Pro-tips for Internet Discussion

Nouveau

Well-known member
@Nouveau,

As much as I like this thread, I think your compilation runs afoul of what Ayn Rand called the "crow epistemology" and psychologists later came to refer to as Miller's law. A human mind can only hold a handful of units in conscious focus at one time - for an average person, that limit might be seven or eight, and for a genius it might be ten or maybe a little higher. Beyond that limit, stuff drops out of awareness.

A list of 16 points is undoubtedly impossible for anyone to retain and use without some substantial integration and simplification. If our goal is to help people have more productive discussions here, I do not think this is ideal.
I agree that wouldn't work, but that's not how I see this being useful. For problematic posters (though not the trolls) we can now link to the list and point out a numbered item that they might consider working on. For example, instead of just saying "Stop strawmanning me!" we can link to #4 as a positive suggestion complete with reasons why adopting it could produce better results for that poster. Instead of a negative reprimand, we can link straight to a positive suggestion with reasoned support. I certainly don't expect anybody to retain the full list in their minds as they post.
 

Yakuda

Well-known member
#1: Try to find and acknowledge something in your opponent's post that you agree with.

It shows that you are listening to what they are saying, and making a genuine effort to see things from their point of view, rather than just instantly dismissing everything they say. It will make your opponents feel that their views are being considered, making them more likely to respond reasonably in return, and will also better help you to recognize any flaws in your own position that you might otherwise have overlooked.

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So the point of this thread will be to collate more simple and uncontroversial advice of this sort. Feel free to add your own, or debate the merits of advice given. But I recommend following the above template, i.e. a short and simple statement of the advice, followed by a brief explanation for why it is a good idea. I'd also recommend trying to frame each one in a positive way (i.e. Do X, rather than Don't do Y). I'll try to add a new pro-tip each day until I have run out of constructive suggestions.
It's awfully tough to find something you agree with when the other person thinks a person with penis is a woman.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
It's awfully tough to find something you agree with when the other person thinks a person with penis is a woman.
Not really. For instance, you should both be able to agree that transgender people are human and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
 

Yakuda

Well-known member
Not really. For instance, you should both be able to agree that transgender people are human and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
That's the problem, when I say the person with the penis isn't a woman the leftist I'm talking to says I don't respect transgender people or think they deserve dignity. The left wants compliance not discussion.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
That's the problem, when I say the person with the penis isn't a woman the leftist I'm talking to says I don't respect transgender people or think they deserve dignity. The left wants compliance not discussion.
Sure. Discussion can be difficult. But that doesn't change the fact that it is a good strategy to at least make an effort to find common ground.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
I agree but the other person needs to be on the same page
You are only responsible for your own behaviour. If you've followed all the advice in this thread and it still isn't working with someone, then that person may be someone you're better off not conversing with. But that's usually a big if.
 

Yakuda

Well-known member
You are only responsible for your own behaviour. If you've followed all the advice in this thread and it still isn't working with someone, then that person may be someone you're better off not conversing with. But that's usually a big if.
LMBO
 

Furion

Well-known member
#3. Reply to the substance of what was said, and disregard any insults, rhetoric, and the like.

Admittedly, #3 can be taken too far. My own approach is that, when I've had enough and it's difficult to ignore the insults, I just end the conversation. I try to give my interlocutor every chance to rise to the occasion, but it shouldn't be an unlimited free pass.
This is an example of a lack of self awareness, gus.

I have to do this with nearly all of you, I can't recall one exception. I've seen a few try, but my subdermal forages can easily make it appear.

And what I mean by that is just being a Skeptic, in the same nature as you.

A skeptic is a subdermal irritant.

Before you leap to defend the pros of skepticism, deal with and live with the cons, because that is what a skeptic presents to others, the cons.

So I general I ignore the insults, and that is the best I can do, in general. It's the best you can do as well, even if you won't admit it to me. And if you can admit it, then truly, what are we discussing. Those who can't admit it, just don't care, and that is valid as well, they are rather obvious anyway.
 

Furion

Well-known member
You are only responsible for your own behaviour. If you've followed all the advice in this thread and it still isn't working with someone, then that person may be someone you're better off not conversing with. But that's usually a big if.
If you apply all these foibles and tactics to yourself, embrace them as your own shortfalls, then I can consider empathy towards the goal.

Otherwise it is a weird scolding. Maybe you have, I've not read your whole thread, but it doesn't change the truth. Judgement is a boomerang that always hits at least one target, yourself. Easily seen in the words of Christ, remove the beam in your own eye to pick the splinter from your neighbors eye.

We've not established everyone's beam, and that is a big problem for me.
 
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Nouveau

Well-known member
If you apply all these foibles and tactics to yourself, embrace them as your own shortfalls, then I can consider empathy towards the goal.

Otherwise it is a weird scolding. Maybe you have, I've not read your whole thread, but it doesn't change the truth. Judgement is a boomerang that always hits at least one target, yourself. Easily seen in the words of Christ, remove the beam in your own eye to pick the splinter from your neighbors eye.

We've not established everyone's beam, and that is a big problem for me.
I'm not sure what you're getting at. Maybe you've misunderstood the point of this thread. Are there any pro-tips made in this thread that you do not think constitute good advice? Or are there others you'd wish to add?
 

Furion

Well-known member
I'm not sure what you're getting at. Maybe you've misunderstood the point of this thread. Are there any pro-tips made in this thread that you do not think constitute good advice? Or are there others you'd wish to add?
It's ok, if you don't see it you don't see it
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
This is an example of a lack of self awareness, gus.

I have to do this with nearly all of you, I can't recall one exception. I've seen a few try, but my subdermal forages can easily make it appear.
I never said I do #3 perfectly, so why do you say I lack self awareness? #3 is a goal, and the context should have made that obvious.

And what I mean by that is just being a Skeptic, in the same nature as you.

A skeptic is a subdermal irritant.

Before you leap to defend the pros of skepticism, deal with and live with the cons, because that is what a skeptic presents to others, the cons.
What do you think skepticism is? And what are the cons of it?
So I general I ignore the insults, and that is the best I can do, in general. It's the best you can do as well, even if you won't admit it to me.
I don't understand why you would think that I wouldn't admit to you that I try to ignore insults? Are you sure that's what you wanted to say? 'Cause that's what you wrote.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
This is exactly why your thread has zero impact, and the strange thing is you seem blinded to it.
If you weren't just trolling then you would have made an effort to answer what I asked.
Answering questions is point #9 on the list.
 

Furion

Well-known member
I never said I do #3 perfectly, so why do you say I lack self awareness? #3 is a goal, and the context should have made that obvious.


What do you think skepticism is? And what are the cons of it?

I don't understand why you would think that I wouldn't admit to you that I try to ignore insults? Are you sure that's what you wanted to say? 'Cause that's what you wrote.
I don't give you the benefit of the doubt in anything. So if you desire to suggest something then write it carefully.
 

Furion

Well-known member
If you weren't just trolling then you would have made an effort to answer what I asked.
Answering questions is point #9 on the list.
I've already posted several times in your thread, and I saw no effort from you.

Self awareness, Nouveau.

You've already done the ultimate in trolling by choosing that name, and it speaks every time you post.

Self awareness, Nouveau.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
I've already posted several times in your thread, and I saw no effort from you.

Self awareness, Nouveau.

You've already done the ultimate in trolling by choosing that name, and it speaks every time you post.

Self awareness, Nouveau.
Staying on topic was #16.
 
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