A+, reclaiming our image?

The main forum for discussing social justice and the "plus" part of Atheism Plus.

A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby ArgyleRoad » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:33 pm

Opponents of the A+ movement have been scoring a lot of points recently by making rhetorical attacks against the movement. Granted there are a lot of threads to address specific attacks, and not everyone agrees we should even address these attacks in any way for risk of legitimizing their sources.

So I have a couple of questions which will probably make for an discussion.
1 - Do you think that the rhetorical attacks are a problem.
2 - Do you think there is anything we can do about them if they are.
3 - What do you think we can do to promote A+, as perhaps promotional/activist efforts are a better response to the rhetorical attacks than direct confrontation.

Thoughts?
Last edited by ArgyleRoad on Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A+, reclaim the term?

Postby ceepolk » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:40 pm

I think you might have double posted, looking at both of these topics submitted close together.
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Re: A+, reclaim the term?

Postby The_Laughing_Coyote » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:41 pm

My thoughts: Holy balls, starting two threads in a row with the same substance and slightly different titles?

1 - Do you think that the rhetorical attacks are a problem.


Yeah.

2 - Do you think there is anything we can do about them if they are.


Not really, no.

3 - What do you think we can do to promote A+, as perhaps promotional/activist efforts are a better response to the rhetorical attacks than direct confrontation.


You haven't been here all that long, and already your posting a bunch of crap-flapping about 'reclaiming' A+? From who? Who the fuck are you to come in and decide that A+ needs to be reclaimed by anyone?
But Setar, how can you say the police persecute the poor when the the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges?

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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby Pteryxx » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:51 pm

Thoughts?

Dude?

A lot of racism and sexism isn't grossly overt: it's subtle, and it's woven so deeply into the fabric of our culture that we often aren't aware of it until it's called to our attention. But you can be damn well sure that the people on the receiving end of those attitudes are aware of it... and it can put them off from participating in a community that they might otherwise be drawn to.

2: Focus. People have a natural tendency to focus on the issues that concern them most directly. And if a movement -- however unintentionally -- is being dominated by white men, then that movement will tend to focus its energies on issues that concern white men... at the expense of issues that concern women and people of color.


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I think you're spending way too much time on something that YOU think is important, that YOU think should be important to everybody, and that fits YOUR skill set and perception and the sort of discourse YOU feel most comfortable with.

One of the contributors to chilly climate is that the privileged voices tend to dominate simply because they're used to always dominating and they lack the self-examination (and, often, the humility) to realize when to back off and quit grabbing control of the discourse.

With all due respect, you're annoying the frick out of a lot of people here. At some point it's just freakin' polite to sit back and let the other people discuss what they feel is important. That goes tenfold if you're used to being respected and listened to.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby ArgyleRoad » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:06 pm

Ceepolk:
Edit function malfunctioned, I was trying to fix the title, and it posted a new thread :P

TLC:
I considered responding in the same tone, but I thought better of it, seeing as to how you have a whole 30 days more membership than I do. :)

Pteryxx:
I am honestly not trying to annoy anyone, or taking any action which should annoy anyone. If this forum is about the A+ movement, how is asking about whether we should do anything/ if there is anything we could do/ what might be done about issues of perception in the larger community with regards to the movement, anything to do with my privilege? Are you saying that non privileged individuals do not care about issues of perception in the larger community with regards to the movement, and that only I do, because I am privileged? Where are you drawing this link to privilege from?

If nobody wants to discuss the issue, that's fine. I'll happily drop the thread. I suppose I mistakenly thought that the movement was important to people on... you know.. the forum... about the movement.....

If it is instead that you feel I have been posting too much, I will happily take that criticism to heart and try to step down my verbosity a bit to allay your discomfort.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby The_Laughing_Coyote » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:09 pm

A whole thirty days, and yet I seem to 'get' the people and community here a little better than you do, to say the least.

Maybe it has to do with that whole 'Shut up and listen' thing, though I don't believe people are exactly allowed to rate their own performance on that scale.
But Setar, how can you say the police persecute the poor when the the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges?

