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Old 8th November 2012, 06:09 PM   #1
John Mekki
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“Us” vs. “Them” mentality

It has been here since the beginning of humandkind, I assume.
And it is, in my opinion, the most stupid kind of mentality that you can have.
It is the “Us” vs. “Them” mentality.
It is a way of thinking shared by millions (billions?) of people all over the world, maybe the majority of humankind.
In simple words, people believe that their side is the “good” one and the other side is the “bad” one.
By principle.
No matter what.
Such people use different criteria to judge actions, based on either it is “our” side that does it, or the “other”.
The most striking (stupid?) aspect of such mentality is that people thinking this way are even willing to accept personal losses for the good of “our” side.
I can understand (while do not agree with) people raping, killing and stealing for their own profit.
What I really can not understand people supporting rape, murder and steal when they have nothing to gain from it, or even when they are willing to get a personal loss from their support to the “just cause”.
You do not believe that this happens?
Think twice.

Examples are countless.

Just few decades ago, Japanese kamikaze pilots offered their lives to blew themselves up against US ships during WWII.
Nazi pilots did similar things.
Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany were the countries invading other countries during WWII, so hardly you can think to be on the right side when you invade other countries, or so I thought.
And we have no short list of people blowing themselves up in the Middle East for “their side” religious or political agenda
You believe that such examples are kind of extreme and not worth to be considered as the rule?
Maybe most people would not go as far as committing suicide for the good of their “side”, but they would accept other minor kind of losses.
Some (most?) Iranian people are against having a country called Israel not far from their borders.
Why?
The average Iranian would have nothing to lose if their Government recognizes Israel, in fact, they may have much to gain, hopefully some sanctions may be lifted.
Still, many Iranians would not accept that, despite I can see no rational reason why Iranian should oppose in principle to recognition of Israel.
You do not believe that?
I kindly invite you to go and talk in any English-speaking Iranian forum you can find in the internet.
Beware not to insist too much on the question that the Holocaust has happened, I have been banned for this.
You believe only Iranians are extremists?
Think twice.
I also talked with Japanese about the question of WWII and about the crimes of Japanese soldiers in China and Korea (personally)
You would be surprised to know hown many Japanese do not believe that Japan committed any crime during WWII and condone the invasion of China, Korea, and so on..
Of course, howewer, they strongly condemn the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings (I could not find any link in English for this, sorry, as US news sites seem to be only interested in US citizens opinion: http://www.atomicheritage.org/mediaw...a_and_Nagasaki) as from my understanding, Americans, on the other side, still support the bombings
“An August 2009 poll by Quinnipiac University found that 61 percent of Americans supported the bombing, with 22 percent opposed and 16 percent undecided. The poll found a significant gap in opinion based on respondents' ages: 73 percent of those polled over 55 agreed with the bombing, while only 50 percent of those under 34 supported it.”
http://www.atomicheritage.org/mediaw...a_and_Nagasaki
Maybe Japanese people are little bit “strange”?
Please, go to talk with a Chinese and ask him about Mao Zedong, and the “Great Lead Forward” which left some millions of Chinese dead.
Ask him or her why they still have Mao` s face on their notes.
I did and I just got angry replies such as “You are anti-Chinese”, “Go back to your country”, etc.
To be noted that most (all?) of Mao` s policies victims were Chinese people, so you are called "anti-Chinese" for just asking a question about why crimes against other Chinese people happened.
What about Americans and Western people?
They are happy to pay thousands of dollars per year to their military just to keep their dream of being the strongest country on Earth.
In all their movies of war, the "hero" is always American, never a Lithuanian.
The fact that pouring hundreds of billions in the military every year may be one of the reasons why their economy is not exactly doing well and maybe this is why maybe they are losing or at risk to lose their job does not seem to move the majority of US citizens to a more prudent spending.
And what exactly is the advantage for the average US citizen to have a US base in South America or Japan?
Dunno.
Maybe they really believe that invading Iraq or threatening Iran with war were good and moral things, and the 200000 + deaths that the invasion caused may be an acceptable "collateral damage" for having brought "freedom" to Iraq from their once-supported dictatorship of Saddam, but not only that: many of US citizens are even happy to pay thousands of dollars of their own taxes for such "moral actions", and this is a puzzle for me, as what the average US citizen has to gain from the "liberation" of Iraq and the subsequent sectarian war that brought hundreds of thousands of deaths?
I guess nothing.
And I finish talking about Russians.
I talked to a few of them here in Japan (yes, there are quite a few Russians in Japan) and told them that Putin should not have gone as far as bombing Grozny to bring Chechenya to peace.
I can spare you the comments I received.
Most of the Russians I have talked to (not many, so maybe I was unlucky) were even little bit nostalgic of the good old times when the USSR was a global superpower.
Reminding them that during those times there were mass famines who killed thousands (Russian citizens exactly like them!) did not seem to shake their opinion
I still have to talk with people from New Zealand, but I did have a chat with one friend of Rwanda few years ago, who blamed all African troubles on colonialism.
The fact that most Africans seem to be perfectly able to kill each other with little Western support did not change much his idea that African do not have much responsibility for African problems.
It is the West who is to blame!
Useless to tell him that colonialism in Africa ended decades ago.
I am leaving out Brazilians, Indians, French and Dutch, .. as I do not have much experience with them.

