miss_s_b: Kate Beckett aiming a gun (Feminist Heroes: Kate Beckett)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Poll #12239 Playing Devil's Advocate
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 35

Playing Devils' Advocate without telling your opponent you are doing so is...

fun
6 (17.1%)

a useful way to hone arguments
9 (25.7%)

a pointless and cruel way of hurting your friends for no good reason
21 (60.0%)

a power exercise for smug people
26 (74.3%)

something only arseholes do
17 (48.6%)

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 11:37 am (UTC)
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davegodfrey
I think it depends on the nature of the discussion. (There are some positions I couldn't take even if I was in a debating society). It also depends on who you're discussing things with. The relative anonymity of the internet anonymity is a wonderful thing.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC)
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davegodfrey
Yeah, that's not the kind of thing I'd be making a stance on without making it clear what I was doing.

The only reason I can think of why women might "choose" not to succeed is if they got sick of hitting brick walls and eventually give up and do something else. I'm not sure you could make a devil's advocate post out of that though.

Date: Friday, December 7th, 2012 11:58 am (UTC)
davegodfrey: Marvin: ...and me with a terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side... (Marvin)
From: [personal profile] davegodfrey
Actually its more to do with having been in that situation myself. I haven't given up, but I've been close to it, and I know several people who have.

Having now read the relevant post, I *think* the author wanted to host a particular debate, and went about doing so extremely poorly. If his closing sentence had been something like "I'm not sure if I agree with this or not, but its a POV I found interesting, and I'd welcome your thoughts", he'd get the discussion he wanted, and not come across as an arse.

Date: Friday, December 7th, 2012 12:07 pm (UTC)
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davegodfrey
Fanks *hugs back*

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 11:44 am (UTC)
ext_390810: (Default)
From: [identity profile] http://www.nickbarlow.com/blog/
In some circumstances - generally light-hearted discussions in communities where you know almost everyone and the subject matter isn't too important to anyone - it might be acceptable, but otherwise it's just trolling.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 11:48 am (UTC)
perlmonger: (Default)
From: [personal profile] perlmonger
Tricky. Could be any or all of those choices, depending on context, intent, audience.

I would've left out option three, as people who know me should be able to guess when I'm doing it, but I've still occasionally encountered irony-impaired people who've taken offence.

I've left out the options that, lacking a "sometimes", implicitly exclude other possibilities even while they are undeniably true in some instances.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 11:51 am (UTC)
perlmonger: (Default)
From: [personal profile] perlmonger
And reading above, yes, doing so where the subject matter is loaded is trolling.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 01:30 pm (UTC)
perlmonger: (Default)
From: [personal profile] perlmonger
That's pretty much definitive arsehole trolling; can just hear the self-congratulatory smirk in that signoff.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 02:22 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Ah, yes... *that* post. I did wonder what your reaction would be when you saw that. That post fell into one of the bottom three in the list. Which of them it fell into, I'm not yet sure.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 02:31 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
It wasn't just the post that pissed me off, it was the continuing smug response to Jennie's fairly measured comment.
Edited (missed out 'just') Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 02:31 pm (UTC)

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 02:41 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
I didn't look at the comments, and from the sounds of it I probably shouldn't. (But now I'm probably going to...)

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (opinion)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
I feel you are all giant teases.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Eh? Not sure what you mean. Unless you mean that you don't know what post we're talking about, in which case http://liberator-magazine.blogspot.com/2012/12/what-if.html . But you don't really need to read it -- you've already read it a million times. "What if the reason women are less successful than men is because they don't want to be as successful? I'm not saying that *is* the reason, I'm just asking. Here's a link to someone else saying that, so I can say it's their view not mine."

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (bored)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
Oh, yeah. That's just dull.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
It's a shame, because I like Liberator as a magazine, but it's always had this blokish feel to it, sort of "yes, we agree, women and LGBT+ people should be treated exactly the same way as us men. That's all sorted now." Spoils an otherwise excellent magazine (and now blog) when that happens.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
But... but they *are* grumpy old men! That's the best thing about them!

