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View Full Version : The Pit is awesome - it's those Great Debates that suck!


fessie
06-10-2003, 04:05 PM
I've seen many people post to the effect that they were afraid of the Pit, they'd heard it was treacherous. Newbies beware, etc. Well, people do get hot & bothered, but it doesn't seem impossible to reach a consensus - at least that's an outcome I've often seen.

But those Great Debates? Balls 'o fire!!!

I'm really trying to understand what people are telling me, and I agree that their view is part of the picture - I agree, I agree, they're right in many ways - but they want the whole pie. It's either entirely their way or nothing. Never mind the millions of people who believe differently - nope, somehow they've got it all figured out. End of story.

If I'd started my SDMB journey there I don't think I'd've bothered to explore further. I've enjoyed what I've learned - including learning from my own mistakes there - but the lack of progress in understanding is discouraging.

Jpeg Jones
06-10-2003, 04:49 PM
I concur.

I only go near GD if I'm feeling profound, and I agonize over every post I contribute, getting the wording right, etc.

GD is a tough crowd. I tend to leave my sense of humor at the door.

Earl of the CC
06-10-2003, 04:51 PM
Unfortuneately, many posters in Great Debates give in to the natural desperation to never admit they are wrong. Some don't and actually examine things from a new angle and occasionally have a change of mind on an issue. Not common, but people are stubborn sons of bitches...

Binarydrone
06-10-2003, 04:55 PM
Can I get a link here? Who do I have to blow in this cockroach molesting place to get a link? :p

Binarydrone
06-10-2003, 04:56 PM
Hey! I tried to put a smilie on that. How odd.

Gatopescado
06-10-2003, 04:57 PM
Great Debates is a wasteland of hot air. I fully agree. I hardly ever pop in to see what kind of nonsense is going down.

_______________
Fagjunk Theology: Not just for sodomite propagandists anymore.

minty green
06-10-2003, 05:11 PM
Cowards. :p

Binarydrone
06-10-2003, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by Binarydrone
Hey! I tried to put a smilie on that. How odd.
whaaaaaaaaaaat? I seem to be having smilie delay! Yeah, thats it, I would never fuck up the coding.

Binarydrone
06-10-2003, 05:16 PM
Seriously though, even in my short time here I have seen a bit of a change in the tone of each forum. GD seems to have become much more rude, for lack of a better term. The Pit, on the other hand, seems to have been hosting its share of threads where folks seem to want to reach consensus and engage in discussion.

g8rguy
06-10-2003, 05:18 PM
Harumph. GD is fun and easy. Too many people, admittedly, seem to think that one wins a debate by repeating the same things over and over again, rather than actually addressing other peoples' points, and some people are completely intractable (which, IMHO, means their intellectually bankrupt), but on the whole, I rather like GD.

matt_mcl
06-10-2003, 05:27 PM
I used to spend a lot of time in GD. Then I came to the Pit, where people are nicer.

fessie
06-10-2003, 05:36 PM
I'm so glad I opened this thread - I didn't want to be a whiny sore loser or something, it's just...arrrrrghhh! If people don't want to listen there's nothing to be done.

The thread to which I was referring asked whether the soul exists. My point boils down to: I have had experiences of my own soul and there are ways I got there & methods that can be used and have been used by people in order to have spiritual experiences. My opponents' view is that unless you can prove something empirically, it doesn't exist.

Big ugly ball of wax, but that's basically it. I forgot how to put in a good thread link, but it's still up in GD right now if you really want to read a lot of infuriating text. I said a few jackass things but on the whole I think I was really reasonable and accommodating. It didn't help.

Azael
06-10-2003, 06:15 PM
My opponents' view is that unless you can prove something empirically, it doesn't exist.

Of course that isn't the case, which might explain why you are running into so many problems.

Things exist regardless of whether or not we can currently "prove" them empirically.

However until we have some empirical means of confirming that existence there is no reliable way of telling the difference between something that exists and something that somebody just made up. If you can think of another way then you let me know ok?

That seems to have been the fundamental disconnect in that thread. What you call "spiritual experiences" may have served to personally validate your beliefs in a soul but another person may be just as likely to regard similiar experiences in a "non-spiritual" (or at the very least non-supernatural) light. In an event it is not clear at all that any of the experiences you cite could not have been the result of the physical workings of the human brain. A "feeling" or a "certainty" simply isn't enough to prove the objective existence of something, especially when more reasonable explanations are available.

