Burden of Proof, Conversation, Debates, Dishonest Tactics, Idiots, Internet, Thinking about what you say

Citing YOUR sources on the internet

Citizens of the world, a very new update has been found about the world! A meteor shower of shit and poopie is coming down this very second and will crush fucking everything! How I know this? Well if you don’t believe me you fucking look it up, you have fingers, why can—-

Dear Diary,

Have you ever noticed that people on the internet are some of the laziest assholes ever? I feel like the internet gives us the power to be more educated and put our ideas out there for everyone to see. However seriously everyone wants to be taken, at the same time no one wants to seem to do the work to be taken seriously.

Increasingly I find if someone makes a claim that is either interesting, unbelievable, or clearly a flat out lie when I ask someone to say…. CITE THEIR SOURCES…. they refuse.

In fact when I ask not only do people not cite their sources but they tend to make the most ridiculous claims I’ve ever heard. Even though they made the claim that needs proof the lazy fucks demand  sometimes that I cite their sources for them. They say if I want proof I should look it up, that I have fingers, that I’m a poor baby I need to google, or something like that. Isn’t this… something they should be saying to themselves? What we have here is a misunderstanding of how the burden of proof works.

How does this work? Well if someone makes a claim they basically have to prove their claim, not demand someone else disproves it. Now if someone doesn’t have support for their claim they may make that clear… that they can’t prove it. This humble position is fine. However, people often result to other tactics, like the one mentioned above demanding someone else get their proof for them.

Some other tactics I’ve ran into are trying to then demand proof be raised for claims earlier made in the discussion. Now, if a claim has been made and it’s truthfulness has been questioned then yes…. that claim should be then verified with proof by the holder of the burden of proof. However it is a dishonest tactic to pretend you are skeptical of a claim that was made to distract people from the fact that your claim has come into question. It’s kind of an order of operations problem here, your claim was questioned first…. deal with that claim then move onto the others. I even once had someone demand I give proof for a claim that he earlier mentioned HE AGREED WITH.

So why would people be so insistent on avoiding giving proof for their claims? I can simplify this into two categories and then expand the categories a bit into sub categories.

They either are LAZY or LYING.

Now, this is an over simplification a bit, so let’s deal with each category one at a time. Let’s start with being lazy.

So in the lazy category we have several situations kind of on a spectrum. One is that the person is actually remembering the source they had, have seen and have looked it over, but either doesn’t want to or can’t find the source. I can understand this to a degree in terms of can’t find or it’s damn hard to find and not worth the time, but then this should be admitted. If you can’t find the source say you can’t find it. If you tried to find it and said this is too big of a hassle, then say you can’t find it. If you simply do not want to find the source, then say you don’t want to. If you make a claim, don’t put it on the other person, either admit you won’t find the source and say it’s reasonable for them to not accept your claim or go find the fucking source.

In terms of the lying, this can’t be broken down in a way that’s at all helpful to understanding the situation. And by lying, I mean, knowingly deceiving someone. I don’t mean saying something you didn’t realize wasn’t true. So, if someone is trying to not cite their sources because they know it’s not true they are clearly just being a scumbag in that particular case, if not a walking monstrosity in their entirety. I mean let’s think about this for a second…. if there is no proof for their claim out there and they’re asking you to find the proof this is basically a wild goose chase. This is why anytime someone asks YOU to find the proof for their claim, you can simply point this out how ridiculous it is for you to find the proof or disproof of their claim.

Cite your damn sources or show some humility, you have the fucking internet at your fingertips. If you’re talking on the internet then…. you can find your sources most of the time. This is really simple and if you refuse to do it you’re painting yourself as lazy or a liar and neither is a flattering picture.

Sincerely

CentWothADollar

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Conversation, FaceBook, Holidays, Idiots, Internet, Presentation, Thinking about what you say, Words

Facebook, we need to talk

Dear Diary,

It’s come to my attention, that like most parts of my life, I have a love hate relationship with a certain entity known as Facebook. Except this like having a love hate relationship with a drunken person telling horrible stories, showing me great pictures, and introducing me to people… all while feeding me crack. You see, it’s really hard to quit Facebook. It’s not that I need to though, that’s the one problem with the analogy. It doesn’t quite suck the life out of me or anything it just… never fails to disappoint me.

