The long awaited (sic) part 2 sequel to So much to answer for is finally here.
I don't mind a good discussion. I can learn a lot from them.
But some "people" (like certain online rodents) are near impossible to have a sensible discussion with. What I expect when dealing with an adult is some respect for facts and logic, I prefer to argue and debate with someone who responds calmly and with reasoned arguments; in short, someone who is prepared to enter into a dialogue and debate the points raised and who looks at the evidence.
It's frustrating to argue with someone who responds to everything dismissively, with non-sequiturs and straw-man arguments, who evades with sledging, who rationalises and attempts to close the argument when out-maneuvered. It's the kind of thing that God's faithful and ideologues do.
Take this recent Twitter exchange as an example that followed Martin Rossiter's response to Morrissey's Manchester bombing statement:
Earlier, there had been an exchange of views in the toilets of the Wrong Arms with TRB. This is copied and pasted verbatim and without permission (because I'm evil, as you shall see, so I have nothing to loose).
Groupthink 101Let's examine groupthink. The term as we currently know it was defined by Irving Janis in 1972. In his seminal paper on groupthink, he defined it as a " psychological drive for consensus at any cost that suppresses dissent and appraisal of alternatives in cohesive decision making groups." In this case, the BRS stands in for a "cohesive decision making" group.
I quote from the Wikipedia page on groupthink:
To make groupthink testable, Irving Janis devised eight symptoms indicative of groupthink.
Type I: Overestimations of the group — its power and morality
1 - Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
2 - Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
Type II: Closed-mindedness
1- Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions.
2 - Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.
Type III: Pressures toward uniformity
1 - Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
2 - Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
3 - Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of "disloyalty"
4 - Mindguards— self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.
The Type I symptoms concern a "masters of the universe" status, which is appropriate for Janis' original context, which was a "psychological study of [American] foreign-policy decisions and fiascoes." But even those play out for the diminutive, bullying pimple on the universe that is the BRS.
Here's how the narrative goes. Morrissey issues a typical firebrand and divisive statement. As an active BRS member, I anticipate a hostile response if I suggest any criticism of Morrissey's statement from the group's self-appointed, comment deleting Mindguard, so I self-censored for a while. At the slightest, qualified dissent, direct pressure is placed on me, my loyalty to the group is questioned and I am characterised as stupid and evil (Uncle Skinny, no less). If I had remained silent, agreement would have been assumed.
I could go on, but you get the picture.
Now for the well-reasoned comments....