Sunday, October 07, 2007

Argumentation 2.0



Two of my recent additions to the Bullhornus-Maximus blogroll, Jen (Conservative Chic) and Wight Wing Wadical, have had a few postings as of late that have unraveled the passions of some of their commenter's. Wadical wrote an introspective piece on debating, and Jen wrote a piece questioning why people still don't believe in God. Both pieces put me to think about a a posting I wrote last year concerning the art of argumentation. I think I even synopsized the factors in my comments at Wadical's post.

The more I thought about it the more it occurred to me that as much as schools, family and society teach us to read, write, spell, diagnose and think critically; there is not a general push to try and give people a road map on how to expose their thinking in a "language that we can all here understand.." (paraphrasing Malcolm X, there....). I think the art of argumentation is lacking even more so in the blogosphere; where it is so damn easy to get into a pissing contest (sometimes just for the fun of it) without even knowing it. So, if you allow me the hubris and arrogance of pretending I have this figured out, I present to you...

TRUTH-PAIN's IDIOT's GUIDE TO MAKING YOUR POINT ON SOMEONES POST WITHOUT PISSING THEM OFF ...

Number 1
Know where the hell you are, and respect the "vibe" of the place. If you know the host is particularly sensitive to your sarcastic style (uh.. that means you T-P), then lay off the lumber and notch it down a little, will ya'? Nobody wants a Troll coming to his or her house and making a nuisance out of themselves. It makes the Blogger start putting up those stupid "moderation" filters.

Number 2
If you really don't have anything to add to a topic, then just read the thing (or not) leave a cursory "nice post" or "cool blog, I enjoyed reading this", and get the hell out. Don't try acting like you are well versed in the virtues of 7th century eastern philosophy if your literature of choice are Yugi-Oh comics or cliff notes on 90210 novels. Not that you can't participate, just stay within yourself. Believe me, I know what I am talking about. You can definitely get embarrassed real easily in some of these sites...

Number 3
Know the angle of argument the host or commenter is using as his "trump" card. By trial and error, I've come up with 7 little things that make up a persons prism : Emotional, Philosophical, Religious/Moral, Legal, logical and Political. Wadical allowed me the use of an example of how I would apply these parameters to a hot topic, allow me to provide it here:

ABORTION: Emotionally, I am against it. To this very day, I suffer the loss of an unborn child I never knew, a face I never touched, and a name I never gave. Enough said. Partial birth? don't even come near me with that argument, I cant think of (and maybe some of you can) one good reason why this barbaric procedure should ever be done. Morally, I am against it. I cannot believe this to be good for anyone. Not the mother suffering the indignation of her heels tossed up on stirrups, not the surgeon performing the hoover maneuver; and certainly not the glob of cells we call a fetus (but conveniently, not a person). How can we save the ****ing whales, the trees, and every stray cat tossed about and selectively not give a shit about life growing inside a woman? The indignation of P.E.T.A railing for the ethical treatment of animals rings hollow when a society draws the moral line in protecting its own procreation process. Religiously, I am ambivalent. Although I am a believer in a higher power I am not beholden to the writings or interpretations of the bible, the Koran or the book of Mormon, especially when its teachings and visions have led to more wars and killings than anything else known to civilization. (I can just hear my family groan after that little morsel of information,... sorry Mom and Dad, you raised your son to think outside the church,... er, box). Logically, (which in this one, I lump with Philosophy) I am pro-choice. Why? Because I believe in the creature called woman. I believe that MOST of the time, when all comes to pass, -and when she looks at herself in the mirror of her own moral compass-, she will bring to herself the best choice. Most woman choose to bring life. Most woman choose the joys and pains of birth. Most woman choose wisely and follow the vestiges of their inherent virtues. So logically, I am not going to permit that we as a society invade the castle that is a woman's body. Politically, I am pro-choice. My soon-to-be-in-expiration Libertarian ass just does not comply with ANY intrusion of Government or society on my private liberties. No matter how painful the personal memory of abortion is to me as a person, my political belief trumps my emotional pangs over the subject. Period. Legally, there is no question. The law is the law. Roe Vs. Wade says that this legislation -which complies with my political belief-, also happens to be the law of the land. And LAW reigns supreme to me. Not the law of my heart, or the law or my Father's God, but the law of Caesar, -or in this case-, America. Otherwise what kind of society are we if we cherry pick the laws we want to follow? Abortion is LEGAL, just as entering the country under a barbed wire is ILLEGAL, just like owning a firearm (in some cases) is LEGAL, just like discriminating for racial reasons is ILLEGAL. In my little garden of Eden, the laws that we make as men are unequivocal and although we may not agree with them, they are the law of the land. When it comes to the issue of Abortion, the law, trumps my emotions. If you know my history, it is painful to admit this to be my truth.

