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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mailvox: Rhetoric in action

The lightbulb goes on for IndecisiveEvidence:
My first instinct reading that exchange is to shake my head. It's just you and Kluwe doing catty girl sniping. I'm a troll so I get it but it seems stupid. Then it hit me. You reminded me in the comment thread here. I read your book. You're exercising the language Sparklepunter speaks. Brilliant. It's still stupid but now in a completely different light that makes perfect sense.
Rhetoric often strikes those outside its emotional impact range as stupid. Think about the nasty little comment about her new dress that absolutely crushes the teen girl; the same comment made to anyone else might not only seem stupid, but insane. However, as I seem to keep having to point out to those who are quite stupidly attached to the idea that flawless logic and reason are genuinely capable of persuading 100 percent of all human beings of anything, rhetoric is devoid of information content. It is not intended to instruct or inform. It is intended to emotionally influence.

In the case of adversarial rhetoric, the objective is to cause sufficient emotional pain to the other party to force them to withdraw from the conflict. Now, withdrawal does not necessarily mean that any emotional pain has been caused, but one can usually tell if this is the case or not on the basis of any abrupt alteration of one party's behavior. Usually, this will be the attacking party suddenly breaking off contact. To utilize the catty girl sniping analogy, whoever bursts into tears and runs away loses status, whoever remains there gains it.

Kluwe's rhetoric was unfocused, shallow, and ineffective. He tried to associate me with Nazis, which is neither new to me nor true, and has no more effect on me than the previous five thousand attempts. Recognizing that, he then tried to pick at what he thought would be a sore spot, but I hadn't spent any time thinking about how to respond to him and having three Hugo No Awards doesn't bother me in the slightest. After all, I knowingly sought two of them this year. So he moved on to the assertion that my movement, whatever that may be, is failing and that my supporters are rats attempting to disassociate from me.

Considering that the VFM have grown from 434 strong to 445 in the last few days, the new book is still #1 in Political Philosophy, and the site traffic is on course to set a new monthly record, this was the precise opposite of effective rhetoric, which always has some basis in truth. How terrible do you feel, having been labeled a disloyal rodent by Sparklepunter?

Contrast with that my own rhetoric, which associated Kluwe, the father of two young girls, with pedophilia. This had a strong basis in truth, since Kluwe was actively defending a known pedophile in his unprovoked challenge to GamerGate. It was focused, as I continued to harp on that theme, and it was effective, as Kluwe rapidly went from attacking GamerGate and publicly asserting his support for Nyberg to retreating and hitting the mute button in the course of just a few tweets.

It was somewhat of a pity, because I had some even sharper rhetoric prepared, but it should illustrate that contra the mindless catty girl sniping some erroneously thought it to be, it was effective rhetoric that demoralized an enemy and defeated his rhetorical attack. No one came away from reading that thinking about National Socialism. A dialectical response that cited Nyberg's various deeds would have been totally ineffective since Kluwe was already familiar with all of the relevant information and had chosen to ignore it.

"Before some audiences not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people whom one cannot instruct."
- Aristotle, Rhetoric 

I repeat: Meet dialectic with dialectic. Meet rhetoric with rhetoric. Meet pseudo-dialectic with dialectic to expose the rhetoric, then follow it up with rhetoric. Those who tend to favor dialectic very much need to understand that the emotional impact of dialectic in response to rhetoric is every bit as ineffective as the logical impact of rhetoric is in response to dialectic.

It may help to keep in mind that whenever you try to use information to persuade a rhetoric speaker, you sound like "the train is fine" guy. You may be correct, but you're totally missing the point.

Labels: , ,

197 Comments:

Anonymous NorthernHamlet September 13, 2015 8:48 AM  

VD

I'd like to request you break down your dialectic arguments more often.

Blogger Cataline Sergius September 13, 2015 8:48 AM  

It was somewhat of a pity, because I had some even sharper rhetoric prepared...

Are you saving it for next time or can you share now?

Anonymous Dr. J September 13, 2015 8:49 AM  

I appreciate Steve's special brand of rhetoric. I always get both an emotional and gastrointestinal response to his posts of SJWs in the flesh.

Blogger Peter P. September 13, 2015 8:51 AM  

Followers dropping. That's a good joke. If you can make the grandson of a communist(me) abandon the left and actively hate it, your number of followers are bound to grow, not narrow.

Blogger Tommy Hass September 13, 2015 8:56 AM  

I wouldn't have been able to snipe at him for 4 straight tweets without trying to make a real argument against his "points".

Anonymous Whitey McWhite September 13, 2015 9:04 AM  

The Train Is Fine

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 9:05 AM  

I'd like to request you break down your dialectic arguments more often.

Why? It's just straightforward logic. What are you having trouble understanding?

Are you saving it for next time or can you share now?

I'm always saving it for next time. Even if next time never comes.

I wouldn't have been able to snipe at him for 4 straight tweets without trying to make a real argument against his "points".

Rhetoric requires discipline just as dialectic does. It's just a different form of discipline. If you wouldn't drop a "poopyhead" into a syllogism as a proof, you shouldn't drop a "real argument" into an enthymeme.

Blogger JACIII September 13, 2015 9:07 AM  

Touch whatever fear will get the hind-brain hamster spinning out of control. The bit about a restraining order from Sparklepunter's kids is particularly apt as it utilizes Rule #3 - SJW's always project.

There's a guy on twitter flipping out about @shaunking being truly biracial because his mother had an affair. Why is he flipping out so? Rule #3 tells us his mom's a whore, too. @JTlol is pounding him with "Who was his father?" over and over.

Blogger James Jones September 13, 2015 9:08 AM  

But where conversations have a peanut gallery, does it not make sense to meet rhetoric with dialectic? If you assume that the SJW will never change position, then your conversation is no longer with them, but with observers who you may be able to influence with factual information.

OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 September 13, 2015 9:12 AM  

Blah blah blah....and there are people whom one cannot instruct."
- Aristotle, Rhetoric
Can it be said that the "work" by Dunning/Kreuger was plagerised, or simply peer review "repeatability" ?
ALSO SEE: Aesop, Brothers Grimm, Anderson, 1001 Arabian nights, et alia.
CaptDMO

Blogger Rantor September 13, 2015 9:17 AM  

I believe that now may not be too late, but a rhetorical campaign against pedophilia is needed before we see its popular acceptance in the coming years. The fact that SJWs are already sympathizing is sickening. Perversion must be stopped, not diagnosed, mislabeled and accepted.

Blogger njartist September 13, 2015 9:20 AM  

and there are people whom one cannot instruct.
They are masters in their own minds: once, having been taught,and, in many cases, they accept no new concepts.

This commentary by Adam Clark on Luke 10:21 provides an excellent summary: Thou hast hid - That is, thou hast not revealed them to the scribes and Pharisees, who idolized their own wisdom; but thou hast revealed them to the simple and humble of heart.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 9:22 AM  

But where conversations have a peanut gallery, does it not make sense to meet rhetoric with dialectic?

No. That makes no sense at all. Apply basic game theory:

1. Rhetoric vs rhetoric. You win rhetoric. Dialectic is a draw. +1
2. Dialectic vs rhetoric. You win dialectic. You lose rhetoric. 0

Anonymous Gary September 13, 2015 9:22 AM  

"Rhetoric often strikes those outside its emotional impact range as stupid."

I can't grasp it myself, I really can't. I doubt I could even engage someone in a rhetorical argument.

Appeals to my emotions are discarded instantly. I learned the hard way to ignore such feeble attempts at manipulation. Indeed to even attempt them is to instantly disqualify the speaker in my mind as someone worth listening to.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 9:23 AM  

Let me revise the above. The only time to meet rhetoric with dialectic is if you expect to lose the rhetorical battle. Then it can be a fighting withdrawal of sorts.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 9:26 AM  

Appeals to my emotions are discarded instantly. I learned the hard way to ignore such feeble attempts at manipulation. Indeed to even attempt them is to instantly disqualify the speaker in my mind as someone worth listening to.

That makes you a loser. I realize you probably think you are superior as a result of your inability to master rhetorical communication, but it literally makes you a loser in most of your communication-related conflicts. While it is good to be able to be immune to the effect of rhetorical attacks (I certainly have no problem shaking them off), it is very bad to be unable to respond to them.

Anonymous Gary September 13, 2015 9:26 AM  

"No. That makes no sense at all."

I agree. In my debates with libs, facts and logic have no meaning. It will always boil down to "you are a mean racist poopy head!" and I'll stalk off in disgust which from their point of view is a win. So after a period of time I don't even bother. Usually inside of a few minutes I can determine if they are reachable or not. The ones that are reachable I'll work with, the idiots I avoid.

Anonymous Gary September 13, 2015 9:32 AM  

"I realize you probably think you are superior as a result of your inability to master rhetorical communication, but it literally makes you a loser in most of your communication-related conflicts."

I don't look at myself as superior at all any more than someone who speaks German instead of English. Its like some language I can't quite comprehend. Learning it won't help me be more efficient at what I do for a living either. I don't engage people any longer on social media either as I have come to the conclusion its nothing more then a stupidity amplifier.

I'd much rather spend my time preparing my family and friends for the storm that is coming as sure as the sun rising.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet September 13, 2015 9:33 AM  

VD

What are you having trouble understanding?

Idea to argument to layout to refinement. Nothing at all concerning the logic or understanding. Think of it as bigger picture by watching how you process your thinking from informal to formal.

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 9:37 AM  

VD, isn't the main goal of us using rhetoric, to trigger their amygdala, because them overreacting is basically the best result for us?

Blogger Robert What? September 13, 2015 9:41 AM  

@Vox,

Thanks so much for your analyses of rhetoric vs dialectic. Very educational. Another very important point you make is that a rhetorical argument must have a basis in truth. That is where your rhetorical arguments succeed where SJW's fall flat: their rhetorical arguments are rarely based in truth.

Blogger James Dixon September 13, 2015 9:42 AM  

> ... rhetoric is devoid of information content.

While I understand what you're saying, that's not quite true. The best rhetoric also contains a kernel of truth. Like SJW's always lie.

> But where conversations have a peanut gallery, does it not make sense to meet rhetoric with dialectic?

if your goal is to convince others, yes. But the goal here is to force the enemy to withdraw. They can't be convinced, but they can be defeated.

Blogger Mint September 13, 2015 9:42 AM  

It has been very educational for me. I was having a type of this trouble with certain people, I could not understand how could they not see the facts that I presented to them. Facts. They have answered for every one of them. I thought logic would have swayed them. But no. Their one liner snipes have no base in reality, just feeling.

Although I did not show it outward, I still took their snipes way more seriously than it deserved. It gets me, not because it is true but because I want these people to see what I see. And this kind of arguments weary me fast. I should remember that there are people whom one cannot instruct and just let go.

Blogger JartStar September 13, 2015 9:43 AM  

Gary,

It's not all about you or the lib you are talking to but about the audience you might have, the neutrals.

My objection which I have to overcome, and probably most traditionalists is the notion of making outlandish claims about an opponent. It bothers me to do so, but when your opponent starts by calling you a Nazi you either have to ignore him or punch back twice as hard with something equally outlandish. If you ignore him the neutrals can take your silence as implicit agreement with the charge. Why do you think they make such claims against opponents so often? It works.

Read that again. They go around calling everyone names because it works, and works very, very well. They don't do it because it doesn't work.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 9:47 AM  

I don't look at myself as superior at all any more than someone who speaks German instead of English. Its like some language I can't quite comprehend.

Fair enough.

I don't look at myself as superior at all any more than someone who speaks German instead of English. Its like some language I can't quite comprehend.

I'll think about it. I'm not sure how to go about it as unlike rhetoric, which I had to intellectually understand and could therefore articulate, that is something I do naturally. It might help if you jump in on a relevant post sometime and request an analysis about how I got from A to Z or whatever.

VD, isn't the main goal of us using rhetoric, to trigger their amygdala, because them overreacting is basically the best result for us?

