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29 July 2004 @ 12:50 pm
To be or not to be  
"People suffering nervous breakdowns often do a lot of research, to find explanations for what they are undergoing."
- Philip K. Dick, Valis

Assertion 0: The result of said research results in acronyms.
Assertion 1: The more acronyms a person has, the less self-accountability they have.
Assertion 2: The less self-accountability someone has, the more persecuted they feel.
Assertion 3: The more persecuted a person feels, the more isolated from the human community they feel. Them vs. Me.

Are acronyms dehumanizing? Are acronyms the cause of anti-social thoughts and behaviour?

RocketGirl: Banzaieonen on July 29th, 2004 08:25 pm (UTC)
I'm not so sure abotu Assertion 2. Perhaps I'm not sure quite what is meant by "self-accountability", but to my mind it sounds nearly synonymous with "conscience" or "inhibition". As in, holding oneself responsible for one's actions.

From what I've seen, the less of that a person has the more they tend to have delusions of grandeur of perhaps the closer they move toward solipsism. The more they beleive they can do no wrong. This, to my mind, makes them more likely to persecute others rather than the other way around.

But, as I said, that depends largely on what is meant by self-acountability.

Oh, and I've got ETC pretty bad. Yup, lots of ETC, here. I should be on medication, or locked up. ;)
Kburgunder on July 29th, 2004 08:36 pm (UTC)
self-accountability = "holding oneself responsible for one's actions"

Assertion 2 comes from anecdotal observation of people who have minimal self-accountability rant and rave about how nothing's fair. Anyone who goes around ranting about how things aren't fair looks to me like a person who feels persecuted by circumstance (or The Man or whatever), rather than merely accepting the circumstance and taking responsibility for dealing with it.
RocketGirl: Banzaieonen on July 29th, 2004 08:48 pm (UTC)
Ah, I see. Well, I agree that one must be responsible for one's actions. But not necessarily one's circumstances. Of course, the obvious conclusion from that is that one is ultimately responsible for one's reaction to one's circumstances, so...

Of course, thing's aren't fair. That much is obvious. If life were fair we'd all start from equal footing, equal resources, equal social standing, and only our actions would determine where in life we ended up. And it just ain't that way. The question is whether we persevere or just bitch (some of us do both).

One thing I've noticed is that people who tell others that life isn't fair are usually the ones who reap the benefits of that unfairness, the ones for whom life is usually unfair in their favor. The ones who complain that life isn't fair are usually the ones who have the opposite experience.
And the lack of self-accountability goes both ways as well. The complainers all say "Life isn't fair, I got a raw deal, my situation is absolutely not my fault!" while the tellers say "Life isn't fair, so I see no reason to play fair."

Both are wrong to do it, IMHO. But, hey, what can you do? ...except live your own life as an example for others, I guess.
Kburgunder on July 29th, 2004 08:49 pm (UTC)
I'd rather live my own life for me, GRiN
RocketGirl: Banzaieonen on July 29th, 2004 08:57 pm (UTC)
Well, yeah, that's an option, too.

I get accused of having a "Knight in Shining Armor" complex by folks a lot Probably explains the living as an example thing, I guess.

Then again, if people took me as an example, the world would be a much wackier place. ;)
Sarah: coffeesarmonster on July 29th, 2004 10:16 pm (UTC)
Argue your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours
-Richard Bach
Kburgunder on July 29th, 2004 10:24 pm (UTC)
And then there was the rocking, with mirth.
Mila: knowing (girlgoth)m_cobweb on July 29th, 2004 09:07 pm (UTC)
Speaking for myself, having an acronym just means, "Oh, that must be why I did/do that. What can I do now that I have this knowledge to make sure I don't do that again? What tools do I have that I wasn't aware of before?"

I realize, of course, that this does not apply to everyone. :-)

The acronyms also make my sentences shorter when I have conversations about such things. ;-)
Stray Catocicat on July 29th, 2004 10:08 pm (UTC)

Seriously though, I don't (on average) agree. Some people may take it that direction, certanly. I think for more people, being given the acronyms means they can actually think of themselves as less of a freak. Now that they have an explanation for their problems, they can try to fit in anyway. Before that they just felt... outside.

Or something. I don't really have many acronyms myself, but I have seen people go through this.
Kburgunder on July 29th, 2004 10:26 pm (UTC)
It's always so fascinating to look at, ultimately, a mental masturbation exercise like this, and try to evaluate exactly how influenced I am by my own context.

Sometimes I think it's 100%, 100% of the time, but then we start getting into existentialism and that's when I always quit the armchair philosophy binge for a nice cup of tea.
Geek God-Kinggeekalpha on July 29th, 2004 10:45 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that "D" stands for "disorder."
junoimeldajunoimelda on July 29th, 2004 11:10 pm (UTC)
I am constantly encountering and dealing in acronyms. My favorite is ODD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder. "I'm sorry, I have ODD. That means I am going to argue all the time, refuse to follow even simple rules, and generally be a pain in the ass." This kind of labeling, all too often, is treated by the labeled person as a license to be a jackass.
SAY, OCD, FAS/FAE, ADHD, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum. I think that these labels can be a helpful way to succinctly describe a certain set of symptoms. It really sucks when people start to use these to identify themselves. Sometimes I think that kids should never be told their diagnoses, and that the people working with them should use them, in combination with direct experience with the individual child, to teach/raise them effectively.

In short, people should be aware of their limitations while doing everything in their power to overcome them. Constantly using labels to describe people is insulting. There are so many variations on ADD, ODD, etc. etc. that you really can't pidgeonhole.
Vulture: egyptianvulture23 on July 30th, 2004 01:05 am (UTC)
I'm going to join in the chorus that disagrees with your Assertion 1.

Many people who lack self-accountability will point to their acronyms and their conditions as the reason that they "can't" be held accountable. But I think that this is merely a by-product rather than a cause -- those who lack self-accountability will find *something* to blame it on, but the presence of acronyms is not itself an indication either way about self-accountability.

I've equally seen people who say "I've got XYZ, which means that I need to pay extra attention to this and to carefully limit that," as well as those who say "I've got XYZ so it's not my fault if I screw everything up!" I've also seen plenty of people lacking self-accountability who *don't* have any particular acronyms to blame it on, and they *still* complain that it's not their fault.

People don't need to be labelled to act like jackasses, but if you're a jackass and you have a label then you're likely to point to the label as an excuse.