5 thoughts on “Attention Chicagoboyz Commenters”

  1. Some bonus methods, should those fail you:

    1) Find someone else who has the same label as the person you’re arguing with. Find a ridiculous opinion of theirs. Argue about that. (Example: Scott Adams is a cartoonist, and cartoonist Ted Rall argued that Bush may have had Senator Wellstone’s plane shot down. Therefore, Scott Adams is a loon.)

    2) Answer each half-sentence separately, especially sentences using the word “but”. Don’t bother trying to fit the context; just find a way to interpret the half-sentence that’s false and argue against it. Bonus points if you can get away with grouping half-sentences talking about totally different things together.

    3) Bring up the opinion of a Known Idiot. When your opponent says that person is an idiot, ask why they’ve “suddenly” decided to distance themselves from the person. (Example: in an argument about genetics and homosexuality, bring up Fred Phelps, and tell your opponent not to try to fool people by distancing himself.)

    4) Play the “postmodern” card. It doesn’t matter what your opponent MEANT by their words, your interpretation of them loosely associates with the rest of your web of understanding. Therefore, you’re entitled to misrepresent their position.

    5) Use a thesaurus to change key words in the argument into words that are sometimes acceptable substitutes. Do this until the original argument is no longer recognizeable. (There’s actually a great example of this posted by “Jeffery” in the comments on Scott Adams’ post.)

    6) Tell your opponent (who is clearly quite happy) that you’re sorry they got upset, and that you’ll stop arguing because you don’t want to anger them any more. If they respond by saying they’re not angry, tell them you’re glad they calmed down, but you still don’t want them to get angry. Keep doing this until they flame you, and leave their angry response as the last word.

    7) Respond to an argument in private (e-mail, phone, etc.) and then continually allude to having “answered that in e-mail”. Bonus points if your e-mail invited them to a social event and said nothing about the issue at hand.

    8) Refuse to state your own position precisely and clearly until someone has disagreed with what they think your position is… and then flame them for the slight mistakes they made, ignoring any substantive responses they give. Bonus points if you can get both sides to make the same mistake. Double bonus points if you still don’t reveal your position at the end.

    9) Find an example the author obviously meant as absurd, and criticize it for being absurd.

    10) Criticize your opponent for not being as [funny, serious, specialized, generalized, calm, passionate, concise, thorough] as you. When they respond in a more [see above] manner, criticize their writing for being below their usual standards.

    11) Reference several very old discussions that nobody remembers but you. Bonus points if the discussions are spread between 3 or more websites, none of which have common users except for you.

    12) Question the person’s expertise. Set the bar for “credible” just a little above the expertise level they have. Or, if they’ve already mentioned their expertise, criticize them for trying to intimidate you with their credentials.

    13) Reference an old argument the person lost, grew tired of, had a death in the family during, or otherwise did not see through to the point of convincing everyone. Continually make subtle and not-so-subtle references to the current argument being “just like” the old one.

    Master these techniques, and your blog-fu will be unrivaled! You will make your opponents look stupid at every turn!

  2. Danger will robinson!
    Fairly mild flame war breaks out into extreme tutt-tuttery.
    (Actually, the only concrete complaint is see is that Scott Adams is making money.)

  3. “Ass!”

    Better is to begin with an insulting comment, and then complain when people act as if you are not interested in a serious, adult discussion of the issues.

  4. That’s why I didn’t respond — it’s bad form to put the insult at the end of the comment. Plus, around here it’s Mr. Ass. He should have known that.


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