Why do Dopers start contests regarding grave matters?

We’ve always stopped at pink slips.

That seems an odd thing to bet on.

I certainly take your point, but there’s an argument to be made that NOT betting on this sort of thing is akin to Négligénce.

(golf clap)

I undiestand your briefs summary.

You’ve said this a couple of times. You are wrong. Discourse has a robust search system. You can search for @Acsenray in this thread, or across the board.

No one has any obligation to post a public profile, and whether or not they do so has no impact on your ability to find their posts. So long as you take 5 minutes to learn to use the software.

I kind of understand Acsenray 's point. I think that Western civilization is fairly likely to collapse in my lifetime, and when historians write about it, they will point to Trump’s election as an important step down that path. I also think that the upcoming election may have life or death consequences to some of my friends. And if i thought people in the thread were enthusiastically rooting for whatever they predicted to come to pass, i would find it distasteful in many cases.

But i lose it at that last step. I don’t think anyone is hanging on the news, hoping their results are the winning ticket. I frequently make pessimistic predictions and I’m frequently happy to be proven wrong. So i expect others are like me, and can do that.

And whether or not the pool is technically gambling (spoiler alert, there are varying definitions of gambling, and i don’t give a shit whether it meets yours or not) the stakes are low enough that i don’t believe they significantly incent anyone to root to “win” the bet.

I do think Acsenray is being a dick here, in asking a question and then ignoring (or disbelieving) the answers given.

That’s a fair argument. I don’t agree with your conclusion but I can buy the reasoning.

How does it make me a dick if someone offers reasoning that I don’t buy? No more than it makes everyone else a dick just because they don’t buy my reasoning.

Q: “Why do you this?”

A: “Reason”

Q: “I don’t like/disageee with/find fault with that reason.”

That’s a perfectly valid exchange. It’s not dickish. We do it all the time on these boards.

There’s nothing sancrosanct about answers in this thread.

It’s being a putz.

Putz: “Why do you think X?”
Several: “Because Y.”
Putz: “Wrong.”

You wanted to Pit behavior that you imagined occurring, that pretty much only you find horrific if it WAS occurring. But you were too cowardly to actually do that so you wrapped it in not “really ‘pitting’ as such” and “just a question” …

If what you meant to do was to condemn contests predicting political outcomes - because political outcomes are too serious, important, and “grave” to have prediction contests about - then don’t be a passive aggressive dickhead: say that straight up. No fun allowed. And yes, in longstanding Pit tradition you’d become the Pittee as that is an idiotic absurd Pit position, especially about the thread you referenced but did not read.

Several here made real efforts to try answer your question as if it was an honest one. Several made good faith attempts to try to understand the basis of your disgust given that it seems so without any logic or rationality.

The bottom line is that having anything that even reminds you of gambling is bad because … elections are like child abuse and rape and concentration camps?


While I have disagreed with people’s opinions in this thread regarding the actual topic, reading this bit makes me actually not believe what I’m seeing. What could possibly be wrong about expressing an opinion disagreeing with your response? To the extent even that it justifies name-calling? Isn’t this just part of the basic structure of engaging in a conversation in which there is disagreement? What do you expect me to do when I disagree with your reasoning? Indeed, when you read my OP and choose to respond, don’t you 100 percent expect that I might respond by either agreeing or disagreeing? What do you expect?

And if this is indeed your rubric for being a putz , then when does it apply? Does it apply to every kind of disagreement on these boards? When you disagree with someone’s offered reasons for doing something, when are you or are you not allowed to disagree with that reasoning?

Frustrated litigator?

[Asking for a friend]

Your clear intent was to declare that contests predicting results in grave matters like elections are disgusting (and thus we who have engaged in those contests are doing disgusting things). You disingenuously wrapped that up asking why we engage in that behavior.

The posters who engage in that behavior are the experts on why they do it. Telling them that they are wrong about why they do it is being an asshole.

To the degree that your real post is how disgusting it is to have a contest predicting election results … your sole argument is that a contest is gambling and gambling on “grave” issues is disgusting. For some reason? Rape, abuse, concentration camps.

And to say wrong. And to accuse those honestly engaging of not doing so.

I have expressed an opinion about a type of behavior I observed. My OP clearly sets out that I have a negative opinion about that behavior. Is that some kind of transgression?

I ask for more information. Yes, I do want to know more. Maybe something someone might say will make me see things differently. However , given my very clear statement from the start, there should be zero misunderstanding about what my opinion is.

