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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

McRapey on rhetoric

It's as if Aristotle were walking among us! John Scalzi instructs one of his commenters on rhetoric:
Riccola: Mr. Scalzi, while you have certainly drawn your own conclusions regarding Mr. Beale, I would say you are incorrect in stating that he is a case example of the Dunning Kruger effect. He is often humble about his ability to design games, write articles, and write books. He has never stated he considers himself great or even good at any of these things. If you are referring to rhetoric I have seen no evidence to indicate he is not skilled. All those who have fully engaged him, a good example would be the ArizonaAtheist, have actually found him to be proficient at rhetoric. From what I have observed only those who do not engage him in discussion believe he is deficient in this area.

I also struggle to see how he has failed to recognize genuine skill in others. There are a plethora of examples of him praising both those he ideologically agrees with and those who despise him. He often praises your ability to market yourself. To me, that does not sound like someone incapable of recognizing genuine skill in others.

On the third plank of the Dunning Kruger effect, fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy, I would not contest as it depends entirely on your metric and perspective.

The fourth part of the effect, recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill if they are exposed to training for that skill, there is no evidence as to this to be applicable to him. I am not aware of him being trained for anything, or his reflections on being trained.

With only one part of the Dunning Kruger effect possibly applying to Mr. Beale I would hazard that you are completely unfounded in saying that he is their favourite son. I can only guess your own contempt for the man has inhibited your ability to describe him.



McRapey:  “If you are referring to rhetoric I have seen no evidence to indicate he is not skilled.”

Speaking as someone whose degree is Philosophy of language (ie, rhetoric), I see lots of evidence to the contrary, I’m afraid. He’s not bad at sounding like he knows what he’s talking about as long as you don’t know what he’s talking about, but that’s not the same thing as being rhetorically skilled, except to the limited extent that “rhetoric” means “ability to spew bullshit.”

It’s certainly true I don’t think much of him (both in that I don’t think much of him when I don’t have to, and don’t think much of him when I do have to), but in both cases, based on my experience of having to deal with him, I’m very comfortable with my assessment. And in any event it’s not a checklist; one does not need to fulfill all possible conditions to be fully in the grips of Dunning Kruger.


Riccola:  Mr. Scalzi, I do not see why you would consider possessing a bachelors degree in Philosophy of Language would given you any indication that you are proficient or familiar with rhetoric. All it means is twenty years ago you sat in at a desk, someone taught at you, and you received a piece of paper. A degree does not make you, or anyone else, an authority on a subject. Do you think there has never been a bad engineer?


McRapey: And? As I don’t know you or know your capacity to make any sort of assessment of anything (except to the extent that you’ve asserted Mr. Beale is not unskilled, which is an assertion I find dubious for several reasons and does not put you in good stead regarding my assessment of your own evaluative skills), I would say that you not seeing why it matters really is your problem and not mine. Likewise, perhaps your school gives out bachelor degrees as if they were issued from a gumball machine. Mine doesn’t, and in particular did not in my case.
What I found so amusing about this is that McRapey clearly hasn't changed his debating technique since at least 2005.
  1. Make an obviously questionable assertion.
  2. When the assertion is questioned, appeal to bachelor's degree.
  3. When the appeal to the bachelor's degree is questioned, question the questioner's intellect and/or good will.
  4. Avoid further questions.
  5. Posture as if one has thoroughly proved one's point.
Riccola isn't the first to discover John Scalzi's rhetorical limitations. In addition to my first encounter with them in 2005, Agathis had much the same experience. Not only does McRapey have no observable capacity for dialectic, his rhetoric is almost entirely limited to name-calling, argumentum ad hominem, inept satire, and the sophistic technique known as "ambiguity". The irony of Scalzi's position should be readily apparent when one compares his observed lack of rhetorical skill with the Dunning-Kruger effect checklist.

Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
  1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill; (check)
  2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others; (check)
  3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy; (check)
  4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill. (NA)
McRapey not only hits squarely on three of the four checkboxes, but his exhibited behavior is even worse than Dunning and Kruger conceived. He claims to have had rhetorical training, and yet he STILL doesn't acknowledge his near-complete lack of rhetorical skill. Now, I tend to suspect this is because he genuinely doesn't realize that he's had no real rhetorical training, but is rather operating on the false assumption that Riccola already noted.

McRapey went on to dig himself in deeper by revealing that despite his BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE, he was incapable of following the Latin into Greek:
You’d have to ask him; he came up with the “Vox Day” name. Note that it’s a play off of “Vox Dei,” i.e., “The Voice of God,” which is amusing for several reasons.

As for besting me in argument, well, no, not at any point I can remember. Bear in mind I haven’t engaged him in discussion for years now, so this claim is not based on anything recent. With respect to me, I am aware of him not being able to understand what satire is until it was pointed out to him and then compensating for his error by calling me “McRapey” as salve for his ego; I’m also aware that because he doesn’t appear to understand what “up to” means, that he likes to say I lie about my readership numbers here. I’m not entirely sure either of those qualify as excellent arguments, based as they are on weak foundations.

This is not to say Mr. Beale is absolutely incapable of creating a sound logical argument. But in my experience in looking at his arguments, he does it rarely, in no small part because his ground level assumptions are complete shit. If you build your arguments on shit, they’re going to topple over regardless of how you construct your edifice. It’s not his arguments’ only problem, but it’s their first problem, to be sure.

Let’s just say I am not greatly impressed by his ability to argue. Again, you are free to disagree.
Since "theos" in Greek is god, well, unlike Mr. Philosophy of Language, I suspect most of you should be able to figure out the secret etymological chain that has been lost upon so many would-be outers over the years. He's very nearly correct about my not besting him in argument, because beyond that first encounter he has resolutely run away from debate with me, even when it was publicly proposed by third parties.

I've already proven beyond any shadow of doubt that John Scalzi lies about his blog traffic, which is now less than two-thirds of my own. I not only understand what "up to" means, (and "~" as well), and how it can be used to mislead people, but I also caught him when he tried to drop the "up to" on at least two occasions earlier this year. As for his claims about my inability to recognize satire, I am content to respond by pointing to the second item on the Dunning Kruger effect checklist in combination with this quote: "I’m very comfortable with my assessment."

No doubt he is.

It is hardly surprising that McRapey doesn't try to critique any of my arguments or show a single example of one that is incorrect, but merely waves his hand and provides a naked assertion that my "ground level assumptions are complete shit". If called on this, no doubt he will point out that he has a BACHELOR'S DEGREE....

