Chastened Debater

By |2020-06-26T07:41:19-04:00April 28th, 2020|Categories: Ourselves|Tags: , , |

This is Part Two of a Discussion on Argument and Debate.  You might also want to read Part One. I don’t usually go back and forth with people in YouTube comment sections. Comments are a healthy, liberating forum for millions of people, and I don’t deny that at all. I do find that the pseudo-courage supplied by digital anonymity makes it too easy for discussion to morph quickly into personal disparagement of the ‘so’s your mother’ variety; but the web is what it is, the good outweighs the bad. I will occasionally make a sarcastic rejoinder [...]

Good Arguments

By |2020-04-28T21:34:55-04:00November 14th, 2016|Categories: Ourselves|Tags: , , |

Most of us don’t argue very well. I’m not talking about the “…so’s your mother” type of argument — most of us do just fine there; I’m talking about debating points of disagreement in politics, economics, or anything where facts are in dispute and abstract reasoning has to come into play. Now, I should declare my biases here. Unlike Aristotle, I do not believe that man is, in his deepest depths, a rational animal. Nor do I believe that most people, much of the time, will change their most deeply held convictions on the basis of even [...]

Brillig and Slithy Toves

By |2020-07-22T20:38:52-04:00August 13th, 2014|Categories: Culture|Tags: , |

I have a friend who writes poetry. I find this admirable. Poetry is not exactly the signature art form of this young millennium. There are reasons for this, of course — most of them reflecting rather large gaps in the modern cultural curriculum. Most of us did not attend a hoighty-toighty Ivy League prep school and have not had, in our formative years, the good fortune to come across a Peter Keating  (the character played by the much lamented Robin Williams in Dead Poets’ Society). By the time we get to college, many of our literary habits [...]