How do your issues measure up? Are you arguing them with the same root arguments as the person you are espousing them towards? You may be talking French to his Spanish, ying to his yang,.. insert whatever florid metaphor in here. You know the drill. The next time you start a pissing party with someone who is just rattling your cage, pushing your buttons, and you just don't understand how he or she doesn't "get it", take a little breath and ask yourself, from what angle is his or her argument? is it Emotional?, Philosophical?, Logical?, moral?, religious? Political? or Legal? A mixture? You figure that little tidbit, and you'll be surprised how much easier it will be to piss on him or her... if that is what you want to do. If you want to connect, then pick an angle that you know the person can connect with, and roll with it. It can't hurt, can it?

Number 4 (Thanks to Wadical for this addition to my expose...)
Remember the saying, "Don't use a hatchet to remove a fly from some one's forehead"?.... Man is that ever the gospel with Bloggers. It's like some of the folks can't help it, they treat a comment as if they are playing a video game, and the decision of how to "joystick" it to the posting is a war of attrition between the commenter's Ego and Logic:

Logic: "Check it out, T-P, this person just left an opening for you to inject a little common sense in her post, go ahead, leave her something nice. Let's do some good today..."
Ego: "Are you kidding me? This is like killing fish in a bucket! Let's fire up the Aircraft Carrier and go Defcon 5 on her ass....!"
Logic: "Why Ego?, its a harmless posting about what she really believes. I know it is contrary to T-P's but he doesn't have to waste her just to make a point..., does he?"
Ego: "Oh jeez, you linguine-spined logic pukes!, who cares? if she is stupid enough to leave herself open to a bombing run, then I say we should go Napalm, we just got a fresh batch from the Kurds and its shelf life is dwindling......"
T-P: "Ego, if I blow her out of the water, what's the point of leaving a comment when all she is going to see is a mushroom cloud and nothing else?"
Logic: "Exactly Ego!, ... don't we want her to hear the message, or do we want her to think the Messenger is a nuke-minded idiot?"
Ego: "Well, it depends what your definition of the word "is" is,... C'mon T-P! think of the mushroom cloud! Think of how much smarter you will feel when you lay waste to that puny little posting of her's?..... Hell, the electro-magnetic blast will wipe her entire blog-roll halfway to Cleveland!"
T-P: (thinking)... "Hmmm, her posting is ripe for a 10,000 pound daisy-cutter,... and I have not calibrated my "scorched earth" targeting system since I dropped that beauty on Daily Kos last year..."
Logic: "Don't do it....... put your Ego back in the holster, .... think man!"
Ego: "Do it! What's the use of all this intelligence, fast wit, argumentative skills and destructive power if we cant drop a few kilotons here and there.....?"
T-P: (panting...) ok, we're going in people. Fire up the B-1 Bomber, signal the fleet, kill the lights, pass the word for silent running, load 2 daisy-cutters on the bay and have 4 or 5 phoenix missiles on stand-by,.... I don't want any surviving comments.
Ego: "Yes!
Logic: "Pity, we could have really made an impression on the gal....."
T-P: "Open the bomb-bays!... weapons-free on my mark! 5-4-3-2-1.... bombs away! pull up! pull up,... we don't want any of the air blast coming our way,... strap on boys, we're gonna' feel this one!...

(Massive concussion impact)

Ego: "Bingo! We got em... Oh my God, her site is toast!.... there is a two-mile wide mushroom cloud full of comments-debris, HTML code and blogroll-member body parts,... look at that crater! Its the size of the Superdome! (tearing-up) there is literally nothing left of that posting. Its like the surface of the moon down there...... T-P, you are GOD!
T-P: "Roger that Ego,... we are on a five by five track back to the house of pain. Logic, you wanna' radio F.E.M.A. to do a fly-by for survivors? I don't want anybody thinking we are Barbarians here,... Logic? .... Oh Jeez, can somebody hand logic some tissues, please? And while you're at it, does anybody have any cornuts? I'm starvin' ....billion-dollar plane and same bag of peanuts for dinner..."

