No news is good/bad/no news August 21, 2003 5:54 PM   Subscribe

Timely advice or what? (Just replace "MetaFilter" for "News".)
posted by MiguelCardoso to Etiquette/Policy at 5:54 PM (52 comments total)

Man: No it isn't, an argument is an intellectual process...
contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.
Mr Vibrating: No it isn't.


You'd better believe that User Name is mine once signups come back.
posted by Stan Chin at 6:00 PM on August 21, 2003


There are three main rules to follow, rules that apply as much to debates in news as to bar room brawls:

- Pick your fights carefully.
- Don't lose your temper.
- Know when to quit.


good advice given any type of 'debate club' scenario...

... some are masters, others... well...

this should MUST be linked to somewhere on mefiFAQ/mefiWIKI.
posted by poopy at 6:35 PM on August 21, 2003


good advice given any type of 'debate club' scenario...

SHUT UP OR I'LL HIT YOU!
posted by Hildago at 6:36 PM on August 21, 2003


...an addiction to [Metafilter] debates can also be fairly harmless, and even instructive in many ways. You will learn more about yourself and how you react when people try to push your various buttons, and you will become acquainted with many a quaint and curious item of not yet forgotten lore [and hopefully some new Web stuff too].

This article is perfect for MeFi, Miguel. It would especially work as a link on the new user page. Not that those of us past our newlywed days couldn't benefit from reading it too [cough].
posted by orange swan at 7:18 PM on August 21, 2003


on a related note, K5's "Adequacy Style Troll"
posted by MzB at 7:38 PM on August 21, 2003


is everyone here just trolling and arguing with each other , leaving me as the only honest poster here ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:02 PM on August 21, 2003


Why, Sarge, you wanna make something of it? heheh
posted by mischief at 10:31 PM on August 21, 2003


Essentially it consists in taking potshots at people who are arguing in earnest, while refusing to be drawn into making any far-reaching claims or exposing any vulnerable belief or doctrine of your own.

... some are masters, others...

I don't think that is entirely fair, poopy. fold_and_mutilate is very left and makes very harsh statements but he cares about his topics. He drives people wild with his moralizing and capitalizing like fingernails on the blackboard but I don't think he's playing. He is sincere if very angry about what he sees as injustices.

Also, he and people who annoy from stridency tend to moderate their tone even if people don't notice it. When they get called on it, they may get their back up and never admit wrong but they eventually chill out perceptibly. I would cite MidasMulligan as one, hama7 as another and I see 111 in the civility process. (Oh, he'll no doubt demonstrate otherwise now, but I'm sayin'...)

People begin harsh but get a tad sweeter as time goes on. man, I miss hama7--politics aside, he made some neat posts and he could be quite charming on apolitical topics. I actually wrote him and asked if he was sick or something awhile back. I've seen him comment a teeny tiny amount since.
posted by y2karl at 12:33 AM on August 22, 2003


oh i wasn't making a jab at f&m. i thought i was giving him a compliment actually. i agree that really does care about those issues, but so do most everyone else who engage in heated discussions.... usually, that's why they're so damn heated. the fact is though, that he's very very good at debate.
posted by poopy at 5:33 AM on August 22, 2003


Back off y2karl, you bicycle-riding lefty sheep. You are totally wrong as usual.

Seriously though, consider this: "Senator Joe McCarthy was a great patriot who only had the USA's best interests at heart " (from the K5 "Troll" post). This is not a troll, this is a valid opinion which happens to be controversial within certain lefty circles.

I sometimes detect what I'd call "countertrolling", which I'd define as a censorship attempt where your right to express yourself is curtailed because someone says there is already a rock-solid view on the matter at hand. That's preposterous-- if people challenge the idea of God, for instance, why shouldn't others challenge the idea of abortion or political correctness or what have you?

My advice to everyone who thinks differently from their marxism-influenced university teachers but feels insecure to express her/himself would be this: read communist thinkers such as Marcuse and above all Antonio Gramsci and you'll see through the strategy of the left as far as consensus-building goes: they'll try to monopolize freedom of expression by silently limiting beforehand what can be said and what can't be said. I do think this kind of false indignation hurts democracies and freedom of expression. If you really know what you're talking about, and if you feel secure about your POVs, you can deal with any argument trollish or not.
posted by 111 at 8:24 AM on August 22, 2003


Seriously though, consider this: "Senator Joe McCarthy was a great patriot who only had the USA's best interests at heart " (from the K5 "Troll" post). This is not a troll, this is a valid opinion which happens to be controversial within certain lefty circles.

