Long ago, mighty beings convened in a special place set aside to collect the tropes, paraphernalia, costumes, and powers of the people of African descent -- a Museum of Black Superheroes, if you will -- in which they engaged in truly epic HeroTalk.
They discussed the past, possible futures, solutions to time-honored problems, laughed, cried, fought, celebrated, roasted, lurked, posted, bickered, fellowshipped, collaborated, and produced wonderful and inspiring Black Art. It was a truly great time, a personal Golden Age of the Internet for me, and I considered myself blessed to be a member. This sacred Hall of Black Justice was my online homeroom.
But alas, the group broke up and each of the Black Superheroes went their separate ways. With great powers came great egos, and a sufficient amount of petty bickering eventually proving too heavy to bear, caused the Curator to bolt the doors shut on the fabled HeroTalk Conference Forums. The halls are now coldly silent to those curious lurkers who peek in today. The mighty voices are now spread throughout the Social Media-verse.
Muhammad Rasheed - I cut my teeth on my argument style in those days. When you see me quote something from a debate opponent before I respond, or breakdown their post in multi-quotes, commenting under each section in kind, it is only a nostalgic hold over from the use of the message board quote response option:
I got used to it as an argument tool, and now rely upon it to help me keep track of exactly what and to whom I'm responding. Today, in other social media sites, I just copy/paste what the opponent is saying (Abdur Rasheed wrote: "Who left that thing on the shelf? Stop it!") and respond under it like I was still in a classic message board forum. Sometimes it bugs the person I'm in the discussion with, who often tries to read something more into it, but I don't care. I do it for me not for them, and usually just advise them to get over it if I feel like responding to their gripe at all.
Most importantly I learned to value a good, rich dialogue to flesh out ideas, and challenge long-held opinions, that often were forced to evolve because they didn't hold up under the scrutiny of my Black Superhero peers. A candid & courageous discussion, with as many game contributors as possible, is vital to learning a difficult subject.
I've learned from my time walking among the Black Superheroes that a sure sign of a weak intellect, is the practice of hiding from those who challenge what they think about a given topic. I WILL challenge your claims... both for you and for me. If you know what you are talking about on a topic I'm interested in, then I want to learn from the expert. If you make a claim, then I WILL push back to test your mettle; to test the strength of your argument. If you cower and run? Then you are a fake. If you say such items as "I WOULD sit and argue this subject that I know SOOOO much about, but you aren't worth my time" then you are a fake. If I ask you to explain a point you made and you get mad and block me? You are a fake.
The true top intellects never have a problem discussing what they know, and fielding questions that probe into the depths of their knowledge. That's a big part of how they got to where they are, and achieved their levels of expertise.
Don't be a coward. Stand and trade and prove that you are what you claim to be. Or don't and prove yourself a fake-ass and a villain. It is all one to me.
“The great outline of research comes to light best in dialog.” ~Otto Toeplitz, mathematician (1 Aug 1881 – 15 Feb 1940)
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