online debating, toujours insatisfaisante  

Thrown (Ţâpat) in , ,

Despite this being one of the , the more I try to engage in online debates, the angrier and more unsatisfied I get. Before I decide to completely and always avoid them, it may be worth looking into why they are this way.

online-debating-boromir-trollsFirst, the more or less “rules-baseddebate held here, on this blog, though it reached its end, failed to satisfy either one of its participants. Unfortunately, I cannot explain what p. me o. about it, as I was part of it and the other person is no longer commenting on this blog.

Like I said before, I don’t debate or engage in conversation to win, but rather to have my views and ideas challenged. I love it when I “lose” an argument, because that means that my ideas were subsequently enriched with a viewpoint I had missed or incorrectly discarded. That happened a few times when I started debating, but it happens very seldom these days. At first, I thought that may have to do with people failing to find the information that I had used in forming my opinions, but it now appears to me that even in a debate or discussion some prefer to ignore arguments or facts you bring to the table and stay blissfully unaware and misinformed. That bothers me only insofar as their ability to challenge my own viewpoints thusly approaches zero.

(And by the way, there’s a good chance you hold your very own personal set of cognitive dissonances; try Pinker’s test, for instance: nyt-pinker.)

I have even stirred up a debate on (dbo-homeo), but that went nowhere fast. My opponent did not bother with a proper rebuttal, used my own resources for his arguments and instead of responding to my arguments simply restated his initial points, which made the debate completely uninteresting for me – there was nothing to learn from his rigid position. Only one person voted and gave my opponent the upper hand for “sources” even though they were the sources I had listed.

One of my favourite time-wasters here is Blegoo. With his comments, he never seems to bring anything new to a conversation, whether in terms of factual information or some brand new interpretation. Then, when they are too obviously irrelevant, he deletes them. His latest salvo, an argument that the words petty theft are etymologically “Gypsy” and not found in Scandinavian languages, was not even properly researched on DEX.

Perhaps one reason why debating on this blog is rather dull for me may be the few commenters, of whom only Krossfire is actually a good conversationalist. Consider then, the one I had on his blog with DanC. Here, DanC takes the position that some religions (i.e., Christianity) are better than others (e.g., Islam), but then proceeds to ignore counterarguments and/or fights a strawman.

So when Krossfire (.ro) commented on the article on police brutality, I was looking forward to a good debate – maybe figure out why so many young males seem to favour “strong policing”, despite overwhelmingly being on the receiving end of the “short baton”, especially since he is living in Romania, where police appears generally impotent, encountering unhelpful attitude (see the video clips linked in Plagia Thor, where a Romanian policeman begs a driver to get out of the car; the driver refuses and films him instead and this is extremely relevant, since the same reactions from a citizen were met with almost opposite results from policemen across the pond). There is even more background info in articles linked in other articles, which are still fresh in my mind, but are unlikely to have been read by Krossfire. I could point them out to him again explicitly, but that would make things rather tough to follow and it still is unlikely that he’d have the time to go through it all. Listing it in a debate, point by point, might not work either – just see the very first example for how that turned out.

It's quite important to quote and contextualize, as often others have done a pretty good job at explaining my stance (gm-awayguns).

This past summer, also in Ohio, police were called to a Wal-Mart in suburban Dayton. The call was like the one in Cleveland. There was a man in the store, said a caller to 911, and he appeared to be carrying a gun. The man was 22-year-old John Crawford, and he was carrying a toy gun on sale in the store. Police burst in and within seconds fatally shot Mr. Crawford. At the time, he was on the phone with his family.

The police on the scene could have chosen to act slowly and calmly. Before firing their weapons, they could have taken a moment to figure out if they were about to make a terrible mistake. They did no such thing. They arrived with their blood up and instantly spilled somebody else’s. An American grand jury declined to charge the officers, believing they acted reasonably.

You can learn a lot about good policing by studying bad policing. And like the tales out of Ferguson, Mo., these are stories of very bad policing. If anyone thought they were going by the book, that book needs to be thrown out.

Canada is not the United States. On this score, it’s better in many ways. Our crime rates are lower, for one thing, and police use their guns far less often. For example, in 2013 in Toronto, there were only 33 incidents of police discharging their weapons. In two-thirds of those cases, police were aiming not at a person, but at an animal, usually an injured one. In Canada’s largest city, there were only 11 instances – less than one per month – of police shooting at a person.

Canada’s police are not the Ferguson police, thankfully, but they’re still far from perfect. They sometimes use force when they shouldn’t, and people end up dead. The case of Robert Dziekanski is the best remembered: The Polish immigrant, who spoke no English, was confused and disoriented when he stepped off a plane in Vancouver. He needed a translator, some directions and a bit of common courtesy. Instead, four RCMP officers charged at him, killing him with multiple jolts of electricity from a taser.

So there you have it: Blegoo cannot debate – he does not seem to understand how that works or what is eaten with. Krossfire can, but he does not seem to want to put in the effort that a good debate requires (and to be fair, I don’t make it easy either).

Sources / More info: ai-fr, d-b, dbo-homeo, nyt-pinker, xf-libert, gm-awayguns, dbo-armed

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Wednesday, January 21, 2015 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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