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Should I do bullet-point summaries?

Started by JustMyron, February 28, 2009, 05:12:30 AM

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JustMyron

The largest criticism I get of my posts is that they are too long. So, should I attempt to shorten or summarize them instead?

As an example, here is a summary of a thread I'm thinking of starting on the validity of expert opinion:

Point:
-   We the common folk/hoi polloi/average joes have no way to judge/evaluate those who claim to be experts, and an apparent ?expert? may just be a biased person expressing confidence. This is how ?pundits? make money
Counterpoint:
-   There is no way we can expect people to be ?renaissance men? ? the specialization of knowledge enriches us all in the same way the specialization of labour does. So if we don?t rely on expert opinion, we reduce the amount we can know/achieve as a species.
Conclusion:
-   Non-experts are trapped, and unable to either trust or not trust expert opinion. Either way, someone is going to have a valid objection, but their objection will often align with whether or not the "expert" is saying something they agree with. Since they themselves are not an expert, the person putting forward the expert opinion as evidence can discount the objection, the person objecting can discount the expert opinion, and an onlooker reaches a null conclusion. End result: mass confusion.

Would you rather read that ^^^, or what I typically post to start a thread?

Shawna

Oh just post the way you usually post.  Let 'em complain.
"I think, indeed, that the goodness of God, through His Christ, may recall all His creatures to one end."
--Origen

Sita

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  Carl Sagan

Assyriankey

JM, let the children come to you.

Don't change anything.
Ignoring composer and wilson is key to understanding the ontological unity of the material world.

Auz

Why not do both?

Type up your in-depth post, then at the bottom, in bold or something, include your key points. I do it if I have to post a wall of text... And if you're feeling creative, Charmap.exe can help you with some fancy boxes and other summary tools.

Never Remember To Always Forget.

Fit2BThaied

If you are getting complaints about long posts, maybe half of them are true. You could just make the points shorter.

Use more paragraphs, and shorter sentences.

Put your summary at the beginning. Or, a topic sentence at the start of each paragraph.


My better editor says, "never underestimate the intelligence of most of your audience. Simply and clearly and briefly tell them - or show them - and they will figure it out."
I am often wrong, but not always.

Vynn

I vote for bullets and spaces, JM.

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Signature deleted by mods

Airyaman

I used to post novelettes. No one read them. I do not read your posts JM. They ARE too long, and I've found that you overly complicate your "bullet points" as well.

To each their own.
Please take a moment to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks in Bowling Green, Atlanta, and Sweden.

Dexter


I read your posts, start to finish. They are clear and concise and well written.
+1
"Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road"
― T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Assyriankey

Quote from: Vynn on March 01, 2009, 04:02:37 AM
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Vynn, I disagree.
Ignoring composer and wilson is key to understanding the ontological unity of the material world.

Assyriankey

Quote from: Fit2BThaied on March 01, 2009, 03:57:28 AM
If you are getting complaints about long posts, maybe half of them are true. You could just make the points shorter.

Use more paragraphs, and shorter sentences.

Put your summary at the beginning. Or, a topic sentence at the start of each paragraph.

Brevity is the soul of wit.

I think that JM makes his posts as short as possible.  He does deal with some pretty weighty issues at times.  Other times he's just b***hing about being smote :)
Ignoring composer and wilson is key to understanding the ontological unity of the material world.

rickymooston

Quote from: JustMyron on February 28, 2009, 05:12:30 AM
The largest criticism I get of my posts is that they are too long. So, should I attempt to shorten or summarize them instead?

I see from the thread below, some people like your style as it is. Sometimes, I feel you put in too much information which is hard to chew on. Often, I feel you are writing every detail you know on said, subject.  If you make a lot of statements which are debateable, I find this frustrating, but that is just my opinion. However, you might consider judging by the number of responses your post gets. If you post a long one and get tons of responses, you must be doing something correctly.

