Sometimes I get comments on my blog entries like this:
"Score mate you had burgers and fast food since you were a kid... that obviously makes you much better than algerians??? how stupid is this? When you read what you wrote did it make you feel good? in fact did you even try to understand whyThis was a comment on the entry "Fast Food & Algeria" that I blogged sometime back. It was about Algeria finally getting their first corporate fast food. The commentor sounds a bit defensive although I don't understand for what?
there are no fast foods in algeria or does this require too much brains which
surely you don't have." -Anonymous-
I believe that my entry was more an observation than a judgetment. I'm merely trying note down my personal observation of that experience.
The Levels of Online Debates
A while ago, I came across an interesting post on the Movie Blog entitled,"The Levels of Movie Debate on Film Websites". (Link) It talks about how people have differing opinions and true and effective debate can be successfully conducted only when people are doing it the right way.
As the post suggests, online commentaries can be categorized into several categories from the worst to the best.
I will reproduce in summary the main categories and examples as mentioned in that post here:
Apparently the weakest and stupidest form of disagreement, and it goes like this:"You're an idiot if you think Star Wars isn't the best movie ever."
6. Ad Hominem
This means attacking the messenger instead of the message. "How can you not like Juno? Like you would know a good movie from a bad one. You didn't even like Hot Fuzz." The main issue was not addressed but instead the disagreeing party is jumping to another topic.
5. Responding To Tone
"I don't like the way you said that!" This kind of comments just waste space and the time taken to read them.
It is fine to be contradictory about an opinion or idea without debating the merits of another persons idea or opinions. "I didn't really enjoy Star Wars." I think that the world is big enough for people with differing opinions to breathe the same air without imposing on each other.
A step ahead of just being contradictory in that the disagreeing party gives reasons for being contradictory. "I didn't enjoy Star Wars because of A,B,C...."
This is when objective, measurable facts are supplied by the disagreeing party to counter an opinion or view. It provides a good learning experience for the refuted party.
1. Refuting the Central Point
Accordingly, the best form of argument in that opinions, ideas and facts were freely exchanged while staying on the central idea.
So What Were You Trying To Tell Me, Anonymous Dude?
Now back to the bashing comment, it doesn't even deserve any of my response because it doesn't leave any room for discussion (i.e. Category #7). But what the hell, I'm behind in my blogging anyway. =)
It would be more fruitful if the commentor had pointed out to me what he disagreed with me rather than just plain disagreement and name-calling. If I was too judgemental let me know where was I being judgemental? Wouldn't it be nice if the commentor could refute what I've said based on facts that I don't know about?
Who knows, our conversation might have sprout an online friendship?