I'm sorry that your experiences in GD have led you to this point though. It can be unsettling to have some of your most closely held beliefs subject to such strict scrutiny, but that shouldn't prevent you from doing so. If you want to hold your ground then it's a great chance to challenge and sharpen your arguements. In any event, I thought you were doing rather well.

friedo
06-10-2003, 06:20 PM
I agree. I used to read and contribute to GD a lot in my earlier (and more hot-headed) days on the board, but got tired of the same old shit over and over again. So I almost never read GD anymore.

The Pit is fun. Not really when someone says or does something stupid and a bandwagon or ten insults him for 50 pages, but when an interesting or funny rant leads to interesting and funny conversation. I think people don't feel they have to push their agenda so hard in such a context.

SkipMagic
06-10-2003, 06:26 PM
Great Debates is a fun place in which to hang out; however, if you really want to defend your positions in whatever argument's are currently floatin' about, it takes a lot of t-i-m-e. Regardless of one's contributions, though, it's great fun to read.

Besides, a person can learn quite a bit over there; and if that learning solely encompasses how to present a better argument, then so be it.

As for debates over the metaphysical, the majority of them will boil down to a stand-off between empirical and anecdotal evidence. Or, what was just better said by Azael.

Francesca
06-10-2003, 06:34 PM
I used to be horribly intimidated by GD, until I realised that really it's mostly just people admiring their own masterful grip on rhetoric and talking to themselves. Some good work does get done there - cf the tireless work of certain posters to put forth sensible views on religion and really fighting ignorance. But for the most part, it's a lot of hot air.

rjung
06-10-2003, 06:35 PM
Some people post in Great Debates because they want to weigh evidence, examine issues from all sides, and try to learn more about the world they live in.

And other folks post in Great Debates because they want to go trollin', but don't want to get flamed when they get called on their bullshit.

GD regulars can provide the names of their favorite Usual Suspects. ;)

Azael
06-10-2003, 06:36 PM
As for debates over the metaphysical, the majority of them will boil down to a stand-off between empirical and anecdotal evidence.

See also: Lekatt's Great Trainwreck (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=156629)

g8rguy
06-10-2003, 06:38 PM
One important thing to realize is that there's a reason it's called Great Debates: these are arguments that have been around for a long time and haven't been really resolved, so of course we're not likely to resolve them here, either. As such, if you go into GD looking to convince the world that you know The Answer to some particular problem, expect to not convince anyone. I find GD to be quite useful in sharpening my own thinking, but it's not the place to go if you want to establish a consensus on anything.

That said, I don't see it as being full of rude obnoxious twits, either. YMMV, but most of the posters there, at least in the threads that I read, seem to have set positions which they defend vigorously without being vitriolic. Some posters, of course, have the manners of a bear woken in mid-January, which is irritating, but I just ignore them.

Diogenes the Cynic
06-10-2003, 06:43 PM
You guys are all just jealous because I'm always right. :p

fessie
06-10-2003, 06:46 PM
Azael I agree with you, my spiritual experiences don't serve to verify someone else's beliefs & can be explained otherwise, even though I don't find them to be such. Thanks for saying my arguments didn't suck.

My question for your more reasonable mind - does the efficacy of something prove existence empirically? A placebo often works, with measurable effect, yet it isn't what people "know" it to be. I thought efficacy of spirituality could be considered proof of existence.

Also, do you agree that knowledge itself is a construct? I remember back in Philo 101 that bit about the blue light on the white wall vs. the blue wall. It seems to me our knowledge was of our experience of blue and not necessarily of the wall itself.

I guess I'm just really skeptical about "knowledge".

fessie
06-10-2003, 06:57 PM
(oops, wasn't finished)

You're all so right w/your posts, I really agree.

The thing I treasure about SDMB & reason I'm hooked is that one's intellect is challenged & pummeled, and that's not easy to find; I was going to thank my fellow posters in that thread at several points, but then they'd piss me off again.

I guess I did assume we were working towards a consensus in GD & that was somewhat ridiculous of me.

Gotta check out that trainwreck...

andros
06-10-2003, 07:38 PM
I cut my teeth on GD. I still open it up before any other forum, but I don't participate nearly as much as I used to, largely because of the time factor that Skip mentioned.

There have been some world-class hooraws in GD. Jack Dean Tyler got his wings there, as did ARG and Phaedrus. God, really, the most memorable characters from the past four years have arisen to prominence in GD.

Ah, good times, good times.


