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"That's crap!" - Input Junkie — LiveJournal
September 17th, 2008
08:12 am

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"That's crap!"
I've been thinking about how civilized discourse isn't really an adequate translation of visceral response. Something like "I really hate that!" does not mean the same thing as "That's crap!". Really hating something carries with it a belief that it's so obviously hateful that anyone else in the vicinity should be recognizing the objective truth and hate it too.

On the other hand, a little civilized recognition that not everyone sees things the same way is both objectively true and avoids pointless quarrels.

I don't see any way to do justice to the way things feel and the way things are at the same time.

Addendum: I see that I didn't quite say what I meant. What I had in mind is that I might have the strong "That's crap!" reaction first, and then I tone it down to the civilized but emotionally inaccurate "I really hate that!".

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From:cellio
Date:September 17th, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC)
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Interesting -- I see the strengths of the statements as the reverse. If I hear "I really hate that!" I might think "well, you're entitled to your opinion" or "that's just how Bob is" -- it's a statement about the speaker, and is only a statement about the object to the extent that I take that speaker's opinions into account when considering the object. "That's crap", on the other hand, is a global statement; the speaker is asserting that I should agree with him.
From:nancylebov
Date:September 17th, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC)
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Thanks. I hope I've clarified things in the entry.
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From:cellio
Date:September 17th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
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Ah! Ok, I see what you're saying now. Thanks for the clarification.
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From:cakmpls
Date:September 17th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
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I'm still confused. Do you mean that "That's crap!" is the first reaction to the feeling of "really hating something," the one that means "it's so obviously hateful that anyone else in the vicinity should be recognizing the objective truth and hate it too"? If so, I think the confusion comes from your using "really hate" in two different ways here--as the strong underlying feeling AND as the "toned-down" version.
From:nancylebov
Date:September 17th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
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I'm beginning to feel as though I took my chances when I titled a post ' "That's crap!" '. It's probably the least clear thing I've ever posted.

You're probably right about the source of the unclarity. I'm not sure how to sort it out. Maybe rewriting the whole thing to make the sequence of reactions and what happens cognitively and emotionally would help.


Edited at 2008-10-19 07:00 am (UTC)
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From:madfilkentist
Date:September 17th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
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If I say, "I hate eggs!" that doesn't mean I expect everyone else to hate eggs, just that they shouldn't serve me eggs.
From:nancylebov
Date:September 17th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
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I didn't mean that I always have a "That's crap!" reaction before I say "I hate x!", just that sometimes "I hate x!" is a socially convenient but inaccurate translation of "That's crap!".
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 19th, 2008 01:06 pm (UTC)

Mind projection fallacy?

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I agree with the original post, but if I could clarify a point possibly referred to by the commenters:

"That's crap" = the crappiness is a property of the thing so described
"I really hate that!" = the hate is a property of me

-- ESY
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