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CNN: Tape sheds light on surreal meeting between Nixon, protesters


visionary

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http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/10/politics/nixon-lincoln-memorial/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

On a Spring day in 1970, just five days after National Guard troops opened fire on anti-war demonstrators at Kent State University, a restless president awoke in the pre-dawn hours, strolled to the Lincoln sitting room, and sat down to listen to some music.

From the window, he could see student protesters gathering on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

A White House attendant asked the president if he would like coffee or hot chocolate. He declined.

What happened next is the stuff of political legend....

Pretty interesting. Check it out.

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I didn't have anything really to say, but I read this right after vis posted it. I've had a few occasions in life to meet someone I figured I would be at serious, even passionate, odds with and came to find that face to face there was much more of an opportunity for the more productive and benign aspects of our humanity to break the predisposed barriers, even if not eliminate the differences or even reduce the strength of any disagreement in principle. But that face-to-face, if it begins with mutually civil treatment, seems to enhance the possibility of seeing the other person in a better light and maybe stretch a bit more in trying to communicate. It can allow a way to add something positive in shared understanding and a more respectful regard that is often harder to arrive at otherwise. It's a good lesson to remember, not that I always do.

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I didn't have anything really to say, but I read this right after vis posted it. I've had a few occasions in life to meet someone I figured I would be at serious, even passionate, odds with and came to find that face to face there was much more of an opportunity for the more productive and benign aspects of our humanity to break the predisposed barriers, even if not eliminate the differences or even reduce the strength of any disagreement in principle. But that face-to-face, if it begins with mutually civil treatment, seems to enhance the possibility of seeing the other person in a better light and maybe stretch a bit more in trying to communicate. It can allow a way to add something positive in shared understanding and a more respectful regard that is often harder to arrive at otherwise. It's a good lesson to remember, not that I always do.

I think this is a very good point re: face time. One thing I've wondered is how much our ever growing divide and contentiousness as a country (especially in political matters) has been affected or even caused by the Internet becoming so prevalent in day to day use as well as a social medium. It is so common nowadays for the main mode of interaction with others, whether it be groups or individuals, to be via the Internet; there is less and less "face time" every day, it seems. These days people aren't meeting those on the other side of an issue, sitting down, and talking as much as in the past. The humanity seems to be taken out of the process to a large extent and I think that can be especially damaging.

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mistertim, both as a result of learning in my current profession, and in my life experience otherwise, I think the internet and other physically distanced interactions (like constant texting/cell usage no matter where one is or what one is doing) has indeed exacerbated unfortunate conduct and cognitive habits in communication, and in dramatic fashion, for society at large.

I have discussed here as a member/moderator, and in other venues professionally, how message boards and blogs/social sites with comments sections have negatively impacted social discourse.

Of course, it's not all bad. :ols:

And such non face-to-face interaction is only going to grow in permeation of our social-relating activities.

Later, I may go into more detail in a new thread, unless someone else does it or I just back out. :D

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I think this is a very good point re: face time. One thing I've wondered is how much our ever growing divide and contentiousness as a country (especially in political matters) has been affected or even caused by the Internet becoming so prevalent in day to day use as well as a social medium. It is so common nowadays for the main mode of interaction with others, whether it be groups or individuals, to be via the Internet; there is less and less "face time" every day, it seems. These days people aren't meeting those on the other side of an issue, sitting down, and talking as much as in the past. The humanity seems to be taken out of the process to a large extent and I think that can be especially damaging.

that's a really good point. i think all of us have had similar experiences to what Jumbo describes -- you meet someone with whom you know you fundamentally disagree with, and yet in person you both wind up seeking common ground and expressing respect.

one of the reasons civilization emerged in the first place so long ago is our instinctive urge to somehow come to consensus and work together in groups, despite the disparate interests and opinions of individuals within that group. i think communication that isn't face to face (for example the internet) shortcuts around those evolutionary mechanisms in our brains that allow us to empathize with others, to compromise, to give in.

at the same time, the internet seems to have no affect on innate cravings for dominance and attention -- which is why there is such an endless ocean of political jousting back and forth that occurs, and so little difference it seems to make.

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