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Meany Head
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Discussion Starter #1
Let me start by saying, despite my being a mod, this thread is NOT an RS25.com ultimatum or set of rules or what ever. This is just my observations on the subject as a Mod and enforcer of the site rules. I decided to write this in hope it might shed some light on why it happens, and perhaps even help to reduce it.

(p.s. I'm going to attempt to keep this post up-to-date as more insight is brought in)

We've all seen it before many many times. In fact, it's even been suggested by a few people that this forum seems to "Get it's Period" on a regular basis. :lol: It seems we have nice long periods of normal sane interactions, broken up with a few days of total chaos and mayhem!! As a Moderator if this site, you can guess which I prefer. ;)

Ok.. on with it.
Now, I'm not going to focus on the obvious and the rhetorical here. There are clear cut, and simple reasons some threads blow up. I mean, we're human right! It's human nature to react in the face of....

"Trolls", for example. If the original post was trying to stir the pot, then it's pretty natural for it to get heated.

"Hot Topics". Politics & Religion are always going to flirt with disaster. Amazingly though, we have a massive thread in here about Religion that managed to stay civil. So, you can't say that these 2 topics are always doomed. Because clearly they are not.

"Jerks". There are just some people that don't know how to be nice. Nothing new there. These people exist in every walk of life. For some reason, "Jerks" just can't help themselves. Go figure. :bonk:

What I'm talking about, are the types of posts that are actually intended to be genuine, but contain the catalyst to disaster!
 

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Meany Head
2000 RSC
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Discussion Starter #2
1. Proof by Example
Proof by Example represents, In My Opinion, the #1 reason for the onset of a flame war!
No matter if you think you understand this concept or not, I ask you to please read this wiki on the subject.
Proof by example - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It's short, and simple to comprehend, yet so easy to miss when reading forum threads.

You see, there are 2 sides to "Proof by Example". One is a valid conclusion to the statement, and the other is an invalid conclusion. If you read the above Wiki, then you understand what I mean by "Valid" and "Invalid". It really refers to how the statement is interpreted. If the accurate/Valid interpretation is used, then all is good. Guess what happens when an inaccurate/Invalid interpretation is used.

The primary problem with using "Proof by Example" to prove a point, is that in it's Valid use, "Proof by Example" actually broadens the scope, rather than narrows it.

I've seen John's brother steal something. John's family must be thieves.
Saying you saw John's brother steal, means only that "Some People are Thieves". To link it to Johns family as all being Thieves is clearly wrong.


How about an Example geared towards us Gear-Heads.
Actually pulled from this forum!

John: 12.7 in the quarter is fast for a car on street tires.
Mark: i dont think 12s are fast any more. So many cars run 12s now. I think 12s are considered quick. Fast is like low 11s. All motor hondas run 10s now. Evos run 12s effortlessly.
See how that use of "Proof by Example" was made to incorrectly prove a point?
John made a pretty fair, and reasonable statement. Most Gear-Heads would agree that a 12.7 second street car, is a pretty fast car. However, Mark didn't agree with that. Fair enough, we are allowed opinions. But, Mark used an example of "All Motor Hondas run 10" in an attempt to discredit the statement that 12.7 is fast. He is trying to implying that:
"There are cars that are faster than 12.7 seconds, therefor 12.7 seconds isn't fast"
That's the Invalid use of "Proof by Example".
What his proof by example is actually saying is:
There are cars that are faster than 12.7 seconds, therefor there are fast cars
See the difference there? Johns example has NO valid basis to be used in his argument against 12.7 seconds being fast.

Now, the above interaction is doomed to failure, because John will feel the need to defend his statement, against an Invalid argument used inaccurately. The problem is, "Proof by Example" is so easily hidden for what it is, due to it containing actual truths. There are cars faster than 12.7 seconds. Can't be denied.

Note: Someone will want to criticize my above example with "What if John said 26 seconds in the 1/4 is fast?". In that case, Proof by Example would not even be needed to discredit his statement. For one thing, the original statement should have at least some hint of credibility, or be based in reality. Plus, one could easily say "95% of all cars can do that or better". Thus resulting in an accurate and valid retort to the 26s claim.

A valid use of Proof by Example is rare due to the nature of what a valid use says. Remember, to use it correctly, actually broaden the scope of your argument. Which is why it can be used accurately to refute a broad claim.
Fred: Honda makes slow cars!
Jack: The Honda S2000 can do the 1/4 in 13.9.
While Fred's definition of slow is subjective, he failed to provide parameters (what doe's he consider slow) to backup his claim of Honda being slow. Thus, his broad statement of "Honda makes slow cars" can be argued with "Proof by Example".

Had Fred said "Honda makes slow cars, because I prefer cars that can do 9s in the 1/4". He would have a valid point. Granted, it's an opinion, but a valid one that can't be refuted.

