Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Red Cliffs Of Dawlish
Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Argument Abstraction

How To Disagree: Paul Graham's Hierarchy of Argument Quality

All the blogs to date have been aligned towards this one blog.

It threads together all the ideas concerning Metacognition, "beginning to begin", "Concept Shifts" and measuring quality of arguments in relation to the upcoming EU Referendum (, Brexit (FLEXCIT) and Democracy (The Harrogate Agenda). The above diagram is from Paul Graham's How To Disagree (and is relatively well known):-
"The web is turning writing into a conversation. Twenty years ago, writers wrote and readers read. The web lets readers respond, and increasingly they do—in comment threads, on forums, and in their own blog posts.

Many who respond to something disagree with it. That's to be expected. Agreeing tends to motivate people less than disagreeing. And when you agree there's less to say. You could expand on something the author said, but he has probably already explored the most interesting implications. When you disagree you're entering territory he may not have explored.

The result is there's a lot more disagreeing going on, especially measured by the word. That doesn't mean people are getting angrier. The structural change in the way we communicate is enough to account for it. But though it's not anger that's driving the increase in disagreement, there's a danger that the increase in disagreement will make people angrier. Particularly online, where it's easy to say things you'd never say face to face."

 xkcd: Duty Calls

Democracy's vitality principle is the quality and distribution and frequency of argumentative engagement between people, as humorously satirized by xkcd. Where this declines, the "power to the people" also declines as per The Goldfinch and the Gilded Cage with it and centralization of power inevitably increases, in our case along The Road To The European Union (not necessarily for the better quality of life experience of people):-

 T.H. White: "100 People: 1:9:90"

In A Clash Of Kings it was noted that "the nine knaves" (see T. H. White's The Book Of Merlyn above) arguments belong in a different dimension to our arguments, "We The People" or "we the ninety fools" because we spend our valuable time, energy and attention unwisely as per Squaddie TV. And Off The Ball Movement illustrated "the one central question" in our argument in comparison to the "ten thousand details" it is constituted from that is the focus:-

"Choosing How We Are Governed?"

In The Referendum Question which will be posed most likely in 2017:-

 "Choosing How We Are Governed?"

  • Remain = Supranationalism
  • Leave = Intergovernmentalism
 At The Bruges Group meeting in terms of agreement and consensus were reached via x2 Important "Concept Shifts":-
  • "If we were asked to join the EU today, would we?"
  • "The EU is Leaving us." 
You can see that BOTH of these concept shifts are successful because they are underpined by quality hierarchy of argument via:- 

Refuting The Central Point

DH6: of EU membership is based honestly and truly and openly on rejecting Supranationalism as incompatible and possibly therefore deleterious to democracy as our and Western Nations' system of governance. Therefore in the 2017 Referendum the question itself holds the correct Frame Of Reference considering our current EU Membership of >40yrs. Answering the question is a question of disagreeing with Supranationalism as well as defining it's alternative given the concept shift above:-

Brexit = "Withdrawal from the European Union (EU) Political membership, representation in it's political institutions (Parliament, Council etc) - ONLY ie Supranationalism (QMV) removal."

If this central point of disagreement is not acknowledged, explained and distributed as the "Intellectual Foundations" of all subsequent and derived arguments of detail, then progress will be limited: Effectively as per Dr. RAE North EU Referendum: we, the invisibles because as referenced the arguments of A Clash Of Kings dominate instead, "the nine knaves" and their "labyrinths of chicanery, malice and war." instead of Off The Ball Movement and the people's argument as per a "Bottom-Up Referendum".

Counterargument and Confusion

DH4: One of the prevailing arguments of Brexit supporters at the moment is inference that leaving the EU for an alternative would be straightforward and obviously positive; given that we now have >40yrs of "the data has been returned and the results are clear" on EU membership for prosperity (see Lakshmi: Goddess of Prosperity (1) and Lakshmi: Goddess of Prosperity (2) in which a new "Demand-Supply paradigm/foundation to our relationship is being requested by "the nine knaves" with the other "nine knaves" across the EU". Unfortunately I cannot argue along these lines as they must take their Order Of Precedence in our argument's hierarchy behind the above:-
 Daniel Hannan: Greed is our good and our right (and the politicians' snare)

And at When To Attend/Hold Meetings The Bruges Group meeting, it was noticed that the failure to distribute arguments effectively (the confusion in matching arguments to group size hence follows) is boiled down to a lack of "beginning at the beginning": To acknowledge a "guiding principle" for the foundations (integration) of all subsequent arguments and the "differentiation of details". This is outstandingly important for refutations such as from Daniel Hannan:-

"So, to summarise, Norway has a much better deal than the UK, but Switzerland’s is better yet. There is no reason why, after Brexit, we shouldn’t get an even more attractive arrangement. We are 65 million people to Norway’s five million and Switzerland’s eight million. We run a massive trade deficit with the EU (but a surplus with the rest of the world). On the day we left, we’d become the EU’s single biggest market, accounting for 21 per cent of its exports – more than its second and third largest markets (the US and Japan) combined.
To be clear, both Norway and Switzerland are inspiring, beautiful, freedom-loving countries. They’re both in my top ten favourite nations. They are the two wealthiest states in Europe and, according to the United Nations (which measures literacy, longevity, infant mortality and the like) the two happiest places on Earth. Their deal with the EU would be a big improvement on where we are now; but we can realistically expect to do far, far better."

