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Subject:  Re: On Anger Date:  2/20/2007  7:52 AM
Author:  GusSmed Number:  2505 of 116336

Perhaps this post is making you angry and this is great opportunity:-)

Oh, cripes, no. My ego is hardly tied up in defining anger. Rather, I find it interesting to reflect on why we have the emotion. We view anger as a very negative thing, but it's there for a reason.

what beliefs are being threated

That's it right there. Threat. Anger on message boards is typically about threat or dominance. Getting emotionally involved in "being right" is part of establishing yourself in the pecking order. I'm on much softer ground here, and perhaps someone else can think of a better model, but it makes sense to me that way. Why did MC recently blow up at someone for correcting his understanding of physics? What purpose does that anger serve? I'm guessing it's about establishing himself as an alpha male, someone you don't push around.

This behavior isn't necessarily consciously about dominance, but that's the evolutionary background behind having a temper. It's an advantage because in small groups of primitives, displays of anger can lead to enhanced status. Shoot, look at the Best Of, the top posts are frequently displays of anger.

At any rate, once you understand that and decide that perhaps I am FOS, I bet your anger is gone

This is a true and valid effect, but it's about transforming the nature of the communication from a dominance display to one about ideas.

- Gus
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