Since I'm in the mood, though, I'd just like to state for the record that I miss the hell out of Dr. Fidelius.

Azael
06-10-2003, 07:41 PM
I guess I'm just really skeptical about "knowledge".

So are most empiricists. ;)

does the efficacy of something prove existence empirically? A placebo often works, with measurable effect, yet it isn't what people "know" it to be. I thought efficacy of spirituality could be considered proof of existence.

Interesting question. I would say that the efficacy of something can lend support for the existance of an "effect." In this case, the "effect" of believing something. The fact that it doesn't seem to matter much what that belief is except that it must inspire some level of confidence is telling IMO. That which is "believed" is not necessarily true or proven, it is entirely subjective. On the other hand the effect of that belief can have limited objective results, but that only tells us about how personal outlook can contribute to our physical and mental condition. That's my take anyway, YMMV.

Also, do you agree that knowledge itself is a construct?

I agree. But this is the very reason why I find the empirical or (at the very least) critical approach to gaining knowledge so useful.

Siege
06-10-2003, 07:53 PM
I must be weird again. When I first joined up, GD was my favorite forum and it still is. The standards are tougher there than anywhere else on this board, but I have learned a tremendous amount, and I look forward to continuing to do so. I'd say it's the equivalent of single-malt scotch whiskey or five alarm chili -- it's too strong for a lot of people, but for those of us who love it, everything else can seem a bit bland at times. Of course this is coming from someone who's still a bit skeptical about garlic.

CJ

PatriotX
06-10-2003, 07:59 PM
When I first started poking around in The Pit I expected just a bunch of flaming. I actually found some reasonable discussion and debate. Now The Pit is my second SDMB home. GD is my homepage.

I still often feel obliged to use fuck, shit and spammer when in The Pit even though I fully realize that they are optional.

FranticMad
06-10-2003, 08:43 PM
Originally posted by SimonX
When I first started poking around in The Pit I expected just a bunch of flaming. Fuck off.

FranticMad
06-10-2003, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by matt_mcl
Then I came to the Pit, where people are nicer. Shut up.

FranticMad
06-10-2003, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by friedo
The Pit is fun Drop dead.

Stuffy
06-10-2003, 08:57 PM
I'll have to agree with Siege I spent my first year here never leaving Great Debates, but posting there is a time drain, so now I cruise, but GD is always the first stop.

Stuffy
06-10-2003, 08:58 PM
Hey when did pass 1500 for the second time? Oh, and shit monkeyfuck piss.

PatriotX
06-10-2003, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by FranticMad
Fuck off.
Spammer.

Biggirl
06-10-2003, 09:20 PM
I've always thought (and posted a few times) that GD was way harder on a poster than the Pit. In the Pit people rant about things that make them angry. In GD people tear apart some of your strongest and dearly held beliefs to shreds-- with cites.

minty green
06-10-2003, 09:31 PM
Also, we eat babies. Bwahahahahahaha!

FranticMad
06-10-2003, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by SimonX
Spammer. Oh, now that really hurts. That's just cruel and inhuman. In reference to other threads, I don't mind if you call me a c*** or a f** or a b***der, but not a spammer. I'm leaving and NEVER posting here again.

SkipMagic
06-10-2003, 10:15 PM
Originally posted by minty green
Also, we eat babies. Bwahahahahahaha!

Obviously a partisan belief. Can we get a cite for that, please?

Or is this purely anecdotal? :p

FranticMad
06-10-2003, 10:20 PM
Never.

Dewey Cheatem Undhow
06-10-2003, 10:21 PM
Originally posted by minty green
Also, we eat babies. Bwahahahahahaha! Don't forget the puppy kicking and nun molesting.

(Damn I wish I could find that Bloom County where Opus calls into Donahue.)

celestina
06-10-2003, 11:08 PM
I haven't had much time of late to get my dope fix in any forum, but hands down, the Pit is the place I love here at the SDMB. That doesn't mean that I don't love and appreciate the other fora, including GD, it's just that I've done so much more in the Pit. I've laughed, cried, giggled, tried to comfort folks, cussed out folks, gotten virtually married in here, flirted, been flirted with, baked virtual pies and cakes and stuff, and, oh yes, ranted. :D It's one-stop shopping here, and there's something for everyone. Never a dull moment, I say. I do like GD, but I don't have the time to keep up with it as much as I'd like to, and I'm constantly amazed at the regular GDers. How do they keep posting so much there? Do they not sleep or have jobs or something? :confused:

Already in Use
06-10-2003, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by Binarydrone
Can I get a link here? Who do I have to blow in this cockroach molesting place to get a link? :p Me. Open wide. :D

I can't believe that's butter!
06-11-2003, 12:27 AM
I seem to recall posting in GD when I was new here. Good news is, I haven't had a problem with irregularity in ages.....