Labels:

126 Comments:

Anonymous Freddy December 11, 2013 3:56 AM  

Brilliant!

The proud man will be humbled, yes, even against his will.

Anonymous jm December 11, 2013 4:39 AM  

"He's much smarter than you, he's got a philosophy degree!"

Anonymous Sam December 11, 2013 4:39 AM  

That was a compliment towards you....but the double entendre left you feeling guilty....well then maybe you are. You act like a beta bitch. You fear my crosshairs. Thank you for the compliment. In the end you have no historical narrative to say squat...yet a fear of blocking you at the post. Brilliant.

Anonymous jm December 11, 2013 4:40 AM  

With apologies to Dick to tha Dawk to tha PhD.

Anonymous Sensei December 11, 2013 4:41 AM  

Despite having at least an introductory level familiarity in both languages, I just now got around to figuring out the Vox Day thing. Feeling somewhat dumb now, but in my defense I'd never given it thought on an abstract level.

I've long thought a higher IQ or intelligence capability in general was associated with the ability to access and work in a higher level of abstraction than a given number of people. To those who can't access the upper floors, it must indeed seem miraculous that one could go from one room to the next when no door is apparent between them. Small wonder when they venture to argue with someone standard deviations above their capabilities, they will pride themselves on revealing the lack of such a door to their warren, thinking that by this they have won, when in reality they have failed so utterly that they've not even grasped how much higher the tower rises than their own floor. (And He who sits in the heavens laughs...)

Anonymous Freddy December 11, 2013 4:42 AM  

I got a bad connection, sorry bro....you take it like a man. Thought you 86d me so I went off. Just saying, this round on Freddy

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 4:46 AM  

Just saying, this round on Freddy

Oh, ah, thanks?

Anonymous Freddy December 11, 2013 4:49 AM  

Amaretto Di Soronna, cause it is Cali time now

Blogger JACIII December 11, 2013 5:00 AM  

Can't grasp the practical motivation of a midwit to acquire a Philosophy of (anything) degree. A cousin did this. Lays tile for a living and stays broke and stoned and thinks Obama paid for his medical insurance.
Seems typical.

Anonymous aaaaturkey December 11, 2013 5:22 AM  

Go visit interpals.com you will see thousands and thousands of young adults with BA.s that have language and philosophy majors. Having one is not special.

You will also see how utterly inept middle-eastern men are at chatting up women.

Blogger Bogey December 11, 2013 5:23 AM  

I thought McRapey was just getting off on frustrating Vox by being a complete coward, but I think I overestimated his intelligence. Scalzi just doesn't grasp what Vox discusses.

Through personal experience not only is logic learned but it's also a skill that needs to be developed and practiced.

Blogger James Dixon December 11, 2013 5:51 AM  

> Scalzi just doesn't grasp what Vox discusses.

Well, when someone disagrees with you and your only conclusion is that his "ground level assumptions are complete shit", that's sort of a given. Even if he's capable of grasping it, he's not going to bother.

And whenever someone reaches conclusion about equality, gender, or race that Scalzi disagrees with, that's going to be his conclusion. He's never going to bother with the argument.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 5:52 AM  

I thought McRapey was just getting off on frustrating Vox by being a complete coward.

Furthermore, it doesn't frustrate me at all. Why would I be frustrated when people live up to my expectations? He's a gamma, so of course he's not going to put his self-illusions on the line through direct conflict capable of definitively settling the matter.

In terms of intelligence, Scalzi isn't even within a standard deviation of me. PZ and Dawkins, and possibly Harris as well, are, and look at how little trouble I have in dealing with their arguments. At least they can formulate arguments, however flawed. Scalzi can't even do that, which is why he talks incessantly about arguments rather than actually presenting or critiquing them.

For example, precisely what ground level assumption of mine is complete shit? The idea that an objective truth exists? The distinction between dialectic and rhetoric? The concept that men and women are different or that there is a finite limit to credit expansion? He will never say, because the moment he commits to something specific, I can pin him down and puncture his self-illusion by demolishing his point.

So, he'll just keep sniping in safely general terms. Like every other gamma on the planet. And more and more people will continue to recognize he has nothing to say and quit paying attention to him. It's not an accident that his monthly traffic has fallen 60 percent in 18 months.

Anonymous Catan December 11, 2013 6:05 AM  

Just trust Scalzi; he has 'lots of evidence' and sees 'several reasons'. And he knows more about 'what you're talking about' than you.

Lots and lots of evidence. Then he throws out the customary excuses as to how he cannot possibly even spare a moment of his time thinking about you long enough to actually display any of said evidence, despite the fact that he would have had to expend his precious time in the past to accumulate said 'lots of evidence' and 'several reasons' in the first place.

What an absolutely pathetic fraud. I really do wonder what goes on inside his head. I've always thought that these people are perennially insecure and on edge inside, but this guy is so thoroughly deluded, I'm not sure with him.

Anonymous YIH December 11, 2013 7:15 AM  

Aw c'mon Vox, @scalzi earned his award just as much as 0bama earned his Nobel Peace Prize!
Here you go, I now humbly bestow upon you The Keebler Award for best book featuring elves.
Congratulations Mr. Beale.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 7:21 AM  

Why, thank you, thank you very much indeed? I shall put it on the mantle next to my award for "Most Egregious Insult of a Little Crippled Boy".

Anonymous Cryan Ryan December 11, 2013 7:22 AM  

Each time I read one of these posts about ol' Scalzi, I harken back to grade school when a chubby gay kid would bet his ass kicked by a tougher kid. But he never learned to keep his mouth shut. Always wondered what kind of man he grew up to be.

Maybe he wears a dress and lives in a warren?

Blogger Shimshon December 11, 2013 7:41 AM  

His obtuseness is pretty astounding.

His credentialism is predictable.

I minored in philosophy. At a pretty good university with nationally recognized department. I thought most of the classes were pure BS. But Philosophy of Law as well Intro to Logic were interesting. I took a Philosophy of Religion course that was terrible. The arguments for the existence of God were pathetic in my opinion, and almost like it was intentional. I wasn't even religious myself at the time. In any case, it's amusing that he thinks that possession of a piece of paper automatically grants one expertise in rhetoric.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 11, 2013 7:41 AM  

"If called on this, no doubt he will point out that he has a BACHELOR'S DEGREE...."

