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Reblogged:Thanks for (Admitting You Were) Playing!

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Over at Illumination 2.0, horticulturalist Kevin Folta passes along an entertaining war story from his sideline as a science advocate.

Encountering a troll on Twitter (of all places!) Folta asked him "why someone would listen to aggressive hate groups" rather than a scientist in the field on the topic at hand. Rather than merely assert his expertise, he also provided a link to his C.V. so the troll could judge for himself whether he was qualified to speak about the subject at hand.

He got the following rare and very succinct admission:
I don't need to look at your "record" to know who you are
If ever there was an answer that relieved someone of the courtesy of excusing himself from a conversation, this was it!

Folta ends with the following advice:
troll.jpg
They're not always this obvious! (Image by Mark König, via Unsplash, license.)
When people do not accept evidence and instead trash others based on what they [already] think, they don't deserve your time and attention... Spend your time influencing others that are willing to learn, and at least consider evidence before making decisions.
This is great advice. It's your life, and if you find it worthwhile to try to move the needle of our culture in the direction of improvement, keep your eyes on the prize. Not everyone like this troll will do you the favor of letting you know so quickly and clearly that they're wasting your time, but this example boils the issue down very nicely.

Many things can make it difficult to bear this in mind: the heat of the moment, a desire on one's part to respect etiquette, a generous desire to help others understand an issue better. Don't let such things cause you to forget what you're trying to do or the value of your time.

-- CAV

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