This would normally go on my other blog due to being almost entirely unrelated to WoW, but it's in response to a couple fellow bloggers: Elnia and Chastity
Ideally we would all be polite. We would rely on intelligent discourse. We would have emotion without being emotional. In other words, we'd use emotion to generate values, but not to drive argument.
We don't live in this world. Instead we have all manner of trolls and demagogues and liars. Again, ideally we'd never sink to their level. But sometimes that is the only way to be effective.
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was a disturber of the peace, a disruptor of society, a man who spent so much of his time shaking apart society. In an ideal world he'd have never existed: been unnecessary. But he was needed. The disturbances he caused were needed to fix a major flaw in our society.
There are some times when civility must be suspended. There are times to argue, to fight, to kill, to destroy, to tear down all of society. Rarely do we see these times. They are the appropriate responses to tyranny and oppression, and just about nothing else.
Being uncivil has a cost. Presumably the cause you fight for would make the world a better place. But the process of the fight has some cost, some way that it makes the world a worse place. This may be a mere opportunity cost, of writing letters of protest to senators, taking time from other without causing any apparent harm. Then there's protesting, time-consuming and disruptive, but not truly harmful It runs all the way up to terrorism and war and assassination.
For all of these the person engaging in them must consider if the damage of the process is less than the benefit of the result. In real life terms this means that while I despise some politicians and regard them as harmful to America and the world, I do not kill them because the act causes more harm than the politicians would. It sets a standard of violence as a form of political voice when we still have available to us the ability to protest and vote. If there were to rise a more dangerous politician, an American Hitler (pardon the Godwin), then assassination would be worth the lost civility.
On the opposite end of the scale is World of Warcraft. While it is important to me, it remains a game, or more accurately, an alternative world, secondary to the real one. As such, any uncivilized activity should be taken carefully, since the benefit is so much smaller, so the potential costs are proportionally larger. In other words, there are times to be rude and profane and riot, but a 5% nerf is probably not one of them.
This does not mean that we should constantly run a calculus of civility in our minds for every action and opinion. But we should not forget that there is always a tradeoff. On the other hand, we must be careful to not use disturbance of the peace as justification for silencing opinions. All opinions will disrupt the peaceful tranquility of nothing being said at all.
As a rule of thumb, there's pretty much nothing you can say wrong if you say it politely and logically and start with reasonable assumptions. The civility cost is low enough to be nearly insignificant. In other words, don't censor yourself, just say it better.
 To clarify, I did not mean to imply the Martin Luther King Jr. was rude. But he was not passive and he was not silent.
Zeitgeist: Digging for Lies - Session 4
2 hours ago