Vox Day's stuff on rhetoric vs dialectic is apropos here.
But I wonder if he doesn't put too much work into it.
Because they are like moths who will climb up under the glass and say, "hey look at me," and they often insult you just to make sure you look at them.
Then you redirect the conversation to whatever point it was you were making.
And the moth says 'Oh, yeah?' and it shoves a pin right into it's abdomen, or wherever etymologists stick moths.
And the you redirect the conversation again. There are usually more insults, but whatever.
So, for however long the cycle goes, it seems to me the moth is immobilizing itself. It has not talked about the topic, it has hurled insults and thereby mostly just attempted to make itself look good, but it is just a moth, under glass- immobile. He has demonstrated himself incapable of discussing the topic.
And, since the virtuous don't spend a lot of time insulting people on the internet, but rather do virtuous things- many of which are done in secret, but some of them are not, and we find out about some that are, so we know people who are better than we are, and they are not this poor, self-immobilizing moth, attempting to wrench some emotional comfort from... whatever.
It doesn't work. I don't even know how it could work among their own kind. Can you imagine a whole pack of them pulling this crap on each other?
Knowledge is what I look for. Despite explicitly not being a Gnostic, well I can't help it- I got on the internet and found the Shangri-La diet, and the Paleo diet stuff, etc... all as it was first coming out. I lost over a hundred pounds and massively improved my life. And it felt like the primary reason I was able to improve my life in this little domain was knowledge. With better information, I had a better map, and I was able to navigate the territory with improved accuracy.
So, this side of the veil, anyway, knowledge kicks ass. And almost by definition, it will be the sort of knowledge other people don't have. Those interested in virtual signalling and moral posturing have to signal against such knowledge. I know this is absolutely true, because people have done so, against SLD, against Paleo, against various low-carb/ketogenic interventions- despite outcomes.
I can't interpret anti-knowledge behavior as anything except failure. The moth pins himself, like some mentally ill people cut themselves. It is abject failure because no points are made on topic, and there is no virtue to hand, nothing to back up this poor moth's words about himself. He is merely making a spectacle of himself.