Labelling others

Maybe take a collective chill pill and read Norman’s latest blog entry, rinse, repeat, and apply.


But I am nice - didn’t you see my smiley? :roll_eyes:

Puh, people are taking themselves waaaay too serious these days … :exploding_head:

Uh-oh … have I been labeled??? :thinking:


No more Mr. nice guy … :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

The whole point about “labelling” is that it is a way for humans to simplify the World around us, to categorize the multitude.

So yes, sometimes you get labeled wrong and feel you don’t “quite” belong into that category.

But it also applies that most of the time the “label” (what a weird way of describing how you estimate someone to be) is essentially correct and people just refuse to accept that the “label” fits.

It basically comes down to the difference between how we see ourself, and how others see us. The vast majority of people will stick with their own version of how they see something, even if you can proof that they are wrong.

One of the issues is that labels take on a sense of permanence
And that is often a mistake as people grow & change

“Once a X always an X” isnt necessarily true
Prisons would never let people out otherwise
AA would be an abject failure
And drug rehab programs would have a 0% success rate

That is far from reality

That assumes an absolute that is not given, so I would contest the premise. A “label” is not necessarily permanent. Yes, you can have burned all bridges behind you and those people might never give you a second chance. On the other hand you meet new people all the time and usually have a chance to get different labels. And sometimes people have been known to forgive even the worst labels (eg befriend the murderer of their son, or Jews the Germans, or …).

So in short: labels are not nearly as absolute as depicted.

P.S. Example: BH. Considered by many on the Xojo forum an absolute ass, but also had a loyal following on the forum. In short, different labels applied to the same person.

So you get very different labels from different people, and labels can change over time.

So the whole emphasis on “labels are bad” is quite ridiculous in my opinion. It’s simply a way to navigate the World efficiently.

To take what you wrote:

The trouble is that it’s not realistic. People can in one moment be jerks, and in another extremely considerate, caring and compassionate. Rarely are people ALWAYS some singular label.

This is an unrealistic premise as it implies that you can only have ONE label that you get from EVERYONE, and that is never changing - which simply isn’t the case. You can be a jerk to some people, you can be gracious to others. You can be different at different times to the same person (in which case your label might change to short-tempered or capricious).

People ARE complex and labels are often too simplistic.

Exactly. So it was a strawman’s argument to bolster the other argument.

Especially if they are applied rigidly and NEVER re-examined to see if the reasons we labelled that person that way. Re-examination is hard because its very likely we base that re-examination ON the labels we have already applied.

We base labels on the experiences we make. People can always give other labels as experience dictates, eg from jerk to arrogant jerk but can be reasoned with.

The other downside to labels is that the person applying the label can use that label to dismiss the other person. Whether its complaints, concerns, or whatever its easy to see how labelling someone a jerk leads to “so I dont have to listen to them or try to understand their concerns – they’re jerks !”

Don’t get that at all. Just because someone is a jerk doesn’t mean he can’t have a point.

That’s a shortcoming in the person - doesn’t invalidate the label. So wrong target.

Just to be crystal clear as some might think the easy find is where I ended up, this comment wasn’t about his religious shirt website. I wouldn’t want to labelled as that type of a person.

Don’t worry Markus, I could see it for the joke it was intended as.

Rant, moi?

Don’t worry, you all have plenty of labels, I’m not that <insert label here>.

I should have written One of the issues is that labels can take on permanence
Some people can’t, don’t, or won’t reconsider their labels once they have applied them

Basically my premise is “People change” :slight_smile:

People do this all the time in different ways.
There’s never been a person whom you thought little of that you simply discounted their opinion because you thought lowly of them ?
Or advice on a forum that was dismissed because “oh he’s just a beginner. What does he know ?”
Labels come in all shapes & sizes

From my point of view it’s not that “people change” but rather one oerson is not just one singular identity . One person has multiple facets. Of course that is in conflict with the concept of identity which by definition is fixed, unique and single. But it’s necessary as we would not be able to talk or refer to things if things would be perpetually muting as then what would we be talking about?
Anyway, nice exchange.

I discount opinions when based on what I know I consider them wrong. For example I don’t need to listen to a Youtube video of some guy about Hydroxyquinoline being “effective” for treating COVID-19 when I know from drug trials that it doesn’t work.

I even argued with Geoff against banning BH because while I didn’t like his opinions (and think very little of him indeed) I still would not want to silence anyone.

What I however DID was tell my brother to stop sending me conspiracy theories because he WANTS to be lied to and I’m sick of having to spend time with refuting another one each week. This doesn’t mean I think little of my brother, it means I think little of conspiracy theories.

