Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Do not argue on the internet.
I'm rubbish at remembering that simple golden rule.
The thing about arguing on the internet is that you start fairly objective and calm but before hardly any time at all, you're freaking out at the gross obtuseness of your opposite number and getting ever deeper entrenched in a downward spiral of petty recrimination and insults. Even with people you quite liked five minutes ago.
Why? Who knows! Perhaps it's lack of visual cues and feedback and the eternal issue of being able to properly express intent in a purely written form. You make a statement, the statement is misunderstood or twisted and so you respond to try to clarify, it gets worse, you try again, it gets still worse... fngh.
I no longer frequent internet forums because while I like the social aspect, there are quite a lot of people who, quite inexplicably, are utterly wrong about an awful lot of things and it's very difficult in a forum setting not to tell them so. Ahem.
Today I forgot again and got myself called lacking in compassion. I don't believe I am, I just don't believe you can solve real, deep, generations old problems by blindly chucking money at them. Perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps the billions that have already been thrown into the void are irrelevant and the next few billion will do the trick, that'd be bloody nice. I'd love to be that wrong. But today I'm just compassion-less ole me, disliked now by a bunch of strangers I'll never meet and feeling irrationally put out by it.
I'm gonna get the golden rule tattoo'd on the back of my hands.