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Bias, "Sea lioning", and assumed / implied context

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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19 August 2018 08:18
 

This forum used to be explicitly under the banner of “Project Reason” whose mission statement included the phrase “promote critical thinking”. AFAIK, that’s still the spirit of this forum.

Recently on this forum there have been accusations (full disclosure, some of them directed at me) of:

- being biased,
- “sea lioning”,
- taking conversations off track,
- “having an agenda”.

In my experience here, all of those accusations seem overblown. I’m going to lay out a few claims that I think better reflect what’s going on in these contentious conversations, and some suggestions for how to improve our conversations:

- We ALL have agendas. I would suggest that before you accuse another patron, you check yours.
- We ALL have biases, same recommendation as above.
- It’s rare that one poster stands alone on the moral high ground.
- We often assume context that we might not be aware of or that we assume is unassailable. I believe there is a crucial distinction between the trollish activity of “sea lioning” and the useful practice of questioning assumptions.

- It’s quite reasonable to frame a discussion around a specific context or agenda, but those should be stated explicitly, not implied.
- If you air a poster-related gripe publicly, IMO it’s bad form to not have citations to back up the gripe.

Remember folks, we’re all here voluntarily to debate contentious issues and presumably to improve our skills.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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19 August 2018 08:29
 

This is mine.

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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19 August 2018 08:57
 

I can give you my personal view of you, but it biased and will take this conversation off track. But at least no “sealioning” or “agenda” as they are too much work and I am far to lazy.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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19 August 2018 09:05
 
GAD - 19 August 2018 08:57 AM

I can give you my personal view of you, but it biased and will take this conversation off track. But at least no “sealioning” or “agenda” as they are too much work and I am far to lazy.

Out of curiosity, where geographically, is lazy located in relationship to you, because it would appear that you are close to lazy?  wink

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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19 August 2018 09:22
 
icehorse - 19 August 2018 09:05 AM
GAD - 19 August 2018 08:57 AM

I can give you my personal view of you, but it biased and will take this conversation off track. But at least no “sealioning” or “agenda” as they are too much work and I am far to lazy.

Out of curiosity, where geographically, is lazy located in relationship to you, because it would appear that you are close to lazy?  wink

Geographically I’m in Bumfuck Lazy.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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19 August 2018 09:51
 
GAD - 19 August 2018 09:22 AM
icehorse - 19 August 2018 09:05 AM
GAD - 19 August 2018 08:57 AM

I can give you my personal view of you, but it biased and will take this conversation off track. But at least no “sealioning” or “agenda” as they are too much work and I am far to lazy.

Out of curiosity, where geographically, is lazy located in relationship to you, because it would appear that you are close to lazy?  wink

Geographically I’m in Bumfuck Lazy.

Aha! Thus invalidating your earlier claim of being “far to lazy”!

 
 
bbearren
 
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bbearren
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19 August 2018 10:49
 
icehorse - 19 August 2018 08:18 AM

Remember folks, we’re all here voluntarily to debate contentious issues and presumably to improve our skills.

Assumption.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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19 August 2018 10:52
 

I wish this still was the PR forum. It is a struggle to know exactly what it means to be the SH forum other than the podcast threads and the plain to see anti-trumpian posture. I know PR’s old mission as well as anyone and it remains foundational here and the only Moral High Ground. In fact, is it the basis of my response. That, and our favorite word of late.

The PR Banner is an ideal that floats above us all like a trophy. If any of us ever reach it, I think we will all know it.

As an admin, I don’t personally judge any poster’s achievements in critical thinking and I don’t have to. The job is well-defined and I just follow the procedure and uphold the PR mission. Achievements will be judged by the community and how the patrons are observed to be swayed. Or not.

An admin should not have be concerned with anyone’s bias or agenda. Aside from The Owl Guy, why would anyone post in a forum without them? But that is not all that is on display in a forum. We bring our powers of pursuasion, our vocabulary and our spelling habits. We can be forgiving about all that stuff.

The trickier thing is what we don’t know we are bringing to the forum but that is a whole other thread.

As an admin upholding the PR mission, I cannot privilege a point of view, which is what I hear Mr. Horse asking me to do. Albeit diplomatically and with charm. I am bleary-eyed and slow to type but I can spot when you take my phrasing and turn it into terms like “debate-free”.

Consider the logic. If your argument has not gained traction with the community, your threads have not been pursuasive and your responses have left patrons unsatisfied, than you may be doing many things but it all must somehow be a notch short of the Pure Promotion of Critical Thinking. I could be addressing any poster this way including me. Is there some other criteria anyone would like me to use? My biases? My best guess about The Boss’s thinking?

If I want to point out problems with anyone’s reasoning, then I’m a poster. Right? Then what’s left? Why would I reach out to anyone as an admin?

There is only that illusive form to consider. Here I will consider myself, as a poster, to be one of the judges of that. As an admin, it is again a matter of reading the observable community consensus. We admins hear this stuff all the time but never have I heard a complaint about someone’s logic, reasoning or lack of promotion of critical thinking. That’s for posting. We hear about form.

