I was reminded of this high annoyance by Carlo's post about running into an arrogant dickhead at a conference. There are many situations in which arguing with someone is inappropriate. This by itself doesn't particularly bother me - it's the fact that so many people fail to recognize these situations, and assume one's silence indicates assent, rather than teeth-grinding restraint.
What is it with talkative woo-woo idiotic cabdrivers? I've listened to Class-4-equiped morons ramble on about "seeing an internal light", the benefits and underlying appropriateness of slavery, absolutely terrible music that they seem to like, obscure local politics, and the weight of their debts.
a) I don't care
b) I can't argue back at these idiots because I really don't want to distract him (further) from the road - just drive me to the airport, damnit!
2. Busy conversations
I'm not willing to interrupt an enjoyable conversation I may be having with friends (who possibly may even be attractive women) in order to laboriously explain to some fool why homeopathy (for example) is a big, steaming pile of bullshit. Please shut up about your favourite conspiracy theory or "alternative" medical practice, I'm not at all interested in dealing with your stupidity.
3. Your house
I don't want you to show up at my house and yell at me, so, out of respect for your territory, I'll not shred your idiocy at your own home. Given this (self-imposed) restraint, I'd appreciate it if you shut up about your damn "visions" or complaints about semi-obscure professional organisations I spend NO time thinking about.
4. Any situation where you have more "power" than I
This goes back to Carlo's post - I'm not going to reply in kind to your insults if there's any possibility you could do anything to damage my career afterwards - for example, by becoming (or already being) a member of my committee or by reviewing a submitted manuscript. Show some restraint, assclown.
There are others, I just don't feel like detailing them now. The above are the ones I've most often encountered over the past few years. And fuck off with your stupid crystals, too.