lies, fallacies and mis-representations

Story: Linux Journal: How Not To Run A BusinessTotal Replies: 51
Author Content
shmget

Oct 02, 2007
7:23 AM EST
Carla wrote: "What I hear from my spy network is that [...] they don't get why readers are upset" readers are not upset. some vocal readers are... but Carla is in no way representative (I hope) of the readership.

Carla wrote: "I am somewhat amused by the many "I'm not offended, so you shouldn't be either" comments in the discussions about this. This is a weird and stupid thing to say."

I am amused by Carla's "I'm offended, so I'm going to claim that every reader is, and that I have some legitimacy in demanding 'apologies' in the name of the 'readers'" comment. This is a stupid and irrational thing to say and even more to write in a public forum.

Carla wrote: "I wonder if the giggles the folks at LJ had over the blowjob ad made up for the bad publicity and loss of readers." Well, I don't know about the value of giggles, but I can tell you that because of your thought police campaign they won me as a customer, with the caveat that if they ever yield to your bigoted censure attempt, I would cancel immediately. See, money talk both ways.

azerthoth

Oct 02, 2007
7:30 AM EST
-troll call-
Scott_Ruecker

Oct 02, 2007
7:33 AM EST
I didn't think it was possible for someones "smooth spot" to cover their entire brain and still be able to talk..

Now I know I was wrong..
dinotrac

Oct 02, 2007
7:35 AM EST
>I am amused by Carla's "I'm offended, so I'm going to claim that every reader is, and that I have some legitimacy in demanding 'apologies' in the name of the 'readers'" comment. This is a stupid and irrational thing to say and even more to write in a public forum.

There is some moronic stuff going on in this thread, but it isn't coming from Carla.

You might wish to go back and try reading Carla's post for comprehension this time. At no point to she claim that all readers are offended or even that all readers should be offended.

>with the caveat that if they ever yield to your bigoted censure attempt, I would cancel immediately.

Wow!!! It seems like we may have found a Bizarro world analog to the famous Groucho Marx line:

"I sent the club a wire stating, PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER."



jdixon

Oct 02, 2007
7:40 AM EST
> ...but Carla is in no way representative (I hope) of the readership.

At one time, Carla was quite representative of the readership of Linux Journal. Thanks to their doing her best to insult her and those like her, she's no longer a reader, so I'll admit that she's no longer representative of the readership.

> I'm offended, so I'm going to claim that every reader is...

Carla never said this, and it's not even an accurate paraphrase of what she did say. What was that in the title again? Oh yes, "lies, fallacies and mis-representations". I'd say your comment fully qualifies.

> ...but I can tell you that because of your thought police campaign they won me as a customer...

Good for you. Birds of a feather should flock together.

> See, money talk both ways.

Yes, it does. We'll have to wait and see how it affects LJ's subscriptions, won't we?
shmget

Oct 02, 2007
10:36 AM EST
jdixon said: "Carla never said this, and it's not even an accurate paraphrase of what she did say."

Carla said: "What I hear from my spy network is that the publisher and senior editors think the ad is screamingly funny; they don't get why __readers__ __are__ upset; they don't care that __readers are upset__;" Not me and my firend, not few, not 'most', no, no... the whole group!

in "Last idiot's club" she wote "Linux Journal! When can we expect your sincere", who's that we ?

In News-flash, women ..." "women don’t need husbands and boyfriends to do tech. We don’t need [...]", so I guess 'we' is 'every women on the planet', so Carla granted herself a license to speak in the name of a whole gender... whoaa! And in this whole 3 billions people she claim to represent, there is not a single soul that is secure enough in it's professional and personal qualities not to be threaten or confused by a caricatural photoshop illusion ?

int he comment section of "Last Idiots' club" Carla write: "So, for all you who think I'm wrong to make a fuss- is this picture an improvement? New QSOL ad: http://bratgrrl.com/ljad.jpeg " I don't know if it is an 'improvement', but it is hilarious. I'm looking forward to the day that ad be published :-) And you know what ? I don't feel insulted or even remotely offended in any way by either one of theses ads.

