Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

So I Have a Friend

Or maybe I had a friend. Some days, it can be hard to tell.

A few months ago, he wondered cryptically in a post on my friends list about why it is that people with different political opinions than his who he enjoys discussing things with eventually get tired of talking to him on the subject and wander off in varying degrees of either silence or huffiness. I'm guessing, given the timing, that I was the particular person referenced in that post. (Cue Carly Simon and "You're So Vain".)

And today, I got a little condescension bomb from him on a dead thread. And it reminded me of why I walk away from these conversations with some people.

Because, as daisy_knotwise frequently reminds me, "What's the point?"

I have lots of opinions myself. I like to believe that they're founded in data. I even see that I've occasionally been known to change my opinion given fresh data to look at. (No, I don't feel like getting into examples right now. Take my word for it for once, ok?)

But, you know, I am just sick to death of condescension. Condescension was what got me to walk away from a particular mailing list that I was on, prompting the comment that I reference earlier in this post.

I do my best to argue honestly. I will put out a proposition or argue with someone else's proposition, but I generally try to start from a basis of fact. I assume -- until reasonably proven otherwise -- that the other person is also interested in facts. I have been known to make suggestions to liberal partisans on how to improve their arguments, because I truly believe that we are all better off if we can discuss these things rationally. I've told conservative partisans to knock off the name calling, because it's counter-productive. (I don't make that argument to my liberal friends, because I'm pretty firmly convinced it would do no good. Maybe I'm wrong.)

And there are days when all this is extremely frustrating.

This is one of those days.
Tags: musings, rant
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