I thought that, in the era of Internet, things may have changed, but it looks like it will still take a while for any real change in people thought to happen.

What is your take on this?
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Old 8th November 2012, 06:23 PM   #2
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I thought that, in the era of Internet, things may have changed, but it looks like it will still take a while for any real change in people thought to happen.
Our brains haven't changed much since the dawn of the human race. And it will be a million years or more before they catch up with difficult concepts like "supermarkets" and "health care".

The internet isn't going to change people, any more than newspapers or telephones.
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Old 8th November 2012, 06:26 PM   #3
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I don't think anyone is safe from this mode of thinking, it's part of the way our minds are constructed as a basic frame of reference I'd say. You're doing it yourself right now in this OP in a sense when you talk about "those others who do this". Some are very prone to indulging the urge to do this, and some recognize this and strive to overcome it I'd say.

Last edited by Halfcentaur; 8th November 2012 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 8th November 2012, 06:30 PM   #4
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We even do this for the things we consider good and noble. We risk automatically flipping a switch when someone is exposed for being a racist, or a pedophile, all nuance goes out the window depending on how threatening or dangerous we deem the example. Just look at a thread where someone makes an ignorant blanket statement, and we suddenly see people accusing and denying one another of being racist for instance. Apparently the person who claims they are not a racist while making a racist remark has some idea of racism being a bad thing, but somehow they explain away their personal racism as something else. Or sometimes someone just says something insensitive, but they are dismissed as an ignorant racist by someone else. It happens all the time, with all kinds of different interchangeable examples of us vs them.

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Old 8th November 2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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Depending on how familiar and close a person is with you, we can only risk giving someone so many chances before dismissing them in a world where confirmation keeps us safe from the scary sound in the bushes. You can give your sister or brother a longer leash, but someone you've never met often has one strike or they're out.
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Old 8th November 2012, 06:51 PM   #6
John Mekki
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
Our brains haven't changed much since the dawn of the human race. And it will be a million years or more before they catch up with difficult concepts like "supermarkets" and "health care".

The internet isn't going to change people, any more than newspapers or telephones.
If I may, I do not think it is a question of "human brain", as there in fact a lot of people who switched from the "us vs. them" mentality to another way of thinking.
I also I think I did this a few years ago.
By that time, I was a strong supporter of the West policies in the Middle East, then I almost got punched by a Colombian who told me about the West crimes in South America (or which I did not know much about).
There are in fact a lot of people around the world that do not think "us vs. them", but have a different way of thinking.
Some of them use the "us vs. them" mentality of other people for their own gain: for example, politicians who talk about "our troops", "our country", etc. etc.
And suckers go along believing that they are part of this big "our" thing, when in fact they only get screwed.

So, not all the people are ingrained in the "us vs. them" mentality
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Old 8th November 2012, 07:05 PM   #7
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Oh, I'm very much an "us vs them" thinker.

