Have you updated your personal rebuttal FAQ?

Just the FAQ
THE FLAME FAQ
Civility and pertinence              

 

 
 
 
       

Q. What is the duty of forum moderation regarding flaming? 

A. Freedom of speech is too precious to abridge. Therefore any limitations imposed for the sake of moderation must be minimal, clear and distinct.

In all things, the dynamic and flexible social engineering principles, personal autonomy, good sportsmanship and responsible values of rational democratic progress are systematic doubt, hope in the honest embrace of fallibility and tolerance for uncertainty, substantive discourse, debate of disputes, criticism without punishment and no insult taken, free inquiry into problems openly and publicly without fear of punishment, indeed, imagination, open unfounded speculation about different case scenarios pursuant to any number of varied and different proposed measures, without need of conforming or in any way limiting said speculations to any accepted quasi-official position.

The very values and aptitudes ever fostered in brainstorming and fiction writing!

And all pursuant to experiment, trial and error, the vital opportunity for all manner of ongoing reevaluation and revision, open ended correction of mistakes and improvement at all levels, piecemeal, without bloodshed, violence or even strife as such.

If Civility of the Online community does not regulate itself without moderator intervention, the role of the forum moderator must be to stop any and all bullying, to extinguish flame, puncture whining, invalidate sulking, and to denounce, diffuse and disrupt devious consensus manipulation and the extortion of affirmation!  

Also, as acting chairperson for all intents and purposes, another task of the forum moderator is simply to organize forums and topics by subject and content in some useful manner. To encourage conversation at all to the point. 

No more and no less.

I shall be neither paltry trifling censor nor overbearing heavy-handed forum Nanny!  Because I hope not to be gulled into any such tiresome intrigues behind the scenes. I aim to keep things open and on the up-and-up. And I am always cognizant that it takes far better justification simply than anyone's outraged tender injured feelings to truly justify the application of moderator powers for intervention.

Moreover, I intend to be involved and to participate in discourse and creative projects myself.  

In case of complaints of any sort, some genuine attempt at due process ought to precede whatever sort of action in response. After all, justice is more important than convenience. And Points of Order, including such as regards pertinence to topic and so forth, can always be made openly, without conniving biased dishonest cowardly ex parte peer pressure and off forum conspiracies of silence. 

Yea, verily, I am the Tireless Rebutter, utter social retardation guaranteed, the ideal moderator, with no patience whatsoever for ulterior agendas and conditionality.
 

 

Q. What is unacceptable? 

A. Flaming is utterly unacceptable! 

Flaming is hostility sans content or relevance. Flaming is inflammatory, vicious, gratuitously nasty, malicious, spiteful diatribe. Flaming is not only bullying manipulative provocation against the target, but also manipulative intimidation and aversion more widely, for the purpose of online Relational Bullying, obstruction of fruitful discourse, Truth Suppression by sabotage against pointed controversy. One way or another, unpleasant conversation often consists of demeaning disrespect, non responsive hostility and reprobation. Irrelevant invective derision and provocation or even explicit threats, generally sans pertinent content, are not appropriate, nor is the other extreme, touchy-feely Borg collectivity, peer pressure, consensus manipulation, and brown nosing, replete with humorless calculating over sensitivity, Paranoid "reading between the lines" or impugning intentions, bogus innocence abused, pointless picayune irritability, off topic trivial peeves, prudery, anal Netiquette, peer pressure,  not to mention such classic cat-and-mouse maneuvers as flame baiting, which is the provocation of any exasperated off the cuff retort or perfectly ingenuous expression of irritation as any excuse for subsequently lashing out, flaming, whining, sulking, even censure or sanction

And this also applies to passive hostility, as in stubborn non response or stonewalling against protest and/or the voicing of begged questions and even points of order. Indeed, on these forums, assent by persistent silence can then be assumed and thus sullen protest by silence dismissed. Only flaming itself deserves the cold shoulder.

Obstruction and intimidation are not welcome. No accommodation need be offered neither for abuse nor for calculating manipulative false fragility or grudge collecting, what so ever! For serious people with any sense of purpose what so ever, etiquette must advance the task, not the other way around. Itís all about freedom of speech, even to tell others that which they might not like to hear, while cleaving to fair play and good sportsmanship. Donít make it personal, and donít take it personal. And let the same standard apply to all, equally. 

