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kleinbl00  ·  2166 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "No, you're not entitled to your opinion."

Ahhh, but see? You're doing it. You're framing that as if his "opinion" was that vaccines cause autism. That's not an opinion - that's a belief. An erroneous one, but still a belief.

It's important to see these arguments for what they are, and how they play out. Otherwise, you lose - yeah, you may have scored all the points, but you didn't convince your friend to vaccinate your kids. We'll use two people in this argument: TNG and AVF (anti-vax friend).

AVF: Here's a link that vaccines cause autism.

TNG: Yeah, but here's a dozen that prove it doesn't, and two more to disprove the notion that your article has any basis in fact.

AVF: Yeah, but that's just, like, your opinion, man.

TNG: Actually it's not. It's a scientific discussion based on evidence, research and general consensus.

AVF: Whatever, I have the right to protect my kids.

Here's what it ACTUALLY looks like:

AVF: Appeal to Logos.

TNG: Counterargument to Logos - your argument is invalid.

AVF: Appeal to Ethos (you do not have the standing to counter-argue - note that this is a red herring that debate teams will tell you to ignore, which you did, but anyone working the art of persuasion would have had you jump on it)

TNG: Counterargument via Logos (I'm not counter-arguing, the universe is - note that you are correct but also losing... how maddening!)

AVF: Appeal to pathos (who will think of the children?)

TNG: Counterargument via Logos (the WHO, the FDA, the AMA, UNICEF and others, jackass)

...and OUT.

The tricky thing about persuading, rather than debating, is you aren't playing for an audience. You're playing solo in a room and the instrument is also the target. The rules of engagement are entirely different. In debate, discrediting your opponent makes the audience stop listening to them. In persuasion, discrediting your opponent makes the audience (of one) stop listening TO YOU. And I can think of no faster way to do that than to say "you are not entitled to your opinion."

The response to "that's just, like, your opinion, man" is "I really don't have an opinion on this. They're your kids. They aren't in my school. Do what you want. I just wanted to point out that if you're going to entrust the health of your children to stuff you read on the internet, you owe it to yourself to read the hell out of stuff on the internet. From what I've been able to see, the guys in favor of vaccines tend to use a lot more facts while the guys against them tend to use alarmist language. Granted, the guys with the facts also tend to be dicks about it because they don't really understand how much confusion and fear plays into this whole discussion. What have you seen? What led you to believe that vaccines cause autism?"

Now we're friends again. The ethos of the opponent has been met and defused ("you are not of standing to make moral choices for my kids" - "I'm not trying to be, I'm upstanding enough to empower you to make those choices and helpful enough to help you work through it").

It's the difference between telling someone they're wrong and rubbing their nose in it and asking someone how firmly they believe they're right and then walking them back through the stuff that got them there. If you let someone realize on their own that they've made an error, they get to be the smart one. If you hit them over the head with it you're only making them feel stupid.

kleinbl00  ·  2332 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Truth About Women in Combat - The Daily Beast

The article is unmitigated tripe.

1) Using a plane built in 1963 as a reason for why you need big burly pilots is bullshit. The majority of aircraft flown in the armed forces are fly-by-wire. Besides which, the outcome would have been similar had the crew bailed out of the craft and allowed it to crash.

2) The mean height of a Chinese male is 5'5. The mean height of an American female is - wait for it - 5'4 1/2 - 5'5. If we're talking physical strength, there's a hell of a lot more to it than men are bigger.

3) Admissions standards for the military are not the same as specialist standards for the military. Yeah, a 17-year-old girl needs to be able to do 13 push-ups to enlist. That's very different from being able to do 13 push-ups to be able to join DEVGRU.

4) Yes, men and women respond differently to stress. This is stated as if diversity is a bad thing, or as if women will suddenly get all silly and weepy when being shot at.

5) "A battery of studies cited by Browne confirms the reluctance of men to accept female leadership when the shooting starts." A battery of studies also confirmed the reluctance of white people to Jackie Robinson playing baseball. That means they're prejudiced, not correct.