Claiming to be merely standing up for critical thinking and thus earning an all-pass that bypasses concerns for form is asking for privilege. We are all satified with our own logic but untill it stands here on the forum for all to see, and in some way that all can see it, the trophy will dangle.

Being concerned with social skills and what we comedy-people call ‘timing’ will not enhance the logic of anyone’s argument but it can enhance its advancement.

You might ask ‘what is form?’ Isn’t it what you teach into your horses? What do you do with a stable full of storm-frightened horses? We admins ask all the time.

[ Edited: 19 August 2018 10:55 by Nhoj Morley]
 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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19 August 2018 11:15
 
Nhoj Morley - 19 August 2018 10:52 AM

I wish this still was the PR forum. It is a struggle to know exactly what it means to be the SH forum other than the podcast threads and the plain to see anti-trumpian posture. I know PR’s old mission as well as anyone and it remains foundational here and the only Moral High Ground. In fact, is it the basis of my response. That, and our favorite word of late.

The PR Banner is an ideal that floats above us all like a trophy. If any of us ever reach it, I think we will all know it.

As an admin, I don’t personally judge any poster’s achievements in critical thinking and I don’t have to. The job is well-defined and I just follow the procedure and uphold the PR mission. Achievements will be judged by the community and how the patrons are observed to be swayed. Or not.

An admin should not have be concerned with anyone’s bias or agenda. Aside from The Owl Guy, why would anyone post in a forum without them? But that is not all that is on display in a forum. We bring our powers of pursuasion, our vocabulary and our spelling habits. We can be forgiving about all that stuff.

The trickier thing is what we don’t know we are bringing to the forum but that is a whole other thread.

As an admin upholding the PR mission, I cannot privilege a point of view, which is what I hear Mr. Horse asking me to do. Albeit diplomatically and with charm. I am bleary-eyed and slow to type but I can spot when you take my phrasing and turn it into terms like “debate-free”.

Consider the logic. If your argument has not gained traction with the community, your threads have not been pursuasive and your responses have left patrons unsatisfied, than you may be doing many things but it all must somehow be a notch short of the Pure Promotion of Critical Thinking. I could be addressing any poster this way including me. Is there some other criteria anyone would like me to use? My biases? My best guess about The Boss’s thinking?

If I want to point out problems with anyone’s reasoning, then I’m a poster. Right? Then what’s left? Why would I reach out to anyone as an admin?

There is only that illusive form to consider. Here I will consider myself, as a poster, to be one of the judges of that. As an admin, it is again a matter of reading the observable community consensus. We admins hear this stuff all the time but never have I heard a complaint about someone’s logic, reasoning or lack of promotion of critical thinking. That’s for posting. We hear about form.

Claiming to be merely standing up for critical thinking and thus earning an all-pass that bypasses concerns for form is asking for privilege. We are all satified with our own logic but untill it stands here on the forum for all to see, and in some way that all can see it, the trophy will dangle.

Being concerned with social skills and what we comedy-people call ‘timing’ will not enhance the logic of anyone’s argument but it can enhance its advancement.

You might ask ‘what is form?’ Isn’t it what you teach into your horses? What do you do with a stable full of storm-frightened horses? We admins ask all the time.

What was the PR forum, and how was it different?

 
Celal
 
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Celal
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19 August 2018 11:22
 
icehorse - 19 August 2018 08:18 AM

This forum used to be explicitly under the banner of “Project Reason” whose mission statement included the phrase “promote critical thinking”. AFAIK, that’s still the spirit of this forum.

Recently on this forum there have been accusations (full disclosure, some of them directed at me) of:

- being biased,
- “sea lioning”,
- taking conversations off track,
- “having an agenda”.

In my experience here, all of those accusations seem overblown. I’m going to lay out a few claims that I think better reflect what’s going on in these contentious conversations, and some suggestions for how to improve our conversations:

- We ALL have agendas. I would suggest that before you accuse another patron, you check yours.
- We ALL have biases, same recommendation as above.
- It’s rare that one poster stands alone on the moral high ground.
- We often assume context that we might not be aware of or that we assume is unassailable. I believe there is a crucial distinction between the trollish activity of “sea lioning” and the useful practice of questioning assumptions.

- It’s quite reasonable to frame a discussion around a specific context or agenda, but those should be stated explicitly, not implied.
- If you air a poster-related gripe publicly, IMO it’s bad form to not have citations to back up the gripe.

Remember folks, we’re all here voluntarily to debate contentious issues and presumably to improve our skills.

These accusations have a pattern. Often hurled/supported by the same people who champion/support the Islamophobia. The idea that any argument can be shut down by anything on your list, gives the appearance of a legitimate response… when it is completely illegitimate.  Who the hell use “sea lioning”? It is another absurd term invented to look legitimate especially when the people even have to it look up online. So, if you are engaging someone and he/she is “unwilling to debate” because your arguments can not be logically challenged, then they come up with a term which most don’t even understand such as “sea lioning” to shut the debate down. It does look better than saying “OK, you got me , I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about”. Muslims do this by simply calling others being atheists. Case closed. I personally prefer the Muslim way of shutting the debate down. It is less dishonest than sea lioning.

