This is uncut video of an interview with a dad and son (of slightly older age) who were at the show.I just want to note, as a former “Massachusetts Liberal” … that yes, this is Massachusetts liberals at our best. When a child blows his own head off with an Uzi, our first instinct is not to run for cover and defend lax gun ownership and careless playing with firearms at all costs. Our first reaction is to be alarmed and concerned. Deal.

Here they are taking the almost dead boy away:

A day at the gun show:

Comments

  1. #1 Scote
    November 9, 2008

    And my first concern is that all judgments about the incident be based on facts. Deal.

    Then, based on the facts, we respond to the situation rationally and effectively, not running around being directionless “alarmed and concerned” and trying to create responses without properly analyzing what the problem truly is based on actual trends rather than vivid anecdotes. You know, using that that “objective science” thing you’ve dedicated so much of your life to but eschew at the drop of a hat.

    (PS, yes I’m being a tad snarky, but your OP set the tone and I’m responding in kind.)

  2. #2 The Science Pundit
    November 9, 2008

    scote,

    Your snark is noted. However, you are comparing two different things. The first reaction and the eventual plan of action are not the same. The first reaction is one’s immediate gut reaction to a situation; it is necessarily emotional and it reveals one’s priorities.

    Certainly Greg is all for taking a fact-based scientific approach to finding a solution (though even that is colored by priorities). But that first reaction is all about priorities and protecting what one values most. The guy in the video’s first reaction was how “horrible” it would be if they prevented children from shooting automatic guns. Greg’s was “to be alarmed and concerned.” One of those lines up much more closely with my priorities than the other does. I’ll let you guess which one.

  3. #3 Doug Alder
    November 9, 2008

    Looking at the last video I notice that the range wardens were standing behind even adults and bracing them against the kick. That raises a question as to how this accident happened in the first place if they did the same for the child that was killed. Could it be that there was no one bracing him?

  4. #4 greg laden
    November 9, 2008

    Pund: Correct. I think the “we have to be rational” trope among the gun nuts is rarely about being rational. It is about delivering the particular rhetoric that they thing will work against the threat they perceive (usually incorrectly).

    Doug: I was thinking the same thing.

    By the way, if you go to the you tube area where the second and third videos are, you can see a lot more film from this event, including the firing of a big-ass cannon. They seem to be shooting at pumpkins that occasionally explode (gasoline filled pumpkins?)

  5. #5 george.wiman
    November 9, 2008

    If I remember (it has been a while, Kennedy was in the white house) my first gun was a .117 air pump rifle that loaded one pellet at a time. I wore that thing out. I also got a .22 target pistol that loaded one shell at a time. Later, a .410 shotgun that – you guessed it – loaded one shell at a time. I had to answer gun-safety questions correctly and at random and unexpected times. Even one observed infraction would have been the end of gun privileges, perhaps permanently.

    I agree with the father that a break in common sense is responsible for the child’s death. I was a small child and my dad would never have placed a full-auto gun in my hands. We did have a lot of fun with a civil-war era 45/70 that fired enormous blackpowder cartridges. That thing was as long as I was tall and amazingly accurate, once you accounted for the parabola of the heavy subsonic slug. Somehow it only later occurred to me that they shot people with them and the knowledge sickened me.

  6. #6 Scote
    November 9, 2008

    @ The Science Pundit

    Both you and Greg seem to be reacting to something in the interview clip. The interview video, though, doesn’t play on my Mac in Firefox or Safari, so I can’t respond to those comments, and, perhaps, I’ve given Greg short shrift on that issue.

    “Could it be that there was no one bracing him?”

    Could be, or the small, think stock could have slipped under the boy’s arm, making the bracing of limited value. News reports now confirm the weapon to have been a Micro UZI, a machine pistol with a small fold out stock and “lightest recoil of any machine gun” available for public use. ”

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/westfield_police_release_name.html

    The incident is being investigated by multiple agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

  7. #7 Scote
    November 9, 2008

    “Pund: Correct. I think the “we have to be rational” trope among the gun nuts is rarely about being rational. It is about delivering the particular rhetoric that they thing will work against the threat they perceive (usually incorrectly).”

    If you are referring to me then you are wrong. Read my comments in the previous thread. I’m for rational response and for reasonable gun control. I’m not a gun nut by any objective measure. Being rational is, well, **rational**.

