Mindreading skills to avoid giving offence.

Mark Pawelek

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Good day mods,

I've been told that I need to be able to know what other people might be thinking before I write a post.

This arose regarding elephants mentioned in connection with Hannibal. As you may or may not know, Hannibal Barca was a Carthaginian military commander (born in what is now Tunisia), who tried to conquer Rome by invading Italy with an army containing elephants. This innocent, ironic, historical reference was interpreted as 'racist' by someone. Now whether a person interprets a post as racist or not depends on their culture and upbringing. For example, elephants are used, or were used, in India and Burma, recently for actual physical labor. So people born there, with that culture may not interpret a reference to elephants as racist. However, if one is an animal rights activist they may find other offence in a reference to elephants.

My point here is: How are we supposed to know how people will interpret our posts and what offence they may find? What level of mindreading is suitable for posting to The Cafe?
 

OleBoiii

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This thread is more offensive than that post :p

Also, was it not just a newbie that reacted?
 

Pogue Mahone

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Good day mods,

I've been told that I need to be able to know what other people might be thinking before I write a post.

This arose regarding elephants mentioned in connection with Hannibal. As you may or may not know, Hannibal Barca was a Carthaginian military commander (born in what is now Tunisia), who tried to conquer Rome by invading Italy with an army containing elephants. This innocent, ironic, historical reference was interpreted as 'racist' by someone. Now whether a person interprets a post as racist or not depends on their culture and upbringing. For example, elephants are used, or were used, in India and Burma, recently for actual physical labor. So people born there, with that culture may not interpret a reference to elephants as racist. However, if one is an animal rights activist they may find other offence in a reference to elephants.

My point here is: How are we supposed to know how people will interpret our posts and what offence they may find? What level of mindreading is suitable for posting to The Cafe?
These are Asian elephants. Mejbri is Tunisian. Which is in Africa. Whoever took offence mistakenly assumed the elephant reference was about someone from Africa riding to work on an elephant. These details are important. African elephants have bigger ears.
 

Abizzz

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You should have read our minds and known this thread would just annoy everyone.
 

JPRouve

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I don't know what's happening in this thread but I would love to ride an elephant to work.
 

Mark Pawelek

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These are Asian elephants. Mejbri is Tunisian. Which is in Africa. Whoever took offence mistakenly assumed the elephant reference was about someone from Africa riding to work on an elephant. These details are important. African elephants have bigger ears.
OK. But I've never seen anyone ride to work on an elephant, so I couldn't take that OP seriously under any conditions. I also knew all about Hannibal and his military endeavors against the Roman Republic (as it was back then).

Consider this example. Suppose if I lived in Africa somewhere, supporting a woman's soccer team, and someone posted (in the fan forum) about their new English player called Boudica. Then a 2nd person made a reference to her riding to work in a chariot - I would interpret that as humorous - not racist. In contrast, suppose they were considering signing a soccer player called 'Boudica', but decided against it because they thought she might really ride to work in a chariot - that, I'd call racist because it involves discrimination - not giving someone a job on the basis of prejudice.
 

Cascarino

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I often say the best thing to do after a slight disagreement with a non-staff poster is to make a thread three weeks later and whine about it. It’s just common sense
 

OleBoiii

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Ok, so we're all in agreement that it wasn't racist.

But we need to draw the line somewhere! Preferably with an example that involves riding on elephants. Behold, this is an example of crossing the line:

 

amolbhatia50k

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Good day mods,

I've been told that I need to be able to know what other people might be thinking before I write a post.

This arose regarding elephants mentioned in connection with Hannibal. As you may or may not know, Hannibal Barca was a Carthaginian military commander (born in what is now Tunisia), who tried to conquer Rome by invading Italy with an army containing elephants. This innocent, ironic, historical reference was interpreted as 'racist' by someone. Now whether a person interprets a post as racist or not depends on their culture and upbringing. For example, elephants are used, or were used, in India and Burma, recently for actual physical labor. So people born there, with that culture may not interpret a reference to elephants as racist. However, if one is an animal rights activist they may find other offence in a reference to elephants.

My point here is: How are we supposed to know how people will interpret our posts and what offence they may find? What level of mindreading is suitable for posting to The Cafe?
That's racist
 

JPRouve

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What if you put a v8 engine inside it?
First he shocked horses and I said nothing because I wasn't an horse rider.
Then he shoved engines in elephants and I said "hell, no!" even though I'm not an elephant rider.
 

Green_Red

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I take offence to this thread as it was me that made the reference to Hannibal and his ability to destroy Rome with the help of elephants. Romans shouldn't be so easily offended. No wonder they lost their empire.
 

Ali Dia

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I take offence to this thread as it was me that made the reference to Hannibal and his ability to destroy Rome with the help of elephants. Romans shouldn't be so easily offended. No wonder they lost their empire.
You should! We all should get very mad and take offence on the Romans behalf. It’s the least we could do at this stage
 

Dwazza Gunnar Solskjær

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Good day mods,

I've been told that I need to be able to know what other people might be thinking before I write a post.

This arose regarding elephants mentioned in connection with Hannibal. As you may or may not know, Hannibal Barca was a Carthaginian military commander (born in what is now Tunisia), who tried to conquer Rome by invading Italy with an army containing elephants. This innocent, ironic, historical reference was interpreted as 'racist' by someone. Now whether a person interprets a post as racist or not depends on their culture and upbringing. For example, elephants are used, or were used, in India and Burma, recently for actual physical labor. So people born there, with that culture may not interpret a reference to elephants as racist. However, if one is an animal rights activist they may find other offence in a reference to elephants.

My point here is: How are we supposed to know how people will interpret our posts and what offence they may find? What level of mindreading is suitable for posting to The Cafe?
Stop worrying about it. If a newbie tries to tell you anything tell them to feck off and get back in their hole.
 

Brwned

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We actually can mind read, albeit psychologists just gave it the boring name empathy. People start developing that as part of building up their “theory of mind” as kids. Quite a cool thing if you look into that. Also quite a useful thing in society, and entirely reasonable to expect on a forum.
 

Paxi

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This thread went as predicted.
 

Welsh Wonder

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I personally am quite horny at the fact that a newbie/idiot/young person understandably lacking knowledge of ancient Roman rivalries has caused such a kerfuffle.