Great, hopefully the credentialism of a bach-edu degree will be entertaining.

Anonymous dw December 11, 2013 7:53 AM  

These posts never get old

Anonymous Logan December 11, 2013 8:02 AM  

I have a degree in Philosophy, too. I wonder how much weight that would carry with him if I went on his blog, made a claim with which he disagreed, and simply appealed to my degree when my argument was so much as questioned.

By the way, if anyone has a link to where ArizonaAtheist compliments Vox's rhetorical skills, or compliments him at all, I'd be interested to read it. Didn't find much through Google other than AA claiming he'd refuted some of the main arguments in TIA.

Anonymous YIH December 11, 2013 8:14 AM  

Until I can get to Bowling Trophies R'Us and get one made, this will have to do.

Blogger Joshua Dyal December 11, 2013 8:25 AM  

I really have absolutely no experience or frame of reference with which to refer to Scalzi other than my exposure to him here (and by extension, some of the SFWA noise of the last coule of years or so.) And yet, I've managed to make him into a representative of the smug, pretentious, insecure and spiteful liberal--and as such, I find a great deal of schadenfreude in reading McRapey tagged posts.

Blogger JDC December 11, 2013 8:26 AM  

It’s certainly true I don’t think much of him (both in that I don’t think much of him when I don’t have to, and don’t think much of him when I do have to)

I can almost picture him standing in front of a full length mirror, clad in his finest cocktail dress, staring into the mirror while aggressively applying Dior red lip rouge and repeating, "I don't think much of him...I don't think much of him...Philosophy degree...Philosophy degree."

Anonymous Alexander December 11, 2013 8:47 AM  

I for one think Scalzi raised some ~excellent points.

Anonymous Salt December 11, 2013 8:51 AM  

So McRapey is "very comfortable with [his] assessment."

There's a court case, often cited for its hilarity, where the Officer is asked how he knew, without benefit of acceptable measurement, the offender was speeding and can even cite the offensive speed. The Officer stated, and to put it in McRapey speak, because Degree. The examining attorney chucked a pencil across the room. "How fast was it going?" he asked the Officer. The Court burst out laughing.



Anonymous the agnostic lurker December 11, 2013 9:03 AM  

Still... Scalzi does write incredible novels, full of profound insights, storytelling innovations and heights of emotion.

Oh wait. Strike that.

Anonymous Peter Garstig December 11, 2013 9:04 AM  

He’s not bad at sounding like he knows what he’s talking about as long as you don’t know what he’s talking about, but that’s not the same thing as being rhetorically skilled, except to the limited extent that “rhetoric” means “ability to spew bullshit.”

You're talking about bullshit?

Anonymous the bandit December 11, 2013 9:08 AM  

In cat and mouse, the mouse sees himself as winning as long as he stays in his hole.

Anonymous JartStar December 11, 2013 9:24 AM  

His ability to never be wrong by careful avoidance is his most telling gamma trait.

Anonymous YIH December 11, 2013 9:29 AM  

What do you call someone with a BS degree in the philosophy of language?
''Waiter!''

Blogger Nate December 11, 2013 9:37 AM  

"In terms of intelligence, Scalzi isn't even within a standard deviation of me. PZ and Dawkins, and possibly Harris as well, are, and look at how little trouble I have in dealing with their arguments. At least they can formulate arguments, however flawed. Scalzi can't even do that, which is why he talks incessantly about arguments rather than actually presenting or critiquing them."

Exactly.

He's like the kid who loves to talk about math... because he thinks it makes him sound smart... but he can't actually do math.

Blogger Guitar Man December 11, 2013 9:52 AM  

Is it part of the gamma's nature to constantly refer to his past to validate his present?

In my field (IT), I've run into plenty of engineers and techs who've inflated their skills. Usually they're set on getting that middle management role, and are typically situated in a larger corporate environment. Most of them would probably be classified as gammas. Most of them lack leadership to be a good manager, though.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 9:59 AM  

Is it part of the gamma's nature to constantly refer to his past to validate his present?

Yes. Because you can't fail the past. Remember, gammas are TERRIFIED of failure. That's why they run from conflict, because they run the risk of losing.

Anonymous Josh December 11, 2013 10:06 AM  

Taking about crushing standardized tests and your philosophy/English degree is the gamma equivalent of the guy who won't shut about about that one time he scored four touchdowns in a Polk high game and won the city championship.

Anonymous Josh December 11, 2013 10:10 AM  

Remember, gammas are TERRIFIED of failure. That's why they run from conflict, because they run the risk of losing.

Would this also cause gammas to go into fields of study that are not very academically rigorous, because if they studied something that was actually difficult they could get a bad grade or fail a class?

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 December 11, 2013 10:13 AM  

Does anyone else notice that the Dunning-Kruger effect accurately describes most women in the workforce? Or most female church leaders?

I guess it isn't all that surprising when you consider the nature of Gammas.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 10:16 AM  

Would this also cause gammas to go into fields of study that are not very academically rigorous, because if they studied something that was actually difficult they could get a bad grade or fail a class?

I don't know. I can follow the reasoning, but on the other hand, there are no shortage of gammas in engineering and STEM. And it's very hard to fail out of a university course these days.

Anonymous Giraffe December 11, 2013 10:24 AM  

I don't know. I can follow the reasoning, but on the other hand, there are no shortage of gammas in engineering and STEM. And it's very hard to fail out of a university course these days.

They are afraid of social conflict and women, not academic failure.

Anonymous DrTorch December 11, 2013 10:43 AM  

Really? Really?

I gotta believe McR gives a sizeable sum to U Chicago so that they don't rescind his degree.

Blogger Krul December 11, 2013 10:44 AM  

I miss R. Scott Bakker. Remember how he argued that Vox is wrong because he (Bakker) knows that no one can know anything and how dare Vox be certain of anything because he (Bakker) is certain that doubt is the highest virtue?

Now that was entertaining, and educational when Bakker's backers tried to argue for skepticism from a philosophical point of view. And say what you will about them, Bakker and the backers had the stones to step up when challenged.

Mr. Scalzi is just a lower class of prey altogether.

Anonymous Seymour Butz December 11, 2013 10:56 AM  

I’ve only been reading this blog for about six months, and yet, I already feel as if John Scalzi is the gift that keeps on giving. I experience such a pure, childlike glee whenever Vox fucks with him, that it really is like Christmas morning.