No, that is merely one possible objective. And that covers a broad range of reactions, from mild discomfort to complete meltdown. The latter doesn't happen very often.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 9:48 AM  

They go around calling everyone names because it works, and works very, very well. They don't do it because it doesn't work.

This is a very important observation to understand and keep in mind. They wouldn't do it if it didn't work.

Blogger James Dixon September 13, 2015 9:51 AM  

> Read that again. They go around calling everyone names because it works, and works very, very well. They don't do it because it doesn't work.

Yes, so when they hand you a club by claiming to support a pedophile, use it. When they act like fascists, say so. When they lie, call them on it.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 13, 2015 9:56 AM  

Just throwing this out there, since the three rules of SJW are becoming memes I think the "Nazi" epithet can be flung right back at the thought police.

Ex; SJW calls me a Nazi I will respond "project much thought Nazi?"

Or a visual imagine for example any of the SJW scolds photo shopped into tight fitting Hugo Boss black uniforms either scowling and scolding their lessers or holding a bag of candy, in Kluwe's case he is a candy boy, the mannish Toad obviously scowling at the untermensh.

Blogger JartStar September 13, 2015 9:57 AM  

If Vox had spent his time carefully refuting the Nazi charge he would have lost the exchange even if he had made his case.

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 9:57 AM  

@VD
No, that is merely one possible objective. And that covers a broad range of reactions, from mild discomfort to complete meltdown. The latter doesn't happen very often.

True. Still, mild discomfort leads them to try and avoid conflict, and like Anonymous Conservative's example if you keep triggering it, it then builds up into a complete meltdown.

The overreaction I was referring to was not so much the complete meltdown (which is still useful for our purposes) but rather the steps past mild discomfort where they feel increasing pressure to either run away or (if they're self-styled rabbit chiefs) do something completely, completely foolish to fight back. Like try to doxx themselves in a hilariously fake attempt. Or any of the other thousands of things that happened in Gamergate.

Anonymous Gary September 13, 2015 10:01 AM  

"My objection which I have to overcome, and probably most traditionalists is the notion of making outlandish claims about an opponent."

Well that would depend on the nature of the claim. I'm perfectly willing to point out that Roman Polanski is a sex criminal and why should anyone support him and his films because.. well he is a sex criminal.

I do have problems attacking someone in rhetoric "calling someone fat" for example because in my mind I'm still engaged in dialectic and the fact someone is fat should have no bearing on the subject unless they are trying to sell some diet they are on ;-)

When I get into a discussion with someone and they engage in rhetoric my response is almost without exception to respond with dialectic, which as Vox has pointed out is a losing proposition. That I figured out myself as there is almost no chance in winning an argument with this people. They will move the goalposts, throw out another shiny object or just plain resort to calling you an asshole.

I support what Vox does even though I feel I'm not effective at it (rhetorical arguments) personally. My own personal philosophy is to leave me the hell alone so I can go about raising my family and I'll leave you alone but this is no longer an option in today's world.

Anonymous lol leddit September 13, 2015 10:04 AM  

But where conversations have a peanut gallery, does it not make sense to meet rhetoric with dialectic?

The real difficulties come in when it is not just two people speaking and the audience has voting power.

Think reddit for example. Everyone can join the conversation you and the SJW have and everyone has voting powers. To make matters worse it is a hostile territory where moderators act as arbitrators of truth. Best case scenario those moderators are moderates and thus way more likely to shoot at you. Default case scenario they are SJWs. The game has just become very complex. Most times you can't fire back with hard rhetoric cause it would get you banned or warned. And once you have that warning most observers will claim the opposition victorious. So you have to go for a soft-rhetoric dialectic mix trying to win the popular vote. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. And once your comments are at -10 points the sheep will just hammer on top without even reading the conversation.

Best move there more often than not. Don't play. And if you have to play you have to be able to walk away. You can't try to have the last word. You won't get it.

Blogger Derek Kite September 13, 2015 10:05 AM  

I read that exchange without knowledge, it sounded like, as described, a cat fight. But I have also watched rhetoric responded to with dialectic, and seen that it is an utter waste of time. Do not throw pearls before the swine.

The rational response to being called a racist Nazi is to punch them in the face. And if it continues give the pleasure of patella reconstruction surgery.

As I think about this, we have been watching a master over the last few weeks. Irregardless of your politics, Trump has joyfully thrown back petty insults in the face of petty insults. The attempt has been to make HIS petty insults the issue, but ultimately, as Jonah Goldberg wrote last week, they withdraw. And oddly enough it has forced the issue he has brought up to be examined on the merit. Now the annoyance with Trump is that he brought up an issue that everyone in positions of influence don't want brought up. Agree or disagree with him, it has been masterful.

More than likely Trump has been forced to learn how to do this; you can't be a in business, especially a developer and run away and hide before controversy and opposition.

The real issue for the rest of us is whether we can afford to run and hide. I fully expect to have to face some stupid social justice accusation or issue in my small business, probably by some bureaucrat of some kind. There was some silly vendor information sheet from a US based company asking a bunch of questions I won't answer, but little real effect.

Anonymous Gary September 13, 2015 10:06 AM  

"That I figured out myself as there is almost no chance in winning an argument with this people."

No chance of winning a *dialectic* argument with these people I should have stated. As Vox has proven, clubbing them with rhetoric is very possible even probable once you know the rules of the game and take advantage of them.

Blogger justaguy September 13, 2015 10:08 AM  

What about rhetoric aimed not at the opposite party, but at others who might be watching. The world VD engages doesn't respond to logic or even maintain internal consistency. Who knows what they want to get out of their attempts at poking the bear.

The firebrand engages the formidable foe and in the ensuing back and forth, plays out the scripted screed designed to gain support or make points with other SWJs. The same scripted lines keep showing up and could give SWJ creds or status. Although I'm not a SWJ, under another name I could probably engineer a win-win situation with VD blasting away as expected as he is very reliable and internally consistent. Whether or not a SWJ could think and plan like that is unknown, but I always assume that the opponent is smarter and more capable than me and go forth on that basis.

Blogger James Dixon September 13, 2015 10:15 AM  

> What about rhetoric aimed not at the opposite party, but at others who might be watching.

The majority of people respond to a mixture of rhetoric and dialectic. However, I'd guess that social media sites by their very nature tend to attract those who are mostly emotional and respond well only to rhetoric. So Vox's rhetorical flourishes probably do more to convince the onlookers than either pure dialectic or a mixture of dialectic and rhetoric would.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 10:18 AM  

like Anonymous Conservative's example if you keep triggering it, it then builds up into a complete meltdown.

AC did it once. With someone he knew very well. That's not relevant to the everyday world. AC's information is useful and important, but don't get sidetracked by the psychological pyrotechnics.

Anonymous Forrest Bishop VFM #0167 September 13, 2015 10:20 AM  

@13. VD

Apply basic game theory:

1. Rhetoric vs rhetoric. You win rhetoric. Dialectic is a draw. +1
2. Dialectic vs rhetoric. You win dialectic. You lose rhetoric. 0


Some of us- or at least one of us- can't parse this.

Anonymous Billy September 13, 2015 10:20 AM  

"No one came away from reading that thinking about National Socialism"

Actually through rhetoric Adolf Hitler was able to rally a people for a cause, when the layers of government, the press, the entire establishment was aligned against him and the German people.

Blogger Gaiseric ! September 13, 2015 10:21 AM  

That's the real challenge, isn't it? Lace your conversation with sufficient rhetoric and dialectic both to streak to those who understand those languages without gargling your message to the other group.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 10:22 AM  

The majority of people respond to a mixture of rhetoric and dialectic.

It's very easy to switch back to dialectic if necessary. If someone tried to pull that on me, my response would be: "let me get this straight, you expect me to engage in calm and reasoned discourse with someone who opened with an accusation about my associations in the long-defunct German National Socialist Workers Party?"

Once your opponent opens with rhetoric, there is no need for dialectic. The only time you need it is when he opens with pseudo-dialectic. But you're going to have to switch to rhetoric as soon as it is exposed.

Anonymous Gary September 13, 2015 10:22 AM  

"I'll think about it. I'm not sure how to go about it as unlike rhetoric, which I had to intellectually understand and could therefore articulate, that is something I do naturally."

Just a thought Vox- I have spent almost my entire life in fields that required precise logical thought processes. Problems are resolved by plodding logical testing followed by the the most efficient means of repair. What I *feel* the problem and solution was is irrelevant without verification. Many an associate has taken it in the shorts by going on their gut rather than following the logical process of discovery. No doubt this colors my thought processes when dealing with the general public.

Blogger Cail Corishev September 13, 2015 10:24 AM  

But where conversations have a peanut gallery, does it not make sense to meet rhetoric with dialectic?

You have to win the rhetorical battle first, because that's the field on which you've been challenged, and that's what the peanut gallery is tuned in to.

Think of it in terms of a fight with a schoolyard bully (because that's what SJWs are). You can't get the other kids on your side by explaining to them that bullying is wrong. That just makes you look like you're trying to avoid the fight. You get them on your side by punching the bully in the face. Win or lose, you gain the other kids' respect. Then you might be able to talk to them dialectically about bullying, but not before.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 10:24 AM  

Some of us- or at least one of us- can't parse this.

Okay. You use rhetoric. I use rhetoric. I beat you on the rhetoric, 1 point to me. Neither of us use dialectic, so in the eyes of the dialectic speakers, it's a draw. Net = +1 to me.

You use rhetoric. I use dialectic. You beat me on the rhetoric, 1 point to you. I beat you on the dialectic, 1 point to me. Net = 0

Of course, since there are more rhetoric speakers than dialectic speakers, that draw is effectively a loss.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 10:27 AM  

Just a thought Vox- I have spent almost my entire life in fields that required precise logical thought processes.

Which makes it all the more ironic that when logic dictates that you utilize rhetoric in certain situations, you refuse to do so because you feel that you can't. You can absolutely do it, you just either don't want to or feel you shouldn't have to.

You are observably less logical in this than I am. I prefer dialectic too, but my preferences are irrelevant.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 13, 2015 10:42 AM  

You intellectuals too good for pure rhetoric could at least learn to throw the rhetorical pilum at the beginning of any exchange, then the SJW tailgates you instead of you chasing them with your pure logic. Simple phrases as your first statement are all you need, "That's stupid" "In your opinion" "That's silly" "Your projecting", folks its not that hard to be effective.

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 10:42 AM  

AC did it once. With someone he knew very well. That's not relevant to the everyday world. AC's information is useful and important, but don't get sidetracked by the psychological pyrotechnics.

The overreaction I was talking about was not the full-on-stroke and meltdown, but basically the side effect of everything past the mild discomfort stage (sometimes including it). No psychological pyrotechnics here.

Anonymous Forrest Bishop VFM #0167 September 13, 2015 10:47 AM  

@44. VD
Okay. You use rhetoric. I use rhetoric. I beat you on the rhetoric, 1 point to me. Neither of us use dialectic, so in the eyes of the dialectic speakers, it's a draw. Net = +1 to me.

But in the eyes of IndecisiveEvidence (a dialectic speaker, say) was it not at first a 0 or a -1 for both VD and Kluwe? There was no winner apparent, just two girly snipers. He had to think it through, which many people, rational or otherwise, won't or can't. Is it a draw when both ships sink?

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 13, 2015 10:47 AM  

Just maybe you self centered intellectuals that are too smart to actually use rhetoric could you at least do us a favor and instead of lecturing other conservative about the real, real truth that you obviously know could you actually ask the SJW for proof or ask the SJW a series of questions that exposes them as clowns.

Blogger James Dixon September 13, 2015 10:52 AM  

> But in the eyes of IndecisiveEvidence (a dialectic speaker, say) was it not at first a 0 or a -1 for both VD and Kluwe?

The dialectic thinker can be argued with later in his preferred format. This isn't his arena.

Blogger Cail Corishev September 13, 2015 10:53 AM  

I used to be one of those logic-oriented guys who thought he was above emotional arguments, but that's crap. Humans make most of their initial decisions and shifts in thinking on emotion, and then look for logical arguments to support them. We logic-oriented types are just better at finding those logical arguments, and (we hope) better at controlling and ignoring our emotions when the logic doesn't turn out to support them.