Facebook has it’s charms. People post political stuff and since I get to choose what people’s post I see and what pages I have I tend to mostly see things affirming my already hard to move political position. People post funny pictures I can laugh at or cute pictures. People post updates that are generally important, like my minecraft friend posts things about the server. I also get to stay connected vaguely with people I never would. Not that I need this or any of these things mind you, but  it’s generally nice.

Then there’s Facebook’s dark side. Southpark did it well when they made fun of the obvious faults which is people posting what they ate for dinner and how it was good, but it’s evolved beyond that point. I learned the hard way this new years eve that holidays bring out the worst in everyone’s Facebook use. People saying “Bring it on 2015!” or people telling me their new years resolutions… giving vague shout outs to friends and family, I just couldn’t care less. These things are NOT interesting and no one really cares. However people feel they need to do this to reaffirm the people around them that they’re important or something. Even my close friends and family, whom I respect greatly, post this nonsense. It’s like personal thank yous are too much work so they need to give a vague shout-out so that anyone who wants to be thanked can then feel thanked. I guess it’s efficient, but it seems so cold.

Facebook also is a battleground for wars that don’t seem to have purpose or goals. People posting hearts truck things and then getting into raging arguments where they basically just bash each other. I’ve seen some of the calmest smartest people I know get into raging arguments where they can’t act like adults and say nothing productive. It’s like watching two monkeys at a zoo throw poop at each other. And I probably will make a whole post about this but at the moment will just touch this idea that NOBODY cites their sources or thinks they should have to. People will even delete posts if the other person makes too strong of a point…. this is the worst place for discussion but it makes people feel like some sort of warrior.

Now I’ve seen the poem about Facebook and the internet and how we NEED to spend more time in the real world and although I think that CAN be good I don’t fully agree. People spending time on the internet is totally valid if that’s their life, it’s where I get the majority of my social contact. I won’t go as far as to say people need to STOP using Facebook or they need to spend more time face to face. However I will say it’s the people on Facebook that make it so unbearable. People need to THINK about what they say, THINK about whether or not it matters and post things wisely.

So Facebook I suppose WE didn’t need to talk at all… I just wish the users would be smarter about their use. One can dream. Last night i dreamed of insects erupting out of my hand like an ant hill and a cockroach somehow got stuck under my fingers. I woke up and checked my hands to say the least.

Sincerely

~TheManInYourWindow

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Art, Idiots, Poetry, Presentation, Thinking about what you say, Words

Poetry, my long friend and enemy

Dear Diary,

You know what poetry is? It’s often an artistic thing people do when they want to say one thing so they purposefully say another. No no no! Not being a complete idiot, although similar, poetry has merit. When poetry says another thing it’s usually to paint a picture in a way you haven’t seen or simply display the information in a way that hasn’t been considered. Here here here, this is confusing, let me give you an example. Let’s say I want to say someone smells and also take a shot at their sister, I can say “You smell like the rotting fetus in your sister’s toilet.” Now, he doesn’t actually smell like that… and his sister didn’t actually abort a fetus. The point is it’s poetry! It’s painting a picture that’s much more invoking of emotions than truthful statements are. Not that it’s always needed. If I were to try and paint an evocative picture than what happened during the witch and Jewish people hunting’s that Christians did during medieval times then there’s nothing more that I need than the informative truth. For instance to say they put someone’s abdomen on a pot filled with mice and then heated up the pot so that the mice tunneled through the person looking for an escape…. that is what happened and it gave sufficient emotion just by being the truth. I could lace it with metaphorical poetry but, what’s the point? It’s completely unnecessary.

So now that you know what poetry is, let’s talk about a couple things that has been intensely bugging me about poetry….

Poetry doesn’t know it’s place. It has merit, it’s great for invoking emotion where emotion might be missed, it’s funny and brings color to things that sometimes is lacking any sort of intrinsic interesting awe, disgust, or laughter. However, sometimes I’ll be discussing something philosophically and poetry will rear it’s head and fuck everything up. For example, let me tell you a story I’ve had for a while now:

Once I was on facebook and someone posted the very clever “The earth would just be eh without art.” Take out those letters you get eh, they’re also expressing their love for art by saying it is so intensely needed that the earth would lack basically all value without it. So I said “Although I love art and generally agree, I find that nature would be enough for me.” (Paraphrased, I didn’t save the actual conversation) So she responded “I would argue that nature in itself is art.” So I responded “Well,  you’d be wrong. Art is defined by something that is intended to be art. Nature not having intent therefore can’t be defined as art, so it’s not art.” My comment was deleted and then the person scolded me in a private message (Which her comments accumulated likes by the masses of mindless idiots who didn’t see my very reasonable response) that she was a poet and she could make words more than their definition.