Take a look at this photo. Take a good look at it:

That's Dr. Ruth, IDF sniper.

"When I was in my routine training for the Israeli army as a teenager, they discovered completely by chance that I was a lethal sniper. I could hit the target smack in the center further away than anyone could believe. Not just that, even though I was tiny and not even much of an athlete, +I was incredibly accurate throwing hand grenades too.+ Even today I can load a Sten automatic rifle in a single minute, blindfolded."

David Frum needs to face up to the fact that women *not* serving in combat is the anomaly, not the norm.

I would actually argue that as a general rule of thumb David Frum needs to STFU but that's too broad for this discussion. This is, after all, Mr. "Axis of Evil."

12AngryHens  ·  2395 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Six harsh truths that will make you a better person

Oh boy. This. I found this on my Facebook feed as well and was not very pleased when I read it. I did react negatively to it but our author was very clever with the last paragraph and tied in criticism of the article with being unfaithful to the self. So I found this very circular--if you disagree with this article, you are just fulfilling one of the harsh truths I mentioned, thus proving that the harsh truths exist. And I'm not even going to begin to try to get into the "They don't like you because you're a creator" comment; that's overly simplistic.

But instead of whining about the last paragraph, I will acknowledge my chief point of disagreement with the article. Despite its title, it really should be called "How to make yourself marketable." Wong starts with the premise that your quality as a person is only a function of your quality to other people which I do not find true at all. While one's social atmosphere will undoubtedly inform how one feels as a person, the idea that self value is derived exclusively from the ability to have a skill that other people enjoy is arguable at best. For example, I write prose on occasion. I know that it's not very good and I've never actually shown anybody what I've written, but it means something to me and it contributes to how I feel as a person. Am I more marketable as a result? Certainly not. But that does not mean that my self-value is somehow diminished.

In fact, I would argue that how one feels as a person is more accurately a function of what one does that is not marketable. In other words, the greatest amount of self-value is derived from that which is anonymous and not driven by foreseeable profit. To apply these thoughts to the issue of love, I find that love is not a product of one's ability to market himself or herself as a person with unique qualities A, B, and C, but more of a jigsaw puzzle idea. Love is more accurately found not as a result of public advertisement but placing oneself in the proper community at the start. In this instance, the metaphorical "dirt" of Wong's argument truly is what matters.

Well, that's my two cents and a little more. Thoughts?

Goosey  ·  2490 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Decentralized Social Networks

To quickly answer the questions you posed: It's up to you if it's worth the effort, but for me it would not be. The entire value of a social network is who you can connect to. I actually have made new friends online using Facebook (as well as other social services, but Facebook would be the most 'fruitful').

I am a fairly avid user of Facebook. I upload photos very regularly. I check in at locations. I tag people and am tagged by people. Nearly all events I organize and/or attend are through Facebook. After text messages Facebook is my primary method of direct communication and it is my main method of passive/broadcast communication.

To say it's a highly integrated part of my life is an understatement. It's both the primary hub of my social life as well as my life journal. The life journal aspect has been so useful to me that I will occasionally post entries visible only to myself. Why keep a separate journal elsewhere, when I can just augment a timeline of nearly everything I am doing?

About a year and a half ago I started to get interested in EDM (electronic dance music.) Finding out about all the local events was difficult at first. I also quickly recognized that the local EDM scene was fairly small and status driven. Being socially connected (high status) had a lot of utility value. So I tackled both problems by starting a new Facebook group dedicated to promoting local EDM events and artists. At first I tried making connections the old fashioned way of meeting people at events/clubs; even going so far as to make little business cards for my group. Quickly I realized I could 'friend spider' my way into a populous group. I would just friend request with people in the scene and add them to the group, always with a polite message... better to ask forgiveness than permission. Quickly the 'people you may know' sped up this process. If it said I had 100+ mutual friends I knew it was someone who would accept my request and was involved in the scene.

