The Internet can best be described as a sort of digital Wild West, where regulation barely exists and anybody can declare themselves head honcho of Opinion Town. Most arguments going down online, as a result of this lawlessness and physical distance from getting punched, get way out of hand and turn extremely stupid extremely fast. Thank goodness, this guy tries to offer a little help in the field of argumentation for you Internet nerds out there resorting to snappy phrases like “omg u r sooooo dum” and the ol’ Goatse trick. He goes over basic mistakes most Internet debaters make (“You aren’t part of this, shut up” isn’t cool in his book) while also touching on better developed forms of disagreement. If only everyone on the Internet could read this….
I do think he is forgetting one bad form of argument, though. He hits on resorting to pointing out grammar mistakes (seriously, everyone makes mistakes, don’t flip out because someone used a colon instead of a semi-colon. Go outside or something), a very lame move, but doesn’t mention the phenomenon of posting a link to another website offering its point on an argument and passing it off as their own. For example.
Me: I don’t like the video game Rock Band much, because I think it would be more worthwhile to spend time learning to play a real instrument rather than a plastic version.
Now, while fair xkcd’s point is fine, the problem with doing this is it isn’t your argument, it is someone elses. Be original! Also applies to anyone who pastes a picture of an lolcat into an argument.