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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby Pteryxx » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:19 pm

Are you saying that non privileged individuals do not care about issues of perception in the larger community with regards to the movement, and that only I do, because I am privileged?


(emphasis mine)

That's not what I said. Can you figure out why that's what you perceived? Why it is that you think asking you to back off implies that if you don't step up right now, and address this issue, that nobody else will and you're the only one who notices or cares?
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby ArgyleRoad » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:28 pm

Pt:
No, and perhaps I was a little frustrated that my efforts to help have so far mostly garnered me buckets of offense from the membership, employing an accidental false dichotomy is not usually my style.

TLC:
Well whatever I am doing wrong, hopefully ceasing starting threads for a few weeks will help, because that is what I am going to do.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby The_Laughing_Coyote » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:31 pm

Well whatever I am doing wrong, hopefully ceasing starting threads for a few weeks will help, because that is what I am going to do.


It'll help, but unless you actually figure out why you're wrong on these forums it won't do shit in the long run.

And not just on this thread you started, but in other places too.
But Setar, how can you say the police persecute the poor when the the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges?

-Qmartindale, quoting Anatole France

"Well, it looks like the airplanes got him." "No, it wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast!"

-King Kong
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby Pteryxx » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:39 pm

Look, I tend to dominate conversations too. I've had to work on it, especially in spaces where I'm really freakin' privileged, because I don't want to intimidate other people away with my citations and vocabulary and cluelessness. Because I'm not great at determining tone, I use a set of heuristics: if I make roughly three comments to make a point, and the point doesn't get picked up or comprehended, I stop until other folks have weighed in. If I start a topic, I try not to respond to it at all until other people have had a chance to respond. And, I may be clueless, but I think taking your argument to a new topic of your very own is a rude move in forums in general.

A funny thing happens when the people who usually do all the talking go quiet: other people, the ones with different views and less fortitude, start to speak up and are more likely to be heard. This is documented institutionally as part of chilly climate, in classrooms, and in offline work and social situations.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby ArgyleRoad » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:56 pm

PT:
I was specifically trying to not take that other topic into another thread. I could see how they might be seen as related though.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby Pteryxx » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:58 pm

And all the other points I just made? I think the topic itself is the least of the problems here.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby ArgyleRoad » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:03 am

Sorry, was/am having to jet. Did read, would respond, you make good points, maybe more tomorrow. Seriously having to re-think my entire approach to participation, not easy work.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby jinxybunny » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:08 am

ArgyleRoad wrote:PT:
I was specifically trying to not take that other topic into another thread. I could see how they might be seen as related though.


They are all related.

You've come here and flooded the forums with posts about things you think are important, opinions you think we should hear, a privileged perspective you think we haven't considered even though the reason we are here is to get away from it.

A+ is not about you.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby Sun Countess » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:18 am

ArgyleRoad wrote:Opponents of the A+ movement have been scoring a lot of points recently by making rhetorical attacks against the movement. Granted there are a lot of threads to address specific attacks, and not everyone agrees we should even address these attacks in any way for risk of legitimizing their sources.
Huh. I didn't realize anybody was keeping score. Has the atheism+ movement been entered into some competition that I'm not aware of?
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby LeftSidePositive » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:31 am

Argyle, I hope you can see where some of the frustration is coming from, but the thing is, dealing with our image and dealing with troll attacks against social justice movements are what veterans of these issues have to deal with all the time (like, DECADES before A+ started, so even though the forum is new, people's experiences aren't). We're really familiar with the problem, so it comes off as condescending when you tell us "Hey--there's a problem!" Imagine if you were in a graduate level philosophy class, and someone came in and said, "Guess what, guys?? I just realized the color I see as blue might be the color you see as purple!!!" Imagine the looks on the students' faces? This is why we're frustrated.

Also, people have many different ways of dealing with "image," especially since we're very, VERY used to having our image manipulated disingenuously by those who control cultural narratives. It's old-hat. So, please, especially when dealing with less privileged people understand that they might have very valid reasons for their different priorities and their different ways to go about problems--it doesn't mean they don't care as much as you, it means you aren't used to seeing their strategies.