Except "us" is "me", and everybody else is "them".

Good luck! You're going to need it. I'm aiming to win.
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Old 8th November 2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I thought that, in the era of Internet, things may have changed, but it looks like it will still take a while for any real change in people thought to happen.
A person like you would say something like that.
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Old 8th November 2012, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
I also I think I did this a few years ago.
Ughm...not to be argumentative, but reading your OP makes me think otherwise. You outlined quite the long list of thems, and their behaviors.

Don't feel badly. It's human nature. It's the way our brains are wired, and it's not going to change for many, many, many generations.
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Old 8th November 2012, 07:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I also talked with Japanese about the question of WWII and about the crimes of Japanese soldiers in China and Korea (personally)
You would be surprised to know hown many Japanese do not believe that Japan committed any crime during WWII and condone the invasion of China, Korea, and so on..
Of course, howewer, they strongly condemn the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings (I could not find any link in English for this, sorry, as US news sites seem to be only interested in US citizens opinion: http://www.atomicheritage.org/mediaw...a_and_Nagasaki) as from my understanding,
I have met a lot of Japanese who do not support the imperial conquests of China and other East Asian countries. Many of them actively argue that it was very wrong. Others are simply ignorant.

In fact, I can't remember the last time I met a Japanese person who thought that the late 1930s and early 1940s was a glorious period. Maybe I never have.
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Old 8th November 2012, 07:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I have met a lot of Japanese who do not support the imperial conquests of China and other East Asian countries. Many of them actively argue that it was very wrong. Others are simply ignorant.

In fact, I can't remember the last time I met a Japanese person who thought that the late 1930s and early 1940s was a glorious period. Maybe I never have.
This reflects my experience in Japan and with exchange students as well.
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Old 8th November 2012, 08:03 PM   #12
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For a very good example of "us versus them" mentality at work, you can always just open a John Mekki thread here. Of course it's different because he's the us and we're the them, but if you stretch your tiny little mind you'll catch on.
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Old 8th November 2012, 08:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
For a very good example of "us versus them" mentality at work, you can always just open a John Mekki thread here. Of course it's different because he's the us and we're the them, but if you stretch your tiny little mind you'll catch on.
He has a much deeper understanding of the terrible essentializing mentality of "The Chinese", "The Iranians", "The Israelis", "The Japanese", The Americans". Don't you understand?!?!?!?! They are the ones with that mentality! THEM! Not him!

And while he may recount to us anecdotes of how he used to be obnoxiously supercilious back then, he has since blossomed into a being far superior to the rest of us!
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Old 8th November 2012, 08:45 PM   #14
John Mekki
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I have met a lot of Japanese who do not support the imperial conquests of China and other East Asian countries. Many of them actively argue that it was very wrong. Others are simply ignorant.

In fact, I can't remember the last time I met a Japanese person who thought that the late 1930s and early 1940s was a glorious period. Maybe I never have.
Mm..
I have also quite an experience with Japanese and, yes, they do not really say that it was a "glorious period".
They simply tend to ignore the crimes that the Japanese troops committed, play them down, claim that the number of victims was exaggerated or that Japan had unfortunately no other choice because they were encircled by the "ABC" (which should be America, Britain and China, I guess).
I have heard such kind of explanations quite a few times, already, of course never in front of any US customer

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I have met a lot of Japanese who do not support the imperial conquests of China and other East Asian countries. Many of them actively argue that it was very wrong. Others are simply ignorant.

