Calling Coyotes by Cross-Country Communication in all Counties

Monday, April 28, 2003

Two new links added. Check them out.

More tomorrow.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Another photo of my dog. Don't even ask what the white haze is.

Update: Apparently Tripod doesn't like linking to a photo on Tripod servers, so here's the photos address:
See a picture of my deceased dog Shelli, on Jay Caruso's Pet Blogging Day.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Requiem For a Dictator
Recommended reading on why going to war in Iraq was a morally compelling choice.

And may I note that the number of civilian casualties given are probably overestimations.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Colbert I. King wins a Pulitzer!

Read why he definitely deserved it.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Good column by Colbert I. King.

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Should this man be on television?

Today (April 5th) on MSNBC's coverage of the war in Iraq, Michael Savage said that in a suicide bombing of two women, the reason that their were US casualties is that the soldiers came close to the van because the woman was screaming. He said that the people really to blame for the deaths are the New York Times and liberals for spreading the idea that the troops need to be compassionate to the Iraqi, and implied that if the US soldiers hadn't had compassion and tried to help the women, the deaths wouldn't have happened, so it is all the liberals fault.

To be honest, this is my best recollection of a small piece I caught around 4 PM EST, but if this makes any sense to you and sounds like something other than the ravings of a lunatic, please e-mail me.

Friday, April 04, 2003

The Qualities of Good Opinion Writers

I haven't posted much in the last few weeks because I've been busy. I also have no real interest in blogging about what little there is to blog about Gulf War II. So here is a post that has nothing to do with that.

The three elements of persuasion:
Pathos: Appeals to empathy, sympathy, stereotypes, prejudices, and perhaps religious beliefs.
Ethos: Use of ethics to persuade reader.
Logos: Use of logic to persuade reader.

The best opinion writers use logos and some degree of ethos to make their point. The worst rely on some form of pathos.

A good writer will build his argument logically from the facts, and will dicuss the ethics he is working under when discussing a morality-related issue, such as abortion. If you are going to write about an issue of morality, tell the reader why you have your ethical position on the subject. You have no chance of getting somebody who doesn't share your viewpoint on a moral issue to read your writing about a facet of the issue, if they don't trust or understand your reason for having the viewpoint. Your ethics are effectively your terms of debate on moral issues, and if a reader who does not share your moral standpoint doesn't know what they are, they will likely not bother to try to understand your position.

When using reasoning and logic, there are three cardinal sins: logical fallacy, intellectual dishonesty, and lies. Logical fallacies consist of non sequiturs, ad hominen attacks(actually a subset of pathos), catch-all explanations, and several other types. For more information, read this, an excerpt from an excellent book by the late-Carl Sagan. Intellectual dishonesty is usually only apparent upon analysis of an argument. It can be the exclusion of contrary facts, the taking of a quote out of context, the misrepresentation of statistics, vague conclusions and confusing logic, or possibly plagiarism. And lies, of course, consist of three types: lies, damn lies, and lies about statistics.

Check this weblog again tommorow for a discussion of the traits of bad writers, and more on writing well.