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Re: Summary of the debian-devel BoF at Debconf9

On Tue, Aug 18 2009, Leo \"costela\" Antunes wrote:

> Hi,
> Ben Finney wrote:
>> "Bernhard R. Link" <brlink@debian.org> writes:
>>> Perhaps there is a way to […] discourage all meta-discussion or
>>> mentioning of "fallacy", "ad-hominem" or "strawman" on the other
>>> lists.
>> Perhaps you have a better way of succinct terms to use when challenging
>> those logical fallacies? Surely you're not saying you want such
>> fallacies to go unchallenged in the forums where they appear?
> I believe he meant only that these keywords tend to denote a crossing
> into the realm of meta-discussion, where the point in question ceases to
> be discussed, and instead the arguments themselves become points of
> contention.
> It doesn't mean the arguments are worthless, but indicates a certain
> departure from the main point, which could mean this branch of the
> discussion has started to dilute - so to speak - the thread and
> therefore could be taken somewhere else, in order to keep the central
> thread concise.

        But really, the divergence from the discussion happened earlier,
 when the discussion degenerated into name calling (which is what ad
 hominem attacks are), or strawman attacks, which tend to derail the
 discussion by standing up irrelevant positions and arging against that,
 leading to thread bloat.

        Allowing these logical fallacies to stand, and not refuting
 them, lead to a discussion that goes nowhere, or floats off into sub
 optimal directions if not scotched in the bud.

        Indeed, leaving logical fallacies unchallenged does nore to harm
 the discussion than pointing them out and trying to bring the thread
 back to a logical discussion; and leaving ad hominem attacks
 unchallenged poisons the discussion environment to the point that it
 detracts from the discussion itself.

Can't open /usr/games/lib/fortunes.dat.
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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