Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Richard Lee Byers’ “Five Principles of Toxic Communi

At OddCon 14, Author Guest Richard Lee Byers gave a dynamite Guest of Honor Speech on the theme, “Five Principles of Toxic Communication,” which was wonderfully funny and satirical. I can’t recreate his ironic delivery in detail, but I got out my pen and paper and took down the basics of how to make yourself a community-destroying scourge, on the Internet or elsewhere. Any transcription errors are mine. I hope he will post the full text somewhere. Until then—
Five Principles of Toxic Communication.

1. Your opinion is always absolute objective truth.
Corollaries: 1A. Therefore, you never have to consider another person’s point of view.
1B. You never have to research facts.
1C. Since you are infallible, you can always shoot from the hip.

2. Everything is your business.

3. Nothing is too trivial to lash out over.

4. It’s all about you. (Creating turmoil is a great way to attract attention to yourself.)
Corollaries: 4A. Always turn the volume up to eleven.
4B. There is no such thing as overreacting.
4C. Always assume the worst about people you are arguing with.
4D. Don’t settle for attacking an individual when you can attack an entire group they belong to.
4E. Take everything personally.

5. Create an opening for people to come back at you in order to keep the controversy rolling.
Corollary: 5A. You haven’t really expressed an opinion until your sock puppets have chimed in. (Letting it be known that you have sock puppets is a good opening.)

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