Sunday, February 20, 2011

Arguing Through The Tubes

Despite my IRL personality, I try to do my best and not engage in too much internet arguing. There is a certain level of validity in participating in forum exchanges over the world wide web--you are more likely to encounter a lot of people that have a different background, perspective, and attitude than yourself, and such exchanges tend to be more educational than arguing with people who believe the exact same things as yourself. (Though don't tell the Baptists that.) There is a fundamental weakness, however, in that most of the people on the internet are complete jerkwads.

Very few people are ever convinced one way or the other, because some numbnut halfway across the world gave you a select collection of personal anecdotes that, if you refute them, force you into calling that person a liar and/or a fraud. And who wants to do that over the internet? That's the sort of thing you need to pull off face to face for the appropriate impact.

This week, however, such limitations didn't stop me. For whatever reason I engaged in about a half dozen arguments over people across the world. And the things I argued about were things that either 1) didn't really know all that much about*, or 2) were such obvious statements of fact that there should not have been any debate, but that didn't stop the other person from doing so anyway. So basically I was either talking out of my ass or talking to a brick wall, and, in at least one situation, probably both. What good did that do me, aside from heightened blood pressure and a need to come up with an insulting nickname worse than douchenugget?

Now, I'm not going to tell you that I'm 100% right all of the time--just ask my wife--but most arguments tend to have both individuals fighting over one end or the other of a bell curve. So far my efforts to point this out have been fruitless. So my new tactic will either be to come up with a more compelling argument, or to re-frame the argument as to the heritage of the other individual's parents. The most reasonable option--just keeping my mouth shut--well, that's just out of character. Douchenugget. 

*So help me, I was arguing with someone about what they call noodles in some backwater province in China, and by gum I knew I was right. Welcome to the Internet.

No comments:

Post a Comment