Archive for January 17th, 2015

A Cup of Coffee

by lizard

The frequency of my posting here is going to lessen a bit as I prepare to move out of a house I’ve lived in for 13 years. So before I wade into the detritus of accumulation, packing and purging the space where we started our family, here’s a quick post about the potential power of a cup of coffee.

Over at Piece Of Mind, in the comments of a post titled Free thought in a land of Latter Day Saints, JC invited Swede to coffee and I’m going to try and expound on why I think that matters.

First I’m going to pick on Mark a little, but I don’t think he’ll mind. In ruminating over the modern-day oversoul, Mark opens with this:

Life is interesting. I don’t know how to get that across to people who are living down below, down in that place where truth is handed you on a platter, where nothing is understood until explained by a two-dimensional talking head possessed of a one-dimensional brain. I wonder what it was like before television.

Those of us blogging to understand, sometimes insufferably assured of our own special insights (I include myself) should take every opportunity to step away from the two-dimensional screens and engage in a more direct, meaningful way with our world.

There is no medium that is not in some way manipulated by forces and motivations that are difficult to discern.

Which brings me to a cup of coffee and the following exchange I thought worth highlighting:

STEVE KELLEY: And herein lies the problem. In a world of framers, debate has effectively lost all meaning.

BIG SWEDE: I would offer that debate has never been so prolific as it is now. In the past you couldn’t comment on a news article in the paper, there was no blogs, News shows seldom brought in opposing views.

JC: People used to debate the newspaper over coffee or a meal at home, work, or at an establishment. A decent local paper provided a common frame for debate. That pretty much has disappeared. If you think that commenting on blogs (faceless and impersonal) replaces the human interaction of the last century, I’d have to disagree. While blog commenting has some good features, it lacks much of what a good old fashioned cup of coffee with friends debating the newspaper over breakfast at a local cafe.

Next time I’m in Billings, or you in Missoula, you and I should sit down for a cup of coffee. My treat.

BIG SWEDE: Face to face is indeed different, no spell checking and quick thinking responses.

I appreciate your offer JC. A conversation with you would be interesting and civil. But I enjoy my anonymity even tho some have an idea of who I am and where I ranch.

How we humans communicate seems to degrade the farther away we move from presence, from accountability. What gives me hope in my day to day work is the human interactions I have with the people that operate within systems I don’t think anyone is really happy with. I have found people do change their minds when presented with information, but how it’s presented is crucial. I am most successful when talking directly to someone. Even conversations over the phone are significantly less impactful.

There are so many stories I wish I could tell but they are not my stories to tell. And there is so much more all of us can do to recognize that we are humans existing in a finite world for a very short time.

Maybe it starts with a cup of coffee.




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