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Playing an instrument enhances your cognitive abilities.  I just wonder if they’ll find a way to motivate people to practice. :)

 

If you want to take down somebody else’s argument, a certain familiarity with the nature of intellectual or philosophical (as opposed to playground) argument is required, so that you can construct your own counter-argument.  In an intellectual argument, the person putting forth an argument sets out a number of premises (statements of facts), which, when you add them together, at best makes it impossible for their conclusion to be false (deductive argument), or at least makes it much more likely that their conclusion is true (inductive argument).

If you want to show that somebody’s argument is wrongity wrong, there are two, and only two, tactics allowed:

  1. Show that at least one of the premises of the argument is untrue.
  2. Show that even if the premises of the argument are true, the conclusion does not follow logically and/or inductively.

Tactic #1 requires good research skills, including the ability to find good sources, and the consideration to provide links and references so that others can evaluate those sources.  Research does not include saying, “Well it’s never happened to me, and nobody whose opinion I consider valid has every described anything like this to me, therefore the person recounting their experience must be mistaken.”

Tactic #2 requires an understanding of formal logic and logical fallacies, as well as an understanding of inductive reasoning, for example, the scientific method and statistical inference.  Be sure you know what a Straw Man argument is, both so you don’t make one, and so you don’t go calling somebody else’s argument a straw man incorrectly.  Be familiar with Ad Hominem and Ad Hominem Tu Quoque fallacies, and again, refrain from using them, and don’t go accusing others of using them, unless you actually know what they are.  Understand that correlation does not equal causation, but that scientific research can still draw meaningful conclusions even if not all of it can meet the gold standard of perfectly-designed, randomly-assigned, double-blinded, longitudinal, etc etc etc experiments.

I know, I know… that’s a lot to ask of somebody who just wants to assert that their knee-jerk, market-wisdom-based, common-sense, status-quo-supporting opinion is Truth.  Especially since going through the work of checking facts and reading the research may prove you wrong, and then what do you do.

Oh, those wacky religious Muslim terrorists are at it again going all murder happy on people who dare to make fun of their religion.

CH1

This event is completely ludicrous and, in 2015, should not be happening, some reasons off the top of my head:

1.  Mohammad, Jebus, Krishna, Sif – pick your imaginary friend –  they all don’t fucking exist.

2.  If they did exist wouldn’t there be some godly smiting going on, like all the time?  Being immortal and all powerful and all that shite, you would think that they could take care of business without the help of mere mortals.

3.  How can you, a mere mortal, even think that you can contemplate what your Godhead wants, never mind what she’s offended by?

4.  How does killing Western journalists advance your cause by even one micrometer?  Not all journalists are card carrying lackeys of empire yet, but with doing shit-for-brains (shit for brains is my new term for “stupid” because I’ve been informed by certain elements that “stupid” is ablest slur) wankery like mass murder how is the non-wanking western media supposed to put forward the case for Islam not being full of yahoos ready to kill people for shit-for-brains reasons?

If you think this is going to be all about bashing the religious and the Muslims,  you’d be wrong.   Let’s get a little context on the situation from Ziauddin Sardar:

“I would argue that western imperialism has not so much forged an alliance with radical factions, as created them”, I was told, in London, by my friend, and leading progressive Muslim intellectual, Ziauddin Sardar.

And Mr. Sardar continued:

“We need to realize that colonialism did much more than simply damage Muslim nations and cultures. It played a major part in the suppression and eventual disappearance of knowledge and learning, thought and creativity, from Muslim cultures. Colonial encounter began by appropriating the knowledge and learning of Islam, which became the basis of the ‘European Renaissance’ and ‘the Enlightenment’ and ended by eradicating this knowledge and learning from both Muslim societies and from history itself. It did that both by physical elimination – destroying and closing down institutions of learning, banning certain types of indigenous knowledge, killing off local thinkers and scholars – and by rewriting History as the history of western civilization into which all minor histories of other civilization are subsumed.”

Of course our hands are dirty on this one most of the terrible shit going on in the world can be directly or indirectly attributed to putting our state interests (see colonialism, empire, and name your flavour of exceptionalism et al.) ahead of the needs of other people who happen to be living in their own countries.

Andre Vltchek continues:

“From the hopes of those post-WWII years, to the total gloom of the present days – what a long and terrible journey is has been!

The Muslim world is now injured, humiliated and confused, almost always on the defensive.

It is misunderstood by the outsiders, and often even by its own people who are frequently forced to rely on Western and Christian views of the world.

What used to make the culture of Islam so attractive – tolerance, learning, concern for the wellbeing of the people – has been amputated from the Muslim realm, destroyed from abroad. What was left was only religion.

Now most of the Muslim countries are ruled by despots, by the military or corrupt cliques. All of them closely linked with the West and its global regime and interests.

As they did in several great nations and Empires of South and Central America, as well as Africa, Western invaders and colonizers managed to totally annihilate great Muslim cultures.

What forcefully replaced them were greed, corruption and brutality.

