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  1. #1
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Default Conversational Terrorism

    This is an interesting website, I'm sure it's a compilation of lots of stuff.


    Conversational Terrorism: How NOT to Talk!

    The examples are overblown in an attempt to be both clear and funny. Use your imagination to think of how you (perish the thought) and others have used these techniques in the past.

    They have been grouped by major category, with the best (worst!) saved for last.

    First, we have the Ad Hominem Variants where you attack the person as a way to avoid truth, science, or logic which might otherwise prove you wrong. Next are the Sleight of Mind Fallacies, which act as "mental magic" to make sure the unwanted subject disappears. Then, we move on to Delay Tactics, which are subtle means to buy time when put on the spot. Then, the ever popular Question as Opportunity ploys, where any question can be deftly averted. Finally, we have the Cheap Shot Tactics and Irritants, which are basically "below the belt" punches.

    Ad Hominem Variants

    OVER YOUR HEAD:
    "I'd like to respond to that, but taking into account your background, education, and intelligence, I am quite sure that you would not be able to understand."


    Sleight of Mind Fallacies

    NIT-PICKING:
    Instead of dealing with a comment or question directly, the idea here is to focus on some insignificant detail to evade the issue or buy time to think.

    "We need to define just exactly what you mean by _________."
    "Your last sentence ended with a preposition. Please restate it properly."


    Delay Tactics


    If, when put on the spot to answer a question or point, you come up blank, then delay tactics can buy time to dream up a response. These tactics are risky, because if you are not able to think of anything clever during the time you buy, you will be pinned even further.


    DESCRIBE THE ANSWER:
    Give descriptive attributes of the eventual answer, then pause as if expecting a response, while thinking of a real answer. When this technique is repeated the other person will appear to be begging you to give an answer.

    "I think the answer to your last question will clear up your confusion on this subject. (Long pause) Are you ready?"
    <snip>
    There are a lot listed, that was just a few.


    Do you see yourself in any of the conversational terrorism points at all?
    Do you see others?
    Do you disagree with any?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    I don't do ad hominem unless I'm joking. Curiously, it's exactly because I don't do it that my type of humor can be kinda ad hominem.

    When I don't want to talk with whomever I simply throw my silly switch or state the honest reason why I don't want to talk.

  3. #3
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    HEAT-SEEKING QUESTION:

    The intent here is to throw the other person's competence in doubt while at the same time changing the subject. A question is asked that the other person is not likely to know the answer to, destroying their credibility and confidence. To really rub it in, the questioner can give a full answer to his/her own question proving that him/herself to have superior knowledge of the subject.


    I do this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Attacking me with mathematics and physics will not work. I did not spend my life learning math and physics. I don't like all this talk of genius, it makes me queasy. I was not going to reveal it before because it could have been used against me. So why reveal it now? Simple. The way to defend against this attack is to roll with it. By writing this I can absolve myself of these queasy feelings.

    So let's play with it a little. What if Einstein did not have an uncle to teach him to love math from a early age? What if instead he attended a school that taught him to fear math from an early age? People did not consider him all that smart as a child. Nobody thought he was anything special until he was 30. Would he have made his great discovery? Would anyone be talking about him now? Same person, just took a different path in life that did not involve math and physics.

    Let's try another scenario. What if I had learned to love math from an early age and spent my life learning math and physics? What could I do now? Could I do like Einstein and pull a quantum rabbit out of my ass at the speed of light? Presumably I would at least be good at solving math and physics problems with math and physics.

    I did not spend my life learning math and physics. I spent my life learning about computers and programming languages. What is a programming language? It is language just like mathematics. Just like mathematics there are many high level constructs and models built on top of computer languages. Computer languages are based on mathematics. In math we work a lot in terms of functions. If you spend any time with a programming language you will not escape functions. Functions are a basic building block of programming languages. Another primitive construct in math is algebra. This forms the basis of abstraction in mathematics. In programming languages we have data types stored in variables, usually taking the form of classes and other primitives.

    in math you might write:

    y = f(x)

    where x and y and positive integers.

    in c or c++ you would write:

    int y = f(int x);

    you could also write:

    int how_many_apples = open_the_door_and_find_out( int which_door );

    Constructing high quality software is no simple task, especially as the size of the application increases. It takes a mastery of abstraction, even in a functional language like C which is not an object oriented language. Fortunately it's not necessary to learn everything from scratch. People have devised patterns that can be applied in various situations. The equivalent in math might be mathematical theorems. Basically models and sets of rules that can be combined to solve problems. If you want to use a mathematical theorem but don't want to learn the details and or reinvent the wheel you often have tools like Matlab / Octave, R, or just a scientific calculator. Who memorizes log tables or does sin or cosine calculations in their head these days? Similarly, for computer languages we have pre-built libraries. For example, there are people who have chosen to master the ins and outs of security and cryptography and have put their knowledge into reusable libraries for other people to use.

    I am a good programmer. I could easily be better if I were to choose to devote the majority of my time to computer languages. I have too many competing interests to devote that much time to any one them. I am happy to settle for a little less than mastery if it means I can spend time on other things. That's my choice. Other people might choose to spend their lives mastering a handful of interests. These people usually end up spending their lives working for other people. I could not do that. It doesn't interest me and I would feel trapped.

  5. #5
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    We keep convicting Islamic terrorists in our Criminal Courts and sentencing them to long prison terms.

    So it seems a little fatuous to be talking of 'conversational terrorism'.

    I don't think any conversation has killed a large number of their fellow citizens.

    In fact conversation is the exact opposite of terrorism.

  6. #6
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    We keep convicting Islamic terrorists in our Criminal Courts and sentencing them to long prison terms.

    So it seems a little fatuous to be talking of 'conversational terrorism'.

    I don't think any conversation has killed a large number of their fellow citizens.

    In fact conversation is the exact opposite of terrorism.
    Nitpicking are you? Well I agree anyways, the term should be 'Conversation Manipulation.'


    I find I tend to all of the Ad Hominem and Irritant examples in some way for humor when I'm in ESTP shadow mode. It's nice to know examples of each one so I can keep away from them (and thus keep from being seen as totally rude)
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
    -Nightwish

    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  7. #7
    Senior Member une_autre's Avatar
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    Brilliant topic!

    Very funny actually. I use this when all else fails and when I am sure the opponent won't see what I am doing.
    However, I have an ENTP friend who's favourite sport is conversational terrorism, especially against my unbeatable logic.
    "What makes you say that?"
    "Do you have childhood traumas that make you say that?".

    My personal favourites are the LUNATIC FRINGE and the BRAIN SEIZURE. Very neat.

  8. #8
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I seem to use Nitpicking, Word Salad, Pretend Ad Hominem, I'm not saying this, and the Salesman's Close.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Drezoryx's Avatar
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    elaur interesting. wat might be the best ways of rebutting these styles without being offensive?
    Type 8 sx/sp/so
    O:C:E:A:N :: 65:69:59:57:9

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    We keep convicting Islamic terrorists in our Criminal Courts and sentencing them to long prison terms.

    So it seems a little fatuous to be talking of 'conversational terrorism'.

    I don't think any conversation has killed a large number of their fellow citizens.

    In fact conversation is the exact opposite of terrorism.
    I'm with Victor.

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