Hello visitor. You find below some notes and ideas. I thought I keep them public and may turn them into something. I keep this public, since based on prior experience (deletion of fallacies) I have no idea what fits into the wiki, what is meant by missional but am interested to find out about it (at least for the time being). If you have some idea about this and the notes, I'll appreciate comments on the talk page.
- 1 Trickster, Devil and the Jester
- 2 Strong Programme Aspect
- 3 Fallacies & Rhetoric
- 4 Template Test
- 5 Simple Reply
Trickster, Devil and the Jester
A fantastic topic with rich connections between the devil, jesters, death, fools and disabled or otherwise "challenged" people, and the devil's advocate (both in the church sense, as well as in rhetoric). Currrent article on trickster is weak. But I have still no idea what's really meant by "mission" and how that would be missional. Same goes for the Culture Hero.
Strong Programme Aspect
Here's the thing on the Other Wiki. The article there is terrible, as one would expect of anything that has (broadly) to do with postmodernism. But the programme contains an aspect that is interesting and highly relevant for anyone. How can you know about reality, and how can you know that you got it somewhat correctly? Let's move the "somewhat" out of the way first: scientists themselves know that their findings aren't the Truth™ but approximations towards what is true. There are different flavours of this, from pragmatism to model dependent realism but I guess it would be hard to come by a naive realist. Now onto the aspect. If you want to know anything, you can take some broad directions.
- First Hand Only: study the subject matter yourself. You become a scientist and rigorously build up your knowledge all by your own.
- Pragmatic: somewhat related, you only believe what you have seen working. Even when you don't have the time to study aerodynamics, you can see that planes obviously lift off and land safely, so that whatever was used to construct these machines can be taken as 'correct'.
- Democratic: You approach it democratically or stochastically: you believe what the majorty of people believes; what the majority of experts believe; or what the person believes who was somehow 'elected' to be the leading expert.
Now in practice, people draw from all three (and maybe more?), but all three have problems.
- First Hand Only: Nobody can study everything. Even using instruments would require, if applied rigorously, that all assumptions that went into them are tested by yourself. You need to study optics and make tests to know how lenses work, build sufficient trust in your idea so that when you study the moon, you can rely on whatever you see is what is "really" out there.
- Pragmatic: not all knowledge is practically applicable or shows itself immediately. For example, the knowledge about climate change is not like a plane that flies and where you can just see "it works". The pragmatist also has to live with the problem of induction (that is, that you cannot know in principle that whatever was true yesterday is still true tomorrow, i.e. that the next experiment/observation happens as predicted).
- Democratic: majorites can be wrong and scientists not only fill blanks, but on ocassion also challenge currently established beliefs. The obvious example is Nicolaus Copernicus (and others before him) who challenged geocentrism. If you went by this principle you would be on the wrong side.
I believe its worth noting what we seem on shaky grounds, as the sociologist of the social programme school indicate. But only to get rid of naive realist notions. But nobody worth their salt is a naive realist anyway, and the social programme underappreciates nature (or reality) as the arbiter of what is true. The strong programme also itself relies on truth-finding methods used by everyone (including scientists) which it then tries to undermine, thereby undermining itself.
Fallacies & Rhetoric
Refuting "Fake" Opposing Views
In my view, there is a category of a fallacy of the type where someone argues against views that are strictly irrelevant: nobody holds these views, nobody worth taken seriously holds them, or nobody holds the variant that is being argued against. In that sense, the excersize of refuting such views can only have instructional or hypothetical merits (how to argue, or how to argue if someone expresses these beliefs).
- Strawman Fallacy: everyone knows the strawman, which is an exaggeration that make refutation easier. Exists here.
- Weak-man Fallacy: The opposing view needs to have several different versions that can be more or less extreme. Instead of exaggeration, a weak (or extreme) version is taken as representative, because it's easier to refute. I've linked this to nutpicking. The fallacy is otherwise named in a paper by Aikin & Casey.
