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 Before The Law

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spacemariner26
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PostSubject: Before The Law   Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:11 am

Before the Law

Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in sometime later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.” The gate to the law stands open, as always, and the gatekeeper walks to the side, so the man bends over in order to see through the gate into the inside. When the gatekeeper notices that, he laughs and says: “If it tempts you so much, try going inside in spite of my prohibition. But take note. I am powerful. And I am only the most lowly gatekeeper. But from room to room stand gatekeepers, each more powerful than the other. I cannot endure even one glimpse of the third.” The man from the country has not expected such difficulties: the law should always be accessible for everyone, he thinks, but as he now looks more closely at the gatekeeper in his fur coat, at his large pointed nose and his long, thin, black Tartar’s beard, he decides that it would be better to wait until he gets permission to go inside. The gatekeeper gives him a stool and allows him to sit down at the side in front of the gate. There he sits for days and years. He makes many attempts to be let in, and he wears the gatekeeper out with his requests. The gatekeeper often interrogates him briefly, questioning him about his homeland and many other things, but they are indifferent questions, the kind great men put, and at the end he always tells him once more that he cannot let him inside yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, spends everything, no matter how valuable, to win over the gatekeeper. The latter takes it all but, as he does so, says, “I am taking this only so that you do not think you have failed to do anything.” During the many years the man observes the gatekeeper almost continuously. He forgets the other gatekeepers, and this first one seems to him the only obstacle for entry into the law. He curses the unlucky circumstance, in the first years thoughtlessly and out loud; later, as he grows old, he only mumbles to himself. He becomes childish and, since in the long years studying the gatekeeper he has also come to know the fleas in his fur collar, he even asks the fleas to help him persuade the gatekeeper. Finally his eyesight grows weak, and he does not know whether things are really darker around him or whether his eyes are merely deceiving him. But he recognizes now in the darkness an illumination which breaks inextinguishably out of the gateway to the law. Now he no longer has much time to live. Before his death he gathers in his head all his experiences of the entire time up into one question which he has not yet put to the gatekeeper. He waves to him, since he can no longer lift up his stiffening body. The gatekeeper has to bend way down to him, for the great difference has changed things considerably to the disadvantage of the man. “What do you still want to know now?” asks the gatekeeper. “You are insatiable.” “Everyone strives after the law,” says the man, “so how is that in these many years no one except me has requested entry?” The gatekeeper sees that the man is already dying and, in order to reach his diminishing sense of hearing, he shouts at him, “Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.”

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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:38 am

Should we understand the meaning of the title as meaning this man from the country has been taken in and placed "before the law"? In that case, is the law hostile to the man? Bringing him there and leaving him there indefinitely? Maybe he's innocent but powerless. Maybe he's stuck "before the law" because the law excludes him, or oppresses him. He can't get permission to enter because he's not privileged, or advantaged, or powerful enough.

We learn that the doorkeeper can't be bribed. What does this imply? No amount of material wealth (weather he had it or not) can change who this man from the country really is—and who he is is someone completely inadmissible, or so he thinks. He never actually tries to enter, does he? He's waiting for permission.

If the man is brought "before the law" because he's broken the law, then why isn't he brought through the gate? Why is he left waiting outside? What does his waiting mean?

Is the man "before the law" in the sense that this is how it is before there is any law? We're in a "pre-law" era, a time when law was not really available, and so there's just this meaningless waiting for justice? "Before the Law" in the sense that before the law, justice is inaccessible? You can say it's the law that grants meaning, but he's "before" the law, so he's in a meaningless place?

The law is an attempt to impose rationality and order on what is essentially irrational, or random. Law "civilizes" us. That this man is excluded from the law seems to imply that he's excluded from civilization. He's in the jungle....in a time before the law, in a place without rational law—the survival of the fittest maybe, or the law of averages? Chance?