But the emotions are still there, and we're still capable of recognizing and using rhetoric. It'll feel kind of cheap at first, almost like cheating, when you win an argument without saying anything that seems convincing to you, but you get used to it.

Blogger James Jones September 13, 2015 10:54 AM  

'No. That makes no sense at all. Apply basic game theory:' - VD

'I agree. In my debates with libs, facts and logic have no meaning.' - Gary.


Okay. To be specific. I debate about Islam a fair amount online - on Huff Post and such. I often encounter Leftists who defend Islam with the R-Card and personal and emotional attacks.
Instead of responding in a like manner, my response is directed not at them, I'm not interested in them. My responses are factual information about the history and theology of Islam, in an effort to provide information for the impartial observer.

I have no interest in dueling with SJWSs in that situation, but will present myself as calm, measured and bringing substance to the argument.

My desire is to inform.

What does a rhetorical response gain me in that scenario?

Blogger Daniel September 13, 2015 10:55 AM  

Don't misunderstand Aristotle! Rhetoric serves a critical function in persuasion that dialectic is not designed for! In other words, he says it is not logical to believe that logic is sufficient to persuade all people to the truth, nor is it logical to believe that some people don't need to be persuaded by the art most successful at persuasion: rhetoric.

The dude wouldn't have wasted three books on rhetoric if it was just a dumb thing for nonlogical people.

Dialectic to demonstrate: rhetoric to persuade. You engage in rhetoric with an SJW to beat them, to persuade the audience, and then implement dialectic later to demonstrate to those few interested in how you did it.

Different tools. Different jobs.

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 10:55 AM  

@Cail Corishev
I agree absolutely. It honestly took me reading Influence by Cialdini to even realize that I was influenced by emotions - that I wasn't perfectly logical, but instead was justifying my decisions after the fact with logic.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 10:57 AM  

But in the eyes of IndecisiveEvidence (a dialectic speaker, say) was it not at first a 0 or a -1 for both VD and Kluwe? There was no winner apparent, just two girly snipers.

It's still a draw. What aspect of Game Theory are you having problems understanding? How can you possibly call yourself a logical thinker and not grasp that meeting rhetoric with rhetoric is always going to be the correct logical response?

Anonymous Lucius September 13, 2015 10:57 AM  

@ NorthernHamlet, there's a chapter in SJWAL where Vox demonstrates his breakdown of an exchange in detail. Vox's response to your request for more of the same made me smile: why, it should be obvious, he says. To Vox it's obvious. But that sort of breakdown in the book was helpful to me, like someone showing me how to change oil. I'm sure the right person could deduce the method from strict logic and first principles, but the demonstration helps. The step by step was useful: identify the lie, identify rhetoric; attack the lie (optional), respond rhetorically. Or identify enthymeme, attack missing premise...respond to ensuing rhetorical shitstorm. Brilliant. Lucid and practical.

Anonymous lol leddit September 13, 2015 10:57 AM  

What does a rhetorical response gain me in that scenario?

You would actually win over the observers. Right now all they take away is "this guy is a racist".

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 10:58 AM  

@James Jones
What does a rhetorical response gain me in that scenario?

A rhetorical response will have people actually reading and considering your point.

If you're dismissed as evil and racist and it's never contended... well, why would people read what an evil person says? Why, that stuff that James Jones posts must be just justification for being evil!

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 10:59 AM  

I have no interest in dueling with SJWSs in that situation, but will present myself as calm, measured and bringing substance to the argument. My desire is to inform.

And you're not. You can't. That's like going into an English-speaking school and lecturing them in Chinese, all the while posturing loftily about your desire is to inform. You aren't going to find impartial, logical observers at the freaking Huffington Post.

Anonymous Gary September 13, 2015 11:02 AM  

"Which makes it all the more ironic that when logic dictates that you utilize rhetoric in certain situations, you refuse to do so because you feel that you can't. You can absolutely do it, you just either don't want to or feel you shouldn't have to."

I don't feel I can do so effectively.

I recognize rhetoric for what it is but doing a bombing run on an effective spot is lost on me. My first instinct is to call the opposite party an idiot for wasting my time.

Anonymous Forrest Bishop VFM #0167 September 13, 2015 11:07 AM  

@55. VD
It's still a draw. What aspect of Game Theory are you having problems understanding? How can you possibly call yourself a logical thinker and not grasp that meeting rhetoric with rhetoric is always going to be the correct logical response?

I'm not a game theorist per se so I can't know which part of Game Theory I don't understand. I'm also not trying to sow discord, just trying to sharpen the knife. Gary and James Jones seem to be as well.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 11:11 AM  

I recognize rhetoric for what it is but doing a bombing run on an effective spot is lost on me. My first instinct is to call the opposite party an idiot for wasting my time.

And that is a much better response than to resort to dialectic. If you can't find the ability to respond with rhetoric, call the rhetorical attacker an idiot and disengage.


I'm not a game theorist per se so I can't know which part of Game Theory I don't understand.


Game Theory is, among other things, a way of working out the most effective response. The point of my illustration is that win/draw is a better combination than win/loss. The numbers I assigned don't matter, logic dictates that it is better to respond to a rhetorical attack with rhetoric than with dialectic.

Anonymous WillBest September 13, 2015 11:18 AM  

My problem with rhetoric is that I am not particularly capable of wielding it beyond the tactical nuke level of accuracy. So when I end up with hearing a line like "Well that is how I feel, I am entitled to feelings" and I could respond with "You would feel different if you had husband/kids " I don't because most the time I want to preserve that relationship.

Anonymous WillBest September 13, 2015 11:21 AM  

Oops forgot about tags. That should read "You would feel different if you had husband/kids {something else you really want but have failed to achieve}"

Anonymous Gary September 13, 2015 11:27 AM  

@63 I have found "making it personal" is indeed akin to nuking the site from orbit. I have tossed the line at people "how would you feel if it was your daughter/son being raped/killed" drives the point home but usually pisses them off for good measure.

Burning the village to save it.

By the way- Just because I have difficulty in engaging in rhetoric... does NOT stop me from doing some quality black knighting. Most SJW in a work environment cannot think long term vs short term and sooner or later run afoul of the rules. Sometimes they even get help, they are terrible at spotting when a trap is being laid right in front of them. I also have a fairly fertile imagination when it comes to other ways third parties can be deployed against them with my hands clean and no laws broken.

'nuff said.

Anonymous lol leddit September 13, 2015 11:29 AM  

My problem with rhetoric is that I am not particularly capable of wielding it beyond the tactical nuke level of accuracy. So when I end up with hearing a line like "Well that is how I feel, I am entitled to feelings" and I could respond with "You would feel different if you had husband/kids " I don't because most the time I want to preserve that relationship.

Careful with that. Besides hurting him you validate his idea that feelings matter in this regard, that he is entitled to his feelings - whatever that is supposed to mean. You win the rhetorical battle, but you also drive him further left.

A tried and true response to the feelings argument is always "Feelz over realz. Amirite?"

Anonymous Whitey McWhite September 13, 2015 11:45 AM  

Everything is hard before it becomes easy. The unpracticed are easy to beat in all sorts of games.

If you are very practiced in dialectic and not at all in active rhetoric, and your only ambition is to minimize your losses in the next encounter, it makes sense to meet rhetoric with dialectic.

But this is a cul-de-sac.

If your aim is to do the best you can in the long run, you need to go for the rhetoric versus rhetoric win, and practice that till you are good enough at it for normal purposes. (Or better than good if you turn out to have some latent talent.)

But this will be emotionally punishing in the short to medium term. For a start, you will feel like an idiot whether you win or lose, if only because, being unpracticed, you will often make stupid errors.

To discount immediate pains in order to get the best long term result is rational.

Anonymous TheVillageIdiot(Ret.) September 13, 2015 11:46 AM  

Some one is going to have to write the book;

RHETORICS FOR GENIUSES

DannyR

Anonymous Jill September 13, 2015 11:46 AM  

I prefer the term "sophistry" when it comes to much of this nonsense. "Rhetoric" is actually an art that must be mastered. Sophistry carries the connotation of "philosophy and rhetoric for hire". It's what you might gain for a high price at an Ivy League, for example. It's also known for a disbelief in justice, and challenges to the status quo while simultaneously appealing to popular beliefs (due to being "for hire"). I know--semantics. But, yes, semantics. Words mean things.

Anonymous Whitey McWhite September 13, 2015 11:48 AM  

Why are social justice warriors more often doing the rational thing? For three reasons.

1. They use rhetoric only because they can't use dialectic anyway.
2. They are not smart, usually, but those who indoctrinate them are.
3. They are brought along in baby steps, handed effective weapons like the "racist!" attack, and encouraged to use them in social justice warrior-dominated fora where anybody who fights back too effectively will be swarmed, cautioned, or banned.

"Conservatives" are often too concerned with suggesting that they and their pals are super-brilliant logicians to do or to help others with the sort of repetitious baby-steps training that works. And since the social justice warriors and their programmers own the institutions, what "conservatives" don't so spontaneously doesn't get done at all.

Blogger JWM September 13, 2015 11:52 AM  

There is certain class of troll I call the Tar Baby. This is the guy who spends every spare minute collecting facts about his pet obsession- 9/11 truthers, global warmers, same sex marriage, to give examples. He waits for an innocuous reference and then pounces. You can refute all day if you like. It's what he wants. Best to ignore him altogether. But if you're in it for a win the only way to get one is to piss him off until he breaks out the flamethrower.

JWM VFM#404

Anonymous LurkingPuppy September 13, 2015 11:53 AM  

@68: I prefer the term "sophistry" when it comes to much of this nonsense.

That's what Vox calls “pseudo-dialectic”— it's the stuff that sounds like dialectic, but isn't.

Anonymous Jill September 13, 2015 11:53 AM  

I guess I should clarify: If you are a rhetoritician, by all means, engage in rhetoric. But many of your opponents are going to be mere sophists who are not deserving of the term "rhetoriticians".

Blogger Josh September 13, 2015 11:55 AM  

As much as I dislike trump, he gets this.

Asked again by O'Reilly why he was using personal attacks instead of trying to "beat her intellectually," Trump argued that "nobody would listen to that."

"Except nobody would listen to that," he said. "Bill, except nobody would listen to that. You have to go—excuse me, Bill—except nobody would listen to that. If I attack it on a purely intellectual level, which is essentially what I've done, but using a little bit more venom, if I attack it on a purely intellectual basis, nobody would listen and the response would not have been nearly as effective."

Anonymous Nxx September 13, 2015 11:57 AM  

They go around calling everyone names because it works, and works very, very well. They don't do it because it doesn't work.

Exactly. Look at the irony:

Leftist ideology does not work
Leftist strategy and tactics work
Rightist ideology works
Rightist strategy and tactics do not work
Ergo Leftism wins.

What's needed is a new fusionism. Fusionism was the merger of social conservatism with liberal economics. It lead to Reaganism, Thatcherism etc.

A new fusionism (neo-fusionism?) would meld right ideology to left strategy and tactics while ruthlessly discarding even the slightest trace of either left ideology or right cuckservatism.

We can't compete unless we adopt strategies and tactics such as no enemies on right, label & demonize, entryism, etc. Having the truth on our side just doesn't cut it anymore.

Anonymous ...... September 13, 2015 12:01 PM  

What's needed is a new fusionism.
NatSoc?

Anonymous NateM September 13, 2015 12:05 PM  

Had a similar exchange with The Toad recently after a comment on one of her posts about (/insert women are oppressed). my first thought was to try to attack her ideas, but when I realized all she was aiming for was to disqualify and insult, I returned fire in kind

tnielsenhayden ‏@tnielsenhayden Sep 5
It offends them that someone old enough to be their mother or grandmother isn't as attractive as they think women should be. @TruthNSausages

Dave Injustice ‏@TruthNSausages Sep 5
@tnielsenhayden not true, you're offensive on a number if levels. At the least you're multifaceted, if all those facets are crap

tnielsenhayden ‏@tnielsenhayden Sep 5
@TruthNSausages Awww. You're such a classic specimen that if you came to Making Light, we'd feel obliged to sing Las Mañanitas.