In fact, I can't remember the last time I met a Japanese person who thought that the late 1930s and early 1940s was a glorious period. Maybe I never have.
Mm..
I have also quite an experience with Japanese and, yes, they do not really say that it was a "glorious period".
They simply tend to ignore the crimes that the Japanese troops committed, play them down, claim that the number of victims was exaggerated or that Japan had unfortunately no other choice because they were encircled by the "ABC" (which should be America, Britain and China, I guess).
I have heard such kind of explanations quite a few times, already, of course never in front of any US customer

Added
Just to point out to the most famous example
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controv...asukuni_Shrine

This also is for you, AngrySoba


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Old 8th November 2012, 08:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Mm..
I have also quite an experience with Japanese and, yes, they do not really say that it was a "glorious period".
They simply tend to ignore the crimes that the Japanese troops committed, play them down, claim that the number of victims was exaggerated or that Japan had unfortunately no other choice because they were encircled by the "ABC" (which should be America, Britain and China, I guess).
I have heard such kind of explanations quite a few times, already, of course never in front of any US customer
When claiming that 'others' are guilty of 'us vs them' thinking, it's best not to try to hold the misdeeds of some people against other people who weren't even alive at the time simply because of their race/country.

You're blaming 'the West' and the US an awful lot not to be guilt of the very thing you claim to rail against.
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Old 8th November 2012, 08:51 PM   #16
John Mekki
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
He has a much deeper understanding of the terrible essentializing mentality of "The Chinese", "The Iranians", "The Israelis", "The Japanese", The Americans". Don't you understand?!?!?!?! They are the ones with that mentality! THEM! Not him!
"Him" and "them" who?
Since "him" is also a part of "them"?

How deeply ingrained in your mind this problem is..

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Old 8th November 2012, 08:54 PM   #17
John Mekki
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Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
When claiming that 'others' are guilty of 'us vs them' thinking, it's best not to try to hold the misdeeds of some people against other people who weren't even alive at the time simply because of their race/country.
I did not speak about being "guilty".
As for being alove (or not) at the time of when the crimes were done, I do not think it matters.
I assume you may not particularly like Hitler and I assume we were not yet born when he took power in 1933.
If someone comes out and says that Hitler did the right thing invading Poland as "he had to do so", would it be OK to you just as he was not alive when the invasion took place?
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Old 8th November 2012, 09:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I did not speak about being "guilty".
As for being alove (or not) at the time of when the crimes were done, I do not think it matters.
I assume you may not particularly like Hitler and I assume we were not yet born when he took power in 1933.
If someone comes out and says that Hitler did the right thing invading Poland as "he had to do so", would it be OK to you just as he was not alive when the invasion took place?
I didn't say 'guilty' either.

You're 'holding it against' Japanese people that they aren't more interested in and apologetic with for things that happened before they were born. You assert this means they agree with what those other people did.

Well are YOU apologetic for what the Japanese did in WWII? Or Hitler? Or what the Spartans did to their slaves? What Alexander did to the elephants?

Your Hitler analogy fails because it key parts don't have anything to do with what you're railing against.
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Old 8th November 2012, 10:06 PM   #19
John Mekki
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Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
I didn't say 'guilty' either.
Uh??
You did not write "guilty" a few lines above?

Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
You're 'holding it against' Japanese people that they aren't more interested in and apologetic with for things that happened before they were born. You assert this means they agree with what those other people did.
I am not exactly "honding it against" anyone, but, well..
The majority of the Japanese people support, for example, the visit of their PM to the Yasukuni Shrine.
I did not hear many South Koreans and Chinese holding the same position.
Why is that?
Who is biased and who not?

小泉首相の靖国参拝に賛成ですか、反対ですか?
賛成  50% 
反対  46% 
http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kenichimiura423/16569820.html

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Old 8th November 2012, 11:25 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
a Colombian who told me about the West crimes in South America
None are so blind as those that will not see. Those crimes were committed by "the West"? And that's not "us & them".

As for the Japanese you will get different answers depending on the context the questions are raised. See honne and tatemae. A japanese friend who worked as a translator (and read Swift for pleasure) described the difference as between the agreed public truth and the "unfortunate personal truth" (to use her words).
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:32 AM   #21
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Is that drainpipe in the photo made of copper?
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:45 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
... a big snip of the sausage mince .....

What is your take on this?
I take it you are having us all on. After all, you talk of "us and them" but seem absolutely oblivious to your own bias. So if you were in fact serious, the irony would be gargantuan.

We all have our own conditioning, of that there is no doubt, but to assume an all seeing all knowing attitude is the height of arrogance, and you do not write well enough or (based on what I've read) think deeply enough for one to assume you fall somewhere in or above the genius class (who also have their biases I might add).