It's interesting how the gates keep justice locked in, sealed away. It's almost like justice, the Law, is in some kind of ironic prison and can't get out and give this guy justice. And so we're in the realm of injustice. Paradoxically, it's the man who is free to wander around in the injustice air and the law that seems locked up and imprisoned—or maybe it's hiding, like in the Bob Dylan lyric, "Goodness hides behind its gates".… In the Inferno the gates are landmarks for different levels of hell…. Are these gates landmarks signifying anything? Maybe this first gate, with the least of the doorkeepers guarding it, represents your garden variety injustice—nothing personal, just bad "luck," a kind of random injustice that the man never transcends. Maybe the inner gates are guarding more serious forms of injustice like the injustices caused by lust, violence, corruption, fraud, greed, treachery, psychopathology—and sitting inside a nutshell somewhere deep within the bowels of this prison, the Law is waiting for someone to come and free it. But men, like this man from the country, are completely incapable. Inept. Absurd. They just wait for justice to come to them, they wait for permission to seek it, instead of just getting up, taking action and freeing it.




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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:21 am

Yes yes yes yes yes!!!!!

Thank you for the response Simon!

I agree with all of what you have said, and would like to pick up on some points and take them a little further in the discussion.

For example...yes it is poignantly ironic that the law is locked in - like some absurd back to front prison. However, the man is still imprisoned in some way because he is compelled to wait for admittance. He is, as you allude, imprisoned by his own ineptness - his inability to act on his compulsion and take matters into his own hands and get what he wants - whatever that may be. Instead, he remains indolent till death waiting for permission. Leaving us with a huge sense of frustration and hopelessness.

This being a Kafka parable, it is only fair that we consider 'The Law' may be more than what it initially suggests. You say: '...this man is excluded from the law seems to imply that he's excluded from civilization'. I fundamentally agree, adding that it is in fact SOCIETY that the man is excluded from. He has travelled from the country (jungle or wilderness) in search of society - only to find himself unable to gain entry. It is his own inability to ask the right questions or give the right answers that creates his exclusion. Like many of Kafka's protagonists, the man is alienated from something that he neither understands nor inherently wants.
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:06 am

In your first point where you say “leaving us left with a sense of hopelessness and frustration”. As a reader I felt neither of those things. I felt more pity for the man from the country than anything. I do agree with you that the man from the country is being held back only by himself. This part you carried over to your second point with a little more specifics.

In your second point you suggested that the man from the country was being kept from entering Society. On this I disagree. While I used “justice” as an example in my previous post, that could be replaced by any number of things. It was simply the most obvious example when used in conjunction with the title of the parable. I think we are trying to read too much depth into this. Based on the parable alone, the Law is simply presented as the place into which one wants entry, or as something one wants to receive. With what the story gives us, we have to assume either that the man from the country did everything right and that you just don't get to get into Law but have to wait on a stool, or that he failed to do the thing that would get him in. I tend to discount the first possibility on the grounds that the door was made for him alone and that the phrase "no one else could have been admitted" implies that the man from the country could have been admitted. So, that narrows the tentative definition to: The Law is something you can't just sit there to get into. Like most parables, it seems the parts would apply in cases of varying profundity. I mean, you can't just sit on your ass and expect doors to open for you and people to make things easy... in general.

There is a specification that I find very interesting, though. The man from the country makes many attempts at entry. Bribery is named as one instance. So, there was a specific thing the man wasn't doing. I think once we've determined what that is, we can move on to what the gatekeeper represents etc etc. I am throwing out the idea that he wasn't fighting the gatekeeper. Rather, he was simply taking what the gatekeeper was telling him at face value. Or, giving into the negativity of others in the pursuit of our own dreams maybe? We all know people who simply let life wash over them. Those who believe it when told they cannot accomplish what they desire. We all hear it from people who might in fact have good intentions, but the message is still negative just the same. What do you think about that? Would you propose another answer?

