Why do so many people prefer platitudes to unvarnished truth?

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
This is the report from the infamous encyclopedia. Gorbachev was not responsible either for Chernobyl or for the very brief cover-up. He blames the era of stagnation, as I just did:

1. In April 1986 the Chernobyl disaster occurred.[215] In the immediate aftermath, officials fed Gorbachev incorrect information to downplay the incident.

2. As the scale of the disaster became apparent, 336,000 people were evacuated from the area around Chernobyl.[216] Taubman noted that the disaster marked "a turning point for Gorbachev and the Soviet regime".[217] Several days after it occurred, he gave a televised report to the nation.[218]

3. He cited the disaster as evidence for what he regarded as widespread problems in Soviet society, such as shoddy workmanship and workplace inertia.[219] Gorbachev later described the incident as one which made him appreciate the scale of incompetence and cover-ups in the Soviet Union.[217]

4. From April to the end of the year, Gorbachev became increasingly open in his criticism of the Soviet system, including food production, state bureaucracy, the military draft, and the large size of the prison population.[220]
 

Azure

Legend
See the above. Gorbachev had been in power for around a year, so to say 'it happened under Gorbachev' is factual but not true. It was the long era of Soviet stagnation aka the Brezhnev era that was responsible.
I see. I just checked on wiki. Brezhnev died in '82. The period until 85' was called the stagnation era? Of course Gorbachev is not responsible for the disaster just because he was heading the state at the time. It is clear to me though that the news would not have gotten out if the western media did not get a sniff of it. Interesting. I learn a lot everyday.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
The period of stagnation lasted until it was followed by the Yeltsin era of complete economic collapse. There was something worse than Brezhnev, after all!

According to Wikipedia, Gorbachev informed the nation within several days, so that was pretty good all things considered. The Western media was not pivotal. It was governmental air monitoring in Scandanavia that alerted the world.

I see. I just checked on wiki. Brezhnev died in '82. The period until 85' was called the stagnation era? Of course Gorbachev is not responsible for the disaster just because he was heading the state at the time. It is clear to me though that the news would not have gotten out if the western media did not get a sniff of it. Interesting. I learn a lot everyday.
 
I see. I just checked on wiki. Brezhnev died in '82. The period until 85' was called the stagnation era? Of course Gorbachev is not responsible for the disaster just because he was heading the state at the time. It is clear to me though that the news would not have gotten out if the western media did not get a sniff of it. Interesting. I learn a lot everyday.
The term long era of stagnation itself was coined by Gorbachev. As Kruschev did to Stalin, Gorbachev sought to discredit his predecessors. So Chernobyl happened under his watch and not long era of stagnation. I will credit Gorbachev for making a concerted effort to fix the problem which may not have happened (and did not) under Brezhnev but this does not change the fact that his apparatchiks went to ridiculous lengths to cover up and deny the problem for as long as they could. Including inordinately delaying evacuation of Pripyat.
 

Azure

Legend
The period of stagnation lasted until it was followed by the Yeltsin era of complete economic collapse. There was something worse than Brezhnev, after all!

According to Wikipedia, Gorbachev informed the nation within several days, so that was pretty good all things considered. The Western media was not pivotal. It was governmental air monitoring in Scandanavia that alerted the world.
To me Scandinavian countries are equally western. Hence my point stands. Russia botched up - regardless of under who and that who tried to hush it up.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
The idea of a long history of stagnation is a historical commonplace.

The idea that Gorbachev minted it simply to discredit his predecessors is fanciful.

(The idea that current political leaders blaming past ones is somehow peculiar to the Soviet tradition is of course ludicrous).

(And are you bizarrely suggesting that Kruschev's repudiation of Stalin was misplaced and that Gorbachev's preference for reform was not genuine?)

Gorbachev is not responsible for Chernobyl nor did he really hush it up.

Neither Three Mile Island nor Fukushima reflect any great credit on America and Japan respectively.

