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Thread: Disagreements

  1. #1
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    We need to learn how to disagree more civilly. There are about a dozen or so of us who contribute regularly to the advocacy forums, and the debates have gotten a little testy recently. I know some of my posts have crossed the line, so I am not playing holier-than-thou.

    Here are a few ideas. I welcome other ideas or constructive criticisms of these ideas. I only ask that we avoid turning this thread into another debate about VC, bike lanes, sidewalk riding, etc.

    First, if someone inadvertently brings up a hotly contested idea in a thread that really isn't about the hotly contested, don't commit a thread jack. Instead, add a post that mentions that the thread raises, say, bike lane issues, and then provide a link to the bike lane thread or to a specific response in the bike lane thread.

    Second, read your post. If all you do is call the other person names without adding anything substantive, don't post. This also applies to responses to name calling (perhaps my biggest weakness). If you must respond, explain why you think the name is appropriate or why you think the idea was wrong.

    Third, ignore obnoxious posts you disagree with, but criticize obnoxious posts when you generally agree with the point the author was making. Anti-VC'ers will be far more effective criticizing each other. Same with VC'ers. But the insult wars persuade no one. And nothing is more punishing than being ignored.

    Fourth, attack the idea, not the person.

    Fifth, if your post aggressively makes your idea, think about re-writing it to make the same point less aggressively. The aggressive posts don't persuade anyone anyway, so you'll be doing yourself a favor.

    Six, think of alternative solutions. The No-'VC-er's-Please thread is a good idea (although I thought the title adds to the negative tone of this forum) because the thread encourages people to come up with solutions.

    Finally, keep a sense of humor.
    Last edited by Daily Commute; 10-12-05 at 03:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    You're preaching to the choir. It's the internet. For every civil netizen there are a dozen trolls waiting to pounce. They will only scoff at your ideas.

  3. #3
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    I agree with everything you have said here, DC. I enjoy a spirited debate, but when things turn nasty, these threads can be a real bummer. As someone who was the target of some pretty nasty stuff myself once or twice, I can say that it is VERY hard to disengage once the insults start flying. Further, once that point is reached, there is no further real exchange of ideas, only a flame war...
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

  4. #4
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by va_cyclist
    You're preaching to the choir. It's the internet. For every civil netizen there are a dozen trolls waiting to pounce. They will only scoff at your ideas.
    That's fine. But I think the regulars set the tone. If we can get our act together, the forum will attract fewer trolls, and those trolls who manage to slip through will be less disruptive. Also, if we can be more civil, I think the forum will attract more people who like constructive debate.
    Last edited by Daily Commute; 10-12-05 at 03:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    Finally, keep a sense of humor.

    A skeleton walks into a bar.

    Whatlyouhave, says the bartender.

    A pitcher of beer, and a mop, says the skeleton.

  6. #6
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Disagreements do get heated and too personal on occasion.

    But I've also observed on a regular cycle a love fest of agreement and happy thoughts about how close we really are in our thoughts and much we would all probably enjoy cycling together.

    Al

  7. #7
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    I know some of my posts have crossed the line
    You're from Columbus, tis to be expected. Look at the bright side, you could be in Cleveland! Come on now, keep your chin up, smile, and join us all for a nice warm shower and singing Kumbya.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Drive the Bicycle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    I welcome other ideas or constructive criticisms of these ideas.
    --- Please add to your list an axiom that most undergraduates learn in college: CITE your SOURCES.

    For example, if I wanted to make a case that bike lanes were safe, I would post thus:
    Here is an excerpt of an official study by the Department of Cambridge entitled "Safety Benefits of Bike Lanes":
    "In 1996, over 2000 League of American Bicyclist members were surveyed about the crashes (accidents) they were involved in over the course of the previous year. From the information, a relative danger index was calculated which shows that streets with bike lanes were the safest places to ride, having a significantly lower crash rate then either major or minor streets without any bicycle facilities; moreover, they are safer than trails and sidewalks as well."
    Then I should cite the source: http://www.cambridgema.gov/~CDD/et/b...ke_safety.html
    Last edited by 77Univega; 10-12-05 at 07:06 PM.
    "The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well." Ivan Illich ('Energy and Equity')1974

  9. #9
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I think most of us would agree that we are merely trying to follow the truth, wherever that quest may lead. I am eager to read diverse points of view, and I do not expect to concur with every opinion I encounter.

    I don't have all of the answers, but I think I do have at least some ...
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

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