Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Virtues of Being a Dick...

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."- George Bernard Shaw

You're an asshole.

You just want to have an argument for the sake of it!

You're a cold, heartless, prick!

It must suck to be so close-minded.

You were abused as a child, weren't you?
You don't have a shred of sympathy or empathy, do you, you sociopath?

I've heard all of the above, and a lot worse, over the course of many years. I've been tarred with every epithet in the modern lexicon (which leaves much to be desired in terms of variety and descriptive adjectives): hater, _____ophobe, racist, elitist snob, psychopath, Nazi, White Male, Tool of the Patriarchy, Conservative, _____ lover, mental case, and lots of stuff with four letter words that is more indicative of the accuser's limited vocabulary (and elevation of their own feelings above all else) than an accurate description of myself.

These are usually followed by crude attempts to psychoanalyze me by armchair Bob Newharts, themselves suffering from a variety of obvious and undiagnosed mental problems (mostly Projection). I'm a narcissist. I suffer from the Dunning-Kreuger effect. I was probably a bedwetter until my late teens. I have repressed homosexual tendencies. I want to hump my mother. I want to hump my dog. I don't get laid often enough. I must be drunk or high. I must have suffered the effects of repeated blunt-force trauma to the head.

The worst name-callers and practitioners of amateur psychiatry usually turn out to be women. And effeminate men. Which is sort of the same thing. Upon deeper reflection, the best hurlers of invective happen to be "liberal" women, who on the one hand go through life extolling their virtues of open-mindedness, inclusive temperaments, naturally co-operative and loving natures, and on the other, do their level best to make you feel badly by striking at what they believe is your Achilles Heel; your feelz.

So that comments about the lack of length and girth in your penis are common. You obviously must struggle with some sort of inadequacy that you hide behind a barrier of nasty and argumentativeness. Someone scarred you for life, and you're taking it out on everyone else. You must be very lonely.

And if I were a chick, they might be right. Because that sort of thing -- implying a sexual inferiority or undesirability, dissatisfaction with some aspect of my body, myself, my social connections, my self-esteem, or view of my personhood, the reflexive attack designed to deliberately wound, the rubbing of a presumed emotional failure in one's face -- all work on Womyn.

But not Men.

Hey, when all you have in your arsenal is a vagina and hormones...

I laugh at those. In fact, I go out of my way to elicit those types of responses, sometimes, just for the laughs. Also because it's one of those self-supporting premises we encounter in life that offer us a reassurance that we are, ultimately, correct. People attack you in a way that best indicates what form of attack would work on THEM, and the weaker the attack, the quicker it comes, the more assured you are that you've stuck oil; you've made a point or done something that can't be matched or refuted by your attacker, therefore, all they have left is firehose emotion.

I'll admit I get a sick kick out of that. Sometimes, you have to make your own fun. Sue me.

Perhaps the most pathetic comebacks you get in the world of internet commentary come from people who I can best describe as Rules Lawyers.

In the gaming world, the Rules Lawyer is someone who is adept at using the rules of the game as both a shield and a sword, switching between defensive posture and full-blown-attack-dog depending on which interpretation of the rules best suits their immediate needs.

In this case, very often the Rules Lawyer will agree with whatever you've said, in principle, but then declare that the way in which you've said it invalidates your position.This is a dual, tacit admission; it first admits that whatever position you've espoused cannot be argued further; you've made an ironclad point that cannot be refuted. But your language leaves much to be desired, even if the language used has been exceedingly polite, there are suddenly subtle nuances, shades of gray, words or phrases that can be (conveniently) misconstrued. Therefore, your argument -- and by extension, You -- is shit.

Deconstructionism at it's very finest. And since the purpose of deconstructionism is to deny the existence of Objective Reality, what the deconstructionist Rules Lawyer is saying is "I believe what you say to be true, but I refuse to accept that it is true".

But I'm the mental case?

