T Nation

I'm Tired of the Labels

“…The use of labels, more precisely, the overuse of labels reveals the ignorance of the labeler. Especially so if there is an abscence of proof to support his position…”

RJ:

I agree 100%…

Mufasa

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
“…The use of labels, more precisely, the overuse of labels reveals the ignorance of the labeler. Especially so if there is an abscence of proof to support his position…”

RJ:

I agree 100%…
[/quote]

I smell a trap.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
What harm did that do to you? How was your freedom encroached upon? I asked you how labels interfered with your freedom of expression. You gave me no proof that your right to express yourself was infringed upon. You have no right to be heard. None. [/quote]

Then let me clarify…it isn’t about my freedom to speak to myself being encroached upon. It is about labels destroying the ability to come to common ground or for any worthy debate based on the honest thoughts of an individual to ever occur.

If this was a country of YOU where no attempt at a society or peace was the goal, then you would need labels even less. It makes little sense to wrap yourself in labels but then act as if no one outside of your inner world has a point of view that matters. You would think that someone who truly thought that way would never bother with labels at all.

labels = double edged sword. Often overused.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Then let me clarify…it isn’t about my freedom to speak to myself being encroached upon. It is about labels destroying the ability to come to common ground or for any worthy debate based on the honest thoughts of an individual to ever occur. [/quote]

If you feel this is constantly happening to you - you might look somewhere else besides blaming everyone for your inability to carry on a meaningful debate. Labels don’t destroy anything unless your conviction is suspect.

Is this “you” a collective “you” - or are you referring to me?

It makes equally little sense to be so offended by labels that you feel the need to silence someone because you don’t agree with their speech. Also confusing is why you feel that everyone must listen to you in order for the debate to have meaning.

To color all of those on here that disagree with you as destroying the climate for real debate is wrong.

Not wanting to pick sides here, but I am not even sure if perception as we know it would actually be possible without some sort of “labelling”. That is, without some kind of preconceived system a priori to disentangle the mess of sensations we perceive every single second of our waking life, would the process of cognition be possible?

Therefore, IMHO, not “labelling” per se seems to be the problem, but rather the specific use of these “labels” and especially the fact that most people aren’t even conscious of their permanently attaching “labels”. My 0.02$.

Hey Mufasa

Labels, what a concept.

I consider the terms Liberal and Conservative to only be categories. It is neither good nor bad to be either. Some make the mistake of assuming they are derogatory terms, both those who hear them and those who use them.

Now if we were to discuss an issue, how do we define the sides? Is it best to not even define the sides?

Then what about those who say they don’t want labels, but act like everyone who is on the “other side” either can be labeled, or still treated like they do?

We can pretend there are no labels, but do you really think anyone who disagrees with another person is going to avoid categorizing them? It is what we do, and how our brains work.

Now by your statement:

It is obvious that Prof X was successful at spinning what I was trying to say. I never really considered it a big deal, just something I pointed out, and it was twisted into some giant conspiracy theory completely blown out of proportion.

I practically said the same thing in one of my posts, and was completely lost in translation.

Now back to labels, I think it might be better to understand if you think of a couple that is not labeled. Their doin’ it, that unlabeled couple.

Now lets put labels on those two. 70 year old man, and 13 year old girl.

Hmmm.

RJ:

There was no “trap”…I simply agreed with your statement!

Mufasa

[quote]Professor X wrote:
rainjack wrote:
What harm did that do to you? How was your freedom encroached upon? I asked you how labels interfered with your freedom of expression. You gave me no proof that your right to express yourself was infringed upon. You have no right to be heard. None.

Then let me clarify…it isn’t about my freedom to speak to myself being encroached upon. It is about labels destroying the ability to come to common ground or for any worthy debate based on the honest thoughts of an individual to ever occur.

If this was a country of YOU where no attempt at a society or peace was the goal, then you would need labels even less. It makes little sense to wrap yourself in labels but then act as if no one outside of your inner world has a point of view that matters. You would think that someone who truly thought that way would never bother with labels at all.[/quote]

If you don’t want to be labeled then don’t label others. That includes name calling.

If you always use the same line of reasoning, or lack thereof, you get labeled.

Well, this looks pretty hopeless.

I label half of you worthless labellers…

Labels are often used as a crutch to avoid having to think.

They are often used to throw someone into a category, so that other folks who haven’t bothered to read and understand the discussion will “take sides” based on the label.

Think about your feelings towards “communists”. Augh, spawn of satan.

Well, a citizen of communist country may not be a willing “communist” and your first thought about them would be very biased, unfairly.

