Friday, March 05, 2021

Being "polite"

On various issues, Scott Adams has long been harping on doing what one side (usually the Left-Statist side) demands because he says doing otherwise is "impolite". He says, why be impolite when you can just be polite?

Well... Because "polite" is as subjective and imaginary as "fairness", which he has criticized as a concept invented so that idiots and children could feel like they are participating in the conversation. In all but a few cases, "polite" is exactly the same. 

Sure, almost everyone would consider it impolite to sneeze in someone's face or sit there picking your nose enthusiastically across the breakfast table from someone, but the issues where he calls for politeness aren't nearly so clear-cut. 

Being polite is going to mean different things to different people; sometimes things that are directly incompatible. One person's "polite" is another person's "rude".

Scott believes that historical statues are impolite; while I believe demanding that someone take down a statue to soothe your feelings is impolite-- even if the statue is of someone I consider a monster, like Hitler, Lincoln, or FDR-- any military or political figure, for that matter. Yuck! But they neither break my leg nor pick my pocket by existing.

He considers it impolite to not use incorrect or made-up "gender" pronouns and to not validate someone's opposite sex cosplay, while I consider it impolite to police (sometimes literally) the words people use when they are simply trying to communicate in an obvious, truthful way using words that have been standard speech all their life. I consider it impolite to demand that someone lie.

It's the same with many other sorts of words. No matter what words you use, soon someone will decide to change the acceptable words so that they can condemn you for the (now) "rude" words you use. It's a Red Queen situation where you have to keep running as hard as you can just to stay in place. Ridiculous in the extreme.

He has suggested it would be impolite to not edit Dr. Seuss's books to fit a modern sensibility. I think it is impolite to judge them by the w0ke standards of today.

I consider it very rude to impose mandates and legislation to enforce someone else's idea of politeness. Now, I don't intend to be rude, but if you can't satisfy someone no matter how much you bend for them, I say it's past time to stop trying.

Politeness is a trap. A better metric is archation. Don't violate the life, liberty, or property of-- don't initiate force or property violations against-- anyone. Politeness is fuzzy; archation is concrete.


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