Anonymous Noodle December 11, 2013 11:04 AM  

>"PZ and Dawkins, and possibly Harris as well, are, and look at how little trouble I have in dealing with their arguments."

Maybe. I usually see you and PZ talking past each other, while focusing on different parts of the argument. The SMZ flap was the most recent example.

Anonymous cheddarman December 11, 2013 11:05 AM  

Intellectually, this is like watching a Jaguar toy with a Capybara. The capybara is pretty big for a rodent, but has absolutely no chance.

Anonymous Noodle December 11, 2013 11:07 AM  

Bah. I meant SMV flap.

Blogger Subversive Saint December 11, 2013 11:09 AM  

Is there any correlation between Brigg-Meyers types and the SMV scale? I wonder if gamma-hood correlates to an ESFP or some other extroverted feeling type versus an INTJ or other introverted thinker?

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 11:11 AM  

Maybe. I usually see you and PZ talking past each other, while focusing on different parts of the argument. The SMZ flap was the most recent example.

SMZ? By all means, feel free to point out a point I failed to address. On the homo sapiens sapiens thing, he completely fluffed the obvious point because he was so eager to assume that my position must be racist and white supremacist.

Now that was entertaining, and educational when Bakker's backers tried to argue for skepticism from a philosophical point of view. And say what you will about them, Bakker and the backers had the stones to step up when challenged.

That whole Pyrrhonism thing was fairly epic. Can you even imagine Scalzi or anyone from Whatever having read Sextus Empiricus, much less engage in an active debate on the matter?

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 11:14 AM  

Bah. I meant SMV flap.

Well, sure. I focused on the relevant part. He went off on an irrelevant tangent. Dig a little into the blog archives and you'll see that I have no problem kicking him around, hence his refusal to debate me even after openly calling for people to present him with arguments.

Blogger Bernard Brandt December 11, 2013 11:15 AM  

Since "theos" in Greek is god, well, unlike Mr. Philosophy of Language, I suspect most of you should be able to figure out the secret etymological chain that has been lost upon so many would-be outers over the years.

Vox, by any chance are you referring to the etymology of your secret identity's first name, Θεόδωρος? Well, who do you think you are, God's gift or something?

Seriously, though, Scalzi's antics remind me of the recent joke that Dr. Pournelle played at Chaos Manor, when he attributed to Vladimir Putin the following statement:

"Negotiating with Obama is like playing chess with a pigeon: it knocks over the pieces, shits on the board, and then preens about like it won the game."

Anonymous Josh December 11, 2013 11:15 AM  

They would refuse to read Sextus Empiricus until the name was changed to Gender Democraticus.

Because Sex is sexist and Empire is bad.

Anonymous BillB December 11, 2013 11:16 AM  

Of course it's difficult to fail at university today. We wouldn't want to hurt their precious little whiny pussy feelings. Can't tell you how many were crying after an exam because they never, ever failed in government school. Fast forward and today we ask, 'A mean old logger lives in the forest cutting down trees and selling the wood. If he has 200 acres, harvests 200 trees per acre, and earns $200 per tree, how do the little forest creatures feel about losing their homes to this bastard?'

Blogger Krul December 11, 2013 11:18 AM  

VD - Can you even imagine Scalzi or anyone from Whatever having read Sextus Empiricus, much less engage in an active debate on the matter?

A guy with a Philosophy degree who hasn't read Sextus Empiricus? Perish the thought.

Blogger LibertyPortraits December 11, 2013 11:20 AM  

Ah yes, our old friend "lots of evidence" without any evidence argument. I wonder how Scalzi would hand wave Vox's Mensa membership (I'm under the impression that Scalzi doesn't belong to any prestigious IQ clubs, he seems like he would tout it if he did) in light of his assertion that Vox doesn't know what real rhetoric even is except spewing bullshit. How can he even seriously explain that a Mensa person had to be instructed on what satire is? The bullshit is not even that strong with Scalzi.

Anonymous Josh December 11, 2013 11:24 AM  

Has anyone told McRapey that his beloved standardized tests are racis?

Blogger Nate December 11, 2013 11:25 AM  

"That whole Pyrrhonism thing was fairly epic. Can you even imagine Scalzi or anyone from Whatever having read Sextus Empiricus, much less engage in an active debate on the matter?"

Scalzi would probably assume Pyrrhonism was a movement where people claimed their gender was fire.

Because degree.

and also you're really stupid for not already knowing this because its totally obvious and everyone with a brain already knows it.

Anonymous Giraffe December 11, 2013 11:29 AM  

I suspect most of you should be able to figure out the secret etymological chain that has been lost upon so many would-be outers over the years.

Allow me to provide the rabbit point of view:

You are using it as a sort of passive/assertive double entendre. Its bold, it's assertive, but if anyone calls you on it, you have an out. That's what they think you are doing because that's what a rabbit would do.

They see through your little game, Theo.

Anonymous Noodle December 11, 2013 11:31 AM  

PZ and the Pharyngulites rightly eviscerated Rollo’s ‘graph’ as a shady attempt to pass off one man’s view of the world as empirical, data-driven science. Maybe Rollo did not intend his diagram to be scientific, but since he put in axes and made it look like a graph, he opened himself up to criticism. I did not see you (or anyone here) address that point.

Whether or not the diagram is inherently correct is a different issue, which is the point PZ and gang did not address.

You seem to see his critique of the 'graph' as a tangent. He sees any acceptance of it as premature due to its lack of scientific validity. Hence, talking past each other and focusing on different aspects of the argument.


Anonymous Daniel December 11, 2013 11:34 AM  

PZ attacking anything on the basis of empiricism is a joke. The next data-driven study he produces will be the first. Leave it to the fat and brain-dead to attack a picture on the basis of it not being edible.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 11:51 AM  

You are using it as a sort of passive/assertive double entendre. Its bold, it's assertive, but if anyone calls you on it, you have an out. That's what they think you are doing because that's what a rabbit would do.

Correction: that would have been the rabbit view had any of them been intelligent enough to follow the Latin into Greek. The Latin was as far as any of them ever got.

PZ and the Pharyngulites rightly eviscerated Rollo’s ‘graph’ as a shady attempt to pass off one man’s view of the world as empirical, data-driven science.

