11/14 (Sat.) The Power of Language (Host: Kat)

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Kat C
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註冊時間: 週三 9月 08, 2010 10:31 am

11/14 (Sat.) The Power of Language (Host: Kat)

文章 Kat C »

Dear friends,

It'd be an understatement to say that it has been a year of compounding crises and bitter conflicts across the globe, and the prevailing feeling is that divisions are hardening and growing, that it’s getting that much harder to engage people who we perceive to be on the “wrong” side of issues.

A study that came out last year found that more than 40 percent of Americans see those who belong to a different political party as “downright evil.”

Not just misinformed or misguided, but evil. It’s hard to see how a society—and in fact, the world—can come together when people start to demonize and vilify anyone who happens to disagree with them.

So for this meeting I’d like to explore the power of language, dialogue and empathy to build bridges that help us hear and listen to each other. To open our hearts and find common grounds. To be okay to change our minds.

We’ll try various discussion formats and games to spice up our discussion! :lol:


“It takes two to speak the truth - one to speak and another to hear.”

― Henry David Thoreau (梭羅)


📌 We may use some of the ideas from the videos below for our discussion. "The language of being human" has to be one of the most poignant and profound TED talks I’ve come across:

The language of being human | Poet Ali

📌 The "Privilege Walk" exercise has been widely used to start a conversation on social justice. Here's one example.

What Is Privilege?


Agenda:
3:45 ~ 4:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
4:00 ~ 4:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
4:10 ~ 4:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
4:50 ~ 5:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
5:10 ~ 5:15pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
5:15 ~ 5:55pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
6:00 ~ 6:20pm Summarization (20 mins)
6:20 ~ 6:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements


Meeting Date: As shown on the Subject Line
Meeting Time: 4:00pm – 6:30pm
Meeting Venue: 丹堤咖啡 Dante Coffee (Minimum Order $80)
Address: 台北市濟南路三段25號[MAP]-捷運忠孝新生站3號出口步行3分鐘

Important Notes:
1. We advise participants to print out the discussion questions and bring them to the meeting for reference. As for the supporting articles, feel free to print them out, as well, according to your preference.
2. We suggest that participants read the articles and think about the questions in advance.
3. Newcomers should prepare a two-to-three minute self-introduction in English to deliver when called upon by the host before the start of the discussion. The host may also ask you to give brief feedback about the meeting at the conclusion of the meeting.
4. We conduct the entire meeting in English. All participants should have at least moderate English-conversation skills and be able to articulate your ideas for each discussion question.
5. We welcome newcomers and other guests to attend the meetings and join the discussion freely for three times. After that, we hope you will consider becoming a YoYo English Club member. We charge a NT$1000 lifetime membership fee.
最後由 Kat C 於 週四 11月 12, 2020 12:06 pm 編輯,總共編輯了 1 次。
Michael-liu
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註冊時間: 週五 4月 24, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: 11/14 (Sat.) The Power of Language (Host: Kat)

文章 Michael-liu »

It is shocking to know 40% of Americans think people of a different political party are downright "evil". Among these 40%, I guess 30% of them are Republicans who think Democrats are evil.

Why? The reason is most of disinformation or conspiracy theory I have seen or heard are those that demonized Democrats. For example, there is a conspiracy saying that Democrat elites, such as Hillary, Clinton, Obama, have a regular secret pedofile gathering, and they drink children blood to restore youth. Many Americans believe it.

I think I never see any of this kind of evil disinformation against Republicans. If anyone can find any, please show us.

About the "language" Ted talk, I think it is quite deep. I really don't understand what the speaker is trying to convey. (No offense, Kat)

About the "privilege walk", it is interesting and a good way to let us know how privileged we are. However, judging from the questions they ask, it seems the walk indicates that you are underprivileged if you are homosexual. That is strange to me.

The video doesn't show all of the 35 questions they ask. I am curious what all the questions are.
Michael-liu
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文章: 623
註冊時間: 週五 4月 24, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: 11/14 (Sat.) The Power of Language (Host: Kat)

文章 Michael-liu »

I forgot to mention that people who produced thoese disinformation or conspiracy theories against Democrats are not necessarily Republican Americans. It is very likely to be Russians.

Why would Russians want to do that?

1. America's military power is much stronger than that of Russia, so Russians use information warfare to make America divided for their own benefit.

2. Russia may indeed possess material that can compromise Trump, such as the "golden shower" video, as the media reported.