Given that, some people have chosen to give their reasons. I have expressed my opinion about those reasons.

Where is the transgression here? What kind of social activities are subject to a rule that if I post an opinion with a negative viewpoint about, it makes me a putz?

Is there any situation in which I can say that I find a certain activity distasteful and not be a putz? What kinds of discussions along these lines are appropriate on a discussion forum?

I mean, some are obvious. If I say “I see some people out there committing murder. I find that distasteful. Tell me your resins for committing murder.” And then reasons are given and I disagree with them. I’m assuming that doesn’t make me a putz.

How about then if I do it for drunken driving. Still not a putz I assume.

How about then parking your car and nlocking someone’s driveway I assume I’m not a putz if I disagree with your reasons fie doing that.

How about then if I say I find it distasteful when I see someone at a birthday party dig into the cake with bare hands instead of cutting a slice with a knife? Still not a putz if I say I don’t agree with your stated reasons for doing that?

At what point do I start becoming a putz for starting a conversation along these lines?

If I say “

And if you choose to answer, please state in advance whether disagreeing with your response would make me a putz.

You do know what a putz is, right?


AND made that declaration without even reading the thread he whines about in the OP. I will own up to the fact that my prediction in that thread is extremely pessimistic but it should be obvious it isn’t the result I want to see. And if I am proven correct, there will not be any “celebration” because I had the most accurate prediction. Quite the opposite.

And @Ascenray, yeah, you’re being a dick.

I know that it literally means penis in Yiddish and is a common minor insult. What else should I know?

I wasn’t the one who chose the term as a standard for judgment in this thread. I’m just going with the premise to see whether I can learn something about the people who think I’m a putz in this thread.

My questions above are directing at finding where the line is that people are drawing between putzish behavior an non-putzish behavior.

How about more example:

If I see groups people getting massively drunk in public and leaving their vomit, faeces, urine, and used condoms all over the public streets and on private property and I ask why they do that and then I disagree with their reasons, does that make me a putz?

If I ask why some people might fart in a small room full of their friends and then block the door when everyone tries to get away from the smell and the I disagree with their reasons for doing so then does that make me a putz?

If I ask why some people follow religious teachings to circumcise their infants and then I disagree with their reasons does that make me a putz?

If I ask why some people sneak lit cigarettes into elevators and leave it full of tobacco smoke and I disagree with their reasons does that make me a putz?

These questions are not meant to be traps. I want to know what social more I’m violating here and exactly where the line is.

If you choose to respond, please state in advance whether disagreeing with your response would make me a putz.

If I ask why liberals still eat meat and then I disagree with their reasons am I being a putz?

If you choose to respond, please state in advance whether disagreeing with your response would make me a putz.


“Putz”, “jerk”, “dick” (slang), “ass”, etc.

You’re being a pedant by insisting on criteria. This demonstrates either profound ineptitude or wilful jerktitude. If we could list all the criteria in a concise manner there would be world peace.

“Putz” is not used as a standard for judgement, it is used as judgement. You have been called a penis, and not in a sexy way.

Nevertheless I will humor you,

Depends on where and how you ask, and whether you express that disagreement. If you ask the people right there on the street then yes, unless it is your private property in which case maybe probably not. If you ask at a town hall meeting or something, you’re not a putz for asking, but you are a communist.

If however someone tells you why they do what they do and you start telling them you think that’s not the reason, then you are a putz. Specifically, telling someone they are wrong when they explain why they do something makes you a putz. Merely disagreeing does not necessarily make you a putz.

(Exception if the person asks whether you disagree and why. Also, sometimes you need to be a putz, such as when confronting a liar.)

I’m not going to bother with the rest of the questions as they are all variations on the same theme.


The reason for the multiple examples was to test whether the degree of seriousness of the actions complained of would make a difference. So are you saying that no matter whether it’s a murder or double parking, it’s putzish behavior to ask for reasons and then disagree with those reasons?

And unless it’s my personal property that is being vomited, defecated, or urinated on, then I have no standing to question their behavior? That’s interesting. What if it is my grandmother’s property, or my friend’s, or my neighbor’s? Any different than if it is just a fellow citizen’s property? I wouldn’t wish that kind of misfortune to befall even a complete stranger.

What if it’s on a public sidewalk or street that I need or want to use? Still no valid standing to ask them to justify their behavior?

What if I’m doing it in a discussion forum whose whole purpose is to discuss whatever you think you want to discuss and only people who read and respond to the question are the ones who choose to do so?