There’ve been times when I find myself with a choice of whether or not to practice silence. Whether I’m faced with a conversation I might not want to get involved in or come to a point in the midst of a discussion and find I might not care to pursue any farther, the reasons I might become or remain silent is anyone’s guess. Take a discussion on The Futility Of Morality at the FA for example; I’ve said my piece, and really don’t feel I’ll be gaining anything from continuing the back and forth between me, Cole, and Unjust Jester. Cole and I happen to disagree, and I think we’ve got a fair understanding of each others perspectives on the value and credibility of statistics, the subjectivity involved in different individuals determining whether they’re acceptable ‘support’ for an opinion, what constitutes a leech on society, who or what might be refere to as a ‘leech’, and so on.
As a sidenote: what I think is really awesome about that discussion is that even with the periphereal issues we’re discussing, Unjust Jester and William just kind of went back to the original topic of discussion, seemingly unhindered by the topics we branched into and the friction present in the differing opinions on them. If you don’t like topics being derailed, feel free to take a fucking page out of their book. That’s the way to handle it, it’s usually effective, at least in terms of engaging others with the topic you wanted to talk about, in a way that encourages others to talk about the same topic without further derailing it by bitching at people that converse and end-up branching off from the original path the discussion was taking.
Another example that comes to mind, and that I’ve pointed to once before, is when I appeared to ignore Ben’s critique of my attitude and approach to leadership of the Dark Aspect. In that, I really didn’t feel the criticisms were of merit and decided it would be a waste of my time to address them. I could have, alternatively, chosen to use it as a platform to explain myself on some of the things he raised, but that wouldn’t have served my intent either. So I refrained. Silence doesn’t equal agreement, or disagreement. Really, it doesn’t necessarily indicate anything in particular. The only thing you can be sure of is that people have their reasons – some don’t care about the subject matter, others are afraid of looking like they’re stupid or being made to feel that way. And still others are interested in the topics at hand but act (or refrain from action) deliberately, to serve a purpose.
(Written July 30th, 2012 / Relates to Restrained Passion?.)