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Old 11th March 2018, 09:25 AM   #1
The Big Dog
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Seth Abramson--The infowars of the left

Lately there has been a curious rise in the number of people relying on former attorney and poet Seth Abramson as a so-called expert on the Trump-Russia situation.

Some might recall that Seth first rose to fame when he fantastically claimed that Bernie Sanders was ahead in the Democratic Nomination, and when called on it, made up an excuse so feeble that it would make Alex Jones blush:

Quote:
When confronted, Abramson called his writing ďexperimental journalismĒ aimed at creating a ďmetanarrativeĒ that would be ďevery bit as powerful and present and perceivable as any other.Ē
Unfortunately it seems that when people are being told what they want to hear, memories grow dim very quickly:

Quote:
All of that, though, was forgotten as Trump entered office ó and as Abramson began crafting his excruciatingly long Twitter threads, all while picking up media appearances on CNN, CBS, BBC, and elsewhere. It didnít seem to matter that Abramson had negligible expertise on any of the topics at hand ó there are any thousands of other lawyers, still active members of the bar, who could comment on Muellerís investigation ó or that his history of conspiratorial fallacies nearly match the others. (Abramson has denied that heís a conspiracy theorist.)
Stunningly, the criticisms of the left's Alex Jones are coming not from the right, but rather from the Left. Thus the above quotes are taken from think progress of all places:

https://thinkprogress.org/blue-detec...-a42a94537bdf/

Quote:
Over the past few months, other outlets have begun picking up the ball and voicing their criticism of Abramson. For Fast Company, Abramson ďoperatesÖ [by] making grand generalizations about news already reported, but misconstruing even the easiest-to-understand parts in the name of an ideological goal.Ē For Slate, ď[Abramsonís] schtick is less credulous fabulism than hyperbolic sleight of hand.Ē And for the Washington Post, ďAbramsonís tweets link copiously to sources, but they range in quality from investigative news articles to off-the-wall Facebook posts and tweets from Tom Arnold. The New Republic and Atlantic have both dismissed the professor as a conspiracy theorist.Ē GQ, Deadspin. The Outline, and Vice have also publicly called out Abramsonís conspiracy-mongering.
So the next time you are thinking about inflicted a Seth "meta-thread" on this forum, take a minute and think whether the left's infowars is the type of "authority" with which you want to be associated.

Not ever, not once
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Old 11th March 2018, 09:40 AM   #2
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Your tantrums notwithstanding, it appears you dislike him for the same reason others like him: the inferences he makes based on his experience as an attorney and law professor typically turn out to be correct.

Here's a link to his twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SethAbramson

[ETA] I'm also going to call it now: anytime someone links to Seth Abramson in another thread, TBD is going to report it as offtopic and whine about how it "belongs in the Seth Abramson thread."

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Old 11th March 2018, 09:48 AM   #3
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Seth Abramson? That's that twitter guy who can't afford a blog?
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Old 11th March 2018, 09:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Lately there has been a curious rise in the number of people relying on former attorney and poet Seth Abramson as a so-called expert on the Trump-Russia situation.

Some might recall that Seth first rose to fame when he fantastically claimed that Bernie Sanders was ahead in the Democratic Nomination, and when called on it, made up an excuse so feeble that it would make Alex Jones blush:



Unfortunately it seems that when people are being told what they want to hear, memories grow dim very quickly:



Stunningly, the criticisms of the left's Alex Jones are coming not from the right, but rather from the Left. Thus the above quotes are taken from think progress of all places:

https://thinkprogress.org/blue-detec...-a42a94537bdf/



So the next time you are thinking about inflicted a Seth "meta-thread" on this forum, take a minute and think whether the left's infowars is the type of "authority" with which you want to be associated.

Not ever, not once
Again, a textbook case of ad hominem (more specifically, poisoning the well, in this case).

Even Infowars can (in theory) produce sound arguments. As long as a reference to Seth's writing is something more than an appeal to authority -- as long as Seth is actually producing an argument to be evaluated -- there is no reason not to cite his tweets. The reader can evaluate the argument rather than dismissing it based on the source.

Where credibility matters is when the source is making factual claims that are controversial. But the arguments themselves can be evaluated on their own merits by anyone of reasonable intelligence.

NOTE: I am not defending Seth's record. I don't know or care about his record.
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Old 11th March 2018, 09:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Your tantrums notwithstanding, it appears you dislike him for the same reason others like him: the inferences he makes based on his experience as an attorney and law professor typically turn out to be correct.

