On Arguing

I love arguing, but hate doing it online.

The inconsistency intrigues me, because offline I've made a real hobby of advocating the devil whenever it is or isn't convenient. Having no passionate opinions, I challenge any idea put forward, facetiously switching between viewpoints, at the whim of a desire to get under the skin of anyone exposing that they might care about something.

My intentions are playful, and at best so will be the response. I get no cruel pleasure from upset, but do so from frustration or blind indignity. I don't deviate from good nature, but my tendancies to search for character flaws and contradictions in beliefs are received better by those who are comfortable referencing their own weaknesses, than by those who aren't.

Online arguing culture has no place for commenters who aren't sure about what is right and who is so wrong. I think that this, combined with the lack of tone and an overly opinionated audience, suggest that the pleasures I get from arguing are not too transferable to the internet.

Having said that, what got me writing this article was a response I wrote here on read.write.as that closely resembled how much of a prick I can be in real life. It's clear that for me, goading took priority over debate, that I was after a reaction rather than a response.

It's some weeks later now, and I'm disappointed I'm still waiting. His original post and initial response have been deleted so although I'm tempted to claim it as a victory, silence was the one outcome I didn't want.

My lack of conversational wholesomeness is unknown to many that know me only as uncomfortably shy. If you want to know what I think, give me a four hour train journey, and get yourself an internet connection and a tolerance for bad poetry.

My humour is reactive, I'm conversationally redactive. I'm just not attractive when I'm interacting.