TBD on Ning

It seems that we all are subject to some degree of some form of control by other humans. I recently found myself in a situation where someone else decided that in a social networking situation they would exercise absolute control of my conduct and do it in an arbitrary manner. I chose to not allow that. The only way I could not allow the other person to exercise such unexpected control was to stop posting on that site. So, I decided to do just that.
This particular situation is not very important in the grand scale of human conduct since it was a site that was and is used strictly for the intellectual enjoyment of the participants. However, it did bring up some questions that are important to the human condition.
Is there any part of our lives that is not subject to control by others?

Who decides how much control we are subjected to in our daily lives?

What is the proper amount of societal control required to establish and sustain a working society?

How much of your personal freedom are you willing to give up in order to have a safe secure society in which to live?

Tags: anarchy, chaos, control, enjoyment, freedom, law, personal, society

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I think a little perspective is in order here.

The "absolute control" that was "exercised" is that the admin on the web site in question decided to do away with the status system used on the site, which was based entirely on the number of posts made by each member, and make all members have the same status: "Member in Good Standing". CWO3ROBBIE was changed from "Full Member" to "Member in Good Standing". The system for awarding stars based on "seniority" was changed so that new members get more stars and senior members get fewer.

That's all.

This made CWO3ROBBIE very upset. He apparently was extremely attached to being very labeled as one of the most frequent posters on the site.

He attempted to exercise control over the policy of the site by repeatedly announcing that he was going to boycott the site--even mentioning it here. It didn't work.

Should he have expected it to?
Danny, as very often happens, people see thing from different perspectives. As I tried to explain on your site. I had no attachment to stars or being labeled as one of the most frequent posters. I thought WS, I, Pru, Felicia and others were just having a little fun with mock competition. I thought the whole idea of frequent posters advancing to higher levels was pretty meaningless, but chose to have fun with it. With no warning whatsoever, the structure was completly disorganized and a statement was made that the system was changed and stars would now be assigned on a bais as you saw fit and the reasons or scheme would never be explained. Yes, since I all at once had the lowest amount of stars assigned, I thought that the action was aimed at me. I do not remember repeatedly announcing that I was going to boycott the site. I stated that I did not want to give total control over my actions to anyone. It is your site and you do have control of it. I never disputed that. I even tried to explain to others on the site that I was not going to post anymore, not because I was angry or held any real animosity toward anyone. I have been back numerious times to read what others post. I just chose to not participate by posting. I don't remember mentioning your site here before this exchange. I will go back and read through this dicussion and if I did I will apologize. The only thing I know to add is; I spent 22 years in the military, starting as a private and retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer. I then worked for 18 years as Personnel Manager, Program Director, and Director of Programs for a Defense Contractor on multimillion dollar programs with hundreds of employees. Those 40 years were spent in constant battles for control. That is behind me. But I am sure that I do carry a significant amount of baggage from all those battles. I still think you did an admirable job setting up and running your site. But, it seemed to me that you made it very clear that it was your site, you were in total control, would do what you wanted with it, the content of it, and the participants had no say in any aspect of the administration of the site. I just chose not to play.
Wow, weighty discussion; glad to see it. I think, Rob, that we trade control for money (or some currency) that gives us more choices. In a way we trade the control we are less interested in keeping for control that ammuses us more at the time.