The logic of the above dramatization is a point Wadical made on his post. Sometimes we overkill. Sometimes we use a bazooka when a few well placed arrows would have sufficed to puncture some air out of the logic bubble of the post, and allowed a good discourse to have taken place. You don't have to go medieval on anybody to make a point. Letting the messenger get in the way of the message is the number one killer of cordial behavior in this medium. I've done it, seen many others I respect do it, and will probably see it done many more times. You want to make yourself feel better by pulling out the weedwacker on somebody? go ahead, but what is the point?...

Ok, class dismissed. It's Sunday night, I've not watched one freakin' game and my derriere is feeling the plight of sitting down for two hours......


(P.S. Mustang, one of my favorite Blogger and online foils, wrote a very enlightening comment to this post. I did not want it to get buried amongst the many kind folks that have contributed to this conversation. This is not to say yours weren't as important. I just found his words added another much-needed angle to the posting. I encourage all my friends (and foes?) to visit the link provided below. If I could write half as good as Mustang I would be angling for Pulitzer.)

It seems to me that too many people do not understand the art of argumentation. An argument isn’t shouting at someone – it is forming a proposition and then intelligently communicating it to other persons. There are a number of ways to form propositions, but not many people seem to be aware of them. One successful template is to state a proposition, support it with facts, elaborate through examples, and conclude by restating the original proposition. The problem seems to be that many people are so emotionally tied to a position that they don’t bother to discover any facts at all. Your example of “abortion” reminds me of an exercise I used to force on my students. I gave them a proposition, and they had to determine the facts and examples to support it. The proposition was “Napoleon was a good leader.” Then, I had my students determine the facts and examples that supported the opposite proposition, “Napoleon was not a good leader.” The exercise taught students that in point of act, Napoleon achieved some good things for France, but that he made some horrible decisions as well – which gave impetus to both arguments. Neither side of the argument was right, but neither was wrong. The point: there are few “absolutes” in life. We may disagree on issues, and that’s okay – but how we argue a proposition is a demonstration of intellectual engagement.

Mustang (http://www.socialsense.blogspot.com/)

54 comments:

Wadical said...

Nicely done, T-P!

Now, if I could just learn to APPLY said lesson, I'll be a better man for it. Think I'll load a broadhead in my bow next time and give it a shot.....but I'll keep the MOAB/Daisy Cutter fused and ready to deploy just in case, eh? Just kidding.

"... there is a two-mile wide mushroom cloud full of comments, HTML code and blogroll members." Very nice! I spit sweet tea through my nose after reading that!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Wadical,
Spitting sweet tea through your nose,.... just the visual of that made this posting a worthy endeavor (Ha!) :-)
Glad you enjoyed it,.. and thanks for allowing me to bull-horn over at your house...
Peace ~~~

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

That is a nicely done post. Perhaps you should syndicate ot, or write a book "Blog Etiquette For Dummies".

I know I need a copy.

Terri said...

So glad you missed football to write this post. Very thought provoking!! Awesome.

I am against abortion ...
My husband and I are Christians and we donate to Focus on the Family. That's probably all I need to say.

I will never ever understand how any woman could go in for a partial birth abortion.

I can't imagine how any doctor could perform that procedure to a little baby!!

It makes me ill.
PBA's should have NEVER been allowed ... ever. Barbaric is right!!! I am seriously tearing up now, thinking of those poor babies.

We spent several months in the NICU .. we saw babies that were delivered around 24 weeks ... fully formed, tiny yes, but they were the sweetest little angels.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Robert,
I feel the same way. I think I have applied the lessons of my rant on myself many time. Many a times I've let my Ego run amock in certain places...

Terri,
In a way I am sorry that I used such a theme as an example to my posting, but I could think of any other issue that could tear the seams of passions quite like it.
You opinion is appreciated and your passion and compassion is noted. I feel the same way,.. for reasons that I cannot even put down on paper.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your view.

Conservative Chic said...

