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day permlink Thursday, 23 January 2003

permlink On Dash's "A Modest Declaration"

Here's another good Anil Dash piece, parodying the style of the more strident rock-throwers on the web as if the Declaration of Independence were just issued.

To me it highlights how deconstructionist the approach ('fisking') is. Instead of addressing the substance of an argument, one can: attack word choices out of context, over-interpret nuanced phrases as ridiculous absolutes, and spew bile at every turn since one conveniently starts from the assumption that the author is evil or stupid or both.

It's entertaining if you agree with the critic and maddening if you don't; what it isn't is actual, substantive argument that will convince anyone new.

A Modest Declaration
We hold these truths to be self-evident

They're already off to a bad start. Leaving aside the fact that this bunch of clowns doesn't even identify who the "we" is, their entire premise is based on the idea that their opinions are "truths" that are "self-evident". "Because I say so" isn't sufficient evidence for anything. Typical liberal tactics.

...That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,

More socialist tripe. Wankers of the world, unite! This says, basically, "if we don't like the government, we're just gonna make a new one!" Why not just accept that your views are a distinct minority, and that they're unpopular, and that it might be worth your while to figure out why, exactly, no one agrees with you. Hint: It's not because you're a far more advanced human being than they are.
There's a lot more; check it out.

Being in a minority isn't evidence of being wrong; ask Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and Washington. Nor is it evidence of being right; ask, oh, Ross Perot or Trent Lott. So people who use being-in-the-minority as evidence against you in an argument aren't exactly arguing substance, they're just engaging in distraction.

Aside: Several commenters on Anil's site didn't seem to get the clear signals (like the title!) that the piece was sarcastic. Just goes to show, you can't underestimate some people. permlink  

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