As I said, an irrelevant tangent. The graph was nothing of the sort. It was simply a visual aid to help people understand the concept, just like a supply-demand curve in an economics textbook. I mean, do you truly not understand how stupid that objection was? The graph didn't even make any sense from a data perspective. What you're describing isn't talking past each other, it's one group chattering like monkeys looking at something they clearly don't understand.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 11:57 AM  

You seem to see his critique of the 'graph' as a tangent. He sees any acceptance of it as premature due to its lack of scientific validity.

His position is literally retarded. There are DOZENS of such graphs in Paul Samuelson's landmark economic textbook. I mean, I just flipped it open and saw four such graphs on the first six pages I looked at. Only two of them even had units.

Anonymous Bill December 11, 2013 11:58 AM  

I'm not a regular reader, so maybe this topic has been done to death here, but how does a professional writer write things like:

except to the extent that you’ve asserted Mr. Beale is not unskilled, which is an assertion I find dubious for several reasons and does not put you in good stead regarding my assessment of your own evaluative skills

It's like a half-bright freshman trying to sound smart. I don't recall Old Man's War reading this way, so what gives? Does he get a lot of help with his professional writing?

Blogger Nate December 11, 2013 12:02 PM  

"PZ and the Pharyngulites rightly eviscerated Rollo’s ‘graph’ as a shady attempt to pass off one man’s view of the world as empirical, data-driven science."

dude they saw bad think and threw a fit at something they didn't understand.

And these are supposed to be the ones leading us out the cave.

Blogger Nate December 11, 2013 12:04 PM  

"It's like a half-bright freshman trying to sound smart. I don't recall Old Man's War reading this way, so what gives? Does he get a lot of help with his professional writing?"

Ever seen a good QB dance in the pocket after he's been hit a few to many times? Scalzi gets that way when someone has him by the short hairs.

Blogger JDC December 11, 2013 12:08 PM  

does not put you in good stead

And is that not the ultimate goal of the rabbit - to be in good stead of the warren. McR really annihilated him with that admonition.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 12:10 PM  

I don't recall Old Man's War reading this way, so what gives? Does he get a lot of help with his professional writing?

It's harder when you can't simply plagiarize Heinlein/Dick/Piper/Roddenberry....

Blogger RobertT December 11, 2013 12:11 PM  

The best way for this diapered crybaby to demonstrate his competence at rhetoric would be to engage you in debate. I don't think there are many on the planet who are better than you There's already been on David and Goliath story; there's not likely to be another. Shouldn't take too long to squash him.

Anonymous Noodle December 11, 2013 12:14 PM  

>"I just flipped it open and saw four such graphs on the first six pages I looked at. Only two of them even had units."

This is where Rollo gets in trouble with the empiricists. If he had just labeled the Y-axis as “Relative personal SMV” without units, instead of his nonsensical 1-10 scale, there might have been lass of a flap. Or, at least, less of a legitimate reason to criticize.

Anonymous Giraffe December 11, 2013 12:17 PM  

Correction: that would have been the rabbit view had any of them been intelligent enough to follow the Latin into Greek. The Latin was as far as any of them ever got.

Somebody explained it to them in on the charity post. The same guy donated to his favorite gay and lesbian charity, GOA (Gun Owners of America).

They pretended not to notice.

Anonymous Randy M December 11, 2013 12:19 PM  

"of his nonsensical 1-10 scale"
Psst, those aren't units. Those are integers.
Units are things like "Mile" and "Liter" and "Lightyear" and "Million Euroes", etc.

Anonymous Noodle December 11, 2013 12:21 PM  

>"Those are integers."

And they really should be percentages.

Anonymous the bandit December 11, 2013 12:24 PM  

> Or, at least, less of a legitimate reason to criticize.

Here's the problem: It's only a legitimate criticism inasmuch as one does not understand what the graph is portraying. Therefore, it's not a legitimate criticism at all.

The legitimate aspect of the criticism, i.e., that the graph could have been labeled differently to avoid the confusion of the very stupidly biased, was acknowledged and deemed irrelevant to the actual argument of the graph. Going back to that axis-label criticism again and again after it has already been acknowledged and deemed irrelevant is not legitimate criticism.

...unless one is legitimately criticizing the intelligence of the people misinterpreting the graph.

Anonymous Heh December 11, 2013 12:25 PM  

I wonder how Scalzi would hand wave Vox's Mensa membership

He would say, "high IQ means nothing if you don't have critical thinking skills... if only Vox had attended a high quality institution like Chicago and obtained a BA in the Philosophy of Language."

Anonymous Alec Bradley December 11, 2013 12:25 PM  

"Somebody explained it to them in on the charity post. The same guy donated to his favorite gay and lesbian charity, GOA (Gun Owners of America)."

I was wondering if anyone caught that...

Anonymous Giraffe December 11, 2013 12:27 PM  

I was wondering if anyone caught that...

I saw no evidence any of the rabbits did.

Blogger Tommy Hass December 11, 2013 12:44 PM  

Can somebody explain the vox day theodore thing. One means voice or sound of God, the other one means gift of God.

Anonymous JC December 11, 2013 12:52 PM  

If you think Philosophy of Language is merely rhetoric, you or your university (or both) is doing it wrong.

Anonymous Giraffe December 11, 2013 12:55 PM  

Can somebody explain the vox day theodore thing. One means voice or sound of God, the other one means gift of God.

Vox Day> Vox Dei

Follow the Latin into Greek.

Anonymous JC December 11, 2013 12:56 PM  

Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
tend to overestimate their own level of skill; (check)
fail to recognize genuine skill in others; (check)
fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy; (check)
recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill. (NA)


Can you say projection?

Anonymous JC December 11, 2013 1:01 PM  

I shall put it on the mantle next to my award for "Most Egregious Insult of a Little Crippled Boy".

Do tell.

Anonymous Riccola December 11, 2013 1:01 PM  

Question to Vox or anyone else here really. How do phrase your arguments so as not to come off as wooden and superficially intellectual? I was surprised how scalzi sounded like complete shit the second I questioned his degree and his writing became as bad as mine. I'm hoping there is a method or guideline on how not to come off as an idiot when you write. Would you be interested in doing a series of posts on how to write, and how to recognize if your writing is bad?

Also, I've been reading your blog since middle school and I have to say its bitchin to be in one of your posts.

Blogger Markku December 11, 2013 1:07 PM  

Riccola: Talk to the person. Don't talk to the audience using the person as a lay figure whose only purpose is to give you the opportunity to pontificate. Say his name, say "you", be direct.

