Passionate About Flame Wars

(10:10:18 AM) Ishpeck: Two years ago, I considered that Facebook harmed my ability to form a coherent sentence. My brain started to think entirely in quips and snarky nonsense. Pursuant to this, I reasoned that I would better achieve the values of being able to write meaningful things by not participating in Facebook. This worked really well for two years. I was content to not log into facebook. It was splendid. Then, on Tuesday evening, a powerful emotion overcame me and motivated me to log into Facebook. I tried to defend myself from this urge with reason; "Ishy," I said to myself, "You know that facebook harms your greater values. Don't do it" But the passion was too great, it overcame reason, and I logged in.

(10:11:54 AM) Ishpeck: My passion drove me to participate in, of all things, an Internet argument. http://www.ishpeck.net/23-states.html Now we all know that Internet arguments are not about discovering the Truth or coming to a consensus. It's about showboating to your fellow partisans so you can laugh about the opposition together when you say something disparaging.

(10:12:16 AM) Patriot: Reasonably true, yeah.

(10:14:56 AM) Ishpeck: In this argument, it went like this: Wife makes a statement about her values. Buddy sees her values, disagrees with them, and tries to motivate her to engage in the cognitive effort of abandoning her beliefs and adopting his by saying that war is the inevitable consequence of secession and thus, should be feared. Wife tries to defend herself from this impassioned motivation with reason by citing historic instances of non-violent secession. He reiterates by saying America can't be like those countries because there are too many guns; guns are implements of war, war is all that will happen, so PH33r!

(10:16:34 AM) Ishpeck: Now I knew that I couldn't change the Buddy's mind on the matter – because I know what Internet arguments are. I wanted to showboat for my wife so she felt less picked on. She was rather upset by his posts. I used that reasoning to successfully defend myself from the impulse to engage in the actual argument. Instead, I tried to motivate him with the emotion of guilt or empathy by telling him that he's being threatening – hoping he would at least change his approach to the argument. He defended himself from this emotional appeal with reason: "Prediction is not a prescription" as he contends.

(10:17:36 AM) Ishpeck: My postulation: Humans are not motivated by reason. At some level, we all know this. We're motivated by our feelings. We attempt to prevent ourselves from impulsiveness and pursuing all our feelings by reason.

(10:21:43 AM) Patriot: Yeah, absolutely. Logic as a motivator is an illusion. I sat in on a lecture by a psychology professor the other week and he noted how everything we do is largely motivated by either fear or love.

(10:21:58 AM) Ishpeck: Donnie Darko!

(10:21:59 AM) Patriot: I thought that was pretty cool as that's what I've already come to believe for quite some time.

(10:25:05 AM) Ishpeck: Whelp. You're terrible at poking holes in my postulation then. You are just another partisan to my beliefs! WHAT GOOD ARE YOU!?

(10:25:40 AM) Patriot: I validate you emotionally, thus I'm quite good.

(10:37:47 AM) Patriot: I see what you did, but I think you went about it incorrectly. You're trying to affect his emotion with reason. A potentially more powerful strategy might be: "I can see how the potential for civil war is something that worries you. Do you think it's wise, however, to allow our fear to dictate following the actions our conscience prescribes?"

(10:38:08 AM) Patriot: It puts you on his team emotionally before you ever start dealing with the actual topic.

(10:39:21 AM) Ishpeck: I agree. I wasn't particularly dictated by reason.

(10:39:34 AM) Ishpeck: My head was also filled with feminist blogger rhetoric.

(10:40:48 AM) Ishpeck: My wife actually accused me of being disingenuous when she saw me posting that first comment.

(10:40:50 AM) Ishpeck: :P

(10:41:57 AM) Patriot: Well, I think it was a noble effort.

Date: 2012-11-15 10:19

Author: Anthony "Ishpeck" Tedjamulia

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