On WWGHA, L6 has a lot of insights sometimes. (It took my a while to figure this out and for the record, he does not like me very much.) I've  noticed sometimes he posts some awesome OPs considering some very interesting hypothesis but gets almost no responses.  It could be because the subject is boring or nobody knows anything about it, but I suspect it could also be because people are frequently too lazy to read a book.

Its interesting that AssyrianKey likes your style.  He does not tend to make very long posts at all.  Some of them have a lot of impact.  He seems sort of to say something and leave a statement with the impact of a sledgehammer.

Assyriankey does not like me, much, so I'm sure he'll exhibit a counter example. ||666||
"Re: Why should any Black man have any respect for any cop?
Your question is racist. If the police behave badly then everyone should lose respect for those policemen.", Happy Evolute

rickymooston

Considering, your actual example.

Quote from: JustMyron on February 28, 2009, 05:12:30 AM
Point:
-   We the common folk/hoi polloi/average joes have no way to judge/evaluate those who claim to be experts, and an apparent ?expert? may just be a biased person expressing confidence. This is how ?pundits? make money
Counterpoint:
-   There is no way we can expect people to be ?renaissance men? ? the specialization of knowledge enriches us all in the same way the specialization of labour does. So if we don?t rely on expert opinion, we reduce the amount we can know/achieve as a species.
Conclusion:
-   Non-experts are trapped, and unable to either trust or not trust expert opinion. Either way, someone is going to have a valid objection, but their objection will often align with whether or not the "expert" is saying something they agree with. Since they themselves are not an expert, the person putting forward the expert opinion as evidence can discount the objection, the person objecting can discount the expert opinion, and an onlooker reaches a null conclusion. End result: mass confusion.

Would you rather read that ^^^, or what I typically post to start a thread?



In your example, I think your post is fine. I'm not sure how it would be in the "usual" Byron style.    However, another approach would be to make an open ended question that invites much discussion


How can we the common folk judge/evaluate those who claim to be experts?  In our complex society, is it possible to distinguish between the real expert McCoy and the self proclaimed expert   <--- You could try this.


You can compare to typical AssyrianKey OP. I don't see any qualifiers. (You typically qualify what you say a lot. That takes more time.)  He really entertains one point of view. It incites discussion.  The post is unidirectional. He does not give a ph'd disertation. He dares you to disagree.

Quote from: Assyriankey on February 23, 2009, 07:40:42 AM
I dismiss God.

God, you can go now  ||thumbs||

"That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

I need no proof of God's non-existence.

You God believers are being duped, you are being deceived, you are down the bottom of the garden drinking tea with the fairies while making jokes about people who believe in Leprechauns.

"That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

Or this. Again, presents some evidence and makes a strong statement that invites comment.

Quote from: Assyriankey on January 26, 2009, 02:32:27 AM
Gen 3:14  And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

###

Theists, God was obviously talking to a snake when He said the above.

And what about God's pronouncement that snakes will, from that time forth, eat dust?  Women still suffer the pains of childbirth and snakes still upon thy belly go but do they eat dust?  I think not...

If you were dealing with the same topics, I think, your natural sense of fairness would cause you to consider some of the valid points from both sides.
"Re: Why should any Black man have any respect for any cop?
Your question is racist. If the police behave badly then everyone should lose respect for those policemen.", Happy Evolute

Assyriankey

#13
Quote from: rickymooston on March 02, 2009, 12:38:14 AM
Assyriankey does not like me, much, so I'm sure he'll exhibit a counter example.

I don't like you at all.

You have the worst comprehension of anyone I've ever encountered online.  It doesn't matter if someone posts a 100 line comment or one single line - the odds are you'll fail to understand it properly.
Ignoring composer and wilson is key to understanding the ontological unity of the material world.

rickymooston

Quote from: Assyriankey on March 02, 2009, 01:30:47 AM
I don't like you at all.

That's what I meant.

Quote
You have the worst comprehension of anyone I've ever encountered online.  It doesn't matter if someone posts a 100 line comment or one single line - the odds are you'll fail to understand it properly.

