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Links With Your Coffee - Sunday

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In the interest of fostering rational arguments I'm going to present a common fallacy with each day's links. Today's fallacy is:

Attacking the Person (argumentun ad hominem)

Important note: There is nothing fallacious about calling people names or saying ugly things about them. The fallacy is committed when one engages in a person attack as a means of ignoring, discrediting or blunting the force of a countrargument. For this reason, any argument that uses what the arguer finds personally distasteful about an opponent as a reason for ignoring or rejecting his or her argument or criticism cannot be a good one. —Dammer, T. D. Attacking Faulty Reasoning (Sixth Edition) p.199


  • Wow, fiction works!—By Colson Whitehead (Harper's Magazine)

    A parody on James Wood's How Fiction Works.

    In closing, I direct your attention to a perfect sentence. Yes, they exist. One of the pleasures of my profession is discovering these elusive unicorns in the books sent for my review. I read half a score of books each week; I am a fast reader, and generally underwhelmed by what passes for good writing these days. But once in a while, among the gaudy offerings, I come across one of those luminous sentences that make the soul vibrate. I share with you a recent find:

    The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

    I can’t remember exactly where I read it—it was a busy day, as I was buying a new typewriter and handing in the manuscript of my latest book, The Janus-Faced Chimera: Missives from a Reader—and Writer!—of the Prose Arts. The provenance of the sentence is not the issue; its terse, fierce beauty most assuredly is. Who is this brown fox, and how did he get so fast? To what can we attribute the lethargy of the canine—is it some onerous matter of faith or a vast existential conundrum? Where is the fox headed, into what gaping darkness? Indeed, where are we headed? For we are all of us implicated here. This is a sentence that insists upon itself and at the same time points to the greater mysteries, as if there were some secret order determin ing every letter. What more can we ask of art?


  • A pointless war has led to a moral defeat for Israel | Comment is free | The Observer
    In historical terms, it is impossible to separate Israel's offensive against Hamas in Gaza from the long narrative of conflict and mutual grievance in the region.

    In geographic terms, the war over a tiny plot of land cannot be detached from the wider involvement and strategic interests of other countries: Syria, Egypt, the US, Iran.

    All of which makes it difficult to judge where - even if a unilateral Israeli ceasefire holds - the war really begins and ends.


  • Language Log » Buckley, thou shouldst be living at this hour!
    If you want a sense of just what a hole the right finds itself in these days, consider the recent press release from the anti-abortion American Life League headed "KRISPY KREME CELEBRATES OBAMA WITH PRO-ABORTION DOUGHNUTS." It goes on to say:

  • Stuff God Hates » Blog Archive » God in the News: Plane Crash

  • The Daily Show: Samantha Bee Rebrands the Republican Party | Indecision2008 | Comedy Central

  • YouTube - H. P. Lovecraft 1933 WPA Newsreel Interview

    A hoax, but a good one.


  • Victorian novels helped us evolve into better people, say psychologists | Science | guardian.co.uk
    The despicable acts of Count Dracula, the unending selflessness of Dorothea in Middlemarch and Mr Darcy's personal transformation in Pride and Prejudice helped to uphold social order and encouraged altruistic genes to spread through Victorian society, according to an analysis by evolutionary psychologists.

  • Another Admission: Okay, So We Tortured—By Scott Horton (Harper's Magazine)

  • Respectful Insolence: Best pareidolia ever?

    A brief history of recent appearances of the Virgin Mary and her sidekicks.


  • KR Blog » Your Screen Can’t Stop My Book, It Can Only Hope To Contain It
    I was struck this past weekend by the development of a double-screen laptop, as reported by a BBC tech reporter (and with a nod to Smart Mobs). Casting aside the energy and environmental concerns of such devices, it seems like as good a chance as any to explore how and what we will read in the near to immediate future.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this – more than usual, which, I concede is already probably too often – because of a book I’m reading by an ebook maven named Jeff Gomez, darkly titled Print is Dead.



 

Comments

FYI Norm

The introductory paragraph meant for the Headline "Victorian Novels.." seems to be under the Torture Admission headline

In geographic terms, the war over a tiny plot of land cannot be detached from the wider involvement and strategic interests of other countries

i was just wondering, norm, when you read this article, which "tiny plot of land" did you think the author was referring to? did you think israel and hamas were at war over the gaza strip? and if you realized, as i do, that the "tiny plot of land" being fought over is actually the entire state of israel (as per the hamas charter, etc.,etc.), would this in any way change your perception of the situation?

Hmm, I thought the Hamas charter, like the West Bank settlements was just a bargaining chip.
Hamas is a faction, a faction in the same sense certain Israeli's who believe the 1967 boundaries are not the correct ones is a faction. Both groups are batshit crazy, both groups are an obstacle to peace.

Hmm, I thought the Hamas charter, like the West Bank settlements was just a bargaining chip.

the hamas charter is merely a record of their ideology. who bargains with their ideology? it's all part of the "something for nothing" formula that is "land for peace". i don't see the difference between this (which you may be right about) and a mugging. "give me your lunch money and i won't beat you to a pulp." the fact is, it's often the smart move to hand over the dough. but that doesn't mean you've actually received something for it. and the likelyhood of the mugger coming back for more is increased. the west bank settlers aren't being asked to change their ideology (they wouldn't anyway), but to leave their homes.

Israeli's who believe the 1967 boundaries are not the correct ones is a faction. Both groups are batshit crazy

hmmm. i wouldn't want to have to argue for the sanity of either group. but i don't see how believing in the correctness or incorrectness of a set of boundaries would make anyone "batshit crazy".

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