3. Maybe Russia expected Hillary would be in a tough stance against them, so they didn't want her to be elected.
Kooper
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註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: 11/14 (Sat.) The Power of Language (Host: Kat)

文章 Kooper »

Both videos are inspiring and knocked my socks off.

Not only were contents of the speech thought-provoking, it was also delivered in a poetic way. I even got the impression that concept-wise the whole performance was designed to be a poem itself.

The Privilege Walk exercise in the 2nd video bluntly visualized huge inequality existing among a group of people who seemed equal at first glance. We tend to be blind to what we own and complain what we still lack. That’s particularly true to privileges that we have effortlessly enjoyed since birth, as a result of the family, society, or country we were born in and the gender, race, or nationality we are. They are taken for granted; oftentimes their existence may not even be noticed.

The two videos deliver life-changing ideas, but the motivation that I got might fade away at a good clip if I don’t replay them on a regular basis. There is a huge gap to bridge from abstract concepts to down-to-earth everyday execution. The right path toward real changes in life could vary from individual to individual and has to been found by trial and error. Guess it's time to be determined and rise to the occasion! :sun:
Luis Ko
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註冊時間: 週三 6月 06, 2007 10:18 pm

Re: 11/14 (Sat.) The Power of Language (Host: Kat)

文章 Luis Ko »

Just want to say democracy is to blame for the divisions of people, if i may say so. As the saying goes, “It takes two to speak the truth - one to speak and another to hear.”. There will never be the truth under democracy. 8)

By the way, it will be quite sad if people have to know they are priviliged and the world is unfair through the walks, I would say. People are all priviliged and underprivileged. It's sad to say the world is unfair. We all got to deal with it or, live with it. :?
最後由 Luis Ko 於 週六 11月 14, 2020 3:39 pm 編輯,總共編輯了 1 次。
i might be a cynic and, a sceptic as well but, i'm definitely not a bad person!!
Kooper
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註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: 11/14 (Sat.) The Power of Language (Host: Kat)

文章 Kooper »

The TED Talk speaker happened to use the phrase "make ends meet" with "barely" in front of it. Just days after I asked Kat a question about the phrase, Kat picked a TED Talk speech using it. What a coincidence! :lol:
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Gloria Lo
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註冊時間: 週一 2月 04, 2008 7:51 am

Re: 11/14 (Sat.) The Power of Language (Host: Kat)

文章 Gloria Lo »

Michael,
the 35 questions are the attached below the video

Questions:
If your parents worked nights and weekends to support your family, take one step back.
If you are able to move through the world without fear of sexual assault, take one step forward.
If you can show affection for your romantic partner in public without fear of ridicule or violence, take one step forward.
If you have ever been diagnosed as having a physical or mental illness/disability, take one step back.
If the primary language spoken in your household growing up was not english, take one step back.
If you came from a supportive family environment take one step forward.
If you have ever tried to change your speech or mannerisms to gain credibility, take one step back.
If you can go anywhere in the country, and easily find the kinds of hair products you need and/or cosmetics that match your skin color, take one step forward.
If you were embarrassed about your clothes or house while growing up, take one step back.
If you can make mistakes and not have people attribute your behavior to flaws in your racial/gender group, take one step forward.
If you can legally marry the person you love, regardless of where you live, take one step forward.
If you were born in the United States, take one step forward.
If you or your parents have ever gone through a divorce, take one step back.
If you felt like you had adequate access to healthy food growing up, take one step forward
If you are reasonably sure you would be hired for a job based on your ability and qualifications, take one step forward.
If you would never think twice about calling the police when trouble occurs, take one step forward.
If you can see a doctor whenever you feel the need, take one step forward.
If you feel comfortable being emotionally expressive/open, take one step forward.
If you have ever been the only person of your race/gender/socio-economic status/ sexual orientation in a classroom or workplace setting, please take one step back.
If you took out loans for your education take one step backward.
If you get time off for your religious holidays, take one step forward.
If you had a job during your high school and college years, take one step back.
If you feel comfortable walking home alone at night, take one step forward.
If you have ever traveled outside the United States, take one step forward.
If you have ever felt like there was NOT adequate or accurate representation of your racial group, sexual orientation group, gender group, and/or disability group in the media, take one step back.
If you feel confident that your parents would be able to financially help/support you if you were going through a financial hardship, take one step forward.
If you have ever been bullied or made fun of based on something that you can’t change, take one step back.
If there were more than 50 books in your house growing up, take one step forward.
If you studied the culture or the history of your ancestors in elementary school take one step forward.
If your parents or guardians attended college, take one step forward.
If you ever went on a family vacation, take one step forward.
If you can buy new clothes or go out to dinner when you want to, take one step forward.
If you were ever offered a job because of your association with a friend or family member, take one step forward.
If one of your parents was ever laid off or unemployed not by choice, take one step back.
If you were ever uncomfortable about a joke or a statement you overheard related to your race, ethnicity, gender, appearance, or sexual orientation but felt unsafe to confront the situation, take one step back.
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Gloria Lo
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文章: 342
註冊時間: 週一 2月 04, 2008 7:51 am

