The internet brings out the inner debater in all of us

Tuesday, 20 December, 2011

While we may not admit as much, the reason we are often disagreeable and argumentative online is because we actually enjoy it.

You’re addicted to Internet arguing because you’re almost always arguing against either a very stupid person or a very smart person, and those are the two types of people most fun to argue with.

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Why let reason get in the way of a logical statement?

Wednesday, 4 May, 2011

There’s no shortage of deceptive or misleading lines of thinking when it comes to rationalising, or arguing, a point of view.

NON SEQUITAR: (literally means “does not follow”) in a general sense any argument which fails to establish a connection between the premises and the conclusion may be called a non-sequitar. In practice, however, the label non-sequitar tends to be reserved for arguments in which irrelevant reasons are offered to support a claim.

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Too easy to undermine… online arguments are rarely discussions

Wednesday, 2 February, 2011

Ten sure fire ways to trip up any otherwise informed or intelligent discussion that is taking place online.

I can’t help noticing that you mention 1,204 jobs are to be lost under these proposals. I think you’re forgetting that one job has already been lost, meaning only 1,203 further jobs will be lost. This entirely undermines your argument.

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Two sided arguments can sometimes be a double edged sword

Thursday, 11 November, 2010

Arguments that take into account both sides of a dispute or issue tend to be more effective than those that just gun for one side… provided the appropriate side of the argument is refuted in the process.

What he found across different types of persuasive messages and with varied audiences, was that two-sided arguments are more persuasive than their one-sided equivalents. There’s one big proviso to this: when presenting the opposing view it’s vital to raise counter-arguments. Two-sided arguments which don’t refute the opposing view can be significantly less persuasive than a comparable one-sided argument.

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What to do about movie-goers who engage with actors on screen?

Thursday, 19 November, 2009

I don’t encounter too many problems when I go to the movies – and I see a few – but several weeks ago some chatty patrons sparked a shouting match during the pre-feature trailer screenings, which saw both parties threatening to have the other “thrown out”.

The lights dimmed however and order was reinstated as the feature began to roll. Not all movie-goers have it quite so easy though:

Twenty minutes into the film I heard her. She was talking to the screen – narrating her thoughts and feelings, as well as answering rhetorical questions asked by the characters. “What will we do? There’s no time!” asked the main character. “I dun’ know! You be so screwed!” she belched in anguish, as if the actors in the movie could actually hear her clam-scented reply. Fifteen minutes from the end of the movie – the climax – and the water buffalo was still talking. I’d endured her for nearly two hours, and what was a mild irritation had transformed into a boiling, volcanic rage.

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Descending the lows of the argument pyramid

Tuesday, 28 July, 2009

The Hierarchy of Disagreement represented as the Argument Pyramid, with reasonably informed objections to a point-of-view at the top, and outright name-calling and insults, with little or no regard to the original discussion or debate, at the bottom.

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Let’s drink to life’s unanswered questions…

Friday, 21 November, 2008

That’s what I would rather do, especially on a Friday, but if you’re instead on the lookout for subject matter for some decent philosophical discourse, then this list of the top ten arguments that cannot be won may make a good starting point.

To be included on this list of Arguments That Can’t Be Won, the argument must have no clear answer that cannot be countered with another opposing view.

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