Tradition and Conventionality

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Tradition and Conventionality

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1citygirl
Out 10, 2007, 7:01 pm

How traditional, or maybe I should say conventional, are you? How does the word "tradition" or "convention" strike you? Comforting? Pleasing? Alarming? Meh?

2AngelaB86
Out 11, 2007, 9:41 am

I consider myself pretty traditional (except for the belly ring I got over the weekend)...I like tradition, but for some reason convention has a less pleasing canotation (sp?)to it for me. Maybe I'm just weird that way.

3vpfluke
Editado: Out 11, 2007, 10:50 am

I haven't thought of myself as traditional, but a week or two ago I took a test on spiritual practices in "What's Your God Language?: connecting with God through Your Unique Spiritual Temperament" by Myra Perrine, and it indicated that I am a traditionalist. This book groups people into 9 types, but they don't seem to be Enneagram based, I'll have to take a look again and see if the MBTA influenced the author.

4prophetandmistress
Out 11, 2007, 11:49 am

ENTP-Words like traditional and conventional make me want to head for the hills!! Two things go through my head:

Traditional: Those god awful family dinners I have to endure where everyone is a middle of the road democrat and works in politics while the other half of my family talks about their cats. I have to be dragged kicking and screaming and usually leave claw marks on the linoleum. Also, that song from Fiddler on the Roof.

Conventional: Makes me think of things that are simply adequate. No more, no less. They have no design of special features in the way that khaki pants and a white shirt is conventional work wear for most people.

5chainedwind
Out 11, 2007, 6:32 pm

Well, it's kind of hard to tell. The words "tradition" and "convention" have rather negative connotations, don't they? Depending on context? For example, a non-negative meaning of "tradition" would be like humorous little quirks or habits that become ingrained into a person or group of people or institution over time. A similarly non-negative meaning of "convention" would be like "standard operating procedures", as in, the sentence "This-and-that is current programming convention."

6citygirl
Editado: Out 11, 2007, 7:43 pm

Well, chainedwind, I'm testing out a theory that the words "tradition" and "convention" are actually quite positive to some. I know it's hard for a Rational to imagine, but Guardians live for the stuff, reportedly. And I wonder how much experience has to do with it.

mistress, Words like traditional and conventional make me want to head for the hills!!

I have the same reaction and I'm curious whether most Rationals would, too. My first instinct is to dismantle a system (unless it works perfectly and with purpose and then I might be brought to tears of admiration), look at its constituent parts and put it back together in new and fun ways, discarding anything that has no integral function and adding anything that might be useful. Apparently, this approach is quite threatening to many. I'd like to understand better why that is.

I don't want to be misleading. In some ways I can be quite traditional, but usually only if the tradition serves some greater purpose than for its own sake or if it just makes me happy.

7chainedwind
Editado: Out 11, 2007, 8:40 pm

Tradition for its own sake can be amusing on a small, non-interfering scale. Convention aids communication.

Yes?

8AsYouKnow_Bob
Out 11, 2007, 10:16 pm

As Flaubert said,

"Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work. "

9chamekke
Out 12, 2007, 11:24 am

I would have to ask, which tradition and whose convention are we talking about? For example, I could be a very traditional anarchist...

10citygirl
Out 12, 2007, 12:44 pm

chamekke, I should have expected analysis of the question!

Okay, but if you were at your anarchists' meeting and the non-leader said: well, we have to do it this way because it's tradition, how would you feel about that? Would you understand the value of "tradition" in itself or would you hold up the tradition and compare it to some other, perhaps more efficient, ways of doing things? If you found other ways would you argue for them or attempt to implement them or would you say, Well, since it's tradition, alright. ?

11sm5por
Out 12, 2007, 3:46 pm

There is a saying in the tech community: If it ain't broken, don't fix it!

I think it also applies in areas beyond technology, such as business and politics. For instance, my country (Sweden) is a constitutional monarchy, where the title "Head of State" is inherited within one family. This is a pretty odd feature of a democracy, and we probably wouldn't do it this way if we were to rewrite the constitution from scratch. However, nothing is ever really done from scratch, but we change things gradually instead (if any change is warranted at all).

I'm perfectly happy with this arrangement. Staying connected to your past provides a sense of comfort and safety; you know what you have but you don't know what you get. Even when a major change has to be done (such as a computer system reorganization), I want to break it down into small, reversible steps so the new solution can be tried out one step at the time, always with the option of backing out if things turn problematic. Never risk painting yourself into a corner!

