RE: Ad hominem? I think not.

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Wed Nov 21 2001 - 15:41:35 MST

> > Okay. To John, JR, Brian, myself and others: the standard list reply to
> > comments by Samantha, Curious, or other such individuals lacking in the
> > ability to say non-idiotic ideas on this list is simply to type, in big,
> > bold letters, at the top of the message: "WHAT A STUPID, IDIOTIC, IDEA!"
> > and leave it at that.
> Why not? It's allowed under list rules. It's concise and to the point. It
> expresses your opinion accurately. It attacks an idea as being invalid
> without attacking a list member directly. I see nothing wrong with this
> approach. I wish all potential flame-wars would get short-circuited with a
> simple one-liner like this.

That's exactly what Mike said, Harvey. I don't think he was being
sarcastic. I would agree too if such a one-line would actually have
some hope of short-circuiting an argument, but it never does.

The only thing I've found, in over a decade of internet discussion
experience, to work is to simply back off when you encounter someone
who is plainly incapable of rational discussion on a subject. Others
will see the statements made and make their own judgments, but one's
own rational argument is better spent on someone who shows at least
some signs of understanding.

That's why, for example, I haven't replied to John on this thread
but I have replied to Smamntha. He's clearly beyond reason, and even
though I happen to be closer to his point of view that hers, there
can be no benefit to me commenting on anything he says. Samantha's
brain does seem to be in roughly working order, even though she does
have some problems with some fine details of reason, and is unclear
and inconsistent on some details. But it's clearly worth the effort
to engage her, because she does actually seem to read what's written
and say what she thinks. That's all we can ask.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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