  8. #8 Julie Stahlhut
    November 9, 2008

    I’m not convinced that there’s a wholly “rational” way to look at a completely preventable accident that killed a child. (Or, for that matter, an adult.) It’s certainly not irrational to be “alarmed and concerned” by a fatal accident, and to want to prevent similar things from happening again.

    There might be 8-year-olds who have the maturity to drive a car. That doesn’t mean they’re physically capable of operating the controls of an auto while still being able to see through the windshield.

    How about this: There is no rational justification for putting a powerful military weapon into the hands of a third-grader.

  9. #9 Matt Springer
    November 9, 2008

    I’m not going to get into an argument over gun control, but I would like to correct a factual error made by the range officer in the article:

    Mitchell said the weapon had the “lightest recoil of any machine gun” available for public use.

    This is not merely wrong, it’s absolutely the opposite reality. The Micro Uzi has one of the strongest recoils of any handheld automatic weapon, and it is difficult for even experienced shooters to control. It’s basic conservation of momentum: lower gun mass means higher recoil velocity. Add to that the fact that the Micro Uzi has a much higher rate of fire than most automatic weapons and the recoil is even worse than the low mass alone would have otherwise caused. That gun’s recoil is vicious. It sounds to me that the range officer’s ignorance here is inexcusable.

  10. #10 greg laden
    November 9, 2008

    Matt:

    Interesting. so, you are saying that if the basic physics were taken into account, and indeed, if a basic understanding of physics was more redily available to those involved, accidents like this (assuming they can be caused by getting the physics backwards and thus making a wrong decision) would be less likely.

    A working knowledge of science saves the lives of innocent children!

    Anti-science, pro-ignorance, gun-toting right wingers, LISTEN TO THIS MAN!!

  11. #11 Scote
    November 9, 2008

    “A working knowledge of science saves the lives of innocent children!”

    Yes, if we are given time to find the facts and analyze them objectively rather than be hysterically rushed to judgment.

  12. #12 greg laden
    November 9, 2008

    No change of lasting consequence and measurable import has ever happened absent the energy of passion; A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis.

    Put that in your quote rotator and smoke it.

  13. #13 The Science Pundit
    November 9, 2008

    Continuing on the subject of basic physics …

    The recoil of a gun is in the (opposite) direction of the barrel. The guns which tend to be the easiest to control have a large enough stock such that the butt rests comfortably on the shoulder allowing the shoulder to absorb the shock of the recoil. This is particularly important for rapid firing as the direction of the barrel doesn’t migrate much during firing.

    A quick perusal of mini-Uzi images confirms that the mini-Uzi doesn’t lend itself to this set up too easily. Instead, the most natural way to hold it is by the handle. Not only does this mean that your hands and forearms absorb the brunt of the recoil, but because it is not being secured along the line of the recoil, the handle will act as a fulcrum causing the gun to recoil upwards with every shot. This makes automatic fire incredibly hard to control.

    I don’t know how that 8 year old was holding the Uzi, but I can easily see how he could have lost control.

  14. #14 Chris King
    November 9, 2008

    Greg – Where is that quote from?

  15. #15 Scote
    November 9, 2008

    “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis.”

    Citation Needed.

    Interesting bit of conjecture. Can you prove your thesis? Or is that just a handy and generic attack on all who call for reason? Perhaps science blogs should just call it quits, and all scientific endeavors should be disbanded since they are all, by your confident assertion, almost all just appeals for stasis.

    How are we to meaningfully separate your statement from an unfettered license for demagoguery? I can hear those words flow trippingly off the tongues of Cultural Revolutionists, creationists, anti-science religious zealots and Luddite politicians like Sarah Palin, all with equal “validity.” Perhaps you’ve even quoted someone famous, but be that or not, I find your thesis utterly unpersuasive.

  16. #16 Stephanie Z
    November 9, 2008

    Perhaps science blogs should just call it quits, and all scientific endeavors should be disbanded since they are all, by your confident assertion, almost all just appeals for stasis.

    Talk about necessary citations. Please find me a science blog that says that there is no room in this world for humor or personal preference, that people shouldn’t do science because they find it fun or interesting or because they want to contribute to their world.

    How are we to meaningfully separate your statement from an unfettered license for demagoguery?

    With just the teeniest bit of common sense? Or perhaps by not quote-mining so you leave off the first sentence.

