Most folk are constructive, intelligent & forward-looking, generally kind & helpful.
A tiny minority are thieves and fraudsters - mainly small-time, except for those in Gov'ts & Corps - although we've noticed some stealing material from us (and stealing `donations' from you).
However, don't be surprised if you're attacked for original thinking; it seems that a noisy ~1% or 2% tend to fear / deny all new ideas: their reactions ranging from mindless aggression to devious malicious attacks (see below).
Research says new ideas tend to be feared and denied by these types:
- more authoritarian: i.e. inclined to control-freakery;
- more conformist (and less intelligent);
- more fearful: i.e. inclined to paranoia;
- more likely to miss, & then deny, anomalous events perceived by others.
[ Full research details, including abstracts, are here ]
You can see those bad traits overlap, and can become mutually reinforcing.
[Controversy: those mentalities fit the symptoms of Toxoplasmosis - see HuffPost & LiveSci, ongoing research & Update 2015 & Update 2016]
BTW - try this baloney detection kit for a rundown of phony arguments / disguised lies. [backup copy w/examples]
BTW2 - as George Monbiot posted here, [text version] some of those abusive types are used by Gov't/Corps to create massive amounts of mis-information, noise & aggression on Internet discussion groups. You and me would call them `trolls' but maybe don't realize that many are paid for their trolling.
2014 UPDATE - Gov'ts & Corporates `poisoning the well': "Governments Hire Web Trolls to Sway Public Opinion" (Youtube Search).
2014 UPDATE - `Psychology Today' assessment of Internet Trolls - (text version)
2016 UPDATE - US-UNCUT exposes USA social media-corruption by paid trolls - (text version)
If you find someone is lying, for argument or advantage, the wisest and kindest action, while continuing to post your reasoned arguments or views, is to stop responding to that person immediately - no further discussion.
Because a frank rejoinder from you could be damaging to a weak-minded liar, or trigger a psychotic one.
BTW3 - you can use that baloney detection kit to spot devious lies. And maybe check reports on the mentally damaged or the psychotic - if they're part of a rant or abuse.
UPDATE - July 2012 - Now you can (hopefully) identify psychos by their mails/texts.
Perhaps recall - `You get the most flak when you're on target'
[That was a favorite saying of Tom Van Flandern - a courageous thinker.]
However, most folk are intelligent and forward-looking, and that situation seems to be improving.
Ie. there were more abusers in the past. (Check real history maybe?)
Some clues about that human improvement are in `altruist survivor' pages.
Cheers - have fun.