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Words of Wisdom

richardshagrin

I was re-reading Lazlo Zalezac's "Service Society" and ran across some words worth quoting when discussion/arguments get too intense.

"Group discussion by email is a horrible use of that technology. It is just not suited for a group discussion. The tone of the emails can quickly degrade into harsh words, and outright insults. One email can generate a bunch of disconnected replies. All of a sudden, you're trying to piece together a hundred different threads. Nothing makes sense. Arguments break out."

Lets be friendly. If we can't be friendly, at least be polite.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@richardshagrin

Lets be friendly. If we can't be friendly, at least be polite.


And we cannot be any of the above, pray that we might be silent!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@graybyrd

And we cannot be any of the above, pray that we might be silent!

Hey! Who are you pointing fingers at, you nim-rod! 'D (relax, I'm teasing)

Yes, it's a problem, but Forums and online Twitter don't seem to be any better at these types of discussions. Typically, someone will say something. People will question it, and the initial figure will double down. They'll then get dozens of personal attacks, ripping their arguments apart, and they feel personally attacked and will march off in a huff.

It's a problem we all recognize, but none of us has figured out how to resolve. I try to take the 'cautious' approach, by taking a 'forgiving' approach (i.e. "I know what point you're trying to make, but ..."), however that falls flat too, and people think I'm being condescending.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@Crumbly Writer

It's a problem we all recognize, but none of us has figured out how to resolve.


i couldn't agree with you more. the world's full of assholes. trying to change an asshole is like teaching a swine to surf; you wind up with a very annoyed pig swimming to shore.

maybe it's enough to settle for not adding to the uproar; don't annoy the pig; don't take the bait, and don't add to it. ignore it and let the troll spin enough rope to hang itself. and nothing infuriates a troll more than being ignored.

veiled sarcasm is fun and most often exceeds the troll's wit. it ain't a cure but it sure is entertaining.

never did see where polite discussion was unwelcome in a forum; it ain't condescending if its valid.

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