Monday, January 11, 2010

Rhetorical game: Change the subject for fun and profit!

I invite you all to play the game of Straw-man Loop -- squirreling for fun and profit!

Someone starts it without warning by responding in a ridiculous, yet well constructed fashion, to another's statement.

The idea is to squirrel and go off-clash, responding to a different argument all-together. Then, in turn, the opponent(s) will respond to a different argument once again. Taking things to extreme by escalating the argument (and not the voice tone) is appreciated.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter - Obama Death Panel Debate
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The game is beautifully demonstrated on this The Daily Show sketch: Healther Skelter - Obama Death Panel Debate, as seen in the video above.

Speaker 1: "This steak is bad."
Speaker 2: "Deterioration of the senses such as taste due to global warming, is indeed a problem."
Speaker 1: "I agree! In fact, I believe that studying cloud formations on Mars is the only way to go in understanding Oceanography. After all, if we are to get a grip on how Wave Theory works in inter-brain Neural communication, we need a good case study."
Speaker 2: "Case studies are the essence of all evil."

You may also choose to elaborate on your point. In fact, the more logical your argument is, the more fun the game will be, with two considerations:

1. Do not take too long, this is a game of back-and-forth.
2. Depending on the spirit of the game, you may either want to stay away from reality with wild claims, or stick to factual content as much as you can. Building your arguments to suit this gives you extra respect -- as long as you don't stray from the two extreme ends.

You may want to build your arguments to hold multiple logical fallacies, but that is a matter of personal taste. Some may find it adds some spice to the discussion, others may find it makes things too easy.

The spice must flow, but we are out of swimming water! Enjoy your coffee!

Perhaps Exaggerate! is a better name for the game?

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