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You can't prove anything on the internet

Sparky2

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Guys and gals,

I have learned quite a bit in my years posting to web-forums.
Though I am only an infrequent visitor to debatepolitics, I have been a moderator on similar boards in the past. Additionally, I moderated on two aviation-related web forums, and am currently moderating a guitar web forum, axecentral.

I offer this information not to brag or boast, but rather to lay the ground work for some bits of advice I am about to offer up.

Please read and heed the admonitions below, and PLEASE pass them on to your friends. Make them a cornerstone of your posting policy here at debatepolitics.com:

A. You can’t prove anything on the internet. The best you can hope to do is to provide credible and compelling-enough evidence, and then leave the reader to draw their own conclusions regarding the strength of your argument. Based, of course, upon the quality of your evidence, and the eloquence of your delivery.

(Google, ‘the scientific method’. Study what you find. It’s all in there.)

Whenever you shout, “look at my proof, see what I have proven”, or, “I have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt” you make yourself look really foolish.
On that note;

B. The eloquence of your delivery, and your very ability to sway or convince somebody, depends upon your posting in a manner that makes you look credible and fairly well-educated.

If you submit posts that are full of misspellings, grammatical errors, punctuation errors, and egregious capitalization errors, YOU HAVE ALREADY LOST THE DEBATE. Because you made yourself look like a dumb a$$.

Use spell-check and grammar-check, and take care not to sabotage your own arguments by posting in a manner that makes you look like a vaguely retarded elementary school child.

C. Do not rush to label people.
Do not hasten to put other posters into convenient categories or boxes.

Stop with the knee-jerk labeling.

I get it, some posters LOVE to embrace the convenient categories of:
‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’
‘Christian’ or ‘atheist’
‘pro-life’ or ‘pro-choice’.

But the reality is this;
Many of us are politically-independent.
A lot of us are on the fence about our spirituality, and we choose not to wear anybody’s convenient labels.
Most people have mixed feelings about abortion, and can see both sides of the argument.

So, take the time to listen to the message.
Ponder the information.
Do not immediately, after reading one or two sentences, screech and yowl, “Oh, you’re just a right-wing gun nut”, or, “Christ on a popsicle stick, another bleeding-heart liberal”!


D. Lastly, consider how you present yourself. If you come across as measured, even-tempered, and determined, you have at least a tiny chance of swaying somebody.

If you come across as a kook and a fanatic, you have NO chance of swaying anyone.

Picture some guy standing on a corner, screeching at the top of his lungs, and waving crudely-drawn pamphlets regarding the coming apocalypse.
Do you think people are going to believe that guy, or are they going to view him as a nut-job, and avoid him like the plague?

Thanks for your time and attention. I do hope that you will heed my advice, and consider what I have told you.

You have an incredible responsibility, this business of posting to the internet. In a world of misinformation and disinformation, in this world of partisan-political, nonsensical division, you have the opportunity to offer meaningful, intelligent, and enlightening discourse.

Don’t take that responsibility lightly, friends.

Thanks for reading.
:2wave:

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X Factor

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I'm going to need to see some proof of your claims.
 

Captain Adverse

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Guys and gals,

I have learned quite a bit in my years posting to web-forums.
Though I am only an infrequent visitor to debatepolitics, I have been a moderator on similar boards in the past. Additionally, I moderated on two aviation-related web forums, and am currently moderating a guitar web forum, axecentral.

I offer this information not to brag or boast, but rather to lay the ground work for some bits of advice I am about to offer up.

Ahem.

With all due respect to your "experience," and recognizing some of your points have merit...

I'd still like to point out a few things:

1. An experienced internet user, like yourself, might want to remember that in Forums like this one should strive to post in the appropriate section. In this case, "Off Topic," or perhaps "Self-Help" rather than General Political? After all, you are providing instructions and advice, not discussing any issue of politics.

2. This is a debate forum, and many members strive to convince people of all sorts of things. Making a statement that nothing can be "proved on the internet" is not quite correct. Facts are facts, and they can be used to prove and/or disprove the merit of many posted positions.

3. This is an anonymous Forum. No risk of making an indelible footprint on the Internet. No great "responsibility" involved at all.

4. There are several Sub-forums (see Basement) where people are allowed to be as crude as they wish; a place this Forum has created allowing members to blow off steam, take the gloves off an just whale away at other members.

Having said all that, I do respect many of the points you've made and agree that people should strive to be a little more high-minded than they are. Just remember, people are people and good, bad, indifferent, we still have to deal with them as they are.
 
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Sparky2

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Ahem.

With all due respect to your "experience," and recognizing some of your points have merit...

I'd still like to point out a few things:

1. An experienced internet user, like yourself, might want to remember that in Forums like this one should strive to post in the appropriate section. In this case, "Off Topic," or perhaps "Self-Help" rather than General Political? After all, you are providing instructions and advice, not discussing any issue of politics.

2. This is a debate forum, and many members strive to convince people of all sorts of things. Making a statement that nothing can be "proved on the internet" is not quite correct. Facts are facts, and they can be used to prove and/or disprove the merit of many posted positions.

3. This is an anonymous Forum. No risk of making an indelible footprint on the Internet. No great "responsibility" involved at all.

4. There are several Sub-forums (see Basement) where people are allowed to be as crude as they wish; a place this Forum has created allowing members to blow off steam, take the gloves off an just whale away at other members.

Having said all that, I do respect many of the points you've made and agree that people should strive to be a little more high-minded than they are. Just remember, people are people and good, bad, indifferent, we still have to deal with them as they are.


I thank you most sincerely for your input and advice, good friend Captain Adverse, but I stand by my original posting and the location where I dropped it.

1. The general political arena, on a wide variety of media, including Facebook, is exactly where the most ardent, passionate posters screech and howl 'I have proven' this or that.
This is the right spot, trust me.

2. Facts are extremely important, and facts are the foundation for that evidence which we all hope to use to sway others.
But they are scarce, brother.
Scarce, indeed.
And in most instances, they are buried in partisan-political links to distant government-generated (or God-forbid, Party-generated) reports, which are (in and of themselves) dubious at best.
No, I'm good with my original statement.

3. There IS a great responsibility in posting to a web forum.
We all have the power to either sway in a positive fashion, or clunk and gunk around like a hard-left or hard-right knuckle-head.
People need hope.
Intelligent, objective postings offer hope.
Trite, hackneyed, bull**** partisan-political cut-and-paste jobs offer no hope at all.
I stand by my earlier assertion.

4. Thank you for your advice on the Basement.
I'll use it eventually, I guess.
But right now I am not so inclined.

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful input though.
I appreciate it, and I appreciate you.

:)
 
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