And no, despite weak attempt at Dicto Simpler Fallacies like Carla's analysis in "News Flash..": "What is this ad really saying- that IT geeks are all men who are too lame to get girlfriends? Or is it saying that women are cruel and withhold their affections from deserving geeks? Or is it saying that the product is so lame they're giving away blowjobs with every purchase?"

for one thing in many language that do not have 'neutral' gender, like spanish or french,, a server is actually male. think about it that way and you'll see the the woman on the picture is not the one giving, but the one mad for not receiving - as it has been suggested to Carla by few commentators, back on the original rant.. but of course that was dismissed since it is impossible that female advertizing staff would have such a twisted mind... no there is only one explanation for Clara: men are pigs, and women are victims....

second, Even from the point of view of the character in the picture being the one 'not giving', that still doesn't justify the generalization that 'IT geek men are too lame to get a girlfriend', it's just mean that most men, IT geek or not, will not ever get THAT idealized and stylized girlfriend. (it is the same theme that the one played by Pepsi with their Cindy Crowford commercials... ) "Or is it saying that women are cruel and withhold their affections from deserving geeks?" Again, no, the text doesn't lend itself to such sweeping and simplistic generalization.

"Or is it saying that the product is so lame they're giving away blowjobs with every purchase?" That 's a moronic statement, not even remotely supported by the text, and borderline libel. The ad promise that their server will NOT go down on you, which cannot be possibly construed by any stretch of the imagination as a promise of blowjobs with every purchase.

"Which implies that men are so sex-crazed and easily manipulated they'll base professional decisions on blowjobs" No, IT doesn't imply that, Carla affirm that out of thin air, which is indicative enough of her opinions of mens.

The following exchange, in the comments of "Last Idiots'" is another gem in a series of Fallacious arguments:

"it's funny looking at the LJ jobs it appears the Advertising folks aer[sic] women..." Carla's answer: "Anonymous, I noticed that too. Which I suppose goes to show that good judgment is not a gender-linked trait."

IOW: Premise: Some women (ad folks] allowed/worked on/ the ad, therefore have bad judgment" Conculsion" "Good judgment is not a gender-linked trait"

That is called a Non Sequitur. The conclusion is in no way supported by the premise.

Dear jdixon, does that clarify the lies (libel), mis-representation and fallacies for you ?

dinotrac

Oct 02, 2007
11:14 AM EST
>Not me and my firend, not few, not 'most', no, no... the whole group!

Go back to elementary school -- presuming you ever made it there -- and learn a little english.

Without a qualifier, readers means -- GASP!! -- readers.

That would be 2 or more, in case you have problems with the concept of plural.
Xipher_Zero

Oct 02, 2007
11:49 AM EST
This publication is intended for a traditionally technical audience, primarily dominated by men. As such they will run advertisements that will target their core audience. If LJ's assumption is that the vast majority of their readership is male, then running these types of articles and advertisements is par for the coarse. I personally don't see anything wrong with the ad, although that might be because I am a "Sexist Pig", albeit the Gnull and Voyd articles were over the top. If LJ is comfortable with running these types of stories and advertisements then my personal feeling is that they are well within their right to do so. It is never good policy to alienate your customer base, but in this instance I'm not so sure that it would affect their core audience whatsoever. Ultimately if anyone finds something that they find offensive they can contact the person who did so and ask that it not happen again. If those feelings aren't reciprocated on the other side though, their only recourse as far as I can see is to take their business elsewhere. Many of us live the United States and as such have the right of free speech (Within limits) Nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it say that we have the right to not be offended.

I have read LXER for several years now and have noticed recently a trend starting to occur in the discussion threads that I find a little disturbing. Dinotrac in no way gave any kind of a intelligent rebuttal of the opinions presented by shmget, but instead would rather stoop to nit picking her grammar. To me that indicates that Dinotrac in fact had no intelligent rebuttal and would rather just insult. It is unfortunate that as adults we cannot come together and have a discussion without it degenerating into name calling and insults.

More than likely I will get flamed for my obviously sexist, misogynistic opinions, but at the very least I am willing to state them. I would in no way try to impede someone else from expressing theirs, but trampling others opinions because yours is "right" or "better" is utter rubbish.

