Gaslighting discussion (split from: Justin’s Miscellaneous Posts)

From Gaslighting discussion. I had written a long reply self-criticizing and got a response that didn’t make sense to me:

If the meaning is what to do next regarding that particular discussion, 1) I don’t think I’m realistically capable of figuring that out myself, and 2) I don’t want to impose that burden on other people, which leaves me with no options that I can see. I was trying to take the initiative and offer lots of my own analysis that people could read or skim as they prefer and respond to if they want. But even that approach, which seemed and still seems reasonable to me, was rejected as imposing unreasonable burdens. So I’m at a complete loss, which is why I gave up.

I disagree with this characterization of my motives but don’t know how productive it will be to discuss it so I am just flagging the disagreement for now. It seems like the sort of thing I could get emotional about.

I don’t see how tree diagrams would help with the issues I’m being criticized for in this post. It seems like I was being accused of being a bad faith participant in the discussion. Tree diagrams are just a tool to help organize a discussion, and like any tool, they must be used in good faith to have a productive outcome. If someone is sabotaging things, then a tool is not going to help. Perhaps my lack of using tree diagrams was meant as a proof of my bad faith instead of a suggestion for helping the discussion as it stood. That’s the only way I can make sense of it.

I’m still somewhat confused as to what anonymous might even mean by the higher levels of the discussion, as I mentioned here.

Part of me would like to talk about these things a bit now, but I’m also reluctant. I think that there is a vulnerability involved (at least from my POV) in “putting yourself out there” and talking about your life in any public space (or honestly even talking to people in private about it). It is something of a big deal, from my POV. If someone is a long term poster participating in a philosophy forum, I can see it being reasonable to expect them to do some of that. But I can also see why people wouldn’t, and I think it’s quite understandable. If my general impression is that people on the forum (or the people who matter, anyways) think I’m a bad faith idiot or something of that nature, I’m very unlikely to open up in this way. Does that make sense?

I wrote about 725 words (excluding quotes) in the post being responded to by anonymous5 (I wrote another part as well, was a multipart post). I did expect that people interested would either read or skim. That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. There was a major problem with the discussion and it seemed like a commensurate amount of analysis would be required to resolve such a big problem. Putting in less effort would seem lazy/non-serious to me. I think maybe part of the criticism here is that I wasn’t focused on the right targets for analysis (“non-bottleneck-oriented, non-prioritized”). That sounds plausible to me, but the length per se doesn’t seem like it should be an issue. I’m unclear if the length would have been a problem even if I had been talking about the right issue from other participants’ perspectives.

Regarding entering an agreement with discussion partners about what to discuss…that seems to me like something that would come up in a formal or semi-formal debate setting, with a Question Presented and whatnot. So it is not something that would have been remotely on my radar in this context. I thought I was replying with relevant things that other people would appreciate. Rereading the thread a bit in the course of writing this reply, I’m now thinking that maybe 1) there was disagreement about the very topic itself, and 2) there was disagreement about the manner in which the topic should be discussed. In a way, that makes a certain kind of sense, because that conversation was such a mess that I must have had very major misconceptions about it. But on the other hand, that’s pretty demoralizing, since that’s just too many levels of not being in the right ballpark (or the right solar system) of handling the discussion well for me to even begin to know how to proceed. Like, if I can’t even identify the topic or how to proceed discussing it in a discussion, what am I even doing?