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Old 2013-09-20, 15:32   Link #30761
Solace
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On the topic of message and messenger, people should read this article: http://kotaku.com/going-viral-sucks-1282348530

A warning, some of the pictures are NSFW (foul language).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Article excerpt

The whole thing was a prank, but an incisive one—a critique of a culture that constantly reproduces meaningless 'inspirational' quotes that are indistinguishable from one another. So much so that it literally doesn't matter who says the quote, or if the quote is real. As long as it's pretty or it sounds deep, right? The web needs its own version of Hallmark, too, and popular image board sites like Pinterest and Tumblr are there to serve that need. Understood under that light, Emily's Pinterest board is not much different than the viral wallpapers that pair captivating pictures with stupid or crass language, which also makes fun of that culture.
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Old 2013-09-20, 16:37   Link #30762
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
You're wrong. That is what exceptional means, as noted here.

Key excerpt: 1. Being an exception; uncommon.
Not sure how familiar you are with the English language usage of the word, but when you say something is exceptional, it simply means it's very good, above normal. Not that it's exempt from the rules.
Anyone claiming it in the manner you speak is playing stupid word games not worthy of any attention.

Obama used the word correctly in manner how it's normally used.
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Old 2013-09-20, 16:49   Link #30763
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Did you even click the link I provided? It links to an online dictionary definition of "exceptional", and that online dictionary has "5,666,703,026 visitors served". Do you really think such a very widely visited online dictionary would include "Being an exception" to the definition of "exceptional" if the word wasn't frequently used with that meaning?

"He is an exceptional case" does not necessarily mean "He is very good, above normal". It may simply mean "He is unusual... so perhaps the standard rules don't apply to him".

So I'm sorry, aohige, but you are simply wrong on this.

It's also important to keep in mind the concept of "American exceptionalism", which has fueled a lot of neoconservative thought in recent years, and which has been part of the basis for a lot of US military intervention in many places throughout the world. When a high-ranking American politician talks about his nation being "exceptional", it rubs against that concept of "American exceptionalism" that many people rightly have issue with since it's frequently used to support arguably overreaching American geopolitical/military aims. If you read through some of the quotes provided at that Wiki link, you'll see that the word "exceptional" is frequently used to promote American exceptionalism.

Exception, exceptional, exceptionalism... These words are not unrelated in the places of political power and influence in America, and in the world.
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Old 2013-09-20, 16:55   Link #30764
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Did you even click the link I provided? It links to an online dictionary definition of "exceptional", and that online dictionary has "5,666,703,026 visitors served". Do you really think such a very widely visited online dictionary would include "Being an exception" to the definition of "exceptional" if the word wasn't frequently used with that meaning?

"He is an exceptional case" does not necessarily mean "He is very good, above normal". It may simply mean "He is unusual... so perhaps the standard rules don't apply to him".

So I'm sorry, aohige, but you are simply wrong on this.
You do realize, that "exceptional case" is different from say, an "exceptional item" right?
It's used as a simple measurement of QUALITY when you're using it as a mild praise.

I seriously think there's a language barrier here.
It's rather baffling since it's an extremely commonly used adjective here in the exact mild-mannered compliment in the way he used it.

Anyone taking it to mean "AHA! Obama is saying America can go f*** the rules!" is about as silly as those that call him dirty Muslim Commie.
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Old 2013-09-20, 17:12   Link #30765
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Why do you think Anh_Minh wrote this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
It depends what they mean by "exceptional". Some Americans, it seems, take it as "it's alright if it's us doing it". (Whatever "it" is)
Some Americans take it to mean that because the word can and sometimes does mean "We're an exception, since we're exceptional".


Why do you think Putin took issue with it? Do you really think Putin cares if Americans feel some pride in their country?

No, Putin took issue with it because he knows how "America is exceptional" is a phrase frequently used to support that concept of American exceptionalism, which is a concept that some use to justify America doing things that are apparently unacceptable for other countries (such as holding WMDs... like nukes).
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Old 2013-09-20, 17:14   Link #30766
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Or you know, because he's the Russian head of state.
Which goes squarely back to the messenger debate.

Curious, do you actually live in America?
Because seriously, you're talking about an extremely common word used here, which makes this whole word game completely absurd.
Which, I'm sure, Mr Putin is not aware.

