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The cost of x-communication by tarazkp

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· @tarazkp ·
$17.45
The cost of x-communication
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Every action has a reaction. Every action has a cost.  

![IMG_20191011_170203.jpg](https://files.steempeak.com/file/steempeak/tarazkp/87dMgEj7-IMG_20191011_170203.jpg)

As a continuance from my last post about [information distribution and trust](https://steemit.com/thoughts/@tarazkp/information-distribution-and-hierarchies-of-voice-value) I wanted to add a side topic that I discussed with my colleague in regards to internal communication. These days, it is "tread lightly" when it comes to what can be said in the workplace as one word too far, and the Human Resource department will be knocking on the cubicle wall. 

The problem with this approach to creating a "safe working environment" is that by repressing the freedom of conversation, a lot of the paths of relationship development are lost and this limits collaboration, innovation and of course, trust. For example, the idea that no one can be offended in a forum with 100 people in it means that no one can ever really speak, as there is always going to be someone offended by something and in this day and age, taking the most uncharitable view of what is said without considering the intention behind them is common. 

This is easy to see when applied to the online world where trolls take the most uncharitable view while others are conditioned to take everything personally. It makes for an environment of easy prey and easy victims. 

On top of this, with the durability of digital information there is the potential that something that was said years earlier will be dredged to the fore where the original conditions and circumstances as well as the intention of what was said will not be discoverable, only the words will stand. This means that what was innocently said once upon a time becomes a negative statement when the current framework and conditions are applied. This makes people wary, other than those who often hide behind pseudonimity and feel that there will be no avenues of response that can affect them personally. 

The problem with all of this is that there is a loss of public discourse and *private* discourse when in a company situation and that in turn leads to a much more average dialogue which doesn't encourage the pushing of boundaries which of course limits solution and innovation. It also means that due to the lack of cross-pollination of thoughts and ideas, people tend to seek out areas that they are able to express themselves more freely, which turn into echo chambers that without checks, balances and questioning, eventuate in polarization of viewpoints and extremes of various kinds. 

![LRM_EXPORT_115529152086521_20191011_094403541.jpeg](https://files.steempeak.com/file/steempeak/tarazkp/GBDoy0us-LRM_EXPORT_115529152086521_20191011_094403541.jpeg)

As I spoke about with my colleague today, there is a cost to communication no matter what type of communication it is. While there can be very vanilla conversation that in offensive to everyone and avoids conflict, it will lack thought provocation and in so doing, limit innovation and solution. The long cost will be that the less conflict people face, the more affected they are by increasingly minor variation. On the inverse, conversation that risks being offensive can support new thinking, but there will be a lot of conflict between positions as they discuss and argue with a lot more mess and potential for offence. 

The problem with both points is that the X variable is us, the people who are in the conversation itself and because we all have a range of variation between what we consider offensive or not for us to speak, will also have a variation in things that we are each offended by. This makes discussion a metaphorical minefield as we can never know what the limits of participants are, and the more people involved in the conversation, the more variation likely between those who are open to anything and take offense to nothing, and those who believe words are violent, no matter what words are even used. 

The funny thing is that the only way to work out who lays where in order to have a chance at respecting the boundaries is through conversation and discussion itself. In my opinion, adults should have the maturity to be able to discuss any topic *if* the discussion is held with open and good intentions and those who are unable to control their emotions and then demand others curb their freedom to speak by forcing punishment on words should at least have the maturity to remove themselves from the discussion, and let the grownups talk. 

The world is full of unknown variables and expecting everyone to lay their words between engineered boundaries that keep moving as emotional instability rises, is an untenable position. For those who want a better world, the only way toward one is to discuss, collaborate and innovate in service to it. Continually limiting discussion without consideration of intention behind the words is limiting our ability to do what makes us unique in the animal kingdom and has successfully advanced us for two million years. 

Our ability to communicate and develop ideas into action is our X factor, and to limit it is to limit our potential as a species to solve what none of us can solve alone.

*Discuss at your own risk.* 

Taraz
[ a Steem original ]

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vote details (310)
@sumatranate · (edited)
Another great post.  Unfortunately, our words become our prisons instead of our doors to freedom.

Offending someone is a part of the human experience because we are all "offensive" to some degree.  The beauty of the experience is when two people reconcile their differences and grow closer despites the offensives that took place.  

Now I am not advocating that people blatantly offend one another, but instead, I am advocating communication (even when it is hard) that is open, honest and with pure intentions.
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@tarazkp ·
>Now I am not advocating that people blatantly offend one another, but instead, I am advocating communication (even when it is hard) that is open, honest and with pure intentions.

Yes. Some people go out of their way to offend (bad intention) and dishonest discussion. A lot of online attention seekers and trolls do this as it is low-hanging fruit to get a response.
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@shortsegments ·
Beautifully said:
>Another great post. Unfortunately, our words become our prisons instead of our doors to freedom.
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@buildawhale ·
You have received a @buildawhale **manual** curation vote.

👎  
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vote details (1)
@mattclarke ·
$0.04
I've thought long and hard on this; professionally I tend to just avoid anything but the most mundane, vanilla conversation. 
Socially its all about attrition.

**If the friendship required that I not discuss particular topics, then it's not me who ended it.** 
👍  ,
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@tarazkp ·
It is interesting how open many people can be if approached with good intention, and how quickly I close off when the intention is obviously self-serving alone.
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@shortsegments ·
This is a very good point:
>It also means that due to the lack of cross-pollination of thoughts and ideas, people tend to seek out areas that they are able to express themselves more freely, which turn into echo chambers that without checks, balances and questioning, eventuate in polarization of viewpoints and extremes of various kinds.

I recently read an article about a teacher, college level I believe,  who felt what you are saying to be true and resulted in many young man being drawn into websites and extremist groups simply to be able to discus and try to make sense of the world around them. Because they were afraid to discus their feelings and observations there was no way to logically explore its validity and come to different conclusions or beliefs. The teacher went so far as to frequent these extremist sites engaging these young men to rescue them from these groups by providing them with a sounding board and helping them seek a more balanced view of the world.  He was criticized for writing on these websites and for going to their meetings. But to him it was a necessity. He feared the large part of a generation of young men were trapped in these organizations which you so aptly describe as  “echo chambers” It took me a while to understand his position. But it became clear to me and your post resonates for this reason. 

Point of view is difficult. But so essential to understanding, but it requires dialogue which is at times difficult. This platform is a microcosm of the world in that regard.
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@tarazkp ·
You might find this an interesting talk to listen to. It is an interview with someone who left a Christian cult essentially after having people approach her and have patience enough to actually discuss, not preach. 

https://samharris.org/podcasts/171-escaping-christian-cult/
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