Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mary Mary Quite Contrary, that is a stupid argument and I want to punch you.

What is up with people who have to argue about EVERYTHING. Like. I am cranky. Crankiness is part of my essential nature. But I once had a guy argue with me about whether water had a taste. Does water from different sources taste different? THEN IT HAS A TASTE.

Today, that same guy was arguing (not with me, though I got drawn in just by walking into the room) about whether education has value. Or specifically, about whether having a degree has value. His opinion - it does not. When he had the tangible value of  say, assisting you in getting a job pointed out, he argued that that wasn't fair, and that they don't even check to see if you did well in your studies and that it's no replacement for experience. And...ok, but that doesn't mean having a degree doesn't apply. "I think it's unfair that having a degree might be more valuable than equivalent experience" is a different argument than "my degree has no practical value."

And it strikes me that these people...these contrarians who insist are on arguing about everything, are terrible at it. As much as they insist on turning everything into an argument, you'd think they'd be better at it. If you want to convince me that Macs are better than PCs, you have to explain to me how they meet MY needs better, not how they meet YOUR needs better. I'm not using a computer the way you are, so that's a bad argument. And also "because they're better and I like them better" is also a terrible argument. It is nt persuasive.

And also, these people tend to change their arguments midstream. If they can't persuade you, or if, worse yet, you manage to prove them wrong, they'll pretend that they were arguing the same point as you all along!

Sometimes! Facts are just facts. Reality is just reality. And if you want to disprove that? Practice your debate skills. because  "I am right because of this unrelated point" is  not going to make me agree with you.

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