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Old 06-05-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
T3t
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Patrick Rothfuss Opposes Scott Walker

Here.

This thread isn't about Scott Walker, or about Patrick Rothfuss. It's about the discussion of politics both in your private life and in the public sphere by influential individuals.

Personally, I used to be fine with discussing politics on the internet (up to a point - once I started to feel my blood pressure go up, I knew it was time to go cool off).

Then some "friends" made some pretty nasty character accusations. I'm not sure if they truly believed those things about me, or if they were just slinging ad-hominem attacks out of a lack of anything better to say, but that dampened my enthusiasm for such debates considerably.

As for politics in real life, I try to avoid it entirely except in the company of like-minded people. I realize that this introduces selection bias into the sort of discussions I have, but I keep up with opposing viewpoints online.

Dealing with the messes that are real-life political arguments is simply too unpleasant to be worthwhile. (And, hah, I know what you're thinking - but no, I'm not the one who keeps moving the goalposts. If you say that you want to promote a policy to desensitize people to the idea of "incremental change", then you accuse me of a slippery slope argument when I say you want further restrictions on said object/activity, you're full of shit. End of. Also, trying to claim that there's no objective difference between positive and negative rights is so goddamn stupid, fucking fuck.)

Sorry.

Discuss your preferences/experiences in discussing politics both IRL and online.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:11 PM   #2
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Whilst I personally find discussing politics fun and engaging (both online and off), I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that, well, there isn't much point in doing it.

Whilst Patrick Rothfuss in this particular case was able to talk things over with his friend and get him to change his mind, I've found that most people aren't like that in real life.

People, generally, hold onto their views tightly, and no matter how hard or well I might argue, it is extremely difficult to get someone to change their mind if they don't want you to.

In real life, this often leads to pointless and (usually) destructive arguments, with neither side willing to give any quarter. Online, this leads to either ganging up, whereby one person is out-shouted by the majority, no matter how valid his/her points are, or it degenerates into personal insults.

Whilst online arguments are generally less bad for the people involved, as most of the time the participants are not familiar with one another, in real life it can lead to the breaking of relationships. I think I recall a thread a few years ago about a Ponyville-er who was thrown out of his aunt's house after a political disagreement.

Tl;Dr - Political discussions, whilst interesting and potentially fun, can be horribly destructive and poisonous to those closest to you.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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Edit: nevermind.

I hate politics. I only discuss it with people who like to listen just as much as they like to talk regardless of their supposed intellect.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:18 PM   #4
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The last meaningful political discussion I had was last year at a Memorial Day weekend barbecue in rural/suburban New Jersey with a mid-40s conservative white guy named Joe who had a few beers and was married to a Chinese woman. At one point, his kid came up to me and asked, "Do you believe in global warming?" something that Joe asked earlier.

We got to talking about things like individual responsibility, how to raise kids, the Tea Party and constitutional fundamentalism, teacher's unions and charter schools, but what struck me most was the question about global warming. I brought up a bunch of peer reviewed data for man-made global warming while he pointed out one "scientist" debunking global warming as a myth. Then he said something to the effect of "Rush Limbaugh is a genius, I get my news from talk radio" and I pretty much gave up there. I didn't want to antagonize him with my fact-based viewpoints since I was just a guest with a friend while he was technically family, and I figured it was a lost cause trying to convince him of anything.

I have a tendency to engage with opposing viewpoints simply because sitting around people nodding heads all the time is boring. To be honest, I have few friends who are in any way knowledgeable about politics, much less have an ideology. But one of my best friends from high school is a self-loathing Russian Nazi-Jew conservative-ish libertarian, and I can easily talk politics with him since we both know he's an asshole.

I tend not to jump in to group discussions unless I have something to say that hasn't been said. If someone's spouting flagrantly stupid shit and hasn't been thoroughly fact-cockslapped already, I'd do it.

Being open minded and accommodating is nice but at some point it becomes self-defeating. Either take a stand and slap the stupid out of them, or if that's not an option, walk away.



OllieK didn't get kicked out by his aunt because of a political disagreement, it was because he jizzed on her in her sleep.

