MEMES: Pigeon-holing your opponent

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Wed Jan 24 2001 - 21:22:36 MST

Samantha Atkins <> wrote,
>I am very curious why the opinions of myself and Eugene and others are
>considered "seething hate".

You have just been bitten by the us-versus-them meme. For some
reason, most debates are assumed to have only two opposing sides.
Guns are a great example. Microsoft is another. If you point out
any tiny complaint about one side, you will suddenly find yourself
pigeon-holed as a proponent for the other side. You will be attacked
for all sorts of assumed viewpoints expressed by "your" side. This
has happened to me so many times on this list that I sometimes
question the usefulness of remote communications.

It seems that it is too difficult to keep track of who believes what.
It is easier to identify people into groups by one or two statements
and then just argue against their group. I don't know how to keep
this from happening. If you point out an error in pro-gun
statistics, it must mean you're a gun-control nut. If you point out
an error in ant-global-warming statistics, it means you're a
eco-terrorist. If you mention a vegetarian diet for longevity, it
means your a rabid animal-rights activist.

I swear that for every valid disagreement I have had on this list, I
have been attacked 10 more times for views that I never espoused. I
don't know how to prevent this. As you will soon discover, in
response to your question above, that your claims will fall on deaf
ears. People will try to justify their representation of "your"
position and will even argue with you about what you "really"
believe! Like the Libertarian who will be accused of being a liberal
by the right, and a conservative by the left, you will constantly be

Let me know if anybody has any insights on this problem or knows a
way out of it.

Harvey Newstrom <>

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