Wednesday, November 11, 2009

John Adams

I've read* a couple of popular histories lately about the American Revolution. In the process, I've discovered that if ever I were typecast to play the role of an historical figure, it would be John Adams.

*When I say "read" if I were being precise, I would say "listened to," but that just sounds silly. Almost all of my reading save what I do for work is of the audiobook variety, and I get through a book every week or two that way. Actual print on paper books take me up to several months to complete, depending on their length and my level of engagement and interest.

Adams was short and stout (actually, by all accounts, Adams was fat. But I'm not presently fat, so we'll call it stout since we have that in common) and his favorite form of conversation was an argument. Sound familiar?

I argue not out of malicious intent, but because I can't abide ignorance, either on my own part or the part of others. Arguing seems the most efficient way to root out the ignorance. If I'm wrong, I typically admit it. Although I'm stubborn, so getting me to admit it can be challenging. Moreover, perhaps the most annoying aspect of my predisposition to argue about everything is that going into it, at least, I generally assume that I'm right. Why would I argue otherwise aside from for the sport of it? Not that I would ever argue just for fun.

Generally this doesn't get me into too much trouble, as those similarly inclined to argue will enjoy arguing back. And those disinclined to argue have long since learned to avoid me.

Occasionally, however, I wonder if I've taken it too far. For instance, recently one of the blogs I read made an assertion with which I disagreed. I made a counterpoint in the comments. Rather than argue back, the author pulled the post. Even though this person lives nearby, I don't actually know him. And I can't help but wonder if he was offended or dislikes me as result. Is he a lurker on this blog? Perhaps so, and he knew I'd continue beating the dead horse well beyond when the point was conceded.

Regardless, I think it was fair play. 1) Because I know whereof I spoke. 2) Because anyone who posits an assertion on the web, even if it's preposterously self-serving, should be prepared to defend it or retract. Pulling the post is one way to retract, albeit not the most entertaining. For me at least.