Dave Injustice ‏@TruthNSausages Sep 5
@tnielsenhayden I'd be surprised if any man has came anywhere near you.



tnielsenhayden ‏@tnielsenhayden Sep 5
@TruthNSausages Fibber. You're not having fun. You're just too dumb to quit.

Dave Injustice ‏@TruthNSausages Sep 5
@tnielsenhayden Rhetorical Tip: You can't claim indifference while you sic your followers on someone for saying mean things about you

tnielsenhayden ‏@tnielsenhayden Sep 5
@TruthNSausages Do try to get it right. I haven't claimed to be indifferent; I've been making fun of you.

Dave Injustice ‏@TruthNSausages Sep 5
@tnielsenhayden Yes, and I've done the same. Pretty fun so far. Whose turn is it now?

tnielsenhayden ‏@tnielsenhayden Sep 5
@TruthNSausages Fibber. You're not having fun. You're just too dumb to quit.

Dave Injustice ‏@TruthNSausages Sep 5
@tnielsenhayden Projection. So far you made lame poses of superiority and claimed that i'm a SP/RP (I am). Am I supposed to be crushed?

tnielsenhayden ‏@tnielsenhayden Sep 5
@TruthNSausages Kid, I'm stopping this now because you're really and truly not big enough for me to play with.

Dave Injustice ‏@TruthNSausages Sep 5
@tnielsenhayden @tnielsenhayden Anyone less than the size of a Right Whale is too small for you to play with.

At this point I was blocked.

Anonymous Jill September 13, 2015 12:15 PM  

"Except nobody would listen to that," he said. "Bill, except nobody would listen to that. You have to go—excuse me, Bill—except nobody would listen to that."
Three times a charm.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 12:22 PM  

tnielsenhayden ‏@tnielsenhayden Sep 5
@TruthNSausages Kid, I'm stopping this now because you're really and truly not big enough for me to play with.

Dave Injustice ‏@TruthNSausages Sep 5
@tnielsenhayden @tnielsenhayden Anyone less than the size of a Right Whale is too small for you to play with.

At this point I was blocked.


See, you absolutely crushed her. Turning around the "you're not big enough" on her was fucking brilliant. She was broken down and had to run away. Metaphorically, you understand, that fat shoggoth couldn't run if all of ISIS was gunning for her. That's how you do it.

Anonymous Anonymous September 13, 2015 12:26 PM  

"Rhetoric requires discipline just as dialectic does. It's just a different form of discipline. If you wouldn't drop a "poopyhead" into a syllogism as a proof, you shouldn't drop a "real argument" into an enthymeme."

Sounds like marxist babbling.WTF?

Have you been on the beer? You make much more sense normally.

Anonymous BGS September 13, 2015 12:26 PM  

Why is he flipping out so? Rule #3 tells us his mom's a whore, too. @JTlol is pounding him with "Who was his father?"

The last preg announcement I heard I had to bite my tongue to keep from asking if she knew the father

I think the "Nazi" epithet can be flung right back at the thought police.

Sometimes I toss back the Jewish Bolsheviks killing 65+ million white Russian Christians, make AH look like a pansy, especially if I am wearing gay apparel or go for the leftists are the ones burning books again.

You aren't going to find impartial, logical observers at the freaking Huffington Post.

I am wondering why he isn't banned from Huffpoo for saying true things about islam. Do yourself a favor and post "Ready for HilLIARy to give back $40million in donations from nations that execute gays while sect of state" so they can ban you and save you time.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 12:29 PM  

Sounds like marxist babbling.WTF?

Vox's First Law.

Anonymous Stickwick September 13, 2015 12:30 PM  

Vox, you've made a very good case for why one should meet rhetoric with rhetoric. I don't object to that on principle -- I refrain from it, because I'm not good at it.

It's obvious that Step #1 is identifying your adversary's triggers or hot buttons; if you fail to do that, anything you try is probably going to be ineffective. I wonder if a lot of people who prefer dialectic are a bit spergy and lack the empathy to identify hot buttons in other people. You've mentioned before that you are highly empathetic, so maybe that's a major factor in your skill with rhetoric.

For those of us who aren't that naturally attuned to other people, would you consider giving a lesson on how to deploy effective rhetoric? Or is that covered in Chapter 8 of your book?

Blogger Unknown September 13, 2015 12:47 PM  

Would Kluwe let Marion Z. Bradley or John Scalzi babysit his daughters? My guess is yes.

Anonymous BigGaySteve September 13, 2015 12:56 PM  

Would Kluwe let Marion Z. Bradley or John Scalzi babysit his daughters? My guess is yes.

Is he a CuckPedo with a nanny cam?

Blogger njartist September 13, 2015 12:58 PM  

Vox uses the word enthymeme as a description of rhetoric; looking that word up would have prevented most of the posts on this tread; it would have also eliminated most of the "I can't do it" responses: knowing the meaning of the word/term increases the capacity for rhetoric.

Or, using a contemporary meme: "knowledge is power."

Blogger Rabbi B September 13, 2015 12:59 PM  

@75 Nate M

Excellent illustration. A tweet is worth a thousand words.

Using dialectic with people who are completely incapable and unwilling to ever concede defeat (not to mention, who always lie) will never work. TNH definitively conceded defeat the moment she blocked you.

+1

What's even better was her accusations that you were 'too dumb to quit.' and she ended up being the one who quit! In her mind I am sure that probably makes her smarter than you.

People like her do not operate from any base of truth, like we do and we immediately recognize the dishonesty of their position and their tactics and are reluctant to engage on their level. But, you demonstrated brilliantly that it just a matter of wielding their tactics more effectively than they do. You are not going to change her mind on anything or convince her of the truth of any position that does not reflect her own, so the next best thing is to shut her up.

No matter what, since they always lie, they will only continue lying to themselves and NOTHING will ever convince them that every engagement in which they have ever participated was anything less than a win for them. TNH's defeat in that little exchange is clear to most everyone - except of course herself.

These people are inevitably exposed for the bloviated impostors that they are.

Well played.

Blogger Floyd Looney September 13, 2015 1:01 PM  

Aristotle was right, some people cannot learn except by being hurt.

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 1:08 PM  

Speaking of using leftist rhetoric against them... despite my distaste for it, I'm considering using the "victory march" far more liberally. It's way too showy for my taste, but the fact that they instinctively cling to it speaks to their belief in its power.

Anonymous Forrest Bishop VFM #0167 September 13, 2015 1:09 PM  

@75. NateM
Dave Injustice ‏@TruthNSausages Sep 5
@tnielsenhayden @tnielsenhayden Anyone less than the size of a Right Whale is too small for you to play with.

At this point I was blocked.


"Right Whale" is what triggered her. You should have said Left Whale.

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 1:10 PM  

It's way too showy for my taste, but the fact that they instinctively cling to it speaks to their belief in its power.
(and as such, how powerful it would be against them)

@Forrest Bishop
You should have said Left Whale.

Oh now that's just wrong.

Blogger pdwalker September 13, 2015 1:13 PM  

VERY educational, thanks.

Vox, for the less well educated among us, where could we learn more about this? Would you recommend starting with Aristotle, or would you recommend another source?

Blogger Were-Puppy September 13, 2015 1:15 PM  

@60 Gary
My first instinct is to call the opposite party an idiot for wasting my time.
---

BINGO!

Anonymous BGS September 13, 2015 1:29 PM  

OT: I thought Angela Merkel said flooding Germany with the 3rd world is good.

http://news.yahoo.com/germany-temporarily-reintroduce-border-control-newspaper-143419657.html

" Germany did not expect any more trains to arrive on Sunday evening, suggesting that Germany is not letting them through"

Germans getting the trains ready.

Anonymous Sheila September 13, 2015 1:31 PM  

Highly informative thread. Like Gary and others, my natural instinct is to respond logically. Disgust with the left led me to not bother to engage at all. Reading Vox has taught me a tiny bit of rhetoric (it doesn't come naturally but I'm trying hard to learn), and I've actually effectively used it a handful of times - but not against outright SJW/leftists. I've found it works best with cucks - who may/may not have a logical basis for their conservative principles, but merely a rhetorical/emotional attachment to equality etc. I second #81 Stickwick's request for a comprehensive lesson on effective rhetoric - although that's what this thread has already become, in many ways.

Blogger Were-Puppy September 13, 2015 1:32 PM  

I think one place rhetoric is used is in professional wrestling.

How is it that a guy can be a bad guy for a year or two, and by simply changing his comments and a few actions, is all of a sudden the new good guy?

They do it with their promos, which are pure rhetoric. And in their case, their rhetoric is not really aimed at their opponent, but aimed at the audience to generate feelz.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 1:32 PM  

Vox, for the less well educated among us, where could we learn more about this? Would you recommend starting with Aristotle, or would you recommend another source?

Aristotle is the only source I've read on the subject.

Anonymous Forrest Bishop VFM #0167 September 13, 2015 1:33 PM  

@85. Rabbi B
@75 Nate M

Excellent illustration. A tweet is worth a thousand words.


A 140-character tweet seems to be more suited to rhetoric than to dialectic. It takes more words to lay out a logical argument. Almost like Twitter was designed for rhetoric.

Blogger Rabbi B September 13, 2015 1:35 PM  

" . . . but the fact that they instinctively cling to it speaks to their belief in its power."

What's more is that they are relatively confident that we will not respond in kind because they know that such tactics are "beneath us." But our reluctance to defeat them rhetorically only empowers them that much more and is akin to throwing water on the little gremlins.

When we do engage them rhetorically, they will often respond with feigned moralizing about how people of our stature should not be resorting to such tactics - their tactics.

(e.g. GRRM: "As a man of god, should you not be urging peace and understanding and acceptance, turning the other cheek, etc? I would think that, being not only a Jew but a Rabbi, you would be in the forefront of those condemning Beale and his hatespeech.)

Seems powerful. Should cause me to second guess my tactics, right? Maybe he's right. After all I claim to be a man of God. But the comment is smoke and mirrors and doesn't speak to, change, or diminish the truth of my position or the falsity of his. I know this, GRRM may not, but I do, and the comment is easily dismissed, and you just continue to fire away until . . .

GRRM: "In any case, I am tired of going around about this. The remark was made, apologies were demanded, apologies were issued. Close the book and move on. That's what we are going to do here."

Believe me, he hasn't "closed the book" on anything let alone moved on. And he could care less whether I am a "man of God" or not, let alone how a "man of God" should comport himself.

Nate M's exchange was ten times more brilliant and illustrative than what I offered, but it does illustrate a common tactic used against us: The SJW dictating to us how we should engage them and on what terms they think are appropriate as if they are operating from the moral high ground round every single time.

It's a mirage. An illusion. All we have to do is rhetorically pull back the curtain and expose the little "wizards," for what they really are.

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 1:41 PM  

@Rabbi B
Nate M's exchange was ten times more brilliant and illustrative than what I offered, but it does illustrate a common tactic used against us: The SJW dictating to us how we should engage them and on what terms they think are appropriate as if they are operating from the moral high ground round every single time.

Oh yes. And since they try and dismiss the "victory parade" as being beneath us (but they'll gladly do it when things go their way) suggests that the victory parade is a potent emotional attack.

Anonymous Whitey McWhite September 13, 2015 1:47 PM  

I just finished the first chapter of Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction. It wasn't helpful or intended to be.

How it [rhetoric] is received is conditioned by technology, culture, and power relations within society. Although some techniques seem perennially effective, there is no set of rules that by itself can guarantee success. In fact, attempts to lay down such rules are inevitably coloured by assumptions about topics such as class, gender, and race. This is why the investigation of rhetoric— and the ways it is contested— is a good starting point for understanding social and political questions more generally. A society’s arguments reveal what it considers important— and also, obliquely, the issues it doesn’t much want to discuss. Its arguments about how to argue, meanwhile, are a means to decode its social DNA.

