September 19, 2008

Do I Do That?

So I was at the local ScienceBlogs million comment party last night. I was talking to Amanda Laden about something to do with Greg's blog. She started a comment, obviously meant to lead to some other point, with, "There was the guy you were arguing with recently."

I though, Let's see, most recently. "Do you mean X?"

"No." She shook her head. "I know X."

"You don't mean Y?" That was moderately high-profile, as low-profile internet slap fights go.

She waved a hand dismissively.

I thought harder. "Well, I've been going back and forth with Z a bit lately over the election."

She frowned. "No, that wasn't it either."

We never figured out who it was, and I never did find out what the rest of her point was going to be. I did, however, discover that it's possible, just barely possible, that I have a tendency to get into arguments in the blogosphere. Who knew?


Anonymous said...

Are you sure it wasn't me?

Stephanie Zvan said...

You know, I'm thinking your wife can tell us apart.

Anonymous said...

As it turns out, the argument I was referring to did involve one of the people you mentioned. I'm not sure if it was X, Y, or Z, but the comments had to do with the lowest common denominator. It wasn't an argument so much as it was a disagreement about the meaning of words.

The point that I didn't manage to get across was that you say insightful things that challenge people's assumptions. Often, their attempt to defend themselves results in them looking hypocritical or just plain dumb.

As a side note, I think Greg meant that he could have been the one you were arguing with, not that I confused you with him. :)

Stephanie Zvan said...

That interpretation didn't even occur to me. Might have something to do with the fact that I'm not sure Greg and I have ever gotten into an argument. Heh. Won't that be something to see.

And thanks. It's interesting to see how that looks to someone from the outside. Personally, I usually just call it "not playing fair." :)

Isis the Scientist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isis the Scientist said...

You are in conflict with someone? Wow, that went completely under my radar!

Also, my ability to type things correctly the first time while bouncing a child has gone to the wind.

Stephanie Zvan said...

Oddly, I'm very rarely in conflict with someone, at least by my standards. There are individual behaviors and actions that I feel called to neutralize when I see them, but that's being in conflict with someone's goal, not with them, if that makes any sense.

That said, I like the process of argument, and the psychology of persuasion was one of the topics that fascinated me in college. I just like to argue. I've had long, completely nonsensical arguments where the content of each statement made no difference as long as it undercut the prior statement. They're a hoot. I'm just wired oddly, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of that conversation, the one which preceded it about peppers and capsaicin was also interesting.

I wandered away to talk to someone else, but I had wanted to tell you about a lesson I learned in Texas about fire ants.

Pesticides don't work to get rid of them. we had several mounds in our yard, and I had tried several different varieties to either kill the fire ants or encourage them to move somewhere else.

Someone told me that ground red chili pepper is an effective deterrent for fire ants who would otherwise make their homes in your garden. Finely ground pepper is small enough for them to swallow, but it is nearly impossible for them to digest. Once I tried this, they moved away.

Into the neighbor's yard.

Anonymous said...

They may have moved, but not for the exact reason one might imagine. Ants (as in the buggy things with the legs and stuff) don't eat. Ants cannot eat anything because their alimentary tract is not set up for it. They can only drink.

The larva eat, and then produce a liquid that nourishes the adults, who are in this way beholden to the larva. It is like if adult humans could only eat baby puke, but babies could eat hamburgers etc.

The pepper probably just got in their eyes and made them weepy.

muse142 said...

I am jealous of your Scienceblog-party attendance. None that I know of was close enough to Pittsburgh for this poor college student to go. :(

Stephanie Zvan said...

Muse, I'm sorry you didn't get to go to one of these. I'm spoiled living in Minneapolis. I could have walked to this one and did walk to an earlier meetup. Maybe you just need to transfer schools? :)

Greg, are you actually suggesting ants don't react to capsaicin with the same sensory organs that detect food, or are you just being silly about the eyes?

Mike, the neighbor's yard is still much better than your yard, at least as long as the neighbor's kid isn't the sort to put firecrackers in ants' nests.

Felicia said...

I don't think you get into arguments with people. I think other people argue with you. You always seem very calm and reasonable to me, so it's not your fault if people fail to agree with you!

Stephanie Zvan said...

Felicia, I may just have to quote you on that the next time I start an argument. :)

Anonymous said...

I reed yur blogg and I think you suxx. You R always an argumenter, and I disagree allways with you ove r common sense things, like, that women rul.
and twice if they have baginas.

Stephanie Zvan said...

Thanks, C. Nice to know I'm doing something right.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually totally unsure about the ants. Caspian is designed to mess with mammals, and to not mess with birds. So it is very narrowly defined in a molecular sense.

(Obviously when I say designed I mean designed by natural selection.)

There is no particular reason for the ants to react at all.

I have a story about a guy who used to get people to pay him to get rid of the ants but he had no tricks to get rid of ants. But he did have a trick to get people to pay him. Perhaps Mike just met my friend.