Wow T-P you've done it again. I just can't keep myself away, not that I would want to of course. Your post, besides being creative and amusing was spot on. We get so emotional and passionate that we just "bomb" away and neither debater comes away with any knowledge of the other's opinions. That is a total waste. Then the insults just start coming and by then any opinions coming out of either of your mouths (or should I say hands) isn't proving/disproving a damn thing. I think we could all learn something from this post.

Keep on keeping on T-P!!

Terri said...

I am wondering if you'll be doing a post on Sandy Burlar and Hilla the Hun!!!

Terri said...

BUGLAR

Terri said...

Okay.. there is something wrong with me ... *cracking up*

let me try again ...

BURGLAR

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Jenn,
Sometimes just perusing other Blogs hits you with an idea over the head that just begs to be exposed. The heavy back and forth at both yours and Wadical's certainly had me pondering many things,....

I'm very appreciative of your taking time to read these (long winded)postings of mine :) One of these days I will find the darn edit button..... somewhere.....

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Terri,
Sandy Burger,... er Burgla' (burglar? hamburglas?...) was quite the character, wasn't he? Speaking of gumption! Any man having the brass stones to walk into the National Archives and take those notes,.... should have his testicles bronzed and put on display at the Natural Museum of Hubris... That took major league sack.
As to a posting on those two?... one never knows where this noggin' of mine takes me from hour to hour,... :)

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Terri,
Just as wrote my last comment,... I saw the tidbit on the news of Sandy going back to working for Hillary. I was wondering if you were just longing for days of yore... :)

hmmmmm, interesting......

heidianne jackson said...

finally got a chance to take a look here, tp - nice digs you have.

i disagree with part of your example and that being the "legal" point. technnically, roe v. wade should never have been heard so it should never have been ruled upon. thereby its status as a law is questionable and up for challenge.

i would think that as a quasi-libertarian you would be as concerned with activist judges as with infringement of personal freedoms... in my mind, activist judges are a far greater danger.

just some more food for thought...

Terri said...

I am responding to your comment on my blog re: BottleBlonde ~ "Confessions of a BottleBlonde"

SHE IS GREAT... I LOVE HER ...
She is hysterical ... and she thinks like US!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Heidi! (that's my mom's name :-)

Welcome to casa de Truth-Pain.
Your comments are welcomed and I concur. Although I am a quasi-Libertarian, I do not suck the full kool-aid of the party. I break ranks with a few things here and there,... heaven forbid I become of of those "absolute-ists" I hammer all the time.

While it is true that Roe V. Wade is ripe for a constitutional challenge, and probably needs reviewing in terms of the procedural manner in which it became law,... it is still law. I will be happy to champion the day that the States get purview on abortion once (if ever) it's struck down by any future (or present) court.

You mentioned the work "technically". I'm not trying to split hairs here HJ, but if "Technically" God himself came down from heaven and split the red sea then I would not be an agnostic and be a full-tilt believer. I am much too pragmatic a man to consider technical hair-splitting, I'm just not wired that way (with all due respect to you of course). I fully understand your position, but if I were to look at every possible issue in a "technical" prism of subjectivity, then I would slippery slope my butt to areas I am not fully prepared to defend.... did that make sense?.. :)

Lastly, yes. We are in full concurrence that an activist judge is a bonehead judge. They are supposed to interpret legislation, not creat them via activist opinions.

I do appreciate you thoughts and kind comments to my blog, thank you! I will reciprocate in kind and will be visiting you soon.

Cheers!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Terri,
Thats what I love about the Blogosphere,... one can never judge a book by its cover. Blogging allows even polar opposites to have at leaset one thing in common to which they can connect.

BB is quite the cat,... some may find her site downright morally skewed, or too raunchy.... Me? I don't have a monopoly on virtue or Chastity... so bring her on!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

By-the-way Terri,

I'm gonna' Bullhorn ya' (that's blogroll in TP-speak). I think your blog is real, every-day American and the battles you fight to keep your little son normal is as noble as anything I can conjure. Welcome to the house of Pain.

Terri said...

Aw, thank TP ....that makes me teary! Thank you. Too bad I deleted most of my posts!

I just linked a BB post "Stank" on my blog...I am still giggling ... go read it!