 

Q. What is flame?

A. In the end, pertinence is the only issue. Invective is irredeemable not because it is offensive, but when it adds nothing to content. Flaming is inflammatory, vicious, gratuitously nasty, malicious, spiteful diatribe. Flaming is hostility sans content or relevance, undisciplined empty invective, an irritant with no mitigating substance, inflicting waste of time in sifting. Perhaps the worst baiting is such defamation as may simply be too damaging to ignore. 

Flame is hostile non sequitur, nastiness, abuse, lies, distortion, provocation, usually Ad Hominem Abusive, accusation, defamation, even threats, overtly or by implication. Flame can be thought of as the null-SPAM, in that flame even seeks to overwhelm or subvert topic relevance and context, even without promoting anything else in it's place except malicious irrelevancy in and of itself. Flame promotes uneasiness, close-mindedness and hostility. Flame is the universal Antithesis, ultimate negation. The wearisome baiting of flaming is the hostile act of abusive information warfare deliberately aiming at decreasing signal to noise. Flaming is hostility sans content or relevance, frequently characterized by Ad Hominem Abusive. The provocations of flaming seeks merely to inveigle pseudo-engagement only in order to corrupt discourse towards that end and to subvert topic.

Worse, flaming is Online bullying. 

Irrelevant invective derision and provocation or even explicit threats, generally sans pertinent content, are not appropriate, nor is the other extreme, touchy-feely Borg collectivity and brown nosing, replete with humorless calculating over sensitivity, Paranoid "reading between the lines" or impugning intentions, bogus innocence abused, pointless picayune irritability, off topic trivial peeves, prudery, anal Netiquette, peer pressure,  not to mention such classic cat-and-mouse maneuvers as flame baiting, which is the provocation of any exasperated off the cuff retort or perfectly ingenuous expression of irritation as any excuse for subsequently lashing out, flaming, whining, sulking, even censure or sanction

One way or another, unpleasant conversation often consists of demanding intimidation, disrespect, hostility and reprobation. Flaming typically resorts to such standard and odious propaganda devices as victim blaming and the Appeal to Humor, Ridicule and Spite, social mockery, ostracism, persecution and baiting without any more redeeming lucidity and perspective of self mockery, indeed, often excused under the umbrella of commentary and satire but ultimately suggesting the puerile and Sophomorically maladjusted Fascist ideation of truth and honesty only attainable by the utter abandonment of civility and decency, all to be despised as bourgeois and effete.

The aim of flaming is only to sow sheer confusion, disturbance, distraction, fear, discomfort and aggravation, dirty tricks of Relational Bullying to drive people away, disrupt social interaction and forestall alliance, all to socially isolate the target(s) of bullying, persons or forums, by much the same Mob Psychology as the Nazi agitators and  propagandists employed in crowds and the world press, respectively.

But naturally, of course conniving flamers often tend to define flaming most narrowly, in order thereby to excuse their own continued flagrant and empty hostility, even while tending to define flaming most broadly in order to lambaste the free speak of others and hence justify whatever abuse in retaliation by and victim blaming no matter what.

 

Q. What is "trolling"?

A. Trolling for newbies is a type of practical joke or online crank, the dubious art consisting of raising foolish questions in order to illicit predictable responses from the masses of the uninitiated. The result may be annoying to all others, or even illicit a trivial cascade of such massive volume as actually to drive out all serious interaction and discourse. Worse however, trolling for flames means the malignant sport and bag of tricks of deliberate provocation of anger or instigation among existing factions, in order thereby to illicit acrimonious conflict, metaphorically angling by drawing a baited line through the proverbial water, even chumming the river of discourse, sowing confusion and discord.

Whatever incendiary assertions may however incite angry refutation, or else even simply foolish comments and questions may be put forth, well constructed simply to disruptively illicit cascading foolish response, for the bad, silly, reparative, pointless, old news, to drive out whatever value of discourse and make exasperated fools of anyone striving at anything serious or valuable.

Alas, just as any statement can be taken amiss and falsely characterized or misconstrued as flame, anything at all provocative or controversial or even whimsical may likewise be maligned, Ad Hominem, as trollery. -Not to mention the most naively innocent queries of the uninitiated. 

