I’ve noticed that several of my blog posts have resulted in discussions that haven’t gone the way I’ve wanted them to go. I was pondering this when it hit me that, of course they haven’t, because I’ve never told you, the readers and commenters, what I wanted. How can I expect you to react the way I want without telling you how?
Therefore, for this post, I’m going to explain exactly how I want the discussion to go.
1. Express surprise at my opinion, but remark that it is a new way of looking at things that you hadn’t before considered. (You may, if you wish, make a few flattering asides about my prose style, but that isn’t necessary.)
2. Express polite, reasoned disagreement (ideally, this disagreement will be something really stupid so I can answer it easily).
3. When I reply, say that I’m right, and you’re wrong, and that I’ve completely changed your mind about the issue.
4. Direct others here, making sure they are people who will, as the kids say, “get with the program.”
There. That isn’t hard. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.