Here's a link to his twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SethAbramson

[ETA] I'm also going to call it now: anytime someone links to Seth Abramson in another thread, TBD is going to report it as offtopic and whine about how it "belongs in the Seth Abramson thread."
I'm not surprised that you did not take the time to read the article that I linked. Lets take a deep dive into your claim:

Quote:
To wit, according to his LinkedIn, Abramson hasnít worked in any legal capacity in over a decade. A representative from the New Hampshire Bar Association told ThinkProgress that Abramson hadnít been an active member of the bar since at least 2014. Likewise, while Abramson is often introduced as a ďprofessorĒ in his media appearances, itís almost always unsaid that heís actually an assistant English professor ó one whose primary project appears to be editorship of the ďBest American Experimental Writing Series.Ē
Law Professor, huh? You felt you had to make something up to bolster his tissue paper thin qualifications?
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Again, a textbook case of ad hominem (more specifically, poisoning the well, in this case).

Even Infowars can (in theory) produce sound arguments. As long as a reference to Seth's writing is something more than an appeal to authority -- as long as Seth is actually producing an argument to be evaluated -- there is no reason not to cite his tweets. The reader can evaluate the argument rather than dismissing it based on the source.

Where credibility matters is when the source is making factual claims that are controversial. But the arguments themselves can be evaluated on their own merits by anyone of reasonable intelligence.

NOTE: I am not defending Seth's record. I don't know or care about his record.
Yes, that is precisely how he has been cited, as some sort of an authority.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:04 AM   #7
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In what universe can Alex Jones be referred to as a rational source? Using Jones as a citation is an instafail. The guy is certifiable.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:05 AM   #8
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Just say it Big Dog...

Just say, "I don't like when Squeegee Beckenheim posts just a descriptive link to a Abramson twitter novel."
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
I'm not surprised that you did not take the time to read the article that I linked. Lets take a deep dive into your claim:



Law Professor, huh? You felt you had to make something up to bolster his tissue paper thin qualifications?
Way to miss the point. Mueller isn't getting his information from Abramson and neither is the mainstream media that has new revelations on a daily basis, so who cares about Abramson? Attacking him isn't going to put the wheels back on Trump's wagon.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
Way to miss the point. Mueller isn't getting his information from Abramson and neither is the mainstream media that has new revelations on a daily basis, so who cares about Abramson? Attacking him isn't going to put the wheels back on Trump's wagon.
I am simply addressing the recent spate of people citing to him in the politics section as if he were some sort of an expert.

I would refer to him as Fake News, but as already discussed he does not really generate news...
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Lately there has been a curious rise in the number of people relying on former attorney and poet Seth Abramson as a so-called expert on the Trump-Russia situation.

Some might recall that Seth first rose to fame when he fantastically claimed that Bernie Sanders was ahead in the Democratic Nomination, and when called on it, made up an excuse so feeble that it would make Alex Jones blush:



Unfortunately it seems that when people are being told what they want to hear, memories grow dim very quickly:



Stunningly, the criticisms of the left's Alex Jones are coming not from the right, but rather from the Left. Thus the above quotes are taken from think progress of all places:

https://thinkprogress.org/blue-detec...-a42a94537bdf/



So the next time you are thinking about inflicted a Seth "meta-thread" on this forum, take a minute and think whether the left's infowars is the type of "authority" with which you want to be associated.

Not ever, not once
Frankly I hadn't heard of him before you brought him up. But I'm not certain I understand your point. Is it to communicate that in your view Abramson is not a reliable source of information or insight? If so, okay, I don't know enough to judge and I'll have do some research to find out one way or another (if I care enough about the views of someone I haven't heard of until now). Probably as is often the case some of what he says is true and some may not be, but surely you are not attempting to "poison the well" by discrediting in advance any given viewpoint simply because Abramson believes it too?

But what really left me confused is that both in the OP title and the last line of your post you refer to "the left's infowar," yet your own post makes it very clear that it is "the left" that is questioning Abramson's reliability and expertise. Shouldn't then "the left" be complemented on their commitment to the truth and their unwillingness to mindlessly embrace Abramson? If anything you are providing evidence that "the left" is adverse to info wars. Shouldn't the OP title more accurately be "Seth Abramson- an individual with questionable authority"?
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Yes, that is precisely how he has been cited, as some sort of an authority.
Not what I've seen around here. His arguments are linked and can be evaluated by the reader.

