OT - Discussion, Debate, Arguements & Flame Wars

I normally avoid commenting on the "diversion" threads that ebb and flow here but here goes an exception. I hope this doesn't turn into a thread but rather stops with this post.
As noted in the Subject line, there seem to be four types of OT threads that have legs (I'm excluding the bomb hurling trolls that pop up once in a while).
Discussion - An exchange of ideas and opinions on a subject, or two or three. All participating parties contribute by adding information on the subject or asking questions motivated by a desire to gain some knowledge about, or insight on, the subject. The exchange remains friendly, or at least what use to be understood as civil, though friendly banter and jibes are thrown in amongst participants who know each other. Everyone participates with an open mind. This type of thread is typically beneficial to all parties in that everyone comes away with some- thing they didn't know before or a better under- standing of the subject.
This is not a Zero Sum Game where someone wants to "win" and for someone else to "lose" It can be a Win-Win proposition.
Debate - A structured contest between two individuals or "sides" to determine "who is right" about a given premise. The process is structured, each side giving their initial statement of position, a period of exchanges of challenges and responses to each other's positions and finally concluding remarks by each side, typically summarizing why "I'm/we're right and "he/they are wrong". The debaters typically use facts to support their position, citing sources for these facts. An ostensibly neutral judge or panel will determine "the winner" based on a set of rules and guidelines - though personal biases some- times do play a role in the decision making process.
The goal is to "win", not to persuade "the other side" to change their position based on the "points" one makes during the debate. The participants make no attempt to keep and open mind, that's for the judge and the audience to do - sort of.
In a good debate, civility is normally maintained by a moderator and the participants are knowledge- able enough on the subject to be able to take either side of the debate and "win". The audience comes away from the exchange with new information about the subject.
Arguement - None of the participants come to the process with an open mind nor the expectation of persuading other participants, or anyone in "the audience", to accept their position as "right".
Arguements are a Lose-Lose Game. They may have an entertainment value, and sometimes provide some useful information, but that's fairly rare
Flame Wars - A seemingly never ending exchange of "Oh yeah? Well you're mother wears combat boots!"
There is NOTHING to be gained by anyone from a Flame War. So, before you reply to an OT post, think- "Is there a better use of my time?"
charlie b
Never try to teach a pig to whistle. It'll piss off the pig and waste your time.
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nit-pick -- the correct quote is:
"Never attempt to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and annoys the pig."
The source is "Time Enough for Love", by Robert A. Heinlein, in the excerpts from "The Notebooks of Lazarus Long".
(it's been a favorit quote of mine for 30+ years :)
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Robert, what happened to all the "*_-'"'s?? I can't understand your posts without them! :)
dave
Robert Bonomi wrote:

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Oh yeah? Well your mother wears combat boots!

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"All the better to kick your *ss with", she says, sweetly.

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<snippage>

Well, charlie b, that could SERIOUSLY limit my wReck time! ;-)
Patriarch, who must have SOMETHING better to do....
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MYFB
--
Bill

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Then I guess this wouldn't be a good time to point out that you misplet "your", would it?
Mike
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--
Al Reid

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know
  Click to see the full signature.
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Bzzzzt! You just flunked USENET 101. It is a universal law that every spelling flame MUST contain at least one spelling error, itself.
<grin>
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snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

something that was actually said by Josh Billings. :-)
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
For a copy of my TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter, send email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
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Not surprisingly, I've been told I have not a drop of Clemens-y in my soul. :P
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