I leave my husband, giving up my say in family matters, so that I can live alone and have dominion over my sovernty (the sleeping pill might be kicking in...). The way I see it, we never actually gain or lose control; control just changes forms.
Hi Jackie, I think you and I had some pretty intense discussions back on the original TBD. Glad to see you here. I find nothing in your post that I disagree with. Wow! that is unusual. Control is currency. We use it to gain what we want. It has been my experience that some want control over others. Possibly feeling that they have to control others to keep from being controled by those others. I have at times found myself doing this. On the other hand some just get off on having control over others. I just don't want to be under anyone elses control unless I know up front what the rules are. Then I decide if I want to play. If something I want is involved, then I will give up as little control as possible in order to get what I want. And I will retain the right to withdraw my acceptance of that control if the situation changes. Of course there are many more control issues that I accept than ones that I don't. But, by accepting that I drive on the right side of the highway and keep my speed at or below the posted limit, am I giving up control ? Or am I maintaining control by agreeing. I, at any time could switch sides of the highway and drive well over the posted limit. Maybe not for long, but in both cases I am actually the one in control.
OK. I thought I had replied to this, but perhaps it was a hallucination.
First off, this is a great question, and I'm happy to see it. I think that 'control' is a little bit like money. You trade some form of it for another form. By leaving my husband, I lose control over my family, but gain control over my independence.
It's a personal decision as to which kind and how much serves you at the time.
Probably. And why shouldn't they? My husband asked me the other day, if it bothered me that I was insane. No, I replied, I take it in stride. The federal government may, however feel otherwise. But until they come to terms with 'my situation', please forgive the double posts!
Interesting points Jackie and Robbie. I think you guys nailed it.
I need money so I will give up control to a boss but retain some degree of independence in how I solve customer issues. But I need to follow the company line on all customer interactions.
Of course , it all depends on what a reasonable person would do in any given situation. As far as laws are concerned. Sometimes life itself has its own consequences that teach us how much control to hand over or keep. I am a shopaholic. So I go to thriftstores a lot to minimize the impact on our budget while still being able to enjoy a dopamine rush which I find helpful with managing my PTSD.
The wiser our choices are, the more freedom we have in theory. There's the freedom to drink and drive. And the right to bear arms. There is no quicker way to lose your freedom then to exercise poor judgement in these areas and rightly so.
I love having the freedom to express myself in a non traditional format. If someone has thought of something new because of that. Another dopamine rush for me.
Personaly I could care less if my phonecalls are sifted through for certain words or phrases or someone runs a background check on my character. It probably eliminates some paranoia about my motives with regard to my community. I'm at peace for the most part with things and people that I have no control over. I would take stricter domestic security measures over another generation of our finest young people going to Afghanistan and coming home broken. If they come home alive.
"I would take stricter domestic security measures over another generation of our finest young people going to Afghanistan and coming home broken. If they come home alive".

Merry, think I understand what you are saying. I agree with you to a point. The tricky part is; deciding where to set the degree of strictness. Do we stop all entry to our country? Do we let only white Angelo Saxons in? Do we decide on a small group of countries with which to allow travel? I've never worried about my phonecalls or credit or background check either. How could I? I spent a significant part of my life working with military intelligence and the other governmental intelligence agencies. But, that was because I wanted to do that. I will say that there are some real psychologically twisted people in the intelligence and security areas of our government. I have personally known a few in the investigative fields who had the mindset; If you hadn't done something wrong, we wouldn't be monitoring you. I was friends for a number of years with an agent who administered the lie detector tests. His attitude was, "If the bastard wasn't gulity, he wouldn't be here to be tested" Anyway, I got kind of off or subject there.
I disagree with the idea that control is an illusion. Control is real. There are degrees of control, and they are very real. The people being held at Gitmo are under our control. How many suicides have taken place there? I don't know, do you? I'm sure someone has those figures but as far as I know they haven't been made public. And would you believe them if they were? I would have to say that if someone has you in a straight jacket tied to a bed or a wall they pretty much have control over you. Through psycohological manipulation they can even control what you think. If you don't think that is true, would you be willing to submit yourself to the situation to find out. Many of our military and intelligence agency people go through such situations in order to learn how to resist interrogation. But, I have not personally met anyone who believed that they could resist torture indefinitely. Ask John McCain. Who BTW I consider one of the great military heros. Not because of what he did in military actions, but because of what he was able to withstand in captivity. I doubt that one in a million of us could go through what he did and achieve what he has since. Now, control in the context of marrage or relationships is a different matter. There, I agree that control is an illusion. In day to day life you give to others some degree of control over your actions. In normal(if there is a normal when dealing with humans)human interactions it is the controlee who determines the amount of control transfered, not the controler. So in many situations control is an illusion. But that is not an absolute. The government can control how much money they give me. They can control how much of that they let me keep, but they can not totally control what I do with it. Or how much I acquire from other sources.
The moderators can control how much of this diatribe you will have access too. They probably coould control how much of it I can write on this site. But, they have no control over what I write and send you by e-mail. Control is a fascinating subject, but this post probably should be in KarenSme's Boring Discussion. I could probably write on this subject until the cows come home. But i think I'll shut up for now.
The version that included the lyrics to this song has been removed. Here's the song with the lyrics to follow.

21st Century Digital Boy

I can't believe it, the way you look sometimes
Like a trampled flag on a city street, oh yeah
And I don't want it, the things you're offering me
Symbolized bar code, quick ID, oh yeah

See I'm a 21st century digital boy
I don't know how to read but I've got a lot of toys
My daddy's a lazy middle class intellectual
My mommy's on Valium, so ineffectual
Ain't life a mystery?

I can't explain it, the things you're saying to me
It's going yayayayayayaya, oh yeah


Tried to tell you about no control
But now I really don't know
And then you told me how bad you had to suffer
Is that really all you have to offer?



Cat's foot, iron claw
Neurosurgeon, scream for more
Innocence raped with napalm fire
Everything I want, I really need.

21st century schizoid boy
21st century video boy
21st century digital boy...




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