Argument Clinic: Just Joking

Saying something nasty and following it with “I’m just joking” is a form of verbal abuse that’s passive-aggressive. I.e: it’s semi-concealed aggression, intended to give the target pause as to whether or not they can successfully counter-attack.

Is this the right room for an argument?

Is this the right room for an argument?

It’s a technique that can be employed in a strategy of verbal abuse but succeeds if it’s fairly consistent, and only then against unsophisticated targets.

[Read more…]

(puff) In Xanadu, Did Kubilai Khan (puff)

While chemistry was being invented, anaesthesia was also invented, rather by accident – with great effect on art. Priestly was busy discovering oxygen at that time and the scientists of the day were unhindered by concerns about human subjects boards, lawsuits, or comprehension of what they were doing.

Davy’s experimental approach appears to have been to produce bags of various gasses, then he inhaled them to see what they did. Lucky for him, he didn’t manage to get a big lungful of nitrogen or cyanide.

[Read more…]

Seceding Over Slavery – Blumrosen’s View

I didn’t want to turn my first posting on this topic into a book report on the Blumrosen’s “Slave Nation” because I find that when one does a book report, it’s easy to turn off the critical engine in one’s brain and just accept material without a close reading. “Look, I’m not going to read all of Jefferson’s correspondance…!” it’s too much.

[Read more…]