In most cases, the person who argues this way is usually coming to the defense of someone else who has just been verbally pummeled in the rough and tumble of debate. It's a form of virtue signalling which is supposed to shame the winner by implying he's beaten up on mental midget, and was unduly harsh in doing so, and at the same time rub the mental midget's nose in his defeat under the guise of leaping to his protection. It's a condescending action taken by someone who has no trouble with describing you as condescending.

Point out the Cognitive Dissonance here, and the same people will agree with you in principle, but then refuse to grant you your point because indicating they've behaved in this manner was "mean-spirited". In effect, you're being told that you're right on substance, but lose on form.

You're right, but simultaneously wrong.

The most fun I have ever had in an argument comes when you are dealing with a person who hasn't got the slightest clue as to what they are arguing for or against. These are legion. They will take up the cudgels for a position without knowing a damned thing about it. For example, recent arguments about Popular Votes and the Electoral College. One might say that a popular vote winner should be president, discounting the existence and purpose of the Electoral College. However, the rules of elections state the winner is the person who garners the proper percentage of the Electoral Colleges' votes, not the most-popular vote-getter.

It's usually the case that someone who would argue this position does so from pure emotion, and not any deep well of knowledge, so that the people who make the most-impassioned defense of Hitlery make it clear that a)they don't know what the Electoral College is, b) don't know the difference between a democracy and a republic, c) don't know how the voting system works, d) are ignorant of history, e) ignorant of how the political system works, f) all of the above, and furthermore, make it absolutely clear they don't wish to know,  make it abundantly clear they will never believe a word you say, and never make the effort to verify anything you've said or anything they've said, They're just spitting angry and want to vent, and the bigger their emotional stake in the argument, the more unscrewed they become.

And I enjoy the fuck out of it.

One of my favorite activities online is to take up the position of The Devil's Advocate, and inject a pertinent, but undiscussed or unconsidered proposition into the debate. Then I sit back and watch people tie themselves into logical pretzels trying to justify what they've often condemned as unjustified, make a logical case for the illogical, or retreat deeper into the bunker, dig their heels in deeper, and try to bull their way out of their own logical fallacies.

God, I'm a fucking jerkoff!

And occasionally, being human, I'm wrong. Not often. I haven't been wrong about much since I stopped drinking as therapy, a testament to the benefits of a (mostly) sober life. But it does happen every now and again, and I'm willing to concede this....but not until I've made you go through the hoops of explaining how I'm wrong down to the minutest detail.

In this case, I'm not doing it so much to be an asshole as I am using it as a learning tool. Having been definitively proven wrong, do me the additional favor of explaining where, how, when, and why I went wrong. because I want to know things I may not have known, or be exposed to  a point of view I may never have considered before. And yes, it may be an exhausting and maddening experience for you, but dammit it's your own fault; I'm wrong, you've pointed it out, I hate to be wrong, and you have to be punished accordingly for it.

Otherwise, I'm no better than the other fucktards I'm talking about here. Besides, learning something makes me happy, and it would be a very sorry existence if the only people I could torment online for fun were the stupid.

The process also makes me a better arguer.

Then again, pot-stirring has not always been, for me, a means by which to amuse myself at the expense of others. 

In his previous incarnations, Your Galactic Dictator has been a system's programmer, a computer operator, and insurance salesman, and very often in these fields The Argument is a primary tool in the arsenal of progress. Nothing ever changes if conventional wisdom is not challenged; authority ossifies into dictatorship if not routinely impeached; science stagnates if alternate points of view cannot be expressed or shared; mistakes are never found and corrected if processes and procedures are never subjected to audit; minds never change unless stimulated.

So, no I'm not an asshole: I'm the harbinger of personal growth.

So, I'm not a combative jerk for no reason whatsoever.

I am not an emotionless robot, with no sense of human feeling; I'm the guy who cuts through sentimentality and gets to the heart of the matter.

Far from being close-minded, I want to argue with you in the hopes of actually expanding my intellect.

I'm not a sociopath; I'm actually a sociophile, and driving you nuts is just an expression of my love for humanity: I want to see you improve by pointing out your flaws and correcting them!

So, being a dick is rather a good thing, after all, don't you think?

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