When the vaguely knowledgeable become strongly opinionated: outtake of a discussion about fracking
I have been tangentially involved with a debate on fracking being held in a LinkedIn group for alumni of a particular Ivy League institution. I am “J”
A more or less intelligent conversation had been taking place about a fracking ban imposed by the university on its land, and similarly by the town. Everything was pretty hunky dory until “D” posted a link from the Wall Street Journal. I responded with a throwaway snarky comment, which I felt was enough, since “D” had not elaborated on the contents of the article, or expressed any opinion vis a vis the position taken by the journalist:
D • online.wsj.com
1 day ago• Like
J • @ D: Referencing the WSJ on fracking is like asking Trump about President Obama’s birth certificate.
1 day ago
This bland exchange was followed by a bit of standardized name calling by “D”. Being no stranger to silly internet strawmen and sock puppets, I responded. The posts follow:
D • J: that’s not the kind of response I expect from a [name of University]-ian, nor does it advance this conversation. If you actually read the editorial, and if you know something substantive that rebuts the WSJ’s facts, figures, arguments and opinions, please say so. If you haven’t read it, but are just choosing to make a snarky comment, you are not contributing anything of value. If you have read it, and choose to ignore its value because of the source, then you are probably one of the “useful idiots” that buy their party line without question. If you have read it and have no relevant information or sources to challenge an opinion with which you do not agree, then maybe you should ask yourself why that is, instead of embarrassing yourself by proving that your [name of University] education was wasted.
4 hours ago• Like
J • @D. You reposted a newspaper article. I gave you my opinion about the newspaper. I expect a [name of University]-ian to express his own thoughts and opinions, not repost, without comment, explanation or any other added value, the printed opinion of others. And by posting this particular article, from this particular Murdoch publication, you have aligned yourself rather neatly with the very corps of “useful idiots” to which you would consign me. Further, I have no interest in challenging an opinion which is not even your own; if I have any particular need to argue with a WSJ piece, I will write a letter to the editor rather than engage in some pointless feces flinging exercise with an internet name caller.
DId I overreact? Lizardoid opinions and comments are invited.