Ditto what BigE said! With respect to BobB, I would have loved to have seen he would have handled someone like daSlider.
RickH and Gonzo - IMHO, the interactions Fastman and I had with daSlider in recent threads did not fall into the category of "two people saying the same thing in two different ways, but being stubborn folks, they refuse to see that commonality...", or "trying to outdo each other with techno gobbly goop...".
Rather, I feel that when daSlider ran out of technical depth, he seamlessly turned to his extremely well-honed skills as a sophist to continue to present himself and his arguments as reasonable:
==========soph·is·try ( P ) Pronunciation Key (s f -str )
n. pl. soph·is·tries
The essential insight of sophistry is that the actual logical validity of an argument is irrelevant; it is only the ruling of the audience which ultimately determine whether a conclusion is considered "true" or not. By appealing to the prejudices and emotions of the judges, one can garner favorable treatment for one's side of the argument, and cause a factually false position to be ruled true.==============
- Plausible but fallacious argumentation.
- A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument.
- The practice of a sophist; fallacious reasoning; reasoning sound in appearance only.
- A deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone.
In fact, the previous paragraph explains why, if someone does not read and analyze daSlider's postings with considerable care, one could easily think he is a reasonable sort of guy and the interactions were simply a typical, albeit low-intensity, reasonably polite Internet flaming contest.
This ability of sophists to sound reasonable is, IMHO, one of their most dangerous characteristics. All of them claim that "they are just trying to get to the bottom of the issue", but the spin they are so good at putting on a topic can convince people of things which simply are not true and make people act on these beliefs. I find such intellectual dishonesty repulsive, and it scares me when other people, having only casual knowledge of the discussion, initially dismiss it as a summertime, everybody-is-bored pissing contest.
For what it's worth, I just downloaded a list of 13 classic techniques of sophistry. In daSlider's recent posts, I can find places where he employed almost every one of these techniques. I think it's pointless and inappropriate to pursue this further on Epic. For all I know, daSlider may not even be aware he is employing these techniques. However, if he continues to do so, I will be happy to point out his utilization of these techniques in exquisite detail.
I think that everybody who has been on Epic for any length of time will realize that I rarely, if ever, have previously involved myself in this sort of nonsense, and I think that exactly the same thing can be said for Fastman.
Usually, I regard these sorts of discussions as nothing but unproductive time-wasting. However, in this case, daSlider's skills at persuading people of his technically inaccurate points of view were so good, and he so perseverated at this activity that Fastman and I felt that his comments simply had to be rebutted.
Unfortunately, even after being figuratively hit over the head with technically correct explanations, his reaction would be to almost imperceptibly shift his POV to incorporate the most obviously correct parts of our comments, and then try to deflect attention away from this by (for example) focusing on miniscule parts Fastman's presentation, claiming that they were unclear and trying to force the discussion to continue in this direction.
As I told him in one of my messages, if he was in one of my classes and continued to use these techniques to disrupt the class after being warned not to, I would ask him to leave, and if he didn't, I would have him forcibly removed.
SCSA had his opinions, but it was obvious what they were and when he was expounding dogma and occasionally just being silly / intentionally cantankerous or genuinely annoyed at what he saw as the PSIA mob. IMHO, daSlider's disruption is much more insidious and intellectually dangerous, and I will continue to point out technical errors in his posts, if it looks like other people are being influenced by them.
Tom / PM