"I seek out people who signal that they want to discuss things honestly and rationally. Then I try to discuss things honestly and rationally with those people. I try to concentrate as much of my social interaction there as possible.

So far this project is going pretty well. My friends are nice, my romantic relationships are low-drama, my debates are productive and I am learning so, so much."
slatestarcodex.com/2014/02/23/

Amen.

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Can someone remind me of this next time you see me posting exasperated because I'm making the mistake of arguing with the social media equivalent of Heath Ledger's Joker?

@strypey only if you remind me next time I'm extrapolating things I vaguely remember hearing in order to win a discussion.

@ultimape
> Hard to distinguish those who want to affect change but are merely ineffective, and those who are just here to destroy

Frankly, I don't think the distinction is important unless we're dealing with someone we know well enough to reliably infer one or t'other. Otherwise, the interaction is equally pointless either way and best avoided to save time and energy for something not so pointless.

@strypey right. more just pointing out it might get false positives. My own leaning is to be open to the former as they may be allies in the future (simply misinformed/newbie), but I probably have more free time and tolerance than most for trolls.

@ultimape I guess my original point was not a judgement on the value of discussants so much as a criteria for evaluating the cost/benefit of a particular discussion. I'm very minimal in my use of mutes and blocks, and clear my lists every now and then. But I'm learning to stop replying when a discussion is just exasperating me and not going anywhere informative or rapport-building.

@ultimape you might say I'm talking more about people *playing* the Joker in a particular exchange, rather *being* the Joker permanently. No doybt I sometimes play the Joker too and when that's happening I'm probably best ignored ;)

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