Beware, however, that even beyond flaming, the sheer paralytic obstruction of devious non communication that accomplishes little without somehow eliciting or compelling continued pseudo-engagement and exasperation, trolls may be trolling, fishing or chumming the waters, for more, worse and far more dangerously

Like relentlessly manipulative strangers with candy, beware the trollish exploitation of confidence. (Cyber Munchausen is the least of it!)

 

Q. What is the place for flame? 

A.HELL

Not listening is an art!

Q. What is: "soft flame"?

Fruitful dialogue requires not shared assumptions let alone flagrant bad faith, but any honest desire to progress any nearer to truth and sympathy or interest in sharing or at all comprehending one another's aims and problems, let alone POV or situation. Anything less is fruitless non engagement, even if short of the most overt hostility of flaming.

A. Criticism no matter how harsh or even disapproving, may be all the more informative and valuable. But even inner conflicted disapproval and denial only howsoever presented and disguised as criticism, often even actually withholds helpful detail of criticism as well as true motive of disapproval and even outright hostility behind anything the more vague and picayune.

And indeed "Soft--flame" is a persistent and passive-aggressive devious non communication and needling such as may eschew overt hostility in favor of whatever sort of provocative undertone, and insult outright in favor of certain more devious annoyance tactics, even without overt verbal harassment, insult or abuse, the aim of which remains ongoing provocation into meaningless irrelevance and futility, frustration and exasperation, to completely sidetrack, obstruct and subvert topic, any topic, and just waste time.

"Soft--flame" surreptitiously disengages from topic and from it's target, pursuing, instead, whatever covert hostile ulterior agenda to demandingly engage the target in futile and deliberately frustrated efforts at communication on topic. For example, over blown silly digressions, making sly fun of the target, such that the target will seem unduly suspicious if they object, but foolish if they go along or show good will. Worst of all, typically, the target will soon be actually blamed for whatever the poor quality of ensuing discourse, or maligned as uncooperative.

Indeed, standard tactics of flaming include such pedantry as impossible unreasonable demands of conclusive evidence or citation even of any and every most obvious or irrelevant of details, regurgitation of the most mindless and out of context webdesign "rules", proofreading of all the most insignificant and obscure typos, errors, and semantics, interminably. Inappropriately veiled moral indignation and Political Correctness are also common features. But what makes it "soft--flame" (otherwise not) is not any perfectly innocent digression no matter how far a field, nor nit-picking, however pedantically stringent, by itself in and of itself, but persistent hostile devious intentional refusal howsoever at all to aid, abet or even address topic in any way at all, instead with the decided aim of actually obstructing, subverting, derailing or suppressing whatever substantive discourse sought.  

"Soft--flame" is covert-hostile non sequitur. "soft--flame" simply bullies against communication, seeking to stifle the target individual or interaction and mark them for exclusion and abuse, just as flaming proper bullies the person more overtly. "Soft--flame" may frequently serve as an overture or build up escalating to flaming proper, then shunning, "mobbing" and Relational Bullying.

Tactics of "soft--flame" in particular, include the most anal Netiquette imaginable. Therefore, obviously, even points of order, to be legitimate, must not be abusive in manner, and, indeed, must remain not only civil but within proportion. Nor are Ad Hominem Abusive issues of character and motive ever legitimate questions of order. And, of course, all tactics of Relational Bullying must remain strictly out of bounds.

Typically, and soon enough, exactly such "soft---flame"  builds up to accusation, ostracism and abuse outright.

Thinly veiled passive hostility and inappropriate moral indignation or empty protest instead of relevant response

Among typical headgames of peer pressure, that of Political Correctness often inspires devious and covert modes of non communication and noncooperation readily deployable to any degree of "soft-flame pseudo-engagement."

Non cooperative conditionality typically takes the form of the old bait and switch: Under the guise of helpful interest, the ulterior transaction is actually to keep distance and withhold involvement, punitively, pressing other entirely different plans or expectations instead. Should the target of the mixed message or hostile protest outright, fail to comply gratefully, then they are simply being difficult!

