Author Topic: "Rules of Engagement," article on modern debate-me culture from The New Republic  (Read 8404 times)

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Offline John Albert

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A lot of times, the "like" function on this forums functions as social signaling more than anything else.

Isn't that the function of "Like" buttons everywhere?

For whatever it's worth, I feel that social media gimmicks such as the "Like" function don't really belong in a skeptics discussion forum because they basically represent an appeal to popularity.

Offline stands2reason

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A lot of times, the "like" function on this forums functions as social signaling more than anything else.

Isn't that the function of "Like" buttons everywhere?

For whatever it's worth, I feel that social media gimmicks such as the "Like" function don't really belong in a skeptics discussion forum because they basically represent an appeal to popularity.

I appreciate it as a way to vote your approval of a post in contrast with posting a reply to that effect.

Offline John Albert

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Yeah, I've used it that way too. But it also adds a social media feel to the site, which might be feeding into the problematic "echo chamber" effect.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Yeah, I too think the "like" button could be considered for removal.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Like-policing is the whiniest thing I can imagine.  Just stop, Quetz.  Your persecution complex is annoying at the best of times, but absolutely intolerable most of the time.

Someone called him a racist, several people liked the post, he pointed that out, one member challenged him implying that he never liked the post, once proved incorrect the member went on to blow it off as if it was no big deal. 

How exactly does Quetz  have a "persecution complex"? He is clearly treated differently.

Come to think of it, arthwolliport asked me several times to apologize for my accusation. Then when it showed to be true, he completely brushed it off as if it was nothing. No apology was offered, nothing. arthwolliport's behavior just screams in the face of how he views social status and hierarchy, though I'm not sure he is aware of it. Low-status me is supposed to apologize to him. High-status him is not supposed to apologize to a low-status person, that it simply beneath him. High-status people like him treat low-status people however they see fit.

Primate hierarchies are really, really ugly to behold.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline Rai

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Moderator Comment This thread is getting awfully close to de factp changing its topic to "airing persona grievances", which is not quite cricket

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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People here should read this: How to Argue in the Comments

For people who want to be critical thinkers, it is essential reading.

Especially consider these points:

Quote from: Steven Novella
It is very easy to talk at people than to or with them. I often find that people are not responding to what I actually wrote, but to some cartoon they have in their mind about what the “other side” thinks, or whatever side they imagine I am on (often falsely). Don’t assume that the person you are talking to has a particular position they have not expressed.

Quote from: Steven Novella
Don’t play the semantic game, parsing words and definitions in such a way as to reconstruct someone else’s position into something other than what it is. Work together with the other person to clarify definitions and uses of words, to be unambiguous, so that you understand what they actually mean.

Quote from: Steven Novella
I would argue, it is best to have no emotional investment in any particular factual claim. Your identity should not be tied up with a specific ideology. Rather, it is better to value the process. This way you will be motivated to admit error, because that shows you are true to the process.

Humans, however, are tribal and we tend to plant our flags in specific ideological positions, and then defend them at all costs. You can transcend this default mode, however, by simply staking your claim in the process rather than the outcome.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 08:42:59 AM by Quetzalcoatl »
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline stands2reason

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Maybe we should have a forum politics & grievances thread (in Members Only). This kind of discussion keeps cropping up because there apparently isn't a place to talk about it.

Shouldn't be too bad if it's evidende-based (referring to the aggrieving posts). Disagree? Then debate me, bro.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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I initially enjoyed this place because more often than other forums, people seemed to be able to disagree about things without so much hyperbole, bad faith or taking things overly personal. I'm starting to perceive it as being worse than most other online communities when it comes to the discourse between people who disagree.

I'll just try and stick to safer threads about movies, books and silly things for this forum.

You are absolutely correct.

There are other forums out there with more intellectually mature memberships for the discussion of serious subjects. One should probably stick to discussing the above-mentioned "silly things" on this forum, as well as specific SGU episodes or SGU-related issues.

It is sad though, that this forum gets to claim association with a brilliant podcast.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline John Albert

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There are other forums out there with more intellectually mature memberships for the discussion of serious subjects.

What are these other forums? Are they also dedicated to discussion of science and skepticism?

(Feel free to PM me if you don't feel comfortable making referrals to outside forums.)

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Wow... So, I hadn't felt particularly drawn towards going through this thread before, but after reading most of it just now... wow.  I feel like maybe I have a less common perspective being a one-time active member who currently lurks a little and occasionally posts so I'm familiar with the forum to an extent, but more or less completely ignorant of the current cliques and common views on current active members.  For instance, I had no idea that Quetz was regarded in the ways this thread has made apparent besides a couple of negative reactions I'd noticed the other day (I've been a little more familiar with John Albert in generalities, but not the specifics mentioned here).

To be 100% honest, I really don't care enough to go digging through multiple threads which are painfully long and seemingly full of nothing but bickering about previous threads and disagreements, to form my own opinion on whether or not these posters are deserving of the reactions they get.  Equally as honest though, these repeated grudge matches also make me really feel like not engaging here at all sometimes; at least in Politics.  I don't discount those who've interacted with these people far, far more than I, but I also don't immediately understand where they are coming from either so it makes it hard to want to even ask or put my opinion in either way.  I do remember a few MAGA trolls a while back who prompted similar reactions and in that case I was familiar enough with them to share the general opinion of the forum that they were indeed disingenuous posters who were not at all interested in questioning their views and engaging in earnest with other members and were instead motivated by other things I couldn't ever nail down, but were certainly opposed to the meeting of minds and sharing of ideas.  In those cases I advocated that we simply ignore these people rather than engage and derail every single thread they posted in, and turn those threads into a continuing war that bounces from thread to thread, pretending to be new each time. 

