Arguments on the Internet

It is usually a foregone conclusion that arguments on the Internet head nowhere and only make matters worse.

Left-Right divide in the blogosphere

There is no dearth of evidence of this fact:

Recently, in WSDM 2017, best student paper award went to a paper which proposed a way of bringing the warring groups a little together.

Despite this, I still am optimistic about the future.

Light at the end of the tunnel

My hypothesis is based on an observation which is surprising enough to have an xkcd comics dedicated to it.

Quoting from it:

Imagine kids start playing catch all the time. Everywhere they go, they throw balls back and forth, toss them in the air, and hurl them at trees and signs - nearly every waking hour of their lives. Do you think their generation will suck at baseball because they learned sloppy skills?

Think about the question for a moment.

The key idea in the comic is that more exposure to English language, even if it is not perfect (e.g. texting, SMSes, etc.), is going to make a positive difference for the people using English at the pro level (i.e., in this case the students writing the standardized exams).

The same way, I expect that as people become more aware and start to have an opinion rather than living in a small community where they do not even have to think about certain issues, the better the pro opinion-havers of the generations (read: the politicians) will become.


The danger, of course, is that we may not start improving quickly enough: perhaps the short-term escalation would be sufficient to put us beyond the threshold where we end up in a Game-over scenario.

There are several ways of getting to such a scenario:

However, I started by saying that I am optimistic about the future. Hence, I sincerely hope that we start understanding the other side before things get that bad. And maybe, just maybe, the problem is not that bad?