And uh, there's no objective difference between positive and negative rights.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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I don't know enough political trivia to debate effectively. So I don't bother.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:33 PM   #6
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I don't know enough political trivia to debate effectively. So I don't bother.
Meh. Most of the time you can get away with broad, sweeping statements.

And for everything else, there's Google.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:39 PM   #7
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OllieK didn't get kicked out by his aunt because of a political disagreement, it was because he jizzed on her in her sleep.
this joke used to be funny :/ it isn't any more, and yeah it wasn't "just" politics, but you guys really don't need to know about family drama, that was the part I felt comfortable sharing.

OT: I like to listen to people's politics and give small comments, outside of close friends, and family, I never share my opinions past "civil rights are a big deal".
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:21 AM   #8
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But one of my best friends from high school is a self-loathing Russian Nazi-Jew conservative-ish libertarian, and I can easily talk politics with him since we both know he's an asshole.
This sounds so much like me, except for the self-loathing, Nazi, and conservative bits. And I'm not an asshole. And I definitely didn't go to high school, either.

Maybe not so much like me, then...

On a related note, I hate debating about Global Warming in a political context because the politicians, scientists, and talking heads themselves aren't really knowledgeable on the subject, seeing as how they aren't economists and thus have not a single clue as to what their effect their proposals would have. The same is true for most policy proposals, unfortunately, but it's especially egregious in this case.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:36 AM   #9
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I like discussing politics but because of my particular political philosophy I always end up in the same arguments spouting the same rhetoric and that's disenchanting to say the least. I don't discuss politics with my girlfriend, let's put it that way.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:55 AM   #10
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I'm pretty selective with who I talk to about politics. I find that anyone lodged too firmly in any camp is a waste of my time. It's truly like talking to a brick wall.

I'm generally scornful of most aspects of modern politics, so the things I prefer to debate about are largely philosophical or metaphysical. I don't give a fuck whether the economy is good or not, just so a bunch of mediocre, unexceptional Plebs can indulge their commercial impulses freely, or so that a bunch of arrogant wealthy businessmen can expand their riches.

I think my problem is that I just don't identify with the dominant classes of this day and age (middle and working classes). I'm not materialistic at all and I simply don't share the average man's priorities or interests. So for me, talking about politics is relatively pointless, and sometimes bewildering for my counterpart, if they are unfamiliar with my views.

Sometimes, though rarely, I come across someone who knows where I'm coming from and, even if they don't agree, can at least contribute to an interesting discussion. It helps that broad philosophical opinions don't inspire the same sort of petty grudges and prejudices that mainstream political affiliations do.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:41 AM   #11
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Arguing politics is pointless. Especially considering both worthwhile political parties in this country occupies the same three inches of grey middle ground and all of the outliers are crazy hacks with nothing better to do than spout garbage. At least in America you have the choice of unsustainable spending or culled civil rights.

If we're talking more general or global politics, it's still pointless because people invariably adopt either an outrageous position and are completely intolerant about the severe short-comings of such a system and make the same retarded arguments over and over and over, or they just adopt whatever viewpoint was held by the last documentary or news outlet they happened to have encountered.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:43 AM   #12
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Because most people in Murrrrkhuh automatically assume any form of Socialism at all is automatically evil and wrong, I quit trying IRL, being a Democratic Socialist and all. Now that I'm in Japan again, talking politics is sort of a moot point, since I can't vote here, and frankly, I don't like either of the major Japanese parties.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:46 AM   #13
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Yeah, arguing politics is pretty useless, Especially since I live in Northern Ireland, where your political stance is decided more by what church you were baptised in, rather than any actual policies.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:15 AM   #14
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Yeah, living where I live in a less than affluent area of England, there's way too many people like this guy for any meaningful political discussion to happen. I gave up a while ago.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:13 PM   #15
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Yeah, living where I live in a less than affluent area of England, there's way too many people like this guy for any meaningful political discussion to happen. I gave up a while ago.
It's a good thing you gave up. Had you been persistent, you might have been shot by a muslamic ray gun.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:46 PM   #16
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No. I used to argue politics with everyone because I'm just naturally argumentative dick, but I've stopped since I realised that the viewpoints of most people aren't based in logic and so provide no real interesting arguments and only frustration. I pretty much stopped discussing politics with people I know because I can't respect people that hold illogical opinions that they know are wrong but don't want to change because... they just feel it. I can't deal with that shit, so I just walk away.

