Debating, and regurgitating facts

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by FlugelFlyer, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL
    It struck me today just surfing some forums on the web today, why is this the accepted method of debating today? Some teachers could correct me on this, but from my own knowledge, there are four basic levels of knowledge: Rote, Understanding, Application, and Correlation, and these are the basic definitions:

    -Rote: You see it, you memorize it, you know it. Example, 2+2=4

    -Understanding: You see it, now you know what it means. Example, you have two items; you have another two items. Combine them into one result; you have four items.

    -Application: You're measuring traffic flow. At a given moment, two cars are travelling northbound on a street and two cars are travelling southbound on the street. Thus, you have four cars because 2+2=4.

    -Correlation: In theory, this is the level that many people do not get to in their quest for knowledge, the ability to tie the application level of knowledge into the big picture of things. Tough to come up with a worthy example, but try this. You see four footprints in the dirt. You see two which look similar and another two which look similar. You can imply that two came from one animal and two came from another animal. Thus, there are two items and two more items being added up to create four total items. If asked what the animals were doing, you can look at the orientation of them, and if they're in line, you can determine that they may have been walking in the same direction, or if they're out of line, they may have been fighting.

    Anyways, the basic goal of knowledge is to get to the top level, correlation. It would seem then, that a great debater would want to correlate knowledge into an argument to create a nearly indisputable claim. However, it seems like not just forum posters, but politicians and other people especially are content debating on the rote level of things. For instance, I'll see someone state a claim and then quote someone or themselves, looking something like "blah blah blah, big unusual word, blah blah blah, word that no one uses anymore, blah blah blah." I may come in then and say something like, "Well you said this, but in fact over in this neck of the woods, things exist like this, not that, so how do you account for this scenario within your argument?" Then, I'll get the same regurgitated phrase back from the person, "no, your wrong, because blah blah blah, big unusual word, blah blah blah, word that no one uses anymore, blah blah blah. Get that?"

    What becomes further ironic is that people who are looking to obtain new knowledge go with the rote level of the debate and side with the other guy; I guess because the rote argument is easiest to grasp and perhaps therefore "pop knowledge". I guess this is a whole rant more than anything, but why is it that people throw one fact around in the argument and throw it enough times until they've knocked out every tooth in every head, and why do people debate back with the same one-fact strategy? Anything I haven't seen?

    Anyways, by no means am I looking to condemn anyone on this local community, but elsewhere (not just on other forums) do you guys have similar observations and deduce similar/other conclusions? Thanks!
  2. Robert Rowe

    Robert Rowe Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 24, 2004
    "Ditto" the above.

    Robert Rowe
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    The most frustrating thing is arguing with a "bumper sticker"!

  4. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    It's actually one of the reasons I won't get involved with a lot of the general issue topics on these sites. I have my opinions which I consider to be well reasoned and researched and that, quite frankly, evolve.

    The problem is that we've built a whole culture that's based on sound-bites. A couple of years ago I did my know what that really taught you? Little bits of lots of different things that make you APPEAR as if you know what you're talking about. That's why even people who appear well educated can't get to the correlation level...they actually don't know enough about the topic. Lateral application of a concept takes a much deeper knowledge of a topic than having all the 'catch phrases'.

    The internet doesn't help either in this regard. It means that everybody can be an 'expert' without any real knowledge and in the end expounding something that's either ill-informed or, even more maliciously, blatantly disinformed. Use the internet, it's great for information gathering but as with all information be very critical of it's source.

    Just my thoughts really (and they will probably change).


  5. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    So are you frustated by overly simplistic arguments, or ones that use words you don't understand?

    In my estimation, people become frustrated with debates when the side they're on appears to be losing the argument. While it's true some tactics can be frustrating in that they obscure the point, I usually hear people trying to be clear and reasoned in what they're getting across. Except for Sean Hannity. :lol:

    Big words do not a false argument make. Buy a dictionary and learn how to hang!
  6. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL

    Done, Done, Done, and Done. is very handy for starters, and reading it over ten times helps. ;-)

    Sarcasm aside, it's not the big words that confuse me somehow. Where the big words come into play is that they are words that the person making the argument doesn't normally use, and you see the exact same phrase repeated time after time after time. I could swear that the last presidential debate was all that, throwing catchphrases at each other time and time again for instance, and any time I would ever try to go to a higher level of debate with someone and reason through the catchphrase, I'd have the same catchphrase thrown at me again. That's the stance where I make the argument from.
  7. londonhusker

    londonhusker Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2007
  8. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Ya murdered that thread Dave!!!

    The same thing is happening everywhere, in all industries . Real expertise is being overshadowed by the guys (and girls) with the sharp suits and the right words. Heck, I worked in American banks for nearly 20 years..they're full of them (it). Most of them don't know what the heck they're talking about.

    Frightens me.


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