In the end I have over a thousand 'friends', of which I have met perhaps 200 and would consider perhaps 50 real friends. But my scheme worked. I now know everything going on and gained enough status to accomplish some things that would have been impossible otherwise. On reflection I wish I had done all this with a secondary profile and left my primary profile to only connect with people I am close with, but the signal-to-noise ratio is surprisingly easy to manage when you don't mind hiding posts.

After all that you might think I am a fan of Facebook. I'm not. I don't trust them and I don't like how reliant I am on them. If my profile were deleted it would have a big impact. I know I am the product being sold to the real customers (advertisers) and privacy is a secondary concern. I would love to switch to a secure decentralized social network such as what Diaspora promised. Something which allows me control my own data.

But that won't happen. Facebook is here to stay and thus I will continue to be a part of the machine. The reason is pretty simple. Facebook has the social graph. Moving a social graph of Facebook's size is an event I think impossible without something drastic happening. The value in a social network is the social graph.

I didn't buy an FB stock yet, but that's because I don't have any spare money to gamble with at the moment. If I did and I was looking for a good long term investment I would feel pretty comfortable dumping it in FB. Anyone who thinks a company that knows that much information about that many people is not going to be able to turn that into a huge profit center strikes me as short sighted. I'm not talking about them selling data to other companies either... Eventually I think Facebook will know what you want to buy before you do. Google has good reason to be afraid.

user-inactivated  ·  2567 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski: Thoughts on new ways people could use Hubksi some day.
This is one of the great failures of reddit, the powerful platform for building communities that they never knew how powerful it was (and probably still don't). They've been t-building the wrong kind of communities around a hollow core. There's no stopping it. Like a group poop, it just keeps piling on top until brown spills over the bowl. Who wants to be a zombie in a hivemind of indistinguishables posting the same image with ever so slightly altered superimposed text? That's not a community, it's an asylum.

reddit had one real asset, the only thing that generated original content: People. An aggregator like reddit gets its content from everywhere but reddit, that makes its userbase its sole natural resource, and like all natural resources they burned through it with reckless abandon, utilizing it to its least potential, thinking it would never run out. But now it doesn't even have that. reddit consumes everything and produces nothing. It's the perfect paradigm for America.

People are Facebook's product, not their customer. reddit's not that different except reddit never figured out how to mine its massive userbase without also pissing it off. Since its inception, privacy cherishing redditors have made it abundantly clear that they will not be bought and sold.

Instead of selling its users and their information to third parties, reddit should have been selling the third parties to its users. reddit could have opened the doors of its community building platform to any industry to set up shop without selling out (and pissing off) their one product (i.e. people) to the highest bidder like Facebook and Google do. Companies and schools would have paid for access and use of an even more powerful version of reddit's community building platform designed especially for their private organizations but without direct access to the userbase. It would be up to the users to go to them. Like walking into an ARMY recruitment center. You can always turn back.

Say Harvard established an official subreddit that they controlled completely, like a Facebook page, but without all the stifling rules and restrictions. Different from the unofficial /r/Harvard that's in the public domain of the controlling reddit community, this hypothetical edu reddit (/e/Harvard) could only gain access to you and your information if you granted it to them. For any educational institution, this would be a powerful tool that could revolutionize the entire admissions process. Communities built around existing institutional communities.

You might be saying this sounds exactly like Facebook. It's not. While Facebook is always scraping your information, trying finding new ways to chip away at your privacy and soul to whore you out, reddit would put the power in the hands of its users to let them decide. Facebook leaves you no choice; reddit lets you choose. With options. You can remain completely anonymous or not or just a little. The choice is yours.

But that's just one idea. reddit could have provided an artistic platform for the undiscovered talent within its walls with arts reddits (/a/) for musicians and writers and every kind of artist. Like MySpace did for indie music and Deviant Art did for visual art, reddit could have provided a unique home that's not limited to the uniform blue world of Facebook. Instead, the creatives dwindled and fled drowning in a rising sea of mediocrity. Communities built around artists.

These examples aren't the strongest but they probably come with more thought than what reddit has actually done with its powerful community building platform. It's like if NASA used all its resources and technology to create a realistic sounding smelling whoopee cushion.