Author Topic: Interesting article on how public forums (like this one) are hijacked.  (Read 1261 times)

Offline hfm

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What I have noticed more than anything on this forum is that NO-ONE EVER CHANGES THEIR MIND politically.  No matter how much others berate them or bully them or insult them on this forum.

It's as though folks have their politics hard-wired and any attempt at trolling or shutting them down is useless.
...

This is pretty much true in a lot cases, this forum is just a small sample.

Offline Chingwa

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There's more range for nuance in people's political views than is generally given credit in this forum.  For example bemoaning young people "jumping on the Trump band wagon" ignores the possibility of people feeling actually abandoned by the left and turning (however reluctantly in some cases) to the apparent alternative.  Or perhaps those with rather moderate political views seeing the radical left swing in culture and finding themselves now pushed toward the right wing.  Instead of trying to undertsnad these non-polar positions, people get labelled and degraded as being bigots and racists.

People aren't trying to understand other people's points of views.  It's a sign of the constructed climate of societal destabilization we find ourselves in.  Every issue no matter how big or small becomes an ideological point.  Every non-conforming post becomes a battleground for right-think.

However I don't see this as the forum's fault at all, what is a forum but the expressions of the people in it?  In a hypothetical time of less political polarization I could see the same people having more constructive discussions.  Hypothetically.

Offline abcdefghijk

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There's more range for nuance in people's political views than is generally given credit in this forum.  For example bemoaning young people "jumping on the Trump band wagon" ignores the possibility of people feeling actually abandoned by the left and turning (however reluctantly in some cases) to the apparent alternative.  Or perhaps those with rather moderate political views seeing the radical left swing in culture and finding themselves now pushed toward the right wing.  Instead of trying to undertsnad these non-polar positions, people get labelled and degraded as being bigots and racists.

People aren't trying to understand other people's points of views.  It's a sign of the constructed climate of societal destabilization we find ourselves in.  Every issue no matter how big or small becomes an ideological point.  Every non-conforming post becomes a battleground for right-think.

However I don't see this as the forum's fault at all, what is a forum but the expressions of the people in it?  In a hypothetical time of less political polarization I could see the same people having more constructive discussions.  Hypothetically.

My take about this forum is that there are some (definitely not all!) mighty angry people who hang out on it.
They are angry in their own lives. And this forum seems to be an easy way to show that anger.
These folks would be bitter about life regardless of the political situation.

Offline dssjh

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you do an awful lot of armchair psychoanalysis on this forum.

i'm not sure what your batting average is, but you certainly take a lot of swings.

and that is also the nature of the internet -- knowing the people we don't know. i've done it, you do it, a lot of us do.

Offline abcdefghijk

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Hmmmm....

Offline voelteer

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Just gonna leave this link here to another interesting article from The Guardian, more or less about how to open up closed minds in otherwise polarized exchanges. (Tl;dr? Besides obviously avoiding variations on primary-school name-calling, ask your interlocutor How, not Why.)
<https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jun/30/the-science-of-influencing-people-six-ways-to-win-an-argument>

Offline Chingwa

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Nobody is going to win these arguments.  Having "winning" as the goal from the outset is exactly the problem here.

Offline abcdefghijk

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Nobody is going to win these arguments.  Having "winning" as the goal from the outset is exactly the problem here.

I agree. Accepting the pluralism of folks' opinions seems to be the true problem. 

Offline voelteer

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Making no mention here of accepting or rejecting others' opinions. However, as our late Senator Moynihan is said to have said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." And in point of fact, arguments are won and lost -- just consider any competition between debate teams. One of the points in the Guardian article is that shifts in value judgements can occur when detailed facts that answer the question How are requested or presented (rather than solely appealing to emotional opinion).

And precisely that factually informed sort of discussion might even prevent public forums like this one from being "highjacked" by all manner of zealots -- even if the likelihood of successfully reasoning with the irrational is admittedly never that great. 

Peace out.

Offline Chingwa

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People can't even agree on the definition of words, let alone what facts are.  I consider this a discussion board, Not a place to find out who is right or wrong.  Some want to engage in that way, and others don't. All I'm saying is that those who are here trying to prove to other people that they are right are ultimately in for disappointment.  Noone is interested in who is "right".

I agree with abcdefghijk the problem is the non-acceptance of plurality of thoughts and ideas.  Instead you have people raging that other people are wrong for not holding the same opinions as they and then in the same sentence bemoan the absence of "diversity".

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