Now, had Fred said, "Honda make slow cars because a Veyron is faster". Fred is now using "Proof by example" incorectly!!

See how easy it is to go in circles and use it wrong?
Now, go read the threads in here, and anywhere else for that matter, and see how often it's done wrong!
 

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Meany Head
2000 RSC
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Discussion Starter #3
2. Emotions in an Emotionless Medium
This is an easy one, and I think most will agree. If you let your emotions dictate what you say, and how you say it, in a medium where emotions are next to impossible to convey, then you are about to start a flame war!

Unlike #1 above (Proof by Example) I don't think this one really needs much explaining. It's as simple as "Cooler heads prevail". When the "Troll" or "Jerk" enters a thread and provokes a fight, what is more likely to quell it? Getting pissed off, and going on the offensive? Or remaining calm and going on the offensive?

If someone says something you just don't like, but they were not being a "Jerk". Step back, calm down, and resist the temptation to fly off the handle. Trust me on this one, you'll save yourself from a lot of wrinkles and gray hair.
 

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Meany Head
2000 RSC
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Discussion Starter #4
3. No real-world Consequences
Pretty simple concept. EThugs and Keyboard Warriors already know it. If a Jackass starts posting crap and being a tool, what can be done about it that really matters? Call them names? Make idle threats? Ban them from the forum? None of these are things that people really fear. Except for those of us who really love this place enough that Banning matters.)

In the real world, if you're talking in a group of people, and someone spouts off "You're a fucking asshole and your Wife is a whore!!". You had better get your fists up, because a can-o-Whoopass is about to be opened!!

But in here? You can get away with that sorta thing, because retribution is next to impossible! Thus, people feel invincible, and free to say what ever they want. No matter if it's something they would never say in person. Without any legitimate fear of reprisal, people seem to lack the ability insert a filter between their fingers and their keyboard!

So, the next time you're typing up a curt reply to someone. Ask yourself, is this something you'd say to their face? If not, perhaps reconsider you're wording.
 

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Meany Head
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
4. Opinion =/= Fact
I'm not even sure I need to clarify this one. I think we all get it. Opinion does NOT equal Fact! But, there really are 2 sides to this.
It's worth noting though, that I'm referring here to the normal, typical and even reasonable Opinions. Not the outlandish, crazy, wild and ridiculous Opinions. I know, even the definition of ones opinion (crazy, wild, etc) is subject to interpretation. But, I most of us can recognize the reasonable from the nutty!

My Opinion is Fact!
First, there is the usual post where someone presents their opinion as Fact. Often, but not always, this opinion is used to refute an actual Fact. Then, this Opinion is challenged by others as being just that, an opinion. But, the poster continues to back up their Opinion as being Fact!! Thus ensues, the flame war!!
*cough BigWig cough*

Don: Turbo vs Supercharger... Totally depends on what you want to achieve. Both Ts and SCs have their up sides, and down sides. ... etc...
Frank: Turbos are WAY better than Supercharger in every way! There is never a situation where a Supercharger is better than a Turbo!!
Don: That's YOUR Opinion Frank.
Frank: No! It's a known Fact dude!!
So, the never-ending debate continues! Turbo vs Supercharger!! The list of points and counter points to this debate is massive!! So, our friend Don simply provides a very valid way to look at the controversy. The people in the know will all agree, both have Ups and Downs, and its up to the individual to decide what is important. Frank, however, as decided that his opinion that a Turbo is better is actually an irrefutable Fact! And, he is determined to defend it to the end!! Flame Suit On!!



Your Opinion is Fact!
Here is the one that I think actually causes more grief than the other. When someone presents an Opinion, as an opinion, but others jump on him as if it was a stated fact!! Resulting in the OP having to defend his Opinion? Really? Someone has to defend an Opinion? Now, I'm not talking about the absurd Opinions that just don't make any freakin' sense what so ever. I'm talking about typical opinions that have just as much validity as any other.

Matt: Man, I sure do love my 00RS. It's fun to drive, feels pretty quick, looks good.... I love it!
Dan: Quick? They are NOT quick!
Matt: Sure it is, Feels plenty quick to me!
Dan: Dude, it's slow ok... just accept it... it's slow!!
... <insert countless opinion follow up posts> ...
Pretty Obvious!! Matt has an opinion about his RS. He is of the opinion that it's quick!! Dan has decided to see it as Matt presenting a fact. Thus, Dan has decided to argue against this perceived fact. A fact that was never there to begin with!! Quite often, this will follow with others defending the "Opinion" that Matts RS is quick, followed by more "Opinions" that it isn't quick. Thus, starts the endless circle, which 8 times in 10 will turn into a Butt Hurt Flame Fest!! :bonk:

It's clear that Opinion =/= Fact can quickly feed upon itself and spiral out of control!