To me Scandinavian countries are equally western. Hence my point stands. Russia botched up - regardless of under who and that who tried to hush it up.
The term long era of stagnation itself was coined by Gorbachev. As Kruschev did to Stalin, Gorbachev sought to discredit his predecessors. So Chernobyl happened under his watch and not long era of stagnation. I will credit Gorbachev for making a concerted effort to fix the problem which may not have happened (and did not) under Brezhnev but this does not change the fact that his apparatchiks went to ridiculous lengths to cover up and deny the problem for as long as they could. Including inordinately delaying evacuation of Pripyat.
 
Last edited:

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
The people of Flint Michigan were knowingly poisoned via their water supply and this was covered up for a very long time, So these are matters that don't follow neat ideological lines.

To me Scandinavian countries are equally western. Hence my point stands. Russia botched up - regardless of under who and that who tried to hush it up.
 

Azure

Legend
The people of Flint Michigan were knowingly poisoned via their water supply and this was covered up for a very long time, So these are matters that don't follow neat ideological lines.
Yes I agree. It happens everywhere. Since the topic of discussion was Chernobyl, I pointed it out. A lot of cover up happens in all countries.
 

Mac33

Hall of Fame
You bring up evidence of their heliocentric model being a con and most will dismiss it without first looking a the evidence.

Some even get aggressive when confronted with the opposing giocentric model.

It stresses them out. Their tiny little minds can't handle the implications of being so monstrously lied to.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
I didn't choose the topic of Chernobyl, Someone with an axe to grind against me, and who had just watched the HBO series, plucked it out of thin air in order to moan about the Soviets.

Yes I agree. It happens everywhere. Since the topic of discussion was Chernobyl, I pointed it out. A lot of cover up happens in all countries.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
I missed the recent Herzog documentary on Gorbachev, but according to a fine review by Slate's Joshua Keating (which is a whole lot more than I usually can say about its middlebrow and/or intersectionality hackery passed off as criticism) the one time the otherwise magnanimous last leader of the USSR refuses to accept responsibility is when Herzog presses him on his oft-criticized handling of Chernobyl, which is understandable given what we know.

Of course he doesn't get a pass on his disastrous paving the way (at least initially) for Yeltsin, and he knows it, lamenting at one point in the doc: "I should have sent him off somewhere."
 
@FedFosterWallace - is your thread political in nature? I mean do you see that people are not openly against the govt etc? If that is the case, I don't see it any different from the say the 70's. There were scams then, there are scams now. People try to bring out the truth and are suppressed by the more powerful. A good case in point in recent times is of course Assange.

I, for example, am more concerned that the Turkish government has not yet recognized the Armenian genocide. This is something that has happened, there's enough proof, a lot of people have talked about it including survivors and yet the truth is not being accepted. What worries me is that the people in power can conveniently face the truth and shove it aside.

If your thread is merely on tennis, all I see are speculations and conspiracy theories on this forum. They don't hold ground and to me are not as important as larger issues that are haunting the world.
Politics were not on my mind when I posted the thread, no.

Was much more general, topically.

The question is entirely apropos to the culture on these boards, though. Mildly bizarre phenomenon.

Re your last point, no assignation of importance in the grand scheme of things, here. But we all frequent this forum.

Hence the question.
 
The idea of a long history of stagnation is a historical commonplace.

The idea that Gorbachev minted it simply to discredit his predecessors is fanciful.

(The idea that current political leaders blaming past ones is somehow peculiar to the Soviet tradition is of course ludicrous).

(And are you bizarrely suggesting that Kruschev's repudiation of Stalin was misplaced and that Gorbachev's preference for reform was not genuine?)

Gorbachev is not responsible for Chernobyl nor did he really hush it up.

Neither Three Mile Island nor Fukushima reflect any great credit on America and Japan respectively.
I never suggested that and rather, I welcome it. Do you realise what the implications of what Kruschev and Gorbachev respectively said are? Have you EVER thought through that? What remains of the Soviet if you write off Stalin and Brezhnev anyway? Just Gorbachev undoing the very totalitarianism that Soviet had imposed ostensibly for the greater good for half a century?