An appeal to authority points at the authority's conclusions, not arguments.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Frankly I hadn't heard of him before you brought him up. But I'm not certain I understand your point. Is it to communicate that in your view Abramson is not a reliable source of information or insight? If so, okay, I don't know enough to judge and I'll have do some research to find out one way or another (if I care enough about the views of someone I haven't heard of until now). Probably as is often the case some of what he says is true and some may not be, but surely you are not attempting to "poison the well" by discrediting in advance any given viewpoint simply because Abramson believes it too?

But what really left me confused is that both in the OP title and the last line of your post you refer to "the left's infowar," yet your own post makes it very clear that it is "the left" that is questioning Abramson's reliability and expertise. Shouldn't then "the left" be complemented on their commitment to the truth and their unwillingness to mindlessly embrace Abramson? If anything you are providing evidence that "the left" is adverse to info wars. Shouldn't the OP title more accurately be "Seth Abramson- an individual with questionable authority"?
Perhaps you will wish to enjoy the links embedded in the link in the OP which explains it in some detail.

Unfortunately some on the left have not avoided mindlessly embracing him.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
I am simply addressing the recent spate of people citing to him in the politics section as if he were some sort of an expert.

I would refer to him as Fake News, but as already discussed he does not really generate news...
I don't have any trouble separating Abramson's opinions and speculations from the verifiable facts that he curates, and when it comes to the facts, it's pretty clear to me that Abramson knows a hell of a lot more than you do.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
In what universe can Alex Jones be referred to as a rational source? Using Jones as a citation is an instafail. The guy is certifiable.
Another form of ad hominem.

Don't get me wrong. I don't feel compelled to carefully examine every cited Jones argument, simply because I haven't the time or inclination to do so. But if, say Belz... (closet Infowars member, I'm sure) were to cite an Infowars argument and I dismissed it because it's Infowars, then I am guilty of a very obvious logical fallacy.

Since my time and interest are limited, I'll accept that criticism and move on, more often than not.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:28 AM   #16
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Perhaps Seth Abramson can tell us who Eric Hoteham is.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:29 AM   #17
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Just for the record: http://www.sethabramson.net/bio

Quote:
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Seth worked for nine years as a criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator and is now a tenure-track professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at University of New Hampshire. His teaching areas include digital journalism, post-internet cultural theory, post-internet writing, and legal advocacy (legal writing, case method, and trial advocacy).
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:30 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
I don't have any trouble separating Abramson's opinions and speculations from the verifiable facts that he curates, and when it comes the the facts, it's pretty clear to me that Abramson knows a hell of a lot more than you do.
Well he CERTAINLY knew more about Sanders being ahead of Clinton.

As far as my level of expertise, well I usually donít like to too my own horn:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...postcount=2343

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Old 11th March 2018, 10:30 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Perhaps you will wish to enjoy the links embedded in the link in the OP which explains it in some detail.

Unfortunately some on the left have not avoided mindlessly embracing him.
Perhaps I will if I can convince myself it is important or entertaining enough to do so.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:32 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Just for the record: http://www.sethabramson.net/bio
Just for the record:

https://mobile.twitter.com/ObsoleteD...42a94537bdf%2F
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:34 AM   #21
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I take back my prior post and I may have to thank The Big Dog for bringing this guy to my attention- from what people have posted it sounds as if he might have some interesting insights or viewpoints.

[deleted in edit]
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:38 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I take back my prior post and I may have to thank The Big Dog for bringing this guy to my attention- from what people have posted it sounds as if he might have some interesting insights or viewpoints.

[deleted in edit]
Make sure you read his theory on experimental writing and metanarrative, otherwise known as lying.

By the way, what posts exactly made you think he has “interesting insights”? Really curious.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:45 AM   #23
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So TBD, how about you spell out one or more conspiracy theories Abramson has foisted, rather than link to opinion pieces? Please include a direct quote from Abramson so readers don't have to unravel the argumentum ad Kevin Baconum in order to know which of the purported Abramson CTs you're calling out.

"Sanders being ahead of Clinton" doesn't cut it; far too vague.

"Follow the link" doesn't cut it either. How is a reader supposed to know which bits you refer to? I can't imagine that just because you post a link, that you're necessarily standing behind every bit on the page. Correct?