Oh, and those "some Americans" who play the same game, are equally undeserving of attention.
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Old 2013-09-20, 17:33   Link #30767
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What's absurd is you're talking about politics and acting like there's no way anyone could possibly play word games. Seriously, there's no need to get into a multi-page debate about the meaning of a word. Even your own use as "really good" still means exactly what Triple_R is saying. It's different enough to be an exception. The difference is you're seeing that exception as a good thing, but it doesn't have to be.
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Old 2013-09-20, 17:37   Link #30768
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB View Post
What's absurd is you're talking about politics and acting like there's no way anyone could possibly play word games. Seriously, there's no need to get into a multi-page debate about the meaning of a word. Even your own use as "really good" still means exactly what Triple_R is saying. It's different enough to be an exception. The difference is you're seeing that exception as a good thing, but it doesn't have to be.
No, he's worried that it opens to interpretations in negative connotations.
I'm saying, those who dabble in dumb semantic word games are either rationally challenged, or composing agenda-based speech, and really doesn't warrant an attention in the first place. (in case of Putin, obviously the latter)

Whether or not a praise is a good thing or bad is ENTIRELY a different issue.
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Old 2013-09-20, 17:50   Link #30769
Anh_Minh
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You know, despite whatever semantics may tell you, there's also French exceptionalism (everyone's got to be a unique snowflake, right?). In our case, it's more "it'll work if it's us doing it". And, occasionally, "nothing gets done if we don't do it first".

What Putin worries about, or pretends to worry about, and which worries a lot of other people, isn't the strictest interpretation of Obama's speeches. It's how few steps it is from there to thinking the rules don't apply to the US, and how many in America are willing and eager to walk those steps.
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Old 2013-09-20, 17:58   Link #30770
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^ That's pretty rich coming from someone who goes "f**k you I'm Vladimir Putin" to any and all rules.

What you say is true about the global politics of America, and he took the opportunity to resonate it with a word. However, this speech in itself and the usage of the word, is rather ordinary in its context, it's looks to me like an opportunistic approach on a rather innocent wording.

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Old 2013-09-20, 18:01   Link #30771
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There's no such thing as "innocent wording" in politics.
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Old 2013-09-20, 18:07   Link #30772
Anh_Minh
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Doubly so when it's used to justify bombing people.

I mean, yeah, maybe the bombing is justified, I don't know. But there's nothing innocent about it.

(See what we did there?)
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Old 2013-09-20, 21:25   Link #30773
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U.S. general sees problems, progress in developing Afghan air force
http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNew...98J10G20130920

Chicago shooting shows gap in stepped-up policing
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...09-20-20-58-19
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Old 2013-09-21, 05:02   Link #30774
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB
You ignored the first part of the post in favor of the second part. What if it's truly anonymous? Like, a piece of paper tacked to a board? Is it impossible to process the message because you don't know who put it up?
Now we're venturing into the philosophical territory. Nice! For the question itself, I answered briefly in my initial post where I stated message without context is incomplete and without bearing. It is indeed impossible........ unless someone is providing context. Suppose you are the only person in the world who read that anonymous message..... Whatever you took from that message after reading, it is solely based on your own understanding. You are the one providing context to that message. So in an essence, whatever you took from it may not necessarily be the same as what the original author intended to be when that message was written. Words themselves don't have any meaning. We are the one associating meaning to define something, like the color red. How do you define red? Errr.. and yet we all know what "red" is. We know it as red because we all agreed to call this primary color at the extreme end of the visible spectrum at around 600-700 nm as red. The context for the color red is there which we all now understand intutively whenever someone says, "pass me that red ball."

So in that same sense, that anonymous message can be understood only if you are providing context, but you also have to keep in mind the intended meaning may not completely align with your own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB View Post
So if the KKK said that there's too much corruption in politics, you'd disagree just because they're the KKK?

You realize this sounds exactly like that episode of South Park where the KKK rejected changing the flag, but Jimbo convinced them to rally in support of changing the flag because everyone would instinctively do the opposite of what the KKK does, right?
Why exactly do I need to agree with KKK to understand there is too much corruption in politics? Can I not make the same conclusion of my own? I've made that conclusion a very long time ago, in fact. I would be, however, curious to find out why exactly KKK came to this very realization when they make such statement.

P.S. Wrote this post in a hurry, so I may need to make further clarification..., please feel free to point out the confusing parts in this post... and will also comeback to Maplehurry's post later.
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Old 2013-09-21, 09:22   Link #30775
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monir View Post
Why exactly do I need to agree with KKK to understand there is too much corruption in politics? Can I not make the same conclusion of my own? I've made that conclusion a very long time ago, in fact.
You can, but they're more well known. Thus, you are agreeing with them even if you don't intend to be. The same can be said here. Many already thought American exceptionalism is or could be a problem. But they're "nobodies". Putin is a big name. Thus, even if you've considered it for a while, he's the big name who has said it now, so if you express those feelings, you're agreeing with him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monir View Post
Now we're venturing into the philosophical territory. Nice! For the question itself, I answered briefly in my initial post where I stated message without context is incomplete and without bearing. It is indeed impossible........ unless someone is providing context.
"I put too many quarters in the parking meter, have a free hour on me!"

