The mighty felinoid predator of the sapient nuts of Potzingblingerdammswald is commonly called the nibblebeast. Actually, this is the common nibblebeast, or Nibbelinus plebejus, and not the popular royal dragon, Nibbelinus draculinii, popularised in the classical novel by Arthur of Penthriftlingen, The Paining of the Gru.
In live conversation you can usually keep a discussion more or less on track, since the reaction time is very short and you have access to myriad non-verbal cues. On the internets discussion degrades into repetition of arguments, positions and opinions that have nothing to do with the topic so regularly, that it's quite amazing.
A laboratory of our need for physical proximity in order to transfer meaning between individuals.