So what’s the problem here? She said “I would argue” and “In itself.” The in itself makes it impossible to fit the definition and the I would argue says she’s moving from poetic talk to philosophical discussion. In philosophical discussion definitions are important and if she can’t be trusted to use actual definitions of words and at any moment and without warning change the definition of a word from a poetic standpoint means she’s  completely worthless in a philosophical discussion. Now poetry certainly can be used to paint a philosophical point and people can change the definition of a word in a philosophical discussion from the popular use, but these two things have specific timing and rhetoric to them. The poetry to display a point must be contained so it doesn’t leak out to every aspect of the discussion. The definitions must be clearly defined if getting away from popular understanding. If you’re not following these rules you’re simply using dishonest tactics. Poetry needs to know it’s place, using metaphors and misusing words is great in poetry but not in philosophical discussion. This is a complete misuse of poetry.

My second thing I dislike about poetry is that people don’t understand that being confusing isn’t a merit in poetry. Certainly good poetry can be confusing, but that doesn’t mean being confusing is a good thing. It’s happenstance. Being confusing for no reason doesn’t make it good poetry I’d argue that it actually makes it bad poetry. If there’s a point to the poetry and I can’t dig it out of the riddling language and convoluted mess of words than I get nothing out of it. Sometimes it might be pretty to read, the words are well chosen, and then it might be good poetry for that. However I often see that not only is the poetry not pretty to read or look at but also at the same time it has hidden it’s meaning so well that it’s completely lost for readers to find.

So poetry my good friend and enemy, how I love and despise you. But really, if I’m honest, it’s not you who I despise. The fucking morons who misuse and abuse you is where my disgust goes. You poor broken soul how I’ve never seen a more clear case of abuse of one’s entire entity than poetry’s unhealthy relationship with people who want to be seen a master worker of words. Let us all take a moment of silence for poetry.

Sincerely

Iloledatyourmom

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Debates, Idiots, Presentation, Thinking about what you say

Presentation of ideas

Dear Snow,

I’m sorry I’m melting you to write this message, but I have to write it down now. It’s lucky I have three gallons of orange juice and drank seven cups of coffee earlier, otherwise I’d have to make my message much shorter.

I wanted to talk about this odd circumstance I’ve been having lately. I end up having a discussion with an intelligent person who disagrees with my political ideology. Honestly, this is great! How much I respect when I post something on my facebook that he greatly disagrees with me and tells me why. This is sincerity too, not sarcasm. I Sincerely respect the fact that he doesn’t back down when he thinks I’m wrong. I love this. However there is this sort of… problem. It’s the way he talks to me. It’s not that he’s not intelligent, but it’s so 100% clear that he obviously thinks he’s much smarter than me. This is deeply troubling because I sincerely respect him. What am I supposed to do? Every time he talks he clearly explains his points, I most of the time understand what he’s saying… but he doesn’t seem to respect me. Once he even said “Much better” like he was my teacher. Like I was really lost in my own stupidity and ability to discuss things and he was proud that I revised my essay and finally got better. Not that it isn’t true that maybe I had to present my ideas better but… really? Why am I being talked down to? Do I really deserve such disrespect? Then once he completely misrepresented my ideas and it took a symbolic crowbar to pry the apology out of him. I repeated myself three times and he only then finally realized I wasn’t saying what he thought I was saying. Even then he went on to say that he apologized when he didn’t. Only then, when I asked him to show me his apology, did he realize he had not done it and I got an apology out of him. It shouldn’t take this much work to get a little respect.