In short, more specificity please.
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Old 11th March 2018, 11:03 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Just for the record: http://www.sethabramson.net/bio
Sounds like a guy who is very plugged into politics and legal affairs in the capital.

That is, the capital of New Hampshire.
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Old 11th March 2018, 11:10 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Another form of ad hominem.

Don't get me wrong. I don't feel compelled to carefully examine every cited Jones argument, simply because I haven't the time or inclination to do so. But if, say Belz... (closet Infowars member, I'm sure) were to cite an Infowars argument and I dismissed it because it's Infowars, then I am guilty of a very obvious logical fallacy.

Since my time and interest are limited, I'll accept that criticism and move on, more often than not.
Are you saying that you are all good with 911, chemtrails, UFO, harrp, vaccine, flat earth, imminent martial law, reptilian overlords and such CT baloney as a valid position worthy of deep consideration?
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Old 11th March 2018, 11:15 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
In what universe can Alex Jones be referred to as a rational source? Using Jones as a citation is an instafail. The guy is certifiable.
The argument being made is that referring to Seth Abramson as a rational source is similarly an insta-fail.
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Old 11th March 2018, 11:17 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post

"Sanders being ahead of Clinton" doesn't cut it; far too vague.
Ok, let clear that right up for you!

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-..._10077684.html
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Old 11th March 2018, 11:19 AM   #28
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The closest thing to Alex Jones on the left in clearly Claude Taylor.
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Old 11th March 2018, 11:31 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Are you saying that you are all good with 911, chemtrails, UFO, harrp, vaccine, flat earth, imminent martial law, reptilian overlords and such CT baloney as a valid position worthy of deep consideration?
I thought that what I wrote was perfectly clear, but if not, let me explain.

If I am arguing with someone who cites an Infowars argument, it is clearly a logical fallacy to reply, "But that is Infowars, so I dismiss that argument."

On the other hand, our time here is finite and we have no obligation to engage in every dispute, so it is no fallacy to say, "Sorry, I am not interested in continuing this discussion." In doing so, I am not claiming that I've refuted the Infowars argument. I'm merely bowing out due to lack of interest.

Can you seriously not understand that dismissing an argument on the basis of who made it is undeniably a fallacy? Arguments should be evaluated on the basis of their content, not on the character or history of their proponents. Honestly, this is a very basic principle of critical thinking.
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Old 11th March 2018, 11:37 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Ok, let clear that right up for you!

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-..._10077684.html
Wow. Here's the post to which you were replying:

Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
So TBD, how about you spell out one or more conspiracy theories Abramson has foisted, rather than link to opinion pieces? Please include a direct quote from Abramson so readers don't have to unravel the argumentum ad Kevin Baconum in order to know which of the purported Abramson CTs you're calling out.

"Sanders being ahead of Clinton" doesn't cut it; far too vague.

"Follow the link" doesn't cut it either. How is a reader supposed to know which bits you refer to? I can't imagine that just because you post a link, that you're necessarily standing behind every bit on the page. Correct?

In short, more specificity please.
Just decided to hell with his request, huh? Too much work to form your own opinion and defend it with citations, so more third party links (without any clarification on the parts you find compelling).

Pathetic.
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Old 11th March 2018, 11:51 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Wow. Here's the post to which you were replying:

Just decided to hell with his request, huh? Too much work to form your own opinion and defend it with citations, so more third party links (without any clarification on the parts you find compelling).

Pathetic.
Thanks for checking in! You will note the post to which I was replying claimed (well actually hand waved away) the several links regarding Clinton/Sanders as “too vague.”

As such what I did was post to Seth’s actual explanation! A direct quote if you will. Why would I substitute my own opinion when I could answer his spectacularly specious objection with Seth’s own words?

Maybe next time? Read the link, ‘k?
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Old 11th March 2018, 11:54 AM   #32
WilliamSeger
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Well he CERTAINLY knew more about Sanders being ahead of Clinton.