Cheers, Xipher
jacog

Oct 02, 2007
11:59 AM EST
Er, the poke at the grammar is perfectly valid since it has lead to misrepresentation of facts.
dinotrac

Oct 02, 2007
12:18 PM EST
Xipher -

> Dinotrac in no way gave any kind of a intelligent rebuttal of the opinions presented by shmget

Umm...sounds like we are determined to stay fast in the ignoramus lane.

Shmget went on a long and idiotic ramble fueled, it would seem, on his inability to parse the English language. As such, my response was precisely appropriate. The guy can't read, so I explained the meaning of "readers" to him.

So...sounds like you are in a league with shmget. Please...read, learn, seek help. Surely you can do better.
tuxchick

Oct 02, 2007
12:31 PM EST
Xipher, you're making the same mistakes as everyone else who asserts that LJ is targeting their core audience with sexist and insulting material. It's supposedly a technical journal, not the Don Rickles Journal.

Your argument assumes that either their core audience are sniggering immature dolts, or that most men in IT base professional decisions on the porn quotient or sexism ratio. Which is as offensive as anything else that's been discussed here- "Stick some hooters on it and the suckers will buy it! Diss some women and they'll love it!" It's terribly disrespectful of their readership. Check out their tagline- "Since 1994: The Original Monthly Magazine of the Linux Community." It doesn't say "except for women, and we don't want smart professional men either, just snarky pornhounds and sexist piglets."

It's bad business to target a particular audience in a way that drives away other potential customers. This is Business 101, and I sure don't understand why so many folks don't get this. Everyone's money spends the same. We're not talking about subtle cues here like color schemes- LJ went over-the-top nasty. What on Earth do blowjobs have to do with Linux? How does insulting men, by calling them losers who can't get girlfriends, and women, by portraying them as stupid bimbos, and Southerners with that retarded grits-speak, and teenagers (Mango Parfait)- how does that improve the value of the magazine, or broaden its appeal? What does that contribute to learning about Linux, which is the alleged purpose of the magazine?

What do you think will happen if they remove the sexist and insulting junk, and just deliver high-quality Linux content? What a concept- they should try it sometime.

Of course they have a right to publish whatever they want. No matter how stupid and self-destructive, and that's what they did. And yes, they have free speech rights, which includes the right to suffer the consequences of their speech.

"Nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it say that we have the right to not be offended." At least try to be original, that one's been ineffective and moldy since Dino was a youngun, way back in the Jurassic era- no, it does not say that. Nor does it say "shut up and take it."

Just once I wish someone would advocate using their free speech rights for something positive and constructive, instead of for justifying something stupid and needlessly offensive.
shmget

Oct 02, 2007
12:54 PM EST
"Er, the poke at the grammar is perfectly valid since it has lead to misrepresentation of facts."

I'm afraid it is not, since in context, the meaning was clear, and it was not "2 or more". As illustrated by the other references.

Beside 'dinotrac' simplistic summarization of English, would lead to the conclusion that a phrase like: "they don't care that Americans are ignorants" means that "2 or mores Americans are Ignorants", which strictly is obviously true (and you can replace 'Americans' here by just about any group, and that would still be true.) But clearly when someone formulate it that way, it is not to merely mean "2 or more".

Similarly when Carla says "they don't care that readers are upset", she does does not convey the idea of 2 or more readers are upset... These are the same rhetorical tricks that she use when she say 'we' when she really speak for herself.

When an argument lack standing and/or when the targeted audience is not expected to be rational, jump directly to emotional appeal. Make sure that you don't present the argument in a way that put the reader in a neutral, objective observation perspective. No, include him into a 'we' vs 'them' argument. Paint clearly the opposing views as evil, don't be shy with using derogatory terms and a big wide brush to paint them all as evil, and present your view as the majority, all encompassing, rightful, 'we' view, appeal to the instinct to belong and the instinct to side with perceived strength. If you can, try to steer in a bit of Appeal to Fear (No, Carla did not fell for that one - that I could read anyway - but others ran to it, with comment like: "This makes it harder for legitimately skilled women to get jobs in that industry.").