Yes, I've gotten that impression that this is what you feel.  You express yourself very well.  ||666||
"Re: Why should any Black man have any respect for any cop?
Your question is racist. If the police behave badly then everyone should lose respect for those policemen.", Happy Evolute

Assyriankey

Quote from: rickymooston on March 02, 2009, 01:41:24 AM
Quote from: Assyriankey on March 02, 2009, 01:30:47 AM
You express yourself very well.

Many of us do.  But it makes no difference to you - you are in your own little world, you read what you want to read, not what is written.  And away you go...

What do you keep posting that devil emoticon?  Do you feel devilish?
Ignoring composer and wilson is key to understanding the ontological unity of the material world.

rickymooston

Quote from: Assyriankey on March 02, 2009, 01:59:02 AM
Quote from: rickymooston on March 02, 2009, 01:41:24 AM
Quote from: Assyriankey on March 02, 2009, 01:30:47 AM
You express yourself very well.

Many of us do.  But it makes no difference to you - you are in your own little world, you read what you want to read, not what is written.  And away you go...

What do you keep posting that devil emoticon?  Do you feel devilish?

||666||  Yes.
"Re: Why should any Black man have any respect for any cop?
Your question is racist. If the police behave badly then everyone should lose respect for those policemen.", Happy Evolute

Fit2BThaied

Myron, excellent suggestion, to raise a point with a question, rather than starting with a long treatise. You can invite queries, and then let loose after you see where they are coming from. And also a good suggestion not to apologize for having your own opinion. Besides, we regulars know you are a nice guy.
I am often wrong, but not always.

JustMyron

#18
Quote from: Fit2BThaied on March 02, 2009, 02:29:49 AMAnd also a good suggestion not to apologize for having your own opinion.

When have I ever apologized for having my opinion?  ||smiley||

The problem is, I see both sides, and sometimes I see a way in which they can be integrated or one or more of the conflicts between them resolved. When I do a post which explains how two sides of an issue can be reconciled, I need to explain what the two sides are...

The question thing is a good idea. The reason I don't do this more often is because I'm selfish - I want new ideas, so I want to present my understanding of an issue as completely as possible and see what someone can add to it, rather than waiting for new points to come up more naturally. Not such a good reason for writing long posts...

Oh, and thanks everyone for answering. +1's all around.  ||smiley||

rickymooston

Quote from: JustMyron on March 02, 2009, 03:50:09 AM
The problem is, I see both sides, and sometimes I see a way in which they can be integrated or one or more of the conflicts between them resolved. When I do a post which explains how two sides of an issue can be reconciled, I need to explain what the two sides are...

I know because i typically try to do this as well. You strive to be rigorous.    Its good in one sense, in that you present a lot of information.  You try to cover all of the holes in one post.  On the otherhand, I'm not sure if it is condusive to getting an intelligent discussion going.   Responding to your post intelligently, might take me over an hour.   I'm not going to make a suggestion here. I don't know your objectives. I will just make an observation.

Take your last post on economics.   You make one point.  The information advantage is key. That is, information is valuable when you are the only one holding it. Once everybody knows it, the system quickly adjusts and it is "worthless". Eventually, you say that it serves the elite. This is true but not fully so. For example, the government or some charity organization MIGHT pool resources to have their own think tanks. On the other hand, many of these are still controlled by the elite too, to some extent.  However, I have no idea if you will say that 100 lines down or in the next post 20 seconds later.    Eventually you throw in the hope that sometimes the interests of the elite might have some commonality with those of Joe Blow; i.e., that a win/win might be. I have to re-read the post to make sure this is precisely what you've said. Probably its not.   

20 seconds later, you have another post, equally packed along the same lines.  This throws in the idea of controls on abuses. Obviously, its a huge can of worms how much controls occur and which ones dont occur.  For example, is Walmart Canada getting a better price than Zellers an abuse? Walmart might in theory leverage its world wide size to get a better price than Zellers Canada. Is that good? If its not good, will our politicians who are often in practice funded by the elite do anything about it?

