Friday, April 11, 2008

This is very true

My coworker Kim is a highly educated person and she said the most brilliant thing today while we were discussing the topic of arguing on the internet. She said sometimes she has stayed up late footnoting responses to poorly made arguments that she's come across on the tubes.

I said I'm terrible at flame wars and the only way I can win them is with my "wow I don't give a shit" attitude (but deep down I let all the annoyance compress into this ball of rawr that will probably be released one day while driving.) She said that if you footnote your response people will usually at least shut up, but you can never convince them, even with cold hard evidence. I sighed and said yeaaah people are stupid. To which Kim said the most brilliant true thing ever. It kinda was like this:
"That's not true, these aren't stupid people. They are people who are bright and intelligent who have been praised their whole lives. Everyone tells them how smart they are and they feel that their intelligence defines them. The problem is, they aren't educated. They will cling to the one small point they think is true and then when they do their 'research' they will seek out things that prove their theory and ignore anything that doesn't.
So it's not that they are stupid. They are just uneducated."

And then I thought back to every argument on the internet I've read by someone who was completely talking out of their ass about a subject I am very educated in. It's completely true. The most frustrating arguments aren't by those speaking in l33t, it's the ones posted by those who use proper grammar and pretty much know how to support a thesis. That doesn't mean their thesis is in any way right and there is absolutely no chance of convincing them of that.

I don't know. I just felt peace at that whole concept. Like I understood people a little bit more than I did this morning.

I also sure as hell plan to not voice my opinion on shit I know little to nothing about.


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