PatriotX
06-11-2003, 06:50 AM
Originally posted by FranticMad
Oh, now that really hurts. That's just cruel and inhuman. In reference to other threads, I don't mind if you call me a c*** or a f** or a b***der, but not a spammer. I'm leaving and NEVER posting here again.
I'm sorry. I apologize. You're not a spammer. You're a c*** or a f** or a b***der.

dantheman
06-11-2003, 07:35 AM
Ok, I'll bite. What the heck words are those asterices hiding?

Gorgon Heap
06-11-2003, 07:40 AM
When I first came abourd, I tried posting in GD quite a few times in threads that I actually knew stuff about - namely things about wars and the histories thereof.

I was soundly ignored for months.

So now I just come on down to the Pit where nobody will hesitate to say, "Fuck off, Gorgon Heap, your head is so far up your ass your words sound like flatulence."

Ah. Brings a tear to my eye. :D

Gorgon Heap
06-11-2003, 07:43 AM
3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Desmostylus
06-11-2003, 08:10 AM
Origianally posted by dantheman
Ok, I'll bite. What the heck words are those asterices hiding?cyst, fly, bladder.

And who the fuck is Gorgon Heap?

fessie
06-11-2003, 08:41 AM
I like the Pit b/c, in addition to the colorful language and fascinating cast of characters, people actually have an emotional investment in their positions; they're living with it. Whereas in debating something abstractly it's possible to construct all kinds of perfectly respectable logical structures that have no bearing on real life.

That's what got me, and I can't figure out how people have that kind of time for posting either - I felt like I was arguing with some extremely gifted 20-yr-old college students who haven't yet had to use their abstract knowledge to support their humanity.

dantheman
06-11-2003, 08:45 AM
I dunno, I think a lot of the GD folk feel they're emotionally invested in a position. Sure comes across that way sometimes.

Desmostylus
06-11-2003, 08:54 AM
The Giant Squid Boy, for example. ;)

(Though he hasn't posted for a while.)

Drastic
06-11-2003, 08:54 AM
If you've concluded that most GDenizens don't have emotional investment in their positions, I hypothesize you've been reading some other board entirely and confused the two.

Gorgon Heap
06-11-2003, 08:56 AM
"Emotionally invested" seems to be an understatement in some of the cases I've seen.

More like "fanatically consigned."

Kyla
06-11-2003, 08:59 AM
I almost never read GD. First of all, it is a major time drain. I just don't think I have the patience to follow a long thread, dig up cites for my arguments, dig up new cites when people whine that the first ones were too biased, and still retain my sanity. Secondly, my main area of expertise that actually gets debated (Israel/Palestine) is a very, very controversial topic and threads often turn really ugly. I just want to avoid that.

On the other hand, I adore the Pit. All the good debates end up here in the end anyway!

Cheesesteak
06-11-2003, 09:07 AM
Love the Pit, but can't deal with GD. Once I post to a GC thread, I get a sinking feeling that I'll have to spend LOTS of time dealing with it later. It all just seems so IMPORTANT. While I enjoy reading everything and posting on occasion, I don't want to get into a heavy discussion, and I tend to get way too emotionally invested once an argument starts.

The Pit, OTOH, has a lot of fun stuff going on, with the occasional knockdown/dragout fight that I can watch from the sidelines.

fessie
06-11-2003, 10:00 AM
Maybe "invested" was the wrong word. Because they are fully committed to their views.

Maybe I'm just not as abstract as I used to be, and I appreciate the "human" angle more than I did as an undergrad, when I was a complete existential. I used to see people as an extention of an abstract notion of reason - now I appreciate Grandma advice & fluffy kittens a lot more. I think that over time a person learns to experience and rely on a variety of aspects of being human. At a younger age I wouldn't have seen the point.

elf6c
06-11-2003, 10:06 AM
That forum is a continual train wreck in progress. While some of my favorite posters do a lot of good work there- some of the biggest lying sacks of shit hide there as well.

Remember- if you believe in the cause, it is fine to lie about your Cites, personal background, other's positions and anything else which is either inconvienent or directly contradicts your lunatic beliefs. Fuck that.

Via The Pit!