What is your goal. What should your goal be?

I honestly don't know. Alot of food for thought.

For the record, though, the posts on economics are interesting. ||666||
"Re: Why should any Black man have any respect for any cop?
Your question is racist. If the police behave badly then everyone should lose respect for those policemen.", Happy Evolute

JustMyron

Quote from: rickymooston on March 02, 2009, 04:24:05 AMWhat is your goal. What should your goal be?

In that post, it was "present my understanding of these issues, and see if someone can add to it". This wasn't a case of "present both sides".

I think maybe the problem is once I start thinking about something, the ideas come as fast as I can write them down. So I start off with a kernel which might make a good post on its own, but then in order to write it out, I have to think about it more carefully, and I start to make connections with other things I know, and it seems a shame not to say them. It's partially the same impulse that has someone wake up in the middle of the night with a good idea and write it down - I don't want to lose that thought, so I write it while I'm thinking about it.

rickymooston

"Re: Why should any Black man have any respect for any cop?
Your question is racist. If the police behave badly then everyone should lose respect for those policemen.", Happy Evolute

Shawna

Quote from: JustMyron on March 02, 2009, 04:33:27 AM
I think maybe the problem is once I start thinking about something, the ideas come as fast as I can write them down. So I start off with a kernel which might make a good post on its own, but then in order to write it out, I have to think about it more carefully, and I start to make connections with other things I know, and it seems a shame not to say them. It's partially the same impulse that has someone wake up in the middle of the night with a good idea and write it down - I don't want to lose that thought, so I write it while I'm thinking about it.

I think it was George Bernard Shaw, who once wrote in a letter to a friend:  "I apologize for the length of this letter.  I didn't have time to shorten it."   ||wink||

Keep going, Myron.  You'll find your own style.
"I think, indeed, that the goodness of God, through His Christ, may recall all His creatures to one end."
--Origen

rickymooston

GBS is a hero of mine.

+1 for even knowing who he was.

You do realize he was a socialist?

I'm surprised an American would give him the time of day.
"Re: Why should any Black man have any respect for any cop?
Your question is racist. If the police behave badly then everyone should lose respect for those policemen.", Happy Evolute

Shawna

He was a socialist and a non-Christian, although I do not remember if he was non-theist.

We Americans mostly know him through his plays... Pygmalion the one that comes immediately to mind.

He was a brilliant thinker, although I disagree with some of his conclusions.
"I think, indeed, that the goodness of God, through His Christ, may recall all His creatures to one end."
--Origen

Fit2BThaied

Another sage said, "If you want me to lecture for the next three hours, I can start now. But if it is only a 30 minute summary, I need several hours to prepare."

Myron, you could do your thinking offline. Then state your tentative conclusion very briefly, and ask questions. You learn more by asking (and reading the answers) than by just giving an opinion.

In haste, I said you need not apologize. I was referring to the other poster who said you do not need to preface your remarks to cover all the bases of those who might disagree. Or however he said it.

Another thing. Since the age of TV commercials, the average attention span has shrunk to less than 30 seconds. That is usually all the time we have to present a point or to evangelize. Wham, bam, thank you ma'm or sir.
I am often wrong, but not always.

Shawna

And then there's the flip side.

A minister was once telling me about one of his first congregations.  He was asking the elders about how long the sermon should last.  They told him, "Talk as long as you want.  We go home at 11:30."
"I think, indeed, that the goodness of God, through His Christ, may recall all His creatures to one end."
--Origen

rakhel

Quote from: Shawna on March 02, 2009, 04:56:19 AM
And then there's the flip side.

A minister was once telling me about one of his first congregations.  He was asking the elders about how long the sermon should last.  They told him, "Talk as long as you want.  We go home at 11:30."
lol +1
There are two ways to slide easily through life:
to believe everything or to doubt everything;
both ways save us from thinking.-Alfred Korzybski