Spotting timewasters on the internets

As I move through life, I have had to learn to apply rapid evaluation techniques to conversations, comments, postings and arguments on the internet to determine if the conversation is worth getting involved in.
There are a few basic rules that I apply when parsing writings in order to make that determination. The presence of one or more of the following is likely to send me in the direction of Away.
1. Use of juvenile ad hominems in the first sentence.
If you have a decent argument, you don’t need to try and diminish the person you are in dialogue with. This is a dead giveaway that you are not remotely interested in a good-faith discussion, and instead you are just trying to piss on people
2. Capitalization of WORDS OR SENTENCES
For some reason, people with defective weak or non-existent arguments always seem to think that if they capitalize certain words in a sentence, it magically endows those words with significance or gravitas. It doesn’t. When I see that, i automatically activate my bullshit detector, since it invariably means I am now reading something that is mostly or entirely nonsense
3. Use of “air quotes” or other sneering devices such as “so-called”
Another tell that you are engaging in juvenile sneering. Discussions are for adults, not children.
4. The use of slogans and other forms of word salad
I am usually able to discern rather quickly whether commenters spend too much time watching TV or listening to talk radio. Talk radio fans always argue in slogans, because that is how many talk radio hosts talk. It’s the verbal equivalent of argument by meme (see below). Slogans are not arguments, and linking multiple slogans together merely shows an ability at rote cut-and-paste, not the ability to construct useful commentary.
5. Argument using memes
If a posting relies on a meme and not much else, my conclusion is that the person does not have the time or enthusiasm to bring their own voice into the conversation, but instead is borrowing slogans from somebody else. In that case, why would I bother to waste my time?


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