So, the next time you read a post that sounds like an Opinion, perhaps you might consider treating it as one? Plus, if you plan to present an Opinion to dispute a Fact, you might consider wording it as... an Opinion!!


The Ridiculous Opinions
Oh, and since I brought up the idea of a "Crazy Opinion" in the start of this post, I guess it's worth also mentioning again, but from another angle. Remember though, how nutty ones opinion is, is subjective in itself!! You might not think your opinion is crazy, but a large number of others might!! So, if you find your opinion is being criticized and chastised, don't get all bent out of shape and got on a tirade!! Remember, it's an OPINION!!! We are allowed to, neigh, expected to have a variety of them! So, take it with a grain of salt, and accept the notion that others might disagree with your opinion!!
 

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98 Impreza 3.4L Turbo
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This is bullshit. Ive seen threads before where proof by example didn't turn into a flame fest.
 

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Depends where the flaming is taking place. If it's in a thread related to cars, fanboys and the whole scene mentality take over and people get together to shoot down things that are new and unfamiliar. The majority out there want a cookie cutter car which is cool now and reject anything but.

Topics like religion and politics don't always turn into flaming. The last religion thread went how long without name calling and is still pretty clean? I think it all depends on whether or not someone breaks down and starts name calling at which point it all goes to hell. As long as that stays out, it's not a problem.
 

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Meany Head
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Depends where the flaming is taking place. If it's in a thread related to cars, fanboys and the whole scene mentality take over and people get together to shoot down things that are new and unfamiliar. The majority out there want a cookie cutter car which is cool now and reject anything but.
Actually, that to me sounds like nothing more than a differing opinion. Just because a large number disagree with a small number, it's still nothing more than a difference in opinion.

Topics like religion and politics don't always turn into flaming. The last religion thread went how long without name calling and is still pretty clean? I think it all depends on whether or not someone breaks down and starts name calling at which point it all goes to hell. As long as that stays out, it's not a problem.
See my first post, in reference to "Jerks".
Also, in my first post, you'll note I referenced that Religion thread that never went pear shaped.
It's a fine example of what "could" be.
 

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One thing I can point out as someone who's on all kinds of forums....it is something unique to import forums, and I think it's also reasonable to say there are some individuals on this forum who make it that much worse.
 

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Meany Head
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Discussion Starter #15
^ 100% Agree!! No questions what so ever!!
AKA, the Jerks!!

I just want to clarify/re-iterate why #1 is my #1 choice.
Because calling someone an "asshole" is easy to understand.
It's pretty clear why that thread when downhill.
But, arguing a point, with an invalid tactic is so hard to see and understand, that it never get's called-out for what it really is. Rather, a futile argument is born, with no clear way to refute what's being said. Thus, it just goes in circles.
 

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'17 Impreza Sport, '15 OB 3.6R
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Read it. Yes, all of it. Skidd, my man--brotha from anotha motha--are you really bored today, or what? :lol:

This is good stuff. Good enough to submit as a college essay on social network behavior, because the very same things happen on Facebook for example.

Good advice, this. Not all that long ago, it was *very* easy for me to get caught up in forum wars. I'd literally lose sleep over things. Know what? It just isn't worth it.

Calm down. Two words to put on a sticky note on the corner of your monitor, when you browse forums a lot. :D

I think the best way to leave an argument, hopefully without too much of the "got-to-have-the-last-word syndrome" or a sense of cockiness, is to simply rise above. In a forum I used to frequent (they closed down, earlier this year), there was a chap who called himself Enlightened One. EO, as we called him, was ridiculously well-written. He never even gave his first name, until the forum doors were about to close, and nobody knew what he did for a living. We knew he lived in California, was an atheist, and was likely a professor or scientist, but that part was just postulation.

His posts were often long, and very nicely composed. He'd tell you where you belonged, if you really set him off, but what made him memorable was just how bloody well he translated his thoughts. His posts were not for the lazy. You didn't get CNs, with him - full out, or go home. I like that. I can't write nearly as well as he, at least on most days, but I did get a handful of compliments from him on some of my responses.

The ability to have an intelligent discussion on virtually any topic, is the key to surviving forum membership.
 

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I agree with the there are jerks statement .. but I have to say I think you should add something about the people that fuel the jerks. The ones that know they are jerks and still continue to step on there toes. Most of the time it turns out to be that the people that feed the jerks are actually worse in there intentions than the original jerks! To me it always seems to be the feeders have to take it over the edge.

Via tapatalk
 

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project blackbird.
'01 RS, '81 Fiat Spider
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Good advice, this. Not all that long ago, it was *very* easy for me to get caught up in forum wars. I'd literally lose sleep over things. Know what? It just isn't worth it.
Siper2, not all that long ago...



I try to think of this cartoon whenever someone on a forum says something that really gets me fired up. No matter how curt, dismissive, clever or correct your retort might be, it's not going to fix anything.
 
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