Re: 11/14 (Sat.) The Power of Language (Host: Kat)

文章 Gloria Lo »

When watching the video of privilege walk, I thought of one thing: If some participant doesn’t speak English, he might stay at the beginning spot, could that be interpreted as “ignorance is bliss”?

Other than that, I was also thinking privileged people must also lose something, and they have to pay off someday in the future (unless they are unbelievably lucky) because they lose opportunities to practice, to experience, to overcome, and end up with a strong mind.

On the contrary, what the underprivileged get though might be a disguised bless because they gain some perspective and perseverance and strong willpower which cannot be stolen away by anyone else.

I apologize if you think I took it lightly and could possibly offend you since I didn’t experience those hardships.
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Kat C
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文章: 356
註冊時間: 週三 9月 08, 2010 10:31 am

Re: 11/14 (Sat.) The Power of Language (Host: Kat)

文章 Kat C »

Thank you all for coming to the meeting! :D

So here are the questions for the Privilege "Move" exercise we did. I've localized and universalized the questions for the Taiwanese context. As it has been pointed out, we at Yoyo is not only a self-selected group, but a highly selected one as well. Our positions and experiences in life inform yet also limit our awareness of our privileges. But that's exactly what I hope we can take away from the exercise.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

1. If you were told that you were beautiful, smart and capable by your parents when growing up, move one level up.
2. If you were told that you were beautiful, smart and capable by your parents when growing up, move one level up.
3. If you have given up your plans to study abroad, or changed the school you hoped to attend, or you have never thought that you could attend a certain school, because of financial considerations, move one level down.
4. If in most group situations, you have avoided talking about your ancestry or ethnic background, move one level down.
5. If you ever felt you were treated unfairly, or judged in a wrong way, because of your gender, move a level down.
6. If you ever tried to change your appearance to avoid being judged or drawing attention, move one level down.
7. If you ever tried to change the way you talk, were conscious about your accent, worried that you didn’t sound intelligent or knowledgeable enough, and held back from expressing yourself, move one level down.
8. If there were more than 50 books in your house when you grew up, move one level up.
9. If when growing up, one of your parents was unemployed or laid off not by their choice, move one level down.
10. If as a child, you got to travel abroad, or take lessons or classes for arts, music or other skills, move one level up.
11. If you have a disability, a serious health condition, or ever had to tend to someone in your family who had a disability, move one level down.
12. If you were raised in a single parent household, move one level down.
13. If your family owned the house where you grew up, move one level up.
14. If you own a car now, or can afford one, move one level up.
15. If you were ever offered a good job because of your association with a friend or family member, move one level up.
16. If you have ever been bullied, move one level down.
17. If you ever inherited money or property, move one level up.
18. If you were ever uncomfortable about a joke related to your looks, background, gender or sexual orientation but felt hesitant to speak up, move one level down.
19. If you were ever hesitant to disclose your age, move one level down.
20. If you were ever hesitant to disclose the schools you went to or your area of study, move one level down.
21. If you ever dreaded parent-teacher conferences, or letting people meet or know about your parents, or bringing friends home when growing up, move one level down.
22. If you know most people think you are attractive, move one level up.
I23. f you ever felt that you don’t belong in the top group at work, for any reason other than your professional performance, move one level down.
24. If you know that if tomorrow you lost your job, you and your loved ones would still be okay, for now or for a long while, move one level up.
25. If you know most people would envy your position in society, move one level up.
Michael-liu
YOYO member
文章: 623
註冊時間: 週五 4月 24, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: 11/14 (Sat.) The Power of Language (Host: Kat)

文章 Michael-liu »

I need to clarify that my guess about "30% among the 40% are Republicans who think Democrats are evil" is totally wrong.

Today I found the news article about the survey, and it says "Just over 42 percent of the people in each party view the opposition as “downright evil.”

So, the 42% is "in each party", which indicates the degree of divisiveness in America is much more severe than I inmagined.

https://www.google.com.tw/amp/s/www.nyt ... s.amp.html
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