I also never said Gorbachev hushed up Chernobyl. I said his apparatchiks did. You can read clearly and you misconstrued my words intentionally because you dislike the implication (and identify strongly with the intentional dishonesty of those apparatchiks, hence why you took umbrage to my post).

And as for Three Mile Island, 200000 protestors led by Jane Fonda and Ralph Nader could participate in demonstrations without fear of the KGB terrorising their lives in future. This is the biggest difference between democracy and totalitarianism that you, in spite of living in and partaking of the benefits of a democratic nation, still do not understand. Power corrupts everywhere and those holding power in powerful nations are usually rotten to the core but at least democratic systems open up the space for investigation and correction. Now what did the Russians do with Legasov? Isolated and demoralised him so that he would kill himself, all for the crime of saving millions of lives.
 
I didn't choose the topic of Chernobyl, Someone with an axe to grind against me, and who had just watched the HBO series, plucked it out of thin air in order to moan about the Soviets.
I don't even need to have an axe to grind against you when you so brazenly reproduce the exact political correctness culture of the Soviets. Preferring the varnished lie to the unvarnished truth, lol wut? One thing you can draw solace from is that Putin, Macedonia and Cambridge Analytica between them have convinced democracies as well to choose and to fight for the varnished lie. The right wing regimes of today that you despise are in fact mirror images of the one you hold so near and dear but if only you would have the guts to face up to that reality.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
You are a political ideologue who possesses no cultural intelligence. I was actually referencing Nietzsche with my comment. More exactly this book:



I don't even need to have an axe to grind against you when you so brazenly reproduce the exact political correctness culture of the Soviets. Preferring the varnished lie to the unvarnished truth, lol wut? One thing you can draw solace from is that Putin, Macedonia and Cambridge Analytica between them have convinced democracies as well to choose and to fight for the varnished lie. The right wing regimes of today that you despise are in fact mirror images of the one you hold so near and dear but if only you would have the guts to face up to that reality.
 
You are a political ideologue who possesses no cultural intelligence. I was actually referencing Nietzsche with my comment. More exactly this book:

Complete non answer, thank you very much. Now go back to your Jurassic Soviet age. And YOU calling me a political ideologue is rich. Sorry, snowflake, can't help it if criticism of the Soviets triggers you so much.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
'Snowflake'? - The insult of choice of the extreme right. I called you a political ideologue and you confirm the analysis. Many thanks!


Complete non answer, thank you very much. Now go back to your Jurassic Soviet age. And YOU calling me a political ideologue is rich. Sorry, snowflake, can't help it if criticism of the Soviets triggers you so much.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
'Called out' - a verb of choice of the extreme right. You are on a roll. One right-wing literary trope after another!

I just called out the right wing demagogues upthread but you go right ahead clutching at straws to preserve your delicate, triggered AF soul.
 
It's funny how both the far left and far right feel so threatened by those of us in the middle. Almost as if it is easier for them to deal with us if they know which side we are on. It's like we are cheating on them and not playing the game.
 
'Called out' - a verb of choice of the extreme right. You are on a roll. One right-wing literary trope after another!
More eloquent nonsense. Called out is a choice expression of the social left of the USA, particularly applied to calling out the latent sexism of a man. I KNOW because I have seen the social left use that expression in discussions. Unfortunately, even your attempts to varnish your lies, as you refer to it, are falling flat now. Sip some water and recover your cool.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
It's funny how people in the middle think they can get away without defining what exactly this middle is, but if you are serious about a middling life then forget about the extreme right linguistic calling cards.

It's funny how both the far left and far right feel so threatened by those of us in the middle. Almost as if it is easier for them to deal with us if they know which side we are on. It's like we are cheating on them and not playing the game.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
It is also used in exactly the same way by the extreme right who have appropriated the term, as you did precisely here.