Desmostylus
06-11-2003, 10:18 AM
The pit is great. Instead of saying:

Surely, elf6c, you mean "Viva The Pit!", or "Viva La Pit".

I can say:

"What the fuck are you smoking, elf6c? Learn to spell, asshole."

This comes in handy, particularly when dealing with some of the GD freaks.

Plus, elf6c can respond with:

I meant through the Pit. Fuckwit.

dantheman
06-11-2003, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by fessie
Maybe "invested" was the wrong word. Because they are fully committed ...

Perhaps they oughta be.

elf6c
06-11-2003, 10:33 AM
Originally posted by Desmostylus
The pit is great. Instead of saying:

Surely, elf6c, you mean "Viva The Pit!", or "Viva La Pit".

I can say:

"What the fuck are you smoking, elf6c? Learn to spell, asshole."

This comes in handy, particularly when dealing with some of the GD freaks.

Plus, elf6c can respond with:

I meant through the Pit. Fuckwit.

Nah, he would post "oops"!

:D

Then I would post a link to those donkey porn flicks you starred in.

;)

Desmostylus
06-11-2003, 10:44 AM
How'dja know I was a donkey?

dantheman
06-11-2003, 11:06 AM
It's written all over your face.

Desmostylus
06-11-2003, 11:16 AM
That's not my face, that's my double entendre.

Boom Boom!

Tusculan
06-11-2003, 02:27 PM
I tend to compare the Pit to GD as the baby pool versus the Great Ocean. We need something to keep the wusses occupied.

GD is what it is all about, baby. It's what separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls. It's where the adults duke it out for real.

What, we lack passion? What else but passion would drive grown men to spend their all too scarce spare time, hunched over a keyboard in the dark of the night, staring with bespectacled eyes at a flickering screen, muttering under their breath and shouting feeble cries of joy when they have googled another cite with which to crush their opponent? (Uuuuh, do not forget to delete this after preview)

By all means keep yourself busy with your measly gripes and grunts, your pathetic expressions of frustration at the guy who didn't greet you at the coffee machine, the papercut you received from your paltry payslip, the extra step you had to walk from the curb to your SUV. Shake your tiny fists at the slings and arrows that outrageous fortune seems to send your way. I will not stoop to pity you, who cannot help yourself. For it is not given to everyone to see the larger issues, to lift your gaze from the spectacles in the fire and leave the Platonic cave, out to the real world.

I'd let you watch, I would invite you, but the cites we use would not excite you.

So you better go back to your bars, your temples, your massage parlors...

: blinks :

:p

fessie
06-11-2003, 02:42 PM
The only place I've ever been offered cocaine was while walking down the street one afternoon in Amsterdam.

lonelocust
06-11-2003, 04:18 PM
This kind of post seems to pop up every few months. A lot of the replies are dismissive, usually with edged with humor but sadly sometimes not.

For me, Great Debates is the message board. Why else would we have the quantity or quality of members if not for this noble heart?

If you want to discuss the arts, pointless stories, ask questions you kick yourself for not knowing, or just to vent at an anounomus audience, there are plenty of boards around. Great Debates is the meat, anything else that goes on around here is just gravy. Just because you don't want to post doesn't mean there is not much to learn with some patience.

I usually swing by the Pit first for a laugh or a tear, but I never miss GD.

You could say GD embiggins the smallest man.

Liberal
06-11-2003, 04:38 PM
Fessie wrote:

My opponents' view is that unless you can prove something empirically, it doesn't exist.The irony, of course, is that your opponents' view itself cannot be proved empirically. It is merely one of the delightful mysteries of materialism. (Incidentally, my wife, Edlyn, has told me about your postings in the soul thread. She admires you. Welcome to Straight Dope.)

tomndebb
06-11-2003, 05:55 PM
For me, Great Debates is the message board. Why else would we have the quantity or quality of members if not for this noble heart? Comments on Cecil's Columns (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=1)
Comments on Staff Reports (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=6)
General Questions (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=3)

GD and the Pit are fun, but the purpose of this board is to fight ignorance. Ordering all students, all teachers, all management, all parents, all non-parents, or the entire mercantile class to perform auto- and caprine felching or spending hundreds of thousands of bytes disputing the reality of the IPU can be amusing, but such are not serious efforts to fight ignorance.