You make things out to be black and white and ignore the various shades of grey that come with competing values, self interests, political and social leanings, loyalties, education etc etc.

You would seem to think things are either right or wrong, good or bad, us or them. In fact it is this assumption that is narrow minded, just as much as the one you decry.

Fail.

Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
I don't think anyone is safe from this mode of thinking, it's part of the way our minds are constructed as a basic frame of reference I'd say. You're doing it yourself right now in this OP in a sense when you talk about "those others who do this". Some are very prone to indulging the urge to do this, and some recognize this and strive to overcome it I'd say.
Quite right.

Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
Is that drainpipe in the photo made of copper?
And why does he have a bloodhound's ear on his head?

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Old 9th November 2012, 01:49 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
Is that drainpipe in the photo made of copper?
Yes. That's typical of THEM. WE would use cast iron or uPVC. Ignorant fools.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:45 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
For a very good example of "us versus them" mentality at work, you can always just open a John Mekki thread here. Of course it's different because he's the us and we're the them, but if you stretch your tiny little mind you'll catch on.
Co-signed.


Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
When claiming that 'others' are guilty of 'us vs them' thinking, it's best not to try to hold the misdeeds of some people against other people who weren't even alive at the time simply because of their race/country.

You're blaming 'the West' and the US an awful lot not to be guilt of the very thing you claim to rail against.
Co-signed. Heck, he's even asserted that this forum has a US bias solely because it's based in the US. Strangely, this alleged bias did not seem to be considered when he used non-US news sources in the same thread.
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:54 AM   #25
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Some anthropologists trace this back to our very beginnings as small bands of hunter-gatherers. This is our territory... The "other" band is suspect. Trespassers, interlopers, thieves, "out to steal our women"...
Kubric referenced this in 2001, of course.

Back then, it was hooting and threat displays. As we become more "civilized" and sophisticated, we learn to rationalize. They are evil, we are noble. They are inferior, we are superior. Our way or religion or political system is better. We are invading to save those poor, inferior, degraded people from their own ignorance.
No group is not guilty of this.
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Old 9th November 2012, 08:06 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
It has been here since the beginning of humandkind, I assume.
And it is, in my opinion, the most stupid kind of mentality that you can have.
It is the “Us” vs. “Them” mentality.
What is your metric for the stupidity of a mentality? Because from an evolutionary standpoint, I hate to break it to you but that mentality has proven to be enormously successful. Its ubiquity is, in fact, a testament to its utility. Such a mentality may be regrettable, it may be immoral, it may be an impediment to the kind of social progress you want, but I think "stupid" doesn't really fit a winning evolutionary strategy.
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Old 9th November 2012, 03:48 PM   #27
John Mekki
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
What is your metric for the stupidity of a mentality? Because from an evolutionary standpoint, I hate to break it to you but that mentality has proven to be enormously successful. [..]
You really think so?

Was is successful for the hundreds of thousands of Nazi and Fascist soldiers (most of them in their early 20s) sent to die in the cold in Stalingrad in 1943?
Was it successful for the 5000 US troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families?
Was it successful for the Japanese pilots and soldiers who died in the Pacific?
Was it successful for the millions of Americans who lost their jobs and had to pay taxes to maintain the enormous US military apparatus?
Was it successful and is it successful for the millions of Iranians who do not have access to Western produced medicines and products for the refusal of your Government to accept the existence of a country called "Israel"?
Is it successful for the millions of Japanese that are increasingly facing hostility from neighboring countries (and losing billions in business) for their refusal to fully accept the crimes that they commit during WWII?

Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
Things are either right or wrong, good or bad, us or them. In fact it is this assumption that is narrow minded, just as much as the one you decry.

