Saturday, August 22, 2009

Internet arguing - and other kinds as well

Here's a web page I want to recommend. It's called How Not to Argue and it basically exposes the many logical fallacies that are maddeningly rampant not only on the internet but in person too. Here's a little excerpt:

How to argue logically is therefore one of the core intellectual skill-sets of scientific skepticism. It is why skeptics will frequently whip out their logical fallacy detectors when arguing with defenders of not-so-critical thinking or true-beliefs. Even in everyday conversations we commit and encounter countless errors in logic. It is therefore highly valuable to be familiar with the common ways in which human logic goes astray.

Also the internet has resulted in an explosion of human communication, especially, it seems, arguing. Much of the social constraints are lifted when typing over the intertubes under a pseudonym. Knowledge of good and bad arguing are therefore more essential than ever for the computer literati and wannabe internet flame warriors.

I'd like to be optimistic about this material doing much good in the realm of political discourse. I'm not. However, knowing some of this stuff may well help you keep your sanity.

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