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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Ralph Waldo Emerson (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Ralph Waldo Emerson
Scott R
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quote:
Having little prior knowledge, I have no way of giving my own opinion.
This can be remedied fairly easily. I mean, just Google 'American Scholar.' Read it. Come back here and tell us what you thought.

quote:

In light of this, maybe the other posters should have just "chilled" and waited for me to get a grasp on the topic so we could have a logical discussion, as compared to wasting their time unsuccessfully trying to teach me a lesson.

It's not that long a read. At the least, you could've read the essay and said something like, "I don't understand what this means: 'We do not meet for games of strength or skill, for the recitation of histories, tragedies, and odes, like the ancient Greeks; for parliaments of love and poesy, like the Troubadours.' What's poesy?"

And then we would have helped you out.

Why don't you take the time to read the essay, located here, for example, and comment on it now?

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Celaeno
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I don't understand how you can tell us that when you easily could have, to use your words, chilled and waited to get a grasp on the topic before posting the thread.

I love Self-Reliance and I'll be more than happy to have that conversation with you when you're ready. We just want to make sure the discussion is an exchange of ideas and not a one-way kind of thing.

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Roseauthor
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Every community (on or offline) has a personality, a language, a soul, rules of behavior and engagement. The practical joke should have taught you that the community wanted you to 'fit in' but they have to trust your intent. To trust your integrity, they must first see you're not just using the community-(or being a paracite).

I sincerely hope you did learn how we work as a community.

Read first, then ask based upon your experience, research and/or simple reading. It will help us to trust YOU. That's how we work.

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trpollen
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This whole forum etiquette thing is completely bizarre. If people don't want to do anything nice for anyone else anymore, then I can understand that, but belittling people who ask for their help is unwarranted. Frankly, I'm greatly dissapointed; the high regard that I used to hold people here in has diminished to the point where I probably won't make any more contributions to discussions on my favorite author's site. I know some of you will be thankful for this, but, as haughty as this may sound, I know that I have a lot to offer. Good riddance. :-|
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El JT de Spang
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If, by contributions, you mean soliciting homework summaries let me be the first to say, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out."

You're taking yourself waaaay too seriously.

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Icarus
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[Roll Eyes]
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Roseauthor
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Dang: And I thought I was being nice.
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Dagonee
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quote:
If people don't want to do anything nice for anyone else anymore
Um, a whole bunch of people said they would be willing to discuss ideas for your paper with you.
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Roseauthor
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/me quits now
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Bob_Scopatz
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tr...I do wish you wouldn't go.

I wish you would read the subject works and come back with some opinions to share.

I won't be joining in the conversation, though, 'cuz I know absolutely zero about RWE. I've read Walden by HDT, but other than that, I can't contribute at all.

In a month, you'll know more about this topic than I ever hope to.

I think that's great.

And there really are people here who would be willing to help you, if you can get beyond your fit of pique and realize that they've offered now something like a dozen times to do just that.

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Katarain
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Wow. That was a really nasty thing to do to any member of this forum, new or old. I'm glad you all didn't let it go on for any longer, but I can't say I'm surprised that trpollen is upset about it. I would be upset about it, too.

I understand the kneejerk reaction to these sorts of threads, but I don't think there was enough evidence to really think that trpollen was the cheating type.

At the very least, it was a poor welcome to the forum, and participants in the ruse should perhaps spend a little more time feeling bad and a little less time telling him to get over it.

On the subject, I've never liked Emerson or Thoreau, and I'd never like to write a paper on either. So good luck. And they're right about reading first. When you're done, come back and perhaps you'll be able to generate some discussions. There are a lot of people on this board, and there's bound to be a few Emerson lovers.

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Kristen
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Trpollen:

To me, a research paper implies an extensive time commitment. Do you have any choice in your authors? I just feel like if you wrote a research paper on an author you don't even feel like reading (and not to be flippant, but his essays wouldn't take you longer than a few hours to critically read) it won't go as well as if you were excited about the topic.

Considering you haven't even started your work: why not try to find a better and more interesting topic? If you are doing the Transcendentalists, then perhaps you'd enjoy Thoreau more. I find him easier to read and he has an aphoristic style of writing which can be witty, and the parts which get dry are usually the less important sections.

Talk to your teacher and your classmates. They are probably more intune with the topic anyway and would be more than happy to brainstorm (especially as your peers are probably as excited about writing a research paper as you are!)

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Dagonee
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quote:
I understand the kneejerk reaction to these sorts of threads, but I don't think there was enough evidence to really think that trpollen was the cheating type.
Since none of the posts stand up to a second's scrutiny to anyone who's even read the essays, it's not like the joke would work on someone with honest intentions. Had he read either essay he would have known Noemon's post was a joke. It was actually a very good kind of joke: no one who had done any work on their paper before seeking "help" would have been taken in for a moment. Such a person would likely have gotten the joke and laughed about it. Becaue they were very funny Balderdash-like summaries of the essays.

I still can't decide how bad I would have felt if this had been a critical essay due in a couple days or so, not a research paper, and trpollen had used the joke posts as the basis for the essay.

It seems to me that the first step in any paper on two essays is to read the darn essays. Anyone who hasn't done that hasn't started working on their paper.