As far as my level of expertise, well I usually donít like to too my own horn:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...postcount=2343

Yep, and as I pointed out in that thread, your "level of expertise" apparently didn't include the fact that if what Abramson said was "a bald faced lie" then it wasn't his lie -- it was Erik Prince's via Breitbart -- and that it isn't at all clear that it wasn't the NYPD detectives who first found the emails. Furthermore, since the NYPD and FBI were working together, it doesn't make a damn bit of difference. So not only does that attack on Abramson fail, but you would have been hard pressed to find a more trivial and meaningless detail to attack.
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Old 11th March 2018, 12:03 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
Yep, and as I pointed out in that thread, your "level of expertise" apparently didn't include the fact that if what Abramson said was "a bald faced lie" then it wasn't his lie -- it was Erik Prince's via Breitbart -- and that it isn't at all clear that it wasn't the NYPD detectives who first found the emails. Furthermore, since the NYPD and FBI were working together, it doesn't make a damn bit of difference. So not only does that attack on Abramson fail, but you would have been hard pressed to find a more trivial and meaningless detail to attack.
Seth let Erik Prince post lies in Seth’s twitter feed?

Huh.

/everything you said in that thread about the NYPD was and is wrong
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Old 11th March 2018, 12:07 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Seth let Erik Prince post lies in Sethís twitter feed?

Huh.
Start by proving it was a lie, then we'll get into criticizing Abramson for believing something he read on Breitbart.
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Old 11th March 2018, 12:13 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
Start by proving it was a lie, then we'll get into criticizing Abramson for believing something he read on Breitbart.
I have a better idea, why donít you support you completely made up claim that Abramson read it on Breitbart? Because I laughed.

Seth lied.
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2016/im...nerwarrant.pdf
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Old 11th March 2018, 12:31 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Another form of ad hominem.

Don't get me wrong. I don't feel compelled to carefully examine every cited Jones argument, simply because I haven't the time or inclination to do so. But if, say Belz... (closet Infowars member, I'm sure) were to cite an Infowars argument and I dismissed it because it's Infowars, then I am guilty of a very obvious logical fallacy.

Since my time and interest are limited, I'll accept that criticism and move on, more often than not.
You can't be serious. Even Alex Jones admitted he was making all that stuff up when he had to be truthful in his divorce proceeding.

If you don't recognize Jones, Hannity, Pirro, Limbaugh, and a slew of other dishonest and/or whack-job broadcasters are not reliable for anything except propaganda, it's akin to being so open-minded your brains fall out.

Unless you are referring to an argument Jones also makes, as opposed to an argument where Jones is the source of the evidence, that's different. But if so, why mention Jones?
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Old 11th March 2018, 12:37 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Are you saying that you are all good with 911, chemtrails, UFO, harrp, vaccine, flat earth, imminent martial law, reptilian overlords and such CT baloney as a valid position worthy of deep consideration?
^ That too.
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Old 11th March 2018, 12:39 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
The argument being made is that referring to Seth Abramson as a rational source is similarly an insta-fail.
But it isn't. And so far up to this post, (not all the way through the thread yet), no one has posted any equivalent crazy CT such as those examples listed by abaddon.
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Old 11th March 2018, 12:43 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I thought that what I wrote was perfectly clear, but if not, let me explain.

If I am arguing with someone who cites an Infowars argument, it is clearly a logical fallacy to reply, "But that is Infowars, so I dismiss that argument."
What is your limit? If I say it's true because it's song lyrics?How about it's true because the little aliens that come in my room at night say so? Surely you have a line on a continuum you draw.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
On the other hand, our time here is finite and we have no obligation to engage in every dispute, so it is no fallacy to say, "Sorry, I am not interested in continuing this discussion." In doing so, I am not claiming that I've refuted the Infowars argument. I'm merely bowing out due to lack of interest.

Can you seriously not understand that dismissing an argument on the basis of who made it is undeniably a fallacy? Arguments should be evaluated on the basis of their content, not on the character or history of their proponents. Honestly, this is a very basic principle of critical thinking.
Your principle is sound, the application needs reconsidering.
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Old 11th March 2018, 12:45 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You can't be serious. Even Alex Jones admitted he was making all that stuff up when he had to be truthful in his divorce proceeding.

If you don't recognize Jones, Hannity, Pirro, Limbaugh, and a slew of other dishonest and/or whack-job broadcasters are not reliable for anything except propaganda, it's akin to being so open-minded your brains fall out.

Unless you are referring to an argument Jones also makes, as opposed to an argument where Jones is the source of the evidence, that's different. But if so, why mention Jones?
I am clearly speaking about arguments and not factual assertions without argument. In the latter case, relying on Jones's say-so is a clear fallacy of appeal to (unqualified) authority. We may dismiss an argument relying on Jones's authority when it comes to a huge variety of factual claims.

But we can't dismiss Jones's arguments on the grounds that they come from Jones.
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