Oh.. and sorry for the spam.. but
I think you should put your email on your profile so we can sent you e~mails instead of spamming your blog.
I'm trying to get DD2 aka Debonair Dude to do the same thing.

http://wwwsteelmagnolia.blogspot.com/2007/05/great-way-to-communicate-w-fellow.html#links

Okay.. I HAVE TO GO NOW.. and get off this computer.. I have a 2 yr old runnin amuck.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Terri,
You're very welcome. I look forward to as many opinions as you can muster.

Conservative Chic said...

T-P, thanks for having my back at Dora's. I probably shouldn't have taken it so personally, but I was just upset. She could definitely learn a few things from your post.
I think I'm going to link it if you don't mind.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Jenn,

I have a speech impediment. I used to stutter terribly as a child and still have a glitch from time to time...One would not know it from my online personality, but i am very sensitive to people making fun of others for malicious intent. It is one thing having fun for the sake of satire ....it is another to personalize things for the world to see and or riducule.

I tried to give my opinion at Dora's without sounding too offended or hipocritical myself. This whole culture of IED-ing ourselves to dust by commenting/posting has to change... if not, we are seriously headed to yet a greater divide.

Link away GF,... its for the good of the many...:)

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Well put and well said. Occasionally I spotlight two Blogs of the Month at my site and this month is one of those.

You have a great site here and i enjoy what I read. Keep up the good work.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

TLLTCT,
Great to see you in my digs, your comments are appreciated and flattering.

I've been to you site many times and have read many of your postings. I always make it a pointo to check out what new blogs have hit your radar screen....

I am looking forward to coming over,.. Cheers!

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Excellent ! I have noticed your comments and they are well appreciated.

Sometimes work constraints prevent me from surfing as much as I like so I have not been around as far as commenting as much as I would have liked to.

Gald to have you as a link and looking forward to many interchanges both here and my way!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Back at cha' TLLTCC,

I happy to reciprocate in kind.

By the power vested in me as a virtual nobody in this virtual plethora of wanna' be authors,... I hereby proclaim thee, Bullhornus-Maximus (or, you've been blogrolled!)

Welcome to the house of Pain, and thank you for Spotlighting me at your Blog! I think that is a second for me:) (thanks Al-Ozarka).

Peace to all~~~

WomanHonorThyself said...

hiya TP!...quite the analysis youve done..I appreciate the thought , time and Effort that went into this post !.now go watch the game ya goof!..heh:)

Tom said...

You want to make yourself feel better by pulling out the weedwacker on somebody? go ahead, but what is the point?...

The point.. is that the weedwacker is the essence of the writer's personality, and we, all too often, feel the pressures to conform to the audience's (or debate partner's) sensibilities.

It also assumes there is some center of rational discourse that's we are supposed to conform to, and some people reject that. I reject that.

Context is all important. For example, if somebody screws up at at work, I don't come up to them and say "What were you thinking? That's some of the dumbest $#%@ I've ever seen, you moron!". I choose to place myself in that environment and I frame my argument within the accepted norms of it. I'll say exactly the same thing, but in a different way. I've been commenting a lot of Jennifer's blog, and I've done it in a style that that crowd appears to be okay with... and I've done that because it's her venue and not mine.

I understand that a majority of people do not respond well to arguments stated in a style that is outside of what they consider acceptable. Not everyone has the same definition of what is acceptable however. On my blog, I frequently pull out the nuclear bombs, understanding that there are people who don't care for it. I do it intentionally, in part to challenge the conventional wisdom of what is supposed to be the societal norm.

Terri said...

TP
Check this out:

http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_truth/2007/10/sandy-berger-ge.html

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Tom,

Hence my rule number 1, know where you are, and conform to your host's protocols. As far as one's own Blog, we do what we want at our own benefit, or peril. Depending on what our intended effect is.

As to the rest of your well-stated comment, I fully agree Tom. Sometimes you just have to break out the weedwacker. Very true,... my main point to the wacker reference was our penchant for overkilling things. When the effect of the way the message is sent completely kills the receptor's ability to hear the message, then we are just indulging in opinion by collateral damage. It may be fun to some, but at the end, it just buttresses what some of people think of us. The media does not help the true conservatism cause,... we have to help ourselves in the battle to win hearts and minds.