  17. #17 greg laden
    November 9, 2008

    Scote:

    Now, you are getting it, man. That was a very, very impassioned argument. The only thing I’ll say in answer to it is that life is complex, and I’ll repeat: Science is culture.

    Chris: It is not a quote. Just me. Being quotable.

  18. #18 Jim
    November 9, 2008

    The father talks about the uzi as not very powerful since it fires the same round as the pistols cops carry. Does anyone remember when cops upgraded from .38s to 9mm or similar caliber? From small to large hand guns? Also, he apparently does not know that caliber is not the operative measure. A .22 caliber round can be propelled with far more energy than a 9 mm. It all depends on the cartridge!

  19. #19 Scote
    November 9, 2008

    “Now, you are getting it, man. That was a very, very impassioned argument.”

    Hmmm…seems to me my post was a rational argument that hinged on reason.

    I don’t disagree with the notion that passion can be focused to good effect, but I’m arguing that that passion not get the better of one’s reason. Passion without reason, without rationality is not science, is not the way forward. Science involves calming your passion long enough to be objective and rational, otherwise you aren’t doing science.

    @: Stephanie Z

    I wasn’t cherry picking Stephanie, I was taking issue with the part I disagreed with. Please note that “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis”
    is a wholly **independent**, free standing claim, not dependent on the first sentence, so it is, in fact, entirely appropriate to attack the validity of that claim on its own. Welcome to appropriate reductionism. It’s how science and rhetoric get done.

  20. #20 Phil
    November 9, 2008

    This doesn’t appear to be a case of gun ownership as it is liability and very bad judgment. It certainly appears as if the range is covering its #ss. What kind of range specializing in machine guns would let a little kid fire a gun known for vicious recoil? How about one which is now trying not be be sued.

  21. #21 Stephanie Z
    November 9, 2008

    Scote, if it were independent, it would be in its own paragraph, and Greg wouldn’t have referred to the two sentences as a quote. Welcome to the basics of grammar.

  22. #22 Scote
    November 9, 2008

    “Scote, if it were independent, it would be in its own paragraph, and Greg wouldn’t have referred to the two sentences as a quote. Welcome to the basics of grammar.”

    No, Stephanie, the test of whether the sentences are dependent or independent is not whether they have their own paragraph or whether Greg calls them a quote. The test is whether each one is a complete thought. “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” is a stand alone sentence with an independent idea and is not in any way **contingent** on the previous sentence. You can even re-order the sentences without changing their meaning in any way, an easy thumbnail to gauge if the ideas are independent. You need to revisit the basics of grammar before haughtily lecturing others.

  23. #23 Stephanie Z
    November 9, 2008

    The test is whether each one is a complete thought.

    Scote, that sentence is meaningless on its own.

    Deal.

    This one too.

    I can hear those words flow trippingly off the tongues of Cultural Revolutionists, creationists, anti-science religious zealots and Luddite politicians like Sarah Palin, all with equal “validity.”

    This one, all by itself, sounds a bit like praise.

    Yeah, it’s silly, but it’s illustrative. You really don’t want anyone evaluating every statement you make out of context. That tactic is for insecure creationists.

    Sentences aren’t grouped into paragraphs just because white space is pretty. You don’t get to ignore the totality of someone’s statement (and still be taken seriously) just because you don’t like it. You certainly don’t get to do it and claim that they’re the one being irrational–not without being laughed out of town.

    As for the haughty lecture? I was just echoing your sentence structure, dude.

  24. #24 Scote
    November 9, 2008

    “As for the haughty lecture? I was just echoing your sentence structure, dude.”

    Haughtiness works better if you are actually right in your claim. You are not. Your failure isn’t even in the realm of arguable opinion. You are simply wrong as a matter of fact.

    Merely being in the same paragraph does not make sentences dependent. To wit: One plus one is equal to two. Giraffes have long necks. Those last two sentences are in a paragraph, but they are not dependent on one another. Grouping is not dependency, nor is sequential order contingency.

    Stephanie, “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” is an self-contained, independent claim. I’ve clearly explained why this is so. You can object all you want, but you can’t prove otherwise because it is a simple fact. But, you are welcome to try. But if you do, you need to prove specifically in what way the claim is **dependent** and specifically why it does not stand on its own, in spite of the fact the sentence can be placed in front of or after the sentence you claim it is dependent on without changing the meaning of either.

