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When you disagree with someone, you have a difference of opinion because you and the other person have different interests, values, needs and intentions. Disagreeing with someone isn’t a bad thing. It can be viewed as positive and functional as well as natural. Disagreement doesn't have to lead to a huge fight. Conflict, on the other hand, is a powerful collision or dispute of needs, values, interests and intentions between two individuals or communities, groups, nations and organizations.


Conflict differs from disagreement because of its outcome, which is usually negative. Sometimes conflict can be constructive rather than destructive and can lead to purposeful disagreement, which results in positive outcomes and better decision making. The way the conflict is managed will determine the outcome.

The Down Side of Conflict

For conflict to exist, the parties must first recognize each other and understand that each party has opposing ideas. Interaction between the parties is required. Conflict, unlike disagreement, is considered unhealthy competition and dysfunctional. It includes distrust, hostility, lack or loss of affinity and suspicion. Conflict happens when needs aren’t met or when a group or a person is seen as obstructing the goals of another group or person. It also entails struggling over resources and power.

Disagreeing and Conflicting

When you disagree with someone, it can end on a positive note. Disagreement forces you to change, be innovative and find better ways of doing things as well as develop new skills and use improved resources. Conflict all too frequently does not result in a positive outcome. The bigger the conflict is, the harder it is to control it, whereas a disagreement can be controlled, explains Doug Hovatter of the University of West Virginia.

How to Disagree

When you are in the midst of a disagreement, you must continue to communicate, but you need to do it in the right manner. Be aware of your voice, its pitch, your tone, the speed at which you are talking and how loud you are talking, and control your nonverbal gestures. Don't get in someone’s face -- in her personal space -- because this is intrusive and will be interpreted as a threat. This behavior will quickly change a disagreement into a conflict.

How People Respond

When faced with conflict, people tend to respond to it based on their understanding of the situation rather than looking at the situation objectively and coming to an unbiased perception. Your reactions and perceptions are the result of your cultural beliefs, your values, gender, experience and the information you have.


If communication is open between the parties, disagreement does not necessarily have to turn into conflict. If the individuals involved in the disagreement like one another, they are less likely to segue into full-blown conflict.


About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.

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We conduct two lab experiments and one observational study. Our theoretical contribution is to situate the shift to mobile in the broader theoretical framework of information-seeking costs. We develop and test hypotheses about whether the mobile setting curbs attention to news, and argue it does this by making information-seeking costly on these devices. We find that attention is attenuated on mobile devices, and this pattern is replicated in the real world. Our findings provide a necessary addendum to the statement that having mobile access to the Internet is better than not having access at all—there are important differences in the affordances of high speed Internet on a traditional computer and access on a mobile device ( Mossberger, Tolbert, Franko, 2013 ; Napoli Obar, 2014 ). Of course, the kinds of audiences left without optimal access for digital citizenship will vary over time as connections and data capabilities on mobile devices continue to improve. But, in the U.S. case, the policy debate over tiers of access and speed is not over—nor is the question of affordability. Indeed, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released a study in which it suggests mobile access is a suitable replacement for high speed Internet access ( Brodkin, 2017 ). Access to broadband services is variable and cost sensitive, and our work suggests that attention to news may be a casualty of mobile reliance. Even as laptops shrink and smartphone screens grow, mobility will always necessitate smaller screens and—without a change in FCC position—connectivity speed differences may also continue.

Interesting patterns of news attention among app users warrant discussion. While smartphone and tablet users spent significantly less time on news regardless of whether in app or browser, when we dig into the data we find that attention to news is high in apps relative to mobile browsers. However, the data show a breadth vs. depth tradeoff. Although news app users spend more time attending to content, the proportion of app users is only a fraction of the audience reached by web browsers. Mobile browser users’ presence on news sites is fleeting, but audience reach is greatest through this mode of access. The manner of access associated with more attention has the lowest reach, and that of broadest reach seems to discourage attention.

We also find differences across studies that point to the need for further research. First, although we find consistent attentional difference between smartphones and computers, our findings for tablet consumption are less straightforward. In Study 2 we find no significant differences in time spent fixated on the news story on tablets vs. computers. In Study 3 we find that tablet users spend less time on news sites when measured on a per visitor basis, but not when measured on a per visit basis. What explains these differences? Presently, we can only speculate but given the literature on screens size it seems likely that in Study 2 the image was enough to reduce some attentional differences identified using our text-only stimulus in Study 1. Although this requires testing, it suggests a welcome possibility for journalists, who may be able to design their content in ways to minimize attention differences to news stories delivered on tablets. On the other hand, screen size effects suggest that regardless of technological change, some differences between mobile and computers will persist.

On the Expressive Power of Programming Languages (1990)


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by Matthias Felleisen


@INPROCEEDINGS{Felleisen90onthe,author = {Matthias Felleisen},title = {On the Expressive Power of Programming Languages},booktitle = {Science of Computer Programming},year = {1990},pages = {134--151},publisher = {Springer-Verlag}}




The literature on programming languages contains an abundance of informal claims on the relative expressive power of programming languages, but there is no framework for formalizing such statements nor for deriving interesting consequences. As a first step in this direction, we develop a formal notion of expressiveness and investigate its properties. To validate the theory, we analyze some widely held beliefs about the expressive power of several extensions of functional languages. Based on these results, we believe that our system correctly captures many of the informal ideas on expressiveness, and that it constitutes a foundation for further research in this direction. 1 Comparing Programming Languages The literature on programming languages contains an abundance of informal claims on the expressive power of programming languages. Arguments in these contexts typically assert the expressibility or non-expressibility of programming constructs relative to a language. Unfortunately, pro...


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