I trully appreciate your comments and visit. I hope this will not be the last,... i will visit soon!

benning said...

You ought to put that post in your sidebar, T-P. Make a special "Blogging Tips" section.

Good stuff! Logical, sensible, to the point. Nice!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Terri,
Thanks for the link-up... Debbie over at Right Truth puts out more information in one day than I can put out in 2 weeks,... I think she is 4 people pretending to be one,... has anybody seen this woman in person? Tell me she is not really an octupus manning 6 laptops all at once... :)

Thanks for the tip :)

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Woman,
:) Thank the heavens (or heathens) that I have a moment of solace to enjoy a good (hopefully) game tonight....my laptop is begging for a break!

Thanks for stopping my.

Benning,
I gotta' do that. I am just learning the ins and out of HTML, and once i feel comfortable I will certainly add a few bells and whistles to the site.

Thanks for the kind words, I always value your input.

WomanHonorThyself said...

Hiya TP!..have added ya to my "esteemed" blogroll..heh~! :)

Brooke said...

That's one helluva coin, TP! "ARGUMENTATION!"

I love it. I might have to start using that one.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Woman,
Thank you! I am very honored to be amongst yours blogger brethren!

Brooke,
The funny thing is that my original title was "Argumenting 101"..., the "Argumentation" bid was meant as a "Bush-ism" (No offense Mr. Prez), but later I found out it was indeed, a word. I was bummed. I was hopping the joke was caught by sombody! :)

Terri said...

TP,
I was telling my husband how amazing Debbie is.....I thought Michelle Malkin was all over it...
but not compared to Debbie!!

You are funny...
it does seem like she's 4 people manning 6 laptops.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

... Terri,
You just gave me an idea to add to her name on my blogroll (Right Truth-She's all over it!)

I was going to be flip and say, how can she have a life AND be able to put out as much info?... then again, I'm glad she doesn't have a life............ :)

Mustang said...

It seems to me that too many people do not understand the art of argumentation. An argument isn’t shouting at someone – it is forming a proposition and then intelligently communicating it to other persons. There are a number of ways to form propositions, but not many people seem to be aware of them. One successful template is to state a proposition, support it with facts, elaborate through examples, and conclude by restating the original proposition. The problem seems to be that many people are so emotionally tied to a position that they don’t bother to discover any facts at all. Your example of “abortion” reminds me of an exercise I used to force on my students. I gave them a proposition, and they had to determine the facts and examples to support it. The proposition was “Napoleon was a good leader.” Then, I had my students determine the facts and examples that supported the opposite proposition, “Napoleon was not a good leader.” The exercise taught students that in point of act, Napoleon achieved some good things for France, but that he made some horrible decisions as well – which gave impetus to both arguments. Neither side of the argument was right, but neither was wrong. The point: there are few “absolutes” in life. We may disagree on issues, and that’s okay – but how we argue a proposition is a demonstration of intellectual engagement.

This was a work of genius, TP. Congratulations on another exceptional essay.

Semper Fi

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Mustang,

There is a reason I highlighted your Blog on September 20th. Your contributions to the blogger discourse has never failed to add to my own thoughts. With your permission, I copy/pasted your comment at the end of my posting. It is an essential part of presenting an idea or proposition.

Thank you for the thoughts. Your contributions to my own development in this medium cannot be argued.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Mustang has excellent points, as usual. I need to develop a reputation such as his: When he speaks, it is worth reading. I can't say the same for my comments. I think my pissed off meter is set a little more sensitive than his.

But to my point, I have always been grateful for my high school debate experience. I had an excellent partner and learned much about argumentation and writing, and it has served me well. I didn't know at the time that I would be called upon in the future to use all that I learned, but I am glad that I did.

The tendency to spout opinions as facts is far to prevalent in the blogosphere.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

I should also contribute that one of the tactics my partner and I used to prepare for debate was similar to Mustang's example. If the subject was capital punishment, for example, we would prepare the other side's position before preparing our own. We would research their most likely points, create and argument for those points, and then structure our arguments based upon our selections. It served us well to know both sides of the discussion before we participated in expressing ours.

Obob said...

I am way to late to this party.

Obob said...