    Your repeated assertion that being in a paragraph together necessarily makes sentences dependent is demonstrative of backward reasoning, where you mistake the exhortation of grammarians, who instruct us to write clear paragraphs each consisting of a unifying idea or thought, as proof that all sentences in a paragraph are dependent. Your reasoning is shallow and fallacious, in spite of your blithe averments to the contrary.

  25. #25 Stephanie Z
    November 9, 2008

    Scote, I don’t need to prove anything deeper than that you’re being silly and deliberately obtuse. I’ve already done that. Your getting more haughty won’t change it.

  26. #26 Scote
    November 9, 2008

    Now you are just projecting, Stephanie.

  27. #27 outeast
    November 10, 2008

    Lay off, kids.

  28. #28 Greg Laden
    November 10, 2008

    The two sentences were meant to be read together, as two parts of a single model linking two different but related concepts: Reason and emotion, ying and yang, left brain right brain, Spock and Kirk, equation and inspiration, and so on.

  29. #29 Stephanie Z
    November 10, 2008

    Aw, come on, outeast. Everybody knows the argument is just getting interesting when someone says, “I know you are, but what am I?”

  30. #30 Scote
    November 10, 2008

    The two sentences were meant to be read together, as two parts of a single model linking two different but related concepts: Reason and emotion, ying and yang, left brain right brain, Spock and Kirk, equation and inspiration, and so on.

    “Meant to be read together” is not a claim that the sentences are dependent, but an attempt to imply that they are without making the false claim–clever, but a distraction. Likewise “two different but related concepts” is another admission that each sentence is independent, “different but related” is not a claim of dependency. In other words, the claim “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” is an independent claim that stands or falls on its own merits, in spite of your efforts to obfuscate the issue with attempts to falsely imply the contrary without actually making an explicit false statement.

  31. #31 Greg Laden
    November 10, 2008

    A semicolon can be important; It meaningfully can join sentences that are not as independent as they may seem.

  32. #32 Stephanie Z
    November 10, 2008

    No argument can be made that is more than one sentence long? Seriously, Scote: creationist fruit bat territory.

  33. #33 Scote
    November 10, 2008

    A semicolon can be important; It meaningfully can join sentences that are not as independent as they may seem.

    Hmm…I can’t say as I find your Argument by Orthography persuasive in this instance, and I also see that you still are shy of claiming that the sentences are dependent, since they are not, but instead cleverly trying to imply that they are by saying “not as independent as they may seem.” I appreciate the effort, though. Let’s take a look at the paragraph in question:

    No change of lasting consequence and measurable import has ever happened absent the energy of passion; A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis.

    So, does the inclusion of a semicolon prove the second section is a dependent? Actually no. The in English Grammer a semicolon is often used to separate related, but **independent** clauses. But if you are going to use orthography as proof of the relationship between the two parts you will find that it bites back. You capitalized the “A” in the second section as it if were the beginning of a sentence. Which orthographical convention are we to believe? The semicolon or the capitalized “A”, that indicates a new sentence? Well, as it turns out, it doesn’t matter, because the test of dependence is not determined by a simplistic test of punctuation but of the actual contents of the sentences.

    So, here is the area where both you and Stephanie have to hem, haw and point to paragraphs, semicolons and other non deciding factors, which is how do we determine if the two sections of the paragraph are dependent or not. Primarily, the test is whether or not the claim “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis.” refers back to to something prior for its meaning. Does it? Well let’s try it:

    A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis.

    vs.

    No change of lasting consequence and measurable import has ever happened absent the energy of passion; A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis.

    We can also change the order, to see if the meaning changes:

    A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis; No change of lasting consequence and measurable import has ever happened absent the energy of passion.

    Does the sentence “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” change meaning between the various instances above? No, the claim is not structured as a contingent or conditional claim. It is self-contained and contains everything needed for the claim.

    And I should add that the Appeal to Orthography is just as backwards as Stephanie’s Appeal to Grammar. Just the inclusion of sentences in the same paragraph does not prove dependence, neither does the inclusion of a semi-colon. While good grammar allows us to to use semicolons to separate related independent clauses, the inclusion of a semi-colon is not proof that it was used in such a manner. And when such an argument is used by the author of the claim being questioned, the Argument by Orthography is nothing more than Argument by Assertion.

  34. #34 Scote
    November 10, 2008

    “No argument can be made that is more than one sentence long? Seriously, Scote: creationist fruit bat territory.”

    Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie. Go try and find where I said that. You are arguing with the voices in your head rather than the things you have read.

    It isn’t that an argument **can’t** be more than a single sentence but that the claim “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” is a complete, stand alone argument that stands and falls independently of the claim “No change of lasting consequence and measurable import has ever happened absent the energy of passion.” Either, both or neither could be true, but neither is contingent on the other and the veracity of one does not prove or disprove the other.

    Stephanie, you have learned to write with the indignation that Greg and PZ and others use on occasion and are so good at but you do so without the backing of fact and reason that they generally bring to the table to back up that indignation. While I don’t necessarily agree with Greg on every issue, he’s been clever in his arguments in the grammar side thread, avoiding patently false claims and sticking to clever implications–anticipating where I could find easily rebuttable claims and omitting such. However, you have not been so careful. In this last instance, you crossed the line into making a straw argument rather than attacking what I have actually written. Previously, after I demonstrated why your argument fail, you retorted petulantly “Scote, I don’t need to prove anything deeper than that you’re being silly and deliberately obtuse.” Such is the excuse of someone who does not have a successful counter argument in her quiver, and it is a junior version of what Bill O’Reily might try when he’s losing an argument.

  35. #35 Stephanie Z
    November 10, 2008

    Actually, Scote, it’s the response of someone who has no intention of following you off the cliff.

    I understood Greg’s authorial intent. You did not. He’s confirmed that intent. Arguing that he must be responsible for the content of your understanding even though that doesn’t match his intent is silly. Yes, silly. Also whiny, pointlessly pedantic and immature.

    You’re arguing in a way that we normally see around here from creationists: analyzing statements out of context, saying you must prove X or admit I’m right, trying to follow the “logical consequences” of everyone else’s arguments but not your own. You’re going to a great deal of trouble to try to shape the argument into something that you win by default. I don’t play those games, particularly when they’re just a distraction from a real-world situation with real-world consequences. I just point them out when I see them.

    By the way, in case it wasn’t clear, I did say upthread that “You’re projecting” is just an intellectualized version of “I know you are but what am I?” Just so you know.

  36. #36 Greg Laden
    November 10, 2008

    Scote: I’m sure you are wrong to imply that Stephanie is in any way not as able as me, or in face more able, to handle these arguments. If you think she has let her guard down, that only means the noose is about to close on your ankle and you’ll be flying through the air to be suspended upside down, all alone, in the jungle. Any second now.

    In the mean time, I assure you that the two sentences were meant to be read and understand together and in relation to each other. I have a special way of knowing this.

  37. #37 Scote
    November 10, 2008

    “I understood Greg’s authorial intent. You did not. He’s confirmed that intent. ”

    and

    “In the mean time, I assure you that the two sentences were meant to be read and understand together and in relation to each other. I have a special way of knowing this.”

    Intent is not the argument. Pardon me if I parse the argument you wrote, not the idealized version you imagine now, and analyze it as written. But either way, you still have utterly failed to demonstrate that the claim “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” is anything but an independent claim, nor that it is dependent in any way material to the claim on anything else–your “special way of knowing” not withstanding.

    I wonder what has happened to your standard of reason? Would you accept a similar claim from a creationist? Would you bow to their assertions of dependency based on sentences being in a paragraph or being separated by a semicolon? Or that the author has a special way of knowing (appeal to author’s intent). I’m going to take a WAG and speculate that you only find such arguments persuasive when you are making them and that you would find such claims utterly unpersuasive when used on you. Why? Because they aren’t sound claims.

    “If you think she has let her guard down, that only means the noose is about to close on your ankle and you’ll be flying through the air to be suspended upside down, all alone, in the jungle. Any second now.”

    Stephanie may well have exceptional talents but they have not been in evidence in this thread, which is the only evidence relevant to this argument. But I find this particular claim by you to be as convincing as when John McCain recently said of his falling poll numbers, right before losing the election, “We’ve got them just where we want them!”

    “By the way, in case it wasn’t clear, I did say upthread that “You’re projecting” is just an intellectualized version of “I know you are but what am I?” Just so you know.”

    More or less so than the post by you which proceeded it? Hence my claim of projection.

    But, to close. Neither of you has proven that the claim “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” is anything other than an independent claim that stands or falls on its own. You have made appeals to grouping, semicolons, authorial intent/”special way[s] of knowing” and even “I don’t need to prove anything” but the one thing neither of you have ever bothered to demonstrate is in what way “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” is anything but an independent claim, how it is materially modified by the assertion that precedes it or how it’s veracity is in any way dependent on the veracity of the preceding statement.