Maybe later chapters will be better. but my hopes are low by now.

It looks like Aristotle supplemented by Vox Day will be the way to go.

Anonymous Gary September 13, 2015 1:56 PM  

"Aristotle is the only source I've read on the subject."

Then I will endeavor to look into Aristotle's work.

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 1:56 PM  

@Whitey McWhite

Try instead reading books on "persuasion", "influence" or "charisma". They're very much related.

My favorite (and I already mentioned this before) was Influence, by Robert Cialdini.

Anonymous Whitey McWhite September 13, 2015 1:59 PM  

@Student in Blue, thanks.

Anonymous Forrest Bishop VFM #0167 September 13, 2015 2:07 PM  

@101. Student in Blue

@Whitey McWhite

Try instead reading books on "persuasion", "influence" or "charisma". They're very much related.

My favorite (and I already mentioned this before) was Influence, by Robert Cialdini.


Also try The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense for some scripted examples.

Anonymous Stickwick September 13, 2015 2:22 PM  

@93: Sheila: I second #81 Stickwick's request for a comprehensive lesson on effective rhetoric - although that's what this thread has already become, in many ways.

Yes, it's been instructive, particularly NateM's example (and Larry Correia's equally potent and amusing "sail barge" retort a while back).

There seem to be two broad applications for rhetoric -- convincing and destroying. What NateM did was destruction, and clearly that's what you want to do with someone who is out to destroy you. Convincing is what you want to do with someone who is either potentially sympathetic to your side, but just isn't there yet, or someone who disagrees with you but does so in good faith.

The why of it makes total sense now. The how of it sort of makes sense, but not enough to deploy it effectively, at least not for me.

@96:  Forrest Bishop VFM #0167: A 140-character tweet seems to be more suited to rhetoric than to dialectic. It takes more words to lay out a logical argument. Almost like Twitter was designed for rhetoric.

That explains something I've noticed with my critics. Some IFLS atheist will attack me on Twitter, ostensibly about some scientific matter, and then when I tell him to come to my blog to discuss it more substantially, he'll refuse and demand that I engage him on Twitter. It made no sense -- how can you engage in debate on Twitter? It's like inviting someone to ballroom dance in a phone booth. But now it makes sense -- they're trying to force me into a medium designed solely for rhetoric, because that's all they're capable of.

Blogger VFM bot #188 September 13, 2015 2:22 PM  

--Dave Injustice ‏@TruthNSausages Sep 5
@tnielsenhayden @tnielsenhayden Anyone less than the size of a Right Whale is too small for you to play with.

At this point I was blocked.


Ta-da fuckin' BOOM, Nate! LOL, quite literally. +10

Blogger Rabbi B September 13, 2015 2:28 PM  

If you're starting to spend time getting into Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics a good illustrative example of rhetorical devices related to pathos is Antony's funerary speech in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

It's a shame that classical rhetoric is hardly taught today. The closest thing today is Speech Com 101 at universities or participating on the debate team in high school, other than that, I am not aware that classical rhetoric is taught much anywhere.

It's a real shame we're not giving young people the tools to express themselves intelligently, persuasively, and eloquently in both the written language and the spoken. Instead of ethos, logos, and pathos, they are left with cheap substitutes: Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Anonymous kh123 September 13, 2015 2:28 PM  

Have found that saying whatever professional achievement an SJW boasts about was due to entryism via family or spouse to be pretty effective. Especially on women, since nothing says empowerment more than being compared to lice dropping off a more capable man's coattail.

Anonymous kh123 September 13, 2015 2:38 PM  

...I should qualify that as "feminists" rather than women.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 2:52 PM  

Have found that saying whatever professional achievement an SJW boasts about was due to entryism via family or spouse to be pretty effective.

Yes, few things upset them more than dropping "affirmative action" on any purported achievement. Because the most effective rhetoric is based on truth....

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 2:55 PM  

Consider this description of Jemisin: "She's one of the affirmative-action writers more talked about than read by science fiction's SJWs, who like nothing better than to prove their dedication to Diversity by nominating ideologically reliable minorities for various awards regardless of how mediocre their works happen to be."

When confronted by this, SJWs immediately try to switch to pseudo-dialectic. Don't bite. Just say: "have you READ her work?" Stick to the rhetoric.

You always know rhetoric is effective if they try to switch to pseudo-dialectic.

Anonymous Whitey McWhite September 13, 2015 2:58 PM  

103. Forrest Bishop VFM #0167, thanks again.

Blogger Anthony Gillis, the Hydra-Headed Mockery September 13, 2015 3:05 PM  

@73
Leftist ideology does not work
Leftist strategy and tactics work
Rightist ideology works
Rightist strategy and tactics do not work
Ergo Leftism wins.


Indeed. And so it has gone for decades.

I remember it playing out during the early 1990s, with the campus PC movement that was the direct linear ancestor of today's internet SJW culture. The lefties' actual ideas, insofar as they existed, were a mish-mash of 150-year old wishful thinking and seething, eternal hate. But they applied fanatic emotional dedication and police-state tactics, just like now.

The conservatives basically tried to counter that with lofty, bloodless efforts at reason, world-weary pontifical sighs, and Edmund Burke quotes. The libertarians had lots of economic data, and maybe a few random Rothbard or Rand quotes. How'd that work out?

The campus PC goons at the time may have overreached and become a joke, but they never went away. Now we're fighting the same damn battle, worse really, with the entire country as the campus.

What good is 'too good' going to do us now? What reason, fairness or mercy do the SJWs ever show us? Time to turn on the flamethrowers, with no more pity than the firebombing of Dresden or the salting of the earth of Carthage.

Anonymous Stingray September 13, 2015 3:07 PM  

@104

they're trying to force me into a medium designed solely for rhetoric, because that's all they're capable of.

That's likely part of it, but the bigger aspect of this would be that all of their friends on Twitter would be there to back them up. It's herd mentality. They won't lose confidence because too many people would be there to validate what they say with the retweets, the likes and the pats of the back.

They wouldn't be able to do that at your blog nearly as well, not unless they planned on bringing several people with them. Your blog, your rules. You already dominate. They won't engage where they don't have the upper hand.

Anonymous Randal September 13, 2015 3:08 PM  

"Consider this description of Jemisin..."

http://thegramlich.tumblr.com/post/60859292252/bunch-of-savages-in-this-town

Blogger Anthony Gillis, the Hydra-Headed Mockery September 13, 2015 3:11 PM  

@107

Have found that saying whatever professional achievement an SJW boasts about was due to entryism via family or spouse to be pretty effective. Especially on women, since nothing says empowerment more than being compared to lice dropping off a more capable man's coattail.

*cough cough* Theresa Nielsen Hayden *cough* Hillary Clinton *cough*

Anonymous Stingray September 13, 2015 3:12 PM  

@106

It's a real shame we're not giving young people the tools to express themselves intelligently, persuasively, and eloquently in both the written language and the spoken.

I smell homeschool curriculum. Someone should write this. If done well, it could be published now, too with a whole host of people ready to buy it.

Anonymous Tom September 13, 2015 3:26 PM  

I need help with nonadversarial rhetoric. Is that just Game or what?

Anonymous Bird on a Wing September 13, 2015 3:28 PM  

For more examples, here is a recent Facebook exchange I had with several other women.

Anne: If this is true, then No more Target shopping for me! I've already distanced myself from Target when they quit allowing the Salvation Army to ring their bell! Sad!! This is my personal opinion so there is no need for a debate on my page, Thx!

REMOVING GENDER LABELS: Target stores will no longer have 'boys' and 'girls' sections in most of the children's departments in their stores. The chain is removing gender labels from toys and bedding sections after customers complained about gender stereotyping.

Greta: I haven't followed the details of the story but from what I understand they are removing it from some sections so girls and boys don't get labeled at an early age. As in "girl toys"= dolls, all pink, kitchen sets, etc. and "boys toys"= building sets, tools, action figures, etc. I don't think it's a bad idea. Why should a girl have to shop in an aisle mark "boys" if they also want to buy a building set or vice versa. I remember in elementary school all girls had to take Home Ec while the boys in their class built some cool stuff. I hated that class but we were not allowed to switch. I studied computer science and women not only were a minority in College but also in the corporate world. Maybe taking away labels from toys gives girls and boys the freedom to play with what they want, not what society dictates them to play with.

Jessica: No. Anyone with eyes can see that boys and girls are different. Guilt trips don't work anymore. Everyone is sick and tired of all the propaganda and political correctness.

Greta: Jessica, no one is saying that they are not different. I didn't even view it as PC more to stop labeling kids in a young age. Back in my Kindergarten days there was a boy corner and a girl corner. I guess you can imagine the toys you found in each playgroup. Over the years they went away with it and I am glad. Why should girls be labeled as domestic and nurturing. There is a reason why you don't find many women with engineering/technology degrees. It's not that they are not interested in it, it's because they are told from a very young age to stay away from it. But that's just my 2 cents.

Jessica: Boys LIKE to play with trucks. Girls LIKE to play with dolls. Everyone knows this. Science has tested this, irrefutably. To say otherwise is politically correct propaganda. Target is unnecessarily antagonizing their customers, and their bottom line will suffer accordingly in the future.

Amanda: I wasnt going to join the debate on the but my daughters like to play with dolls. AND trucks and legos and building blocks. My son plays with trucks. AND his sisters barbies and my little ponies. I am not opposed to doing away with labeling the grid walls pink and blue and having it say boys items and girls. I feel like things geared toward girls that are sicence minded are dumbed down and have way less to do with the actual sicence than the like items that are geared tward the male counterparts. I compleely am with Astrid, kids are kids and can figure out what they like on their own

Greta: I never played with dolls. Maybe I am gender confused and never even knew it LOL. Let's just agree to disagree smile emoticon

Anonymous Tom September 13, 2015 3:30 PM  

@116

Stingray,

Rhetoric seems to be a very complex analytical task. Those with a lot of experience at it seem to develop a good instinct for it, but I'd love to see how one formalized the general approach. What does that decision tree look like?

Anonymous Bird on a Wing September 13, 2015 3:32 PM  

Continued from @118

Marie: I hated dolls and I hated to be forced to play with them just because of my gender. I would rip the heads off and throw them in the trash hahaha. I hated that boys got to take their shirt off and girls couldn't. I practically hated any answer that stated "because you are a girl.... That's why!" Lol now my daughter, on the other hand, loves dolls and everything "girly" but if she didn't, I would def understand:) I get labels from a convenience stance but I'll take my kids down any aisle they want.

Jessica: Ask anyone in any language group in any part of the world "what do little girls like to play with?" the answer will be -- dolls. The only people who say otherwise are the politically correct who are selling the bizarre propaganda that little girls don't like to play with dolls. Normal people find this very strange, and yet very amusing.

Greta: Jessica, why are you so condescending? There are girls that don't like dolls. I was one of them and I don't remember my sisters playing with dolls either. It's not a big deal and we all turned out perfectly "normal". Despite people like you finding it strange and amusing! And maybe it's people like you who label kids at a very young age that contribute to the problem that there are not many women in the science/engineering world.

Jessica: Personal attacks are completely unnecessary. Politically correct people are trying to make normal girl playtime into something deviant. Don't be surprised to see pushback. The truth is not mean or deviant. It is the truth.

Greta: I didn't attack you, that's not my style. You were being condescending and I just pointed out a problem in this society which we obviously don't agree on.

Jessica: It is remarkable to find disagreement with such a commonplace statement as -- little girls like to play with dolls. And yes, political correctness is very condescending to normal people who like to tell the truth.


Anonymous Stickwick September 13, 2015 3:37 PM  

@113: Stingray: ...the bigger aspect of this would be that all of their friends on Twitter would be there to back them up. It's herd mentality.

