Sunday, 7 December 2008

Trying To Win Arguments Over The Internet

Dumb people often get into arguments in online forums. Common topics include:

• religious discussion

• who to vote for

• which movie is best

• which band is best

• which exercise program is best

• who will win a fight between a chimpanzee and a man

Dumb people will often resort to name calling and heavy use of the caps lock to get their point across. They will also try to pass off their opinion as common knowledge based on anecdotal proof, such as "Everyone knows that to be the case... this guy I know from work says the same thing".

The other thing that dumb people do is rely heavily on hyperbole and repetition to prove that they are right, as well as taking things out of context. Winning an online argument is so important to them that they will actually create a vacuum that discourages intelligent debate. And if by chance an intelligent person does get dragged into the debate they run the risk of being chastised for caring so much as to voice an opinion... therefore they must be on the defensive... therefore the dumb person was right all along.

Some common phrases espoused by dumb people:

"You don't know what you're talking about!"

"You must be one of those people that...(insert negative association)"

"That's wrong because (insert false claim), and (insert another false claim)"

The beauty of this is that intelligent people see all this as pointless, meaning they never get involved in the debate or quit soon after. This goes on until the only people left arguing are the dumbest. And in their mind that must mean they were right all along. The others apparently realized they didn't have a leg to stand on and so they gave up. How much more proof do you need?

And because online discussions are not in real time, it gives dumb people the time and opportunity to "think" about what to say. It may not always be obvious how to state the "obvious" but they can make it appear that way at least.

Last but not least, arguing over the internet is enticing for dumb people because of its total anonymity. You don't have to hide that you're dumb. You're free to express yourself openly and honestly.

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