What’s going on here? Well it’s presentation. It’s fine for him to think he’s smarter than me… I often think I’m smarter than the person I’m debating. It’s hard not to when you see someone make logical fallacies that are obvious to you but they’re oblivious to. But, first off I don’t always do this and second off I don’t try and throw this in their face. Not that he was trying but… he seems oblivious to how he’s doing it. And it’s all about presentation. If I’m wrong I should be convinced I am, but if he presents it in a way that more seems like he’s patting himself on the back then it’s really hard to not feel like he’s seeing you as some sort of idiot child. In the end I just really feel bad, because, it’ll hurt him if he keeps treating people like this. So really this is more venting my sadness than frustration. I really hope he realizes the kind of person he’s become, because he’s not a bad person… what am I supposed to do?

Sincerely

AnIdiotChild

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Debates, Idiots, Thinking about what you say

Does it matter who said it?

Dear Bathroom Stall,

I know that you don’t like me as much as my diary does, but I’m kinda out of options at the moment.

So, I wanted to talk to you about something I’ve noticed people doing. In our last conversation we talked a lot about whether or not someone was being dishonest in a discussion and discussed a particular tactic. I wanted to talk about another tactic, again whether being done intentionally or not, that I found particularly dishonest.

This topic is a little more complex however, let’s give it a try. Let’s say I’m in a conversation and I’m trying to make a logical deduction about something. I’m taking premises and then coming out with some conclusion based on the premises. Regardless of whether or not my deduction is valid or my premises good, the person quickly jumps to counter my argument by talking about me as a person. He makes claims that I’m a bad person, I’m obnoxious, maybe that I’m a liar and a thief or maybe that I’m some sort of immoral person. Is this a proper way to respond to a logical argument?

Now let’s break this down, because again, this is more complex. So the general rule with logical assertions is that it shouldn’t matter who makes the statement. If the statement holds objective truth, does it matter who says it? If Barney the Dinosaur says that the Vatican is in Italy does that mean he’s wrong because he’s Barney? What if some evil person said it… like Charles Manson, if he said the Vatican is in Italy would he be wrong? No… he’d still be right. So it doesn’t really matter who says something as long as it’s completely true.

So that’s the simple part, but what about credibility? These are easy questions, what if some random person who had some huge morally questionable motive to prove something correct makes a logical assertion based on premises you know nothing about? Like some horrible xenophobic person said that there was a negative correlation from foreigners coming into our country and IQ. What then? Well, IF what s/he said was true… it wouldn’t matter if s/he was awful. Maybe you question where s/he takes it, but if you can look up the facts… look at the pole or study and determine that s/he is absolutely correct on that one assertion. However, maybe you can’t find these said studies. You might take their character as a way to question their credibility, question whether or not these sources are good… whether or not they’re lying. However, regardless of their character that doesn’t CHANGE what the truth is.

So I guess, in a discussion, if someone tries to make a logical assertion just try and identify if the assertion is correct rather than attacking someone else.

But I know you bathroom-stall, you never attack other people… they just write all over your face. I’m sorry L

Love

IcicleOnMyBooBoo

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Conversation, Debates, Idiots, Presentation, Thinking about what you say

“What I said was…”

Dear Bathroom Stall

My Diary has taken to Australia for the holidays and I have no one left to talk to, so I’m going write on the bathroom stall wall. Don’t tell anyone what I have to say…

So I often listen to, watch a youtube video of, or get into debates. Often times in these debates people use tactics that are either purposefully or on accident that are distracting or dishonest. I could go on and on about all the DIFFERENT types of dishonest tactics to debating, but regardless, let’s focus on this time one I ran into while listening to free talk live. And just quickly, I really like that radio station.

On free talk they either had a guest or one of the hosts who was talking about being a pig farmer. He starts by making the ridiculous claim that if you don’t have it in you to kill an animal you don’t have the right to eat an animal. Right away the other person talking says” that’s ridiculous” and after a little bit of talking the pig farmer than says that what he was saying was that you should just understand where the food is coming from.

But… that’s NOT what he said, is it? What he said was… that you shouldn’t have the right to eat something if you can’t kill the animal yourself. So why did he then pretend he said something else? Well he’s changing what he said. Now, if he were to very politely make note that he’s changing his point that’d be fine. I’ve done it before… said something I didn’t quite mean, get a criticism, then say “Okay then how about this.” Or “Oh, well I misspoke, what I meant to say was this.” But pretending what you said was something else because the conversation has moved forward and it’s hard to track? That’s just dishonest. Maybe you didn’t realize what you said was something different but…. I guess in that case you should choose your words carefully and be humble so you can admit you misspoke. Not that I don’t EVER put my foot in my mouth, but I do less and less.