Yeah, that occurred to me, too, except I was thinking it would be more like they could show off to their Twitter buddies how they're ridiculing this Christian moron. But if they're using Twitter to get their herd members to pile on, then that makes sense, too.

Blogger Feather Blade September 13, 2015 3:47 PM  

To utilize the catty girl sniping analogy, whoever bursts into tears and runs away loses status, whoever remains there gains it.

I was going to object to this, because bursting into tears is the girl's nuclear option in a cat-fight, especially when there are guys present, and is virtually guaranteed to put the spectators on the side of the girl who isn't crying.... but only if the cryer stays and the non-cryer continues to attack.

So, never mind, objection withdrawn.

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 3:49 PM  

@Tom
I need help with nonadversarial rhetoric. Is that just Game or what?

To an extent.

It's all basically an art of persuasion, adversarial or non, and Game can come into it by thinking of it as frame control. You're engaging with emotions, and it doesn't matter if your logic is tight and can't be escaped out of because they'll be responding to how your words made them feel (or what they perceive is a weakness of yours).
It doesn't matter if your sentences make grammatical sense or plain sense whatsoever, it's how you're saying it and word selection.

To put it in another way, non-adversarial rhetoric is when you're looking like the 'good cop'. Adversarial rhetoric is when you're looking like the 'bad cop'. Either way, you're pressuring them into doing what you want them to do - and you need to know how to do both roles.

(Ah, I need to clarify something. It's an art of emotional persuasion, not of logical rigidity. It's an appeal to a sense of fairness, rather than what the definition of fascism is.)

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 3:54 PM  

What does that decision tree look like?

Know yourself:
- What could cause me to flip out?
-- Prepare for an insult along those lines.

Know your enemy:
- What is a sore point for them?
-- Are they honest?
--- Adjust level and target of adversarial tone and rhetoric based on how honest they are

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 3:57 PM  

Go away, Spooner. You're banned now.

Blogger VD September 13, 2015 4:00 PM  

For more examples, here is a recent Facebook exchange I had with several other women.

You missed a great rhetorical opportunity. Whenever a woman tries to pull the "I hated dolls", just say: "Sure, but you're a lesbian. That just proves my point." Then, no matter what she says, keep insinuating that she's a lesbian.

Meet rhetoric with rhetoric.

Anonymous Bird on a Wing September 13, 2015 4:00 PM  

Some notes on my strategy in @118 and @121

Use third person language so when they start name-calling you can shame them with moral authority. This is particularly effective in woman v. woman dialog.

When other lurking women start piping up in order to out-group you, pull out the "normal" card and out-group them. Because you're the normal one, not them.

USE THE TRUTH and stick to it.

Choose a few negative words (but not too negative, otherwise you lose moral authority) like, "propaganda" and "politically correct" and use them in every single reply. Repetition is a killer form of rhetoric, and very simple to use.

Use their words against them by re-framing the one who should be ashamed of herself. Again, moral authority is key on this, so don't lose your head and throw away the moral authority you've already asserted.

This is all for a halfway reasonable forum where people already have personal relationships with each other, so the SJWs don't want to appear completely bonkers, and lose face in front of normal people.

Blogger Jack Morrow September 13, 2015 4:06 PM  

The Bible sums it up nicely in Proverbs 14:7:
Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge;

As Father John Majeski (played by Barnard Hughes) said in an episode of All in the Family, "It means, 'Don't waste your time arguing with an idiot!'"

Anonymous BGS September 13, 2015 4:09 PM  

Since we are talking about affirmative action workers.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-10/us-military-admits-its-misplaced-black-plague-samples

The Pentagon's most secure laboratories may have mislabeled, improperly stored and shipped samples of potentially infectious plague bacteria, which can cause several deadly forms of disease, USA TODAY has learned.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flagged the practices after inspections last month at an Army lab in Maryland, one of the Pentagon's most secure labs. That helped prompt an emergency ban on research on all bioterror pathogens at nine laboratories run by the Pentagon, which was already reeling from revelations that another Army lab in Utah had mishandled anthrax samples for 10 years.


Anonymous Stingray September 13, 2015 4:09 PM  

@121

except I was thinking it would be more like they could show off to their Twitter buddies how they're ridiculing this Christian moron.

I'm sure there is some of that as well which is still part of the same mentality. It's a show of strength.

Upthread people were wondering about convincing the peanut gallery. The thing is there are very few comment sections wherein there is a peanut gallery willing to be convinced. Vox Popoli is the exception, not the rule. If you want to sway the peanut gallery, strength is going to rule the day. The right comes across as weak because most people cannot grok the dialect, as Vox has repeatedly stated. If they can't grok it, it seems weak to them and that is all that matters in terms of winning. As Cail stated, you hit the bully, come across as the stronger person and that will sway the peanut gallery far more than dialect, which they inherently cannot understand.

Blogger Shevi S September 13, 2015 4:16 PM  

I've had some success pointing out to feminists how feminism has harmed women.

Anonymous Bird on a Wing September 13, 2015 4:17 PM  

You missed a great rhetorical opportunity. Whenever a woman tries to pull the "I hated dolls", just say: "Sure, but you're a lesbian. That just proves my point." Then, no matter what she says, keep insinuating that she's a lesbian.

Meet rhetoric with rhetoric.


My husband used to work with her husband. We are all military wives. This was a performance piece for the other lurking military wives, with whom we all have personal relationships.

My goal was to reinforce the out-group of the SJW, and encourage the shy wives, so they don't feel alone. Also, I wanted to plant the seed that this is something that is worth a fight. This produces an atmosphere where they can feel comfortable and align themselves with a strong verbal champion.

There were three levels of dialog going on there, like most inter-female conversations.


Anonymous Strange Aeons September 13, 2015 4:20 PM  

Not proud of this, but I'll admit that this whole concept was initially counter-intuitive and unpalatable for me too; I didn't spend all this time trying to evolve in a cerebral and maturity sense, only to regress to childish tit-for-tat exchanges. But my initial bristling at the idea was a signal that I should probably pay attention and absorb a new concept. And as a result, I've come to better understand the tactics at work here, and view it more as incorporation and "right tool for the job" than a call to play "I know you are but what am I".
So, to the dark lord who has taught me more in the last several years than all my college profs combined, and the vile faceless minions who supplemented with helpful examples & analogies, thank you again.
Now, off to sharpen the shivs...

VFM #0017

Anonymous lol leddit September 13, 2015 4:47 PM  

You missed a great rhetorical opportunity. Whenever a woman tries to pull the "I hated dolls", just say: "Sure, but you're a lesbian. That just proves my point." Then, no matter what she says, keep insinuating that she's a lesbian.

Meet rhetoric with rhetoric.


To harsh in a female only environment. Works in a mixed one. Female only it leads to out-grouping. If you are lucky the lesbian, but more likely the one saying it.

Women will look to the opinion leader when the nukes drop. If men are around that is no problem since they'll just smirk or even laugh. Thus the opinion leaders make it acceptable. You can observe that behavior in comedy clubs. The men will laugh at jokes they find funny. The women will check if others find it funny. If there is no opinion leader around they will all gasp when the nuke drops and thus make the nuke the bad element which is disturbing the group.

Marie: I hated dolls and I hated to be forced to play with them just because of my gender. I would rip the heads off and throw them in the trash hahaha.
Those "women" make me recoil in horror. The hahaha makes that statement so much worse.

Anonymous Gary September 13, 2015 4:57 PM  

"Not proud of this, but I'll admit that this whole concept was initially counter-intuitive and unpalatable for me too; I didn't spend all this time trying to evolve in a cerebral and maturity sense, only to regress to childish tit-for-tat exchanges. "

This thread has been illuminating, just because this tactic makes no sense to me doesn't mean it has no value.

I will try to research my opposition and deploy it and note the results.

Blogger Danby September 13, 2015 5:02 PM  

You know, Spooner. No one would mind if you weren't such a faggot about it.

Blogger Salt September 13, 2015 5:04 PM  

@137 It's "How to make as ass of oneself in one easy lesson."

Anonymous Gary September 13, 2015 5:09 PM  

"No one would mind if you weren't such a faggot about it."

Tedious jackass is more like it.

Not very good at being a troll, not subtle at all.

Blogger James C. Milo September 13, 2015 5:16 PM  

This is why 'cyberbullying' is such a non-issue.

Anonymous IndecisiveEvidence September 13, 2015 5:28 PM  

"But in the eyes of IndecisiveEvidence (a dialectic speaker, say) was it not at first a 0 or a -1 for both VD and Kluwe? There was no winner apparent, just two girly snipers. He had to think it through, which many people, rational or otherwise, won't or can't. Is it a draw when both ships sink?"

To be fair, in the eyes of IndecisiveEvidence, before I got the light bulb, I knew I liked Vox and was so used to seeing him called a Nazi and was happy, for lack of a better term, to see him strike back rather than get knocked on his heels arguing in that stupid frame.

The actual tactics are ugly but it was ridiculously effective on a gut level. The pieces were all lined up and realizing that it was another language helps put things into light.

Still, if Vox told anyone who said the dumb crap that Kluwe did that the sky was yellow, I wouldn't even go to my window to check until after the argument was concluded. I'm not exactly a neutral observer.

Blogger Cail Corishev September 13, 2015 5:29 PM  

Then, no matter what she says, keep insinuating that she's a lesbian.

One similarity between rhetoric and Game: if you're new at it and not very comfortable with it, then if you don't feel like you're going too far, you're not going far enough.

Blogger Carl Philipp September 13, 2015 5:49 PM  

My time on internet forums taught me some important lessons about dialectic and rhetoric (although I did not use those terms).

Then I became a spineless coward for a couple years.

Thanks to SJWs Always Lie and this blog, I've been dusting off my skills a bit - I'm very rusty, though, so I don't have any good After-Action Reports yet. But, well, thanks.

Blogger Salt September 13, 2015 5:58 PM  

@144 A good after-action report usually ends in, "blocked".

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 6:26 PM  

@Anonymous
Try trolling again, except with a name, as per rules.

@Cail Corishev
OT, but is there any place to get in contact with you?

Anonymous Big Bill September 13, 2015 6:35 PM  

@110: Show some pity for her. Jemisin was hired by her NYC college employer to baby-sit ghetto kids through remedial pre-college courses in a desperate effort to diversify the college's student population.

Several years ago the college was targeted by black and Hispanic activists because they enrolled very few minorities, particularly from the ghetto area surrounding the college.

So the college hired her to wetnurse the kids through remedial pre-college work.

Can you imagine how miserable it must be for a blank slate SJW black woman to spend her time stroking, cheering, cajoling, wheedling and boosting congenital fsckups to get up, get dressed, find their bus pass, go to the library, etc. ... and then have to report your failures to a bunch of white academics every month or so?

Frankly, after a few months of that work I would put a gun to my head ... or escape into a rich Mitty-esque fantasy world.

Anonymous Elijah Rhodes September 13, 2015 6:41 PM  

These types of threads are why I love coming here.

The other day I made the mistake of using dialectic against a rhetorical speaker, a woman who was emotionally manipulated by the media coverage of the dead baby on the shore. She asked me "don't you feel anything when you see those images?!!!". I answered "it's not relevant to public policy whether I feel anything by it".

What I should have said was "don't you feel anything when you see reports of European girls raped by middle eastern men?", or something along those lines. I should have taken the charge levied against me and turn it back on her.

The challenge for those of us who prefer to live in the dialectical world is to recognize when rhetoric is being employed, and to be swift enough to construct an appropriate rhetorical response. My first instinct in any debate is to run through my laundry list of reasons why I think X.

Blogger Cail Corishev September 13, 2015 7:06 PM  

OT, but is there any place to get in contact with you?

cail.corishev@gmail.com

Blogger automatthew September 13, 2015 7:49 PM  

As soon as you notice that your opponent is not operating dialectically, stop looking for truth content in her statements.

Ignore the surface text unless it provides an opportunity to trap or insult her.

Spend maybe a few seconds trying to figure out what the actual goal of her statement was, but don't get stuck there. This step is mostly just for opposition research.