Those are pretty wide circles, 111. They certainly stretch far enough right to include me.

Of course you have the right to be wrong.
posted by timeistight at 8:47 AM on August 22, 2003


timeistight: don't feed the troll. If you starve him he will eventually go away.
posted by bshort at 8:50 AM on August 22, 2003


the strategy of the left as far as consensus-building goes: they'll try to monopolize freedom of expression by silently limiting beforehand what can be said and what can't be said. I do think this kind of false indignation hurts democracies and freedom of expression.

You see, you're half right.... yes, that's a common tactic used to build consensus. But it's not just "the left" doing it. It's every group with an axe to grind and the power to control the terms of discourse. It's Rush Limbaugh's modus operandi to a t, and, um, he's no leftist.

The left does it, the right does it, and the Timecube guy would do it if only he had the chance.
posted by COBRA! at 8:53 AM on August 22, 2003


consider this: "Senator Joe McCarthy was a great patriot who only had the USA's best interests at heart " (from the K5 "Troll" post). This is not a troll, this is a valid opinion which happens to be controversial within certain lefty circles.

It might not be a troll if it was offered up in a relevant discussion—that is, one about Senator Joe McCarthy—presuming it was a genuinely held belief (if the poster was just being devilish, then it would be a classic troll). But if you dropped it into a more general political discussion in which no one had even mentioned Joe McCarthy, you'd be trolling whether it was your valid opinion or not. If nothing in particular prompted this expression of your opinion, saying it just for the hell of it is trolling.

Like it or not, people with more extreme or unusual perspectives will often be considered trolls, and will often be trolls, because trolling is simply the expression of an unpopular view for the purpose of generating fierce debate. You may even genuinely want that debate, or you may just enjoy watching people get fierce; but the people drawn into it won't appreciate your 'valid opinions' either way, because they'll consider them too marginal to waste their time arguing with. The internet short-hand for which is to call you a troll.

['You' meaning a hypothetical you, not you, 111. Unless you're planning to drop that Joe McCarthy morsel into the next thread about 1950s kit homes.]
posted by rory at 10:04 AM on August 22, 2003


And I would disagree, 111. I made a post about the jobless recovery and there was a right wing pile on. All the complaints belonged here--none addressed the topic. The righties may be few in number but they can be screaming threadkiller wannabes when they can't address the topic.
posted by y2karl at 11:01 AM on August 22, 2003


Miguel! You're back!
posted by dejah420 at 12:13 PM on August 22, 2003


But it's not just "the left" doing it. It's every group with an axe to grind and the power to control the terms of discourse.

COBRA!, except that at this moment most media (except for Fox News, some magazines etc) and virtually all of the USA universities are seriously contaminated by leftspeak, left "values" and lefty aggression against capitalism, the Rule of Law etc etc.

The righties may be few in number but they can be screaming threadkiller wannabes when they can't address the topic.

Watch, my friends, as the lefties try to surreptitiously impose their heavily partisan POVs even as they criticize the so-called right wing "screaming"! y2karl, you start your assertion by quietly (and falsely )saying "look, the right is the minority" and then proceed to use one single example gathered from a MeFi thread as evidence of the right's intransigence.

Do you realize the same could be said of the left on a much wider scale? Are you aware of the history of the 20th century? I won't start a political debate here but get this: do not be a useful idiot at the hands of the left. Not here and definitely not in real life.
posted by 111 at 12:54 PM on August 22, 2003


COBRA!, except that at this moment most media (except for Fox News, some magazines etc) ... seriously contaminated by leftspeak, left "values" and lefty aggression against capitalism, the Rule of Law etc etc.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAahahahahahaha!

*wipes tears from eyes*

heh.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:08 PM on August 22, 2003


*admires the black-and-white sky in 111's world and wonders how long ago the head injury was*
posted by clever sheep at 1:24 PM on August 22, 2003


Watch, my friends, as...

These friends you refer to... are they here on Metafilter? Can other people see them, or just you?
posted by jonson at 1:27 PM on August 22, 2003


admires the black-and-white sky in 111's world and wonders how long ago the head injury was*
posted by clever sheep at 1:24 PM PST on August 22


Sheep. Become one at your own risk. Note the patient name's oxymoron, not unusual in the terminally brainwashed cases.

jonson, considering I made your notoriously embarrassing "out" list, I assume I have since made thousands of friends here by simple application of the "enemy of my enemy" rule.
posted by 111 at 1:35 PM on August 22, 2003


I'll be your friend, 111. Let's just agree not to talk about politics or religion.
posted by timeistight at 1:38 PM on August 22, 2003


i'd like to briefly interject here.
posted by quonsar at 1:41 PM on August 22, 2003


ah! thank you!