Whereas, non communication in specific, typically, whether in disregard to prose or to webdesign, often follows much the same old dodge and pseudo intellectual cover by nitpicking the most irrelevant picayune details of style when in truth they disapprove of content howsoever for hypocritical or dishonest reasons. Emotional reaction often stands in place of informative description. Indeed, some experience profound moral indignation in regard even to color schemes! and even manifest a certain sense of howsoever aggrieved entitlement. But the more manipulative of all is when precisely such heteronomy actually does come heartfelt, especially in context of any relationship.  -Only trying to help, it's for your own good, dear!  Regardless, feedback only proceeds at cross-purpose. Neither cogent criticism however harsh and frank nor miscommunication repair crucial to conversational adequacy, nor attention and discourse upon content nor authorial intent whatsoever, let alone, for example, real input to any howsoever genuine rewriting efforts in any advancing and meticulous close detail, will ensue, only the issuance of categorical rules, sweeping demands and bitter complaints utterly at cross-purpose all thereto.

Itís not just conversation upon webdesign to the tabooistic exclusion and even expressed crimestop of whatever actually invited discussion upon content. Worse, even conversation upon webdesign typically excludes creative problem solving in attempt to correct or to improve whatever specific webdesign deficiencies in whatever existing work, let alone how to achieve desired results in sympathy with authorial intent or Aesthetics. Because that might be helpful! And the aim of all such pseudo-engagement is never salient criticism, but only sullen protest and passive aggression! Indeed, rather, all such travesty of discourse is entirely and heteronymously closed upon the the inner adaptive child ego state of Transactional Analysis, and the elimination of all that does not conform to rules and expectations of authoritative bodies sited for standards and practices in webdesigm. And of course, implicitly in subtext, webdesign only stands for content that is taboo from very mention. The actual veiled message from the the controlling parental ego state of Transactional Analysis manifest in all such people pleasing bullies, that cannot be stated openly, is that in order to coax people to listen to you, begin by agreeing with them all completely and enthusiastically from the very beginning. Keep your opinions to yourself! It's for your own good, dear...

Zen is yet another handy, ever popular and ubiquitous pretext for pseudo-tenement and  "Soft--flame" The age old question persists: Is Zen a religion? Well, certainly along with motivational Behavior Modification, Zen qualifies no less as yet another rancid flavor to Marx's famously proverbial opiate of the sheeple, a force for inaction likewise so often faddishly prescribed to dull Proletarian discontent. Surely all such exhortation to sublime apathy or willful positivity even by means of Behavioral Modification is actually initiated from the controlling parental ego state of Transactional Analysis. Indeed, how callow and self serving to castigate, ostracize and even terminate from gainful employment, those deemed excessively critical or negative. How judgmental they all are against judgmental people! And what poor judgment thereby. Indeed, how cruel and lonely, how bereft of all animal compassion, to deny those who suffer, even dying cancer patients, their fear and anguish all in the name of relentlessly willful positivity! Why, in any public discourse as on every online forum, any salient agenda such as any quest whatsoever for happiness by actually seeking to improve one's actual circumstances in order better to fulfill Intrinsic values, or any call to stand to against the debilitating oppression of continual and destructive serial bullying, is regularly quashed and tabooed by immediate puerile "Soft--flame" outcries of Zen Nihilistic value-destruction in blanket invalidation, admonition instead only to search within for sublime apathy. Bah, humbug!

 

Q. Why do you disregard such feedback that you only dismiss? Just who do you think you are?

A. I once actually received two enthusiastically favorable email responses to CliqueBusters, one for the wealth of information resources and the other one in profound personal emotional resonance to my prose. Both, however, absolutely refused to discuss the central topic of CliqueBusters, active nonviolent but even covert action to thwart and expose bullying. Neither, however, felt howsoever incited to resort to soft-flame tactics at all. People simply read whatever howsoever interests and influences them.

Regardless of consensus, catering to whatever silly and picayune rationalizations for veiled inappropriate disapproval will never truly assuage the denied actual motivation to
heteronymous tabooistic trepidation, aversion and hostility. Only genuine criticism, however frank and harsh, is either worthy or informative to progress, which is ongoing correction and improvement. Indeed, I often find that for prose, often only direct and wholehearted involvement it rewriting sympathetic to authorial intent much abets miscommunication repair to begin with among anyone interested to listen in the first place.

