Thursday, June 29, 2006

7 secrets of blogocombat



7 secrets of blogocombat
, from the infinite treasury of vaspersian blogocombat experience and insight. Being a whisper-transmission teaching transmitted via VPN on clandestine, esoteric frequency bouncing deflector plates for pure communication satisfaction.

At the very outset, let Vaspers say that he admires anyone who has the guts to firmly advance a theory, fact, or opinion. I respect those who argue against me. 9 out of 10 times, my attackers are highly intelligent, sincere, and well read.

Remember: if you blurted out every single thing you think you "believe", chances are, you'd sound like a raving lunatic to a disinterested third party. I include me and all of us, no matter how educated or trained we are.

Have you not caught yourself saying something, then immediately thinking, "That sure sounds stupid. Why did I say that? Is that really true, in the way I presented it, in such extreme terms?" ??? I sure have, let me tell you. At least once a day, if you ask my wife.

Okay. Let's quit being wimpy chumps -- and start being the super endurance, fast witted, big mouth blogocombat champions we were born to be, why don't we?


To win blogocombat, you must be:


(1) ALOOF

Never take it personally. Argue with a detached tranquility, according to whatever spiritual path you're on. Or with a professional coolness and reserve.

Feel yourself float above the discussion, and look down upon it with a sneer as "mere mortal amusement", then you'll be ready to fight with a smirk and a quirk.

(2) COMICAL

Be funny when you attack. Put yourself down, as you destroy your opponent's position. Say things like, "Your statement reminds me of the joke, where does a 600 pound gorilla sit in a bar? Anywhere he wants."

Remember that others are observing your debate battle, so show off for them by using large doses of sarcasm, irony, and humor.

(3) STUBBORN

Keep re-stating your position, from different viewpoints, applications, or aspects. Never defend an opinion or belief, simply keep asserting it as a given fact. Don't even waste time attacking the other side's dogma.

Just persist in proclaiming what to you seems likely to be the Truth, and see if it can withstand opposition and legitimate questions.

(4) AUTHORITATIVE

Cite the first event, the original text, the primary essence. Use source documents against vanity opinions (ideas defended simply because they think the opinions somehow "belong" to them).

EXAMPLES: If the topic is democracy, quote Thomas Jefferson, Alexis de Toqueville, or Plato. If the topic is the web, quote Tim Berners-Lee. If the topic is web design, quote Jakob Nielsen. If the topic is Christianity, quote the New Testament. If the topic is peace, quote Gandhi. If the topic is militarism, quote Patton. If the question is psychology, quote Freud or Ecclesiastes.

(5) SELECTIVE

Don't respond to every single point your debate opponent makes. Just zero in on the most interesting, important, or easy point to attack. Make mincemeat of every declaration that is made in opposition to your assertion. But be selective if there are many points and the opponent is going off on tangents.

Let others jump in and state the obvious. Don't feel like the entire burden of proof or logic is on your shoulders alone. Watch others express their ideas, start new arguments within the topic, bring up new angles and facts -- ignoring you, supporting you, or deriding you. Let others jump in and defend you and your opinions.

Laugh and do not retaliate in kind when someone attacks you with vulgarity or obscene speech. Wait. Let the admin ban the guy, or issue a stern warning to him.

Others will be evaluating the debate by who acts the least crazy, by who retains dignity.

Use ironic understatement and sincere questions, rather than rash exaggerations and wild accusations.

Avoid "as this, so is that", because most people aren't very good at understanding analogies, parables, poems, allegories, or metaphors. If you say, "it's as easy as falling off a log", most will think only of how falling off a log can hurt, be very embarrassing, and might possibly soil your clothing.

(6) CIVILIZED

Never call your blogocombat adversary "idiot", "amateur", "stupid", or any other hateful name. Calm down. "We're trying to have a civilization here." - Seinfeld. Be more mature, be dignfied and polite. Out finesse your opponent. Never spin off into a rage or string of expletives. Never attack your debate enemy as a person, race or member of a faith.

Be cool at all times. REMEMBER: your rants and raves are on your permanent internet record. Googling your name or alias can pin all your badmouthing back on your vest. REMEMBER: others are dispassionately reading your textual tirades and those of your opponent. Who will seem more mature, more educated, more refined and self-control?

Take the moral and rational high ground. Stand erect, shoulders thrown back, fists raised in correct fisticuffs form, war face on, eyes drawing a bead on your opponent -- but be a perfect lady or gentlemen as you do it.

People generally side with the self-controlled person over the raving lunatic sincere kook.

Don't have a hissy fit. Don't get all emotional about some dumb debate topic. If you CANNOT or WILL NOT debate it calmly and professionally, then please shut the hell up. Go do something productive or creative, write a whacked out book on the subject, or start a punk band and scream your opinions. Just leave the real ideological blogospheric battles to those more qualified, dignified, and trained.

(7) COMPASSIONATE

Your main goal should be not to "win a blogocombat contest", but to discover truth, make friends, and build an online community of loosely knit individuals who like discussing a certain topic, person, belief, or activity.

Love truth first, then people.

If you get it backwards, and love people first, you'll be easily influenced in dubious and highly deceptive manners. You'll be swept away by mob action, thug rule, the oppression of the Powers That Pretend To Be, etc. You'll judge by the popularity and fame of any given entity.

Truth comes first. Truth like, "Gravity kills people who jump out 55th floor office building windows." Or "what comes around, goes around". Or "web sites must be designed for users and their documented, observed needs, not for design awards".

Love truth so much, you are skeptical and cynical about your own most cherished opinions. Think, "I know I believe in net neutrality, but does the other side have any valid arguments in favor of what they want to do?" Or: "I know I believe in democracy, but do I really understand what I mean by that word? Why do so many other systems seem to flourish, both currently and in history?"

Be kind to yourself by not getting too worked up about any topic. Just express yourself firmly and politely, then try to learn about other points of view. Defend your position if you feel you must, but never defend yourself as a person with a right to have any opinion you want. You were born, and you'll die, with that Universal Right to Free Thought, Free Expression, and Free Will Action.

Help others to see whatever it is you think you see more clearly than them.

Never hate your opponent.

FIGHT SMART: the best way to defeat your enemies...is to convert them to friends!


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