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Morbo
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Though I have mixed feelings about Noemon's joke, that was my thought exactly, Dag.

They say you can't con an honest man, that the mark has to be greedy for a con to work.

In this case, it seems like laziness replaces greed.
quote:
It seems to me that the first step in any paper on two essays is to read the darn essays. Anyone who hasn't done that hasn't started working on their paper.
Seems that way to me too.
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Katarain
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You all went into long tangents about Japan and RWE. It is VERY possible, that since his paper will probably have nothing to do with Japan, that he would not research into that particular topic (or non-topic, as is actually the case).

However, he may have, in a class discussion brought up RWE's connection to Japan because of what he read here. That's not cheating, it's just contributing to the discussion with something he had "learned." The outcome is simply that he looks really stupid to his teacher and his classmates.

In addition, sometimes it is hard to understand transcendental writing when you are younger, I know it was for me. It was so dry it was hard to concentrate and I just found it very difficult. If I went into reading it with a VERY different idea of what it is about, it would have taken me an even longer time to figure the real message out. If he read them FIRST, then yes, the posts are obviously false. But if he read the posts first, it can be very confusing.

You can disagree with me all you like, but in MY opinion, it was nasty and mean-spirited--by everyone who participated and encouraged it.

Maybe he shouldn't have come here before he read the essays, but I can understand wanting an idea of what they're about BEFORE reading them. That can often be a useful tool to understand what you are reading, that is--if someone doesn't lie to you about what they're about. I think the real lesson he learned here is that people can't be trusted, and that's probably a good lesson to learn, but are you all really happy to be the ones who taught that particular lesson to him? Next time, he would be better off doing some google research first if he wants some pre-reading help.

-Katarain

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Dagonee
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I'm one of the people who thought we should come forward. If it really were nasty and mean-spirited it would still be going on, or at least no one would have clued him in.
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Katarain
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Well, it was not very nice while it lasted.

And the result is that someone got chased off the board. The damage has already been done. He might come back, he may not.

You know, you all could have been right--he could have been a cheater. My problem is that he might not have been and the joke could have caused the situations I outlined above. I understand that if he had already read the essays, he would have known. And I also understand that he SHOULD have read the essays right away. But it's not a capital offense that he didn't. His intentions still could have been good.

I wouldn't have posted saying I thought this was so mean if, when the truth were revealed, people didn't tell him to just get over it. He has a right to be upset. I don't think people should be surprised that he didn't appreciate the joke.

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Dagonee
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Unless I missed a post, the closest anyone came to saying "get over it" was Icarus saying, "Chill, dude." And I didn't interpret that as "get over it" so much as commenting on the tone of the post.

Rather, a whole lot of people told him what types of requests would actually result in the help he was looking for. If he ever makes such a request, I anticipate he'll receive quite a bit of help.

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Bob_Scopatz
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Katarain,

I see your point. And yet...

I think saying he's been driven off is an exageration, despite the drama of his reaction to this whole thing. He has posted about 2.5 times a month over all the time he's been here. In that time, he's had conversations with OSC and a bunch of people on OSC-related topics and seemed to enjoy himself.

He's ticked off. Whether he really has much cause to be is, I think, a debatable point. But the fact is that he IS angry.

I hope that when he has a chance to catch his breath he'll be back. Whether he comes to talk about RWE or not, it remains to be seen. But he has had a lot more encouragement to do so than most of the other "help me with my homework" posters over the years.

Despite the hoax pulled on him, he also has more promises of help than is normal too.

Also, realistically, how much time with Google would it take to uncover any of the stuff? I mean, really. I have NEVER read RWE at all. I googled a bunch of silly stuff and came up with the whole stupid thing in under 10 minutes. There's so much accessible FACT about RWE on the web, that in the paltry time tr spent here he could've had a mountain of resources that no only explain where the influences came from, but a lot about what it means, in plain English.

I just don't buy this assertion of him being damaged in anyway. I think your scenario about him blurting out the Japan thing in class is just not plausible.

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Noemon
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I can understand why trpollen would be upset by the prank--it isn't fun getting tricked, and getting tricked publically is all the worse. To tell you the truth, though, when I wrote my initial post in this thread I didn't think for a second that he'd actually believe what I was writing. He was asking for help comparing and contrasting two essays, and I made up a pair of novels. I just assumed that even if he hadn't read the things, he at least would be aware that they weren't fiction. I had specifically characterized the works as novels rather than essays with that assumption in mind. I was taken aback (and felt bad) when he thanked me for the summary.
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ketchupqueen
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And at the very least, all of us making "giggling" type comments should have been a tip-off.

Noemon, I thought it was obvious, and it's been years since I read those essays.

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Roseauthor
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I laughed at myself and the pranksters when I found out it was a practical joke! Sometimes, you just have to laugh at yourself, and move forward.

Yes, the youth are more sensitive than us older folks, however, I just don't see TR as being weak. He'll come back if not under his previous name, he'll come back under a different name and start all over.

The fact is: There have been serious arguments, fights and distain. This is not even in that category!

On the face of life, there are pimples. This was a meager zit that will go away. It's not a burn. [Smile]

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