Likewise accusing someone of bias, having an agenda is equally absurd but at least doesn’t force anyone to look it up. If someone is posting something off track,  why would anyone find a need to respond?

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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19 August 2018 11:27
 
icehorse - 19 August 2018 09:51 AM
GAD - 19 August 2018 09:22 AM
icehorse - 19 August 2018 09:05 AM
GAD - 19 August 2018 08:57 AM

I can give you my personal view of you, but it biased and will take this conversation off track. But at least no “sealioning” or “agenda” as they are too much work and I am far to lazy.

Out of curiosity, where geographically, is lazy located in relationship to you, because it would appear that you are close to lazy?  wink

Geographically I’m in Bumfuck Lazy.

Aha! Thus invalidating your earlier claim of being “far to lazy”!

That just shows you how lazy I am.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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19 August 2018 11:54
 

Nhoj said:

As an admin upholding the PR mission, I cannot privilege a point of view, which is what I hear Mr. Horse asking me to do. Albeit diplomatically and with charm. I am bleary-eyed and slow to type but I can spot when you take my phrasing and turn it into terms like “debate-free”.

Consider the logic. If your argument has not gained traction with the community, your threads have not been pursuasive and your responses have left patrons unsatisfied, than you may be doing many things but it all must somehow be a notch short of the Pure Promotion of Critical Thinking. I could be addressing any poster this way including me. Is there some other criteria anyone would like me to use? My biases? My best guess about The Boss’s thinking?

First off, while I can see how you took the OP to be directed at the moderators, it was actually directed primarily at the patrons.
Second, I would disagree that lack of community buy-in equates to a weak argument. And even if it sometimes does, letting community buy-in decide what’s “right” would be a terrifying way to run things. Certainly the Boss doesn’t promote that approach, in fact he explicits rejects it. E.g., if we were to use that approach then atheist views would be considered “wrong”.

To me, we should all be willing to make our contexts explicit, and asking another patron to clarify their context should not be discouraged.

As for “form”, I think I’d need to see specifics…?

 
 
Celal
 
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Celal
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19 August 2018 12:31
 
icehorse - 19 August 2018 11:54 AM

Nhoj said:

As an admin upholding the PR mission, I cannot privilege a point of view, which is what I hear Mr. Horse asking me to do. Albeit diplomatically and with charm. I am bleary-eyed and slow to type but I can spot when you take my phrasing and turn it into terms like “debate-free”.

Consider the logic. If your argument has not gained traction with the community, your threads have not been pursuasive and your responses have left patrons unsatisfied, than you may be doing many things but it all must somehow be a notch short of the Pure Promotion of Critical Thinking. I could be addressing any poster this way including me. Is there some other criteria anyone would like me to use? My biases? My best guess about The Boss’s thinking?


Second, I would disagree that lack of community buy-in equates to a weak argument. And even if it sometimes does, letting community buy-in decide what’s “right” would be a terrifying way to run things. Certainly the Boss doesn’t promote that approach, in fact he explicits rejects it. E.g., if we were to use that approach then atheist views would be considered “wrong”.

I noticed that as well.  Mr Morley’s argument community determining the soundness of the argument seems to fly in the face of the very forum he moderates. How does the atheist argument work if Christian majority community allowed to determine their arguments?

 
nonverbal
 
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19 August 2018 13:44
 
icehorse - 19 August 2018 11:54 AM

. . . I would disagree that lack of community buy-in equates to a weak argument. And even if it sometimes does, letting community buy-in decide what’s “right” would be a terrifying way to run things. . . .

What would you propose as a workable alternative, other than repeating your at times shady points, and upping your emotional yet typically ignorant dedication with each repetition?

icehorse - 19 August 2018 11:54 AM

As for “form”, I think I’d need to see specifics…?

Before I respond here, I’ll pause to consider how I’ll feel if I get exiled to Siberia.

 
 
ubique13
 
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ubique13
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19 August 2018 14:23
 
nonverbal - 19 August 2018 01:44 PM

Before I respond here, I’ll pause to consider how I’ll feel if I get exiled to Siberia.

A bit ghoulish, I would imagine.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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19 August 2018 14:26
 
nonverbal - 19 August 2018 01:44 PM
icehorse - 19 August 2018 11:54 AM

. . . I would disagree that lack of community buy-in equates to a weak argument. And even if it sometimes does, letting community buy-in decide what’s “right” would be a terrifying way to run things. . . .

What would you propose as a workable alternative, other than repeating your at times shady points, and upping your emotional yet typically ignorant dedication with each repetition?

icehorse - 19 August 2018 11:54 AM

As for “form”, I think I’d need to see specifics…?

Before I respond here, I’ll pause to consider how I’ll feel if I get exiled to Siberia.

This is a great example of what I mentioned earlier. I think there is a small chance that you’re pulling my leg, in which case, your skills at written humor are weak. More likely, you’re making an accusation without a citation. So as I mentioned earlier, it seems only decent for you to provide some examples of my “shady” points. AND, it seems to me that you’ve assumed some moral high ground the moment you level your accusation.

As for workable solutions, I laid out some ideas in the OP.

 
 
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