Bradley M. Kuhn

Toward Civil Behavior

Bradley M. Kuhn at

Sajith Sasidharan, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), jvalleroy, Lars Wirzenius and 10 others likes this.

Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Richard Fontana, Efraim Flashner and 3 others shared this.

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Wonderful post, Bradley. I only have anecdotal experience watching people in abusive relationships, but the (verbal) abusers I've seen up close don't seem to want to change. The only recourse is separation. To protect themselves, communities have to reject and expel abusers, and it definitely starts with, “No, this behavior is not acceptable”. If individuals want to change from being abusive, terrific, but that's not something communities should necessarily hold out hope for.

I'm definitely going to seek out that book, William. Thank you for the reference.

Charles Stanhope at 2014-12-23T17:12:40Z

Bradley, the book is focused on being responsible for one's own behavior and personal interactions. There is nothing explicit about community life.

I agree that giving Forni's book to someone who is not reflective in and about their own behavior is not worthwhile.

There is a 50+ year old area of psychology that focuses on group relations and group dynamics. This helped me work better in a large corporation and in various nonprofit organizations. As you know well, one needs to want help to make any personal changes.

And for the existentialists among us, a good deal of defensive behavior (my own included) is driven by fear of dying.

On that happy note I wish you a wonderful new year.

William L. Anderson at 2014-12-23T18:09:12Z

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It can't do anything about outside abuse, but we can police our own internal discourse and promote certain standards. Educating people about respectful discourse can at least also help the community to reject those who spread malicious abusive sentiments in general.

Aaron Wolf at 2014-12-23T22:38:18Z

Hmm, I was trying to make my point without being at all self-promoting, but it seems if people at least want to think about solutions, you ought to at least be aware of what we're trying to do at See — various links in there describe the concept for our internal system: a very high standard of respect where violations can be flagged by one
single user on the site, but where the poster is invited to immediately repost an edited version. It's only undergoing light testing currently, but anyway, food for thought; and happy to get feedback.

Aaron Wolf at 2014-12-23T22:41:36Z

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