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Re: Decision Policy [was: Intended Audience]

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sun, 01 Feb 2009 20:05:02 -0800
Cc: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
Message-id: <0EE1B9BD-9A46-48F6-A8AF-3B5FAF677EAF@apple.com>
To: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>

On Feb 1, 2009, at 4:36 PM, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:

> Lachlan Hunt 2009-02-01 03.30:
>> -public-html
>> +www-archive
>> Sam Ruby wrote:
>>> The third word is "strawman".  It involves raising and addressing  
>>> an issue that bears only a superficial resemblance to the topic  
>>> being discussed.
>> That is not the definition of a strawman.  A strawman is an  
>> argument where one person misrepresents another's position so as to  
>> be easily refuted.
> Avoiding the point(s), for the benefit of one's own point(s), but  
> still making it seem as if one were on topic. That is a straw man.
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
>> Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>>> Maciej Stachowiak 2009-01-31 22.55:
>>>> I don't think your description is in conflict with what I stated.  
>>>> The one part I disagree with is that any raised issue that at  
>>>> least three people agree is an issue must be flagged in Working  
>>>> Drafts. I do think it is often a good idea to mark especially  
>>>> controversial issues, or especially pervasive and clearly  
>>>> unresolved issues, but I think doing this as a matter of course  
>>>> may create a lot of work. I would say instead that we should  
>>>> exercise reasonable judgment about when a flag in the draft is  
>>>> warranted.
>>> Stating his disagreement. (Conditionally permitted by Sam.)
>>>> P.S. I know you asked people not to state their agreement on the  
>>>> list. But since your email was a reply to me, but since your  
>>>> email was a reply to me and since I think it is helpful to the  
>>>> group to see people coming to agreement, I chose to make an  
>>>> exception.
>>> Claiming to have stated his agreement.
>>> Sam:
>>>> Keep a watch out for these three, and call them out when you see  
>>>> them.
>>> I see a "strawman".
>> Sorry, that's not a strawman either.  Maciej was just pointing that  
>> the he largely agreed with what Sam wrote, except for one small part.
> You (and Majiej) make it sound as if there is any difference between  
> saying
> 	"I disagree in point x."
> and
> 	"I agree, except in point x."

Regardless, a strawman is misstating someone else's position. If I  
misstated my own position, then that may be inconsistent, mistaken, or  
positively deceptive on my part, but it is not a strawman argument.

This is an example of why it is a terrible idea to encourage people to  
accuse each other of fallacious arguments. We are now debating the  
definition of "strawman" and what is and isn't a strawman argument,  
instead of any point of substance.

Received on Monday, 2 February 2009 04:05:44 UTC

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