    You and Stephanie are both trying to invoke little bits and pieces as proof of dependence, but you both assiduously avoid the crux of the argument. It is simple. How is “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” dependent? Give an example of how its meaning changes with or with out the preceding sentence. Show how it can’t stand alone. You haven’t’ done that because, you can’t, because it isn’t.

  38. #38 Greg Laden
    November 10, 2008

    Scote: It is my claim. They are my sentences. They are what they are because I say that they are.

    If you want to make your own sentences that are just a little bit different than mine (so that you are not plagiarizing me, which I’m sure you would not want to do) and then make claims about them, go ahead.

    You see, the written word is like the spoken word. It is communication. If I mean to say something, then I say it, then what I said is what I meant. If there is some point of obscurity or some need for clarification, then one can ask for it. Then, I can make the clarification. Yes, the sentences are meant to be connected.

    Of course, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure that both of these statements stand on their own as well.

  39. #39 Stephanie Z
    November 10, 2008

    Scote, your WAG is wrong. Communication does not happen in a vaccuum of static words to be picked and parsed to death. It is a transaction between people with the aim of mutual understanding, or it is nothing.

  40. #40 Scote
    November 10, 2008

    Scote: It is my claim. They are my sentences. They are what they are because I say that they are.

    Nope. They are what you wrote. Your intent is irrelevant to whether what you wrote is a valid claim or whether it is an independent claim. For instance, I imagine that you *intend* your claim to be right, but that *intent* isn’t in any way relevant to the validity of your claim and whether you are, in fact, right.

    Imagine what the world would look like if intent was a valid proof and took precedence over actual explicit argument, why then wishes really would be fishes. I could write “Dogs are friendly; Pi is exactly four” and not only could I claim that the second claim is a dependent one, but I could also claim that “Pi is exactly four” is necessarily true because that is my intent.

    Now, if you feel your intent was incorrectly expressed by your express written claims, you are free to re-write them in a manner where the second claim really is dependent, but instead you claim the mere intent is sufficient. Where in science has mere intent ever been sufficient to prove the validity of an argument?

    But, once again, both you and Stephanie have declined to demonstrate a case where the claim “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” would be changed in a way material to the claim by the inclusion or exclusion of the statement that precedes it. Absent that, all your verbosity is merely a substitution of obfuscating prloxity for logic, and a somewhat baffling series of arguments given their obvious deficiencies. It is almost as if you are arguing for the sake of it or out of some pathological inability to admit fault–a speculation you will no doubt take issue with and try to claim, “No that’s you.” But should you try to do that, all of your claims will ring hollow until you demonstrate that the statement is, in fact, dependent in a material way, which you have repeatedly failed to do.

  41. #41 Greg Laden
    November 10, 2008

    Oh. So, you are disagreeing with me. I get it now.

    Why didn’t you just say that!

    Well, what I said is true, so you’re wrong.

  42. #42 Stephanie Z
    November 10, 2008

    [yawn] Scote, go have a conversation with someone you have an interest in communicating with.

  43. #43 Scote
    November 10, 2008

    Scote, your WAG is wrong. Communication does not happen in a vaccuum of static words to be picked and parsed to death. It is a transaction between people with the aim of mutual understanding, or it is nothing.

    Both you and Greg have averred that his intebt that the two statements be dependent is sufficient to make them dependent in fact, you now add the claim of “context.” Let’s accept that in arguendo, now provide us an example of how the claim “A call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” would be changed in a way material to the claim by the inclusion or exclusion of the statement that precedes it, which you aver it is dependent upon.

    Previously I’ve provide clear examples of how the claim is not changed in meaning when the the claim is free standing, or re-ordered. You have provided zero counter examples. If, as you say, the claim is dependent then you should be able to provide a concrete example of how the claim is materially affected by the statement that precedes it.

  44. #44 Scote
    November 10, 2008

    Scote, go have a conversation with someone you have an interest in communicating with.

    Oh, I’ve been delighted to communicate with you. It is easy to argue with someone who won’t stop arguing the factually incorrect side, which would be you in the instant case–well, easy as long as they stay at least somewhat rational. What I’m curious about is why neither you nor Greg would deign to simply say, “Ok, that’s an independent claim” as the evidence so strongly proves, and move on to a point where you actually have case.