More eloquent nonsense. Called out is a choice expression of the social left of the USA, particularly applied to calling out the latent sexism of a man. I KNOW because I have seen the social left use that expression in discussions. Unfortunately, even your attempts to varnish your lies, as you refer to it, are falling flat now. Sip some water and recover your cool.
 
It's funny how people in the middle think they can get away without defining what exactly this middle is, but if you are serious about a middling life then forget about the extreme right linguistic calling cards.
I do not have to define it, that, monsieur, is the point. I recognise and respect ambiguity and am comfortable with it. You on the other hand have a Trumpian discomfort with it and would rather choose to invent a beautiful lie and live it.
 
It is also used in exactly the same way by the extreme right who have appropriated the term.
Er, thank you, dummy for finally getting my point, albeit inadvertently. I do not see any difference between the extreme left and the right. They are both too blinded by ideology and also committed enough to it that they will readily resort to undemocratic means to achieve their end.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
In other words, you don't even know what the middle is ... just as I thought.

I do not have to define it, that, monsieur, is the point. I recognise and respect ambiguity and am comfortable with it. You on the other hand have a Trumpian discomfort with it and would rather choose to invent a beautiful lie and live it.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
So you suffer from the delusion that only you live without ideology. Isn't that the purest expression of ideology?

Er, thank you, dummy for finally getting my point, albeit inadvertently. I do not see any difference between the extreme left and the right. They are both too blinded by ideology and also committed enough to it that they will readily resort to undemocratic means to achieve their end.
 
So you suffer from the delusion that only you live without ideology. Isn't that the purest expression of ideology?
No, not only me, but the vast majority of us. And YOU the vociferous few hijack political debate and are now taking it down a disastrous road. Not for nothing is it said that empty vessels make the loudest noise and you are the living embodiment of it.
 
It's your middle, so I asked you to define it.
I am not your servant to oblige or indulge your desires. I know what I believe in at a given point of time. I also know that I do not want to be boxed in so I prefer not to define it. I am quite comfortable with that, especially because it confuses the **** out of ideologues like you and frustrates you so much.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
It's funny how people in the middle think they can get away without defining what exactly this middle is, but if you are serious about a middling life then forget about the extreme right linguistic calling cards.
To be humorous for the moment, I think most likely I am in the middle if I get attacked about the same amount of time by people on both sides. ;)
 

Steady Eddy

Hall of Fame
Because there's no "I" in team.

Whether or not you think you can, or you think you can't...you're right.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda...
 
To be humorous for the moment, I think most likely I am in the middle if I get attacked about the same amount of time by people on both sides. ;)
Exactly what I have observed. Holds true for political talk tennis too. Had it from the racists after the Wimbledon final and then from the lefties after the USO final. I don't need to spell out which player I am talking about.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Exactly what I have observed. Holds true for political talk tennis too. Had it from the racists after the Wimbledon final and then from the lefties after the USO final. I don't need to spell out which player I am talking about.
There are people who are highly invested in small things to do with Big People just because the Big People are having success, and they are not. ;)

I can't see how trashing or defending anyone you don't know personally is any more than a pointless exercise in futility. I save that energy for my friends and family. ;)
 
There are people who are highly invested in small things to do with Big People just because the Big People are having success, and they are not. ;)

I can't see how trashing or defending anyone you don't know personally is any more than a pointless exercise in futility. I save that energy for my friends and family. ;)
Exactly!
 

Azure

Legend
There is a saying in Sanskrit -

सत्यं ब्रूयात् प्रियं ब्रूयात् , न ब्रूयात् सत्यम् अप्रियम् , प्रियं च नानृतम् ब्रूयात्

This means - "speak the truth, speak in a kind manner, but never speak truth in a harsh manner, never speak kind words but the untruth"

I am someone who likes to call spade a spade. That said, I don't speak unless someone asks me for my opinion.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
According to binary logic, you can only be A or not A, or so I am told. But the fact is that you could be A or not A on a number of very different issues. Depending on the issue, you could be attacked by vastly different people.

