Knock-down Argument, Bra!

Idiot Strawman Argument of the Day award goes to Nick Martucci, who tweets the following: Birth control? BAN IT! Abortion? BAN IT! Gay marriage? BAN IT! Guns? Look, banning things never works. People will find ways to get them. Oh SNAP! You gotem’, Tiger! Except … wait, what "ban" on gay marriage? Was there ever…

Exasperation isn’t Outrage (and Why That Matters)

A Facebook friend who comes down on the opposite side of the issue on how racist the criminal justice system is (I think: not much, certainly less than generally believed; he thinks: RACISS!) posts this: If you’ve found yourself compelled to speak out against the destructive rebellions we’ve witnessed this week, consider this quote. You’re…

It’s All About the Levels

Scott Alexander’s recent post on Ethnic Tensions was, as usual, excellent. It’s best to read the original rather than trusting my summary, but in a nutshell, the point was that philosophy texts on how arguments go wrong don’t even know how to deal with the most common mode of communication failure in modern political discussions…

Just Think it Through

Here’s a cute little article by Shanny Luft called Why Atheists Should Fight for the Establishment of State Religion that’s a nice encapsulation of the primary way rationalist arguments can go wrong: lack of due diligence. The author means just what he says in the title: American atheists should support efforts to establish a state…

Randall Munroe Shows his Ass

It’s hardly news at this late date, but Randall Munroe, whose xkcd comic I rather enjoy, has joined the ranks of the wilfully clueless about the big free speech issue. Since we’re only about a week out from Brendan Eich getting fired … erm … "resigining under pressure" … and a lot of people complaining…