Friday, December 02, 2005

Internet Debate is Dead - Discuss

UPDATE:
Please read the comments, as the self-appointed Policeman of the Internet, the Kafka-loving Bullyboy, Ian, THE WHIPPER, has come to abuse me out of my ignorance, to enlighten me via the soles of his jackboots! Thank you Ian. Remember, I am neither clever or interesting, etc. I don't have the talent of Ian who manages on his blog to erm, link to reviews and say things like, "Oh, that would be a book to read" and "Aren't Tuesdays nice?"

Yes, internet debate is dead, dead for me.

Here I am. I read, I write, I think. I enjoy debate, the cut and thrust of it.

So I post some comments on various websites, but what happens? Whatever I post, the writer of the post reacts angrily against, as if criticising someone's position is a personal attack. Or someone takes three words of my comment out of context and turns them into the focal point of a withering attack. Or someone accuses me of showing off because I use a word with more letters than "jam". So what is the point? No-one seems capable of having someone disagree with them without immediately resorting to insults. I have seen every variety of my username, Pinhut. Pindick, Pinhunt, Pinhead, blah blah. Not once has someone actually engaged with the substance of what I have said. And this on sites like Alternet or ThinkProgress or DailyKos, where supposedly liberals with fully operational brains stop by.

Examine this response to a reasoned point I made on a site like BlogCritics in its function:

"Are you registered on the Stylus boards? Is someone affiliated with your site registered on the Stylus boards? How many words did your response need to have? How many fingers am I holding up?"

No swearing, but you get the idea. No concern with what I may have said, that would be ridiculous. Straight into that hugely defensive, hectoring tone, like a nightclub doorman. Pursue the argument, such as it is, be it by striking back or making pacifying noise, and it makes ZERO DIFFERENCE. I have offended the GODS of the Message Boards. The discussion can only end with my VIRTUAL DEATH, by being instructed that I am SURPLUS to Requirements and "If you don't like it here, fuck off... etc" So that's the answer, if I hold an opinion that differs in anyway at all from whatever the current, ever-shifting, majority opinion is, be it that of a majority of music fans, Democrats, poets, whatever, then there is only one solution. I have to "fuck off".

What is wrong with people? At the very least, when you address someone you should treat them as your equal. At the very least, someone should be able to hold a differing opinion without being slammed for that. At the very least, if people want to profess to debating the issues, then that is what they should do, debate the issues. Not question your right to speak.

Is it just me, or is anyone else experiencing similar difficulties?

(And for you ironists that read this blog, go ahead and post some jokey insult as the first comment, it's been a full week since I wet my breeches)


9 Comments:

Blogger HF said...

Jase,
interesting observation. I haven't had similar experiences but then I hardly ever put as much brain energy into my postings as you seem to do. I think you're niveau is simply to high for the average internet user. I really think so. Maybe you should try and find forums where there are actually equals. Another aspect might be that your style is often quite polemic and drastic in the way you argue your point. People that don't know that this is one great quality of your writing might overreact. So maybe more diplomacy? Or no, maybe not... Why should you. I was shocked however when I took my first stroll through the american political blogsphere. The discourse is so cheap and the liberals are no better then the right. Just fronts no communication.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

You idiot. Yes, the fact that Brad was trying to tell if you were the same troll that stopped by a few days before - shocking! Shameless! The end of internet debate!

Your point, also, was not a reasoned one. It's even more intellectually dishonest than normal for a troll to bitch about a writer "privileging music over other arts" while you're busy privileging your own opinion of how many words a writer should be allowed to use. Even if you had much of a point (what little you did have to say could have been productively dealt with in two sentences), the way in which you expressed it was not mannered. It was baiting and self-righteous and immature.

"Another aspect might be that your style is often quite polemic and drastic in the way you argue your point. People that don't know that this is one great quality of your writing might overreact."

Or people might disagree that being a dickhead makes you "quite polemic" and might point out that (a) you're not a good writer (b) you're not as smart as you think you are (c) throwing your hand melodramatically to your forehead every time the masses don't "get it" is neither big nor clever, nor does it prove you're right.

Enjoy rationalizing together a bunch of bullshit reasons why this proves that you're actually in the right, I'm sure they'll be charmingly incoherent.

1:44 PM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

you see, people. here is exactly what i was talking about. thank you Ian for coming here and spouting your abuse. it's simply comical.

like a baby spreading around its faeces, you had to come to my blog and make it as dirty as your playpen. i hope your infantile needs are now satisfied.

1:58 PM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

ian's behaviour gave me a wonderful idea. when someone posts abuse like Ian, i will just repost their comment on their own blog.

this works particularly well for Ian, because his own blog is inoffensive and attempts to be cerebral.

http://fractional.blogspot.com/

now his readers, if he has any, are able to discover the flipside of Ian, the infantile aggressor. also, each time Ian posts abuse here, he simultaneously fouls his own nest. this may facilitate learning.

2:12 PM  
Blogger HF said...

??? Ian is abviously referring to stuff that I miss out on. Worth filling me in?

2:13 PM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

ian is whining about my comments on the content of this article and its length

http://www.stylusmagazine.com/ipod/

latest post, Dancing with architecture

2:16 PM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

as you will see, my comments do not constitute abuse, neither do they merit abuse.

if writers don't want comments other than Absolute Praise, then don't have a comments feature, just have a button labelled "Click here to mindlessly agree"

how can people like Ian be permitted to read books and call themselves civilized, he even writes about Kafka, and then, in a fit of rage, he becomes a hectoring policeman of the internet.

Chapter Five of The Trial -> Ian has the mindset of The Whipper

2:21 PM  
Blogger HF said...

Well if you open a post with "This is way too long" of course you piss on people's chips. On the other hand what you said was right. Be more polite, after all your British. And yes I agree, the guys' reactions were shite and out of proportion.

2:37 PM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

the point being, Heiko, that the person who came over here moaning is NOT the writer of the article.

Ian is a self-appointed policeman, whose only stake in this is to show off his aggressive behaviours outside the comfort zone of his dull blog and stylusmagazine.com

2:44 PM  

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