But one thing I have learned is repsect. Of course I don't troll. If I am in dangerous waters, I will use the Ricky Bobby Geneva Convention approved line ..."With all due respect." It's really there. I saw it in a movie.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Robert,
I think the differences in style is what makes the "collective" of us, better than any individual Blog per se. I know that if I had to sarcarstic pieces like mine all day I would be bored to tears. I need Mustangs steel discipline in prose, I need the passion that you portray, -not to mention that you are one of the most fair-minded commenters I can remember-, I need Obob's......, well, I just need Obob dammit!

I encourage anybody (myself included) to learn and develop one's gifts of expression and journalistic style, but at the end of the day, we write what we write because we can't hide who we really are..... Don't change Brother... :)

Debbie said...

Great post. (Oh, wait is that really what I want to say???) Just kidding. What we need is a Blogger's Handbook that includes instructions for visiting other blogs and commenting. You could write that chapter.

I would also include things like grammar; spelling; don't use all capitals letters; please, please, please, use paragraphs. And don't drop a dozen links in a comment.

Maybe you should write the book!

American Interests said...

Man you yelled at us in this post, we are listening, hopefully. At least I am! I pass on number 1, 2 and not sure about 3.

Regardless, an Idiots Guide is called for. I can see it now.

“The complete Idiots Guide to argumentation in Blogosphere”.

I suggest you send in a proposal here the link:

http://us.penguingroup.com/static/html/cig/talktous.html

Keep up the great posting!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Debbie,
Dangit! I missed that! I myself am a terrible speller,...and don't know a Paragraph from a paraglider,... but I fully agree that grammar on the Blog-o-sphere is horrid. Memo to myself: Proof-read you rants BEFORE you spew it onto the planet :)

AI,
Thanks for the link-up. As to the shouting,... I was also proffesing a mea culpa. I know I've been guilty myself of making a few carpet-bombing runs .... it may be gratifying (at some sophomoric level), but in the end it really does not contribute too much to the dialogue. But as Tom said, sometimes you just have to go Nuclear.

Thanks for stopping by. I will definitely email Pinguin books (Ha!)

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

OH NO!
I am horrible when I leave comments. I don't proof read before I hit "publish". I drive my husband crazy b/c I usually only type in small letters. I am always rushing and don't want to take the time. Oh no.. I better be more careful.

*makes face* DOH!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Terri,
I think we all understand the quick "publish" hits when we are in a a hurry....
No worries about spelling-spolio in the House of Pain. :)

Paul Champagne said...

Nice Post ....




But argumentation is so much fun. I have been guilty of going on a liberal blog and arguing (I think it went back and forth about 8 times or so at a minimum of 2500 words each time) My only goal was to see how long I could keep it semi-civilized and keep the blog owner responding. I finally broke him and he degenerated into name-calling ... showing his readers that his liberal gobbledy-gook (is that even a word?) could not stand up to the truth.

Does that mean I'm a troll?

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Paul,

I don't think your experience can ba called "trolling".... after all, you were simply enjoying a good banter,... albeit a rather long one. I've done that myself. There is nothing as stimulating as when a discussion -that is being enjoyed by both ends-, keeps going on.

But, if as you say, one breaks down the decorum and starts lobbing bombs at the other,... then one can take two roads....enjoy the verbal volleys,...or simply cede the war of attrition and go away gracefully. The problem is that most people hate giving the other the last word, thus giving the appearance that they quit or had no retort.....

Personally I have no ego to soothe... when I'm done, I'm done. I have what some call,... a life.

Your comments are appreciated.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

My definition of trolls is something like: Those who wander around the blogsosphere visiting sites and make posts simply to post and pull chains. They care not for the quality of the argument, and it could be argued that they are intentionally intelectually vapid and refuse to engage in logical discourse.

Discussing/debating and even arguing points in a manner that could be considered give and take is not troll-like,. but the whole purpose of us being here.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

....Robert,
I can make a NASTY posting about some of the finer Blogs in life just using your definition..... but I choose not to......, it would not be lady-like of me..... Ha!!

Obob said...

the hardest thing about leaving quality comments is the lack of spell check. I am a poor typist and speller type person of keyboard efficiency. Plus, I love a run on sentence that defies all elements of logic and religious beliefs. One reason I give my students lessons on PowerPoint not the overhead is the assist of our blessed lady of spell check.