Saturday, September 26, 2009

Those Who Debate

Over the last decade or so I've read a lot of postings from various email lists, forums, web sites, blogs and so on.

In so doing I've noticed that there are different kinds of people who participate.

Of course there are the moderators who comprise the forum police force. Sometimes this is the same as the forum owner or operator but frequently not.

There are trolls who post in order to start a fight of some kind.

There are lurkers who read and don't post much.

There are frequent posters who have an opinion on everything and post on everything.

But I've become interested in those who like to debate on forums. There is the proponent who takes the affirmative and argues forcefully. There is the opponent who does the same but against the proposition.

Both the proponent and opponent types fall into two major types. On the one hand is the person who argues the issues. On the other is the one who immediately brings personal attack and derision to the argument.

There is also the undecided. These seem to be particularly despised on so many forums.

There is also the person who is often a lurker but who occasionally posts an opinion and then simply retreats back into lurkdom.

I suspect in many ways these forums do mirror to some extent how we act as a people.


rilera said...

It is interesting isn't it? I remember my dad and our neighbor having frequent political discussions (Dad was a staunch Rep, neighbor a Dem) and as a child I wondered how they could still be friends after these discussions. They would become so heated. But I guess that's what democracy is all about.

Anonymous said...


All good points and I guess you would say that I fall into the category of lurker, not poster.

There is one more category of debaters and they are the ones I most admire. True debaters, who until given the topic don't know if they will be pro or con. And then are told they must argue the point from one direction or another.

Truly good thinkers who win arguments from the facts, not emotions. Guess that's a throw back to high school and college.

And like rilera my Pop was the Rep chair in his area in Ohio. His best friend was the Dem chair. They never hated one another but learned so much from their debates, heated at times.

That's what a good debate does, makes you think.

Susan M