69 thoughts on “Whaaat?

  • 2/13/2007 at 10:33 am

    Considering it was the middle of the century, before professional football even had a superbowl, and the fact that cycling did it well before then (when cycling, especially track racing, was as popular as football is now), yes, it is an accurate comparison.

    If you’re going to defend an antiquated measurement system, fine. Just don’t do it and say that it’s because progress is bad. On the internet, no less.

  • 2/13/2007 at 12:09 pm

    I never said progress is bad, Aaron. I just said that backward isn’t always bad. And I didn’t criticize your analogy either. Just pointed out why I disagreed with it. And who mentioned the Superbowl? I certainly didn’t.

    Mike, an example of backwards not being bad. How about traditional morals as opposed to modern morals (or rather lack thereof)? Just because a lot of people consider getting rid of morals to be progress doesn’t mean it really is. And it certainly does not improve life, or improve upon tradition. In the long run the old-fashioned way is best. It’s just people in general no longer think in terms of the long run.

    One of the problems with this argument of ours is that you are dealing almost exclusively with the concrete, while I am favoring the abstract. It makes it more fun, but it also makes it less likely this will end any time soon. Besides, I love to argue/debate. I’m Irish, it’s in my blood. Though I do admit to your being a worthy opponent.

  • 2/13/2007 at 1:18 pm

    You say “just because a lot of people consider getting rid of morals to be progress doesn’t mean it really is.”

    And to this you are exactly right. But ours is not a debate of whether or not progress is being made, it’s whether or not backwardness is bad.

    If people are debating over morals, they aren’t debating over whether backwardness is bad, they are debating over whether or not progress has been made.

    Where progress is being made, a previous design was backwards. Whether something is deemed progress or not is a totally different question.

    If you’d like, we can try to think of examples of how red things aren’t red. Despite their being red by definition.

  • 2/13/2007 at 6:48 pm

    My point is that progress and backwardness are often subjective. And you seem to have missed the example that a large percentage of people consider traditional morals to be backwards. So they think modern morals are progress. They can even cite what, to them, constitutes proof. It doesn’t make them right.

    In your opinion the Metric system represents progress, and the Imperial system is backwards. Granted you have objective facts to back up your beliefs, but it still doesn’t prove that you’re right. Of course you believe you are. But you can’t convince me unless I’m willing to be convinced.

    In my opinion there is nothing wrong with the Imperial system overall, and since the term “backward” is relative and subjective, I can argue this for quite a long time yet.

    If you’re trying to pin me down I should warn you that I don’t wrestle.

    Speaking of whether red things are red…am I the only person in the world who can tell red, fuschia, and purple apart?

  • 2/13/2007 at 10:57 pm

    Backwardness can totally be subjective! I didn’t miss your point that people have different views on whether or not moral direction has been positive. I understand this fully.

    You seem to have missed my point that whether or not people think something is backwards does not change the fact that backwardness is bad.

    Let’s say there I made a dinner. We could argue all day as to whether it was tasty or not, because that’s all opinion. All the arguing in the world does not change the fact that tasty means “pleasant to taste.”

    Let’s look at the American Heritage Dictionary for backwardness:

    dv. or back·wards (-wərdz)
    back’ward·ness n.

    1. To or toward the back or rear.
    2. With the back leading.
    3. In a reverse manner or order.
    4. To, toward, or into the past.
    5. Toward a worse or less advanced condition.

    “Toward a worse or less advanced condition”. Hmm. This doesn’t sound good does it? it even uses the word “worse.” Typically “worse” does not mean “better.”

    Now if you’d like to argue that something is backwards or not, I can go back to giving examples of why Metric is better. But then again, you’ve already said that you aren’t “seriously opposed to the idea that it’s [the english system of units] backwards.” (see your comment above) This is good. we’re making progress. and progress is good.

    Or… at least so says the dictionary.

    intr.v. pro·gress (prÉ™-grÄ›s’) pro·gressed, pro·gress·ing, pro·gress·es

    1. To advance; proceed
    2. To advance toward a higher or better stage; improve steadily

  • 2/14/2007 at 9:46 am

    But “worse” is still subjective.

    And using the first definition of progress, as stated previously, it is possible to progress right off a cliff. Progress is not always good. It is seen as good, but every bit of progress in the world creates more complications. Opportunity cost, Mike. Just because it’s not seen at first, or maybe ever, doesn’t mean there aren’t drawbacks. From the standpoint of convenience, yes progress is good. But overall it may not be. And if progress is not always good, then backwardness is not always bad.

    By the way Mike, you’ll be happy to learn that in my son’s first grade class all measurements included in the material are given in both English and Metric. Another victory for the French.

