Chat and Standards [en]

Do you ever get caught up on heated discussions in chatrooms? It happens to me all the time – well, when I do chat. I don’t chat half as much as I used to.

I usually feel strongly for what I believe in, and I have the (annoying) habit of trying to dissect my opponent’s arguments into little bits and pieces, turn them around and counter-check them until I reach the lowest common premisse from which I can rebuild my point of view, dragging my discussion partner with me through each step until we finally agree. So I guess I’m a real pain in the neck to argue with ; )…

Well, yesterday I had a fiery discussion about web standards in one of my favourite chatrooms. The person I was talking with saw web standards not as a common base on which greater freedom, creativity, accessibility, and efficiency can be achieved, but as a quasi-totalitarian attempt to dumb down the web to a set of arbitrary regulations.

It was very frustrating. I don’t know if he didn’t understand me, if I didn’t understand him, if my fierceness in discussion put him off, or if I simply didn’t have the right arguments, but we ended up in a dead end.

I have a strong belief that even if it is not possible for everybody to agree on everything, two people with different opinions should be able to come to a point where the discussion allows them to understand why and how the other thinks like s/he does. And it usually comes down to diverging premisses – or “hypotheses” on the world, if you prefer.

After all this, if you understand French and would like to see how irritating I can be, view the log …awaiting comments!

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