Reason [Explored] (Photo credit: Rickydavid)
G’day, and happy Sunday! This last week was quite the productive one for me. I’ve finished the series of images I’m using for the deck plan layout of a fiction spacecraft I’m designing, using fractals, layer upon layer of of alien starship innards stripped away digitally, with the results placed in their own folder for reference when I begin hand-drawing each level down to the core of the vessel.
I’ve collected a grunchload of online debates and will be going through them, transcribing them to let me better analyze and evaluate the arguments of both sides, which will be quite fun. I’ve an idea in mind for infographics or even silly memes for the fallacies and rhetorical flourishes used in these discussions, and to get a feel for the style each arguer uses to make their point.
No gaming this last week, but I had a blast at the library, using the iPad as both reading tool and web portal, and used Siri for the first time as well.
Mister Eccles has discovered the fun of knocking my Macbook off of the desk as a way of getting my attention, but I’ve fixed his little glossy-furred mischief-making self by putting it in a less tempting spot on the desk at night — problem solved, at least for now. Mister Eccles, you clever beast…
I’ve finally got more virus protection for the Macbook; Avast, and installed the new rbutr plugin for Firefox. With all of the plugins I currently have, my browser window is starting to look like a holiday tree well past its proper season!
You’ve probably noticed the lack of a fiction post this week. I want to wrap up the current storyline, but to avoid a rush job, so I’ll be working on it from this evening through Thursday night, and I’ll need to have it proofread, edited and revised before posting it for Friday morning. I’ve noticed in hindsight problems with the earlier installments in this series, and have decided that not having an editor’s assistance would be idiotic.
I’ve a long term project for this site, and maybe its sister blogs as well; to do a series of posts on patterns of reasoning common in everyday conversational argumentation and even in sturctured debates.
A good point can be made that much of academic logic often ignores ordinary human reasoning, that logic is not good as a descriptive account of how we think, and to miss this point is foolish. Agreed. All well and good.
I’ll grant that ordinary human reasoning is different from structured reasoning, but I’ll add that the whole point of logic, formal and informal alike, is both to understand how we do reason, and to improve on that by providing normative goals for how we should reason.
The gulf between trained and untrained reason becomes obvious when you consider how easily we are swayed by emotional appeals and other fallacies. It’s one major reason why idiots get voted into office by relatively smart people — relatively smart, but rhetorically clueless peeps who miss the cues that might alert them to shenanigans in political campaign ads.
Living one’s life unprotected from specious arguments can cost you money, health, or political disenfranchisement, even your life, an easy victim to any charlatan who comes along.
Something needs to be done about that, hence this project.
First, I’m limiting myself to informal logic, not the symbolic sort, in which the richness of language becomes part of the argument’s content, not content-neutral or easily reducible to formal notation.
As I have said several months back, I won’t be addressing logical/rhetorical fallacies directly, not in their own posts anymore, as it’s counterproductive. That approach is incomplete.
Instead, it will be done within the context of a complete reasoning pattern, both informally valid or invalid as the case may be, and what tests arguments using these patterns should be subjected to to pass muster as good argument, and so be convincing or persuasive to a reasonable, critically-minded listener.
I’ll start first with basic reasoning patterns, then move onto hybrid patterns, with strategies for language, style, and options for argument attack and defense. Finally, I want to conclude the project with posts on the different areas of life we use argumentation in, and its ultimate ends.
Should be fun.
I’ll be taking a posting break for this Monday and Tuesday, but will be back with this week’s Wordless Wotan’s Day, as it looks like Ragnarok this weekend is a bust. You’d think we’d learn our lesson in failed End of the World™ predictions after the Maya laughed at us stupid Westerners in 2012.
My Weekly Blogs Roundup
Roundup of The Other Blogs
The Odd, the Strange & the Sciencey
- Nazis ‘wanted to use mosquitoes as a weapon’ – The Local
- Skeptophilia: Brazilian werewolf alert
- The Telepathy Project: to sleep perchance to dream, to share the dreams that come
- Gold Coast spiritual healer feared killed | News.com.au
- FTC Shuts Down Business Opportunity Scam | Federal Trade Commission Government isn’t always inimical…it can and does do genuine good.
- STOLEN ’57 CHEVY RETURNED TO OWNER AFTER 30 YEARS
- Surge in Thyroid Cancer Cases May Be Due to Overdiagnoses: Study
- Watch this: Jimmy Kimmel hoaxes Sochi Olympics with wolf in hotel | The Verge
- Why creationists can’t be scientists – Salon.com Creationist ideology is dangerous to scientific integrity, and hence, the ethical conduct of research.
- Man dead for 45 minutes says he awoke after seeing afterlife | KDVR.com *Yawn* Another stereotypical NDE claim, suspiciously just like the rest that get circulated in the media. Copycat, anyone?
- Stolen VW Beetle found in Detroit after 40 years
- The mammoth asteroid set to fly by Earth just disappeared
- ‘Snake Salvation’ pastor who died from snake bite gets tribute on Nat Geo
- Gangs of Chihuahuas Are Not Running Maryvale
- Rossiters set for trials; court paperwork details faith-healing church
- ‘Bizarre’ Cluster of Severe Birth Defects Haunts Health Experts – NBC News.com
- Western Australia shark cull is driven by irrational fear | George Monbiot | Environment | theguardian.com
- Grainy digital images presented as evidence of structures constructed on the 400C surface of Mercury | News.com.au
- On the Trail of Ignored Beasts
- Natural News is a Facebook hit: Never click on its stories about cancer, vaccines, conspiracies.
- Unprecedented Attack On Evolution ‘Indoctrination’ Mounted In Missouri
- The Psychic, The Novelist, and the $17 Million Scam | Reader’s Digest
- Great Pyramid at Giza Vandalized to ‘Prove’ Conspiracy Theory | LiveScience Idiots. Stealing and defacing priceless antiquities for pseudoscientific nonsense should get them a hefty prison sentence.
- Woman allergic to water housebound during unseasonably wet winter – NY Daily News
- New Series “Cryptid: The Swamp Beast” | Ghost TV Blogs
- Forensic Scientists Create The Face Of Crystal Skull Vodka – Neatorama
- A woman on Twitter dies of cancer. But did she ever really exist? – Boing Boing
- A big stink at The Big Think: the supposed shortcomings of “Darwinism” touted by a quasi-creationist “thinker” « Why Evolution Is True I suppose any media outlet can in time fall prey to pseudoscience cranks…Look at the Science Channel and History Channel, after all…
- Horrifying creature spotted on sea floor
- Cover science responsibly and expose pseudoscience – KansasCity.com
- Ugandan “Scientific Statement on Homosexuality” Surfaces
- Pigeons stolen and killed, Santeria association suspected | Doubtful News
- Yet another insight into the Voynich manuscript | Doubtful News
- Ugandan president condemned after passing anti-gay law
- Daughter attacks Mom thinking she was the Anti-Christ | Doubtful News
Weekly Blog Stats
- 140,542 steely-eyed gazes cast upon the site since 2008/12/28,
- 2,064 comments posted,
- 2,291 posts published including this one,
- 230 WordPress and email subscribers – Welcome to the newcomers, and thank you!
- 24 Facebook ‘Likes’
- 528 Tumblr fellows,
- …and 2,132 Twitter fellows