Archive for the ‘Argumentation’ Category

Hierarchy of Disagreement – Trump On Nuclear Weapons

Sunday, August 7th, 2016


Politicians? Politicians?

Hell, I would be happy if news commentators and “experts” that appear on news shows would rise above contradiction.

Repetition, especially repeating what other commentators have said, isn’t evidence, it’s just noise.

If the medium you are using doesn’t support robust referencing of facts and analysis, you are using the wrong medium.

Or should that be … “you are following the wrong medium?”

You remember the Dilbert cartoon about the evening news, Sunday February 07, 1993 with the line:

A new poll shows that many voters have strong opinions on these issues despite the fact that we provide no useful contextual data.

That is a great summary of news reporting on top issues of the day. On occasion NPR will have an in-depth analysis but it repeats the stories of the day with little context, just like other media outlets.

Granting that is a limitation of the medium, why not use the Internet to deliver the context that video or radio media lack the time to deliver? Using video or radio as a highlights or awareness service, with further details collected and organized for viewer/listeners.

Despite timely, accurate and moving news reporting, I don’t have a regular source that provides in-depth contextual for everyday news stories.

For example, the internet was aflame with news of Trump asking “…why he could not use nuclear weapons?” Or at least that was the headline.

Some reports did pick up the contradiction in spending $billions on weapons you aren’t (don’t intend?) using, but few and far in between. And of those that did, how many examined the economic drivers that have created a useless product industry? The one that produces nuclear weapons.

In case you are curious, the United States has steadfastly refused to renounce first strike as a military strategy. (Report on Nuclear Employment Strategy of the United States, 2010, yes, during President Obama’s first term in office).

Do you recall seeing in depth reporting or analysis of either of those two aspects of the use of nuclear arms issue?

There was a lot of huffing, puffing and strutting around as I recall but little in the way of substantive or contextual analysis.

…Bad Arguments

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi.

From “Who is this book for?”

This book is aimed at newcomers to the field of logical reasoning, particularly those who, to borrow a phrase from Pascal, are so made that they understand best through visuals. I have selected a small set of common errors in reasoning and visualized them using memorable illustrations that are supplemented with lots of examples. The hope is that the reader will learn from these pages some of the most common pitfalls in arguments and be able to identify and avoid them in practice.

A delightfully written and illustrated book on bad arguments.

I first saw this at “Bad Arguments” (a book by Ali Almossawi) by Deborah Mayo.

Call for Participation in Argument Representation Community Group

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Call for Participation in Argument Representation Community Group

From the post:

Argument-Representation’s mission is to recommend a standardized representation for formal argument. It is not intended to augment XML in any other way.

The group does not necessarily commit to creating a novel representation. For instance, after due consideration it could endorse an existing one or recommend accepting an existing one with minor changes.

Formal argument means a formalizable set of connected statements or statement-like objects intended to establish a proposition.

Do you think we have been here before?

Common Logic for example?

Knowledge Interchange Format as another?

Others? 😉

We have met the source of semantic diversity and it is us.

..the reasoning that people actually engage in

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Informal Logic: Reasoning and Argumentation in Theory and Practice

A self-description of the journal appears in the first issue, July of 1978:

However, as we found out at the Windsor Symposium, informal logic means many things to many people. Let us then declare our conception of it. For the time being, we shall use this term to denote a wide spectrum of interests and questions, whose only common link may appear to be that they do not readily lend themselves to treatment in the pages of “The Journal of Symbolic Logic.” More positively, we think of informal logic as covering the gamut of theoretical and practical issues that come into focus when one examines closely, from a normative viewpoint, the reasoning that people actually engage in. Subtract from this the exclusively formal issues and what remains is informal logic. Thus our conception is very broad and liberal, and covers everything from theoretical issues (theory of fallacy and argument) to practical ones (such as how best to display the structure of ordinary arguments) to pedagogical questions (how to design critical thinking courses; what sorts of material to use). [I changed the underlining of “The Journal of Sybolic Logic” to quotes to avoid confusion with hyperlinking. Emphasis added.]

“…the reasoning that people actually engage in” sounds like it would interest topic map authors.

Jack Park forwarded this to my attention.