Another thing to note…
I haven't done the research and don't know if "Before the Law" was written as part of The Trial or as an independent text and later added into the book. If it was written as a part of it, then we might want to consider viewing it as a part of The Trial. That might add a little more insight into the authors intent.
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:47 pm

The parable appears in 'The Trial' - and possible interpretations or meanings are discussed by the characters. The novel itself is as open to interpretation as the parable that is contained within it. To start to discuss the novel may take several pages of text which I don't have time to write, and I am sure nobody really wants to read. Needless to say, it does dwell on themes of frustration, alienation, hopelessness and finally resignation to one's fate. The main character is eventually executed in the novel for a crime that is never disclosed to him or us.

I think it is right to pity the man - but pity him for what? His failure to access 'The Law'? The Law's determination to keep him out? His seemingly wasted life? All options leave me with a sense of frustration at the hopelessness of his plight. Or, do we sympathise a little bit because we have all expereinced situations when we feel that the weight of bureaucracy is so overwhelmingly against us? The powers that want to shut us out of some invaluable truth are too great for us to overcome?

'The Law' could mean so many things in the parable and the novel. It could mean the law, society, civilisation, acceptance, purpose in life - or it could be as basic as 'The Truth' . Knowing Kafka, it is most probably all of these and more. Both texts leave the whole matter unresolved of course, and we make of it what we will.

However, here is something to consider: in our current context, when we discuss such phenomena as Wikileaks for example, perhaps this is 'the man from the country' finding a way past the gatekeeper?





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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:29 pm

I'll get back to this in a couple of days when I have more time, but I just wanted to see if I am getting what you are driving at here..
So your take on the parable is that it is an example of how "the man" is holding us all down? The man being the media, government, corporations, shg and wgc moderators (lol), etc? Thereby denying us justice, freedom, fairness or whatever? Truth being a specific example you stated.
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:49 am

Yes....that is pretty much the angle I have taken. I appreciate your engagement in the discussion, so take as long as you want to respond.

I think 'The Law' in the parable can be loosely applied to almost any phenomenon that creates an 'exclusive' shroud around itself. The government do this with certain information which they think we can't handle ('You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!). Society does this by expecting conformation with certain patterns of behaviour which determine accessibilty - behaviours which sometimes can be difficult to rationalise (e.g. religion).

The gatekeepers are there to guard this exclusivity by keeping people confused (think of politicians, priests, police, lawyers etc). I am sure that all of us have come across various types of gatekeeper in our lives in a variety of different contexts.

Now if you apply this interpretation to a place like SHG - is it really that different? They allow admittance based on certain behaviours that they deem acceptable - but are not clearly identified. If you find yourself outside the walls of their fortress - i.e. you get banned - you will find it very difficult to get anyone to tell you why. All along the way you will meet with various 'gatekeepers'....whose job is to confuse and confound. They do this because they either don't know the answer (the truth) or they don't want to tell you (exclusivity). Try asking them a question about an ambiguous rule and tell me if you get a straight answer.

I would have no hesitation in calling SHG Kafkaesque.
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:41 am