Fail.
I see.
So condemning the praising by the Japanese Government of the Japanese victims of WWII (including class A was criminals) is being narrow minded and thinking black-and-white.
What about the people in some Muslim countries who dances in the streets when the planes hit the towers?
If I say that I dislike them too, would you still accuse me of being "narrow minded"?
Maybe they had some reasons to, to be happy of the 3000 innocent victims (mostly US citizens) during 9/11?
Or am I thinking too much black-and-white here.
Maybe the shooter that killed twelve person in the Aurora shooting had some reasons too ("various shades of grey that come with competing values, self interests, political and social leanings, loyalties, education etc etc. ").
If I say that he was dead wrong, other than utterly stupid, would you accuse me of ignoring the "various shades of grey"?
But he only killed 12 people, nothing in comparison of the 20 millions that the Japanese killed during WWII, the millions bombed by US planes in Cambodia and Laos during the `60s, the thousands killed in Chechenya by Putin` s Russian troops, etc. etc.

Last edited by John Mekki; 9th November 2012 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:06 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by 000063 View Post
Co-signed. Heck, he's even asserted that this forum has a US bias solely because it's based in the US. Strangely, this alleged bias did not seem to be considered when he used non-US news sources in the same thread.
Not exactly.
I asserted that many posters (the majority as far as I can see, you included) of this forum, NOT the forum itself, has a West-bias due to the only reason I can see that most of the posters that write here happen to have been born and/or educated in the US and Western countries.
The non-US news sources I have quoted were meant to show that there are other opinions around the world, which do not follow the same logic.
Unsurprisingly, the posters above dismissed the sources more or less as irrelevant.
One guy even said that Brazil and Argentina are "banana republics", quoting directly.
Before being accused of an anti-US tirade, please note that I am fully aware that, if you go to Muslim countries and discuss in the few Middle-East based internet forum in English, you would find the same people as you, with the only difference that the bias in this case would be directed against the US.
If you go to Japan, you would find again the same people similar to you, but in this case the bias "direction" will be again different
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:16 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Most of the Russians I have talked to (not many, so maybe I was unlucky) were even little bit nostalgic of the good old times when the USSR was a global superpower.
Reminding them that during those times there were mass famines who killed thousands (Russian citizens exactly like them!) did not seem to shake their opinion
<50 years later>
"Most of the Americans I have talked to (not many, so maybe I was unlucky) were even a little bit nostalgic of the good old times when the USA was a global superpower. Reminding them that during those times the US had invaded many countries and that US citizens were killed (citizens exactly like them!) did not seem to shake their opinion"



*This is not a prediction or belief of a future event, just an attempt to hold up a mirror to part of the original post.

Last edited by Jomante; 9th November 2012 at 04:20 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:17 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
Some anthropologists trace this back to our very beginnings as small bands of hunter-gatherers. This is our territory... The "other" band is suspect. Trespassers, interlopers, thieves, "out to steal our women"...
Kubric referenced this in 2001, of course.

Back then, it was hooting and threat displays. As we become more "civilized" and sophisticated, we learn to rationalize. They are evil, we are noble. They are inferior, we are superior. Our way or religion or political system is better. We are invading to save those poor, inferior, degraded people from their own ignorance.
No group is not guilty of this.
And as time elapses all tribes become warlike, since pacifists are overrun.
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:44 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Uh??
You did not write "guilty" a few lines above?
Oh I see the confusion. I thought you were referring to the part of my post about what you're holding against the Japanese.

Yes, I said 'guilty' and you meant 'guilty' but used other words to say it. 'Holding against' means the same thing as 'guilty' in the context you're using them, and I'm using them.


Quote:
I am not exactly "honding it against" anyone, but, well..
Yes you are.

Quote:
The majority of the Japanese people support, for example, the visit of their PM to the Yasukuni Shrine.
I did not hear many South Koreans and Chinese holding the same position.
See. You're making a leap of logic that not caring about or 'supporting' the visiting of this shrine (what is your source of this information by the way) is telling of something.


Quote:
Why is that?
Who is biased and who not?
Everyone is biased. No one is not.

Quote:
小泉首相の靖国参拝に賛成ですか、反対ですか?
賛成  50% 
反対  46% 
http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kenichimiura423/16569820.html
See my above question. My kanji knowledge isn't enough to read that page.