It's not that Hannan is necessarily wrong to point out and compare and contrast Norway and Switzerland vs the EUROZONE Crisis between Supranationalism and Intergovernmentalism; it's that his arguments appear driven by greed; built on confidence vs uncertainty of the "nine knaves" / A Clash Of Kings mentality that the ruling political class believe is the right application of control on the "ninety fools" / "We The People" and a new superficial Demand-Supply Relationship is the language of power. And the results are a staggering retardation of argument quality over decades of EU Membership. In the real-world a self-correction of arguments would be driven by success and failure transparency eg Sports Teams and their methods feedback loop as per Pattern Recognition and Argumentum Ad Infinitum :-

Work of The Nine Knaves: "ad hominem" and "name-calling": Backing up Orthodoxy of a consensus of confusion in the news media
"More than ten years ago, and I others were arguing strongly that we needed to develop an exit plan, for when we had an opportunity to leave the EU. The need became even more apparent when the prospect of a referendum emerged."
Dr. RAE North writes and responds to Dominic Cummings (clearly one of the nine knaves in Cameron's A Clash Of Kings "above the line" allowed arguments with the EU as demonstrated by the Legacy News-Media's 1984 -like splash coverage of our Prime Minister's malignant lies) EU Referendum: internet nutters and reported by the legacy new-media:-
"One of these was Professor Iain Begg, writing in the Telegraph under the headline, "What might Britain leaving the EU look like? No-one really knows", with the sub-title, "The EU referendum debate has gone on as if there is a clear vision for what a 'leave' vote might mean, and this should be a cause for concern"."
 Our 1984-Like Legacy News-Media: Tools of the Nine Knaves

In general you'll find that the most visible "Above-The-Line" "eurosceptic arguments" which are intended to sound most plausible, persuasive (because all the best lies contain a nugget of truth within them") and patriotic such as from Daniel Hannan, John Redwood, Bill Cash, The Brexit IEA Short-List (loaded jury!) eg Ian Mansfields Economic Demand-Supply Min-Max fallacy to Hannan's "sweet-but-distant promise dreamland" of Swiss-Style Association Membership all are allowed to trend towards David Cameron's EU deal that retains Supranational Membership and hence does not refute the central point of the argument.

The Min-Max Fallacy to distract via guile, greed and prestige away from "The Rules Of The Game"

The rest of the "Above-The-Line" arguments from both Pro-EU relies on FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) and failing that "Confusion or Noise Generation" to destroy the quality of arguments downwards to eg UKIP's rhetoric and image on Immigration aka "name-calling" or appeals to authority and omission.

Unfortunately Owen Paterson had a golden opportunity to raise the quality of arguments and did not (it looks like a conscious decision if study carefully to "take a dive" given his reaction shows "pride" at having to hold his tongue. If he were ignorant there would not have been pride and hence pain showing:-

Owen Paterson: "Taking a Dive": Pride and Pain

"My Favourite option is the British Option: We are the 5th largest economy in the world... ." [No, No, No!]

He was saying this as The Bruges Group meeting and tbh it played on my mind, but I wondered if it was a tactical position or an "argumentum ad populum" for a positive reason to leave or a counterargument to the Pro-EU FUD of a scary Brexit (which I think can be progressed as per "refuting directly the central point FIRST!). Why, I cannot tell, and he has to put up with a cipher media personality dominating the interview and "knocking him out cold". All it does is show that the orthodoxy of confusion of the nine knaves reigns longer than 40yrs: It's impossible to predict the defining narratives of the Brexit campaign ; perhaps because he's a member of Vote Leave under Cummings and "the nine knaves" are having their say:-
"Lord Voldemort's" David Cameron's malignant lies

We can see here EU Referendum: in the deadly grip of "Europe" that the "normal rules of argument" are frozen and their critical importance demonstrated in Learning & Playing The Rules Of The Game . There's a very simple reason why this is so crucial: By raising our own standards, our own conduct of behaviour and values and consistency, we force our opponents to also "play by the rules" under a fair trial and contest of quality of arguments without which corruption like a cancer eats away at prosperity and allows our Prime Minster be it Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, John Major or David Cameron to lie to millions of people as per Big Ben: The Four-Faced Liar .

If we are to improve the quality of arguments and avoid these traps, then refuting the central point must be established between all Brexiteers, a priori. When I was at the Bruges Group meeting the working hypothesis was "different people have different reasons for Brexit" so to choose a plan would inevitably divide them. I can't express the emotion this generates in me: Modern Art:-

Tracy Emin's Unmade Bed: "Fifteen years on, it can be yours for an estimated price of between £800,000 and £1.2m." (2014)

The above seems to me the state of mind of most "eurosceptics" confusion and hence lack of unity of objective even though they can be categorized by their unity of purpose. Instead of the "death by a thousand contested details" that Hannan, Paterson and Cummings and the Brexit IEA Papers all purport to be the "state of the art of EU-Sceptic arguments" establishing the the first position in our arguments on EU Membership vs Brexit and defining them, leads to a concept shift and shafts the "nine knaves" of their most potent tools of deception:-
The above "Below-The-Line" arguments contain vast ranges of detail on only Step 1 of Brexit as a flexible process. A large component of the arguments have resorted to "death by a thousand details", instead of asserting the refutation of the central point of the argument FROM WHICH (correct frame of reference and order of precedence) we derive the next step of the argument and hence pull all people who decide they want to disagree with the EU Membership question in our referendum. Progress will come from unifying people via their arguments' competition, not excluding 90% of people from that process nor from "wishing that all people's arguments were the same/singular".

For the next 2yrs and less, the role of all Brexiteers is to throw down the gaunlet at the politicians for quality arguments and hence Real Democracy In Action:-

Throwing Down The Gauntlet at "The Establishment" for Quality Arguments