These are proven techniques. People have won national elections on these.
Xipher_Zero

Oct 02, 2007
1:10 PM EST
Tuxchick,

I appreciate your candid and articulate response and agree that in this instance the judgment of the staff at LJ needs to be questioned. On the other hand as much as people might not like it, it is their magazine to publish however they see fit. If the market determines that the content is inappropriate then the publication will fold, and they will no longer be publishing offensive material.

There should be a publication that is readily available that does deliver just high quality Linux content (Unfortunately I can't think of any at the moment), but if LJ doesn't think it is a priority to do so then that is their choice. There is still plenty of room in the Linux publication business for a new player to emerge, and I'm sure that one will.

As for the cliche, it may be old, but that doesn't mean that it isn't true. Too many times have I seen a *relatively* small segment of the population scream the loudest and ultimately change the system to the detriment of the majority. (Think "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance in public schools) That is not to say that people should just keep their mouths shut when it happens, but it also doesn't mean the person that they disagree with has any less right to think the way that they do. There is no reason that anyone except for society should decide what is indecent and unacceptable. Free speech works both ways, and I respect Carla's opinions on the subject, but I will freely provide my own given the forum to do so.

Cheers, Xipher
Xipher_Zero

Oct 02, 2007
1:26 PM EST
I have to agree with shmget on this one. These articles have been written in a manner which is meant to incite retribution against LJ. There have been several very broad generalizations in this series of articles that is, more than anything else, what prompted a harsher critique than I would normally give. If she had stated that it was offensive to her, not most of the readership (Which she implies), then this discussion wouldn't even be taking place. Now if her goal had been to discuss her thoughts on what is and isn't appropriate, as opposed to her declaration of what is not, then I would have been much more inclined to agree with her.

Xipher
dinotrac

Oct 02, 2007
1:40 PM EST
>Which she implies

Sigh. Illiterates trying to pass as grown-ups.

I reiterate my call for a day to mourn the state of American education.
tuxchick

Oct 02, 2007
2:08 PM EST
Here dino, some nice Rogue ale will soothe your pain. Anyway it's not fair to blame American education; that's like blaming the screwdriver when it's used as a hammer.
dinotrac

Oct 02, 2007
2:46 PM EST
>Anyway it's not fair to blame American education; that's like blaming the screwdriver when it's used as a hammer.

But what of the hammer used as a screwdriver?
tuxchick

Oct 02, 2007
3:51 PM EST
My grandfather liked to use them together. He didn't need a fancy power-driver like us spoiled younguns have, oh no. Just drive a screw in with the hammer to the last thread, give it a couple of twists with the screwdriver, and done! Of course removing the screws later was hellish, but by gosh it worked.
jdixon

Oct 03, 2007
4:22 AM EST
> Dear jdixon, does that clarify the lies (libel), mis-representation and fallacies for you ?

Yes. It makes it clear to me that you are continuing to do so. The meaning of Carla's sentences would be clear to your average grade school student. Unlike Dino, I don't think your misinterpretation is due to illiteracy. I think it's deliberate.

So yes, I'd say the lies and misrepresentations in this discussion are quite clear, and they're not coming from Carla.
jdixon

Oct 03, 2007
4:45 AM EST
> Surely you can do better.

I sincerely doubt they can Dino. In this case I can't even say I'd love to be proven wrong.
jdixon

Oct 03, 2007
4:47 AM EST
> ...since in context, the meaning was clear, and it was not "2 or more". As illustrated by the other references.

Yes, the meaning was clear. And it was "2 or more". The fact that you can't read is your problem, not either Dino's or mine.
jdixon

Oct 03, 2007
4:55 AM EST
> I have to agree with shmget on this one.

Why am I not surprised?

> These articles have been written in a manner which is meant to incite retribution against LJ.

You think? Gee, it's a mercy we've got folks to tell us these things.

> ...not most of the readership (Which she implies),

She implies nothing of the kind.
shmget

Oct 03, 2007
5:21 AM EST
jdixon said: "Yes. It makes it clear to me that you are continuing to do so." Well argued, Hand waving is always a winner....

