How to lead a debate over the Net
Here is a method of leading an argument, especially suitable for participating in offline discussions, such as in newsgroups/forums. They are special in that one is not bound by the custom of the traditional, face to face conversation, like actually listening to what is being said, etc.
The method is extracted by carefully reading and analysing the posts of some actual participants in such discussions. By publishing the method, I hereby grant unrestricted rights on it to all who wish to make use of the method for their own benefit or for other persons' harm.
The method comprises the following simple rules, which are to be followed strictly and applied systematically, leaving no room for exceptions. Abiding by this discipline guarantees full success in any dispute, no matter what the topic is or what the opponents have to say.
First of all, get involved in every debate, and the sooner after it started, the better.
You know you are the ultimate authority, so why deprive the others of knowing the truth, or make them wait for it?
Ignore what your opponents say, as if they didn't say it at all.
After all, the last word will be yours. Why, then, pay attention to words that have no chance to conclude the debate?
Besides, this automatically places your opponent in a defending position where he will have to repeat himself and therefore feel guilty for having to do so.
Object to things your opponent didn't say, as if he actually did.
Remember, your opponent is wrong! In what precisely he is wrong is not so much (if at all) important.
Additional benefit, as with the above rule, is making your opponent repeat and explain what he said. That helps him understand how much wrong he is, and eventually feel sorry for wasting yours and other people's time.
Feel free to talk of things totally irrelevant to the topic being discussed.
Never allow others to distract the flow of your thought by a narrow-minded insistence on keeping to a specific topic. Indeed, what difference does it make where or when you say something that you know is true anyway? Others will only benefit from your words, so they'd better learn to listen.