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June 08, 2007

Comments

What does "He's got you on this one, Paul" mean?

This makes me so damned angry. You know, the sophists used to bamboozle people with clever, convoluted arguments. But these people don't overload you. They just keep repeating the same simple-minded canards. They are not even clever creeps. They have all the intelligence of a tape recorder.

If arguing for the war on CNN is just a matter of stringing together simpleminded irrelevant clichés, why not have a robot do it and save on paying Holmes and Murphy a salary?

The hard part about machine-comprehension is figuring out how to recognize context. But Murphy -- who admits his problematic grip on the concept -- doesn't need to be paying any attention to hurl out this:

"Saddam is the bad guy, not George Bush."

Now, a machine could easily have slung that sentence in there.

So I propose we make a robot. We'll call it: Goldberg.

Goldberg hears you out, then makes counter-arguments.

"If the weapons inspectors were in there and they said there were no weapons, why did Hillary Clinton vote for the war?"

Then we'll have a Goldberg Test, where we line up transcripts of conservative commentators arguing on national media and transcripts of Goldberg arguing on the same prompts.

And let's see if people can tell the difference.

this tells me that the press itself is in crazytown when it comes to Iraq. after 5 years of peddling misinformation from the administration and the professional GOP, they can't even agree on basic facts like "were the inspectors in Iraq". they've been soaking in a marinade of GOP lies, FUD, and misinformation for 5 years and now it's thoroughly permeated their spongy little brains.

if that's the case, then there's no wonder the press isn't calling-out the GOP candidates for their blatant lies (intentional or not) - the reporters themselves don't know the truth of the matter.

we are fuXORd.

It's like they're all playing a big game, at our expense. They even got 1998 wrong. The inspectors were pulled out by the UN, by Richard Butler, after Bill Clinton announced that he was going to order air strikes in Iraq because Saddam Hussein was stonewalling to some extent. Hussein did not kick out inspectors in 1998, either. And, the Clinton Administration was also working, at the same time, to influence the way Butler presented the results of inspections.

Somehow Ara's comment reminds me of the Monty Python skit where you pay for an argument and get only simple contradiction of whatever you say.

hairshirt,

Was that skit really only simple contradiction, or was it an example of an argument where the only way to argue was to contradict?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=y05EmK66Gsk


Contradiction is the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.

An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition. It's not just saying "No it isn't"

At any rate, that was the skit I was reminded of, which it seems I identified sufficiently.

zmulls,

But if the subject of the argument is so basic that it cannot sustain a connected series of statements without repetition (e.g., whether one has paid for the service being supplied), then one can have an argument merely by contradicting.

No you can't.

Yes, you can!

Dantheman

I was being a little meta, or puckish. Those lines are lifted directly from the famous Monty Python sketch. ;-)

But if the subject of the argument is so basic that it cannot sustain a connected series of statements without repetition (e.g., whether one has paid for the service being supplied), then one can have an argument merely by contradicting.

It's a matter of definition I suppose. But Mr. Vibrating could have asked the customer about his position on, say, abortion and gone from there. We all know how many dots can be connected on that one from direct experience here at OW.

zmulls,

Yes, I know. I was commenting on the skit, suggesting there is another layer to it, that when Michael Palin's character says one cannot have an argument merely by contradiction, John Cleese's character responds by giving a contrary example, and effectively wins the argument when Michael Palin says "I don't want to argue about this.".

One can think of this discussion as us having an argument over whether that skit is an argument or merely contradiction.

Those lines are lifted directly from the famous Monty Python sketch.

Famous sketch? Well I've never 'eard of it.

How can anybody be expected to understand your "connected series of statements" if nobody knows what your talking about?

I think Dantheman got it as he was also lifting lines directly from the sketch. Shall we next discuss dead parrots?

How can anybody be expected to understand your "connected series of statements" if nobody knows what your talking about?

There are way too many of us who can recite Monty Python sketches (and the entire script of The Holy Grail and/or The Life of Brian) by heart. I would daresay Dantheman, zmulls, and Ugh, like me, also played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons in High School.

The youtube link was provided if you want to keep up.

If that's true, if the weapons inspectors were in there and they said there were no weapons, why did Hillary Clinton vote for the war?

The fact is that Hillary didn't vote for the war, she voted for an authorization of force the better part of a year before conflict started -- nowhere near the same thing.

Clever, if disingenuous, way to frame the debate.

Freder,

"I would daresay Dantheman, zmulls, and Ugh, like me, also played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons in High School."

And college, and law school, and for many years after.

I'm just glad I didn't start this whole thing.

You know, I have yet to watch Life of Brian. Which is sad.

But I agree. That seems to be what political discourse is becoming. If we could only get some of the humor in there, it might at least be tolerable.

((Disclaimer: I also love Monty Python and played D&D. What can I say? I like being a nerd. Or possibly a geek.))

I actually never got into the whole D&D thing - tried once but wasn't interesting, probably the Dungeon Master's fault.

The fact is that Hillary didn't vote for the war, she voted for an authorization of force the better part of a year before conflict started -- nowhere near the same thing.

Okay, it wasn't the exact same thing, but it was pretty near! There wasn't going to be another vote, after all.

You know, I have yet to watch Life of Brian. Which is sad.

With the current situation in the Middle East, the Life of Brian is more pertinent than when it was made. You must buy it. Don't bother renting it, because you will watch it multiple times.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

When you watch CNN, you are paying for an argument, not a good argument.

When you watch CNN, you are paying for an argument, not a good argument.

Look, contradiction is the automatic gainsaying of...

...oh yeah, right. We covered that already. Time to cover mindless repetition again.

This is another instance that proves my theory that once Monty Python is inserted into an otherwise rationale conversation thread, it quickly devolves to the point where people can say "Ni! Ni!" and still be on topic.

That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too.

s/b "rational" above. Ni!

I was watching this post-debate stuff, and I was amazed that someone actually gave the facts about the weapons inspectors. Big ups to Begala. That the reporters obviously have no clue is depressing.

"With the current situation in the Middle East, the Life of Brian is more pertinent than when it was made. You must buy it. Don't bother renting it, because you will watch it multiple times."

That's the worst part. I own it. I just never have time to actually watch it.

More on topic, I really wish there was a way to institute some kind of law requiring politicians and anyone in the media to know what's going on in the world. Perhaps there could be some sort of test. And maybe a quick remedial course on recent history.

*sigh* Such a happy dream.

And double-plus-ungood... I've always preferred "Ecky Ecky Kabang Boom Sploink! myself, but I admit it doesn't roll off the tongue.


I guess the huge tracts of land in Iraq will turn out to be just another swamp castle (and anthrax has not been found there to my knowledge)

How can anybody be expected to understand your "connected series of statements" if nobody knows what your talking about?

There are way too many of us who can recite Monty Python sketches (and the entire script of The Holy Grail and/or The Life of Brian) by heart. I would daresay Dantheman, zmulls, and Ugh, like me, also played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons in High School.

I think you just got pwned by Model 42.

happily, i get to go see Spamalot today.

I've always envied people who'd committed Monty Python skits to memory. Shows I spend my time more wisely, I say to myself. Which just shows you can rationalize any failing if you put your mind to it.

I saw Spamalot. Well worth the price of admission.

This seems worth the click, so far.

Why of course, Sir. It's a cheese shop, Sir.

حَوّامتي مُمْتِلئة بِأَنْقَلَيْسون
http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/hovercraft.htm>(ḥawwāmtī mumtilah biānqalaysūn)

And I also won't buy this record...

Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!

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