    The question, then, becomes do you actually like to be right by dint of having accurate facts and valid reasoning on your side–a position that requires you to surrender invalid positions when faced with sufficient contrary evidence and valid reasoning–or do you merely like to be right by dint of saying you are, regardless of the validity of your claims? The evidence in this thread suggests the latter, that or ignorance of the actual deficiencies in your arguments in this thread.

  45. #45 Stephanie Z
    November 10, 2008

    Scote, a big part of the reason I’m not actually arguing with you is that I’m letting you do a very good job of illustrating Greg’s point. In your pedantic insistence that every sentence of Greg’s be taken and evaluated independently, you’ve shown what happens when passion is taken out of the equation.

    You’ve gotten hung up on technical details that have nothing to do with the discussion at hand. You’ve mired down a thread about a dead child with your repeated insistence that someone tell you you’re right about what constitutes a dependent sentence. I quit arguing with you about that because it was never going to make any progress or any difference. Why argue when I can let you do it?

    Now, why don’t you go take Greg’s advice about that pipe.

  46. #46 Elizabeth
    November 10, 2008

    In your pedantic insistence that every sentence of Greg’s be taken and evaluated independently, you’ve shown what happens when passion is taken out of the equation.

    I agree. This conversation is not going anywhere.

    …mired down a thread about a dead child with your repeated insistence that someone tell you you’re right about what constitutes a dependent sentence.

    Mired down or successfully derailed because his position is cold, cruel, and untenable. Inhuman even.

    Scote, this child died because there are too many people like you.

  47. #47 Scote
    November 10, 2008

    You’ve gotten hung up on technical details that have nothing to do with the discussion at hand. You’ve mired down a thread about a dead child with your repeated insistence that someone tell you you’re right about what constitutes a dependent sentence.

    Me, and **just** me? Hung up? You are funny. As if you and Greg weren’t in the same drawn out argument. You can’t blame your dance partner for finishing the dance you started. You could have bowed out at any time. And, of course, you are still covering for the fact that you have never demonstrated how the claim in question is materially dependent on the preceding claim and how it would be materially different in absence of the preceding claim, but instead of conceding the obvious you have tried repeatedly to shore up your faulty arguments. You then have the temerity to blame me for the length of the thread. Rather hubristic of you, don’t you think?

    Scote, this child died because there are too many people like you.

    Ah, the vilification of people you disagree with, or people you think you disagree with. I’m a pro-gun control Democrat. Curious how I’m now responsible for the death of this child. Could it be that your ad hominems are, per chance, a tad over the top? I’d say, “yes.” But, there is nothing like a person who says that to disagree with them == being “cold, cruel, and untenable. Inhuman even.” and to be responsible for the death of the child in the instant case. Amazing, who knew that asking for the situation to be analyzed based on facts so that an efficacious response could be made would actually mean I’m “cold, cruel, and untenable. Inhuman even.” and to be responsible for the death of an eight year old.” I guess we better start rounding up all those logical scientist types since they are all clearly “cold, cruel, and untenable. Inhuman even.”

    Now, just to show that I’m on the side of angels (well, maybe not *angels*) I’d like to point out a missed opportunity on the part of Greg. He wrote, ” call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis.” That claim is a complete, stand alone claim, but it is a qualified one in the sense that Greg said “pure” rationality. While that doesn’t make the claim dependent, the whole business about dependence was an attempt to disprove my contention such a claim is false. Instead, Greg should have tried to form a defense based on the qualifier “pure,” and the argument would have bogged down under the definition of what qualified as “pure rationality.” There the arguments would have been less well defined with more fudge room and room for equally valid competing theories, whereas the whole “dependency” red herring was not vague but definitively against Greg and Stephanie given the fact that neither Greg nor Stephanie could provide a counter example to show how the meaning of ” call for pure rationality is almost always an appeal for stasis” changed in a material way by the inclusion or exclusion of the preceding claim.

  48. #48 Rrr
    November 11, 2008

    Hey Scote. Why dont ya just emulate the poor kid and prove your point point point point point point point point point point point point point point point point point point point point point point point point point blank in rapid succession. That would really be dispassionate. Also, efficient and effective. Apply directly to the forehead, again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Also. Until youre out of ammo. Again.

    Sorry for clearing out this thread.

Current ye@r *