I don't know who left the message. The message itself provides context. There's no strings attached, I can see the meter has time on it as per the message. What's not to understand? Not everything needs to be analyzed to the Nth degree.
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Old 2013-09-21, 13:46   Link #30776
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monir View Post
A message can't appear without a messenger. A message is the content while the messenger is the one providing context to the content. So I don't think the content of a message can stand alone on its own without the contextual weight behind it. Without context a message is incomplete and without bearing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
The reason why the messenger matters, is because if the credibility and sincerity of the message is compromised, it may be a hollow message even if it "sounds" good. The integrity of the message itself is tainted. You have to question the truth of the message when it is clearly agenda based.
This depends on the message. For example, later in monir's post he describes how Putin stated that the chemical weapons could not have been used by Assad, only to have the UN deliver proof that he was incorrect later (which Putin denounces, not surprisingly).

In that case, the messenger becomes critically important because we're trying to assign weight to the statements and reports. There is the chance that an outright lie is being told, or that data is being falsified or misrepresented. If you understand the messenger and his or her links to the scenario then you are in a better place to make those determinations.

Putin taking issue with American exceptionalism doesn't fit with that scenario, though. Why Putin said what he did and what he hoped to accomplish are certainly things that we could determine by examining him as the messenger, but the message itself is no longer about truth or lies. No facts were presented. We only received an idea that is subjectively up to us to accept or deny. At that point, the messenger becomes irrelevant with regard to the message and how we approach it.

Just to clarify, I am talking specifically about the idea of American exceptionalism. That's a topic involving - not surprisingly - America, and the concept of exceptionalism. If we want to talk about why the issue was raised at this time, and why it was raised by Russia, then the messenger becomes important. But to discuss those things is to get away from the message itself. Now we're no longer talking about American exceptionalism, but about Russia, Putin, and world events.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monir View Post
There are also couple of noticeable difference between the way Putin and McCain deliver their respective message.

- Putin is the face of a nation. McCain is one of the two Senator from Arizona.
...
- In contrast, McCain message isn't belittling the Russians to the extent Putin's message does to the Americans.
As an American, I didn't feel belittled by Putin's message. I felt that he was taking a jab at some of the more extreme, pig-headed members of our society, and I was glad for it. Our politicians are generally too afraid to do it because of the backlash that they would receive.

As for McCain's message, while I didn't think that it was outwardly insulting to anyone, I'm not Russian, nor do I have insight into how most Russians feel about their government. My guess is that his letter still upset a number of Russians. It's hard to find anyone that likes to have an outsider criticize the inner workings of their house.

As to the weight of their positions, McCain isn't just a senator from Arizona. He's a former presidential candidate and a veteran in American politics, a senator from the most powerful (and from the Russian perspective, arrogant) nation in the world. I doubt that this is the first time that many in Russia have heard his name before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monir View Post
So why is Putin's message any less petty than McCain and why should that particular portion of Putin's message should be allowed to stand on it's own?
Specifically with regard to pettiness, I think about the events leading up to the letters. Russian ambassadors tried a few times to speak to our government officials as our rhetoric on Syria heated up, but our elected officials declined to meet with them. It's not that I don't understand why (clearly the Russians had one view and one goal in mind, and no time needed to be wasted on a meeting to establish that), but it didn't look good for diplomacy. Putin then reached out to the American people. All of these concerns were about what was going on in Syria.

So then, what did McCain do? If the media stories and quotes are to be believed, he was offended by Putin's letter and wrote his own letter in an effort to punch back. His letter did not detail anything relating to Syria or our nation's thoughts on the matter, nor did it even address Putin's own letter. Instead, it was a pure criticism of Putin's government.

Our elected officials put their hands over their ears, and when the Russians went around them, they pretty much resorted to insults. That is petty. (Note that we are now discussing the messengers, instead of the message. I'll note that just as I had no problem with Putin's message, I have no problem with McCain's.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by monir View Post
The point is, all the "good points" Putin made, Americans already made them and forced Obama's hand to back down on the strike. We already know we aren't exceptional and we can make that conclusion all on our own, so I certainly don't appreciate a guy like Putin is telling our President to be careful at how he chooses to describe American.
The situation in Syria is on-going and I believe our warships are still in the region, so it's a bit early to say that we forced Obama to back down. As to exceptionalism, I'm glad to hear you say that we aren't exceptional, but I've met an awful lot of Americans who would disagree with you and me. Put another way, why would Obama feel the need to throw it into his speech if most of the nation thought that it was ridiculous? Even if most of the nation thought it was ridiculous, it is a dangerous idea and our president shouldn't be trying to goad us into believing it. Wouldn't you agree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monir View Post
If you were delivering the message to Americans as another citizen (where you won't have to worry about committing political suicide) how would you have chosen to word them?
Why does the wording of a citizen matter? I asked if you realistically thought that Putin's message could have been delivered by any American official, or even an American citizen. I've told you my thought that to do so in a discussion with an American believing in American exceptionalism would result in the messenger being labeled as a traitor or what have you. The message would likely be lost.
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Old 2013-09-21, 16:04   Link #30777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monir View Post
So in that same sense, that anonymous message can be understood only if you are providing context, but you also have to keep in mind the intended meaning may not completely align with your own.
In theory yes, but in practice, the anonymous messages could be understood well majority of the time. So how can one simply say they have no bearings across the board ? How much certainty is required in order for something to be considered to have bearings? Isn't it more of a relative concept instead of a binary one (either it does or it does not) ? Or if it's a personal preference, then I will not argue further on this point.

