``How To Speak and Write Postmodern'' Posted to alt.humor.best-of-usenet by Andrew C Bulhak on 20 June 1995, found in alt.postmodern. by Stephen Katz, Associate Professor, Sociology, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Postmodernism has been the buzzword in academia for the last decade. Books, journal articles, conference themes and university courses have resounded to the debates about postmodernism that focus on the uniqueness of our times, where computerization, the global economy and the media have irrevocably transformed all forms of social engagement. As a professor of sociology who teaches about culture, I include myself in this environment. However, I think the real gulf is not so much positional as linguistic. First, you need to remember that plainly expressed language is out of the question. Sometimes you might be in a hurry and won't have the time to muster even the minimum number of postmodern synonyms and neologisms needed to avoid public disgrace. Now for the test.
Intellectually honest and intellectually dishonest debate tactics Copyright by John T. Reed This Web site is, in part, a debate between me and others with whom I take various issues. One of my readers said reading this article changed his life. Here is a discussion I once had with a mother of an 18-year old I had just thrown off a high school varsity athletic team I was coaching. I thought that was one of the world’s greatest answers to a woman trying to prove I, too, was a juvenile delinquent at that age. It took my breath away. Although I am fond of intellectually-honest debate, about 90% to 95% of the statements made by my opponents to prove that I am wrong have been of the intellectually-dishonest variety. Lest I be accused of intellectually-dishonest debate myself, I hereby explain the difference. 1. pointing out errors or omissions in your opponent’s facts 2. pointing out errors or omissions in your opponent’s logic All other debate tactics are intellectually dishonest. Most of Roberts Rules relates to procedure like limiting debate.
Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices Robert A. Harris Version Date: January 19, 2013 This book contains definitions and examples of more than sixty traditional rhetorical devices, (including rhetorical tropes and rhetorical figures) all of which can still be useful today to improve the effectiveness, clarity, and enjoyment of your writing. A Preface of Quotations Whoever desires for his writings or himself, what none can reasonably condemn,the favor of mankind, must add grace to strength, and make his thoughts agreeable as well as useful. Men must be taught as if you taught them not; And things unknown propos'd as things forgot. Style in painting is the same as in writing, a power over materials, whether words or colors, by which conceptions or sentiments are conveyed. Introduction Good writing depends upon more than making a collection of statements worthy of belief, because writing is intended to be read by others, with minds different from your own. Practice these; try them out. Resources by Edward P. Rhetorical Devices
Logical Fallacies Socratic Method Research Portal Training - Encouraging Critical Thinking Online Encouraging Critical Thinking Online is a set of free teaching resources designed to develop students' analytic abilities, using the Web as source material. Two units are currently available, each consisting of a series of exercises for classroom or seminar use. Students are invited to explore the Web and find a number of sites which address the selected topic, and then, in a teacher-led group discussion, to share and discuss their findings. The exercises are designed so that they may be used either consecutively to form a short course, or individually. The resources encourage students to think carefully and critically about the information sources they use. The subject matter of the exercises is of relevance to a range of humanities disciplines (most especially, though by no means limited to, philosophy and religious studies), while the research skills gained will be valuable to all students. Teacher's Guide (Units 1 and 2) Printable version (PDF) Resources for Unit 1 Resources for Unit 2
CFAR | Center for Applied Rationality Mental Models How do you think the most rational people in the world operate their minds? How do they make better decisions? They do it by mentally filing away a massive, but finite amount of fundamental, unchanging knowledge that can be used in evaluating the infinite number of unique scenarios which show up in the real world. That is how consistently rational and effective thinking is done, and if we want to learn how to think properly ourselves, we need to figure out how it's done. Fortunately, there is a way, and it works. Before we dig deeper, let's start by watching this short video on a concept called mental models. It's not that complicated, right? The idea for building a “latticework” of mental models comes from Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the finest thinkers in the world. Munger's system is akin to “cross-training for the mind.” In a famous speech in the 1990s, Munger explained his novel approach to gaining practical wisdom: Building the Latticework 1. 2. 3. 4.
How To Win Every Argument So you want to know how to win every argument? Stop trying. Not that passivity is the most effective strategy but if you’re thinking about “winning” you’re already headed down the wrong path. From a neuroscience perspective, “When an argument starts, persuasion stops.” Via Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential: When an argument starts, persuasion stops. This is what happens when a discussion becomes an argument. We’ve all been there: doing anything to win, it’s messy, no progress is made or (god forbid) acknowledged. What’s the real problem? Daniel Cohen explains how the whole war metaphor is inherently problematic in his TED talk: Once it’s war, we’re no longer focused on what’s right, we just want to win by any means necessary. Nobody wants to admit they’re wrong because it’s now a status game — and that’s where “winning” comes from, it’s a metaphoric struggle for life and death now and nobody wants to die. Most people can’t even take feedback well. One Final Note