I figured that is where you were going with it.
Let me first say that I fundamentally believe that the owner of any website has the right to exclude anyone from using it for any reason, and even without reason if they choose. They have the right to restrict posting, chat, game play, or anything else solely upon their choosing. They have the right to bend the rules for a few, and more strictly enforce them for others. They are a private institution after all. This can also be extended to any organization, Media, Religious, Political, whatever. Essentially my point is that if they are paying the bill, they have the right to do, print, offer services to or restrict services to any person, or do whatever they please as long as they are not causing any actual harm or damages to another person.
I see this kind of stuff all the time being American. Many Americans believe that they have the right to say whatever they want in whatever medium they want, and that this right is granted to them by the constitution. There are possibly brits who feel this same way given the UK is supposedly a free society as well. The constitution grants us free speech and free assembly without fear of reprisal from the federal government (supposedly). It in no way extends the same rights and freedoms in regards to what we say to or about one another, or print to or about one another in a private medium. It also does not force a private institution to print or broadcast anything it does not choose to, or to put any kind of spin on it that doesn't fit in with organization's interests.
I know you are a big fan of Julian Assange and his website Wiki Leaks. I myself have found the site interesting. I read a couple of posts on this site in regards to him and rather than post all over the board I am just going to put it here... I have read a lot of things about Assange in the last few months. Some portray him as a hero, others as a traitor, even a criminal. My opinion is that he is none of these things. At best he is an oppurtunist. The debate over hero or traitor status should be reserved for those who provide the website with the information. Where I disagree with Wiki Leaks goes back to my previous point... Does what is posted on the website cause any actual damages to any person or organization? In my mind that is the only criteria where any website or content posted on it should be judged. If that website is posting information that makes it likely (70% chance or more) that any individual is going to be put into harm’s way, again actual harm and actual damages not just getting their feelings hurt, then yes, some higher authority should step in. I also have to ask myself what is the motivation behind Wiki Leaks? Some say it is to simply get information out there that mainstream media refuses to acknowledge. I being the cynic that I am doubt that is the sole motivation. Everyone has an angle and everyone lies. This can be debated some other time though I want to try to get back on topic here..
What I have been trying to lead up to is where you said we were being denied the truth. That is where you lost me. Not lost as in I wasn't following along, lost as in I completely lost interest in the conversation. "Truth" is seldom ever truth at all. Truth today is simply what any individual believes to be true; regardless of facts or evidence. I love to use religion as an example of this. "I am right, you are wrong because that is what I believe." Politics is so much like religion. There is no common sense to it, no evidence to support the beliefs. The more you debate with someone the louder and more enraged they become. I have seen posts on this site pointing to how Muslims believe anyone who does not believe the way they do should be killed. There have been many political parties and governments who think the same thing. My point is.. Any time someone starts preaching "truth" I stop listening. Often times it isn't truth at all.
So back to the parable... Being that it really is so vague (undoubtedly on purpose) I can see how you would take away from it what you did. Personally, I tend to stick to the things I can control. While I am not naive enough to believe everything in the world is as it seems, I also don't look for conspiracies around every corner either. I just believe that we as humans need to stop wasting so much time changing the world before we fix ourselves as individuals first. How does the saying go.. If you want to change the world first change yourself? If I took anything from the parable it is that. As I pointed to before, I find it sad that the man from the country really didn't try. He quit after the first obstacle was thrown in his way. Maybe that in itself is what made him unworthy of the law.
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:30 am

wow Simon long thing to read
in which site you saw" I have seen posts on this site pointing to how Muslims believe anyone who does not believe the way they do should be killed. "
i am pretty sure you mean some other site not this one : )
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:38 pm

There are quite a few points that you raise that I would like to address. Not necessarily to agree or disagree with what you say, but to offer my perception of the things discussed.

First, let's consider the rights and responsibilities of owners of any website. You say that they have the right to impose any rule they choose, even bend rules in favour of some, because they are a private organisation. I disagree. They are not private at all! They invite people to join their site because that is the reason they established the site in the first place and that is the way in which it will thrive. As soon as they made this choice, they assumed certain responsibilities to their 'customers/visitors', which go beyond just not causing any actual harm. Sure, they can set rules of their own choosing...but they have a responsibility to be fair in the application of those rules in line with the expectations of the society to which they are touting their business. Consider for example an ordinary shop in your street -- it cannot legally decline the custom of, or charge different prices to, certain groups of people or it would be subject to sexism, racism, disability discrimination laws etc (in Europe and GB, not sure about the USA). If they invite the public into their building/site for any reason, then they declare it as a publicly accessible building/site and they must abide by the rules that govern public buildings -- NOT private institutions. If they want privacy -- fine -- they can have privacy in their exclusive little fortresses and enjoy! Open this fortress up to the world -- then follow the rules and ettiquette that are established therein. They made the choice to make their site public - now they need to fulfill their responsibilities and stop whining.