- Hollow Man Fallacy: the hollow man version argues against some view that nobody holds (or nobody of merit). Had added this to strawman list of related fallacies, but was deleted "just so", potentially because the edtior didn't like my "Freeze Peach" example. The fallacy is otherwise named in a paper by Aikin & Casey.
- Frankenstein Fallacy: my own idea that was missing so far. The opposing view needs to have several different versions, as in the weak-man fallacy, but here not the extreme ones are taken, but simply different parts that are stiched together and this inconsistency is exploited. Was deleted, people didn't find it useful.
Switching out meanings or labels
In my view, there is a meta category of bad-faith argueing that are about exploiting ambiguity of terms or paragraphs, alternate meanings of terms, elastic definitions that can be switched out and so on. Off the top of my mind, I know of these:
- Bait-and-switch: a view is proposed that seems attractive, and is made to win over believers or followers. Once they have made some investment, in time or emotionally, they find out (perhaps gradually) that their acquired beliefs have extreme and potentially less attractive implications, but they stick to them anyway due to sunken costs, cognitive dissonance effects etc.
Doesn't exist and since several of mine were deleted, I'm not going to write it.It now exists.
- Motte and bailey: here, it is the other way around. The eccentric and unusual idea is proposed and preached, but when someone challenges it, it is changed into a simpler, possibly trivial idea that is easily defensible. When the critics turn away their attention, the proponents returns to the eccentric version and pretends it is unassailable.
Was deleted, people didn't find it useful, despite sources from Sokal and other academics I brought in.Was resurrected, too. Yay.
- Equivocation: this is about using a term that wasn't defined and which is ambiguous enough so that the meaning can later be defined to what the arguer needs, also potentially switching between alternate definitions. This isn't about propositions or a set of beliefs that is swapped out (as in the former examples), but by swapping definitions around.
- Doublespeak this is yet another form, and a kind of inverse equivocation. An underlying idea remains static, but the label changes. The trick is then to make people believe something different, based on the label, to then point out that the label can also mean something else, which is the idea that was "sold" all along. It seems like a natural partner for the Bait-and-Switch, where e.g. euphemism can make something sound more attractive than it turns out to be.
- Moving the goalposts: this sits "meta" to the others. Instead of changing the substance of the argument, it's changing the point around of what is being contested. This can be done in combination with the others, thereby the changed meaning of the substance, and the changed goal can coincide. For example, someone can propose the bailey version and makes eccentric claims, is then challenged, then switches to the motte version, and at the same time move the goal post so that the motte-claims are sufficient.
The differences aren't subtle. Bait-and-Switch works primarily with investment of some sort, it's attractive because it's a good deal at first, and the doublespeak can come in help the case. This isn't the point at all with the Motte-and-Bailey. This is about defending a set of beliefs and making it seem unsassailable (which can be attractive to people). Equivocation simply means "wordplay" of a specific sort and if we don't want to play wordplay with "equivocation" itself, it cannot be every form of wordplay, but only the kind where a definition of a term is changed. Doublespeak is a form of equivocation from the other point of view, since the person is led to believe X when the the idea being expressed is actually Y, thus from that point of view the definition changes. Bait-and-Switch and Motte-and-Bailey don't necessarily require wordplay.
Another idea I've seen as a device used frequently nowadays is what I dub "gerrymonstering". It's taken from gerrymandering but is about constructing an evil other by cutting to shape a set of people (actually behaviours) and then using this negatively-reinforced construction as a weapon. It works like this:
A group is labelled, and the set is expanded and contracted in each mentioning to only include "bad apples". For example, 4chan is an image board with lenient moderation that has produced a large amount of memes everyone enjoys and has brought about the anonymous movement that originally attacked scientology. But the near-no-moderation also has some obvious ugly downsides, too (e.g. "edgelords"). However, the good things fall by the wayside in motivated reasoning and only the negative things are recorded. Then, when a certain negative stereotype is constructed and alive, even something that has nothing to do with 4chan could be seen as "4chan-like" and thus — in some sense — attributed to 4chan whether it had anything to do with or not.