One can hardly expect assistance from one who so gravely disapproves, yet every benefit of open controversy remains possible only given any modicum of honesty.

 

The ambiguities of teasing
Q. But what about just kidding around, teasing or dropping a hint? 

A. If actually in any doubt, it's a joke if it's meant make the other party laugh, a prank if it's for one's own amusement at another's expense.

The point has often been advanced that that there is teasing meant in fun that is friendly and by which one is included, and there is also teasing, fun at another's expense, which is just malicious by which the target is edged out, cold shouldered, driven away, excluded. And the threat of exclusion is also known as peer pressure.

But only the sheer irrelevant hostility of  flaming actually and justifiably needs to be excluded.

However, certainly, humor is to be encouraged. But not unfriendly ulterior agendas at the sacrifice of topic pertinence and productivity. Aren't we here for having fun? Surely, kidding around and joking should be encouraged, and should be taken in good humor and always with a snappy come back. Indeed, in such case, persistence will embraced as a virtue and no compliance is sought in the first place. After all, an important aspect of civility is a healthy good sportsmanlike attitude.

"Consistent with these perspectives, we approach the issue of flaming (and related types of interactions) with a focus on how it occurs, why it occurs, and what function it serves, rather than with a preconceived value judgment. Just as there may be anti-social motivations for hostile messages, there may be a number of pro-social motivations and outcomes associated with aggressive or hostile messages. For example, harsh language could be used to provoke a reticent individual into a healthy, constructive conflict. A criticism could be used to establish the sender's credibility by demonstrating a willingness to offer critical comments and not just bland, agreeable feedback."
 
An Interactional Reconceptualization of "Flaming" and Other Problematic Messages
Patrick B. O'Sullivan & Andrew J. Flanagin

All manner of peer pressure is heteronymously rationalized, extolled as civilizing, indispensably informative of social expectations and formative in conditioning the individual to function in the peer group and larger society. Indeed, just thus is all such ambient and threatening emotional violence, no matter however arbitrary, made the greatest favor deserving all the gratitude of each and every upright citizen.

But reason, proportion, reciprocity and backbone always demand more than just continued gooned out manipulation as per standard operating procedure, lunatic arbitrary social expectations and norms and endless pointless nuisance of sniveling fussy twittery little nuance cues and ubiquitous snide hinty hints, but manifest clear and distinct legitimate fundamental values of autonomy, forthright and essential in any free society.

Raising good questions in setting or revising agenda organizes and itemizes relevant objectives, whatever goals put forth, values, procedures and priorities, even step by step, framing clearly and transparently, into an order or schedule of whatever business to be done or considered, unless, as in the subtext of dramatic dialogue (never well written "on the nose" ), the inner conflict of unresolved hidden or ulterior agenda actually serving to obfuscate true intent.

And what a devious, demeaning and obnoxious onslaught of alienating suggestion and coercion, is the practice of nigh subliminal unstated presumption and peer pressure. Sans honest openness and transparency, no opening is allowed for question or dissent. And heteronomy means falling hence under sway of the spell without question. Otherwise, the experience is very like unto a toxic build up to the welling urge that all such poisonously devious coercion be shit out from the very body! Hence the impulse and preconscious temptation by iconoclastic mockery, the flagrant trammel underfoot of every and all such mindless taboo, to hurl it all back in their smug little faces in a purging fit of redeeming Existential disgust! And, now that's comedy!

Often, those with the upper hand in every way, only become all the more Sadistic, ruthless and indifferent, covertly underhand and hypocritically defensive of whatever their own tender vulnerabilities.

Parody, satire, truth in jest are one thing, and even valuable, while teasing as an evasion and lackadaisical refusal or effective boycott of pertinent response are quite another matter.  No one is obliged to "take the hint", because "hinting" is just underhanded peer pressure, closed from open scrutiny and objection in return, escalating into bullying out right, shunning and then mobbing, when they don't get their way, and won't put their cards on the table because they know or at least suspect that they might be wrong or in any way mistaken.