Let me be absolutely clear about this, I sincerely believe that any site that does not act in strict accordance with equality legislation should be prosecuted by whichever authority governs their place of abode. Those nations which do not enforce such laws should be forced to do so through the use of United Nations sanctions. That would be the right and just course of action for a civilised and progressive world society.

As far as Assange is concerned -- you are right on many aspects. I do think he has been something of an 'Opportunist'. He has taken the opportunity to reveal things that others were not eager to reveal. I am slightly disappointed that you glazed over at the sight of the word 'Truth'. Surely you can see that when I say 'The Truth' I am using it metaphorically to signify something more than what we already know or have been told?

Now here's the thing! I am sick to death of the news I have to listen to or read day after day -- you know the kind I mean? News about which celebrity has slept with his grandfather. Anticipated news about things that haven't happened yet, but here's what we think will happen. News that is controlled by a media baron who has political allegiances and delusions of grandeur.

By God, I'd like to hear an alternative to that daily dose of gruel they serve up as news from day to day!!! Seriously?...I don't think for one minute that Assange will unlock the secrets of the universe and release us all from the bondage of propaganda and misinformation -- but he sure as hell offers us something different -- something that others are not so eager to share. You can glaze over all you like thinking, 'Oh no, there go the conspiracy theorists again, meddling in stuff they don't understand.' But, I for one, will take the alternatives he offers . Thank you very much for allowing me to exercise my choice over WHAT I want to read and hear about! It may not be the truth, but I bet it is closer to it than the slop I am regularly offered to keep me under control.

Finally. You may be right that I am predisposed to take away from the parable exactly what you suggest I have taken. On the other hand, maybe I took what I took because the parable was written by a man who was obsessed with alienation and conspiracy. I don't know the answer to that one! What I do know for sure is this: I don't look for conspiracy in every event I see or hear about, but I do ask questions when I am offered unsatisfactory explanations. It is not that I am suspicious; I am curious. I say to the people who criticise me...please don't be offended when I ask questions. Most of all...don't try to silence me by mocking my curiosity, threatening me or punishing me for something else. That sort of thing only makes me suspicious that you are hiding something. It is my right by the laws and constitution of my land to be able to ask questions and expect answers. Don't get all stressed about it -- just offer me the satisfactory explanation that I seek and everything will be ok.


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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:58 am

....and Maggie....Simon is right. Such comments have been made on this site and are there for public view.

You've done exactly what is expected of you: scanned the text, seen the word 'Muslims', automatically assumed it is a derogatory comment about your faith and responded accordingly!

The point he was making actually condemns those kinds of statements -- and he is absolutely right!

******

I would like to offer you a very poignant statement made by a great man for you to think about:

“Three quarters of the miseries and misunderstandings in the world would finish if people were to put on the shoes of their adversaries and understood their points of view”

Mahatma Gandhi


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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:24 am

HMMMM
this is gettingh funny now
POST me Space where here I have said that if you dont believe in what i believe YOU have to be killed ?KILLED???

All things what i HAVE said are about in what I believe ......in what YOU believe is your own busness
where have been said that ?
And why i wouldnt repsond ,,why i have to let somebody speak BS and not to reply ?
yeah of course i saw he said this thing of course3 i will jump
Who are you all to tell me in what to believe or in what to think or what YOU think is rigth .The truth is one for you ,another for me .I will always defend in what i believe NO matter what words you post me from Gandhi .I know everybody have his opinion and UNLESS is not judging me in what i believe all is ok

Simon is not rigth at all ..not for me thats how he see things ....My truth is very different then his .
So please dont try to tell me how to see things ....you can do with people who are weak .
In this site and i reread today all been said a lot for religion ..religion like all not specific for musilms .But when somebody dares to go agaisnt My belifes and tell me that i am wrong then of course i will reply .If you dont defend in what you believe then you are idiot .
...
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:59 am

OMG Maggie...and LOL....