In that sense, almost everyone is in a middle. But in reality they tend to differ according to clusters of issues. So you could be in and out of the middle at the same time. Alas, there is usually only a binary choice for high office.

To be humorous for the moment, I think most likely I am in the middle if I get attacked about the same amount of time by people on both sides. ;)
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
According to binary logic, you can only be A or not A, or so I am told. But the fact is that you could be A or not A on a number of very different issues. Depending on the issue, you could be attacked by vastly different people.

In that sense, almost everyone is in a middle. But in reality they tend to differ according to clusters of issues. So you could be in and out of the middle at the same time. Alas, there is usually only a binary choice for high office.
That may be true, but I think for some people perhaps the middle tends to be wider in almost everything. Some people have very strong opinions about almost all matters, while others drift a good bit.

For example, on the subject of abortion: My own position is pretty nebulous. Aborting near the end of a pregnancy when the unborn baby is just about certain to survive seems pretty clear cut to me. I think that's wrong. When it comes to a choice between saving the baby's life or the mother's, I don't know.

On the other end, I'm fine with ending a pregnancy within days of conception, although that gets into some pretty dicey problems in that women often don't know they are pregnant until much later.

And I'm 100% on board for birth control.

But where is the dividing line? When is it too long? To me that gets very tricky, and I just don't know. It seems to me that most people are primarily upset about where that middle line is drawn.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
I got excited very early on when I read the statement 'Love your neighbour as yourself'.

I then discovered that it was essentially a social injunction directed only within your tribe.

You could happily massacre outsiders and, indeed, it was God's work to do so.

There is a saying in Sanskrit -

सत्यं ब्रूयात् प्रियं ब्रूयात् , न ब्रूयात् सत्यम् अप्रियम् , प्रियं च नानृतम् ब्रूयात्

This means - "speak the truth, speak in a kind manner, but never speak truth in a harsh manner, never speak kind words but the untruth"

I am someone who likes to call spade a spade. That said, I don't speak unless someone asks me for my opinion.
 

Azure

Legend
I got excited very early on when I read the statement 'Love your neighbour as yourself'.

I then discovered that it was essentially a social injunction directed only within your tribe.

You could happily massacre outsiders and, indeed, it was God's work to do so.
What has your post got to do with mine? Sorry sometimes I find it hard to follow.

Regarding the quote that you have posted, the idea is to empathise and treat others as you would unto yourself. When there is more humanity and empathy in this world, this planet will suddenly become infinitely more bearable.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
You've gone into technicalites without defining the issue, and so you got lost.

The only issue is whether you support the woman's right to choose or you don't.

Late term abortions are a non issue as they are medically relation and nothing to do with choice.

That may be true, but I think for some people perhaps the middle tends to be wider in almost everything. Some people have very strong opinions about almost all matters, while others drift a good bit.

For example, on the subject of abortion: My own position is pretty nebulous. Aborting near the end of a pregnancy when the unborn baby is just about certain to survive seems pretty clear cut to me. I think that's wrong. When it comes to a choice between saving the baby's life or the mother's, I don't know.

On the other end, I'm fine with ending a pregnancy within days of conception, although that gets into some pretty dicey problems in that women often don't know they are pregnant until much later.

And I'm 100% on board for birth control.

But where is the dividing line? When is it too long? To me that gets very tricky, and I just don't know. It seems to me that most people are primarily upset about where that middle line is drawn.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
Your quotation is the kind of philosophical/religious thought that can be found in many ancient codes.

They do represent attempts by humanity to define more universal codes of conduct, so they have performed a useful function.

But they can be tricky to parse, as one says.

I am sorry to tell you but the idea that calling 'a spade a spade' is in line with this Sanskrit saying just can't be right.

You have modernised it out of all recognition.

What has your post got to do with mine? Sorry sometimes I find it hard to follow.

Regarding the quote that you have posted, the idea is to empathise and treat others as you would unto yourself. When there is more humanity and empathy in this world, this planet will suddenly become infinitely more bearable.
 
Top