The same goes for the ersatz mean spirited enforced mediocrity of "dropping ideas quietly", in other words, any sort of passive aggression or sulking protest or shunning in simple non response or delay, whatever excuses offered. Individual mute sulking in the face of a pertinent rebuttal is transparent, childish and dishonest. And collectively, such is shunning, a tactic of Relational Bullying that soon escalated to mobbing, a more active or verbal abuse.

All such, passive aggressive stone walling or "hinting", again, skirts and then crosses the boundary of flaming and bullying. Thus, again, openness and sense of proportion are always preferable to picayune peevishness. Indeed, barring proper response, rather than taking a hint from willful and cold shouldered question beggars, one has every right to assume assent from silence. And the forum moderator should so uphold.  But bullies, on the other hand, must never be accorded assent, even from silence. Indeed, any real problem can be discussed openly and civilly. Because, whenever flaming, bullying, baiting or even just trolling off topic are legitimately to be ignored or actually ruled out of order or excised or blocked by forum moderation, the transgression and objection thereto should be unmitigated, lucid and distinct. But only a cowardly grudge without merit needs to be "hinted" for fear of exposure and rebuttal.

That is why, in the preservation of any trustworthy society, at some point the Moderator or chairperson should call conversation to order or call whatever question. -In order ever to advance the plot of character growth in true life drama, to press whatever topic and also to bring to the surface whatever submerged issues onto an open agenda subject to criticism, or even points of order before they drown completely or in any way only become ugly and melodramatic, needlessly!

 

Q. What choice have we?

A. As long as there is free will, no conversational response should be treated as predetermined by whatever expression to which it responds. At most, any given communication may simply trigger whatever particular response. Nevertheless, there remains free choice afterwards and full responsibility. Objectively, everything may well be determined, but for any practical purpose the interactions are simply too complex except to be estimated at best. Hence, subjectively at least, one reacts in response, by free choice, not from simple inexorable causality, however ill definable or classifiable.

"Look what you made me do!" is nothing but Existential fraud in the context of the conduct of mere conversation without physical compulsion or tangible stakes. "See how you've provoked me" may be fair enough, given human limitations. And yet, even after the lapse of provocation, a vast range free choice and therefore full responsibility returns and remains.

There are no conversation stoppers as such, but only those who fall silent and terminate conversation as is their good right, even as may be fair and only prudent. Nevertheless, there is no point too rude to answer, only people, however in their wisdom or folly as ever may be, freely choosing either simply to withdraw, to stand upon their affront, or to give vent thereto, or strive for the  self mastery of a thoughtful and even sensitive reply.

For even at such juncture, all conceivable free choice remains open. There is nothing too far out of bounds from which to recover, so long as there is a greater desire to continue and even come to terms than there is to be sullen and wounded or to run and hide. There is no truth too ugly to face and no question too stupid to ask or to answer. There is no excuse. The decision remains a decision. So long as there are free choice, and the responsibility of free choice resides completely with the one making the choice freely, no matter the onus upon the other. And all pretense otherwise is nothing but patronizing transfer of responsibility. Conversation, after all, is only conversation, at least if at all that little.

There is, of course, the compulsion and limitation of logic, narrowing the range of reasonable responses. Indeed, there are begged questions outright! And anyone may say the wrong thing at any moment, blank out, fall into confusion, miss the point, blurt out anything stupid, impolite, stray into non sequitur, or even may find themselves provoked to momentary and entirely ingenuous irritation and anger. Anyone may even have a bone to pick or demands to press. And yet, given any iota of good faith, any other party still has a great range of choice, freedom in possible response to hold up their end of the conversation, none the less, one way or another. One bears the full burden of responsibility whether or not to continue, and how so, no matter whatever howsoever the real or perceived transgression of the other.

But all of the above holds true only with the following qualification:

Only sheer non communication, one way or another featuring little or no signal to noise, refusal to communicate including pseudo-engagement, especially in bad faith or unremitting hostility, indefatigable cross-purpose and ulterior agenda, eliminates all hope of actual conversation as such and hence salient free choice in response, hence relieving concomitant responsibility.

Indeed, beyond the most ordinary bypassing, exchange which is not genuine communication simply because it lacks sufficient intersubjectivity and does not carry at all the same meanings or even purpose, intention or point at all between the participants, manipulation outright deviously seeks active control to rob the other of freedom, even beyond simply obstructing the range of expressive free choice, even in seeking to draw in and ensnare the unwary.

