When I surf across a political or scientific blog, I always read the latest articles and dive into the comments. It’s the comments where you find the really juicy stuff. This is where you can have some fun. I am not talking about a flame war. Simple arguing, preferably with someone dumber than you, can be very entertaining.
In the more popular blogs, not only will you find the everyday Joe-Sixpack type of commenter, but you will also find some real heavy weights of that particular blogging genre. You really need to be careful about who you are attacking.
You can mount an attack on what you think is a relatively uninformed person, and they can wind up having a PhD in that particular subject.
Having a PhD doesn’t mean a person is correct. It just means that they can throw around credentials and category relevant words. If you are smart, you can kick some academic ass, but don’t try it unless you are really sure. Be prepared to abandon your made-up name if the PhD gets the best of you. They are smart, and won’t forget your name. They enjoy a good fight, too.
Stay away from legal blogs because lawyers don’t have any sense, and will argue in their best law school Latin. It makes for an embarrassing spectacle to try logic on these guys. They don’t get it, and will try to use courtroom tactics to befuddle their adversaries. You can have a really trying time Googling the language they use, just to discover they don’t have a clue.
Another pain in the blog is the internet philosopher. You can tell the internet philosopher by their language and by their name-dropping. Anybody that shoves words at you like, “postmodern”, or “epistemology” is an internet philosopher. They try to dazzle you with knowledge of different branches of philosophy,or their knowledge of various philosophers from Aristotle to Descartes, to Hayek and Popper.
I don’t know anything about philosophy, so I steer clear of that kind of argument. You might consider that if somebody is busy dropping names and philosophic categories, they probably never had an independent thought. That’s their Achilles’ Heel. Keep your arguments to the physical world, and let somebody sympathetic to your side intervene and tackle the philosophy stuff. You can still win.
Most of all, if you get into a pissing contest over somebody’s arithmetic, you have just fallen into a trap. NEVER attack your opponents numbers. Chances are he has spent the last week or month getting his arithmetic right. Always look for weakness in his assumptions. That way you don’t have to do any work at all. Just dismiss all his hard work because of his mistaken assumptions, and watch the fireworks in that comment section.
I once kept an argument going for two days because I confidently asserted that my opponents assumptions were wrong. When he blasted me to offer better work, I replied that just because he couldn’t do a decent job was no reason for me to educate him. He didn’t like that, and his language degenerated into all sorts of insults. Obviously, I won because he was the one to come unglued.
The last, and one of the most important rules about getting into an internet fight is to not argue with women if you can help it.
First of all, women are smarter than men. Secondly, women have no ethics when it comes to arguments. They go for the jugular and they never forget.
Have fun on the internet. It is all sorts of fun, and you can keep your brain cooking on all burners just by some fun arguing. Never take it seriously, though.
Live is too short for peace on the internet and cheap beer.