If the statement can be used for a trap or insult, do it. Be only as sly as the opponent. Don't waste subtlety on blusterers or the crude.

If the statement isn't worth responding to, either dismiss it tersely, or get all shooty with a personal non sequitur.

Your goal in a discourse with a non-dialectical opponent is to score points.

Blogger automatthew September 13, 2015 7:57 PM  

Fairness, reasonableness, and the principle of charity are characteristics of dialectic. When engaging in rhetoric, they are weaknesses. Smaug didn't rub off his jewel-encrustation armor because Bilbo hadn't any.

Anonymous rusty fife September 13, 2015 8:01 PM  

@148 Elijah Rhodes,

Alternatively, explain that as a man, you are too much like a lion. Therefore, you don't care about other men's children.

Blogger Carl Philipp September 13, 2015 8:21 PM  

@152
I am always a fan of turning around idiotic insults. In a recent conversation, I responded to "Good for you for standing up for the rights of white people to do what they want with their lives!" with "Oh, are they white? I don't see race."

Mind, I'm a bit rusty, so seeing people actually saying it's funny when well-off white people complain about death threats and sexual harrassment made me feel a bit ill. But at least I waited until the conversation had been silent for a couple hours before hitting the magic button that makes all your Facebook problems go away.

Anonymous Aachen September 13, 2015 8:33 PM  

@52

Your logical response wont work there. Nobody with morality would support islam so you are better using rhetoric but there is a way you can combine the two. Just do not get dragged in a debate on source. Only include any factual stuff to worse a predictable response that you already a prepared response for.

For example:

SJW: You hate Islam because your a racist.

You: Do you support islam because you are ignorant of its racism or because you support islam's enslavement of black people. (Link to a historical record of islam's enslavement of blacks.)

SJW: That link is biased.

You: So you do not care about islamic racism towards blacks.

SJW: But white people did much worse.

You: When discussing the historical interactions of two non-white groups why do you still think the world revolves around white people?

Blogger BunE22 September 13, 2015 8:45 PM  

So I'm not the only one that doesn't get it very well. Being a logical thinker this isn't easy for me either. I'm going to read up and practice. I don't don't do Twitter of Facebook, but I do post on a lot of sites so I should up my game.

Also, it's a personal thing. My youngest daughter is thoroughly indoctrinated by public school, she was on a debate team and is somewhat of a SJW. Every conversation with her turns into an argument, to the point that the rest of the family tries not to engage with her as much as possible.

One day she was arguing with her dad about the less fortunate. The people my husband and I see as lazy leeches on society. Daughter pulled out the SJW cards of slavery, colonialism, racism, etc. Her and dad were going at it fiercely. I looked her in the eye and calmly said, "I never knew you were so concerned about the less fortunate."

/pause

"Tomorrow daddy and I will contact our attorney and change our will to have your share of inheritance donated to those less fortunate."

If looks could kill I'd be dead. She ran off to her room, slammed the door, and howled like a cat with its tail caught in a door.

I felt good. It was the first argument I won with her without being upset myself. I called her on her hypocrisy and she had nothing.

So did I use rhetoric, or a combo, or none of the above? I need to understand and practice this so I can beat her at her own game. I feel like a terrible mom, but it's hell living with an SJW.

Anonymous Aachen September 13, 2015 8:53 PM  

@84

That is a very good point. Someone should ask him if he would let 'Sarah' babysit his daughters.

And if he says yes, which he will in true SJWs doubledown then you can just say:

"So you would let a self confessed pedo babysit your daughters unattended? fatheroftheyear#

He has disqualified himself for eternity with that brain implosion.

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 9:07 PM  

@BunE22
So did I use rhetoric, or a combo, or none of the above?

Combo, I'd say.

(Also, exhibit #95326 on why public schools are a very big hazard.)

Blogger Were-Puppy September 13, 2015 9:08 PM  

@148 Elijah Rhodes

The other day I made the mistake of using dialectic against a rhetorical speaker, a woman who was emotionally manipulated by the media coverage of the dead baby on the shore.

----

I had the same situation. What I did was say something like "Oh, you mean that poor muslim kid they killed in Turkey? I'm surprised they didn't chop his head off while they were at it."

Completely directed the anger to where it belongs, instead of on Europeans.

Blogger Carl Philipp September 13, 2015 9:12 PM  

@155 I think mostly rhetoric.

Give her a copy of SJWs Always Lie for Christmas.

Anonymous Sheila September 13, 2015 9:22 PM  

Vox - just saw an excellent recommendation of your book (SJWAL) over at faith and heritage blog, in a post about Trump. Good points about rhetoric vs. dialectic as well.

Anonymous Bird on a Wing September 13, 2015 9:25 PM  

@155 BunE22

Aristotle's Rhetoric was a core requirement class for my major in college in the 90's. It was an astonishing eye-opener. I highly recommend you start there. I also had a class on Persuasion, which completely changed my thinking. I don't know what to suggest for a text on that, and I shudder to think how they're teaching those classes nowadays.

Anonymous BGS September 13, 2015 9:26 PM  

"Oh, you mean that poor muslim kid they killed in Turkey? I'm surprised they didn't chop his head off while they were at it."

I said "That's fake taqiyya, notice how pink his fingers are for a drowning victim and his head it towards the water with arms/legs straight"

Blogger Michael Maier September 13, 2015 9:36 PM  

VD September 13, 2015 4:00 PM
For more examples, here is a recent Facebook exchange I had with several other women.

You missed a great rhetorical opportunity. Whenever a woman tries to pull the "I hated dolls", just say: "Sure, but you're a lesbian. That just proves my point." Then, no matter what she says, keep insinuating that she's a lesbian.

Meet rhetoric with rhetoric.


I need to do this with all the broads that cut their hair short.

Blogger bob k. mando September 13, 2015 9:49 PM  

23. Mint September 13, 2015 9:42 AM
I could not understand how could they not see the facts



oh, but they CAN.

that's what you're missing, the depths of their deceitful nature.

they HAVE to be able to 'see the facts' simply in order to be able to properly construct their diversions and avoid conversational directions that would reveal them.

this is why i say over and over, YOU are allowing THEM to presume on your goodwill.

once you stop giving them the benefit of the doubt, the meaning of their actions and goals will quite often snap immediately into recognizable shape.

Anonymous Just This Guy, You Know? September 13, 2015 10:02 PM  

https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/a/aristotle/a8rh/

I just downloaded the kindle version.

Blogger Student in Blue September 13, 2015 10:10 PM  

@bob k. mando
that's what you're missing, the depths of their deceitful nature.

Even before that, though, is that when the mind makes up a decision, it is VERY easy to "fill in the holes" and rationalize why it's right.

And those people operate almost solely on emotions, so facts by themselves mean nothing.

So deceitful, yes. It can be conscious or subconscious though.

Blogger JAY WILL September 13, 2015 10:12 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger SciVo September 13, 2015 10:24 PM  

@ VD: "I'm not sure how to go about it as unlike rhetoric, which I had to intellectually understand and could therefore articulate, that is something I do naturally."

I'm exactly the opposite. I actually have a degree in math, but only because I like a challenge. My native tongue is rhetoric, and I cannot teach it except by model.

I've realized from this thread that native dialectic speakers probably find my comments inane. Oops. #sorrynotsorry

Anyway, I can probably help explain logic.

Anonymous patrick kelly September 13, 2015 10:57 PM  

@16 VD "While it is good to be able to be immune to the effect of rhetorical attacks (I certainly have no problem shaking them off), it is very bad to be unable to respond to them."

Most of the time I just don't have the go for the jugular killer instinct. When I'm good at the rhetoric I'm very mean and snarky, I feel dirty, like I've gone over to the dark side and sometimes there is collateral damage to people I really care about.

Sometimes I do it just to knock their breath out long enough to disengage and just be somewhere else...kinda like Krav Maga...I guess...

Anonymous Forrest Bishop VFM #0167 September 13, 2015 10:59 PM  

@162. BGS

I said "That's fake taqiyya, notice how pink his fingers are...

Doesn't work, too intellectual & stuff. I had to run over to the dictionary to find:

"1Taqiyya
In Shi'a Islam, taqiyya is a form of religious dissimulation, or a legal dispensation whereby a believing individual can deny his faith or commit otherwise illegal or blasphemous acts while they are in fear or at risk of significant persecution"

Anonymous Bird on a Wing September 13, 2015 11:00 PM  

Following on from @129 and @134

I knew I had succeeded in my primary strategy in the Facebook exchange when another woman replied to the original post after I had completed my comment bombing run with the SJW. The other lady piped up out of the blue and said something to the effect of, "I'm so tired of all the politically correct stuff that's going on right now."

And I thought, BINGO! Target successful acquired.

Also, as far as the "lesbian" accusation angle: I would have failed in my primary strategy if I had used that tactic in that particular forum. I would have looked like the Mean Girl (instead of making the SJW look Mean Girl) and that would have cost me moral authority with the other women. Also, it would have shamed my husband, and that will NEVER, EVER, EVER happen. Period.

Blogger automatthew September 13, 2015 11:00 PM  

I need to do this with all the broads that cut their hair short.

"Damn. Didn't know you were a lesbian."

Squawking.

"You know? Here's how you can prove you're not."

Anonymous patrick kelly September 13, 2015 11:08 PM  

example, rhetorical exchange today when someone suggested rich people should not be eligible to be POTUS, I responded "what, you want poor people to be in charge? Poor people don't know how to do shit, if they did, they wouldn't be poor". Most of those participating int he conversation laughed, one responded "man, you are really intense" (while laughing). but one very mild mannered acquaintance was visibly uncomfortable and left.

I really like the guy, he is loyal and faithful to our Church, and doesn't say much. I felt bad fwiw...I know, this is not a counseling session, just trying to keep it real and give a real life example of what I talkin' bout...

Plus I've been drinking MM tonight...Nate, please give me absolution....I didn't buy it...someone left it in my kitchen..really...

Anonymous Forrest Bishop VFM #0167 September 13, 2015 11:14 PM  

@155. BunE22

So I'm not the only one that doesn't get it very well.

Yeah. There's a terrific Vox Day saying to the effect that 'bringing dialectic to a rhetorical argument is like bringing a slide-rule to a gunfight'. Problem is, we're really good with that slide-rule, which has cut into our time at the range.

"Tomorrow daddy and I will contact our attorney and change our will to have your share of inheritance donated to those less fortunate."...

So did I use rhetoric, or a combo, or none of the above? I need to understand and practice this so I can beat her at her own game.


Fantastic! That's rhetorical, maybe pseudo-dialectical rhetoric by VD's definition (not sure), because you weren't actually going to it. Your daughter's "game" is the game the creepo-pedo-traitoro-marxisto SJWs at school have taught her. You gave her a teaching lesson to the contrary and you are a good mother.

Anonymous TheVillageIdiot(Ret.) September 14, 2015 12:06 AM  

IT'S IN THE BOOK

DannyR

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit September 14, 2015 12:35 AM  

155. BunE22

Rhetoric and dialectic are no doubt useful for winning the war, but I suspect what you want (mom to mom) to win something rather different. You need Love.

I hope you have access to the Holy Spirit, because you'll want a lot of prayer going in. Changing a heart of stone to one of flesh takes a miracle.

The book How to Disagree without being Disagreeable and The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense are available free from any public library (if yours doesn't have them, use the magic phrase "inter-library-loan" to the library staff to get it). They have good advice.

What I would try, if I had to, is some variation of this: First I'd prime the pump by finding ways to spend time with my kid that put money in the relationship bank: non confrontational stuff. I'm Lutheran, so that usually involves working on things together, but games you both enjoy, shopping, manicures, watching her favorite TV show together (I don't know, I suck at girl stuff).

When you aren't currently arguing about something, do this one rhetorical thing: Ask her to imagine that YOU'RE her daughter and pull in all the good emo stuff: nursing, toddler-care stuff, you know, all the feelz and happy times from when she was little. Then ask: So... I'm you're kid, but I still believe what I believe to be true and you're the same, but now you're the mom: Would you try to set me right? Help me change? How would woud you do this?