I don't know John or Quetz (or others I may have missed) well enough to determine if they are truly deserving of the negative response they are getting so I won't attempt to weigh in on that, but I know this forum well enough to say that having the people who hold those opinions of them relaunch into their same list of grievances and insults every single time they post something isn't making maters any better and is definitely empowering them to derail (intentionally or not) each and every thread they are met in, into a discussion about themselves and previous threads. 

There have been repeated mentions of what newcomers to this forum might think and why others may be driven away from it as well.  I think a big thing that drives away new-comers and veterans alike is having threads started with the apparent intention of discussing something novel pretty much instantly start referencing previous threads that are not related and behaving as if this is just part of a bigger and older conversation.  This is not to say that any of those comments may be entirely irrelevant or that the opinions held may be irrational or unfounded, but it does have the effect of shutting out anyone not versed or familiar with the references.  I mean, where in this particular thread was there an opportunity for someone new to the forum to weigh in on the article listed in the OP?  Within a few posts it seemed, there were only the options to be lost in walls of text or to attempt to weigh in on the merits (or lack thereof) of certain members.

Honestly, I just don't get the logic or reasoning behind engaging and attacking someone you think is acting in bad faith.  I've been drawn into doing it from time to time myself, and every time I've regretted it as a colossal and frustrating waste of time.  At absolute best, you wind up having others agree with you that your insults and dismissals are indeed reasonable and appropriate (I'm not saying they never are BTW) and you cause the other person to stop posting, but that almost never happens.  Usually you get what happened here; a few people agreeing with you, the people you are insulting and dismissing constantly respond (honestly, who wouldn't if they honestly felt they were being unfairly attacked) and drag the conversation on, and most other people either ignore the whole affair or just lurk, silently holding whatever opinions they have. 

Somewhere in here, there was a good conversation to be had about an interesting article.  Imagine if the posters who many consider to be disingenuous actors had posted their peace and had simply been ignored by those who dismiss them (rightfully or wrongly), with the only responses being from posters trying to engage them simply on the basis of what they wrote in this thread based on the assumption that they were commenting in earnest, leaving others free to have other conversations.  The people giving them the benefit of the doubt (even if only through sheer ignorance) would be free to decide for themselves if they were being disingenuous or not and then to ignore them or not, and the other conversations might have taken place more freely.  If they truly are acting in bad faith, then everyone deciding to make their own minds up and then ignore them if they believe they are bad actors should lead to them having no voice, no influence, and hopefully being too bored to contribute.  I can't see how that's not a win-win for everyone involved.

Offline John Albert

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Somewhere in here, there was a good conversation to be had about an interesting article.  Imagine if the posters who many consider to be disingenuous actors had posted their peace and had simply been ignored by those who dismiss them (rightfully or wrongly), with the only responses being from posters trying to engage them simply on the basis of what they wrote in this thread based on the assumption that they were commenting in earnest, leaving others free to have other conversations. 

Yes, the OP article was a relevant commentary about how open discourse is sometimes abused by bigots for the purpose of personally attacking transsexual and gender-queer individuals.

Imagine if the thread had simply presented that article for discussion, instead of citing it in a polemic against skeptical discourse in general. The entire thread would have gone very differently.

(By the way, this is not the first time heyalison used the tactic of proffering an op-ed article for discussion, then using it as a jumping-off point to scold the entire SGU forum.)

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Somewhere in here, there was a good conversation to be had about an interesting article.  Imagine if the posters who many consider to be disingenuous actors had posted their peace and had simply been ignored by those who dismiss them (rightfully or wrongly), with the only responses being from posters trying to engage them simply on the basis of what they wrote in this thread based on the assumption that they were commenting in earnest, leaving others free to have other conversations. 

Yes, the OP article was a relevant commentary about how open discourse is sometimes abused by bigots for the purpose of personally attacking transsexual and gender-queer individuals.

Imagine if the thread had simply presented that article for discussion, instead of citing it in a polemic against skeptical discourse in general. The entire thread would have gone very differently.

(By the way, this is not the first time heyalison used the tactic of proffering an op-ed article for discussion, then using it as a jumping-off point to scold the entire SGU forum.)

People can create threads to discuss anything they desire, but if you consider her to be arguing in bad faith, then my quote applies just as much to you as it does to those responding to you.  Imagine if you'd ignored her and allowed others who didn't share your view to attempt to discuss it with her, while giving her the benefit of the doubt.  If you're right and she's not interested in honest debate, then those that are would eventually realize it for themselves.  Not laying this mess of a thread all at your feet or anything, just saying "what if?"

Offline John Albert

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Have you read the other thread? I mostly kept out of that one.

I suppose I could have ignored the bait the second time around too, but why should I have to?

I'm not the one who's chastising other forum members in the third person just for expressing opinions slightly different from mine.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 05:12:09 AM by John Albert »

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Do you really read what I've said here as stating an opinion that you are the one most at fault for all these thread derails and bickering?

 

personate-rain