"he meaning of Carla's sentences would be clear to your average grade school student. " For one thing, taking 'average grade school student' for intellectual reference is probably seminal to your lack of analytical skills. Then, that assumption doesn't even hold water: tell a group of your 'average grade school student' that "the teacher thinks that students are stupid" and count how many of them think that the teacher means "two or more" and not them as a group... The absence of qualifiers before 'readers' is not fortuitous. it is consistent with the rhetorical techniques used in the rest of the articles.

--- "Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. " René Descartes (1596-1650) in "Discours de la méthode" (1637) [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/13846]
dinotrac

Oct 03, 2007
5:28 AM EST
jdixon -

Old shmget has a point wrt our analytical skills falling short.

First, there is little point trying to engage somebody who can't even comprehend the language. Second, there is little point trying to engage somebody who is motivated by resentment and, possibly, hatred.
shmget

Oct 03, 2007
5:35 AM EST
jdixon wrote: "Gee, it's a mercy we've got folks to tell us these things."

Aren't you-all concerned about offending Clara with this parody of 'Laverta Voyd' ?
jdixon

Oct 03, 2007
5:54 AM EST
> Hand waving is always a winner....

You would know that better than I would.

> For one thing, taking 'average grade school student' for intellectual reference is probably seminal to your lack of analytical skills.

If you say so. I'm sure everyone here gives your judgment on the matter it's appropriate consideration.
jdixon

Oct 03, 2007
5:55 AM EST
> Aren't you-all concerned about offending Clara with this parody of 'Laverta Voyd' ?

Not really. However, if you think I'm paraphrasing anything that modern, then you're mistaken.
jacog

Oct 03, 2007
5:58 AM EST
It's all about context. If the teacher says 'students are stupid' then it does sound like a sweeping generalisation. If the teacher said 'the exams are tough this year, students are failing' then it's a safe assumption to make that she/he meant 'some'.
dinotrac

Oct 03, 2007
5:59 AM EST
>Aren't you-all concerned about offending Clara

Offending Carla is one of life's little pleasures, best enjoyed with the right spelling.

Offending Carla stupidly and to no good purpose is just dumb.
shmget

Oct 03, 2007
6:41 AM EST
Jacog wrote: "It's all about context [...]"

Yes, I couldn't agree more.

Which make comment like dinotrac's

"Without a qualifier, readers means -- GASP!! -- readers. That would be 2 or more, in case you have problems with the concept of plural."

completely invalid.

I think there in the context of the series of articles commented upon, the intent here is not to mean 'some'. I actually substantiated that position with Carla's articles in support.

Beside that was just ONE of the issues raised here...

dinotrac

Oct 03, 2007
6:44 AM EST
>I think

Objection. Assuming fact not in evidence.
jdixon

Oct 03, 2007
6:54 AM EST
> It's all about context.

Not in this case jacog. Carla's meaning is quite clear, and it's not what shmget is claiming.

He claims Carla is laying claim to a large portion (if not all) of Linux Journal's readership. In point of fact, she is saying that a large enough number of readers and (far more importantly) potential readers agree with her that Linux Journal should pay attention to their concerns. Nowhere does she make any claim as to exactly how large that group is. The only certainty is that there are at least three people, as she uses the term "others" in her article. However, the simple fact is that when you're talking a subscription base the size of a niche magazine like Linux Journal's, every reader is counts. Ignoring even a small number of complaints is not a good idea.

> I actually substantiated that position with Carla's articles in support.

In your dreams.
jdixon

Oct 03, 2007
6:03 PM EST
Hmm, over twelve hours and nothing new...

Aw, what happened to our widdle twolls? Did we'uns hurt their feelings?
tuxchick

Oct 03, 2007
6:16 PM EST
Oh geez, don't encourage them! It's more fun to concentrate on dissecting dino's posts with faultless surgical precision and remorseless, irrefutable logic.
jdixon

Oct 03, 2007
6:30 PM EST
> It's more fun to concentrate on dissecting dino's posts with faultless surgical precision and remorseless, irrefutable logic.

Well, yes. It is. There's a slight change in the degree of difficulty though. :)
dinotrac

Oct 04, 2007
3:23 AM EST
>It's more fun to concentrate on dissecting dino's posts with faultless surgical precision and remorseless, irrefutable logic.

