The internet is an evil place full of jerks and idiots. You just can't give them uncontrolled freedom of expression.~Tobold, The Foolishness of the Crowd
Valve has come up with a tagging system on Steam, wherein players can, in theory, help categorize games with the goal of steering new players to games they might like. As you might have already guessed or heard, this has not gone well in practice. But that is not what this post is about. It's about keeping the discussion civil when you disagree with someone.
Thankfully, I am either too small potatoes or my audience is sufficiently mature that I don't think any discussion on this blog has degenerated into trolling. I often resist the urge to explain one more time why I feel my position on a topic is the correct one, because I realize that someone who has a deep-seated paradigm will not listen to me. The urge does get the better of me sometimes, as you, Dear Reader, can probably attest. I don't know if other bloggers I read suffer from trolls that I don't see because they are implementing Scalzi's Mallet of Loving Correction. But I am grateful to folks like Syncaine and Tobold who manage to keep the discussion on their blogs civil, even when folks passionately disagree.
Because when you come here, you're in my home. And while I love a lively discussion over dinner, I don't feed trolls or bigots.~~~
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.