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
daweaver:   (Default)
From: [personal profile] daweaver
Liberator magazine? Cripes, this lot are proof of the futility of "real names" comments policy they hold so dear. They manage to be puerile, boorish, insulting, ill-mannered, snide, pompous, and arrogant, and all without a pseudonym in sight.

"Grumpy old men" is a far more polite description than anything I've come up with lately.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 11:56 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Depends on the circumstances.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 01:39 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (full of shit)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
I was always under the impression that "Devil's Advocate" was a role you assumed if you thought there was genuine discussion to be had and you wanted to understand the other side, and you honestly wanted to explore that side.

Then I grew up and realized it meant "an excuse you use when you deliberately want to anger a lot of people with no interest in actual discussion."

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
It's probably fun for some of the people who do it, but I'm not checking that box: torturing kittens is probably fun for some people too. On the other hand, I suspect there are a few people who do this sort of "devil's advocate" stuff a time or two without realizing that it's explosive when they're not at a formal debating society, so I'm not checking "only arseholes" either.

People who keep doing it after they're told that it's painful, or defend it with "you have no sense of humor" rather than apologizing because they didn't realize they were hurting someone, deserve all the opprobrium. That, by the way, includes deserving to have everyone be told "oh, he's a racist, look at his posts on xyz.example.com from last month" and "can you believe it? So-and-so sounds like a nice person, but when he lets his guard down he admits that he hates women." I'm not sure whether the proper next step would be to accuse the troll of having no sense of humor over being called names, ask him why we should believe him now rather than last month, or remind everyone that they shouldn't hang out with admitted trolls.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 02:36 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
[] Something people of a certain age seem to have been taught is fun to do, especially if they are men.

Date: Friday, December 7th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
telegramsam: John Byers Disapproves (Disapproving Byers)
From: [personal profile] telegramsam
This. I generally only see guys doing it, especially middle-aged and older (though some younger ones). Not always, but MOST of the time.

It's used as a way of getting a rise out of somebody like any other form of teasing or bullying, for the most part.

It's one thing if everybody knows what the game is and agrees to it but when it's just done for a laugh it's obnoxious....

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 02:54 pm (UTC)
el_staplador: (Default)
From: [personal profile] el_staplador
[] a feeble attempt to deflect criticism when it becomes apparent that everyone else thinks you are wrong

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iainjcoleman.livejournal.com
It's for pricks. Life's too short.

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] bagpuss
I am going to have to play devil's advocate soon in a work debate in the Sex in Science series, I am going to have to walk that very fine line as not everyone will realise I am playing devil's advocate and given the proposition I really don't want to convince anyone but it is at work so I need to make a good show

The proposition current stands at

"Men are naturally predisposed to be better scientific leaders than women"

I was originally just chairing with two men doing the debating then they decided they couldn't have a man proposing such an idea so I get a little pushed forward, it is going to be a challenge given how ever the proposition gets laid out in the end I am highly unlikely to believe in it

Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Good for picking apart possible exploitable loopholes in tech specs, but otherwise? Eugh.

Date: Friday, December 7th, 2012 11:25 am (UTC)
rhythmaning: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
I answered "a useful way to hone an argument", but the real answer is, of course, "it depends"!

In many situations, it is a useful method to test an argument and to ensure that it can be defended. It is useful in business situations to make sure that alternatives are considered and that "Group Think" is challenged.

It is also valuable to be able to understand an opposite point of view - something I think politicians should do more of (instead of partisan face-offs and name calling).

In family or social situations it is less useful. But the sting can easily be taken out the situation by saying "let's look at this from a different point of view..."

Date: Friday, December 7th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
gwenhwyfaer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gwenhwyfaer
I don't take long to get to the point where I have to turn the computer off and go and do something else to calm the hell down in a real online argument (and don't even talk about IRL - just add it to the long, long list of reasons I generally can't endure physical human company). If I then suspect, or discover, that to the other person involved it was all just a game and they have no emotional attachment at all... it makes me feel sick. And not want to bother coming back again.
Edited Date: Friday, December 7th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)

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