I’ve come to the conclusion that any attempt to acquire information from Karl is utterly futile.
- Any information I could possibly acquire from him is available elsewhere. (The only real difficulty is figuring out where). Typically, there are a myriad of potential sources.
- Given Karl’s track-record of abysmal ignorance in regard to other subjects (history, religion, politics, etc.), and his tendency to buy into viewpoints which are so abysmally stupid as to be “not even wrong” — it is a safe bet that Karl is probably equally stupid with regard to the few subject areas where he does actually exhibit “skill” (Electronics, amateur radio, computers, etec.)
- He tends to resort to what Ayn Rand would have called the “Argument from Intimidation” with alarming frequency.
As Ayn Rand described the above “gimmick”:
The Argument from Intimidation dominates today’s discussions in two forms. In public speeches and print, it flourishes in the form of long, involved, elaborate structures of unintelligible verbiage, which convey nothing clearly except a moral threat. (“Only the primitive-minded can fail to realize that clarity is oversimplification.”) But in private, day-by-day experience, it comes up wordlessly, between the lines, in the form of inarticulate sounds conveying unstated implications. It relies, not on what is said, but on how it is said—not on content, but on tone of voice.
The tone is usually one of scornful or belligerent incredulity. “Surely you are not an advocate of capitalism, are you?” And if this does not intimidate the prospective victim—who answers, properly: “I am,”—the ensuing dialogue goes something like this: “Oh, you couldn’t be! Not really!” “Really.” “But everybody knows that capitalism is outdated!” “I don’t.” “Oh, come now!” “Since I don’t know it, will you please tell me the reasons for thinking that capitalism is outdated?” “Oh, don’t be ridiculous!” “Will you tell me the reasons?” “Well, really, if you don’t know, I couldn’t possibly tell you!”
All this is accompanied by raised eyebrows, wide-eyed stares, shrugs, grunts, snickers and the entire arsenal of nonverbal signals communicating ominous innuendoes and emotional vibrations of a single kind: disapproval.
If those vibrations fail, if such debaters are challenged, one finds that they have no arguments, no evidence, no proof, no reasons, no ground to stand on—that their noisy aggressiveness serves to hide a vacuum—that the Argument from Intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence.
In karl’s case, this tactic takes the form of:
- Bloviating endlessly about whatever conspiracy-theory happens to have captured his attention at any particular time. (Hint: he will be obsessively dedicated to doing “research”/”uncovering the truth” on whatever-it-is — for at most, a few weeks, after which it will merely serve as a source for convenient “catch-phrases”, and/or window-dressing for the next bout of idiocy.)
- Frequent use of phrases “rhetorical questions” such as “How can you not know this, already?”, and “Where have YOU been?” — inevitably prefaced by the same, exaggerated (and vaguely petulant) sigh — something which is undoubtedly intended to “communicate” both his own Olympian greatness and the claim that I should somehow be overwhelmingly glad that he even “bothers” to answer my ‘stupid” questions, at all.
I no longer see any value in wading through his ever-rising sea of bullshit, or attempting to placate him long enough to stave off the next tantrum. Quite frankly, if it wasn’t for the fact that I live around a thousand miles away from him, I would find it extremely gratifying to punch him in the throat.