It appears that everything that is based on different, non-Christian foundations is being reduced to dust by the Empire. Only the biggest and toughest cultures are still surviving.

Anytime a Muslim country tries to go back to its essence, to march its own, socialist or socially-oriented way – be it Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, or much more recently Iraq, Libya or Syria – it gets savagely tortured and destroyed.

The will of its people is unceremoniously broken, and democratically expressed choices overthrown.”

[Source]

Picture is unrelated. I need some awesome in this post, because otherwise it is too damn depressing.

 

You’ll see the word “stability” crop up when you begin to examine the officially accepted version of history we all know and love.  Stability used in the geopolitical exceptional context is anti-democratic and anti-nationalist – pretty much the exact opposite of the flowery boilerplate about human rights and democracy promotion that is exuded from ‘top government’ officials.

It is usually about here I get painted as a part of the I hate america/canada crowd – but that shit can frack-off before it starts.  I am not about hating my country, I’m about this country looking at our history without the friendly blinders on and owning up and taking responsibility for the horrible shit we have done/continue to do in the name of the ‘national interest’.

So ya, wanna fix the terrorism problem? Lets start at home ,with us, like this:

“If we seriously want to end the plague of terrorism, we know how to do it. First, end our own role as perpetrators. That alone will have a substantial effect. Second, attend to the grievances that are typically in the background, and if they are legitimate, do something about them. Third, if an act of terror occurs, deal with it as a criminal act: identify and apprehend the suspects and carry out an honest judicial process. That actually works. In contrast, the techniques that are employed enhance the threat of terror. The evidence is fairly strong, and falls together which much else.

Thank you Mr.Chomsky for that gem of a quote.  Thank you dear readers for taking the time to listen to me rant.

Arbourist out.

 

 

dictionary   I would like to take this time to edify and hopefully illuminate those with access to my very small part of the blogging community.

Blogging community, if you care to listen please note that for future reference that if you intend to talk about a topic that you are unfamiliar with, or wish to actively criticize please recognize that looking up terminology you will be dealing with in a dictionary is not the endpoint of your commitment to honest discussion.

Defining your terms is important, but the level of detail present in most dictionaries is not sufficient to base a reasonable argument on.  An example of the problem described can be found in the wordpress reader, while browsing the feminism tag.  Every day I see posts that either start out with the dictionary definition of feminism in the topic sentence or maladroitly inserted into a body paragraph just before a long list of criticisms of said definition.

The problem, dear blogging community, is that arguing with dictionary definitions is about as useful licking a frozen fence post with your tongue.  Feminism (and other topics) are often rife with nuance and complexity that require a more careful reading to fully appreciate what they are about.

Would you feel okay in expressing your opinion based on what the dictionary says about a possibly esoteric topic such as:

Quantum Mechanics? 
noun, Physics.
1.
a theory of the mechanics of atoms, molecules, and other physical systems that are subject to the uncertainty principle.
Abbreviation: QM.

Huh, fascinating stuff eh?  Did you see about part about the many types of quarks?  How about the double-slit experiment?  Quantum tunnelling behaviours that are associated with electrons?

   Me either.
So why then do people often think that going on something like this -
Feminism

noun.
1.
the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

…is somehow going to give them enough insight to intelligently comment on Feminism in a meaningful way?  My new goto method for jarring people out of their sullen stolidity is linking to a poignantly concise, accessible piece by bell hooks called Understanding Patriarchy.

Of course, some choose not to look farther than the meanings of words that are easy and convenient for them and their ‘arguments’.  Then other methodology must be used, including the neigh-terrible Red Pen of Justice in the most serious cases of cranial-rectal inversion.

One of the best methods for avoiding various peoples RPOJ’s is using the dictionary, coupled with other resources such as Wikipedia to further flesh out the context of complex topics that one might wish to speak on.  You’ll still get your ass handed to you by those possessing specialist knowledge, but you will avoid the eye-role and exasperated sighs of those who must yet *again* give the 101 level context necessary to properly frame a discussion.

The Neo-Liberal dogma that attempts to shroud us from the realities of the world is on display in not one, but two cartoons for your edification.

Neoliberalism1

Ah, here we see Neo-Liberalism invade our thinking. The thoroughly naive notion that we are all equal in society and if we just acted “nicer” (by ignoring systemic inequalities society) things would be peachy-freakn’-awesome.  In dogmatic Neo-Liberal thought we are just individuals making choices – no class, no sex, no position in society.  The structural factors of society are simply ignored. 

 

Neoliberalism2

Boom!  Class analysis based in a grounded historical perspective. Radical Feminist/Political theory appreciates this notion and uses it in analyzing our society. On the contrary our choosy-choice 3rd wave Liberal Feminists/Liberals almost always overlook the insidious nature of the neo-liberal agenda and its toxic effects to community and people. Choices are never made in a vacuum.

 

Now you know.

 

Well, it is nice to know I have a little job security. :)

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the subordination of one clause to another . . .

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capturing the manosphere in senses

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Atheist, childfree, radical feminist blogging about social justice issues

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