"CLEANUP IN AISLE 3472!"
posted by quonsar at 1:42 PM on August 22, 2003


Quick, someone get a turkey baster! Q-seed: it's more precious than gold, I tells ya!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:46 PM on August 22, 2003


COBRA!, except that at this moment most media (except for Fox News, some magazines etc) and virtually all of the USA universities are seriously contaminated by leftspeak, left "values" and lefty aggression against capitalism, the Rule of Law etc etc.

Yes, I'm shocked- shocked!- at the subversive content that I see on the GE-owned NBC Nightly news each evening. They really have it in for capitalism. God knows AOL/Time-Warner can't wait to bring down The Man, either.

Listen, 111, I'm trying very hard not to be part of a pile-on here. I suppose I'm not succeeding. But it drives me nuts for someone to be effectively yelling "open your eyes, you fools!" and then adding "so that you can see this wonderful world of highly selective perception I'm telling you about." If you look really hard for left-wing bias, you'll see it because you want to. If you look really hard for right-wing bias, same thing. The truth is, it's all biased, but not all of the bias swings the same direction. And the vast majority of it really doesn't fit into the handy left/right dichotomy.
posted by COBRA! at 1:47 PM on August 22, 2003


Stop feeding the troll.

Now I'll ignore my own advice:
111, so ol' Joe McCarthy was a great patriot who only had the USA's best interests at heart ??

You're claiming that's a widely held opinion?

Give me some examples from any published articles. If its as widely held as you claim then you should have no problem coming up with pages and pages of links.
posted by bshort at 1:50 PM on August 22, 2003


Examples from books would also be fine.
posted by bshort at 1:51 PM on August 22, 2003


mccarthy. nixon. hoover. patriots all. and what a killer law firm they'd have made.
posted by quonsar at 1:57 PM on August 22, 2003


Better an oxymoron than a standard moron, 111. Or in your case, a standard maroon....

Your world must be a scary one to live in, with godless heathens lurking everywhere, just waiting to hit you over the head with their copies of Das Kapital and The Feminine Mystique, and drag you off to witness a gay marriage with lots and lots of kisses.

Please, do everybody a favor and up the voltage.
posted by clever sheep at 2:00 PM on August 22, 2003


(sigh) And now I'll go write on the blackboard fifty times:
I will not feed the troll.
I will not feed the troll.
I will not feed the troll...

posted by clever sheep at 2:05 PM on August 22, 2003


timeistight, politics and religion are inevitable when two adults are talking, since they constitute the very basis of all of our values or lack thereof. I suggest, for the time being, that we simply agree that jonson needs a girlfriend.

quonsar, keep on interjecting if you please as long it is wholly directed towards the left-wingers. While you're at it, take some time to defend me, as you have so often done in the past.

But it drives me nuts for someone to be effectively yelling "open your eyes, you fools!" and then adding "so that you can see this wonderful world of highly selective perception I'm telling you about."

OK COBRA!, just open your eyes then.

bshort, you could do worse than simply leafing through a reference book on 20th century spying, the intro to Simon Karlinsky's "Dear Bunny, Dear Volodya" (about intelectual sympathies and illusions re communism in the USA) and "Hollywood Party". Also go after up to date biographies on 40-50s Hollywood stars and draw your own conclusions.
posted by 111 at 2:06 PM on August 22, 2003


"To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. And sometimes they do use too much oil, and sometimes they don't use enough. But the real problem with Al-Qaeda is they want to kill us. And the real problem with the press is all the other biases that they have. Those include: get the story fast; scandal; negativity; sexiness -– you know, ratings will be up if we go to war. It's an establishment bias -– a bias for the 'new'...." - Al "Fair and Balanced" Franken
posted by Dean King at 2:09 PM on August 22, 2003


So, for a back-on-topic self-examination:

Pick your fights carefully.
Ahh, shit. Well, there'll always be future threads...

Don't lose your temper.
Check. Barely.

Know when to quit.
Adios, amigos.
posted by COBRA! at 2:25 PM on August 22, 2003


Thanks for the kind words, y2karl. Very much appreciated.

As soon as I get a decent job cable connection, I'll be right as rain, whooping it up with the best of the martini drinkers and smoking-jacket-wearing upper crust.

Speaking of bicycles, 111 is really fantastic, and I look forward to many inspirational future installments of more. Great work.

