Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Writing Wednesday: Arguing With Yourself

On writers.net there's this one guy who has frequently gotten into arguments with me.  It was a lot more frequent when they still had an "anything goes" forum and we'd argue about politics, abortion, evolution, and all that other stuff.  He's like super-religious, so it's no surprise that that comes through on his website.

He seriously has a whole page dedicated to "The Bible & God" where he basically takes old arguments on writers.net and posts them.  What's funny to me is that each argument ends the same way, with him declaring "victory" by saying, "I never heard from [so-and-so] again."  As if the fact someone stops arguing with you means that you're right and won the argument.  All it means is the other person got sick of pointless fighting and quit.  That doesn't make you right; it makes you stubborn.  Even I can get sick of arguing with someone after a while.  I wouldn't say they won or they're right.  Actually I'd say such a person is just too damned stupid to know he's wrong.

There's another page where he shows his skills as an editor by again pasting stuff from writers.net that he critiqued.  The thing is, he didn't ask permission of the authors before he did this.  I think that's kind of unethical, but when I pointed this out the site moderator shrugged and said, "Meh."  I personally would not want someone taking something I had submitted to be critiqued and posting it to their personal website.  I mean sure I posted it to a website, but that doesn't mean I want it out there for just any schmuck anywhere to read.  It seems like a violation to me, but if the site moderator isn't going to do anything, and no one else is complaining, what can you do?

Monday he put a sample of mine in there.  Of course without permission, though I suppose he did notify me in advance, so that's something. I guess I could say no, but I'm not sure that would have mattered.

The writing questions thing I think is largely the same.  Really he cribbed most of the content for his site from another website.  It's like his "greatest hits" from those message boards.  Which I did that once upon a time in the 90s.  I copied a bunch of old posts from my flame wars on a Transformers newsgroup (one of those old pre-World Wide Web newsgroups) and put them on a web page.  Mostly I just wanted to preserve my brilliant thoughts, though I have no idea where they went and I'm sure that old page has been taken down by AOL or Geocities or wherever the hell it was.  I'd go find my greatest hits on writers.net but I don't really remember the stuff I say.  Someone once referenced something I'd said that I guess was really funny and I was like, "Did I say that?"

Of course if you want to hear my volumes of wisdom you can always go read my old blogs.  In the meantime, what do you think about harvesting message board posts for your author website?  Yay or nay?  You'd better answer in the comments or otherwise I win.

2 comments:

  1. Arguing can be a big waste of time..let alone re-hashing it all. I can only suspect that this person must have a lot of spare time. I don't know if it's against any rules or laws, but I find it unethical to post old crits without permission. At least he told you ahead of time, so you could have said no.

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  2. I'm with you on walking away from an argument either online or in person. Sometimes it just wears you down and you're never going to get through to the person. Honestly it sounds like this particular person is delusional. Anyway, he didn't win the argument. You just gave up, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

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