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The Hierarchy of Disagreement

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Bill Dwyer View Drop Down

Joined: 31/August/2013
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    Posted: 21/September/2013 at 2:30pm

 It never ceases to amaze me how, no matter how factual and detailed a post is on this forums or the FPR comments section, many of the responses are so shallow and sophomoric. 

A perfect example is the response to a post I made last week regarding the Tricoci family's decision to leave Forest Park. 

Here’s what I wrote:

“I feel terrible for the Tricoci family, who've been forced to make a genuinely gut-wrenching decision.”

“But as John (Tricoci)'s letter says, "(We) have not seen any improvement in D209 to convince us to stay."

For 12 years Tricoci's cousin, Anthony Calderone, supported a man who is directly responsible for the deterioration of D209's academic and fiscal condition.

“Chris Welch played cynical political games throughout his tenure as president of the D209 board. Read the record, John, then ask Tony why.”

Here were a couple responses:

“@ Bill What is your point? Does it matter what his cousin did or didn't do? The problems at East are far more serious than fiscal irresponsibly and academic me Bill it starts with safety. Yeah I said it and it's the truth so when the "purity police" come charging there it is no gray area.”

And another:

“Bill Dwyer for long has been writing both in his name and several handles, he has long been simply copying others stories and adding his own bent twist.”

“He does a superb job at writing in such a way that you believe him. His attack dog style is like any other wild animal that has not been fed. Just like any dog that barks a lot doesn't mean it to be tame. Many are simply a wild animal.”

“He i not lived here so long I might believe his BS too.”

Besides the butchered final sentence, my favorite is part of that post is “He does a superb job at writing in such a way that you believe him.”

That might just be because I work hard to find and organize facts that actually support my argument. Otherwise, why bother making an argument?

I’d forgotten the specific principles of rhetoric I learned long ago, so I’m posting those principles from a pyramid by Paul Graham, outlining his Hierarchy of Disagreement. 

It says a lot about how I and others go about making an argument, and how the Welch and Calderone supporters make theirs.

Refuting the Central Point: explicitly refutes the central point

Refutation: finds the mistake and explains why it’s mistaken using quotes

Counterargument: contradicts and then backs it up with reasoning and/or supporting evidence

Then you have the ways in which most of the Forum critics respond.

Contradiction: states the opposing case with little or no supporting evidence

Responding to Tone: criticizes the tone of the writing without addressing the substance of the argument

Ad Hominem: attacks the characteristics or authority of the writer without addressing the substance of the argument

Name-calling: sounds something like, “You are an ass hat.” 

The people who support political players like Anthony Calderone and Chris Welch and Ron Serpico will always believe what they want to believe and attack critics in the only way they know how- with derision and fluff. 

As for the rest of us, who actually care about seeing change occur in Proviso Township, it helps to be reminded of what constitutes an honest argument and and what amounts to something less than that. 

Facts are a bitch and the truth most hurts the liars
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citizen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote citizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/September/2013 at 11:23am
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ― Upton Sinclair
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watcher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/September/2013 at 1:37pm
"I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you."
"Be ingenious; not igneous." -watcher

"It is a wreave belief that we already are in Hell."- Tuluk in Frank Herbert's "Whipping Star"
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