Finally, it's really REALLY common for privileged people to act like they have the knowledge, and the marginalized should do the work. This comes with a very large side-helping of "not my problem." This can get really tedious, and get people very defensive for this sort of behavior. So when you say "Hey guys! What are we going to do?!" what people who have been mistreated like this will hear is "Hey guys, what are you going to do while I offer my opinions?" because that's what it actually means way too much of the time. Just think of how many people have come here and told us that Schrodinger's Rapist is written all wrong...but of course they won't lift a finger to do it the "right" way!

So, if you do think that some sort of project would be good for public image, maybe make a gesture towards starting something yourself, with YOUR effort being the first ingredient. "I was thinking, maybe we could do a charm-offensive to deal with all these assholes who want to misrepresent us--maybe some sort of high-profile project or something. Like, I've got this local non-religious charity I help out for in my neighborhood...I was thinking I could try to make a hub of local secular charities, linked to the A+ mainpage, and have it be interactive and fun! It could have a really cute neighborhood theme!" And volunteer whatever level of web design/graphics/copy editing, etc., is in accordance with your abilities. See how that says "I'm trying" and "I'm a team member"? Even if we don't think any given idea is going to be what we'd get behind and make a project out of, we can see you're trying to take on a project, not tell others to do a project.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby smhll » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:18 am

1 - Do you think that the rhetorical attacks are a problem.
2 - Do you think there is anything we can do about them if they are.
3 - What do you think we can do to promote A+, as perhaps promotional/activist efforts are a better response to the rhetorical attacks than direct confrontation.


1. The fact that there are rhetorical attacks that many people find credible really sucks.

2. I do not think we can counter the attacks effectively. I think we can exist and be decent, flawed people, and open minded people can wonder if we really eat babies and disembowel men who don't agree with us. Such people, if they want to read here, may notice the gap between description and actuality. Although we maybe completely screwed by confirmation bias.

3. Ignore the naysayers and try to focus on building what we want to build. The proof as to whether A+ is a good idea or a bad idea will be in the results we achieve. But I have no interest in trying to prove the value of A+ to people who don't see the value in it and wish all of us would drop feminism and similar topics and go back strictly to issues that benefit atheists and not the other Plus stuff.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby ArgyleRoad » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:05 am

LSP:
I can see how my posts could be taken as "what are you going to do while I watch" after reading your post. Not at all what I was trying for, If anything I was looking for feedback on how I could help/contribute.

As for the rest, sure, I am new here. I don't know a lot about what has been discussed to death and what has not, that is certainly a fair criticism, and I will try my best to remedy that.

I am used to being able to offer my opinion up, and have it disagreed with, and then hashing out the details. That is not to say that is the "right" way of doing things, and I recognise that I have probably stepped on a lot of toes in the process, as is apparent by what feels like a flood of criticisms today. I honestly thought I was being proactive and I realize now that while I see distinct differences between what I brought up and what has been tried/discussed that I had not taken sufficient time to lurk, and I still have a great deal to learn about what are hot botton topics and why, as well as a proper tone with which to discuss things without offending others. So I will as Setar frequently states "Lurk Moar" and contribute where I can.

I can honestly say it was a mistake made out of blind enthusiasm, not that I do not recognise intent is not magic, and in hindsight I likely chose everything from my avatar to my signature poorly as well. I suppose we shall see if I will find a place here or not, or if opinions of me will change with time or not.

Cheers all,
Argyle
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby SubMor » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:07 am

ArgyleRoad, I always find it refreshing to encounter people who accept that they may be wrong. I suspect that as long as you continue not getting defensive when someone disagrees with you (and good on you for that), you'll be fine here. You're on the right track.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby Matthew Bailey » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:47 pm

Just the choice of branding is going to help the image of Atheism a lot.

As I keep saying.

Just look at the name we have chosen:

Atheism+, or, for short: A+.

This alone says more than a million dollars in promotional materials could provide.

A+ is the grade we all want; it is the credit rating we wish we had; it is the nearly universal sign of quality and achievement.

And it will help to frame any debate in our favor by constantly stating "A+...." as often as we can.

Because the more that people associate A+ with quality, the more they will associate Atheism+ with quality.