Blogger Markku December 11, 2013 1:09 PM  

Do tell.

He got it from Bane. There was a competition. Vox won. According to canonical VP lore, it is his most prized award.

Anonymous Christian in Hollyweird December 11, 2013 1:22 PM  

lol this guy really is pathetic parading around his bachelors degree like its a giant phallus in a Dionysian procession. it really is amazing how many of your critics refuse to engage you in any substantial way. Maybe if you werent raciss they couldnt so easily dismiss you.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 1:22 PM  

How do phrase your arguments so as not to come off as wooden and superficially intellectual?

I can go into more detail on this in a future post, but the short answer is to be genuinely intellectual in your presentation of the argument. By which, I mean to focus on the truth and the logic more than you worry about how it is going to be interpreted or being perceived as correct.

Now, some of this is just instinctive. For example, I can figuratively SEE that there is something wrong with the logic in a string of words almost as if it the problematic part was in red bold text without understanding it. I don't know what it is, I don't know what is wrong with it, but something in my mind picks up the error on the first speed-reading. Then I read it a second time more closely, word-for-word, and the nature of the error becomes apparent.

So, when I write out an argument and I SEE something wrong with it before I hit post, I go back and look to see where I went off the rails. Usually, the problem is fairly apparent, so I either throw the whole thing out or I fix it. Basically, if you have an uneasy feeling that you're skipping over something or being evasive, you probably are. Go back and deal with it if you don't want someone finding it and pointing it out to you.

Okay, this isn't making explanatory sense. Anyhow, I'll do a post on this soon.

Anonymous allyn71 December 11, 2013 1:23 PM  

'He would say, "high IQ means nothing if you don't have critical thinking skills... if only Vox had attended a high quality institution like Chicago and obtained a BA in the Philosophy of Language."' - Heh December 11, 2013 12:25 PM

Scalzi is that you? That impersonation hits a little to close to the mark.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 1:25 PM  

I was surprised how scalzi sounded like complete shit the second I questioned his degree and his writing became as bad as mine.

He was reacting emotionally. He knew you had identified the flaw in his response and he went into defensive mode, which tends to be irrational. People who are caught up in emotions find it very difficult to argue in a rational manner.

Anonymous JC December 11, 2013 1:29 PM  

He got it from Bane. There was a competition. Vox won. According to canonical VP lore, it is his most prized award.

Heh. Clearly, before my time.

Anonymous allyn71 December 11, 2013 1:30 PM  

"People who are caught up in emotions find it very difficult to argue in a rational manner." - VD December 11, 2013 1:25 PM

Emotional people cannot be rational people. See Women Ruin Everything.

Anonymous JC December 11, 2013 1:38 PM  

Suddenly, the "Award-winning cruelty artist" part makes so much sense!

Anonymous Faust December 11, 2013 1:44 PM  

Riccola-

I wouldn't worry too much about it. You're already a better and more persuasive writer than Scalzi, and he's the author of a hugely successful blog with up to 50,000 readers a day! So you've got a good start.

There are two major problems I see with the segment of your writing that Vox posted. Both of them can be fixed. First, your arguments are well-chosen, but they're vague. You say something, and then give no support for it. For example, you write "A guy named ArizonaAtheist thought he was good at rhetoric." That's wonderful, but who the hell is ArizonaAtheist? And why does his opinion matter? You'll get better results if you appeal to an objective metric, like, "He had a column at World Net Daily for 8 years, and was a nationally syndicated reviewer before that. You can't keep that up without some command of rhetoric." Another great thing to do when arguing on the web is to use links. If you don't know how, or are worried about messing up the syntax, there are places on the web that will do it for you. A solid argument backed by a link can be near unstoppable. For example, "Vox certainly isn't a fan of you, but he's written that "Mr. Scalzi is as close to resurrecting Robert Heinlein as we are likely to enjoy without serious advances in the black art of necromancy." "

Your second problem is word choice. You're using long, difficult words when small ones will do just fine. Now there's nothing wrong with long, difficult words, especially in the right place, but if you use a 25 cent word when a 5 cent one will do, your reader's eyes will start to glaze over. The key thing to do when trying to persuade someone is to keep one thought in mind at all times: What effect am I having on the listener? What do I want them to think or feel? When I state a fact in support of my argument, is it reinforcing what I've already said or is it just rambling on? The same thing goes for word choice.

For example, you write, "On the third plank of the Dunning Kruger effect, fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy, I would not contest as it depends entirely on your metric and perspective." This sentence can be much, much shorter. I'm always hesitant to rewrite someone's work in public, because it's very easy to make a minor mistake and get torn apart, but I'll give it a go. "The third part of the Dunning-Kruger effect, "fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy," depends entirely on your opinion of the first two parts, and so there's not much I can say here." Not exactly Aristotle reincarnated, but it at least avoids wasting the reader's time.

You already know how to lay out an argument in a definitive and persuasive manner, so you've got the hard part. These two things are easy to watch for once you know they're problems. Good luck, and thanks for taking the time to read this.

Vox-

How many times are people going to fall for that "Vox Day" thing? I don't think I've seen a single critic of yours who hasn't written, "Duh, it should be Vox Dei! He's calling himself the voice of God!" or something similar. It's like a mousetrap baited with retard cheese.

Blogger Nate December 11, 2013 1:44 PM  

"Riccola: Talk to the person."

This.

Remember that the writer reader relationship is actually one on one. So imagine you are writing to one person.

Anonymous marenostrum December 11, 2013 1:45 PM  

Our gracious host was truly a gift from God for his parents. Pun intended.

Blogger Nate December 11, 2013 2:02 PM  

Seriously guys... "Vox Day" would only be more obvsious if it was "Pen Name".

Voice. Of. . . . . ???

Come on...

you can do it...

Blogger Markku December 11, 2013 2:04 PM  

Remember that the writer reader relationship is actually one on one.

Additionally, everyone except gammas and omegas will recognize it as a cowardly tactic to only talk to the audience. (Note: you can still make a few notes to the audience, but they must not be the majority of your response.)

The reason you'd do that is that you're afraid that he'll make some good points in his response. If you were engaging him directly, you can't then simply ignore them. But talking to the audience allows you to do that, which is exactly why you started in that way in the first place. A direct mode of speaking is an implicit investment of your credibility in the assumption that you'll be able to deal with anything he throws your way.