I don’t think I ever did (and I always write my xDev articles with beginners in mind), but I’ve seen it done by others and just thought they have forgotten what it is to be a beginner.

People come in all shapes & sizes - labels are just a way to simplify the immense variety of life by classifying it.

But we are also aware that labels may or may not fit. We are open to be surprised - unless you talk about pathological extremes like Racism … and even those can change (read a nice article a few months back about a black guy engaging with and befriending racists and thereby changing their mind).

Actually it isn’t.

If you are the same person at 40 that you have been at 20, then you have not developed (and wasted 20 valuable years). We learn and incorporate knowledge and experiences all the time - and that changes us.

What you do over the years is accumulate a foundation of knowledge that you trust (which can seem static), and where you would need massive evidence to challenge that foundation - but even that happens at times and leads to fundamental changes.

I am not sure I can express this idea in English… I don’t even have it very clear spanish… :slight_smile:

In a formal way, the Identiy of all beings is configured/determined by its substance. If the substance changes (Ie if your intellectual or physical body accumulates/looses matter) then you cannot consider yourself to be relating to the same entity anymore. That’s what I meant when I said that any identy is fixed, unique and simple. People (and things in general) can’t seem to have multiple identities as that would simply configure a new “multiple identities” identity. That’s where I think the contradiction lies.

So that brings the problem of conceptualization (aka “labeling”) that Norm wrote about

Labels, adjectives, words, are fixed containers for our limited comprehension of an ever flowing reality. They are attempts to understand and comprehend our world and very often fail as the world and the identiy of things in it does seem to move on faster than our understanding/perception.

2.35 am here. I should go to bed.

Correct. With one caveat: the substance changes all the time. The identity remains unless changed beyond recognition.

Science has clearly shown that you accumulate and loose matter in your body all the time. Any entity is in a flow equilibrium with its surroundings (you eat and poop), and if you stop the flow, then the entity dies.

The exact same thing is happening with your intellect - you acquire new information and forget old ones all the time too. You learn and forget. You stop that, you stop any thought.

So HOW MUCH change do you consider a change? Is an atom enough to speak of a “new entity”?

And how fast does that happen? We are talking about the Planck scale here - the shortest amount of time possible.

The problem is that your philosophy is trying to pin identity to a static picture of the entity, and that is where philosophy falls down badly - because the one constant in Nature is change.

You might want to read up on the Ship of Theseus

A philosophy that uses an outdated static approach is incapable of solving the problem of identity in the same way as Newton’s laws of gravity weren’t able to explain Relativity or Quantum Physics.

1 Like

I saw the smiley
And I know it was meant as a light hearted jest
Some people dont
Lets just say I once got a reply to a comment I ended with a smiley (meant as a joke)
It said
“Just because you put a smiley on it doesnt mean you’re not a misogynist”

And from then on things were shit any time I dealt with that person regardless of the # of apologies I made as it was not meant as anything other than a jest


10000% agree

I’d love to know what you actually said, you’ve been mentioning it for a long time now.

I thought it was innocent
Apparently it wasnt to one person

Certainly not meant to insult which is why the comment was deleted as soon as I got that reply

And I apologized many times for having offended
To no avail

Sad, officer banter makes a good office, its one of the things I miss.

I would think that would be more hazardous in a virtual office!


Oh, I’m MUCH more ironic than you think … :wink:

Their problem, not mine.

As the saying goes: “You can be offended all day long … but you are not obliged to be.”

“… and just because you are offended doesn’t mean you don’t have a sense of humour”

But seriously, some people are so wound up in their own grievances that there is no way to get through - so who knows what you triggered. Once I had to deal with a coloured person who seemed to have a serious axe to grind with about 50 year old white males. Maybe she got sexually assaulted by one, who knows. Didn’t even help that other coloured people spoke up for me. Point is that there was nothing I could have done to solve the problem, because it was her problem, and she didn’t want to solve it, she just wanted to act it out. As I wasn’t really involved with the group anyway and had more important things to deal with I just left the group. But I was later contacted by the next guy she focused on and drove out - a really nice guy who helped everyone in the group with their IT problems (not unlike you, even in appearance) … but was a ≈50 year old white male too.

It’s a fact of life that you will at times run into other people’s problems (and most often without knowing what those problems are, whether psychological or drugs).

It is also a fact of life that you can’t solve everyone’s problems.

But what you CAN do is not make their problems your own.

Note to self: “whether” with TWO “h”.

“wether” is a castrated ram, and a spellchecker is no use when it comes to castrated rams …