You NEVER said it!! Simon didn't imply that YOU did!!!

That's just your paranoia kicking in dear : ) I'm beginning to think you like it to be about you!!

But the comment has been made by 'others'. Please read the post again : )
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:21 am

oh well i replyed as i get his post .reread it and not sure still ..anyway i wont delete my posts in case he meant this what i though he meant : )
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:53 am

@Space
I'll get back to your last post on THIS topic in a couple of days.

I just wanted to point out how those who have interjected themselves into this conversation have essentially strengthened my position on what "truth" has become in today's world.

Good times! =)
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:00 am

lol....you're not wrong!

This sort of thing happens way too much in 'Today's World'. Part of the reason why so many of us life with a hand on each other's throat!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:51 am

Ok, getting back to this topic…

It seems your position is that once the owner of a website or business invites someone in they give up their right to expel them. Simply not true. While I think the policies of many businesses, even the unwritten ones, are often times ridiculous; it is their right to practice however they choose as long as they cause no actual harm or break any laws. The government imposed rules and subsequent sanctions are an entirely different conversation. Think of it like this: You invite John and Jane into your home. They proceed to piss in the plants, verbally or physically assault your wife, children, and other guests. They shit on the carpet, impregnate the cat, whatever. Is it your position that you don’t have the right at that point ask them to leave, or even forcibly remove them? Ok, using your home as an example may be taking it too personally (Ahem Salty, I know you read this shit). You operate your own business correct? How long would you tolerate any customer harassing your other customers or employees? How long would you tolerate them abusing your facilities? Fact is, with the exception of federally mandated things such as discrimination, health, and safety issues no business is obligated to conduct itself in any way other than how it chooses to. Even if there are clearly posted rules, how and when they are enforced and to what end is at their sole discretion. If there is any argument to be made it would be in the wording of the TOU or COC of the website. Sure ethics are nice, but those are generally enforced by the market place and should be. It is simple really; if you don’t like how any establishment conducts business, go someplace else. I firmly believe in the practice of people voting with their wallets. I see this all the time here in America; people love to bitch about Wal-Mart. Yet, most of those that do still shop there, why? Seems to me it must not be that bad then. I swear, some of the bitching that goes on about these websites is hilarious. It is like the dumb broad who gets beat by her husband/boyfriend and keeps going back. Just like those who continue to shop at Wal-Mart, you are helping these businesses stay open. Rumors abound about who uses a hider nick and so on. Those that are doing that are just supporting the very thing they claim to hate. SHG and WGC are still getting revenue from those hider nicks, even if the person just sits there and says nothing. It was the same on zone. It is why zone rarely ever MAC banned. Every time someone unbanned and made a new nick zone heard a CHA-CHING! So the point is, regardless of the business, regardless of the agenda, the only way the consumer can dictate how a business is run is by not giving them their business. Profits dictate policy. A handful of discontents will never have much of an impact. This is why I said all along if you want to make anything change move your fight to the spades rooms. =) You also have to take into account what these websites are. These were created by small groups of people with similar feelings on how it should be done and the types of “communities” they wanted. They invested their time and other resources into it. So yeah, I agree with Salty there, if you don’t like it open your own website. Of course similar types and classes of people are going to congregate together. Of course once a hierarchy is established the only ones that will be elevated (or treated with the slightest bit of respect or fairness) will be those who either best fit with or who can most easily be controlled by those at the top. That happens in everything; businesses, politics, religion, even the playground. Btw, it even happens here to some extent.

On a side note, UN sanctions are a joke and do nothing but hurt the people of the country the sanctions are imposed on. The tyrants at the top that are causing the problems are already well taken care of before the sanctions are imposed.