Of course, everybody have their own traditions and conventions, and even as I understand this, I may have trouble adjusting to the traditions of others, just as they may be uncomfortable adjusting to mine. Again, I prefer the gradual, step-by-step approach, if an adjustment is at all necessary.

One of my interests is genealogy, tracing the lifes of my ancestors. I wonder what traditions and conventions I may have inherited from them specifically, rather than learned from my contemporary peers.

I'm ISTJ (Inspector Guardian).

12jjwilson61
Out 12, 2007, 3:54 pm

I don't generally go to events where there is a lot of tradition. On the other hand, I don't like to make waves so I'll put up with it if I can't avoid it. I do like the tradition of getting together with family for xmas and thanksgiving but it's difficult to coordinate with all the in-laws. INTP.

13chamekke
Editado: Out 12, 2007, 10:58 pm

10 > Okay, but if you were at your anarchists' meeting and the non-leader said: well, we have to do it this way because it's tradition, how would you feel about that?

Touche, citygirl :-)

OK then. I truly hope this doesn't sound like a cop-out, but ... I evaluate any tradition (or innovation) for its underlying value. Does it make good sense? Does it bring out the best in people? Does it meet human needs? If it once served a truly beneficial purpose, does it still do so? I'm neither for nor against traditions and conventions per se - but each one has to be judged on its own merits, and periodically re-evaluated too.

So I suppose that to anyone watching my behaviour, sometimes I will strike them as tiresomely conventional, and other times shockingly iconoclastic.

P.S. Another INTJ!

14citygirl
Out 16, 2007, 11:09 am

Thank you, sm5por, I think your explanation helped me understand the Guardian viewpoint a little better. Small reversible steps -- I never would have thought of that.

And, vpfluke, I am not at all surprised to find that you are kind of a traditionalist, which is very intriguing since you are a Rational.

chamekke, I take your approach also. Do you find that you're always searching for personal mechanisms that you can apply universally, to streamline processes?

15villandry
Out 17, 2007, 9:02 am

Traditions are sometimes beautiful and fascinating, particularly the progression of how they change as time goes by. I find that I want to understand the origins of them and learn about other cultures traditions. Some are so beautiful in theory.

But I am viewed as non-traditionalist in my own life...perhaps because I don't really participate as much in materialistic aspects of traditions in our culture (USA). Now that I think about it, I'm rather unconventional as well...but in a low key way.

Isn't it interesting how being unconventional can become convention...like piercings and tatoos...eveyone is doing it now so those who really want to be different are going to further and further extremes.

Next thing you know, the radicals will refuse to pierce themselves!

16barney67
Out 17, 2007, 9:15 pm

Tradition, convention -- both good things.

INTJ

17peteslibrarything
Abr 26, 2008, 7:57 am

ESFP

Curious.

Tradition meaning what, according to whom?

Convention meaning what, according to whom?

18zenomax
Editado: Maio 1, 2008, 7:05 am

#16 Tradition, convention -- both good things.

I agree whole heartedly. As long as it involves others and not me!

INTJ.

19Sparrowing
Editado: Maio 1, 2008, 7:23 pm

I really have nothing new to contribute, but I'm in a talkative mood so,
Tradition-
The way I consider tradition is on a general societal level, an entire pattern of life or thought that is passed down. Tradition is an inherent part of culture, without it culture does not exist. However, I dislike tradition in that it is often used to excuse to not think about things. That's being lazy. I have no problem with tradition, we don't have time to recreate everything in our lives, but I have problems with people too lazy to think about everything. Tradition for the sake of tradition is pointless.

Convention-
I think of convention as the little rules you follow every day, and you aren't always sure why. I often don't like convention. Unless it is grounded in good objective morality I feel little to need to follow it. Convention often leads to unnecessary inefficiency in communication.

Convention and tradition are only good as long as they are useful. I'm pretty lax about what makes them useful, the tradition of Christmas (even though I don't believe in religion) is alright with me because I get to see my family.

INTJ

20zenomax
Maio 2, 2008, 6:08 am

Society needs tradition and convention to function.

Most people don't want a lot of change and feel comfortable doing what they know best.

This suits me as an INTJ because I feel happier being apart from the majority - if I found most people agreeing with my worldview I would feel very destabilised!