What is "debate"? An FYI

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Si modo, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Circe
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    Circe Silver Member

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    Well, this place may be out of control; I gather it is, from the strong efforts being made by the mods to get it under control and make some changes for the better. Several nasty private messages is bad! The only time I saw that going on was years (okay, decades) ago on the Ms. Forum. That's poison pen stuff and that needs to be stopped. I hope and assume this software allows turning off PMs and Ignoring people at need. I haven't had occasion to check yet.

    It may well be that gated communities are needed, a lowerclass and an upperclass forum, the lowerclass one for the one-line misspelled insult posters. Apparently millions of people love to do that, and they do it all over the Internet, what can one say??!

    Here's my new idea: "Home on the Range" forums. One for the right, one for the left, "Where seldom is heard a discouraging word/And the skies are not cloudy all day." These forums would be for people who really don't want to discuss: they want to affirm and be affirmed in their partisan posture. Anyone who brings up the antithesis of what people want to believe in the forum would be considered a troll and thread-banned.
     
  2. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    In my opinion there are two kinds of trolls.

    The first are the ones the new Politics Forum rule are intended to deal with--those who have no interest in the topic but get their jollies doing drive by one liner insults or smart aleck comments unrelated to the topic. In themselves these aren't so much of a problem, but if other members respond to them in any way, the thread can quickly dissolve into a food fight to the point those wishing to engage in substantive discussion leave the thread to look for something more substantive.

    The second are more subtle. These are people who enjoy pulling people's chains and derailing a thread, most especially if they don't like the person who started the thread or don't like the topic. They are very good at knowing just what buttons to push and what code words or phrases to throw out there to accomplish their goal. Trolling for sure, but a more sophisticated kind of trolling. It does effectively sidetrack what otherwise could have been a good discussion.

    But don't worry about the numbnuts who call you 'troll'. It is a standard personal insult just like 'racist' or "Nazi" or 'idiot' or 'moron' etc. used for anybody who expresses an opinion they disagree with. You don't feed such trolls by not allowing yourself to be drawn into their web but by simply refocusing on the topic.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  3. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I certainly hope that this was not the experience you had with me. I very much enjoyed going toe to toe with you on another thread discussing what is one of the more volatile topics. We found areas of agreement and some areas on which we could amicably disagree.

    There are a number of members on USMB who can effectively argue an opposing point of view without becoming personally insulting and at least most, if not all of those, do a better job of it than I do. I will admit that you pretty much have to hunt for them though.
     
  4. Underhill
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    Underhill Active Member

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    No, that debate was within the CDZ.

    My experience was in the common politics area when I tried to engage people with what I consider my moderate stance on gun politics. You would have thought I suggested we take away Grandma's Social Security from the reactions I received.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  5. Circe
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    Circe Silver Member

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    "Moderate" simply means both sides hate you ----- I realized that to my sorrow years ago. :redface:
     
  6. Underhill
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    Underhill Active Member

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    This is true on the internet. Out in the real world I suspect it is where most people are...
     
  7. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    And of course it also depends on one's definition of moderate.

    To one person 'moderate' means without conviction or somebody without a clue or somebody willing to play both ends against the middle.

    To another 'moderate' means a willingness to compromise.

    To another, 'moderate' means going with whatever the polls deem the most advantageous view on any given day.

    To another, 'moderate' means anything other than a wingnut extremist.

    And the dichotomy is amplified when the 'moderates' themselves have a hard time defining it.

    I honestly don't know whether I am 'moderate' or not. I try not to pick a side until I am convinced of the side with most merit. Those who hate me think I'm an extremist. Those who don't usually don't. So, I have found the best choice for me is to not allow others to define me. But oh my, how they do try. :)

    For me, a 'moderate' is somebody who is capable of arguing against another person's point of view without having to insult that person and/or his/her political party or group, etc. and who doesn't need to use perjoratives to make a point. A non moderate considers anything opposing his/her point of view to be a perjorative. :)
     
  8. Underhill
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    Underhill Active Member

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    My definition of a moderate is a bit different, although I take your point and agree with the premise.

    I think a moderate is someone who doesn't have a side. Who sees things they like and dislike on both sides of the aisle. Sometimes thinking that the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    Examples abound. Gun control. I don't think guns should be taken away but that their should be more regulation. Abortion, I am not against all abortion but would like to see us take steps to reduce it as much as possible. Fiscal policy, I think both sides have screwed us, just with different garden tools.

    And there are things I side with one side or the other on. Drilling and fracking I come down on the side of the left. But I see most other 'green' energy (windmills and solar) as largely a fringe activity that will never be mainstream.

    I could go on, but I think you get the point. I have very strong views, but they really don't fit either side of the spectrum. I probably lean slightly to the left. But I'm certainly no far left democrat.

    I'm actually registered as a republican because local elections are all decided in republican primaries.
     
  9. Circe
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    Circe Silver Member

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    I agree that to me moderate means strong opinions ---- but not ones that line up on one side or other of today's partisan divide. I'm pro-choice but anti-welfare. I'm against gun craziness like assault weapons and big collections, but I'm for private and uncontrolled ownership of more "normal" guns as tools.

    "Moderate" may simply mean for us not joining a team. Teams are big these days. People badly want to be able to categorize everyone as pure left or pure right. One of us, or the enemy.
     
  10. Underhill
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    Underhill Active Member

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    Yep. So far as I'm concerned both teams are pretty fucked up at the moment...

    It's the frustration of our republic and probably among the biggest failures of the founding fathers (as Jefferson predicted it would be). The 2 party system has been a disaster.
     

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