And it neglects my other direct questions. Are you sorry for what the Japanese and Germans did during WWII? I am. It's a shame humans did such things and it's a shame they do them now.
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:46 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Not exactly.
I asserted that many posters (the majority as far as I can see, you included) of this forum, NOT the forum itself, has a West-bias due to the only reason I can see that most of the posters that write here happen to have been born and/or educated in the US and Western countries.
The non-US news sources I have quoted were meant to show that there are other opinions around the world, which do not follow the same logic.
Unsurprisingly, the posters above dismissed the sources more or less as irrelevant.
One guy even said that Brazil and Argentina are "banana republics", quoting directly.
Before being accused of an anti-US tirade, please note that I am fully aware that, if you go to Muslim countries and discuss in the few Middle-East based internet forum in English, you would find the same people as you, with the only difference that the bias in this case would be directed against the US.
If you go to Japan, you would find again the same people similar to you, but in this case the bias "direction" will be again different
Making equivalencies is easy, but lazy are rarely correct. US sources are more reliable than those you cited. Just because people might be biased against them doesn't make the sources correct or even reliable.
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:59 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
You really think so?
Yes, I really do. The track record of success far outweighs the list of failures. I don't say this to advocate the mentality, I say this because it's an uncomfortable reality we have to face. In fact, it's frequently a tragedy. But I'm not going to deny the existence of tragedy just because it makes me uncomfortable. You can pretend that us-vs-them doesn't work because that's a comforting myth, but it's still just a myth, and you're less likely, not more likely, to fail in your opposition to it if you can't comprehend its power.

Quote:
Was is successful for the hundreds of thousands of Nazi and Fascist soldiers (most of them in their early 20s) sent to die in the cold in Stalingrad in 1943?
No. But it was a success for the hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers who faced off against them and won.

Quote:
Was it successful for the 5000 US troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families?
You say that like it has any bearing on the survival of American society. It doesn't.

Quote:
Was it successful for the Japanese pilots and soldiers who died in the Pacific?
For a while. But as with the Nazis, they were only beaten back by a stronger group that also used an us-vs-them mentality to defeat the Japanese.

Quote:
Was it successful for the millions of Americans who lost their jobs and had to pay taxes to maintain the enormous US military apparatus?
Again, you say this like it has any bearing on the survival of American society, and again, it doesn't. Evolution doesn't care about how happy you are. But it does care, very much, in who wins violent conflicts.
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Old 9th November 2012, 09:08 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I see.
I doubt it.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
So condemning the praising by the Japanese Government of the Japanese victims of WWII (including class A was criminals) is being narrow minded and thinking black-and-white.
Maybe. What were the competing values they were contending with? Were they under orders, were they protecting something else?

That aside, why bring in straw when we are discussing other issues? Moreover, this is not what I said and you have made no argument to contradict or prove me wrong.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
What about the people in some Muslim countries who dances in the streets when the planes hit the towers?
What about them?

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
If I say that I dislike them too, would you still accuse me of being "narrow minded"?
Is it them you dislike or their actions? Do you know them, have you met them or tried to empathise?

You remain in the realms of black and white, us and them and are oblivious to it. You are proving my point for me. Cheers.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Maybe they had some reasons to, to be happy of the 3000 innocent victims (mostly US citizens) during 9/11?
Do you think they had no reason to celebrate the destruction of a symbol of their enemy?

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Or am I thinking too much black-and-white here.
You tell me. Why were they cheering?

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Maybe the shooter that killed twelve person in the Aurora shooting had some reasons too ("various shades of grey that come with competing values, self interests, political and social leanings, loyalties, education etc etc. ").
I have no idea, but this does not seem to make your case stronger with its inclusion.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
If I say that he was dead wrong, other than utterly stupid, would you accuse me of ignoring the "various shades of grey"?
Only if you looked no further than the end of your nose.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
But he only killed 12 people, nothing in comparison of the 20 millions that the Japanese killed during WWII, the millions bombed by US planes in Cambodia and Laos during the `60s, the thousands killed in Chechenya by Putin` s Russian troops, etc. etc.
Your point being?


As I suspected, you did not 'see' at all. Nor did you thoroughly read and/or understand my post.
Please try again, open your mind and look outside your own square.

