dynamics. Our stability as a nation is precisely _because_ of the well managed conflicts, rather than in spite of them.
    6 hrs · Like · 1
  • Trevor Tidwell Congress is inefficient by design, even as the Presidency is efficient by design. And their wagons are hitched together for good measure.
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  • Kenneth Udut Trevor TidwellI Yes – when people complain about red tape and the sluggishness of government; they’re right. I think of it like this:

    Imagine a four sided structure made of cardboard, with a cardboard ceiling and a cardboard floor.

    If you put those pieces as they are, sure they can stand, but the slightest wobble on the roof and the whole thing goes crashing down. Anything inside of it would be crushed.

    BUT if you build within it a maze, with rooms, corridors and LOTS of dead ends, you’ve just created a very STRONG and stable structure; and an unexpected force that sits on top of it won’t crash the structure, nor can anything *within* the structure really damage it much; for each of those dead-ends and one-way rooms oddly enough provides safety.
    6 hrs · Like
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor Tidwell [ in short, minimizing “points of failure”]
    6 hrs · Like
  • Trevor Tidwell I personally would rather see something more versatile, fluid, agile, and overly efficient, much like our digital technology, our iPods and iPhones and iPads and laptops and apps, and such. I’ve fallen out of love with the American system of government. Speed and rapid course correct would be better in my view.
    6 hrs · Edited · Like
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor TidwellOh, I agree completely! A virtual structure where *everybody* supports its strength-through-redundancy simply by *using* the system itself; well, that’s the genius of the Internet. Few single points of failure; much redundancy, yet agility and speed and most importantly; each person gets their say.

    Representative government is useful; shells within shells as it were; but a more web-like structure is far more flexible.
    6 hrs · Like · 1
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor Tidwell*implementing* such a structure while maintaining the shells-within-shells representative model is tricky; but the beauty of a root-like structure like the Internet is that is behaves JUST like weeds:

    If you leave a building long enough,
    the weeds are small but strong and they will bust through concrete, crumble concrete walls, get inside and take over. Given enough time, the entire structure is the weed; and bits and pieces of the original structure are entangled within it.

    Ok, it’s a dramatic example; but I don’t see weeds as a bad thing anyway. I see them as *very* successful plants
    6 hrs · Like · 1
  • Trevor Tidwell I don’t know that I want to preserve this building. I think I want a new one.
    6 hrs · Unlike · 1
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor Tidwell Oh me too. For me, it’s important to understand what’s right about the past (why and where it worked); because identifying ‘what’s wrong’ is easy; but new systems often fail because they overly focus on “righting the wrongs” but not knowSee More
    5 hrs · Like · 1
  • Trevor Tidwell Indeed. I am constantly thinking of better ways. It’s obsessive, really.
    5 hrs · Unlike · 1
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor Tidwell When I come across an expert in something, I love getting their summaries of their ideas; I get to learn a *lot* in a very short time; as their brainpower and time was spent instead of mine… so:

    What are things that a better system of
    government would need to have in order to be effective?

    I don’t mean a complete system, but like.. hmm.. a litmus test of, “Without these methods/pieces/ways, a system will likely fail”
    5 hrs · Edited · Like
  • Trevor Tidwell Well, truth be told, even on a rudimentary level, the system that will be best for a given society depends greatly on the society itself, it’s demeanor, make up, traditions, culture, what they want, what they expect, etc…
    5 hrs · Edited · Unlike · 1
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor Tidwell Thank you; that’s perfect! It could easily be transformed, at the very least, a worksheet or checklist if one is comparing systems of government, something like:


    What is the demeanor of the society?
    What is its make up?
    Describe its Traditions in detail.
    What do they want as a society? (desires)
    What are their expectations? (assumptions/predictions/givens)

    How does the system of government you propose address each of these things?

