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Re: Responding to a Snark (was: Authenticity and anti- Snarking classes)

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  • Marc Carlson
    Affrick, I tend to agree with what you ve said, with a small proviso Although I may have missed it in what you posted (and if so, I apologize), is that in any
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 1, 2004
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      Affrick, I tend to agree with what you've said, with a small proviso
      Although I may have missed it in what you posted (and if so, I
      apologize), is that in any face to face "snarking" incident there are
      generally two (or more) people. That means that there are at least
      three places where communication can be corrupted. The first is that
      the sender (the snarker) is sending a corrupted message (they are
      masturbating their ego putting someone else down, they have poor
      communications skills, whatever). The second is that the receiver is
      recieving a corrupted message (they are just receiving the message as
      sent, they are interpreting it in an overly sensitive way, failure to
      interpret it correctly, so on). Finally there is the actual
      transmission itself, which can be corrupted by outside influences,
      third parties, history, social context, medium of transmission, and
      such. It's easy to say that the problem is with the other person, but
      it's very hard to really know about other influences.

      In an ideal world, when we receive a negative message, we should wait
      for verification before ascribing intent or fault. If I walk up to
      you and say "that outfit sucks", you would be safe to assume that the
      message was fairly clear.

      If I came up to you and said (in a condescending tone) "that's wrong",
      again you would be justified in assuming there was some problem,
      likely that I'm a jerk -- in which case you can either blow me off, or
      start looking at past exchanges and/or exchanges with other people.
      If those appear to have been fairly positive, then the problem may be
      with -your- intereptation of my tone.

      In short, in critiquing your garments, I may not be intending to be an
      officious arrogant jerk (almost certainly I am not intending that),
      although that may be how I come across. OTOH, you may be interpreting
      me as such for reasons you are not taking into consideration (you are
      having a bad day, you've been abused like this before, I've abused you
      like this before..., difference in social rank or degree, what have

      In all honesty, I have found through personal experience that most
      communication problems can be reduced and analyzed, and generally
      there is rarely one single cause (although it can happen). Sometimes
      there are overwhelming influences, but usually fault should be avoided
      since all too often everyone's got some fault going.

      Added to that, in the SCA we (as a culture) teach our new people to
      -expect- attacks by the more authentic than thou. And if I am
      expecting an attack from you, I think there should be no surprise when
      I interpret something that looks something like an attack as an attack
      (Again, it may well BE an attack as well as my interpreting it as an
      attack, but I could just as easily be interpreting poor social skills
      as an attack).

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