I completely agree with you about the entertainment programming that is passed off to us as “news”. It is laughable at best. I think that is why more and more people are so quick to believe any random conspiracy theory that comes along. I am not saying that all of them are inaccurate; I am not saying we shouldn’t pay attention to them. What I am saying is there is a big problem with the way many do react to them. Most conspiracy theories have no more evidence to support them than the things the news organizations spit out at us. Yet somehow because they are an opposing viewpoint from an alternative (and often times anonymous) source it simply must be the truth. While you may be intelligent enough to tell the difference and decide for yourself, for every one of you there are a million who simply either cannot or don’t care to. Again, politics has become religion. Media personalities and politicians are our ministers, priests and clerics. I don’t watch much euro TV, but I do know here in America 90% of what is passed off as news (or truth) is just commentary based on opinion and speculation. I have to imagine it is the same everywhere. No one ever seems to consider the source anymore. That is if we are even given the source.

I think we should question everything! The problem is as I see it is where you ask for a satisfactory answer. In many cases can there ever really be one? How often are human beings so predisposed to believing they already have the answer, or inventing it, that nothing will satisfy? Nothing will waiver them from what they perceive as being the truth. No amount of evidence or fact. No scientific discovery, NOTHING! If there is no evidence or fact to support the belief, ah screw it, it is truth because I have faith! I believe it to be true, so it must be true. Humans really are a funny breed of monkey.
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spacemariner26
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:53 am

Good post. I agree with much of what is said.

I have to clarify though...I don't say that they do not have the right to expel people who abuse their rules, I am merely saying they have the responsibility to treat each customer fairly. I am sure in this age of the 'compensation culture', a legal issue can be taken against anyone who opens a publicly accessible site and then doesn't operate within the boundaries of equality legislation. You say yourself, in the most recent post, '...it is their right to practice however they choose as long as they cause no actual harm or break any laws.' That is what I am getting at...equality of treatment is safeguarded by the laws of most countries? Nobody, in my knowledge, has set the precedent for this sort of thing...but I would love to see a Gaming Site sued for precisely this. Imagine the impact on everybody else.

Let me give a fictional example of a possible scenario:

Games Emporium is an estbalished website. It sets out its rules clearly...one of which is that any form of harrassment of other players will result in a loss of privileges and ultimately a ban. Matthew has been a member of the site since it started. Matthew gets into a dispute over a game, and words are exchanged between him and another player in the lobby. Matthew gets banned, and the explanation is that he harrassed other players. Matthew is angry about his punishment and decides to take civil action against the site. He hires a lawyer...to whom he gives copies of numerous logs and screen shots which clearly show that other members have had lobby disputes, while moderators have been present, where no action has been taken. Matthew is also able to provide evidence which clearly shows that the dispute for which he was banned was clearly exasipated by the other player - who wasn't punished at all. Matthew can also evidence that although he has had gags before for disuputes, so have various other members who have not been punished in the same way.

Now you tell me...in this age of compensation culture...if Matthew is prepared to spend the money to take this to court...will his case be dismissed or will there be some form of settlement?


About conspiracy theories and the so called News, I agree with almost everything you said. Some idiots do propound anti-establishment theories without really thinking about them. The moon landing conspiracy is a good example of this. I also agree that many conspiracy theories do not have any real evidence to support them, but are believed by some purely because they are an alternative perspective. I like to think that I am not that stupid. When I argue a case, I generally put forward my evidence...and ask that they are tackled and addressed. My life hasn't been so unsuccessful that I am anti-establishment and a rebel without a cause. However, I do have a deep mistrust of politicians and media moghuls -- I like to hold them to account for any decisions that they make where explanations just don't meet my expectations. If we don't hold them to account, we will end up with totalitarian government. However, you are right....there is no mileage in just disagreeing for disagreement's sake.
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:34 am

