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avatar for Cathy Mullican

Cathy Mullican

Solekai Systems
Sr. Software Engineer
El Cajon, California
TL;DR: I welcome disagreement, but disagree respectfully, and listen to the other side. Attempts to hijack my posts and shut down conversations are not acceptable to me. Also, if you prefer propagating lies that support your agenda to truth, you might be happier if you defriend me now or don't send a request to begin with. Otherwise, don't be surprised if I research your memes and comment with context or corrections. My FB friends are a pretty diverse group -- a wide range of ages, political perspectives, cultural backgrounds, etc. I love hearing everyone's perspective, and I learn from it. Sometimes, my own opinions shift. I don't want to live in an echo chamber filled with people who see things the way I do. I hope that sometimes, what I say might modify your understanding of a topic a little, too. I don't mean 180-degree turns here, just a better understanding of where the people who disagree are each coming from. I've learned a lot from many people in many debates, arguments, and discussions online over the past 20 years. Most of the time, I understand the issue better when presented with facts from which to draw conclusions. So sometimes, that's what I do, too: I post information, without necessarily posting all of what that information says to me, or without some of the context. Sometimes, I'm curious about what other people think without the possible bias the context might lend. Sometimes, I want to see if people reach the same conclusion I did, without the influence of my conclusion. But here's the thing: Different subsets of you have spent far more time than other subsets thinking about particular issues. That's not a problem by itself -- no one has time to research and think deeply about every topic! When it becomes a problem is when I'm trying to have a conversation about one facet of a topic, maybe a basic one, maybe not, and some of y'all decide that's not the conversation that should be happening. Maybe you want to have the grad-school version of the conversation when I'm trying to have the 101 version, because not everyone reading has spent enough time with the subject to have the grad-school conversation -- and that's not intended as criticism; there are many topics where _I_ am the one who doesn't have the background. Maybe you have had similar conversations too many times and are tired of them. For better or for worse, other people have not been over that ground as often. Sometimes, I will provide extra context in a private message, details I deliberately omitted from the public post. If I have initiated conversation in private, I generally expect that conversation to remain there. Responding to a private message with a public comment accomplishes little, as no one seeing the comment knows what you're responding to, anyway. Mistakes happen; the mobile version of FB can be especially tricky, as I understand it, so I try to point out what happened and give you a chance to clean up after yourself. If, however, you will neither keep a private side conversation in private message nor discuss why you prefer the conversation happen in public, we have a problem. If you don't like a particular subject I post about, don't participate in the discussion. If you want to have a different conversation, post about it on your own wall / timeline / whatever we're calling it this week, and start the conversation you want to have. It is not your right to control my conversations. If something I say sounds off to you, tell me "Hey, when you say "X", I read it as implying "Y", and I'm not comfortable with that", and _listen_ when I tell you what I was thinking. Do NOT tell me "X means Y and Y is bad so stop talking about X!" If you insist upon making assumptions about my motivations, especially if you refuse to listen to anything I say on the topic, we have a problem. I will stay as civil as I can as long as I can, but I am human. If you assign motives to me, put words in my mouth, twist everything I say, impugn my honesty, my honor, and my character, eventually, I will speak in my own defense, and I will do so with more and more bluntness until you stop attacking me -- either what I'm actually saying gets through, you back off anyway, or you decide to take your toys and go home. I don't like it when people choose that last option, but it's their choice, and if you're going to keep attacking me -- especially while insisting I'm the bad guy -- than maybe it's the better choice. Disagree with me all you want, but do it respectfully.