How does one go about arguing with someone with whom there is simply no arguing? There's a guy on a mailing list I'm on (not one I moderate), who's continually posting stuff (mostly forwarded from elsewhere) whose politics are far away from my own. Fair enough, and probably good. The problem is that if you try to engage him on the more outrageous stuff, he won't. He always replies, but won't actually address what you bring up. If it's something he's quoted from elsewhere, he often says that it may or may not be what he actually thinks, but it's not his words, so he wanted to offer it up for consideration. If you address something he's written himself, he tends to respond to what you've written either with two sentences of up-with-America boilerplate with extra capital letters (on e.g. "Country"), or with something long quoted from somewhere else. In the last few months, I've gotten the Gettysburg Address once, and Kurtz's speech from "Apocalypse Now" twice.

In some sense, he's a troll, right. But he's also part of a smallish community that I belong to, and he's not so thick-headed that he doesn't know an effective piece of rhetoric when he sees one. And he's one of these people who does the annoying stuff more the more you ignore him. Gah. Advice is welcome.

Tomorrow I get an extra digit in my age, if you're calculating it in binary.