January 10, 2006


It’s Debatable

...One of the most interesting aspects of blogs and many other Websites is the possibility for interaction via comments. Some blogs will find themselves with few comments, while the more frequented ones will have threads with over 100 on any given topic. Sometimes comments can be not only fun, but also educational. Other times the availability of a comments section lends itself to the ugliness that has become known as “debate” in our society.
...My girlfriend and other friends with whom I had interacted on my previous blogs no longer have the possibility to leave their opinions, debate issues in an online forum, or leave a friendly “You rule!” or “You suck!” on this site.
...Deleting my other blogs and starting this new one—free of a comments section—will probably limit the traffic here, since a site with interaction is more attractive than one that just offers opinions. Such a situation is okay with me, though, because too many accolades aren’t always good. At the same time, negative comments aren’t always good, either—simply because of what seems to be occurring more and more.
...Good debate classes—whether they’re on a high school or college level—always encourage a basic idea of what makes for a strong argument and a strong debate: Stating your argument establishes the topic; supporting your argument with either concrete facts or strong subjective analysis should follow as ammunition to persuade your opposition to adopt your viewpoints (which, in all honesty, rarely occurs).
...Unfortunately, what happens more often than not is a low-brow attempt at debate that is nothing more than juvenile bickering akin to what might be found on an elementary school playground. I’ve seen quite a bit of it on various blogs: Dissenters who have ignored the issue at hand and criticized the music choices of the blogger in question; dissenters who criticize the time that the post was made instead of the substance of the post; dissenters who attack a person’s physical appearance if that particular blogger has a profile photograph; dissenters who have nothing to offer but outright lies.
...Perhaps it’s simply what passes as “debating” in America. That being the case, I’ll risk the possibility of knowing that only one or two people actually read my writing by disallowing comments here. That’s fine with me, however, because good writing (from anyone) comes from a love of thinking and venting—not a love for widespread appeal and mass-acceptance.


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