See you soon.
posted by hama7 at 2:49 PM on August 22, 2003


jonson, considering I made your notoriously embarrassing "out" list, I assume I have since made thousands of friends here by simple application of the "enemy of my enemy" rule.

Whoa, 111, my head's spinning--am I a useful idiot or one of your buddies now?

The right is in the minority here on MetaFilter is what I meant, by the way. I'm too lazy to link to it but there's a thread on the breakdown numerically according to this rather suspect online test we all took. Did you take it? S@L has the chart on his weblong--are you on it yet? I'm near Ghandi and sgt. serenity is...

Spartacus!
posted by y2karl at 3:03 PM on August 22, 2003


Watch, my friends, as the lefties try to surreptitiously impose their heavily partisan POVs even as they criticize the so-called right wing "screaming"!

Do you realize the same could be said of the left on a much wider scale? Are you aware of the history of the 20th century? I won't start a political debate here but get this: do not be a useful idiot at the hands of the left. Not here and definitely not in real life.


Watch, my friends, as the righties try to surreptitiously impose their heavily partisan POVs even as they criticize the so-called left wing "screaming"!

Do you realize the same could be said of the right on a much wider scale? Are you aware of the history of the 20th century? I won't start a political debate here but get this: do not be a useful idiot at the hands of the right. Not here and definitely not in real life.
posted by The Michael The at 3:11 PM on August 22, 2003


1. That is to say, think for yourself.

2. 111, please stop talking in generalities; they really open up a logical hole that detracts from your argument. "The Left" is not a same-thinking mass any more than "The Right" or "blacks" or "biologists" or "christians." Use specific examples; they'll really help you bring your point across. Thank you. If you can't stop using generalities, perhaps it would be better if you ceased posting, as there really is no hope for your logical processes.

3. Also, a case in point: I recently saw a "I served in Vietnam. Where was Bill Clinton?" bumper sticker on a car. I'm tempted to ask: Where was George Bush?

Answer: Not serving in the national guard, or anywhere else for that matter. I don't see any Republicans up in arms about that, though.

I couldn't care less about who served in what or dodged what draft, but hypocracy is unforgivable. I suppose now is when you accuse me as being a useful idiot of the left, but that tack doesn't work, as I do indeed think for myself and don't believe things blindly.

4. I'm stopping the feeding now.
posted by The Michael The at 3:26 PM on August 22, 2003


Whoa, 111, my head's spinning--am I a useful idiot or one of your buddies now?

y2karl, think of it as follows: you're either one thing or another. This is an important question because, when we're talking politics, you cannot light one candle to God one to the Devil; to erase borders, to blur distinctions and to see everything as relative (including our political choices) is typical decadent leftspeak, and it will disgrace anyone who condones it. Would you say Robert Johnson and Robert Cray possess the same value?
Though not flawless, right is not called right for nothing.

TheMichaelThe, get an education before it's too late.
posted by 111 at 3:39 PM on August 22, 2003


God and one to
posted by 111 at 3:40 PM on August 22, 2003


Though not flawless, right is not called right for nothing.

I so can't believe you really said that. That's so weird, it's almost cool.
posted by Skot at 3:43 PM on August 22, 2003


Would you say Robert Johnson and Robert Cray possess the same value?

Would you assign all artists some arbitrary grade and sort them accordingly? Who has more value, Shakespeare or Michaelangelo? Duke Ellington or Louis Armstrong? Peewee Herman or Jerry Lewis?
posted by timeistight at 3:48 PM on August 22, 2003


TheMichaelThe, in a previous thread that I'm too lazy to look up, 111 bluntly stated that he/she has no interest in creating persuasive arguments for the benefit of others. Is there any better shorthand definition for a troll?

111 lives in a world of black and white, where good and evil correspond respectively to the political right and left, and his/her beliefs have a one-to-one correspondence with universal, empirical reality. It's a realm almost totally devoid of logical argumentation principles or standards of evidence; what's believed simply IS, and anyone who believes otherwise is clearly deluded.

So I encourage you to do as I'm resolving to do: regard 111 purely as absurdist entertainment. In other words, it's funny because 111 thinks it's true!

*buys TheMichaelThe a beer*
posted by clever sheep at 3:50 PM on August 22, 2003


timeistight, I assume you're comparing Shakespeare and Michelangelo because of their sonnets, so I'll say Shakespeare is the best, as well as Duke (easy) and Jerry Lewis.

clever sheep, easy with that beer, it's impairing your already feeble judgment.

