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  1. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Shitty ways of handling internet arguments

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Hubardo, Aug 18, 2015.

    I'm noticing that many people in the debate room are going in circles and I want to talk about that. In a rush on my phone so I can't go to great detail but we all know what I'm talking about. I would like to look at some threads in other forums and quote people who are completely wasting their time to draw parallels without shaming people on this forum. Maybe I'll do that later. Can we talk about how shitty some of these discussions are and how to make them better?

    Edit: I'm open to the idea that this thread is in and of itself a shitty thing that shouldn't exist. Also, I have been a shitty internet debate fool before and probably will again so I'm not trying to sound like I'm above anyone. The point is to discuss how and why this is happening and how to correct it so we can actually maybe get somewhere in the debates. Unless the point is simply that people want to get into a hamster wheel and give themselves headaches, which we should also talk about.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You'll need to address human nature.

    1) people get defensive when they are not agreed with.

    2) people get defensive when they believe something others do not believe.

    3) people don't understand that what is in their minds they have written, is not what in the readers' minds, is what they read.

    4) people don't always recognize their underlying premises and can sometimes be defensive when their underlying premises are philosophically disagreeable (such as making a racist comment but getting angry when someone says it is racist because they truly don't recognize it as such).

    5) denial, cognitive dissonance, uncritical thinking, misperceiving the world (no one's perception is perfect but some are much further off the mark than others), are all human traits that cause conflicts in debates.​

    There are probably more I am missing. I doubt you are going to be able to work around all these human qualities.

    I can only suggest that when one gets angry with another forum member, try not to stay angry for long. There's no reason disagreement should evolve into permanent dislike or an end to communicating with individual members. We have different life views, different underlying premises, different operating philosophies.

    As writers we have an advantage. We can take an interest in all kinds of people, agreeable and disagreeable and know that we are learning about the next character in our next story. You can tolerate a character you are taking note of for a future story more than perhaps you can tolerate a forum member you disagree with.

    As writers we also have the advantage of knowing people are a mix of all kinds of things and not that one thing you last argued about. There's only one person on this forum I truly don't like. And it's not someone I've spent any time debating in case anyone is wondering if it's them.

    I've seen lots of people on this forum get in tiffs and yet people remain friends. We still all have writing in common. We continue to communicate and tiffs are easily forgotten as long as we keep in mind that people are more than the last thing we disagreed on.
     
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  3. outsider
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    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Hubardo: I think you should ask @Wreybies. He's a huge fan and staunch defender of the debate room.:D
     
  4. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Okay, I was browsing another forum and found this as a good example of some stuff I'm seeing around here lately.

    From the outside looking in, most of us would probably say this looks ridiculous. But many of us reading this also engage in this kind of forum debate style. My advice to the first poster would be: don't respond. My advice to the second: don't respond. And so on.
     
  5. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't honestly think this is going to get anywhere, for the reasons @GingerCoffee posted, plus two more to add:

    6) No-one thinks the above 5 apply to them

    7) They do

    It's just people being people. We're adults, and we can have blazing rows and break out Godwin's Law repeatedly without actually thinking the person we're talking to is a Nazi.

    But in the spirit of enquiry, let's try. What do you think the Debate Room's for, and what would you like to see happen?
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Another reason things don't work well is that when you look at a list of why debates don't go well, all the things on the list are things that everyone thinks other people do and can't see themselves doing it. Par for the course.
     
  7. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    To me the issue isn't around human nature (ie, what cannot be changed). Nor does the issue have to do with the actual content debated. People make choices. You choose to react to the forum post. You choose to give power to the sensations in your body (fast heart rate, clammy hands), and power to the person you disagree with by giving their presumably wrong/stupid/ridiculous/offensive comment attention. It's a choice that can be made or not made. It's about impulse control and what the motivation is to react so quickly and so seriously.

    A: Cats are cute
    B: Cats are not cute, and you are stupid
    A: QUOTE / [Very long rant repeating that cats are cute, reactions to the insult etc]

    Alliance 1 likes A's posts consistently
    Alliance 2 likes B's posts consistently

    Clique war begins. Hard to determine if anyone really aligns wholeheartedly to their rigid position or if it's a popularity contest to win likes among formed alliances. People trying to have their little tribe on the forum to feel accepted and liked. Reinforces rigid, unmovable and righteous position. And of course, others engage in this process but not me/you.

    To me this is part of what's bothersome/interesting. A series of processes we're engaging in regardless of the content (which much of the time doesn't matter, at all).
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I think the Debate Room needs more insults and yo mama jokes. I miss being able to just :pop: and :superlaugh:.
     
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  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Just an FYI: being human nature doesn't mean it is inflexible. The reason I posted those 5 things was because we can look at them and act. And I agree with @NigeTheHat about adding 6 & 7.
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I'm still caught up on the idea that there might be a "cats are not cute" faction.
     
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  11. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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  12. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Commie propaganda @Hubardo
     
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  13. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Tacos. That is all.
     
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  14. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fallacious argument. Cats are really cute when they're being jerks.
     
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  15. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    Clique wars are part of human nature. You don't have to look far to see that we fairly naturally fall into a dynamic of Us and Them.

    Part of it's also going to be because of the format - it's hard to convey tone across a forum post. I'd be willing to bet most people talking in the Debate Room aren't taking it as seriously as it may sound.

    Fine, that I can help with. Yo mama so fat, when she casts a patronus it comes out as a cake.
     
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Much more of these please.

    I certainly agree that better critical thinking skills are an asset in having 'debate'-like conversations.
     
  17. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a strong love of learning and I find that in debates online if they're done without flamewars I can learn a lot. Also, of course, I like sharing my views. There is a hint of narcissism as with most things in that I wish to share something that changes somebody's mind. The learning/teaching/sharing process is enjoyable to me. Sometimes it's just boredom. Avoiding writing or school or work, the debate room is a little exciting. Preferably, people would gain awareness of petty habits they have (includes me) and decrease those habits. Like if somebody feels they MUST respond to what they imagine as a trollish comment, to realize how every time they respond, they reward the person. I would love to see that happen.
     
  18. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yo mama's teeth are so yellow, when she smiles traffic slows down.
     
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  19. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Yo mama's so fat, when she wore high heels she struck oil!
     
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  20. outsider
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    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

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    To be fair, I don't see much 'trolling' on here. Some debates - and they're largely not even debates in any meaningful sense - get mildly heated. I see them more as discussions, the type one might have in an alehouse of an evening. People have strong opinions and try to strenuously argue their point. That's no bad thing. If anything, IMHO the moderators should let the largely intelligent demographic on here get on with it. Very subjective, the whole interpretation of what constitutes 'flaming', 'trolling' or any other number of internet buzz phrases I still haven't come to terms with.

    Your mother is a thoroughly decent woman and the next time you see her be sure to pass on my regards.
     
  21. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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  22. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Sorry, I inadvertently turned this thread into a yo mama battle. My bad.
     
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  23. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I'm a habitual placater and confrontation avoider. I actually feel physically unwell just witnessing arguments between others.
     
  24. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yo Momma's so stupid she doesn't know the difference between rational basis review and strict scrutiny.
     
  25. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    You mama! :p
     
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