I'm more of a spectator nowadays, and it's much more enjoyable and stress free.

All that arguing achieves is make both sides rapidly gain contempt for one another honestly. At least among the people I know,that were raised to believe that they had a right to an opinion no matter how idiotic, and that an attack on that opinion was an attack on their pride or person.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:22 PM   #17
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Trying to explain to people that you want to take away what they think are their "God given rights" tends to be counterproductive to actually taking away these rights. So no, I do not talk politics IRL.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:27 PM   #18
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At least among the people I know,that were raised to believe that they had a right to an opinion no matter how idiotic, and that an attack on that opinion was an attack on their pride or person.
This right here? Fuck everything about this. My ignorance isn't as good as your knowledge. Your ignorance isn't as good as my knowledge.

I surely hope you don't raise your kid with such an utterly fucking retarded belief.

And as for people being offended-- Well so fucking what? I'm offended whenever ignorant fucking Christians try to hide the truth because it "feels bad." You'll always offend people, and always over stupid shit-- So quit trying not to offend people, you fucking pussy. It doesn't work, it leads to you surrendering on every front where you're in conflict, and it just cheapens /everyone's/ interactions with you.

(Y'know how this atrocious anti-intellectualism in the U.S. came about? People who "didn't want to cause any trouble" getting stomped on by the religious, basically.)
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:55 PM   #19
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This right here? Fuck everything about this. My ignorance isn't as good as your knowledge. Your ignorance isn't as good as my knowledge.

I surely hope you don't raise your kid with such an utterly fucking retarded belief.
What are you talking about?

I cannot have a logical discussion with people that take things so personally that after the first ten seconds they go from ignoring everything you said to calling you critical, pessimistic, an arsehole etc. There's no point for either of us because I'm not getting a legitimate challenge to my position and they've wrapped themselves in a ball and basically refused to hear me. There's no exchange of ideas. It becomes an emotional battle and that's that.

I'm not just saying that their style is wrong here and that they're peppering their argument with insults, I'm saying that their argument is basically one big insult.


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And as for people being offended-- Well so fucking what? I'm offended whenever ignorant fucking Christians try to hide the truth because it "feels bad." You'll always offend people, and always over stupid shit-- So quit trying not to offend people, you fucking pussy. It doesn't work, it leads to you surrendering on every front where you're in conflict, and it just cheapens /everyone's/ interactions with you.
*sigh*

I'm not going to fucking put myself in a position to run in fucking place. If it was an idealistic person that believes in dumb shit then I have no problem jumping on them because they might change their mind or change mine. I have no problem jumping on someone that has an agenda that conflicts with mine.

The people I'm talking about are not like that, they are never fucking changing and the only way it'll end is for me to either scream my fucking throat raw and reach some very unfortunate conclusions about humanity. There's nothing to gain, at all. They're not marching on somebody for some idiotic reason, they're not doing shit. I know them and it's not worth my time to bash them over the head when it won't stick.

When people base their opinions on their emotions and self-worth then arguing with them is pointless. It becomes less a matter of logic and of "winning".

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(Y'know how this atrocious anti-intellectualism in the U.S. came about? People who "didn't want to cause any trouble" getting stomped on by the religious, basically.)
See, but in those are people shutting up when the religious were jumping on them in ways that made a difference to their lives, not a bunch of teenagers trying to talk politics and one person bowing out because he's seen that movie.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:42 PM   #20
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I'm a rather selective person when it comes to talking Politics. I absolutely refuse with about 85% of the population of the Earth. Since they're generally way too emotionally invested in their political beliefs, and I personally believe that no decision about government should ever be made based more on emotion than fact and logic.

I'm one of those freaky weird linguistic masochists that enjoys getting in an argument so long as both sides are at least making an honest attempt to maintain logic. Verbal duels of a sort are thrilling to me, I find that they're as close to a true duel as you can get in this day and age. I'll admit that I get a sort of visceral thrill when I've verbally and factually beaten an opponent into the ground.
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