Anonymous Stickwick December 11, 2013 2:13 PM  

Noodle: This is where Rollo gets in trouble with the empiricists. If he had just labeled the Y-axis as “Relative personal SMV” without units, instead of his nonsensical 1-10 scale, there might have been lass of a flap. Or, at least, less of a legitimate reason to criticize.

Since when does getting a PhD mean you have to abdicate common sense? Anyone who understands the concept of SMV already understands that the 1-10 scale is implicitly unitless and relative. (Numbers are not units.) The ugliest women in the world are "1" on this scale and the most beautiful women in the world are "10." (You could just as easily assign ugliest = 1,436 and most beautiful = 1,557,893, and it would work exactly the same way; it's just that humans intuit things better on a 1-10 scale.) When a guy says he just met a woman who is a "9", most people don't pedantically ask to see his methodology and ask what units he's using, but sensibly assume he means she's, relatively speaking, much more attractive than the average woman and near the peak of human female attractiveness. Why is that so difficult for "the empiricists" to understand?

Blogger Markku December 11, 2013 2:18 PM  

Anyone who understands the concept of SMV already understands that the 1-10 scale is implicitly unitless and relative.

Exactly what I was thinking. In most other circumstances I would have criticized the graph for that the y-axis should to go from 0% to 100%, but the context already establishes the 1-10 scale as the same scale in different units. And it was primarily directed to those already familiar with Game. It was merely picked up by those who weren't familiar with the context. This is no fault of the author.

Blogger Nate December 11, 2013 2:27 PM  

"Why is that so difficult for "the empiricists" to understand?"

Because understanding was never part of the equation.

They saw Badthink and instantly went looking for something to throw a fit about.

Blogger RobertT December 11, 2013 2:31 PM  

By the way. Here's a classic example of overvalued education. A quality education is your ticket to get in the door. It's it's not your ticket to success. It's been my experience that people who bring up their education have nothing else to bring up.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 2:50 PM  

Why is that so difficult for "the empiricists" to understand?

Because they are looking to find something to criticize that will justify dismissing the information and are ready to manufacture that something if they can't find it.

Anonymous Molon Rouge December 11, 2013 2:57 PM  

(except to the extent that you’ve asserted Mr. Beale is not unskilled, which is an assertion I find dubious for several reasons and does not put you in good stead regarding my assessment of your own evaluative skills)


Scalzi is effectively blind!! He refuses to accept simple evidence. This is one of the reasons I abhor lefties. They deny and deny and then attack the one refuting their world-view in order to clamp down on the discussion.

This is like gamboling around a large english estate in your cotton nightie looking for your slippers. By the time you have found them the sun is rising over the heath. So sad to have frozen feet and a lost night.

Blogger Steve December 11, 2013 3:08 PM  

Scalzi is a fucking idiot, plain and simple.

Anonymous Scintan December 11, 2013 3:13 PM  

One day, someone will convincingly explain to me how having a bachelor's degree in anything is of significance to people beyond the HR department. I've yet to find a subject where a layperson couldn't fairly easily educate themselves to the level of a Bachelor's degree.

Anonymous Scintan December 11, 2013 3:15 PM  

So, when I write out an argument and I SEE something wrong with it before I hit post, I go back and look to see where I went off the rails. Usually, the problem is fairly apparent, so I either throw the whole thing out or I fix it. Basically, if you have an uneasy feeling that you're skipping over something or being evasive, you probably are. Go back and deal with it if you don't want someone finding it and pointing it out to you.

It makes sense to me, if that helps any. I often do the same thing, with the main difference being that my final edit(s) is often made after posting, because I then get to see the whole statement in full context.

Anonymous Beau December 11, 2013 3:42 PM  

They would refuse to read Sextus Empiricus until the name was changed to Gender Democraticus.

Because Sex is sexist and Empire is bad.


*chuckle*

Blogger Brad Andrews December 11, 2013 3:48 PM  

Doesn't the presence of numbers imply some sort of unit, though the unit was missing in this case?

(I have no problem with the graph or principle, I just tend to think "unit" when I see a number.) No idea what the units would be on that graph though.

====

Where exactly is the Greek in Vox Day? I haven't bothered to think much about it, but I am clearly not seeing something. It hasn't been high on my list to figure out though, so some pointers would be appreciated.

====

And it's very hard to fail out of a university course these days.

I would agree that this is true for many, but I have failed my share of students in my classes. I am basically a contract instructor, so I wouldn't be surprised to get push back at some point, but I have not personally seen it so far.

Many students seem unready for strong expectations, especially if they don't do well against them. That is the thing that does make continued teaching more of a hassle in a lot of ways though.

(I teach tech courses.)

Anonymous Alexander December 11, 2013 3:52 PM  

It's much more obvious if you reverse engineer the riddle. If you wanted to write "Theo's voice" in Latin, what would you have?

OpenID thetroll December 11, 2013 4:15 PM  

> I just now got around to figuring out the Vox Day thing. Feeling somewhat dumb now,

If it makes you feel any better, I aced the SATs which I imagine is evidence enough to place me pretty much at the top of the food chain with this intelligence preening that's such a thing around here, and it didn't occur to me to follow the thread there until just now either.

(Personally, it's my observation that similar to me alleged +5 SD intelligence levels correlate a lot more with neurotic social incompetence and/or apathetic nihilism than to anything useful in the real world, and the only number worth making a fuss about your pride in is your self-earned net worth. But if the status game of choice is IQ label preening, sure homey can play dat better than you, almost certainly...)

Anonymous WaterBoy December 11, 2013 4:29 PM  

Stickwick: "Why is that so difficult for "the empiricists" to understand? "

Because objectification.

Therefore feelbad.

Blogger Bard December 11, 2013 6:37 PM  

I just want you to keep mentioning him until he has to pay the full amount to his charitaaaa!

Blogger Bard December 11, 2013 6:41 PM  

I just want you to keep mentioning him until he has to pay the full amount to his charitaaaa!

Blogger Bard December 11, 2013 6:41 PM  

I just want you to keep mentioning him until he has to pay the full amount to his charitaaaa!

Anonymous bub December 11, 2013 8:08 PM  

Also, sounding out

http://translate.google.com/#la/el/vox%20dei

fo̱ní̱ tou Theoú

makes it "Funny to Theo"

Anonymous kfg December 11, 2013 8:58 PM  

"I already feel as if John Scalzi is the gift that keeps on giving."

