Project plan and meta discussion for the project “Identify some social stuff in everyday life”

What’s the project?

I will write down everyday examples of people doing things for social reasons. I might say what I think the social reasons are. I could easily be wrong about the reasons. Some of these examples will be things I do or have done, and some will be things I’ve seen other people do.

It seems more difficult to decide whether a particular social action or goal is a good or bad idea, so I don’t intend to do that in this project.

My plan is to post at least 20 examples.

Why this project and how does it fit in with my overall goals?

I hope this project will help me consciously think about my and others’ motivations, and therefore understand those motivations better. I expect this will help me with my overall goal of learning to think better. There’s automatic social stuff that gets in the way of me thinking clearly.

My automatic social stuff gets in the way of, in particular, me benefitting from posting here. I expect it also gets in the way of me benefitting others by me posting here.

I predict that if I can see better what my automatic social stuff is, I can see reality more clearly and therefore think more clearly.

This project seems doable for me. I expect that it won’t be any more difficult for me than the “puppet strings” things I wrote in this thread.


I will post the project itself in a separate thread. I’ll edit this post to add a link to that thread. I’d like to keep meta discussion in this thread, and discussion about the social examples in that thread. It’s possible it will be hard to tell which thread something should go in.

Edit: The project examples are here.

What kind of feedback do I want?

I am putting this in the Friendly category, mostly because I see Friendly as a place where there’s some attention to not putting people down socially. I am happy to get feedback on whether people agree with my examples and with what I say about them (in the project thread). I’m happy to see other examples that people think of (in the project thread). I think I am okay with feedback about my project planning (in this thread). I think I am okay with comments about my general patterns of behavior or about social stuff I do in my posts (in this thread).

It’s unclear to me whether you only want comments on patterns of behavior or social stuff that you do in this particular thread to be commented on, or if you’re okay with comments about general patterns of behavior or social stuff outside the thread but you only want to talk about them in this thread

FYI, not putting people down socially (i.e. engaging in social meanness) is expected everywhere, always on the forum. This seems to imply otherwise.

I want friendly comments on social stuff and on patterns of my behavior, I think, that happen anywhere. They can be posted wherever seems appropriate, this thread or elsewhere.

If that’s actually what you want, why not have either this or another thread in unbounded? Like I don’t get why you’d ask for unbounded stuff in friendly.

If you mean the like, not-socially-mean sense of friendly, then similar to what I said before, people are always supposed to be friendly in that sense (not that everyone always lives up to that, including me. But that’s the goal and those are the expectations)

I did mean to imply otherwise. I was under the impression that criticism in the Unbounded category might have (possibly unintended) negative social content.

From About the Friendly category:

Discuss, think and learn with a friendlier atmosphere. Avoid tangential, meta, indirect, personal or harsh criticism.

This implies that the atmospheres of some other categories on the forum are less friendly and might contain harsh criticism.

I prefer a friendlier atmosphere. I think I would be okay with tangential, meta, or personal criticism. I think I would dislike a less friendly atmosphere and indirect or harsh criticism.

You are criticizing the group rules in an indirect way. This directly violates one of the rules you quoted from friendly.

Negative social content isn’t allowed anywhere. It could unintentionally happen in any category. If it happens in friendly, it is actually harder to deal with because sometimes explaining the negative social content of people’s posts relies on meta like bringing up people’s past patterns of behaviour.

The categories aren’t “friendly” vs “unfriendly”. It would actually work to call them “bounded” and “unbounded”, but people might not understand what “bounded” means, and people generally prefer things to be named in a positive-sounding rather than negative-sounding way. (E.g., both the pro-choice and the pro-life would argue that they value choice & life. Neither side would admit to being either anti-choice or anti-life.)

I don’t think that indirect criticism is really OK in unbounded either.

Regarding “harsh” criticism, it’s hard to know what people consider harsh. Many people think that tangential, meta, and personal criticism IS harsh.

1 Like

Yeah. I posted some “negative social content” in an unbounded thread and rightfully got called out on it. So unbounded isn’t some negative social stiff free fire zone. I do make more of an effort to be like, extra nice and topical in friendly (but I should probably be nicer everywhere!!!)

Yeah. Like that could literally be a reasonable definition of harsh crit for lots of people.

[quote=“AnneB, post:7, topic:348”]

ingracke wrote:

You are criticizing the group rules in an indirect way. This directly violates one of the rules you quoted from friendly.

Do you mean that I was indirectly criticizing the (incorrect) idea that the rules allowed for non-friendly stuff in Unbounded? If so, yes I agree that I was doing that and that it violates the rule of avoiding indirect criticism.

Thank you for the rules clarifications. Given them, I think I want this thread to be in Unbounded. If a moderator thinks that’s okay and is willing to move it, please do so.

I would still like to do the social stuff project and post about it. I want to put it in Projects. But to do that, I’d first have to do some shorter projects and post them there. (See About the Projects category) That is my plan, unless someone has a better idea that I haven’t thought of.

did you see this

Ah, I did, but I forgot about it when I posted about moving this thread. Logistically, I don’t know how I’d answer those questions if someone else moves the thread. Maybe we should just leave the thread where it is for now.

There is something to be said for posting my project in Other instead of in Projects. If I post some shorter projects in Project, I expect that people will have criticisms of them which I’ll want to resolve. That will take a while. It might be a long time before I can post about this project in Projects. In Other, I’d be able to do it right away.

I don’t think this project is too hard for me to do now. But maybe it is? I don’t think I’m very good at judging that. Any opinions?

I think I’m indirectly criticizing a rule again! I’m criticizing the rule that I have to post some simpler projects in Projects before I can post the one I want to post.

Maybe I’m doing it indirectly because I don’t have a good explicit reason to criticize the rule. Or maybe I’m doing it indirectly because my default is to make all criticism indirect.

I got really stuck on where I should post this stuff. I think there’s some kind of self-sabotage going on but I don’t understand it.

Finally, I just went ahead and started a thread to post what I have so far. I put it in Other, Friendly. It may not be the best choice, but it’s better than continuing to go round and round in my head about where to post.

I was also getting stuck to a lesser extent on whether I want to do the project at all. I think it’s better to go ahead with it rather than doing nothing. After I’ve done some stuff, I can look back and evaluate the project and what, if anything, I got out of it.

Some thoughts about the examples of social stuff that I’ve written so far:

  • When I think about each example, I see social stuff. But when I encounter most of the situations in the everyday course of life, I don’t consciously realize there’s social meaning. Writing out the examples causes me to think more explicitly about social meaning.
  • I don’t have much confidence that my interpretations of exactly what the social meaning are in my examples are correct. I suspect I interpret many social situations wrongly, both in unconscious and conscious mode.

Project Evaluation

I’m satisfied that I have completed the project. I did write down at least 20 examples of people doing things for social reasons. They were examples of things I myself have done or have seen other people in my life do.

I think it was helpful for me to reflect on what social stuff goes on in my everyday life. It’s something I want to become more consciously aware of, and I think the project helped me do that.

Possible next steps: I could do more on this project. I could analyze some brief public or fictional social situations. I could seek out reading or other information/analysis about social stuff. I don’t currently have plans to do any of these, although I expect I’ll keep thinking about the topic.