I would think so. I wonder why nobody around here has tried that?
jdixon

Oct 04, 2007
4:18 AM EST
> I wonder why nobody around here has tried that?

I don't think you're giving Abe enough credit Dino. Whether he's succeeding or not, he's trying.
jacog

Oct 04, 2007
4:34 AM EST
I don't think dino actually believes a lot of what he writes.

He just likes to watch things burn, so when he sees a small flame, he pours on the gasoline. :)
dinotrac

Oct 04, 2007
5:13 AM EST
>I don't think dino actually believes a lot of what he writes.

Actually, I do believe a lot (not all) of what I write, but not a lot of what people infer from what I write.

It drives me up a wall, though, when people try to make up arguments to avoid their true motivations -- something that happens a lot in life, including FOSSland.

It leads to silliness and contradiction and that drives me up a wall.

Almost as much as when I am wrong. Fortunately, that never happens. ;0)
jacog

Oct 04, 2007
5:18 AM EST
> ... drives me up a wall. > Almost as much as when I am wrong. > Fortunately, that never happens. ;0)

Is the view good from up there? :)
dinotrac

Oct 04, 2007
5:20 AM EST
>Is the view good from up there? :)

It would be better if you guys shaped up and got your acts together...
jdixon

Oct 04, 2007
5:41 AM EST
> ...and got your acts together...

Dino, I'll have you know that my act is completely together. Well, as soon as my wife gets done setting up the stage props. And the costumes get back from the cleaners. And the Siberian tigers arrive from the zoo. And....
tuxchick

Oct 04, 2007
5:44 AM EST
I pity the poor director who tries to direct this herd of cats!
jacog

Oct 04, 2007
5:46 AM EST
Perhaps for some people he's hoping it's a disappearing act.
dinotrac

Oct 04, 2007
6:08 AM EST
>And the Siberian tigers

You've got Siberian tigers?

I am soooooo jealous. I tried painting stripes on my daughter's rabbit, but it just isn't the same.
jacog

Oct 04, 2007
6:13 AM EST
> I tried painting stripes on my daughter's rabbit, but it just isn't the same.

It's because you didn't glue tiger teeth onto the rabbit.
dinotrac

Oct 04, 2007
6:24 AM EST
>It's because you didn't glue tiger teeth onto the rabbit.

Ahhh!!!!
jdixon

Oct 04, 2007
6:59 AM EST
> You've got Siberian tigers?

No. The zoo is being somewhat intransigent about the matter. :(
jdixon

Oct 04, 2007
7:05 AM EST
> I tried painting stripes on my daughter's rabbit, but it just isn't the same.

It helps if you start with one of these, Dino: http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20070905
Xipher_Zero

Oct 04, 2007
11:46 AM EST
"Hmm, over twelve hours and nothing new... Aw, what happened to our widdle twolls? Did we'uns hurt their feelings?"

I have better things to do with my life than to attempt to argue circles with individuals who have no interest in acknowledging the other parties viewpoints. Do to the sarcastic and close minded nature of this thread I don't feel it worth my time to bother wasting any more of the precious minutes of my life engaging in it.

Cheers, Xipher
dinotrac

Oct 04, 2007
12:03 PM EST
>Do to the sarcastic and close minded nature of this thread I don't feel it worth my time to bother wasting any more of the precious minutes of my life engaging in it.

In other words, yes.
jdixon

Oct 04, 2007
12:07 PM EST
> ...no interest in acknowledging the other parties viewpoints.

Oh, I acknowledge your viewpoint. I don't bother responding to viewpoints I don't acknowledge. I just don't consider it valid or worthwhile, since both you and smget seem intent on misrepresenting Carla's statements. Smget more so than you, to be fair.

> Do to the sarcastic and close minded nature of this thread...

Sarcasm is one of my normal reactions when I encounter what I consider idiocy. If you want me to have an open mind to your position on a subject, don't make what I consider idiotic arguments.

> I don't feel it worth my time to bother wasting any more of the precious minutes of my life engaging in it.

Which is perfectly reasonable and understandable. Cheers also.

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