Discussions on forums and newsgroups: What's the point?

If you're intelligent, reasonable and willing to discuss things and/or talk about different viewpoints, then the worst thing you can do is discuss things and/or talk about different viewpoints. This is because most people cannot properly reason/argue, have silly convictions which they are not willing to discuss, cannot deal with any criticism, do not reply to requests for information etc. Ok, there are some exceptions to places where discussions can be meaningful, and I will elaborate about that at the end of the page.

Here's a list of problems you will encounter in any discussion:

Terms used

You can look them up, but here's a brief outline: autists/asperger/sociopaths/psychopaths have no or almost no feelings for anyone except themselves. Autists/aspergers have trouble interacting with other people which is why you can find so many of them on the internet. Psychopaths/sociopaths are like the ultimate assholes. Psychopaths can't hide this, sociopaths can pretend to have feelings and pretend to fit in, except it doesn't work on me. I recognise such people in an instant. There was a Horizon programme 'Are you good or are you evil' (7 Sept. 2011) which was interesting though it only told me 2 facts I didn't know, as I have been aware of the problems of sociopaths for many years, also that they get appointed to the top of positions in companies. It showed that usually in the top of companies there are a lot of sociopaths (far more than in lower levels), but that these people fail in actually achieving something (for that company). These people are ruthless (because they don't care about anyone but themselves) which is I suppose why boards of companies elect such people as CEO or in the boards (something I mentioned since about 2004-2005 in my criticism about Schiphol for example; the reason is that share-value driven companies behave in a way similar to a psychopath (and with media-whoring as done for example by Gerlach Cerfontaine in the case of Schiphol, a sociopath) as there is no regard for anything but profit, and thus the people steering it appoint people who behave that way). These people are the ultimate bullshit artists... In that Horizon programme it was said that usually half the people below such a person loathe him, the other half, who are impressed by the bullshit artistry, like him (or her; I don't see many women like this btw.). In that Horizon programme it was claimed it is very hard to find out if someone is a sociopath, but I disagree. The fact that usually half the people below such a person loathe him/her and the other half think he/she is great is proof already that it must be possible to know it (without doing a brain scan): this fact already gives an objective test! But also, as I said, I can recognise such people almost instantly. From the way they look, and the type of things they say, arguments they make.

In the good old days of usenet (much better than dog-slow forums to be honest) you had FAQs and people reprimanding persons where relevant. This hardly happens on forums, rules are barely enforced, people who write nonsense are hardly ever corrected. On self-moderating forums like slashdot org you have the problem of mob-mentality expressing itself by a bunch of bullies downvalueing a posting resulting in it becoming invisible to most people unless they explicitly set their browsing level low enough. This has happened to a posting I made recently, which is very deep but flies over the heads of all linux/GPL zealots and thus modded as flamebait, see Linux/GPL fanboys/zealots.

The only forums where things are worth discussing are usually German language forums. Here the bullshit artists are kept in check by people who do know what they are talking about. On almost all Dutch and English language forums there is no point discussing anything due to the problems I listed above. Well, ok, I've seen 2 exceptions of forums that I visited: candlepowerforums and mtbr.com (at least the lights sections). This is almost certainly because of the nature of them and the type of people who post there: People who make/build things and really examine them.

Examples of how I treat people who don't behave

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On Dpreview.com

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