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  1. #71
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Well, lord above, forget everything I just said. The man must be genius.
    And this one is characteristic of someone who doesn't care enough to write a useful response.

    I included the detail about his perceived MBTI type to illustrate the idea that polemics can coexist with good points in the same piece of writing, not to imply that ENTPs are smarter than everyone. (We are, though.)
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    And this one is characteristic of someone who doesn't care enough to write a useful response.
    What useful response can be made about a polemic article that tries to measure a subject that is highly subjective? And no I don't take the issue (or its proponets) that seriously here. (you may include your own pontifications in that)

  3. #73
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    What useful response can be made about a polemic article that tries to measure a subject that is highly subjective?
    Since I've just finished explaining that Hitchens's writing is not solely polemic, I'll pretend the word "polemic" doesn't appear in your response there.

    Are you really asking what use it is to write about subjective topics?

    Short answer would be that, while such subjects as comedy or other art forms are inherently subjective, there can be a degree of objectivity in the critique of these art forms given a lot of opinions from a lot of informed people over a long period of time.

    If it's my opinion that my buddy Joe is funnier than George Carlin, or that Nickelback is better than the Beatles, technically my opinion is just as good as anyone else's because nobody can empirically prove it wrong...

    But at the same time, there seems a high probability that I'm a moron for thinking that, now doesn't there?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Are you really asking what use it is to write about subjective topics?
    No, I said what use is it to debate over a polemic essay that attempts to quantify something as subjective as whose comedy is funnier.

  5. #75
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    No, I said what use is it to debate over a polemic essay that attempts to quantify something as subjective as whose comedy is funnier.
    Wonderful point! For that matter, what use is it to discuss any subjective art form, ever? I mean, we can't reach any 100% objective conclusions, so why would discussion or exchange of ideas have any value??

    And he's not quantifying it; he's just stating his opinions and offering support for them. I guarantee you that Christopher Hitchens doesn't believe that his opinion on this topic is scientifically proven, or totally unopen to discussion. You've missed the point again.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #76
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    I am continually surprised by the number of people on this board who are wont to throw around biological reductionist explanations for nearly every human phenomena.

    [YOUTUBE="-M-vnmejwXo"]John Cleese - Biological Reductionism[/YOUTUBE]
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  7. #77
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Orangey,
    Liked the vid. Demonstrated your point well, as well as giving me a chuckle.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

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  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Wonderful point! For that matter, what use is it to discuss any subjective art form, ever? I mean, we can't reach any 100% objective conclusions, so why would discussion or exchange of ideas have any value??

    And he's not quantifying it; he's just stating his opinions and offering support for them. I guarantee you that Christopher Hitchens doesn't believe that his opinion on this topic is scientifically proven, or totally unopen to discussion. You've missed the point again.
    You missed my point. I see no point to the polemic, talking about subjective issues is fine as long as people don't lose sight of it being subjective issue.

    It was also funny that the rebuttal to Hitchens was insulted for being "left-wing", it was female comedians. Are all female comedians now left wing by default? Too funny. Maybe some men are more unintentionally funny than women?

  9. #79
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    You missed my point. I see no point to the polemic, talking about subjective issues is fine as long as people don't lose sight of it being subjective issue.

    It was also funny that the rebuttal to Hitchens was insulted for being "left-wing", it was female comedians. Are all female comedians now left wing by default? Too funny. Maybe some men are more unintentionally funny than women?
    I don't think anybody lost sight of the fact that it's a subjective issue--not Hitchens, not you, not me. He made a point based on his own opinions (never claiming that they were somehow objective fact) and there is some degree of objectivity in terms of art critique...there must be some reason that more "great comedians" have been male than female. I meant to say that, while comedy is an art form and therefore a subjective field, we can make observations with some degree of objectivity about it based on composite opinions of many people throughout history who were very interested in and very informed about comedy.

    It's a difficult line to traverse because we can never really have total objectivity about art, but at the same time we must grant some validity to the idea that some art is, in a way, "objectively" better than other art. I don't see that you've addressed this point at all--recall my example about the Beatles. When it comes to art, there's a difference between, "I like it" and "It's good." For instance, I don't really enjoy the Rolling Stones, but I understand that they made a lot of innovations in their style and accomplished a lot in the music world, so I'm still forced to admit that they're a "good" band, despite my subjective dislike for them.

    I don't really see how you could possibly derive anything similar to "all female comedians are left wing." There's just...nothing at all in anything I said to suggest that. What on earth are you talking about?

    I believe that men, on average, have to be funnier than women in order to be socially competitive. We are at something of a biological disadvantage by being the less sexually selective gender.

    I'm sure other factors have something to do with it--surely traditional social roles have directed women away from comedy, and this is why I said that Hitchens's point is not perfect. There are obviously a lot of factors at work here, but Hitchens seems to have a reasonable idea about biology being at least one of them.

    I'm sure that some men are more unintentionally funny than women. I'm sure also that some women are more unintentionally funny than men, that some men are intentionally more funny than women, and that some women are intentionally more funny than men. I mean, I guess this is an attempt a subtle dig, but it wasn't very funny.

    I suggest a new theorem: Perhaps some women think they're much funnier than they really are?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  10. #80
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    I am continually surprised by the number of people on this board who are wont to throw around biological reductionist explanations for nearly every human phenomena.
    Nah, I'm not really a biological reductionist so much as a believer that biology has some kind of role in most human thought and behavior. I don't think it is the only factor in very many things, but it is one factor in most.

    Cute video though! I love John Cleese.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

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