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Tag Archive: argument

Feb 23 2014

On mocking people’s physical appearance & the ethics of humour

I wrote a post, for Big Think, about why we should be hesitant about mocking other people’s physical appearance. I’m uncertain whether we should never do it: I think that, maybe, we do it too much or don’t reflect before doing it enough. I certainly know I’m hesitant about laughing at or making jokes about …

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Dec 26 2013

Wrong (or right) is a conclusion – not judgement

A commenter indicated, in a post on my comment policy, that “having a comment policy is wrong.” That was the end of the statement. This touches on something broader: Right and wrong are conclusions, not the beginnings of a judgement. When people declare something is wrong – or, worse, is just wrong – we have …

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Nov 27 2013

[Mini-fisk] JR Hill, defending monarchy and conflating arguments

ComRes recently carried out a poll for the Sunday Telegraph, asking the question: ‘Do you believe Britain is better off as a monarchy or would be better off as a republic?’ 66% voted monarchy, 17% republic and 17% don’t know. Yet the Observer insists that the Royal Family is outdated. Is it not ironic that, in …

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Nov 16 2013

The “Should” Fallacy in Criticism

I wrote a piece about a common fallacy I see in criticism – particularly video game criticism. I argue that people like to talk about what a game “should” be; often, this isn’t a helpful criticism since it’s a refusal to accept what the game is. I make my full case here at my regular …

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Oct 21 2013

Oprah Winfrey and misusing entertainment (and large) platforms

In my latest for Big Think, I use the whole “Oprah denies atheism” affair as a jump off point to examine her larger and damaging approach to thinking. I don’t view all celebrity as bad. What I worry about is the uncritical or unthinking engagement so many have toward things they adore: From people to …

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Oct 10 2013

Being a critic and being a fan

In my latest for Big Think, I argue that – in many cases – fandom runs counter to proper criticism. This can be about films, comics, games, whatever. Passion for the thing can blind us to its flaws, making any form of negative criticism (or, indeed, adaptation) tantamount to an attack in passionate fans’ eyes. …

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Sep 30 2013

Being right is not enough

In conversation with Twitter friends, I asked about whether we should attempt to find a term that better portrays video games as not being strictly for children. I used the example of “graphic novels” to illustrate this point, since graphic novel “sounds” more mature, more adult, despite many of us still calling them comics, regardless. …

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Sep 29 2013

Ban all the comments?

In my latest for Big Think, I engage with whether we should remove ALL THE COMMENT SECTIONS (obviously not). I wrote this in light of recent discussions with meatspace conversations and Popular Science’s recent decision.

Sep 18 2013

Having children and selfishness

I wrote a piece replying to another South African writer regarding the tired assertion linking selfishness and child-free. I’ve been trying to tease out a proper justification for why someone would claim you’re selfish for not wanting children, but it’s never really held firmly. At the very least, I can “understand” what my opponents in …

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Aug 29 2013

In which I yell at kids to get off my lawn (apparently)

I started writing some lighter pieces for a South African women’s site. In my latest, I list some things I think we need to stop saying – in cyber- and meatspace – such as “That’s just your opinion”, “Just saying”, etc, and why. I’ve already thought of more, such as discussions of the weather and …

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