On asynchronous argumentation

Yesterday I started thinking about the nature of asynchronous arguments and the nature of argumentation in general. That is as good a place to start my writing process as anywhere this morning. (That sentence ended with a rather out of place “I guess” comment. That had to be removed to improve things.) While thinking about the nature of instant messaging and the debates that it used to allow a few questions about asynchronous arguments started to develop. Good examples of classic asynchronous arguments would be the letter to the editor or the opinion pages of a newspaper. That is a forum where arguments are made and responded to in a very asynchronous way with days between layers of the argument. A format with even longer gaps might be academic papers in publications. Arguments in academic journals sometimes go on for years in very asynchronous ways. Scholars sometimes become famous or infamous for those types of multiple year arguments. Anyway those are two examples of asynchronous arguments that are ongoing and will probably continue to exist. My experience with asynchronous argumentation is somewhat different. Sure online forums and bulletin boards provide that type of interaction. Twitter for the most part is a series of highly distinct utterances separated by distinct gaps of time. Sometimes people do get into pretty much an instant messaging type argument on Twitter and that is obviously not asynchronous anymore. Those people or maybe automated bots (it being Twitter and all) are having arguments in real time. 

That entire last paragraph was just to introduce the idea that I don’t really argue with anybody in real time anymore. Almost all of my arguments are separated by sometimes big chunks of time. Occasionally my written response does not happen until months or years later. Inherently based on the separation between each step in the argument they are highly asynchronous in nature. That does allow for a more seasoned and thought out series of responses. Sometimes it happens due to my general interest to respond in writing and not to have verbal arguments with people. Moving toward the promotion of a daily writing habit pretty much encourages channeling most of my creative efforts into the generation of prose. Strangely enough I used to debate everything for any reason and then as time passed and I got a little bit older that stopped. Instead of debating everything I pretty much write about everything. The same sort of thing happens every day, but the medium of communication changed from verbal debate to the written word. Maybe that is a good way to channel my thoughts into a more permanent container, but I did spend a good chunk of my time yesterday considering the nature of instant messaging. That communication method was a pretty distinct part of my daily routine. It used to be exciting to see people logging on and off of the instant messaging service. Those conversations were exciting, but in retrospect those conversations were not entirely memorable.

Today is going to be spent doing all sorts of things related to surfing the internet and mentally resting. My big ongoing adventure yesterday was watching the director’s cut or special edition of the first three Alien films on Blu-ray. A few Tweets did get sent yesterday documenting my activities throughout the day. Today might follow that simple pattern. It might be a day of watching movies and surfing the internet. That is probably what is going to happen here. I’m going to switch from writing at my Corsair Cube workstation to working on my Google Pixelbook Go chromebook in the other room. The nice part about these Google Docs is that you can just move from computer to computer or even have multiple people editing them at the same time given that everybody is connected to the internet. 

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