Godspeed.

Blogger rho September 14, 2015 12:51 AM  

Rhetoric v. dialectic: if the other guy throws a punch, you take the hit and punch back harder. That's rhetoric.

If the other guy pulls a knife, you better pull out a gun. If you don't have a gun, or at least a cooler knife, expose your least necessary limb and then make a run for it. That's dialectic.

Pseudo-dialectical is where the other guy does some kind of Wing Chun kata before he takes a swing at your head. Either you believe him to be some kind of badass straight from secret monasteries in the mountains of China, or you believe he's seen too many Jackie Chan movies. It turns out that China doesn't export a lot of assassin monks, so the safe bet is to crane-kick the other guy in the face and go on to do two more movies before the Jews make a reboot with Will Smith's kid.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit September 14, 2015 12:55 AM  

171. @Bird on a Wing

We need an SJWs Always Hijack the Relationship guide for all- or female dominant-settings.

Anonymous hausfrau September 14, 2015 1:30 AM  

@148 The other day I made the mistake of using dialectic against a rhetorical speaker, a woman who was emotionally manipulated by the media coverage of the dead baby on the shore. She asked me "don't you feel anything when you see those images?!!!". I answered "it's not relevant to public policy whether I feel anything by it".

After reading that the father was a smuggler my answer would have been something like "I feel anger at his parents for putting German welfare money above the safety of their own helpless children." It points out the calculating nature of these migrants flooding the border. They aren't like us. They sell their children's lives for easy money.
Raped European children is a good response but somehow it doesn't address the responsibility for the dead baby on the beach. It seems beside the point. Who is really at fault for the dead baby? The media wants us to feel we are. You know, WON"T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN????
If you don't know what to answer then maybe start at your sense of empathy that the media is trying to manipulate and turn it around. Sounds like there is some sort of maxim in there along the lines of SJW's projection.

Blogger rho September 14, 2015 2:25 AM  

Raped European children is a good response but somehow it doesn't address the responsibility for the dead baby on the beach. It seems beside the point. Who is really at fault for the dead baby? The media wants us to feel we are.

Coast Guard regulations.

Every death is a tragedy. Not every death is at fault. I would save every life and return them to their native soil, but that's not their ultimate goal.

Brave the sea, and you risk the wrath.

Anonymous VD September 14, 2015 4:03 AM  

So did I use rhetoric, or a combo, or none of the above? I need to understand and practice this so I can beat her at her own game. I feel like a terrible mom, but it's hell living with an SJW.

Pseudo-dialectic. Do something like that EVERY SINGLE TIME she picks an argument. Make her live up to her own ideals. But next time, actually do it. Don't take her shopping, take her to a food shelf and make her spend four hours there working with you.

Whenever she says anything, double down on it. If she says X is a problem, don't argue with her, ask her "okay, so what are WE going to do about it?" If she tries to back out and say nothing, challenge her and force her to come up with something that will cost her time or money.

Blogger rho September 14, 2015 4:13 AM  

Pseudo-dialectic. Do something like that EVERY SINGLE TIME she picks an argument.

Crane kick.

Anonymous Bird on a Wing September 14, 2015 8:12 AM  

@181 Vox and @155 BunE22

Pseudo-dialectic. Do something like that EVERY SINGLE TIME she picks an argument. Make her live up to her own ideals.

The pseudo-dialectic was an extremely effective way of out-grouping her, and shaming her. She needed it. All Snotty Teenage Girls need it. (I needed it, and my dad provided it. Thanks Dad!) All women remember going through that phase of growing up, but some are allowed to get to adulthood without having the Snot shamed out of them.

A negative word that could be incorporated as an out-grouping and shaming device in common conversation around your house is the word "bully". It's an unfeminine word, therefore insulting to any girl. It automatically confers Mean Girl status on her, and removes the unearned moral authority with which she has been prancing around the house.

Also, SHE IS A BULLY, if she has been picking fights, and everyone is walking on eggshells around her. That needs to stop -- the sooner the better. Dad needs to put his foot down, in my opinion. Mom needs to back up whatever Dad says, and use Mom Guilt to hold the line.

Blogger Carl Philipp September 14, 2015 8:46 AM  

"Don't take her shopping, take her to a food shelf and make her spend four hours there working with you."
That seems like a REALLY GOOD idea. Not only will you make her eat her words, but she can't complain without being an obvious hypocrite, and if she does go with you, she will actually get to meet the noble hardworking poor she loves so much.

My family tried to help some poor people once. One couple, my mom eventually learned to stop taking her calls. We tried the option of offering honest work instead of charity since part of our house needed repainting. Then followed a shitty, shitty job, in which the ex-con husband sullenly ignored directions and accidentally sprayed paint on the neighbor's car.
You can learn a lot by actually trying to practice what you preach.

@179 hausfrau
"WON"T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN????"

I hear Sandifer and Kluwe are on top of that.

Blogger Marsh 01701 September 14, 2015 9:07 AM  

BunEZZ. I feel like a terrible mom, but it's hell living with an SJW.

Hope you plan on following through...changing your will. Rule #1. Actions have consequences. The younger you learn that, the less banged up you get. The sooner a kind learns that the more likely they'll actually grow up.

Blogger bob k. mando September 14, 2015 9:23 AM  

184. Carl Philipp September 14, 2015 8:46 AM
in which the ex-con husband sullenly ignored directions and accidentally sprayed paint on the neighbor's car.



not an 'accident'.

doing a really shitty job SO THAT YOU'RE NEVER ASKED TO DO THE JOB AGAIN is one of the oldest passive-aggressive tricks in the book.

the quintessential example is when the wife asks hubby to do a load of laundry ... and he dumps all the whites and brights in together ... along with a half gallon of bleach.

it's the male end of the p-a response pattern ( although truly effeminate ) to the female harping about not getting any help around the house, and then nitpicking everything about the way the man did it.

the person in the tale you relate is an ex-con, so it's an absolute certainty that he is well aware of the passive-aggressive play so he'll never be requested to help out with you again.

Blogger VFM bot #188 September 14, 2015 9:26 AM  

Rule #1. Actions have consequences. The younger you learn that, the less banged up you get. The sooner a kind learns that the more likely they'll actually grow up.

Boy, ain't that the truth. My kid used to just hate it when I would point out "this is your responsibility, no one but you made this happen." And I did it all the time. Now she's all grown up and super-ultra-successful of course....

Blogger Gaiseric ! September 14, 2015 9:59 AM  

If the other guy pulls a knife, you better pull out a gun. If you don't have a gun, or at least a cooler knife, expose your least necessary limb and then make a run for it. That's dialectic.

Switching from referencing The Untouchables to a subtle reference to Crocodile Dundee! Your 80s pop culture mojo is strong.

One problem with rhetorical nuclear bombs, and Bird on a Wing has mentioned this quite well, is that you can lose moral authority if you come across as the "mean guy" in the exchange, and therefore lose the goodwill of those you are trying to win over. Being the strong fighter works in some situations, especially among men. In mixed company, or especially among women, you need to be strong without coming across as "mean" or else the tactic will backfire on you, unless you honestly don't care what any of them think of you ever again.

Although my native language is clearly dialectic rather than rhetoric, when I get sufficiently frustrated or annoyed, I switch to a condescending, contemptuous rhetoric subconsciously, and while I can often break someone with that kind of language, especially women, it has extremely undesirable side effects, unless they're really complete strangers interacting with you over the internet or something like that. It's completely inappropriate for face to face conversations with people you actually know and have some kind of actual social capital with.

Anonymous hausfrau September 14, 2015 10:16 AM  

@184 @179 hausfrau
"WON"T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN????"

I hear Sandifer and Kluwe are on top of that

That's messed up dude. (Evil chuckle....)

Blogger Zaklog the Great September 14, 2015 10:46 AM  

Speaking rhetoric as opposed to dialectic, I feel like I'm trying to learn a different language. But it's worse than that, because this language uses all the same vocabulary and grammar as the one I'm used to, but it all means something different. This is frustrating.

Anonymous Bird on a Wing September 14, 2015 10:56 AM  

@188 Gaiseric

you can lose moral authority if you come across as the "mean guy" in the exchange, and therefore lose the goodwill of those you are trying to win over... It's completely inappropriate for face to face conversations with [women] you actually know and have some kind of actual social capital with.

Yes!

Also, the closer the relationship, the more persuasive the person. If you don't throw away your moral authority, you will automatically be more persuasive than ANYONE in the media or on the internet.

Personal relationships with moral authority are more persuasive than anything.

Anything.

Blogger Were-Puppy September 14, 2015 11:19 AM  

@162 BGS
"Oh, you mean that poor muslim kid they killed in Turkey? I'm surprised they didn't chop his head off while they were at it."

I said "That's fake taqiyya, notice how pink his fingers are for a drowning victim and his head it towards the water with arms/legs straight"
----

I wasn't talking to a detective here, just a woman who is always quick to go emo about things. It seems easier to let them supply the details from their own imaginations.

The next time she asked me if I heard anything else about it, I told her "I think the dad is a islamic coyote smuggling people to Europe so he can get some new teeth."

It's easy, fun, and think of it as throwing more logs on the fire :P

Blogger darrenl September 14, 2015 11:46 AM  

What Vox says is true

I just went through an experiment on a known SJW/athiest on Facebook. He posted a meme about Kim Davis, something along the lines of "Here's how religion works...let people who are gay be married". I posted in reply to the meme, "Wow. You must really hate gay people". That was an immediate de-friending and blocking offense. He ran away.

I don't think most really appreciate the power of rhetoric until you use it yourself.

What I said wasn't false, but it was emotionally charged. It's a known fact that anal cancer is quite high among gay men, and that the adult diaper industry is making quite the profit out of the gay lifestyle. You must really hate gays to not only support people getting anal cancer, but to celebrate it as well makes for a special kind of hate...or worse...indifference.

Aaaaanywho. Thought I'd share.

Blogger MidKnight (#138) September 14, 2015 12:00 PM  

These jumped out at me from @122

Greta: Jessica, why are you so condescending? ...

(next response)

Greta: I didn't attack you, that's not my style.


Such lovely passive-agressive sniping.

Blogger Carl Philipp September 14, 2015 1:02 PM  

@186 bob k. mando
I heard she's been doing better... because FINALLY she dumped the slob. Took forever though.
Ever read Theodore Dalrymple's "Life At The Bottom: The Worldview That Makes The Underclass," about how stupid Leftist SJW bullshit makes life hell for the poor people they love so much when they try to live by it? Definitely a sort-of-victim of that sort of thing. There's like a whole chapter on women who repeatedly hook up with obvious abusers because the one thing they remember from school is that you shouldn't judge people.

And that is why we fight, and also because they suck.

Blogger BunE22 September 14, 2015 3:07 PM  

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I do like Vox's suggestion and will try that in the future.

Living with my daughter has had me come to believe that to the SJW's mind the social justice isn't the goal, winning is. Winning is everything, even if it's an empty victory in that nothing actually changes. She just wants to win the argument.

So I've been thinking about fighting using their tactics and shields and I think I came up with a solution to the Gamer Gate issue. I know it started as ethics in game journalism, but the SJWs highjacked it into a not enough women in gaming meme. Here's the counter-highjack solution: every man working in gaming marches into his boss's office and declares that he identifies as a woman. Married with children? Not a problem, you're a married lesbian with children. Good thing gay marriage is legal, huh? Then immediately the gaming industry is filled with women.

If the Brianna Wus and Sarah Nybergs can claim to be a woman, so can anyone. Identity politics is their shield, use it against them. Oh, and if you like to create female characters with big breasts, go right ahead because you're just a woman that likes big breasts and has a bit of breast envy.

Anonymous Steve Brown VFM#0273 September 15, 2015 4:37 AM  

@196 "Oh, and if you like to create female characters with big breasts, go right ahead because you're just a woman that likes big breasts and has a bit of breast envy."

BunE22 you have just won the coveted best comment of the month award.

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