Valuable info for Cyberspace Noobs...!
Many thanks to Nancy Leider[tm] and Flea!!
___________________________________________THE HARRIDAN CREDOHow To Be A Proper Internet Harridan.
To be a proper Internet Harridan, you must follow these rules:1.
Always misinterpret your opponent's position. You can waste dozens of pages being obtuse. Never ask for clarification. Keep accusing your opponent of saying things he/she hasn't said.2.
Accuse your opponent of being a liar, or try some other tactic that will (hopefully) make him angry. If he responds in kind to your endless taunts, change the subject to his anger, and accuse him of name calling. If he accuses you of provoking him, then you have changed the subject of the debate. If he stays on topic, keep the heat up. The Believers in the audience will forgive the worst verbal attacks you use, but they will think even the mildest replies he makes to you are personal attacks that undermine his argument.3.
Always claim that the other guy is "closed-minded" and that you're as free-thinking as a newborn baby. Other harridans love the concept of "open-mindedness" and will take you into their inner circle without question. They have no tolerance for those "mean old nasty" types who demand evidence for everything.4.
Refer to anyone who doggedly uncovers your latest little scams, time after time as "stalkers." Demand their accounts be removed for net abuse.5.
Remember to occasionally tell your opponents that you've handed all the information you've collected about them to the local police/Mounties/FBI who were extremely interested and grateful for the advance notice of where to find criminals like you. You don't actually have to collect any information, or send it to anybody, but this will keep your opponents edgy, and make them paranoid. Mention that the police/Mounties/FBI are closing in on them, and that their day of reckoning is just moments away.6.
Refer to anyone who does not immediately agree with you as being uneducated on the matter, un-saved, or just plain too stupid to understand your magnificent statements.7.
Try to answer as few direct questions as possible. When questioned, be sure to exclaim "You started it!" or perhaps "You never criticize _Obscure_Poster_ when he said the same thing last year!"8.
Use "what if" scenarios to change the subject whenever possible. If you linger on one topic too long you may be asked to provide annoying things like "proof." Don't let that happen! Consult a creationist if you need practice with subject-changing. Accuse them of holding a kangaroo court.9.
Always try to sound learned about topics you don't understand. If you're cornered and asked for proof of something, always tell the person that they are stupid if they "can't disprove" your claims.10.
Start asking hypothetical questions that have nothing to do with the actual debate. If your opponent chooses to ignore your pointless questions and remains on topic, repeat your meaningless question(s) over and over. This will make any Believers in the audience think that your opponent is evading the issue.11.
Keep trotting out the one "respectable" poster who might possibly have said something that could be construed as perhaps giving a hint that he/she may theoretically support your position. Nevermind if this poster has since been totally discredited.12.
Dig out one reference that supports your position. Complain when someone presents a reference that refutes yours. Say that this means they can't think for themselves and your reference proves it. Ignore all queries on why you hold this hypocritical position. Better yet, call the other guy a hypocrite before he calls you one!13.
When debating, remember that the best technique to "proving" your hypothesis is to start with a supposition, and when you get to the third point, refer to the supposition as a "fact". This may cause just enough initial confusion to let you escape with a momentary triumph.14.
One word: Sophistry. Use rhetorical sleight-of-hand and ambiguities of language in order to deceive, or to support fallacious reasoning. Contradict yourself if necessary. Use rhetoric that is designed to appeal to the listener on grounds other than the strict logical validity of the statements being made. You never need to demonstrate a real argument - just wear your opponents down to the point where they walk away muttering under their breath.15.
Try to redefine what "tolerant", "tolerance" and "toleration" mean so that you become a 'real' tolerant person who accepts your own nonsense at face value.16.
Frequently use mirror analogies, even though it reflects upon you more than your interlocutor. After all, a mirror facing a mirror can reflect anything.17.
Always favor the sanctimonious approach over the humility angle. Quiet tolerance is for dullards and the un-saved. If you want to to score points against those oh-so-smug college graduates, don't concede that anything is less than a crusade.18.
Post as an anonymous guest, and post agreeable responses to your own messages from this account. Everybody knows that the only reason anybody disagrees with you is that they like the belong to "the group" and have no independent thought of their own. After all, everyone else is doing it, so that makes it the right thing to do - unless you catch them first - in which case see the rules about Sanctimony above.19.
Use the Pee-Wee Herman Defense ("I know you are but what am I"?). Memorize all the Very Smart Words used against you in previous arguments. Use them against your opponent at every opportunity, even if you haven't had time to look-up their meaning in a dictionary. If you do this, people will know you are as smart as anybody.20.
Use the word 'irony' in a sentence, despite not knowing what it means - "You called me a spammer last year, but you can't figure-out the clock on your VCR! Oh, the irony"21.
Whenever you read something on the Internet, re-post it as fact. Never bother to do even basic research into the matter.22.
Quote Einstein, and do so often. Misquote things he said if necessary, and quote him out of context. Einstein's quote about "God Not Playing Dice" is a good example. Act as if any arbitrary Einstein quote supports your position.23.
Use lots of ALL CAPS letters. Use them randomly: "I was posting my URL in alt.paranormal/alt.astrology. Then I was stopped because A MAJORITY OF POSTERS, PSEUDO-SKEPTIC RAVING FANATICS SCREAMED ABOUT IT."24.
Make frequent appeals to Your One True Religion. When your opponent cites scripture, remind him/her that 'Even Satan quoted scripture'. Tell him/her to preach to the unredeemed, and not to people in your obvious state of grace. This is a good time to insert your _List Of Enemies_.25.
Be sure to repeatedly spam your religious rants onto lots of unrelated, off-topic newsgroups and web fora. Those folks reading _Forum Name_ are just dying to read about how much you hate promiscuity!26.
Use the word "Faith" as often as possible. You must believe that the word "Faith" means proof of your particular argument.27.
Always bear in mind that The Clique Against You can do almost anything. After all, They implemented that Ignore Option just because of you.28.
Don't accept mainstream science unless it's something you've believed in for years (like gravity). Accuse your opponent's vaunted science of being incapable of explaining WHY gravity exists - that may keep them off-balance for a few minutes while you claim victory.29.
When your position appears hopeless, your entire audience is laughing at you, and you've lost all credibility (and perhaps even won a Kook of the Month) threaten everyone within proximity with a lawsuit. You don't need to actually prepare a lawsuit, just make the threat. That will let them know you're a serious person.
[Inspired by the Woo-Woo credo] [link to www.watchingyou.com
Editing and compiling by Nancy Lieder[tm]