the Zealous

26 Jun 15
Knocking down a false, weak or misleading characterization of your opponent's argument is to engage in strawmanning. This kind of argumentation fallacy "requires that the audience be ignorant or uninformed of the original argument" to be successful.

The opposite of strawmanning is steelmanning:

You know when someone makes an argument, and you know you can get away with making it seem like they made a much worse one, so you attack that argument for points? That’s strawmanning. Lots of us have done it, even though we shouldn’t. But what if we went one step beyond just not doing that? What if we went one better? Then we would be steelmanning, the art of addressing the best form of the other person’s argument, even if it’s not the one they presented.

29 May 15

This is the title of an actual Reddit discussion. My favorites:
  • you can't unring the bell
  • the judge will probably split the baby
  • I won't negotiate against myself
  • it's a belt-and-suspenders approach
  • out of an abundance of caution
10 May 15

Nixon v. Hex (decided May 10, 1893). And it was a unanimous decision. 

Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas. But in the common language of the people, whether sellers or consumers of provisions, all these are vegetables which are grown in kitchen gardens, and which, whether eaten cooked or raw, are, like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, and lettuce, usually served at dinner in, with, or after the soup, fish, or meats which constitute the principal part of the repast, and not, like fruits generally, as dessert.