Originally Posted by Rollo
I'd guess it would all look a lot like this thread.
Say what you will about the GM Forum, but this thing is for sure. It ain't boring. From time to time, it can even be more entertaining than the tennis itself.
With all due respect to the people who contribute to this forum, discussions around here are sometimes not even intellectually interesting. Plus, isn't there more to life than intellectual enrichment? And, I am speaking as someone who is an intellectual by profession.
In all of my intellectual endeavors, I am bound to uphold the same rules of civil discourse that we agreed a while back to follow here. I am willing to follow those rules happily in that context because those rules in the hands of individuals who are capable of asking and answering very challenging questions can lead to very interesting results, some of which can end up challenging, in only the most rational way, the very rules of civil discourse that made the dialogue possible in the first place. In this context, I fear however that our apprehension about breaking the rules may have led to a stifling politeness or sterile gentility that defuses all contradiction. And, perhaps that is why I am not so happy about what the rules have done to our discourse in this forum.
In other words, I for one think that contradiction is a good thing, whether it is dialectical or not. And, that is what is so utterly fascinating about the GM Forum. There is contradiction wherever you look. Now, as I've already conceded, this contradiction may not necessarily be dialectical, meaning it may not ultimately be conducive to a higher truth. But, unlike the situation in the political and social discourse of the US, that is not a foregone conclusion on the GM Forum. And as long as it isn't, these contradictions are worth cultivating. And, through the cultivation of those contradictions and all of their aftereffects, it may turn out yet as I have found recently that consensus might still be possible. And out of a consensus forged by contradiction might arise the general realization that we've already reached here: If you want anyone to address you respectfully and logically you've got to stop with the ad hominem attacks.
In the meantime, what is wrong with a little entertainment, particularly at the expense of a ship of fools? Considering that that's exactly what Jonathan Swift was doing when he wrote "Gulliver's Travels," it can even turn out to be a very literate endeavor in the end. While I understand and respect the commitment most of you have to rising above the fray, I would still like to call your attention to the reality that nothing is going to change over there unless we exercise all our faculties of reason (i.e., satire, parody, allegory, etc.) and force others to talk to us in a reasonable way.