Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Logic is underrated

I love it when people try to change the initial premise of their argument in order to avoid being wrong. The most obvious and infuriating example of this nowadays is the Bush administration's uber-spin machine, but it's my one-on-one Internet interactions with cyber trolls that really amuses.

For example, I just had my first flamewar on YouTube (ah, you always remember your first, don't you?). I'd rather not give this fellow any more attention than he already desperately craves, so here is a summary of the exchange:
Guy 1: No one shoots movies in chronological order.

Me: Sure they do. Saving Private Ryan, Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Lost in Translation, Dead Poet's Society and A Beautiful Mind all shot in chronological order.

Guy 2: No one shoots movies in chronological order. You're thinking of editing and you're a halfwit moron.

Me: I just listed a bunch of movies that shoot in chronological order and you're rude.

Guy 2: No one shoots movies in chronological order.

Me: Well, now YOU'RE the moron; they do. Google it.

Guy 2: Yeah, but it costs a lot of money.

Me: That's not what we were discussing, and that's not always the case.

Guy 2: If you argue with me, you're a doodoo head.

Me: Who are you, Karl Rove?

Guy 2: You're a doodoo head!

I then go watch this guy's videos, and his most recent video is a blog about being kind to strangers! He actually says in his own video, "Do you wanna be remembered as the faceless asshole who just bitched and whined and left nasty comments on YouTube?"

Yes, I'd like the Irony Cobbler with a side of Hypocrisy please.

After I rate his video 1-star, he then writes this little poetic gem:

Petty-rating the videos of someone who refuses to be dragged into a childish argument with you online is no more than I'd expect from an immature cunt such as yourself. If it helps you deal with your debilitating sense of powerlessness for one more day, then I've performed a useful service to society. But you'll have to find ways of dealing with the other 21,900 disasppointing days of the rest of your life. Maybe half a dozen more MyFace profiles will help create the illusion that the world gives a shit about yet another web-lurking housebound freak.

Ah, nothing bespeaks aged wisdom like the phrase "immature cunt." I tried to respond in order to point out that I low-rated his video because it was hypocritical, but he blocked my account so that he could have the last word.

Again, ironic. But quite entertaining!

Anyway, my point here is that if a nice, basic Logic class were included in the curriculum of high schools, we could avoid a great deal of all this nonsense and confusion, from the media and government spin and rhetoric, all the way down to Internet trolls with fragile egos.

Imagine how much easier life would be if people could readily identify logical fallacies? No more falling for ad hominem attacks. No more irrelevant conclusions, non sequiturs, or generalizations!

Sigh... it'd be nice.

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