Net Neutrality and Arguing on the Internet

Inspired by this post which was linked to from this post, I attempted to explain to some knucklehead why the US government’s takeover of the Internet, aka Net Neutrality, might not be the something it is thought to be. The perspective in this case was regarding Wall St and investing (as are the two links). I was informed to that my ideology was blinding me.

So, this morning, I read this post, which argued somewhat from the same perspective, but ended up describing the whole phenomenon of Internet discussions:

The mark of a proficient debater is the ability to summarize the opposition’s arguments so that someone who holds those views would not take issue with the disputant’s characterization. Only then can an argument be refuted in a manner that is comprehensive enough so that minds open and compelling points might be internalized. Failing to charitably characterize your opponents’ views ensures that your argument will be quickly dismissed, but the artistry of argumentation is undervalued today. The slaying of straw men and the rejection of “false choices,” none of which resemble real choices, are the rhetorical weapons of choice for the modern debater.

Nothing is so highly valued as a zinger or a quip that “destroys” your adversary. And those characterizations are often bestowed on the debater post hoc and by arbiters who are already sympathetic to their position. They are not objective assessments of someone’s performance in a debate as they are efforts to legitimize their substandard presentation after the fact.

Which is why I’m often amused, occasionally impressed, but generally disappointed by “tweets” – yes, even those on Twitchy (although I do find Twitchy to be very good about saving other people’s tweets that mysteriously disappear). [Update 20150301: Exception Iowahawk; for example:]

I’d rather have the internet control government than government control the internet.

[Update 20150301]: Net neutering. Heh.

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