Sunday, July 25, 2010

The fallacies of the dear reader

My reader comes from all walks of life: university professors, clinicians, person who stutters, person who is affected by stuttering, and scientists. And some dear readers commit fallacies.

I have never in my life read such nonsense in relation to stuttering.
The dear reader is not supporting his statement "your statements about stuttering are non-sense" with arguments. I cannot reply to such comments, because I cannot study his arguments and refute or agree with them. Typically, such comments are more an expression of an emotional reaction, because my statements do not fit with his view of the world. Lesson: Say why I write non-sense.

Sounds like you are simply venting and not proposing any solutions.
The dear reader does not actually address my statement, because s/he claims that I should not be allowed to make the statement or that the statement is wrong, because I am not proposing a solution to issues made in the statement. So I cannot talk about HIV being a major threat to South Africa, because I do not propose a solution? The reader is in the wrong mind setting. In negotiations, business environments, clinical settings, and deadlines, it's often more important to propose solutions than to pinpoint the issue. But we are in a scientific / intellectual debate framework. Lesson: Grow up intellectually and forget about the consequences of your arguments.

You must accept other people's opinions.
The dear reader must be aware that such a statement would make a debate impossible. Of course, everyone should have the opportunity to voice their opinion. But often that opinion is simply wrong, and one needs to be able to express the opinion that someone else's opinion is wrong. The reader confuses this with matters of tastes or person experiences. I cannot disagree with opinions like "Tom's new blog design is awful and I prefer green wall paper" or "I felt anger at Tom's post". These are the reader's experiences and I cannot take them away from them. However, I can argue with their interpretation of their experiences. For example, if someone writes "Stuttering is a learned behaviour, because I unlearned X", I can disagree because the fact that he had the experience "I unlearned X" does not automatically mean that stuttering is a learned behaviour. Lesson: Many opinions can be challenged, because they are not first person experiences or matters of taste but verifiable ideas.

XYZ is a well-respected figure in the stuttering community
The dear reader should put arguments forward to support that figure's statements. Winning the popularity contest or the conference organizers over to give a key note speeches is not relevant to whether the statements made by those people is correct.
Again, statements needs to be supported by arguments and not by authority beliefs. Lesson: KILL ALL AUTHORITY. IF A PROFESSOR OR WELL CANNOT SUPPORT HIS OR HER STATEMENTS THEY ARE NOT WORTH BEING PROFESSORS.


sachin said...

Wow! I like the spirit. There is so much of highly respected, idolised "non-sense" in the field of stuttering therapy, that I would not mind if Tom went a little overboard. That is very much needed, otherwise stammerers will keep on getting questionable therapy down their throats by enthusiastic researchers, suave clinicians, smart Industrialists and their pockets will keep on getting ripped off regularly by clever operators.. This tough objectivity and plain speaking is very much the need of the day. Thank you TOM.
sachin (TISA)

Ora said...


I think we should all offer our sympathy to Tom about the results of the Tour de France. Andy Schleck fought a good fight.

Sorry Tom. Maybe next year!