Posted Jun 7, 2008 by ~ jwf ~
A few days ago a newbie, U11195170 joined us and posted a question at the "Writing For the Guide" forum.
No one has responded. And I'm wondering if that's good thing or a bad thing.
On the one hand here is a self described muslim Pakistani making the effort to communicate with English speaking peoples. But on the other hand it is very difficult to understand what he is saying, other than what seems a genuine offer to communciate.
There is something about his personal space and his posting that reminds me of one of those translator programs where you start off in one language, let the computer translate it to another, then ask it to translate that into something else again.
So is this a translator program and a spoof or a genuine effort to use the internet to cross cultural barriers and create new understanding?
Posted Jun 7, 2008 by Whisky
The guy may well have used an on-line dictionary or translation programme to help him, but there's no way that is a direct copy/paste from a on-line translation programme...
The reason being - Spelling mistakes. Automatic translation software of the sort you find on-line will always produce valid English words... Not necessarily the correct word in the correct context, but they will be words from a dictionary. The way the guy spelt Tongue on his personal space is a dead giveaway.
Posted Jun 8, 2008 by Researcher 1300304
you could have just asked him. and oddly enough his question, despite its unusual construction, seems clear enough. he is asking why ethnic europeans so often think themselves superior and what is the basis for this irrational perspective.
Posted Jun 8, 2008 by Rod
I've made a start, and given him a link to this thread.
Hopefully we'll find we can figure out a bit deeper.
Posted Jun 10, 2008 by ~ jwf ~
As Rnumber points out, the guy's question about Euro-bias is valid if somewhat loaded. I do hope we get more from Pakistan.
Posted Jun 10, 2008 by Rod
Loaded? Euro bias, Brit bias, US bias, Arab bias. What the hell. We're all the same.
Whatever, he's trying in a strange language.
The important thing is, surely, to find out what it is he was intending to ask.
I've started off by going easy. Let's hope he replies.
Posted Jun 10, 2008 by Researcher 1300304
perversely, an impatient intolerance of a person struggling with english as another language, might go some way to validating his point.
emerson describes charitable interpretation as a 'juster way of thinking' and further, that 'Interpretive charity is marked by a willingness to regard fellow citizens as
intelligible and worthy members of public discourse.' http://homepage.mac.com/rautenfeld/research/pubs/charitable.pdf
i think this thread points to a broader problem on this site and, inferentially, to discourse from younger contemporary britons. i groan when i see discussions tipped over because one or more researchers will insist on grammatical conformity or that a semantical issue be resolved to their private satisfaction before they treat the matter with respect.
i'm not wanting to point fingers, and my intention here is not to focus on the negative, but to highlight that charitable interpretation needs to be raised up. and indeed the house guidelines point to respect and tolerance as non negotiable essentials for posting.
Posted Jun 11, 2008 by Rod
Very clear & concise. Just about as informative as your PS, 1300304 [antigravitas?].
So what *should* I be doing? (and why aren't you doing it?)
Posted Jun 11, 2008 by Researcher 1300304
rod. my advice extends no further than the house guide, which is, i.a. to exercise tolerance. it isn't such a heavy imposition. honest.
i don't think i should have to justify a reasoned appeal to be patient etc. rather sad that you took exception to it.
the reason i haven't addressed the cited researcher's question is quite simple. i do not visit that forum. i addressed the question that was posited in this conversation.
Posted Jun 11, 2008 by Whisky
***i addressed the question that was posited in this conversation.***
Sorry to say this, but in among all that waffle I didn't once see the answer to "So is this a translator program and a spoof or a genuine effort..."
Posted Jun 12, 2008 by Researcher 1300304
not to be pointed about it, but the original question is incompetent.
none of us except the original researcher can answer it. that jwf chose to not to answer the guy or to ask the question he asks here of him in the first place suggests the purpose is to mock him or call him a fraud.
note that i said i addressed the question, not that i answered it.
you are entitled to your opinion about what constitutes waffle. from my perspective calling attention to higher standards consistent with the site ethos isn't waffle. so you disagree. that is hardly my problem.
what i see as waffle is a persistent negativity about other researchers in which flame is poorly hidden behind the pretence of a concern about literacy or grammar. it's cheap, stupid and obvious and has the effect of dumbing down and derailing conversations.
i am perfectly within bounds to object to it and to point to both the house guides and the rich intellectual tradition that supports my view.
