Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Professional croissant on closed course. Do not attempt.

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I see people taking a discussion of ideas and turning it into a personal criticism of another participant in the discussion. I see this a lot on halfbakery. No matter how stupid or cruel someone is, that doesn't justify someone else attacking them personally. It leads to rancor and hurt feelings and a waste of emotions. It reduces my respect for the people who indulge in it. It reduces my interest in engaging in the discussion. Remember, argument against the man, or ad hominem argument, is considered a "logical fallacy" in rhetoric.

I still want to post ideas to jutta's site. I enjoy ideas. But I don't enjoy a bullfight or a gladiator show. I don't enjoy the bullying, newbie-disdaining aspect of halfbakery culture. I'll collect examples below so you can know what I mean.

"maybe I'll be lucky and somehow you'll have an epiphany while reading it... suddenly you'll feel like exploring the world around you, you'll research possibilities before subjecting the rest of us to your marijuana-induced musings, the help file will make sense to you and you will want to be a courteous member of the Halfbakery community, or you might have an aneurism. Either way, the rest of us are better off."
To dare lecture someone about a small transgression(discourtesy), and then commit a much larger crime(hostility, callousness, wishing death on them) is beyond hypocrisy. It's a flame.

"sitck with what you know (obviously nothing to do with jewellery). jackass."
This was completely unprovoked (unless you consider a stupid invention provocation).

"Would you like me to humiliate you, too? I'll do it without relish... or butter. Just keep prodding the bear, my friend."
This is unabashed bullying. (Maybe a bit abashed, because the bully deleted it later)

"How very cruel." This is namecalling. It was said in response to a statement that was not namecalling. This is how a discussion goes from friendly to unfriendly.

"Then stand in front of a mirror and punch yourself in the nose, you meanie." This is directed at an attackee who said something cruel about old people. However the attackee never personally attacked another Baker. Yet he was attacked personally.

"[attackee] seems to be suffering from some pretty nasty motivations." This is mind reading, ad hominem argument. It doesn't address the issue.

"Ideas like this make me believe in devolution"

"This idea is an insult to anyone...with even a hint of a brain"

"you guys are fucking assholes." Who likes to hear themselves called a fucking asshole? Not me.

"The original idea is stupid, ignorant and unrealistic (not bad science or advocacy- let's not beat around the fucking bush here), and some of the annos are as Daffyducking crazy as hell. Doesn't anything make you people angry?" Wow

"Get over yourself."
It's absolutely nobodies business whether I get over myself. It may be their business what I write on halfbakery. There is a big difference.

"I do think that [attackee] can keep his effing morality to himself" This is impugning the attackee's morality. A very harsh personal insult.

"People are taking this very seriously, aren't they?"
Again it's the attackee's business how seriously he wants to take the discussion. Furthermore, it is a typical troll tactic to whip people up into a frenzy in an argument and then say 'Why are you taking this so seriously?'

"Listen, nutball - -" Namecalling. Making the argument personal. Until this person said "Listen, nutball--" the argument was not personal. It wasn't even an argument.

"I figured someone had to counter the pile of horseshit that keeps topping my "recent" view."

"Develop a life-threatening disease: Don't seek treatment." This is quite a curse. Is there anyone in the world to whom you would say this, face to face?

Many attacks I see are straight faced rebuttals to statements intended as jokes. So the attacker is attacking the attackee for something that the attackee didn't even mean. And the attacker knows it.

"Your comment makes no sense."

A situation this bad doesn't just happen. If you are interested in what's behind it, email me at robinism. My ISP is cox.net.

[Sep 05 2004, last modified Feb 11 2005]

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