The Community Matters
Published on February 11, 2004 By Larry Kuperman In Internet
I am a member of many communities, this being one and an important one. One of my theories (and I have a LOT of theories!) is that the measure of how commited a person is to a community is there willingness to accept dissenting points of view. I think that I am pretty tolerant, but I resolve to be even more so in the future. Why? Because this community is important to me.

I come here to write, to express my thoughts and opinions. I also come here to read, to learn about other points of view and to learn. That requires tolerance and an open mind. Face it, you can't learn form people who are the same as you, identical if such a thing were possible. There has to be diversity of opinion.

There are a lot of great people here. I hope to embarass some of them by naming names. BakerStreet is someone that I have known since WinCustomize days. We disagree on a number of points, but I recall a debate on gun control during the time of the Washington sniper attacks. I was in favor of stricter gun control laws, BakerStreet took a different point of view. A post of his, well-though out and phrased, caused me to re-think my position. Thank you, BakerStreet.

If not for Joeuser, I would never have met Sherye Hanson. We have disagreed in the past (well, the recent past to be precise) but she is a wonderful person. She devotes her life to making the world a better place. See http://sherye-hanson.joeuser.com/index.asp?AID=6846 for an example. See, I told you that I would embarass some people!

There are many others that I could name. We agree sometimes, disagree others. That is all for the good. Hegel said that new ideas come from the clash of thesis and anti-thesis, creating synthesis. People post here from all over the world. We have a diversity of experience and of thought. That is, in my not-so-humble opinion, a good thing.

The older I get, the less I seem to know and the more that I need to learn.
Comments
on Feb 11, 2004
are you my twin brother or something? i could have written most of this post word for word... how come you and i haven't run across each other until now?

Mj
on Feb 11, 2004
This is a wonderful article and I couldn't agree more. I'm really trying to learn where others are coming from and I've learned a great deal in the time I've been here. I agree with you about Sherye Hanson, too!
on Feb 11, 2004
Thank you Larry for giving me an opportunity to tell you how much I appreciate you. Even though we disagree about Israel, we agree about many things. I was sad to hear about the situation for the Christians in Lebanon, it once had a large Christian community. You have written many well written articles. I also appreciate your concern for those who aren't as lucky as we are.

I'm glad you think of this as a community. I know virtually nothing about computers other than how to use them. So I only glance over those pieces. I disagree with Brad on practically everything, but I appreciate the fact that he wants to keep this site clean and encourages argument rather than name calling.

The internet is an interesting place and I have made friends through the internet only, so I know that even if we may never see each others faces we can be a community. I don't know why you'd think I'd be embarrassed by your naming me. I brag about myself all the time. My only excuse is that I'm passionate about what I write about.
on Feb 11, 2004
I have really enjoyed hearing about different lives of people of different countries, ages, religions, etc. I don't run with a very diverse crowd here in stay-at-home-mommy land

I know enough to know that I want to know more The day you stop learning is the day you stop living as far as I am concerned. I totally agree that you learn from those who have differing views. I guess that means you are learning absolutely nothing from this comment
on Feb 11, 2004
Respect Brother.

I was having this same thought last night as to why i was mad someone had gone after me...

This is a GREAT community, filled with many smart and friendly individuals... it doesn't really matter what our views are.. we all bleed the same colour, and we are all here for the same reason.

BAM!!!
on Feb 11, 2004
Embarrassed, but genuinely appreciative. I have found disagreeing with sincere and open people like yourself just as fulfilling and enjoyable as any amount of boisterous approval. Much more educational as well.

I was really apprehensive about starting a blog here. I worried that discussions like the one you mention had tainted me enough that I was considered a 'troll' by those that migrated here from WC, Devart, etc. You were very welcoming and I have always appreciated that.


Your post is much more a testament to the kind of person you are, imho. Looking forward to disagreeing with you ardently and often.

Thanks again.
on Feb 11, 2004
Larry, Hegel would be proud of you. Now, if you could just get your friend Bakersteet to go to the next step of synthesis. I'm glad you also chose Sheyre, even though you disagee with her on Israel, she is a saint. Perhaps, soon she will charm you to the point of synthesis, too. Anyway, happy blogging.
on Feb 12, 2004
stevendedalus, happy blogging to you as well! Thrive on disagreement, as I try to. (Sometimes easier than other times, especially when we are SO right!)

Bakerstreet, you will never be a troll. You always add value, trolls never do.

Thank you, Sherye.
on Feb 12, 2004
nice post.

Paul.
on Feb 12, 2004
I just like to be a goofball for the world to see.

Thanks to everyone who's a part of this site and gives me the forum and audience to do so
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