Green Tiger

Rules for winning an internet argument

61 posts in this topic

Lore Sjöberg over at Wired just laid out the ground rules for winning an internet argument. I thought y'all might like to know. Full article here.

 

* If you say something along the lines of “the moderators might ban me for saying this, but…” then you lost.

 

Anyone who says “well, ban me if you want to, but…” is actually saying “in the name of a loving God, please ban me because I am losing this argument so badly that my only hope of escaping it with a shred of dignity is if I can make myself out to be some sort of martyr to free speech.” You asked for it, you got it, Troll-ota.

 

* If you claim to have supporting evidence available online, but instead of linking to it you say “Look it up yourself,” you lose.

 

Similarly to the banning thing, “look it up yourself” clearly means “please please please don’t look it up yourself.” It’s an admission of failure.

 

* If you invoke Occam’s Razor, or “the burden of proof,” you lose.

 

If you think Occam’s Razor is a way to prove something is true, you don’t understand Occam’s Razor. Occam merely provided a way of choosing among hypotheses to test, not a way of avoiding testing them. And in an online argument, the burden of proof is upon whomever most wants to convince the other guy, end of story.

 

* If you invoke the name of a logical fallacy without explaining its relevance, you lose.

 

Logical fallacies are not Harry Potter spells. You don’t just get to shout them out and wiggle your wand to make magic happen. Plus, there’s a logical meta-fallacy: Just because someone’s making an error in reasoning doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

 

* If you claim to be winning, you lose.

 

This should be self-evident: If you’re so desperate that you have to tell someone you’re winning, you’re obviously not.

 

* If you make a reference to Honey Boo Boo, you lose.

 

There’s no rhetorical basis for this, I’m just freaking tired of hearing about Honey Boo-Boo.

 

[born naked, helpless and unable to provide for himself, Lore Sjöberg overcame these handicaps to become a logician, a magician, and a patrician.]

10 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is how most internet arguments appear to me:

 

funny-gif-Pink-Panther-painting-argument

post-62812-0-78974800-1393947384_thumb.gif

Edited by Green Tiger
7 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the thread has gone to the pit, everyone lost.

 

If the parts of the thread where you and one other person are arguing, you both lost.

 

If however you gracefully step out of such debates, you are clearly the winner of said argument :).

2 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

* If you claim to be winning, you lose.

 

This should be self-evident: If you’re so desperate that you have to tell someone you’re winning, you’re obviously not.

 

Ban me if you want to, but I don't have to use occam's razor to show how that's a logical fallacy, honey boo boo. Look it up.

 

<- winning!

8 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is another site’s Guide to Awesomeness I've removed / changed some of the site specific references

 

Over the years I have watched several members here become awesome. Here's what most of them have in common:

Awesome members post entertaining and informative posts in the appropriate forums.
If you post about your drunk night out in the (on topic) forum, generally the mods will inform you you were not being awesome.

Awesome members use proper grammar and punctuation, and paragraph their post every few lines with an empty line.
We have members of many nationalities for whom English is not their first language, so be clear. More than a few of our members will read your post while otherwise concentration impaired, and experience teaches us that unparagraphed posts will not be read by most.

Awesome members generally post when they have something to say.
Nothing to add? Then please don't.

Awesome members don't try to be awesome, they just are.
Trying too hard works as well on a message board as it does in wanting to get laid.

Awesome members use the Search Engine if they have reasonable suspicion their question has been asked and answered before.
We have millions of ontopic posts, most things you immediately think of have immediately been thought of many times before.

Awesome members don't freak out in a rage or other episode because of reasonable criticism and have a good tolerance of frustration.
If you are too emotional to post, do yourself a big favor and wait a few minutes before you post. Many bans are caused by heat-of-the-moment posts that break rules.

Awesome members don't come here to plug a website or product or a particular point of view.
They come here to take part in an online community.

Awesome members don't cuss, call bad names or act out bigotry in the ontopic forums.
In the off-topic forum such discourse will not be out of place and we have a crew of experts there which is both qualified and able to critique your approach and inspect it for general awesomeness to the standards of that particular forum.

Awesome members are told they are Awesome, they do not themselves insist they are.
See: trying too hard.

Awesome members realize the limitations of Freedom of Speech.
The Message Board is not a country you live in, its a private organization you visit for information, socializing and entertainment, and as such the staff determines and enforces what's a go and what's a no in each of the forums.

Awesome members rarely get a temporary ban and when they do they do not try to evade it.
The overwhelming majority of members, like 90-95%, never gets a ban sanction EVER. If you do, do your best to avoid getting any more of them - by cleaning up your act.

Awesome members do not involve the (forum) in suicide attempts or victimizing criminal acts.
911 has been called on members, authorities informed and personal information including addresses have been made public in the most urgent of such emergencies.

