I know a guy who argues over facts

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Zeno Marx

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Do you know anyone like this? Have one of these in your circle?

Fighting about facts, my mother calls it. We do it all the time. Argue over something that's actually one thing or another.
-Pete Campbell

In the Campbell bedroom Trudy has just gotten out of the shower wrapped in a towel. Pete chuckles. She asks what's funny. He says he just remembered in the last conversation he had with his dad they were arguing about whether a certain dude bred Boston Terriers or French Bulldogs. Trudy says she's sorry they were arguing and that neither of them knew it was the last time they would speak. Pete is bemused that they were "fighting about facts," as his mother calls it. Arguing over something that is, in fact, one thing or another. Turns out Pete was wrong; they were French Bulldogs. He says when he woke up he felt fine for a minute, and then he remembered. She tells him to remember the good times. He says, "Right." -IMDB reviewer


I know this guy. This is his modus operandi. To argue with people over things that are not up for belief, but are indeed one way or the other, one thing or the other.

We were talking about something that led to Boise, ID. I said in simple passing: 1) they're suffering from bad drought right now 2) they're a sizeable city in the middle of a desert.

His response was, "I haven't heard they're in a drought." And then a little later, "Boise isn't a desert."

I didn't care about the desert thing, but while we were talking, I pulled up a drought map from the US Farm Report. They show these cool NASA images of the earth once a week. The ones of interest to farmers are the drought map and the root moisture map. Boise is in an area in one of the worst drought situations on the USA map. I try to show him the map, and then he says something about climate change and it not being man-made. That was never part of the conversation. I had no intention of getting political in this. That's a whole other train wreck that I avoid at all costs in public. He wouldn't look at the map. He was dead set on making his own conversation, manipulating words and skirting the facts.

Know anyone like this?
 

Stick

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Yes, if the dynamic I'm thinking of is the same thing, and it has got so bad with this individual I believe it is a contributory factor to the divorce I'm currently going through (the individual concerned is not my wife).  I'm a very tolerant and patient man but I think the damage done to my mental health as a result is going to take a while to repair.
 

Zeno Marx

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Well, you know...I try, and often fail, to remind myself that people like this really are anti-social and want to have conversations with themselves, ie want to control the situation. It's not healthy to engage them. It serves no good purpose.
 

Stick

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Zeno Marx":qeh5dcav said:
It's not healthy to engage them.  It serves no good purpose.
Agreed. Problem was, as they were part of the close family circle, it was hard to not to. On the many occasions that I sensed conflict arising, for the sake of family harmony I would manage this by politely taking my leave, only then to be branded 'rude'.
 

Zeno Marx

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Stick":gce1cc8w said:
Zeno Marx":gce1cc8w said:
It's not healthy to engage them.  It serves no good purpose.
Agreed. Problem was, as they were part of the close family circle, it was hard to not to. On the many occasions that I sensed conflict arising, for the sake of family harmony I would manage this by politely taking my leave, only then to be branded 'rude'.
I know that position. I know it well. I'm sorry you had to deal with that. It's consuming. It's amazing how much energy one person can suck out of you.
 

Stick

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Zeno Marx":0984qvzb said:
Stick":0984qvzb said:
Zeno Marx":0984qvzb said:
It's not healthy to engage them.  It serves no good purpose.
Agreed.  Problem was, as they were part of the close family circle, it was hard to not to.  On the many occasions that I sensed conflict arising, for the sake of family harmony I would manage this by politely taking my leave, only then to be branded 'rude'.  
I know that position.  I know it well.  I'm sorry you had to deal with that.  It's consuming.  It's amazing how much energy one person can suck out of you.
Thanks Zeno. One of the benefits of the separation; I can put it all behind me!
 

RSteve

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We've all heard this one.

"Just because you say it's a fact doesn't make it a fact. I don't care what source you're showing me. You managed to find something, somewhere that agrees with what you say is a fact

I'm sure I can find something that proves your facts are incorrect."
 

RSteve

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Two of my very close friends are clinical psychologists. Both have said that cases of created or false memory syndrome are becoming disturbingly prevalent. Patients, at some point in their life, may create a fiction to justify or explain an event in their life. As years pass that fiction, often repeated, becomes a reality. The individual believes the memory actually happened.
I think that may be equally true about statements of fact and belief. If one hears and repeats over and over that something is factual, even when it isn't and they initially know that it isn't factual, with repeated re-stating the falsity to justify a position or comfort level, ultimately they truly believe the false statement is factual. And I would guess that's the essence of propaganda.
 

Greasystring

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Great thread.
A slightly different and yet similar type of personality that I've always found infuriating and struggled dealing with is 'The One Upper'. I worked with an individual that no matter what you were trying to share, I mean anything, it was always, "I got you beat". Then they'd butt in with their thing to school you. In my youth this would inevitably lead to an argument of apples and oranges. Eventually I learned not to engage and really just avoid these types (which isn't easy when you work with that person for years.)
 

Ranger107

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Just one? I know several like this. I just ignore them. Can't waste time trying to have a rational conversation with irrational people. I love the old saying, you are entitled to your own opinions, you are NOT entitled to your own facts..
 

peanubutter

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I second Greasystring's thoughts on the 'one uppers' and they seem to always have the last word. My usual retort is, "That's nice." And change the subject.
 

Zeno Marx

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recent brush with this...

I guess snow melts the quickest when fog and dew point hit some level. I've heard this a couple times now, both on the Weather Channel and the occasional weather search. "That's not true. I've never heard of such a thing. It's the sun." "Hey, buddy. I didn't say it to get in an argument. I don't make up how nature operates." The older I get, the more I despise cynics.
 

Zeno Marx

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Where do these people come from? Here's an entire video based on "I don't believe in clamps." RE: gluing things together. Again, what is there not to "believe in?" You don't like using them. They're a hassle. You don't want to have to acquire them. Fine, but you don't believe in clamping when you glue something together? I hope being proven wrong by a wide margin somehow penetrates the thick skull.
 

RSteve

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I'm gonna buy some Gorilla Wood Glue, Titebond III, and Elmer's Pro Wood glue and clamp, which I always do.
 
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