I suppose this is a minor point, but never the less, it’s one of those things that literally just holds up the exchange of ideas and you should avoid doing it if at all possible.

Sincerely

BarfOnTheRocks

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Activism, Idiots, Presentation

You’re not helping…

Dear Diary,

I’ve noticed that sometimes people like to be “Active” in a way that means they’re trying to help alleviate some sort of problem they’ve identified. We’ll call them…. activists! Among other things. However lots of people are activists for many different, sometimes contradictory, movements. This is fine. What’s particularly peculiar is when people are actively trying to help a movement but all they’re actually doing is actively losing it credibility. To be fair, I’ve been there, but I thought I’d just write down this observation.

What in the world do I mean? Well, let me elaborate. Let’s say… I want to stop something. Like let’s say sexism. What if I really really think sexism is a problem in this world, this country, this state, the school I’m going to, wherever. I identify let’s say that language can be a small factor in how we prop up sexism. To give a specific example, I see someone saying the word “Pussy,” which literally translates to vagina. However when they say it what they really mean is to say something like “Wimp” or “Scardy cat.” Why would they use that word then? Well maybe to use it as a representation of “women” and then are saying that a woman is necessarily a scardy cat and a wimp. Regardless if this is a proper or reasonable conclusion based on the premises, I’ve been convinced it is. So when someone says this word pussy I decide to try and help educate this person on how what they’re saying is contributing to this problem that is sexism. Seems legit right? Well let’s play out how this situation COULD be handled.

Start Scene:
“Oh look at this pussy run.”

“Pussy?”

“Huh?”

“You said pussy. That’s not okay.”

“Oh sorry.”

“That’s your one chance to say that. After that there will be consequences.”

“Okay…”
:End Scene

This all applies right? Actively trying to stop the use of a word that aids to the problem that is sexism. What could be possibly wrong with this? Well let me tell you wonderful diary!

1. It most likely puts the person on the defensive.

Now I know, most people are gonna get defensive no matter what you do. You show any sign of disagreement and they start to ball up in defensive formation and pull out their claws to claw at anything that comes their way. Likewise there are probably some people that will not get defensive even if you give them good reason to, so it won’t matter to them either. However there is a significant part of the population (I assume it’s significant, I don’t know) that will probably be defensive only if you give them reason to. We don’t want them being defensive. Not only is it less likely that they will understand your lesson, but it might just create unnecessary conflict.

2. It’s demanding.

There could be a long discussion about what is appropriate to be demanded for. However, I’ll assert that most of the time it would be better to not demand things. Demanding is necessarily controlling. People, usually at least in my opinion, don’t like to be controlled. Now I could easily turn this back into point one, but the person shouldn’t be forced into changing their language… they should WANT to change their language. When it’s a demand there’s no room for discussion. What if you’re wrong? What if it’s not sexist? If it’s a demand there is no real room for discussion, only again… conflict.

3. You aren’t going to actually educate them.

Remember the explanation as to why it was aiding sexism? Well when you just demand someone do that you give no room, like I said earlier, for discussion. Maybe the person knows why it’s offensive and just doesn’t care or hasn’t gotten around to changing bad habits. But maybe they just… don’t understand it’s a problem. If you DEMAND that they just follow your orders you’re leaving little room for understanding.

4. You give your movement a very negative feel.

Understanding the earlier points, you attach this very controlling negative feel to your movement. “Those people trying to alleviate sexism? Yeah they’re demanding assholes. I met one once! All they want to do is control me. I don’t even understand why they got so mad!” <— Kinda reminds you of points 1-3? Well, even if they weren’t defensive… even if they ignored your controlling behavior… even if they understood the point… you might still leave a taste in the person’s mouth that’s most unpleasant. You certainly won’t be doing any movement trying to alleviate sexism a favor when behaving this way.

In the end, this is all about PRESENTATION. The sexism part was just an example… I’ve seen it in many different movements. Trying to alleviate sexism, racism, heterosexism, political party prejudices, prejudices towards a religion or a lack of religion… You’re just not helping these movements by acting abrasive and demanding. Anyways, Diary, that’s just my thoughts on the matter.

Sincerely

CrumpledUpDirtyRockFormation

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