Labelling me a liberal, which happens about fifty times a day, implies I’m for some things I’m not.

The labels we use are very constrictive and don’t fit reality very well. As always, things are not black and white.

Labels are certainly used to help humans classify and organize, but if we are to discuss and learn with respect to a particular issue, it will be necessary for the labels to be torn off so we can peer underneath and figure out what is really going on.

If that doesn’t happen, the discussion quickly turns into a pissfest or a label slapping contest.

Rainjack, I’m not often sure whether you are just stating an opinion to stir up heated debate, or if you actually feel the way you state.

If you really aren’t interested in digging into issues and discussing them, then perhaps it would be good to not jump into the foray and close off the thougts of others until you’ve given them time to rip off the labels, dig a bit deeper, and then finally run out of steam?

This would apply to everyone, but you do seem to be the most vocal label advocate Rainjack.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Rainjack, I’m not often sure whether you are just stating an opinion to stir up heated debate, or if you actually feel the way you state.

If you really aren’t interested in digging into issues and discussing them, then perhaps it would be good to not jump into the foray and close off the thougts of others until you’ve given them time to rip off the labels, dig a bit deeper, and then finally run out of steam?

This would apply to everyone, but you do seem to be the most vocal label advocate Rainjack.[/quote]

Your last sentence just labeled me. Does that mean you are ignorant and void of a valid argument? No - you used a label to describe my actions.

You just illustrated my point that the use of labels to describe positions an attitudes is part of our human fabric.

That is my point. The whole anti-labels thing is a fruitless venture.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
vroom wrote:
Rainjack, I’m not often sure whether you are just stating an opinion to stir up heated debate, or if you actually feel the way you state.

If you really aren’t interested in digging into issues and discussing them, then perhaps it would be good to not jump into the foray and close off the thougts of others until you’ve given them time to rip off the labels, dig a bit deeper, and then finally run out of steam?

This would apply to everyone, but you do seem to be the most vocal label advocate Rainjack.

Your last sentence just labeled me. Does that mean you are ignorant and void of a valid argument? No - you used a label to describe my actions.

You just illustrated my point that the use of labels to describe positions an attitudes is part of our human fabric.

That is my point. The whole anti-labels thing is a fruitless venture. [/quote]

I know you keep saying you like to argue, RJ, but good grief even you must get tired of hitting your head on the same wall over and over, don’t you?

I think labels are quite useful when you want to speak about generalities - labels are really just ways of categorizing things we see again and again, and they are very useful that way.

However, I think they can be over- and mis-used a lot when they’re used to avoid specific issues rather than discuss them.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
I think labels are quite useful when you want to speak about generalities - labels are really just ways of categorizing things we see again and again, and they are very useful that way.

However, I think they can be over- and mis-used a lot when they’re used to avoid specific issues rather than discuss them.[/quote]

Nicely said BB.

It is quite alright to be ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ by nature of your beliefs. But to discount any and all thoughts because one is labeled as so is where the problem comes in.

I’m sure that many conservatives disagree with the war in Iraq, and visa versa. To assume otherwise would be foolish.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
I think labels are quite useful when you want to speak about generalities - labels are really just ways of categorizing things we see again and again, and they are very useful that way.

However, I think they can be over- and mis-used a lot when they’re used to avoid specific issues rather than discuss them.[/quote]

Which is exactly why I said that it is an issue of ignorance. Not an issue over the use of labels.

Okay, it’s going to be hard to discuss things without using words…

So, I’d imagine, if you wish, you can decide that you are being “labelled” whenever somebody chooses to speak in common english.

Joe, I’m not sure what your point was. I thought I was pretty respectfully asking a question. Rainjack gave me a decent answer anyhow.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Okay, it’s going to be hard to discuss things without using words…

So, I’d imagine, if you wish, you can decide that you are being “labelled” whenever somebody chooses to speak in common english.

Joe, I’m not sure what your point was. I thought I was pretty respectfully asking a question. Rainjack gave me a decent answer anyhow.[/quote]

Sorry, I was ‘talking’ to RJ, and don’t really remember mentioning you at all.
If you’re going to continue to flop about after me and post stuff like that…well, I guess it’s your life.

Labels prevent intelligent (accurate)communication… because they are convenient generalizations… and people and ideas are ALWAYS more nuanced and complex than the generalizations you affix to them.

I just pulled all the labels off of the bottles in my medicine cabinet.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
I just pulled all the labels off of the bottles in my medicine cabinet.[/quote]

don’t forget your supplement bottles too.