I've read a lot of blogs over the years, and I've seen some pretty heated exchanges. There are a few things I've learned from reading serious bloggers. One is, don't engage someone unless you are prepared, with sufficient intellectual ammunition, to seriously take them on. Two, if you do engage them, commit to it whether you win or lose the argument so you can at least gain their respect even if they do disagree with you. There are times when you may want to engage someone who is obviously smarter than you are for the purposes of learning where the weaknesses are in your arguments. Somewhat like sparring in martial arts. As a black belt, I always chose to spar with the better fighters in my school. If I fought with lesser opponents, it was for the purpose of teaching them.
Recently, I visited the page of one of my favorite bloggers, Vox Day. I love Vox's site to be perfectly honest. Vox is honest, he tells it like it is, and if someone doesn't like what he says, oh well. He speaks his mind, is uber intelligent, and refuses to pull punches. In our society, that is a rarity these days. One thing about Vox is that he is always prepared to defend his ideas. He won't run from a challenge, and after reading Vox, believes that he won't lose challenges anyway! That's Vox. Admittedly, some of his views are controversial. I don't agree with Vox on everything, especially his views on Calvinism, but, then again, Vox doesn't respect sycophants. However, I do agree with much of what is written on game theory. I don't necessarily endorse all the aspects and philosophy of game theory, but that does not take away some of the truth value that can be easily observed by spending 3 hours at a club on a Friday night or reading some social psychology. While visiting today I noticed a little brouhaha between him and John Scalzi. Scalzi loathes game theory, most likely due to his obvious gamma status. To be honest, it is funny. I have been laughing all day about this, and I couldn't resist the urge to blog about it myself.
Vox and Scalzi have been feuding for quite some time, and anyone reading the blog posts from the two can tell who has the upper hand. What was funny were the names they have for each other. Scalzi wrote a satirical blog post about being a rapist. It was Scalzi's little leftist rant which Vox zeroed in on, assigning Scalzi the nickname "Rapey McRaperson" as well as "McRapey".
I'm sorry...but that is FUNNY.
Not to be outdone, Scalzi, lamely, assigns Vox the nickname Racist-Homophobic-Sexist-Dipshit. Vox wrote on his blog about how Scalzi is quite unoriginal in his thinking, and I will have to agree with him here.
What is even more interesting is that an outside third party invited BOTH of them to a neutral venue to debate their views in a public forum. Within 8 hours Vox had responded in the affirmative, but, unfortunately, McRapey ran from the challenge. This is all too common for those of the leftist thinking variety. They will take potshots, attempt to engage those they disagree with, but at the end of the day, when individuals such as Vox stand ready to defend their ideas, well, they tuck tail and run engaging in ad hominem attacks. There are two kinds of people you don't want to debate if you're a leftist (especially an atheist one), the first is a libertarian and the second is a thinking Christian. What's worse is if you attempt to engage a studied, well-read libertarian Christian! Vox falls in the last category (and with a few more years of study, perhaps, I can fall in that category!).
I wish Mr. Scalzi luck. May God have mercy on him because Vox won't!