Friday, May 16, 2014

Is negative more honest? LBC post

It's an interesting question FOS has presented us with this Friday.  Typical shades of gray from the old thinker.

Methinks the response cannot be generalized but must be responded to in whatever context it is used so I'll try it several times and see where it leads.

Two folks approach me.  They take a look at my mulit-X sized frame and person A says Hey shack - I see you are somewhat circumferentially challenged.  Person B simply sas Wow shack - you are fat.  While both are true, A is not negative whereas B certainly is.  Now which is more honest?  B is clearly negative and I'd have to say more honest.  As in B used the brutally honest approach. There's a reason that phrase is BRUTALLY honest. Now there's a time and place for both approaches - if A was beginning a dialogue in which je/she wanted to convince me to lose a few Xs that was the correct approach.  B would simply engender a sarcastic retort from me along the lines of "That's a blinding flash of the obvious - so what?"

Now if we take the challenge to politics I'd say there is no way negative is more honest simply because virtually anything can be spun is any direction and in today's state of political dysfunction , both sides (luckily we are a 2-party system - India would make my head spin ala the Exorcist) adopted postures that seemingly say "the other side are a bunch of frickin idiots that are destroying the country and ignoring the constitution"  Since they say that about everything it certainly is not honest.  Frankly anyone that doesn't take his political commentary from a minimum of 3 sources is doing themselves and the rest of us a disservice if they are pontificating. Relying on Fox News is as stupid as relying on MSNBC imho. 

Now when it comes to selling, I'd say negative is typically more honest.  Ever hear the phrase "sell the sizzle"? That's salesman speak for accentuate the positives, eliminate the negatives. The error of omission.  No way can that be considered more honest than simply stating ALL of the facts.  Caveat emptor comes from there.  :)

I'll leave it to you to decide if the following little ditty is negative or positive - personally I see both sides expressed throughout

There are numerous other examples that can be cited regarding today's topic.  Check out the other LBCers for their takes.  Perhaps even FOS will pick this topic to jump back into the fray with us.


  1. Not in direct, if honest, response to your take, Chuck: Not all questions need to be answered. No affront to The Old Fossil but sometimes we do ask stupid questions. And have to be prepared to stand in the desert. With no echo in shot of hearing.


  2. Agreed - not all questions need to be answered and not all questions should be asked. But this is typical FOS gray stuff - looking for nuance imho. Of course unless he chooss to chime in we'll never know.

  3. Ha ha, "circumferntially challenged". :D

    I don't think negativity has anything to do with honesty. True honesty is not biased. Negativity would show a bias. Directness and honesty are like a camera that simply states things as they are, and does not put a "spin" on things.

  4. Shack, I will be positively honest. This is about the best post you have ever written. Now why I say that is because I think you understood TOF's question better than I did and perhaps most of our common readers did. Had I understood the question as you have, I would have approached my post in a completely different way.

    And the Dave Clark ditty as you call it is icing on the cake and I am again being positively honest.

    And let me be even more honest. No one in his right mind over here would approach me, also a multi X sized fellow, reputed to be from the lunatic right fringe of the political spectrum, with either question or comment on my size. If one did, he will end up ruing it for ever.

  5. It all depends on how you say it. Isn't that so?

    1. Yes, Maria. So much of life is in the packaging. Which is why I sometimes resort to brown wrapping paper.


  6. Shackman, I am back and have posted. I know that it was a gray topic and could be looked at from almost an inifinity of angles which leads some to freeze and not be able to move forward. You, on the other hand, are comfortable with that and find a meaningful place to plant your flag which you've done nicely here.

    I think you have looked at both sides of what I was trying to get at, the separation of perception and expression. Each has a different honesty to it and a bias going into perception is dangerous as is a lack of bias going into expression. A perceives the reality of weight, but makes an honest (to me) transformation of its expression for a purpose. Some make the mistake of transforming the perception instead of the expression and this is the dangerous dishonesty.