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RFD: Seventh v. Bossy (Most articulate)

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10/17/2016 1:41:46 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who is the most articulate of them all?

I. Topic

"Skepsikyma is the most articulate member on ddo"

The sole issue presented by this debate is whether Skep is the most articulate member of DDO.

We shall never know, of course, who the "most" articulate member of the site is, nor does this debate solve the issue, if the issue could even be resolved. The reasons this debate cannot provide the final word on who is or is not more or less articulate than any other abound; they are so numerous as to consume the vast majority of all permissible characters in numerous posts, and indeed I could spend twenty thousand characters just explaining the first among them.

In the interest of brevity, I decline to do so; though prudence requires me to, at least in brief, chart some of the most critical. First, articulateness is hardly something that lends itself to external evaluation on anything that would resemble an objective basis. Second, even if the criteria themselves could be objective, the order in which they would be prioritized (assuming there are more than one criteria involved in the assessment) would almost of necessity be subjective. Third, even if the criteria themselves are objective and ordered in terms of their relative priority objectively, that is hardly to suggest that the act of evaluation by another would be anything more than subjective interpretation.

In this light, producing competent reasons that would tend to serve as reasonable evaluative standards which were applied objectively seems a fool's errand on par with alchemy, phrenology, race/gender studies, or any other witchcraft mankind has managed to invent throughout the course of the human species' existence. Thus, as a threshold matter, I am flattered by arguments contained in this debate which would posit that I, in my use of language, am superior to others. But as flattered as I am, it must be indicated from the outset that this debate does little in the way of establishing who is or is not more articulate, nor could it.

Even if there were perfect standards that, applied perfectly, could produce perfect results, this debate's analytical scope is incredibly limited. Indeed, of the more than thirty thousand active accounts on DDO, only two are mentioned: Skep, and myself. Surely, in this site's history it is at least conceivable that someone is more articulate than him or I. Alas, these questions remain unanswered.

II. Burdens

To win, I must be presented with some form of a basis or criteria on which to evaluate the extent to which a person is articulate, and that criteria must enable me to identify a person's penchant for articulation relative to others. But what does it mean to be "articulate?" We shall surely find out what these two lot think on the matter, though that is the extent of what this debate could show.

The burdens are equal, as this is a normative resolution. The reason this resolution is normative is not obvious at first glance. The question of relative articulateness purports to be an objective one, but this impulse is as tantalizing as it is illusory in light of how articulateness must be evaluated: subjectively.

Yet, obviously the affirmative must prove that Skep is the most articulate, and that none others are more articulate than he. The negative must prove that skep is the most articulate, and that at least one is more articulate than he. Where the parties fail to provide me with a basis for ascertaining who is the most articulate, modern English usage will fill the gaps. Modern English usage, rather than some idiosyncratic or otherwise perverse interpretation fills this void for the same reason that the burdens are equal: it is the most fair and the least unduly prejudicial to any side.

Thus, we begin.

III. Arguments

CON beings singing my praises, and argues that I am the most articulate member on DDO, as my use of language is so rich and powerful that I can make intellectual discussion occur on even the most vacuous of subjects, such as Donald Trump or the Religion forum. Dozens of people (including, CON) endeavor to imitate my precise and exacting writing style.

PRO, of course, cites my implicit acknowledgement of Skep's articulateness, and provides a citation to the "DDO Needs to be a Safe Space" forum as evidence of this. However, PRO claims that I said "that Skepsikyma is, in fact, the most articulate person on DDO based on his posts in the "DDO Needs to be a Safe Space" thread." This is of course patently false, as I only said that Skep's post in the thread to which Bossy referenced would be excellent evidence of Skep's articulateness in this debate. Regardless of the individual declarant that typed or otherwise conveyed a piece of language, there is an observable difference between saying that "X is the case" and "Y would be good evidence to use in proving that X is the case."