Ok, so now we have narrowed the scope of this down even further. Treating each customer or player fairly doesn’t necessarily mean treating each the same in every situation. I think being a parent and an educator you understand, and have experienced, that often times you apply different techniques of discipline to different individuals in different situations depending on the individual and the circumstances involved. Some approaches will simply not have the same, or any, affect on one as they do on others. I have to imagine the same would hold true in almost any situation where you are dealing with a group of people. So where for one person it might be enough just to be told to change their behavior, for another that approach won’t work. So some other technique is applied. In the case of a gaming website it is a gag or a boot, whatever. In your own experiences when you have had a student that has been disciplined who not only continues with the same behavior, but escalates it, then what? At some point you have to agree that the student has to be removed. All of society works in a similar way. So while there might not be any consistency in the way the discipline is handed out, I can’t say for certain that there is an inconsistency in discipline. If I am correct, then the notions of unfairness kind of go right out the window and the website owners have been responsible when it comes to treating each player fairly. I am sure that you are thinking something along the lines of “But I am an adult and these people who are certainly less intelligent than I am are trying to discipline me like a child”. Unfortunately, you agreed to that role when you agreed to becoming a member. It isn’t possible that a reasonable person would expect that any system established and set up to run like zone would be any different than zone. Especially when you consider that you are dealing with basically the same people. So these are some of the areas where a website such as SHG would differ from your local grocery store.

I would hope that Mathew had better things to do with his time and resources. I am having a hard time seeing how he suffered any damages. Even if you wanted to take a publically posted set of rules as a contract, it would still be at the discretion of the business owner whether or not to enforce it. There is nothing forcing them to do that in every case. Now, maybe if he was a paid member and the website didn’t follow an established system of escalation, he might have a case. It would most likely go to mediation in which case he’d end up with a prorated refund of his membership dues. I just don’t know how the “I was treated unfairly and so and so wasn’t in my opinion” thing would pan out. As an example, I can’t compare that scenario you gave to someone telling me I can’t shop at a grocery store because I am black. That seems to be the kind of comparison you are trying to make. Who knows though, maybe I am wrong and what these websites have done has caused actual damages to some people. As far as being banned from one all I can really say is - being a person that has been notified as being banned indefinitely from WGC, and apparently from SHG as well, I pose this question to you… Who cares? Lol, is this really the best windmill you can find to tilt at? =)

We’ve had discussions about totalitarian governments before, so you know my thoughts about them. I agree with you completely in that sense. Governments should fear the people, not the other way around. If you’ve never read the Cycle of Democracy by Alexander Tyler, give it a read sometime. I would say that people in the United States are headed into the apathy stage. I also agree with you that we should challenge our politicians. We should challenge our religious leaders, and news media personalities too. I actually waste my time writing my senator and congressperson letters. Of course I don’t get anything that even resembles an answer to my question as a reply. I don’t bother writing the White House, I’d just end up in prison!
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spacemariner26
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PostSubject: Re: Before The Law   Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:05 pm

You make a good point, but I have to clarify. In my role, I pick up the pieces of bad behaviour management strategies all of the time. I go into schools where things are literally falling apart...and the root cause is the lack of communication and trust between teachers and students. The teachers in these places have often given up on their students - dismissing them as hopeless cases who will never amount to much. Likewise, the students have given up on the teachers - dismissing them as abusers of power who are nothing more than a target for ridicule.

In every case...and let me be absolutely clear about this...the BIG problem is inconsistency. Inconsistency breeds mistrust and disaffection. I have been known to send the entire teaching staff of a school back to training to learn new methods and strategies for behaviour management. Try it for yourself...ask any 'good' teacher...what is the secret to good behaviour management?...and I would bet my bottom dollar the answer will be CONSISTENCY. Fairness and consistency walk hand in hand, and through them comes respect and motivation.

Both as a father and educator I have learned this lesson the hard way. Yes...there have been times when I have punished inappropriately because my patience hasn't been up to it. Every time that I have made this mistake, I have come to see it as an epic fail on my part. It never achieved anything.
In Matthew's case, I am just posing the question...would he get a settlement? I personally think he would. However, on one thing we both seem to agree...these game sites are not worth it, and I don't really care.
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