Awesome members realize that the staff are volunteer workers chosen from the membership for their dedication to the community and their expertise.
Even if you disagree with some of them some of the time, realize that the staff is what makes the (forum) possible. If you disagree with all of them all of the time, please leave.

Awesome members make the (Forum) a better place.
Treat them well, just like they tend to treat others.

Awesomeness begets Awesomeness.
You will reap what you sow, plus any number of other things depending on the forum you do the sowing in.


The above are the basics I have observed in my study of awesome people on this website; The list is far from complete but a pretty good place to start.

 

8 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the thread has gone to the pit, everyone lost.

 

If the parts of the thread where you and one other person are arguing, you both lost.

 

If however you gracefully step out of such debates, you are clearly the winner of said argument :).

 

Oh how I wish it was that simple :)

 

Maybe the person dong the pitting is the loser? :)

1 person thanks this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you use fake evidence, you lose.

 

Especially if you insist its legit.

 

Ummm . . . no kidding? How profound. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Losers are generally the last to know.

2 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is another site’s Guide to Awesomeness I've removed / changed some of the site specific references

 

Awesome members trim superfluous text when they quote someone, especially if the original quote is 5,000+ words, contains seven images, eleven links and three youtube embeds, and the only thing you want to add is 'Great post!' (a pet peeve of mine, and the TTB'ers are somehow especially fond of this one).

Edited by soaring crane
3 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is another sites Guide to Awesomeness I've removed / changed some of the site specific references

 

 

 

AWESOME!!!!

 

My 2 cents, Peace

Edited by OldChi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe the nazi/hitler rule doesn't show up in any of those!

 

The free speech thing is a pet peeve of mine. I hate it when people pull that card.

 

And I have to agree...the incessant quoting of giant pieces of text by some members is ridiculous. There was one recently that almost took up a whole page all on its own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome members do not involve the (forum) in suicide attempts or victimizing criminal acts.

911 has been called on members, authorities informed and personal information including addresses have been made public in the most urgent of such emergencies.

 

The progression of my reaction to this:

 

:o:excl::(:blink::huh::unsure::angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Logical-Fallacies.jpg

 

 

Here are some reasons you might want to order one of these pretty great posters:
  1. To hang up near your computer for when you are arguing with people on the internets.
  2. To put up in your kids' bedroom so that they get all clever and whatnot, and are able to tell the difference between real news and faux news *cough*.
  3. To gift, in a slightly passive-aggressive yet still socially acceptable way, to someone who is forever making weak arguments peppered with fallacies.
  4. To hang up in a classroom, common room or other public space to make the world a more rational place.

 

 

It's much more readable readable on the site - https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/

4 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not necessarily...knowing logical fallacies a. Helps keep you from committing them and b. Informs you of what they are, so that when some asshat accuses you of one and clearly has no idea what they're talking about, you can nicely point it out to them.

 

Knowledge is always good. From there it's just how you use it.

 

The points I've seen in this thread are that a. You can't just call out "straw man!" And then sit back all smug thinking you're all smart. You better explain how the person is using a straw man argument and how it's beside the point and b. Just because someone's reasoning is falling into a logical fallacy doesn't mean they're wrong.

 

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't learn about, and try to avoid logical fallacies.

 

IMO

1 person thanks this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not necessarily...knowing logical fallacies a. Helps keep you from committing them and b. Informs you of what they are, so that when some asshat accuses you of one and clearly has no idea what they're talking about, you can nicely point it out to them.

 

Knowledge is always good. From there it's just how you use it.

 

The points I've seen in this thread are that a. You can't just call out "straw man!" And then sit back all smug thinking you're all smart. You better explain how the person is using a straw man argument and how it's beside the point and b. Just because someone's reasoning is falling into a logical fallacy doesn't mean they're wrong.

 

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't learn about, and try to avoid logical fallacies.

 

IMO

 

Thanks :)

 

No-one can win an internet argument (although there are lots of ways to lose one) : -

 

mad-internet1.jpg?w=584

 

(://thoughtcatalog.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/mad-internet1.jpg?w=584)

3 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the truth.

 

Actually when I looked closer at that fallacy poster I noticed two of the logical fallacies address some arguments in this thread. The Fallacy Fallacy is one.

 

Basically says that "just because there's a logical fallacy in someone's argument doesn't make them wrong. Just because someone's argument is completely without logical fallacy doesn't make them right".

 

**edited to fix posted to poster, and the resulting rhyme is an unexpected benefit.

Edited by i am
2 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you win an internet argument, what do you win?

if you 'win' does that mean that at the end of the argument conversation you hold exactly the same position as you did when it started? that was time well spent for you?

if you 'lose' an internet argument conversation, doesnt that mean that during the conversation you began to see something in a new light? wasnt that a better outcome than winning?

"dont believe everything you breathe"

 

4 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites