I’m weird, but I enjoy discussing contentious things with people. The best kind of debate is one where both sides put forward a good effort, and chip away at various misconceptions until one of a handful of things happens. Either you can find a solid central point of agreement either by figuring out what the core of what they really want is rather than the outside rhetoric is, or you can come to an understanding that the views are incompatible and agree to keep your own opinions and leave it at that. The other kinds are more of breaking down into shouting and name calling, which is annoying but at least leaves the debate in more of a settled state without any further interaction needed.

The most disappointing and annoying tactic has to be the following. You get a couple of exchanges into it with several multi-paragraph replies back and forth. The other guy cherry-picks one weak point in one paragraph and writes a single line quip about it ignoring the entire rest of the points, then says out of courtesy to the guy whose blog we’re posting on that we should stop. 

What do you do then? You can let it drop, and let his pathetic and pointless retort be the last word in the debate, solving nothing and being entirely unsatisfying. You can reply to him, and look like the bad guy cluttering up someone’s blog with a debate and trying to get the last word in. Also annoying. Such a cowardly, miserable tactic…