Posted Jun 12, 2008 by ~ jwf ~
Oh... how I wish I had a rich intellectual tradition to support MY view. Then I could make you eat these words:
>> jwf chose to not to answer the guy or to ask the question he asks here of him in the first place suggests the purpose is to mock him or call him a fraud. <<
The "writing for the guide" forum was not the place for our newbie friend to post his question. Nor did I suppose the editors would want a potential flame war there. So I moved it (by reference) here to Ask hoping to start an intelligent conversation on the cultural gap between 'the west' and 'makhfour-islam'.
I have to agree that "concern for grammar and literacy" is often pretentious and/or a thin disguise for flaming, but I consider myself among the most tolerant when it comes to dealing with non native English speaker and I am on record here in many places as bending over backwards to make many feel welcome when and where others have not.
In this case however makhfour-islam's language was so strained it was impossible at first blush to know what was being asked; or, if it would be a waste of time to respond to someone who just wanted to flame in some muslim hell.
Or worst case, that it was some English speaker making mock by using a computer translator program to make a 'muslim' speaker seem foolish. You got the gist of my 'question' but for some reason prejudiced the intent making me seem to be the mocking bird. I might forgive you someday.
Posted Jun 12, 2008 by Rod
He's still here and there looks to be the beginnings of a dialogue.
Don't leave it all to me, please - a single pov isn't healthy anywhere (or so I was taught, though it goes against the grain!).
But please, go gently until we can get some measure of the man - no politics or religion until he starts it -? (or preferably, at all).
Posted Jun 12, 2008 by ~ jwf ~
Yes I was there (in spite of my continued worry that the 'writing for the guide' forum is the wrong one) and I was as gentle as I could be. In answering his question on beauty and its perception I never said a single word about Pakistani taxi decorations.
Nope, I'm saving all my spleen for Rnumber who seems to be making the rounds lately insulting people. His failure (above) to understand and appreciate my efforts in establishing this present dialogue has festered into a wrongful and hurtful assumption that I was trying to bait the muslim. I was in fact trying to overcome what appeared to be a general resistance on the part of all others to make any effort to engage him. Some of that reluctance might have been the choice of forum so I 'moved' the conversation here (so far unsuccessfully).
Posted Jun 12, 2008 by Rod
Yea, squigs. Wrong forum.
I'll try to get it moved next reply (if there is one, if I remember).
To where - any suggestions?
So far as Rnumber goes, I get the feeling he's using that ID as a hood (shades of Lord of the Flies). In the Messages bit of his PS, he's welcomed as antigravitas.
Posted Jun 13, 2008 by Researcher 1300304
jwf, with respect, and i mean that sincerely, nothing i posted was intended as a specific insult to you. i would not have even referenced you by name had not the persistent refusals by other researchers to understand charitable interpretation pushed things towards specifics.
it isn't the crime of the century and i wasn't accusing you of any great offence. i stand by my earlier assertion however that your original post was an instantiation of what i see as an insidious trend on this site. i identified the fault, as i saw it, and offered a solution. from my perspective that's pretty much the end of it. you and any other researchers, are free to reject both my identification of that fault, and the offered solution. as indeed am i free to reject the original inferences in your post. i have not tendered any special pleading and i won't be treating you to any either. and you should be in no doubt that special pleading you now are.
when you say:
'Nope, I'm saving all my spleen for Rnumber who seems to be making the rounds lately insulting people. His failure (above) to understand and appreciate my efforts in establishing this present dialogue...'
my response is going to be that in the first sentence of that extract, insulting is apparently what you intended with regards to our new friend whose post you moved from the other forum. and in the second sentence you identify as a fault an absence of charitable interpretation on my part.
but you cannot have it both ways. you cannot see a lack of charitable interpretation as a fault in me but allow yourself the same latitude. it's a double standard sir.
ftr i think moving posts or topics to other places is both confusing and unnecessary unless something is agreed upon in the original location. i've seen enough instances on h2g2 where some participants in a topic have privately moved a topic to personal conversations as an exercise in exclusion, the purpose of which is to both prevent contrary positions being expressed and to indulge in flame where it is thought it won't be noticed.
by all means be as spleenish as you wish. but you should know before you get too carried away that you will be shadow boxing.
i haven't lost hope that our pakistani friend is able to open your eyes in ways i have not.
Posted Jun 13, 2008 by ~ jwf ~
>> ...it's a double standard sir. <<
Possibly treble. Or even quadrangular. The nature of consciousness is such that one can never put all one's chickens in one apple but I do apologise if you find my spilt milk (of human kindness) a tearful offense.
Posted Jun 13, 2008 by Researcher 1300304
then the matter is resolved in my favour. please be enjoying your strange ingrediented pie.
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