As long as we keep the quality of our products high, that is...
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby ceepolk » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:29 pm

stop this. stop it.

stop it right now.

stop posting this exact message in multiple threads, and stop this money worship.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby The_Laughing_Coyote » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:31 pm

A+ is not a goddamn marketing campaign.

"Marketing" it to appeal to more people would effectively mean stripping it of its SJ perspective. I mean, what else is gonna make the haters stop complaining?

And it will help to frame any debate in our favor by constantly stating "A+...." as often as we can.


This one gets an F - - from me.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby ArgyleRoad » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:35 pm

"Matt Said Stuff" [ Show ]
Just the choice of branding is going to help the image of Atheism a lot.

As I keep saying.

Just look at the name we have chosen:

Atheism+, or, for short: A+.

This alone says more than a million dollars in promotional materials could provide.

A+ is the grade we all want; it is the credit rating we wish we had; it is the nearly universal sign of quality and achievement.

And it will help to frame any debate in our favor by constantly stating "A+...." as often as we can.

Because the more that people associate A+ with quality, the more they will associate Atheism+ with quality.

As long as we keep the quality of our products high, that is...

I smell poe-baiting.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby Ketsan » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:31 pm

Mod Edit: Questionable content, potentially containing dismissiveness. Ketsan has been asked to clarify. [ Show ]
LeftSidePositive wrote:Argyle, I hope you can see where some of the frustration is coming from, but the thing is, dealing with our image and dealing with troll attacks against social justice movements are what veterans of these issues have to deal with all the time (like, DECADES before A+ started, so even though the forum is new, people's experiences aren't). We're really familiar with the problem, so it comes off as condescending when you tell us "Hey--there's a problem!" Imagine if you were in a graduate level philosophy class, and someone came in and said, "Guess what, guys?? I just realized the color I see as blue might be the color you see as purple!!!" Imagine the looks on the students' faces? This is why we're frustrated.


You have to look at the flipside of that though. If I ran my martial arts class with that attitude my class would be dead in a week. There are people there that have been training for years and there are people there that are total beginners. If the seniors start blowing up at the new people every time they do something which new people are going to do because the new people don't know any better yet then guess what? Yeah, the beginners switch off and walk out never to return. Maybe they go to another dojo and they badmouth us and why not? We're shoving our privilege of knowing more and having more in group status right in their faces. Pretty soon my class ends up isolated because no-one wants to work with a dojo with my kind of reputation and everyone in the local community hears nothing about us but bad things and no new people arrive.
Same same, for A+. A big problem with A+ is that the bulk of people that come in here post a couple of times, get a rough time and don't come back. That's fine if all A+ intends to be is an online safe space but if A+ is at some point going to become activist and expect to be treated with the respect it'll need to be effective then it's a total disaster. We need to learn that n00bs are n00bs; they don't know any better not through their own fault, they're just n00bs. Sure you can say "Why haven't you read all this stuff" and the answer is that they're n00bs, they don't know any better. That's like me yelling at the new guy because he isn't black belt on his first day. Why hasn't he read the handbook? He's a n00b.

Finally, it's really REALLY common for privileged people to act like they have the knowledge, and the marginalized should do the work. This comes with a very large side-helping of "not my problem." This can get really tedious, and get people very defensive for this sort of behavior. So when you say "Hey guys! What are we going to do?!" what people who have been mistreated like this will hear is "Hey guys, what are you going to do while I offer my opinions?" because that's what it actually means way too much of the time. Just think of how many people have come here and told us that Schrodinger's Rapist is written all wrong...but of course they won't lift a finger to do it the "right" way!


People are rewriting Schrodinger's Rapist.......they're just doing it everywhere else but A+. What you're missing is that the members are not marginalised here on A+ but they're still behaving like they are. They're like the bullied kid who's moved schools and is now pre-emptively battering everyone to stop himself being bullied and not realising that actually this is being taken by everyone else in the playground as bullying and the response is to leave and say what they want to say somewhere else.
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Re: A+, reclaiming our image?

Postby qmartindale » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:48 pm

Ketsan wrote: the members are not marginalised here on A+


Care to rephrase this?
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