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Helpful Rules for Discussing Disagreements

Helpful Rules for Discussing Disagreements

We’ve seen a number of ‘heated’ exchanges on Tesla’s forums, some very repetitive, some involving angry insults. I believe that such exchanges are an unproductive way of clarifying issues.

Do you agree or disagree?

I propose the following list of preferred behaviors to foster better communication:

Always state your ideas as clearly and simply as you can.

Use simple respectful language, devoid of insults or innuendos.

In followup posts in a series, always address the questions asked by others, even if you need to say: “I don’t know”.

When introducing specific claims regarding factual information, include links to the sources of the information you present.

When you express thoughts that can’t be verified as factual, include words that indicate clearly that you’re expressing an opinion, a preference, or an estimate …

It’s OK to disagree respectfully with another poster’s comments.

When posting comments that disagree with another post, cite or quote the post, state which parts you agree with, which parts you disagree with, and why.

If you feel a need to vent anger, include simple words acknowledging that you’re venting. It’s OK to say “I disagree with Grinnin’VA’s logic.” Here’s what I think: .... Or I think Grinnin’VA is wrong … Even “I feel angry at Grinnin’VA because …
It’s not OK to say Grinnin’VA is a jerk, or any similar thing.

When a series of posts exhausts the new ideas from the participants without leading to agreement, simply say so. After that, no further comment on the issue is appropriate unless a participant introduces relevant new information, reopening the topic for further discussion.

1. Do you believe these rules would help our discussions of controversial issues?

2. Do you have any changes to suggest that you believe would improve these rules?

3. Are you willing to try to abide by these rules?

ray | 15. juli 2015

Yes until someone annoys the sh... out of me.

Bob.Calvo | 15. juli 2015

Agreed. Well done. I have seen you use this approach in conversation with folks.
Hopefully, others will follow your lead.

rmitchum | 16. juli 2015

1. Yes
2. No - perhaps could be included in @J.T.'s FAQ ?
3. Yes

Grinnin'.VA | 16. juli 2015

@ rmitchum | July 16, 2015

RM >>> 1. Yes
RM >>> 2. No - perhaps could be included in @J.T.'s FAQ ?

^^^
I appreciate your support for this attempt to work toward more civil and productive discussions. I think it's a bit premature to ask J.T. to include this set of rules in his FAQ. I believe we need many more forums to agree to these rules, or with some modified set of rules before we'll be ready to move forward.

Thanks.

evsisson | 16. juli 2015

I agree.

1. Yes
2. Yes - * Read the entire thread before posting.
3. Yes

Thanks, Grinnin - this could work.

Grinnin'.VA | 17. juli 2015

@ ray | July 15, 2015

>>> Yes until someone annoys the sh... out of me.

^^^ There is a provision for expressing anger in these draft rules.
As long as you identify your comments as 'venting' and abide by the other rules, you're OK. Example: Suppose you think something that I've posted is not supported by the available evidence/information, and you ask me repeatedly to provide supporting information. And then I keep posting additional comments on the thread involved without ever trying to provide the information requested. Possibly, that would annoy you. If we went through a few rounds of you asking what's the basis of my comment with me, in effect, refusing to answer, you'd have a reasonable basis for objecting.

In that case, you'd have every right to post something like: "Grinnin'.VA keeps evading my requests for the basis of his comments. I'm tired of going round and round with him on this. I mad as hell at him. I suspect that he's posting his opinions, but steadfastly refusing to admit that. Damn it, he's making it impossible to carry on a reasonable discussion on this topic. I resent that intensely. Grinnin'.VA, either put up or shut up!"

What's not OK is to use abusive language. Examples for the hypothetical case above:

"Grinnin'.VA is a jerk and a liar."
"Grinnin'.VA is a stupid asshole."

I understand that sometimes an uncooperative poster stirs up such intense anger so you may feel that 'venting' without the tkypical explicatives and derogatory expressions is artificial. It may even feel inadequate for the situation. (I've been there, done that.) However, many people find that such a restrained response that clearly expresses the anger and its cause works out well for them.

Good luck.

spacevertex | 17. juli 2015
Red Sage ca us | 19. juli 2015

I have been posting on various forums, bulletin boards, and groups on the internet for twenty years now. I have rules of my own, and abide by them. I don't bother attempting to get anyone else to do so.

MitchP85D | 19. juli 2015

Rules always break down when those advocating such rules violate what they want everybody else to abide by.