  • 2/14/2007 at 10:12 am

    You’re trying the same argument again and it does not work.

    You can debate whether something is or is not progress.

    You can not debate that progress means improvement. It is defined as such.

    You can debate whether something is worse or not.

    You can not debate that backwardness means something is worse. It is defined as such.

    Your “progress” of a cliff is a weak argument because it’s a different usage of the word. Shall we try and come to a consensus on analysis of the word ‘Lead.’ You can argue for
    ‘to travel in front’ I’ll argue for the metallic element. Or maybe I’ll just let you bicker endlessly. Good luck with that.

    Let me know if you come up with a unique argument. Your repetition is just a waste of my time.

  • 2/15/2007 at 12:08 pm

    Mike I’m not arguing that progress is good and backward is bad as far as definition, just that the “bad” and “good” themselves are subjective. If everyone agreed 100% that something was bad, and backwards, that would be different (though they could still be wrong).

    If to classify something as backwards it must first be classified as “worse,” it is still based on subjectivity.

    And if to classify something as progress means it must first be classified as an improvement, it is still based on subjectivity.

    For instance: years ago Sundrop “improved” it’s formula. I liked the old formula and think the new ones tastes awful. They consider it progress. I don’t (in my opinion it’s a step “backward”). All subjective.

    See my point?

  • 2/15/2007 at 12:11 pm

    By the way, in saying backwardness is not always bad I was not arguing about its definition but rather the connotations people use in assigning it (i.e. metric makes life easier for engineers; therefore English is backward).

  • 2/15/2007 at 1:19 pm

    You don’t need to continue to try to convince me on opinions, because I never disagreed with you. Subjectivity is the reason why I first addressed my point by showing flaws in the English system. I must first convince you that something is bad before you’ll agree that it is backwards… this is because backwardness is always bad. If you don’t agree it’s bad, then you also don’t agree it’s backwards.

    I have never disagreed with this and will not disagree with it.

    If you admit that backwardness is always bad and that you are not seriously opposed with saying that the English system of units is backwards… then I feel satisfied that I have successfully supported the Metric cause and helped prevent ignorance of efficiency.

  • 2/15/2007 at 2:01 pm

    For Pete’s sake, this is getting ridiculous. One of you is arguing in concrete, the other in abstract.

    Here’s the million dollar question you’ve been arguing around all week: Is it backwardness that’s bad, or the perception thereof?

    If you start debating the definition of the word “is”, then I give up.

  • 2/16/2007 at 8:54 pm

    No one’s forcing you to read, Jon Abad. I don’t know about Mike D, but I’m having fun with this.

    Actually Jes Saint, since Webster has established that backwardness must be bad, that part isn’t an issue. Whether the perception of something being backward is bad is another kettle of fish. It depends on the issue and once again comes down to opinion. We could throw in other factors like moral convictions, IQ, education level, and what we all had for lunch, but that would take too long.

    Side note that might help people better understand me: when I was a toddler I once jumped head-first off the top step of our porch and landed on the sidewalk. Not sure as to my motivation for jumping, but Mom and Daddy seem to think I was trying to fly. So you see I’ve always had problems with the concrete.

  • 2/17/2007 at 11:10 am

    I don’t think you understand my relationship to the internet. As its steward, I have to read everything.

  • 2/17/2007 at 11:20 am

    Yes, Jon Abad has to read all. It’s both his power and his curse.

    But do not worry Mr. Abad. As Anita has not offered any disagreement with my statements on backwardsness being bad and the Imperial system being backwards… I see my argument as being won, and thus, the conversation, as I see it, is over.

  • 2/17/2007 at 4:15 pm

    If you win all your arguments, you will have no friends. Don’t ask me who said it, I can’t remember. Besides, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how many people you annoy in the process.

    Sorry Jon Abad. I didn’t know about your condition. Your eyes must hurt.

  • 2/20/2007 at 7:07 am

    Perhaps this last comment is a desperate attempt to provoke me into an unrelated discussion because you are too proud to admit that your original argument that “backwardness isn’t always bad” was, in fact, wrong and required a change of definition “By the way, by saying that backwardness is not always bad…”

    That’s okay. I’ll help you.

    Anita Clue: Yeah, my argument was a little off base. I had a slight misunderstanding of the definition of backwardness.
    Mike D: no problem Anita. I really hate arguing but it bothers me greatly when people show ignorance to things like Metric.

    There we go. Great job everyone.

  • 2/20/2007 at 2:02 pm

    Nicely done but that really doesn’t sound like me. Ok, Mike D. wins. Not that I care about winning anyway, but he probably likes hearing that he’s right. Most men do.

    And that should be ignorance “of.” Grammer Goddess signing off…


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