For there is no end of covert hostile vaguely accusatory baiting, badgering and meaningless silly tricks that appear to be communication, but are actually only obstruction and maliciously deliberate waste of the other's time. Only in such case, and even without obstructive arrogant condescension, can the other honestly be said to actually render conversation impossible.
 

The Teachings of the Anti-Socratic
23. Anyone with a Different Point of View is an Enemy that must be defeated.
24. Rudeness has a place in intelligent conversation.
25. Winning is more important than truth.
26. Important topics can be justly handled in the time between commercial breaks.
27. Democracy can validate ideas (the majority makes right).
28. You ARE your Perspective.
29. The Art of the Anti-Socratic Talking Head
30. The Talking Head and The Problem of Endless Talk
31. Persuasion in the Socratic Method of Conversation
32. Socratic Persuasion Summary
33. The Socratic Method of Conversation as the Practice of Peace
34. The Anti-Socratic War on Peacemaking

There are a range of basic manipulative strategies of non communication, ranging from various selectively stupid, stone-deaf, or utterly blatant powerplays of sheer stonewalling non response, cowardice, devious ulterior cross-purposes, abuse, hostility as manifest in incessant baiting, actingout , resentment of criticism, unremitting empty abuse as in flaming, stubborn non sequitur evasion as in "soft flame," dishonesty as manifest in pathological lying, denial and delusion, and many flavors of sheer incoherence and obscurantism, even extreme forms of small talk and bluster, however at least seemingly affable. Also, there is radical mistrust, extreme non cooperation, however passive, even sheer eggshell over touchiness, often peer pressure.

And non communication must be truly unremitting and obstructive in order to really constitute utter non communication. And only in such an event of sheer futility, wherein the other simply does not truly communicate, is one truly robbed of any howsoever meaningful conversational free choice, whatsoever, in response and, hence, concomitant responsibility.

At best, the only power to be had in dealing with all such offensive non communication, may be that of whatever opportune Transactional Antithesis exposing and undermining the fraud of all such bullying. Otherwise, the best free choice would often be, indeed, to disengage. -That is, if disengagement is, indeed, an option, as under various actual Circumstances of bullying disengagement is often not really a practical option.

  

Q. What are the pitfalls of conversational pseudo-engagement and obstruction?

Thank you for informing me of your lack of interest in whatever the matter at hand. Pardon me if I reciprocate.

I might not be that special friend you've been looking for.        

A. The clearest and simplest form of conversational engagement is any serious question, a real question, not rhetorical or linguistically leading, because any sort of answer is actually solicited, perhaps even appreciated.

Indeed, among the many devious headgames, Ulterior Transactions as expounded upon in Transactional Analysis, there are all manner of expressions that provoke and invite howsoever desired response, back and forth, one way or another. The problem is when response is not actually desired, by another who nevertheless desires to speak, for whatever actual reason,
motivation or goals as ever put forth, to persuade, one way or another by rudely or deviously obstructing all salient response thus to tax the target into weariness and break down resistance in order to demand compliance, or to press an emotional response, to find acceptance or to cause distress and achieve revenge, or even all the aforesaid at once, however ambivalently

And there are all manner of other of sophisticated manipulative engagements to sidestep and invalidate the target,
"soft flame" alas, being the least if it.  A common tactic is outright pseudo-engagement, any attempt to involve, bait or inveigle another into an ulterior transaction that then only thwarts engagement towards what thereby proceeds as any sort of unidirectional message, hostile if only towards reply, exchange or engagement. The unidirectional message may be hostile or not, but at best, invalidating and domineering, as it provokes but then blocks response. Or one can make announcement of how one didn't engage or pay attention to a preceding message, and expound at length upon whatever picayune ostensible motivations and demand some sort of accounting, or even harp incessantly in angry refusal to discuss anything and keep whatever animus alive and unresolved. 

