As many of you know, I’m highly active on forums and Internet boards. These are generally thematic (welding, Jeeps, writing, chess, woodworking, BMX, hot rods, etcetera) places we can go on the Web in order to share and gather information with others who have like interests.
The problem is, everyone is allowed on the Internet. There are going to be a few asshats on every board. It’s completely unavoidable. The questions is what to do with these idiots. Well, I can tell you that the thing *not* to do is go to war with them. You simply cannot reason with a chump who already knows it all.
On the writing forum, there are folks who have never completed a single story, and yet they are the ones who’ll tell you how to get published. It’s maddening. On the chess forums, there are total newbies who will be the first to explain exactly how to become a grandmaster. Equally maddening. On the Jeep forums, there are slow-bos who have never driven a trail, and yet they are the utmost authority on everything off-road. It gets real, real old.
Even the strongest of people have their bad days. On mine, I lose all patience with the people who are wasting bandwidth and talking nonsense, and I go after them with reason, logic, and experience. Big mistake. They simply will not listen, and will make up arguments out of thin air, most of which have nothing at all to do with the subject at hand. Why I bother with them at all is beyond me. I usually don’t, in fact, but like I said, a bad day can happen to any of us.
I actually, literally, have a list of folks written on a piece of paper and taped to my office wall whom I have vowed never to respond to again. I must be strong. I have no time for anyone who is brand new to a subject and happens to know all about said subject. I really don’t. Neither does anyone else, for that matter.
I have been in an administrative position on a chess site for years, and so I know all about helping people who are new. In fact, I love to do so. But when you get the unreasonable mook who argues for the sake of arguing, my hands are tied. If you are going to ask questions or advice on a forum, at least take the time to learn and process what the experts are telling you before disagreeing with them.