Take for example, a bunch of Anon posts on 4chan, or internet debate involving people who met each others online for the 1st time. Misunderstandings happened, but they are understood well majority of the time without needing to dig up each others' past or self-introduction or whatever. And people certainly do usually simply proceed with the argument itself, instead of "wasting" majority of the time digging up each others' pasts even if they met for the 1st time. Or in an official debating competition where people are assigned their alignment randomly. Could the arguments presented by them not be able to "stand on its own" without knowing each others, or do they necessarily need to question each others' past and identity in order to gain a better chance of winning the debate, or how can a winner even be determined if nothing they said have any bearings without personally knowing the contestants well ? Or should a declared winner have his status retracted if it's found out later that he's a closet KKK member ? If you are a judge in a debate competition, would you assign a KKK member to lose by default if his opponent is someone you know as a nice person ?

Last edited by maplehurry; 2013-09-21 at 18:29.
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Old 2013-09-21, 18:40   Link #30778
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In 1961 a U.S. Air Force B-52 almost detonated an atomic bomb over North Carolina:

"The UK Newspaper The Guardian has released details under the freedom of
information act, which chronicle how on Jan. 23, 1961 one small frail fail safe switch
averted a disaster of biblical proportions.

Earlier on that day, a B-52 had departed Seymour Johnson Air Force Base armed
with two Mk39 Hydrogen bombs, both with a yield of 4 megatons or to put it
another way, with bombs each 260 times more powerful than the weapon that had
been dropped on Hiroshima during World War II."

See:

http://theaviationist.com/2013/09/21.../#.Uj4t6hDA51p



Goldsboro revisited: account of hydrogen bomb near-disaster over North
Carolina – declassified document:


http://www.theguardian.com/world/int...ified-document
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Old 2013-09-21, 19:45   Link #30779
monir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB View Post
You can, but they're more well known. Thus, you are agreeing with them even if you don't intend to be. The same can be said here. Many already thought American exceptionalism is or could be a problem. But they're "nobodies". Putin is a big name. Thus, even if you've considered it for a while, he's the big name who has said it now, so if you express those feelings, you're agreeing with him.
The guy is famous, so I've no choice but to agree with a message even though I see it as skewed and agenda based. That reasoning, to me, is shallow.

Quote:
"I put too many quarters in the parking meter, have a free hour on me!"

I don't know who left the message. The message itself provides context. There's no strings attached, I can see the meter has time on it as per the message. What's not to understand? Not everything needs to be analyzed to the Nth degree.
Again... No, a message itself never provides context. You are giving it one after "analyzing" it when you looked at the meter with the time left. If you are driving a car and you are parking in it, then the content of the message fits with the context you are giving it. Are you hundred percent sure that the author left this note just for anyone who came to fill in the spot? If you are just a pedestrian who happen to come across this message you will assign a different set of meaning based on the context you give. You will probably think, "wow, that's a nice fellow." And you move on. What about the next person comes in to fill the spot and sees the note while the meter already expired? He is providing a different set of context to the very same message. Time, place, and circumstances plays a huge role at giving context to any content.

The point is, how do you take in a message, how do you understand it solely depends on you and you alone. Whether you want to analyze it to the Nth degree is up to you, but you can't outright say, "not everything needs to be analyzed to the Nth degree." All it says is that you've reached your own limitation and satisfied with certain conclusion. Your understanding doesn't necessarily need to align with the next person who may come to a different set of understanding based on the same message.
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Old 2013-09-21, 20:34   Link #30780
maplehurry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monir View Post

Again... No, a message itself never provides context.
What if it's a very long message ?

Edit: nvm, I am probably pulling an equivocation here.

(as in everything you have ever learned/experienced in your life to be considered "one very long message". )

Last edited by maplehurry; 2013-09-21 at 20:47.
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