Why, when I have taken time to reason and think through an issue... and I have come to a thoughtful conclusion, do I assume that all those who disagree with me haven't done the same thing? Why do I attribute their obvious fallacy to lazy thinking or ignorance? It is easy to dismiss ideas that I don't agree with by caricaturing the one who posits them.
I see this as a fundamental flaw of the kinds of exchanges that I often read on blogspot. Instead of reading posts as if I am reading them for the first time, I place the blogger into a category that I have in my brain after reading the first couple of sentences. This knee-jerk reaction causes me to argue against what I imagine their position to be... because, "I know them better than they know their deluded, pseudo-intelligent selves."
I often read others doing the same thing. Using phrases like, "I imagine you are sitting there thinking..." Well, let's stop imagining what people are sitting there thinking. Let's start reading their words and responding. Or, if it helps, imagine them with a sweet smile on their face. Blogspot, email, im, texting: all are ripe for misunderstanding. Let's not add our arrogance to the mix.