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Old 9th November 2012, 10:37 PM   #35
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I wish I knew the OP was "one of those types" before I wasted my time trying to discuss this subject with them. At least I found value in the exercise of mental masturbation.

The idea that pointing out terrible things that happened from confirmation bias like Nazi Germany somehow negates the fact that kind of thinking has led to us being alive for millions of years is absurd, and this thread is one of the most blatantly ironic things I've come across this week.

If it wasn't for our ancestors assuming the worst and seeing possible threats in everything but what you've had first hand experience in knowing you can trust, we would have been extinct a long time ago. Now that we can afford to be reasonable, it's a different story.

Binary thinking is just as much of a threat as confirmation bias and tribalism OP. You are exactly what you are denigrating.
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Old 10th November 2012, 05:20 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
The reason no one accepts them as evidence is that this happens to be a US-based forum (not that this is bad, of course), so speaking against the tale offered by the US-media would be the same as speaking in favour of Israel in an Iranian forum.
Got it?...
Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Not exactly.
I asserted that many posters (the majority as far as I can see, you included) of this forum, NOT the forum itself, has a West-bias due to the only reason I can see that most of the posters that write here happen to have been born and/or educated in the US and Western countries....
If the majority of the forum's members have a US bias, as you asserted, the forum itself can be said to have a US bias. If the forum being based in the US means it attracts people with a US bias, then it has a US bias, indirectly, because it's based in the US.

I'm assuming you missed my Location under my avatar. I was not born, raised, nor live in America, nor do I consume American media on any sort of regular basis. Same for any "Western" country, barring a rather loose definition of "Western".

Not that the whole argument isn't silly anyway. Where people come from and where the media they consume comes from are not the only influence on their beliefs. You're assuming they're western because you think they have a western bias, therefore they must be western, because they have a western bias, etc.
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Old 10th November 2012, 07:08 AM   #37
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Actually, I have been to Yasukuni Shrine and I didn't notice the statue of the Kamikaze pilot, for some reason. I did take a trip round the museum and I remember being given a questionnaire by some young lady who wondered what my reaction to the museum, as a foreigner, was.

My own opinion was that it wasn't particularly wholesome fare but wasn't despicable either.

The problem with Yasukuni is not one that most Japanese are particularly conscious of, in my experience. Most of them would view Yasukuni as a place where people who died fighting for their country are interred. This doesn't mean simply those who were killing and raping in Nanking, but rather those who fought in any particular war. Much of the controversy relates to the class A war criminals who were interred there long after World War Two was over. Previously it had been a fairly uncontroversial place to remember soldiers' sacrifice.

In Japan, there does happen to be a lot of opposition to politicians visiting Yasukuni Shrine. One reason is on the basis that there are war criminals interred there along with regular soldiers who could be remembered with honour. There are also politicians who are cling to Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, particularly the Communist Party and the Socialists. On top of that, I know Japanese who think a politician has no right visiting a religious site in his or her official capacity given the strict separation of church and state in the constitution.

But, this must be weighed against the fact that many Japanese don't even know what the issues are. I am actually surprised that there was such a large number of people polled who were actively against Koizumi going to Yasukuni Shrine. As far as I am concerned, Koizumi could have gone there if he wanted, but I would have preferred it if he had done so as a private citizen and not signed the book "PM Koizumi".

I have also seen books denying the Rape of Nanking and I have seen the uyoku driving past in their black vans, but any person who tries to gauge the average person's view on these issues will soon find that the average person doesn't care about them at all. However, those with an obnoxious and supercilious mindset that go around making accusations about the deficiency of mankind to live up to their impossible standards might think that their own obsessions should be those of others.
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Old 10th November 2012, 07:10 AM   #38
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Oh, and for the record, I don't have any problem with the morality of kamikaze pilots at all.
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Old 10th November 2012, 11:15 AM   #39
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And after all we're only ordinary men.
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Old 10th November 2012, 02:47 PM   #40
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Zappa's "Them or Us"

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In some socially retarded areas, religious fanatics and
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Them_or_Us
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