Given the available choices, I consider constitutional democracies based on classical western values to be the very best option. I couldn't tell you otherwise because these are personal choices. I'm committed and grateful to the system that's given me everything I have; I do not revile it while I profit from its many benefits, such as freedom of expression, meritocracy, capitalism, search for innovation and improvement of living conditions. Suffice to say that this whole discussion, from its theoretical basis down to the materials and structure which made it possible are fruits of capitalism and democracy. The rest is badly written anticapitalist, anticivilization and antilife garbage.
posted by 111 at 4:27 PM on August 22, 2003


No, 111, I was trying to point out, reductio ad absurdum, how much is lost when you try to assign quantitative measurements to esthetics. I wouldn't know how to compare the "value" of Robert Johnson and Robert Cray, nor would I want to.
posted by timeistight at 4:36 PM on August 22, 2003


I assume I have since made thousands of friends here by simple application of the "enemy of my enemy" rule.

So essentially, people, to sum up: you're either with 111 & agree with everything he has said, or you're with me and agree with everything I've said.
posted by jonson at 5:33 PM on August 22, 2003


I thought I was talking about sharing being on jonson's revenge page, 111, and construed your 'enemy of my enemy' remark that way. I must say, you make no sense at all to me now.

If you can make your points clearly to the audience you address, you are adept. If you can't, the fault is with you. Either you are talking to other people and have to consider, at least theoretically, your audience and by that, you have to know them without prejudgment. Else you are talking to yourself, making yourself look better by belittling other people in order to puff up your importance to yourself in an endless hall of mirrors in which you only see your own reflection. That is not discourse--that is masturbation.

You are an individual and a member of a community--all are equal under the law's protection, if in no other way. Else why have the rule of law? A tacitly accepted law here is you don't attack other members--observed, it is true, more often in the breach. Gratuitously belittling other people to make yourself important belittles you more than they. At the very least, it is inelegant rhetorically. At the very most, it is not what God wants of you.

Making yourself right by making other people wrong is to raise yourself in relation to others by diminishing them. To raise yourself by becoming great in yourself, you must forego diminishing others and become greater than what you were before.

What is right is not your way, it is God's way. You do not know God's mind but He know yours and the sins in your heart, first of which is the sin of pride. That is the first demon with which you must wrestle.
posted by y2karl at 5:49 PM on August 22, 2003


i'm with stupid --->
and i believe nothing quonsar says.
posted by quonsar at 5:54 PM on August 22, 2003


bshort, you could do worse than simply leafing through a reference book on 20th century spying, the intro to Simon Karlinsky's "Dear Bunny, Dear Volodya" (about intelectual sympathies and illusions re communism in the USA) and "Hollywood Party". Also go after up to date biographies on 40-50s Hollywood stars and draw your own conclusions.

How about you answer the original question and give me some actual specifics? I wasn't asking if communists were present in the U.S. or whether they posed a significant threat to the U.S. government.

Who was it who thinks McCarthy was such a good guy?
posted by bshort at 8:20 PM on August 22, 2003


111 does. And his thousands of imaginary friends. That should be enough for you, bshort.
posted by jonson at 9:27 PM on August 22, 2003


thought I was talking about sharing being on jonson's revenge page, 111, and construed your 'enemy of my enemy' remark that way. I must say, you make no sense at all to me now.

y2karl, you assume correctly as far as being criticized by jonson is one of the greatest indirect compliments somebody can get here, and that probably means we have traits in common, but he only berates you moderately, so I'm still not sure... Anyway, although we disagree on many things, you, like archimago and others, have earned my respect through the careful unfolding of your opinions and the quality of your posts.

Making yourself right by making other people wrong is to raise yourself in relation to others by diminishing them. To raise yourself by becoming great in yourself, you must forego diminishing others and become greater than what you were before.

Real discussion is distressing. It's not a tea party where you silently nod and change the subject whenever something controversial is said. Discussions are also zero-sum games; if I think other people are wrong, I say so; truth may be unsavory, but if you deal with it you eventually turn out somewhat better off.

I also do not usually attack people; except for (rightfully) calling someone a "failure of evolution" once, I don't remember ever belittling or insulting anyone here. I also do not offer people saving-face alternatives, because that's an anti-intellectual cop-out.

What is right is not your way, it is God's way. You do not know God's mind but He know yours and the sins in your heart, first of which is the sin of pride. That is the first demon with which you must wrestle.

Correct. God has given all of us the ability to think and reach conclusions about His Grace and Nature, which point towards truth; of course we can only perceive this "through a glass, darkly", but I keep looking for it not out of pride really, but out of love of true knowledge; ultimately, honesty can be a sort of kindliness towards your fellow beings.
posted by 111 at 6:28 PM on August 23, 2003




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