Just as denial and taboo can indeed manifest in blatant mockery and derision and even propandistic appeal to ridicule and even thence to malice outright, denial and taboo may be less blatant and overt. Indeed, perhaps the simplest and most elegant variation of such lets-you-be-reasonable Ulterior Transactions or: headgames, is the stone-deaf powerplay, wherein natural stupidly, apathy and inattention actually all come as a manipulative asset: The sports metaphor is borrowed and readapted from ice hockey: A powerplay or: squeeze play is an aggressive attempt to compel acquiescence by the concentration or manipulation of power especially as wherein advantage may be sought through the use of power or influence, indeed in any circumstance in which one party exploits advantage and howsoever exercises control over another. -In the case of the stone-deaf powerplay, by manifestly unethically manipulative deception and pretense all for purposes of shifting an exhausting impossible burden of communication against more covert resistance, as also, for another tactic, in refusing to be serious or to take whatever ideas seriously and then in refusing to seriously explain the refusal to take seriously, as might be dubbed: The blockhead powerplay.

After all, denial is well known even become so complete as to result in utter disbelief, even so completely as to manifest in sheer incomprehension together with whatever fearing and fretful evasive refusal to collaborate and engage together in miscommunication repair. One way or another, the target is maneuvered into any position of reasoning and convincing the manipulator, whence the target finds themselves helpless, beating their proverbial head against the metaphorical wall! And any antithesis will require the target to disengage and claim victory by default, remembering that they, the target, are the one in good faith, unconvinced by another who defaults by refusing to engage. After all, Pseudo-engagement often begins by starting or opening and then blocking one way or another, instead of listening or answering. Or, much pseudo-engagement consists of broad assertions such that open only gainsaying, for example as actually to complain or lambaste the target for not listening or for lacking perception, one way or another. Typical are the empty hostility of abusive non sequiturs, retorts, dismissals or expressions of disinterest, calumniating in baiting and provocation; in a word: flaming!

 

Q. What is the purpose of a personal rebuttal FAQ?

A. Personally, whether it's been the usual cyberstalkers hounding me from one forum to the next, or the local bully picking on me as the newbie, I long grew tired of stone-deaf monologic malicious flamers endlessly repeating themselves in their intrusive provocations and often even dangerous convoluted contortions of the truth.

And so, as my own concise personal Transactional Antithesis to flaming, in case of relational bullying against me, particularly any defamation too damaging simply to let stand, I maintain my own personal FAQ of rebuttal for citation of appropriately selected entries by hyperlink with bookmark, instead of becoming drawn and embroiled into the irksome futility of endlessly repeating myself in response.

Amusingly, brave as ever they remain behind my back, this strategy of response tends to piss flamers off, and they have never again confronted me directly online since!

 

Q. What is topic reclamation?  

A. Civility and pertinence are antithetical to flame.

Indeed, any small point of interest even in the worst and most abusive flames and trolls allows for the reclamation of discourse. This may be accomplished by careful snipping, highly selective citation/quotation and follow up to create renewed pertinent interest and meaningful value. -And then diligently continuing the discussion onward from that point forward... This thwarts and frustrates flamers, even optimally extinguishing the behavior by non reinforcement!
Even the more so than simple non response, that may still achieve the disruptive ends of at all halting ongoing discourse.

The Transactional Antithesis of discourse reclamation depends upon diligent sifting of flames and trollery for any germ of content to quote and discuss, utterly ignoring the rest. No, two wrongs don't make a right, but creative irrelevancy towards willful irrelevancy and abuse, is a negation of a negation that often may bear positive fruit!

And so, all forum participants are kindly requested to commit themselves to such discourse reclamation, no less than to defend one another from bullying and harassment outright, should ever the need arise, for maximum effectiveness.

Indeed, in the spirit of free speech, any reasonable content whatsoever can be answered seriously, positively reinforced, in hopes of drawing out even the most irate back into any more serious and civil exchange, even at the risk of renewed spew of obsessive and even SPAM-like non sequitur or, worse, trollish abuse and manipulation.

Specialized tactics of thread reclamation to fiction writing, may include constructively adapting flame and abuse into antagonistic or villainous character dialogue, while on the topic of bullying, flames and trolls can be dissected, dispassionately, as specimens for discussion of hostility and dishonesty

Thread reclamation recovers our choice of salient free expression amongst ourselves from the injury of intimidated silence.

Indeed, any abusive responses to thread reclamation are to be subjected to further creative thread reclamation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2001 - 2015 by Aaron Agassi