    What are the potential points of failure?
    4 hrs · Like · 1
  • Trevor Tidwell Me, personally, I no longer believe representative democracy to be helpful or desirable. I would rather we had direct, participatory democracy, even on a national and global level. Our technology makes direct democracy feasible on large scales for the first time in human history. We can decide for ourselves, we don’t need people to decide for us on our behalf.
    4 hrs · Unlike · 1
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor TidwellYes, I find participatory democracy preferable. There are some inherent dangers though: The danger of popularity. A charismatic figure can sway large amounts of people very quickly. People aren’t sheep of course; but it’s easy to get swept up in the allure of someone who seems to have all of the answers. Thoughts?
    4 hrs · Like
  • Kenneth Udut [actually I know the answer; it was silly to even ask it ; sorry. It’s simply learning skepticism
    4 hrs · Like
  • Trevor Tidwell Well, I do believe in checks and balances, so for electing a president, for example, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that a candidate garner a majority of citizens (not just votes, but of all citizens), as well as a majority of citizens in a majority of the regional subdivisions of that society.
    4 hrs · Like
  • Trevor Tidwell I also think that shorter terms could compensate. Really, though, with the fact that we can set up algorithms till our hearts content, we can make all sorts of combinations and systemic exceptions, and triggers, and the like that we couldn’t have before.
    4 hrs · Edited · Like
  • Trevor Tidwell I’ve never really considered popularity a danger, but rather the inability to reign in a leader who’s gone hog wild against the wishes of the people, which I believe direct democracy solves. The people can initiate a block or unseat the leader themselves, without waiting for a congress to act, or what have you.
    4 hrs · Like
  • Kenneth Udut Trevor TidwellAlgorithms and programming have a great potential to make the system more efficient and effective; it’s a type of gamification of the system; but for pitfalls, see: algorithms + economics + market crashes and runs.

    I like the idea of rei
    gning a leader through direct democracy; but my concern in a system like that would be “shadow leaders”; gosh that sounds dark; but what I mean is the influence of individuals (or groups) that stay out of the spotlight, but can direct the course of political events (such as the unseating of a leader or a law) through subversive means.

    One recent example is the “slow internet/fast internet” campaign.

    It became a very popular movement very quickly, through misinformation. The proposed FCC changes have little to do with slow/fast internet lanes; the ability to throttle traffic has *already* been part of the system for years now and the actual wording changes are minimal and have nothing to do with it.

    Rather, it is a movement by large popular websites to force ISPs to upgrade their systems, or be served with different levels of service by the websites. But because the websites *are* the medium of communication; they can easily provide different levels of service to ISPs they are “punishing” but meanwhile pointing the finger of blame *away* from themselves and saying, “Look look, evil corporate greed over there!”
    4 hrs · Like · 1
  • Kenneth Udut In the end, it might turn out to be a good thing; faster internet for all but meanwhile, prices will have to go up to support upgraded systems; making the ISPs appear greedy;and making the idea of “the Internet As A Public Utility” seem more agreeable See More
    4 hrs · Like · 1
  • Trevor Tidwell It’s easier for me to try and think of a specific system for a community or country with which I’m familiar. For example, i developed a concept for the city I live in.
    4 hrs · Like
  • Kenneth Udut Well perhaps the idea can be “scaled”; of course there seems to be inherent limitations in scalability of systems. The “Rule of 150″ seems to show up everywhere; that once you get past around 150 people, a flat organizational structure becomes unwieldy and groups begin to form.
    4 hrs · Like
  • Trevor Tidwell I’ve heard that which is why I’ve developed, sort of, the idea of community units organized by 50-150 households. It’s not one I’ve been able to flesh out much, but it’s one I hope to experiment with in the future.
    4 hrs · Edited · Unlike · 1
  • Kenneth Udut I like that. If I had control of real estate – I like the concept of city planning where seven houses are built in a “round” with their backs facing each other and common area shared, including a common building for “house number 8″. The system could expand out from there, groups of seven housing circles with an eighth Circle for the group use, and so on up the line.

    In that way, you have privacy, Community and government on appropriate for each level – with representation democratically provided by the common house. To me, it would allow for regional differences and all cultural quirks to remain – but it’s just one of many thoughts Ive had through the years xD
    4 hrs · Like
  • Kenneth Udut I don’t know if anybody has tried this – or even thought it – but I found that almost any ideas that I’ve had, somebody else has had it as well xD
    4 hrs · Like
  • Kenneth Udut And of course, the system wouldn’t be required to be seven – it could be 1, 5, 9, 11 – but I think keeping it around seven would be manageable and fair.

    I suppose it wouldn’t need real estate to be physically organized in circles – I just like the idea of an intimate common area.
    4 hrs · Edited · Like


  • Trevor Tidwell Agreed.
    4 hrs · Unlike · 1
  • Kenneth Udut

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