Indeed, the quote suggests compellingly that Skep is an articulate person. I would know, after all, because I am the one who said it. But, that is only half the battle; meaning that it is not enough to say that Skep *is* an articulate person (even assuming the correctness of my position, which he does little to suggest beyond saying that I am never wrong). He must also prove that no one else is more articulate than Skep.

Ironically, Bossy says that I am at once never wrong, yet also engaged in patent fraud (a wrong) in initiating a referendum on the presidency. Aside from being entirely tangential to the resolution where he failed to link "initiating the abolition referendum" to "being less articulate than Skep," Bossy ensnares himself in logical contradiction. After all, if I was, as he asserts, never wrong, then I could not have been engaged in any species of wrong in the course of abolishing the presidency because that abolitionist act would be legitimized by the mere fact of my doing it.

IV. Clash

Seventh duly acknowledged the "quality v quantity" point's limited impact, and as Seventh correctly indicated "has neglected to bring forth anything even close to proof that Skep is a greater wordsmith than YYW." This is intuitively obvious, as, after all, quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive.

Beyond that, Bossy did nothing to link the quantity posts to the extent of articulate ability and therefore to the extent that he even addresses either my or Skep's post count, he is similarly plagued by the same problem as stated above: inconsequential rambling that has no bearing whatsoever on the resolution itself. After all, the issue is who the most articulate member is, not whether Bossy subjectively approves of any user's volume of posts or political activities in the forum. Bossy had real opportunity to link at least political activity with articulateness (e.g. by saying that a measure of my articulateness is the extent to which others were subjectively persuaded to do what I wanted), though he fell short in that respect. Of course, the mere fact that I can conceive of HOW to link what he failed to link does not mean that he is afforded points of any kind. Rather, it is proof enough that Bossy must remain on topic, and not engage in inconsequential rambling in the midst of a debate.
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10/17/2016 1:53:10 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
V. Outcome

Evaluating this debate presents a unique challenge, in that I have no standard to evaluate the extent of another's articulateness other than three people's assessments of what is so: Seventh's, Bossy's, and--ironically--my own. But, my own evaluation is inadequate to facilitate Bossy's meeting his burden because the fact that I implicitly indicated that Skep demonstrated qualities of being articulate does not mean that he is generally articulate, or that he is more articulate than any other. Bossy offered no evidence to suggest that the one post to which I referred was representative of the more than eight thousand posts Skep has made, or that my evaluation was even correct beyond his assertion that it was. Bossy offered no other, consistent examples with Skep's articulateness and gave me no outline of additional criteria relevant to the consideration of who is or is not articulate. Likewise, Bossy did nothing in the way of even acknowledging that other members exist in the forum, much less prove that Skep is more articulate than I.

That is not to say that Seventh persuaded me that I am the most articulate ever, either. Just as Bossy failed to produce anything that would resemble a sufficient standard or baseline of criteria on which to evaluate articulateness, the scope of his woefully shallow analysis was limited to consideration of but a mere two of the more than thirty thousand members on DDO. Of course not all of these people are active, but the resolution was broad and not therefore limited only to active members. Yet, this cuts harder against Bossy than it does Seventh because of the different nature of their equal but divergent burdens.

To win, all Seventh had to do was suggest that anyone other than Skep was the "most" articulate member, and in service of that objective he cited me. That point went functionally unchallenged where Bossy's rebuttals began and ended in non-topicality. Seventh therefore won and Bossy lost because Bossy failed to produce evidence that all other posters on DDO were less articulate than Skep, whereas Seventh produced SOME evidence that another poster was at least equally articulate as Skep, if not more so. Where I have no real choice but to give the subjective evaluations equal weight, Bossy cannot win because if both PRO and CON only could show that Skep and I were equally articulate (regardless of whether or not that is the case), Bossy will not have shown that Skep is *more* articulate than I.
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10/17/2016 2:04:05 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
This is objectively correct and everyone who disagrees is wrong and stupid.
Stooge the Worst




"bossy r u like 85 years old and have lost ur mind"

"I've honestly never seen seventh post anything that wasn't completely idiotic in a trying-to-be-funny way."