Thereby, the stereotype is re-inforced even with things that have nothing to do with the site. Everything that isn't "4chan-like" has no way of making a mark in the mind. Thus, gerrymonstering is powered almost entirely by confirmation bias. Once people are primed to see something as "this-and-that" they will also feel confirmed when they encounter "this-and-that", otherwise it doesn't register. It takes active and quite hard work trying to falsify the stereotype (i.e. going to 4chan and see what's actually going on, while resisting the urge to only seeing things that confirm the suspicions).
The final step, and perhaps the point is that this negative stereotype can then be used as a snarl word or smear, often paired with a kind of non-sequitur Insane Troll Logic chain of reasoning: you said X, people who also say X do Y, and people who do Y also do this mean thing Z. Ergo, you do this mean thing Z, too.
Brands try to attach themselves to activity and people (celebrities etc) that are hip. It's important to be mentioned in the vicinity. The tactic of Gerrymonstering exploits a similar routine, only that constant and (extreme) examples are always brought up in order to make the negative things "rub off", too. This particular subset is sometimes called "poisoning the well".
People who do this
- A variant is commonplace with Christians, who create and charge up a negative atheist stereotype. Here, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Satan, abortion (in their rendering as "baby-murder") and a general amorality are lumped together by carefully including "bad apple" examples. Labels like atheist were a long time considered toxic and may still be.
- Social Justice Warriors are very fond of this and use this to create, uphold and nourish a number of different othering labels that are weaponized in this fashion. For example, they might argue: 1) people who disagree with them are "GamerGaters", 2) who are known to hang out in unmoderated forums 3) the forums also harbour dubious material and doxing might be going on there. Ergo, people who disagree are not only GamerGaters, but doxers and adhere to all sorts of dubious views.
A frequent tactic used by Social Justice Warriors, and another example of the colourful and rich arsenal employed by the proponents of this ideology (whose main characteristic is the sort of meta-bully tactics designed to prevent discussion, to push their ideology without scrutiny: Shut up, Listen and Believe).
The Social Justice Skidoo is a technique of advancing ideological theories by combining it with a special form of trolling, and by subsequently obscuring the inciting element.
- The social justice advocate first advances their ideology in an inciting, controversial or polarizing manner. This will typically elicit criticism, of which some (or most) will be hateful in nature, see Anita's Law.
- The moderate and constructive criticism is ignored in favour of the most hateful ones, as a form of nutpicking. These are then placed in the spotlight.
- Like any trick in stage magic, the spectacle around the hateful comments is used to obscure the inciting event (1). And the general attention on the hateful comments allows that the ideological load is widely spread, and remains unassailable due to the effect that few want to look like one of those hateful people.
- The hateful comments that are now in the spotlight are then redefined as evidence that the ideology is true, that people hate social justice, women, minorities, cute kittens, and so on. Or when it concerns communities, that they are reactionary, opposed to change, or feel entitled ...
The newly created alleged reasons (4) for the resistance tend to be empty phrases that are typical for political propaganda. Terms like "entitlement", or "support" (or lack thereof) are very typical and mean precisely nothing.
It was noted that it shares similarities with DARVO, gaslighting (creating an alternative reality in order to mislead and manipulate people), and seems to exploit what's known as the Karpman Drama Triangle.
23 Skidoo (phrase): “refers to leaving quickly [...] taking advantage of a propitious opportunity to leave, that is, "getting [out] while the getting's good.”
- Anonymous user is a bootless dread-bolted whey-face and a disease that must be cut away!
- Palestine is totally not justified in their actions, and everyone who thinks the same is an idiot. (apparently still something wonky sometimes...)
Looks nice and clean..
my version (in userspace)
I added it under Template:Re for now, as my first template suggestion. Does it work?
Alternate Method Test
Purpose is to make it so that it's also possible to not use indent but just the number (for power-users).
Timestamp is too large.
- How about this? Also make this "white-space: nowrap" so that the sig stays together. ~ Aneris ✻ (01:06, 17 May 2021 UTC)
- http://chomsky.info/199201__/ Noam Chomsky, On Propaganda