Grinnin'.VA | 19. juli 2015

@ spacevertex | July 17, 2015

I believe your flow chart describes a useful framework for rational discussions, except:

Your first examples point provides only a subjective basis for assessing the validity or truth of a "position".
Your first examples point presumes that each "position" is either true or false. In contrast, science long ago abandoned any hope of finding and validating absolute truth. Instead, scientists attempt to discover relationships/formulas that lead to better (more accurate) predictions of observable phenomena. The process is an endless series of refinements in our understanding.
IMO, your first rule would lead to artifical discussions of complex issues.
Regarding your 2nd rule, how inaccurate does a claimed "fact" need to be to invalidate its use in a rational discussion?
Regarding your statement of consequences of "You cheated" would effectively preclude participants changing their claims in the light of new information. I believe every participant deserves the right to learn and revise their conclusions when they consider new information.

In spite of the flaws that I see (or imagine) in your flow chart rules for rational discussion, I believe the spirit of this set of rules is basically valid.

spacevertex | 19. juli 2015

@Grinnin

Mostly i agree with all points you elaborated, I had the chart handy and saw your post so posted it in good humour.

I use it to convey groundless for any discussion, needless to say, in most cases people do what people do best, stick to their position.

Red Sage ca us | 24. juli 2015

Next up: Duct Tape versus Krazy Glue versus WD-40 in a three corner cage match!

Grinnin'.VA | 24. juli 2015

@ Red Sage ca us | July 24, 2015

>>> Next up: Duct Tape versus Krazy Glue versus WD-40 in a three corner cage match!

What's bothering you? You usually make a lot more sense than this.

If I take this lame attempt at humor for its obvious meaning, I'd conclude that you intend to treat a serious issue as if it were a joke. Please tell me that this isn't your intent.

I believe you have much more enlightening things to share with us.

Red Sage ca us | 24. juli 2015

Well, it may have been lame, but I was literally falling out of my seat laughing while I was typing it...

Never mind.

Carry on...

Grinnin'.VA | 24. juli 2015

@ Red Sage ca us | July 24, 2015

>>> I was literally falling out of my seat laughing while I was typing it...

I see. Some times the cost of entertainment is a bit steep.

Good luck.

vperl | 24. juli 2015

Some folk are just so filled with self-righteousness they appear to be the chosen teaching from the Mountain of self perfection.

A location preserved for them only.

I opt out.

spacevertex | 25. juli 2015

I found Red Sage' post quiet funny, in a way it was an ironic take on my conclusion put in words only Red Sage could.

spacevertex | 25. juli 2015

or was it satire, hmm, confused...

spacevertex | 25. juli 2015

In fact, I am gonna elaborate for you Grinnin why I like it since you elaborate much too.

Red Sage took the word 'stick' and in a way continued the conversation thread and put it in a paradoxical context of irony whose conclusion is again anyone' guess.

That one line has a lot of wit, dark humour and satire all at the same time, that is high quality humour, one must learn to enjoy it. Forums are for sure a way to exchange ideas but also a great place to joust wits.

Disclaimer: I and Red Sage have had our own theoritical jousting on a couple of topics and have never agreed to anything with each other but where credit is due, it must be conceded.

Grinnin'.VA | 25. juli 2015

@ spacevertex | July 25, 2015

>>> I am gonna elaborate for you Grinnin why I like it since you elaborate much too.

^^^
You are welcome to skip my posts.
If you don't find my posts informative or interesting, please ignore my posts.

spacevertex | 25. juli 2015

It's an open forum, neither you or I own it, so don't get carried away by 'my posts' & 'your posts'.

The irony in all this is that you yourself are pretending to be holier than thou, relax, pipe down a bit, ppl will agree with this post of yours more if you yourself practise what you preach.

vperl | 25. juli 2015

An earlier comment from a post seems to go great here again.
__________________________________________________________ Some folk are just so filled with self-righteousness they appear to be the chosen teaching from the Mountain of self perfection.

A location preserved for them only.

I opt out.

________________________________________________________

unxxx1 | 25. juli 2015

Test

Grinnin'.VA | 25. juli 2015

@ vperl | July 25, 2015

>>> Some folk are just so filled with self-righteousness they appear to be the chosen teaching from the Mountain of self perfection.

>>> I opt out.

^^^
Since you show no intent to engage in civil discussions on this topic or other, I'll be glad to run into fewer of your posts in the future.

Good luck.

vperl | 25. juli 2015

Still deciding, and determining rules, guidelines.

Your perch on mountain must have great view.

I make no rules, for anyone, seems some have the urge to be the "Putin's" of the planet, better known as "PP"ers .

Please confirm your standing as a "PP" .

GOOD FORTUNE

Red Sage ca us | 25. juli 2015

My post was a reference to the handy dandy engineering flowchart...

I suppose I should have said it would be a no disqualification, 2-on-1 handicap, 'I QUIT' cage match... So Duct Tape & Krazy Glue would be teamed up against WD-40... Instead of a free-for-all, round robin, royal rumble.

My bad!

spacevertex | 26. juli 2015

I am almost becoming a fan of yours Red Sage.
Thats a rare skill you have, keep up.