Gaudere
06-11-2003, 06:29 PM
GD and the Pit are fun, but the purpose of this board is to fight ignorance.I happen to think that plenty of ignorance is fought in the debate threads. I wouldn't dismiss the rest of the fora in terms of ignorance fighting, but I think it's a bit overreaching to imply that GD doesn't attract and hold a goodly number of ignorance fighters, or that the posts there don't help illuminate anyone.

dantheman
06-11-2003, 06:32 PM
But Gaudere, don't you think that too often people post in there not to convince others of their position and widen their own horizons but simply to beat their own chests and pound their own position into the ground through repetition?

Siege
06-11-2003, 06:44 PM
Tusculan, that's twice this week you've made me smile. In fact today you made me laugh out loud. Thank you.

Tomndebb, I have to disagree with you. I've lost some of my own ignorance in GD, and I don't miss it a bit. You were one of the people who took it off me when I was a poor, innocent newbie wandering into GD. No, I don't want it back! :D

There are people in GD who are firmly and deeply invested in their positions with both mind and heart. On some issues, I'm one of them. That doesn't stop me from learning from and even appreciate the positions of those who disagree with me. Of course sometimes after craning my head around to see where someone's coming from, I still wind up concluding they have their heads up their asses, but it's an imperfect world. The people I respect most on this board I respect because of what I've seen of them in GD.

Oh, and in response to Dantheman's
Originally posted by fessie
Maybe "invested" was the wrong word. Because they are fully committed ...
Perhaps they oughta be.

What makes you think some of us haven't? :D

CJ
(You'd better believe I'm previewing this puppy!)

g8rguy
06-11-2003, 06:48 PM
You say that as if it's a bad thing, dantheman. :D

Diogenes the Cynic
06-11-2003, 07:25 PM
Originally posted by tomndebb
Comments on Cecil's Columns (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=1)
Comments on Staff Reports (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=6)
General Questions (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=3)

GD and the Pit are fun, but the purpose of this board is to fight ignorance. Ordering all students, all teachers, all management, all parents, all non-parents, or the entire mercantile class to perform auto- and caprine felching or spending hundreds of thousands of bytes disputing the reality of the IPU can be amusing, but such are not serious efforts to fight ignorance.
I slightly disagree, at least I disgree that no ignorance is fought in GD. I know that I've learned things in GD. I've even been proven wrong a time or two (rare but it's happened ;))

Sometimes following or participating in a debate is a very good way to learn about an issue. Sometimes ignorance can be exposed and eliminated through weight of evidence. I've seen posters wade into evolution threads full of confidence in YEC or ID and come out, if not enlightened, at least dazed and thoughtful.

I've found that the cite intensive political battles in GD have done far more to delineate and elucidate certain issues than anything on Fox News or CNN.

I know that GD is a great forum in which to be exposed to a wide range of religious and philosophical views and I think that a lot of people's ignorance, prejudices and misconceptions have been moderated from participating in those threads

There is much to be said also for the peripheral information one can pick up in those threads. Many is the time I've clicked a posted link looking for a cited point, only to become absorbed inhe linked site once I did so.

Most importantly, GD teaches you how to think, how to argue, how to spot logical fallacies and how to avoid making them. How many people (including me) got their asses handed to them as newbies because they thought they could just spout off, unchallenged, like on any other message board?

To me GD is the soul of this board. That's where I go for some hot, sweaty, brain-on-brain action. I know if no other internet forum quite like it for its level of intellect, diversity of viewpoints, reliability in terms of fact based argument and, quite often, its general level of wit (The IPU is a great rhetorical device). GD is what sucked me into this place and it's what keeps me here.

dantheman
06-11-2003, 07:34 PM
*grunt* Me know answer to all life's problems. Here is long, enumerated list that will explain it all to you simple fools. You fools! I said I KNOW ANSWER! Do not doubt me; your arguments are weak and your coding is puny. Or is it your arguments are puny and your coding is weak. I have cites, and my cites can beat up your cites. Your cites can't wash my cites' bum. No, you suck. No, you. No, you!. Neener, neener, neener! *grunt*

tomndebb
06-11-2003, 07:43 PM
At no point have I suggested that ignorance is not fought in GD. I would even say that ignorance is fought in the Pit. (I would not tend to post in either, otherwise.) I just reacted to the notion that "For me, Great Debates is the message board."

(I also suspect that there is a lot more ignorance being propagated in GD and the Pit, so we need to struggle harder in those Fora.)

andros
06-11-2003, 09:21 PM
Nothing to add.

Just wanted Tusculan to know the geeky Murray Head/Chess reference did not go unappreciated.