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All of the techniques listed in this document have actually been witnessed, told to us by someone else, or dreamed up. They are described in first person for clarity of motive.
The intent of detailing and naming these insidious tactics is so that the reader may AVOID USING THEM, to quickly recognize if someone else is using them, and for fun. There is much humor in the way people (consciously or unconsciously) conversationally cheat.
It is hoped that exposing these tactics will help muzzle the growing abuse in our conversational landscape. Give copies to both perpetrators and victims (only NOT for profit use).
The examples are overblown in an attempt to be both clear and funny. Use your imagination to think of how you (perish the thought) and others have used these techniques in the past.
They have been grouped by major category, with the best (worst!) saved for last.
The Great Speckled Bird Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, compliant press and a mere token opposition party.
Dummy up. If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.
Wax indignant. This is also known as the "How dare you?" gambit.
Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors." (If they tend to believe the "rumors" it must be because they are simply "paranoid" or "hysterical.")
Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspects of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors (or plant false stories) and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.
Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nutcase," "ranter," "kook," "crackpot," and, of course, "rumor monger." Be sure, too, to use heavily loaded verbs and adjectives when characterizing their charges and defending the "more reasonable" government and its defenders. You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned. For insurance, set up your own "skeptics" to shoot down.
NIT-PICKING: "We need to define just exactly what you mean by _________."
THINK VS. FEEL: "Your cold, analytical approach to this issue doesn't take into account the human element."
THINK VS. FEEL: "Your emotional involvement with this issue obscures your ability to see things objectively."
CUT 'EM OFF AT THE PASS: "I don't think we can go on until we establish the scientific validity of that last statement."
DESCRIBE THE ANSWER: "I'm glad you asked. Would you like a long or a short answer?"
DESCRIBE THE QUESTION:"The question asked, is basically _______, ________, _______."
OBVIOUS ANSWER: To give an obvious, over-literal, useless, or pun response to delay with humor.
NAME IT: "Your line of reasoning is called the MacGregor Phenomenon."
Originally posted by semperfortis
Very well put..
If you take all of that for factual evidence, the art of Forum Debate will die.
PRETEND AD HOMINEM:
A specific escalation of YOU'LL PAY FOR THAT; make it seem as if the other person is attacking you rather than making a simple point or correction, especially if you suspect that the other party is correct. Rather than staying on the subject, begin to act hurt--as if you have been viciously attacked as a human being--rather than admit you are wrong, or could do better, etc.
"I can't do anything right..."
"I suppose in your eyes I am just a total failure."
( "I think the reason people are honking and gesticulating at you is that the sign says MERGE, not STOP." ) "Well, if you think me such a terrible, horrible person...."