What a doron.

Blogger Nate December 11, 2013 10:11 PM  

"Where exactly is the Greek in Vox Day? I haven't bothered to think much about it, but I am clearly not seeing something. It hasn't been high on my list to figure out though, so some pointers would be appreciated."

/facepalm

Vox = Voice.

Day = Dei = God.

What's God in Greek son?

Blogger Krul December 11, 2013 11:57 PM  

The whole "Vox Day is actually code for Theo's Voice" thing always struck me as thoroughly unnecessary and silly.

Like if a guy's handle were "I'mbetterthanyou" and someone said "He thinks he's better than I am! What a jerk!" and then the guy said "Actually if you happen to already know my name, change the spelling of the handle in a arbitrary way and arbitrarily translate part of it into another language that you couldn't possibly know unless I told you you'll end up with a mundane description rather than a claim of superiority, so there!"

Jeez, what a pointless argument to have. And who cares if the handle is inoffensive after all the linguistic loop-the-loops? It's obviously still what it is without the epic-decoder-ring-maneuver and the guy who uses it obviously knows that and is okay with it so what's the problem?

Anonymous Toby Temple December 12, 2013 1:09 AM  

This thread is making me think that most people are lazy.

MPAL.

Please add that next to MPAI.

Anonymous The CronoLink December 12, 2013 2:11 AM  

I am aware of him not being able to understand what satire is until it was pointed out to him and then compensating for his error by calling me “McRapey” as salve for his ego

Seriously? He's so obtuse he didn't understood Vox was punishing/mocking him for his idiotic and clumsy attempt at political satire? Of course, it could also be he's aware of it and just trying to salvage and massage whatever is left of his ego.

Anonymous VD December 12, 2013 2:50 AM  

Of course, it could also be he's aware of it and just trying to salvage and massage whatever is left of his ego.

He's perfectly aware of it. It's just that he leaped to believe the idiot blog stalker who jumped to the wrong conclusion, so now he's stuck choosing to pretend to believe that an individual smart enough for Mensa doesn't understand satire or admitting that he was wrong.

Guess which option the idiot gamma chose?

My favorite thing was the insistence that even if I was satirizing McRapey's satire, that my satire was bad satire. Which can only strike one as tremendously amusing if you've actually read Scalzi's rape confession.

Anonymous VD December 12, 2013 2:58 AM  

The whole "Vox Day is actually code for Theo's Voice" thing always struck me as thoroughly unnecessary and silly.

That's because you clearly don't understand that most people take the whole "outing" thing very seriously. So, people who are more intelligent than you are see a good deal of humor in watching hundreds of critics frantically searching Google and triumphantly thinking they are outing someone who has already stolen their thunder.

arbitrarily translate part of it into another language that you couldn't possibly know

Couldn't possibly know? You have to be pretty stupid to a) know "vox dei" means "the voice of the god" and simultaneously b) not know that "theos" means "god". Never heard of "theology" or "theocracy"?

As it turns out, it's perfect midwit bait. Stupid people don't know what pen names are. Normal people don't know and don't give a damn. Smarter people can figure it out or they don't think about it at all; who cares about a pen name. Midwits try to figure it out, get halfway there, then triumphantly claim they get it and pronounce an opinion on it.

It might help to understand that I despise midwits and setting traps for the morons is second nature at this point.

Anonymous Toby Temple December 12, 2013 3:11 AM  

arbitrarily translate part of it into another language that you couldn't possibly know

Exhibit A for Most-People-Are-Lazy.

Anonymous Bill December 12, 2013 9:49 AM  

I've yet to find a subject where a layperson couldn't fairly easily educate themselves to the level of a Bachelor's degree.

It depends what you mean by "fairly easily." It's pretty hard to get yourself from a high school level of math to the level of a math bachelor's from a decent place by, say, reading books in the evening. For example, really understanding the proof of the Implicit Function Theorem for the first time is pretty hard, especially with no flesh-and-blood teacher giving you pointers.

Classics is another example. As you get your BA, you are learning Latin and Greek while absorbing enough information about those ancient cultures to "get" all the works of literature and history you are reading. The flesh-and-blood lecturer guy is very helpful here. Especially since Classicists are almost invariably very smart and very passionately committed to their subject.

Anonymous kfg December 12, 2013 10:46 AM  

Back in the day, before mandatory public schooling, there was many the youngster who could read basic Greek and Latin before they reached what is now high school age.

How did they pull of this trick? It's called "The Bible."

They had flesh and blood parents, teachers and preachers in their own communities to offer them guidance.

As Thoreau noted the chief benefit of attending college is not in the formal education, but in the association with the other people that gather around the college.

Anonymous The CronoLink December 12, 2013 4:13 PM  

Which can only strike one as tremendously amusing if you've actually read Scalzi's rape confession.

Indeed, I'm even remembering now that some of his commenters found it disturbing that he could "know" how rapists think, to which the Queen cisRabbit promptly leaped in to explain that of course he could since he's a fiction author; because obviously being a fiction author gives you leeway in how someone-not-being-you thinks, not because he actually took the time to read about psychological journals and treatises about rapists. Some author he is.

Back in the day, before mandatory public schooling, there was many the youngster who could read basic Greek and Latin before they reached what is now high school age.

From Protestants I can believe the Greek but the Latin? That would be from Catholics right?

Anonymous kfg December 12, 2013 7:08 PM  

You are correct that among the Protestants the Latin Bible could be, shall we say, "problematic." Especially in those communities that remembered that the effigy burned on November 5th was that of the Pope. In other communities a bit of sin might be forgiven when it was taken into account that The Bible was the most direct path to the language of the republican philosophers and the sciences.

Otherwise you could start directly with Cicero, which was at least available in all three languages, although not as readily available and composed of more complex language and ideas, which made learning more difficult.

And don't forget that among the nominal Protestants there were rather more Deists than those that openly declared themselves, although they of necessity had to conduct their affairs with due caution.

OpenID whoresoftheinternet December 12, 2013 10:26 PM  

Scalzi is but one more confirmatory example/data point in my theory that any insult that a leftist throws at a non-leftist is merely projection by said leftist.

Anonymous J. K. Hoffman December 19, 2013 6:05 PM  

Scalzi never wrote that "Vox Dei" was Greek, or any other particular language, even in your quote of him. "Vox Dei" is Latin and, in fact, is translated as "God's Voice"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vox_Dei

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