billlinux at rogers.com
Tue Apr 3 12:07:00 EDT 2007
OK, I am sucked in.
On Sun, 2007-04-01 at 22:06 -0400, Brad Barnett wrote:
> On Sun, 01 Apr 2007 14:12:31 -0400
> William Case <billlinux at rogers.com> wrote:
> > Hi Brad;
> > I fully accept your starting a new thread on the Wikipedia subject as an
> > consenting to defend your position regarding Wikipedia. And, I agree
> > with Ross Jordon that this topic is an obvious troll. Nonetheless, it
> > might prove an interesting way to while away a few hours on dull Friday
> > evening.
> > On Fri, 2007-03-30 at 12:24 -0400, Brad Barnett wrote:
> > "There is always a possibility of changing my mind, but first you have
> > to
> > actually provide reasons for me to do so."
> > Let's not set the bar so high. Rather than changing your mind, let us
> > say that the objective of this discussion is to refute your contention
> > enough to get your agreement that you will no longer bully your way into
> > other people's threads, make unsupported assertions and divert other
> > OCLUG members exchanges of information.
> Above you say that I:
> 1) bully your way into other people's threads
> 2) make unsupported assertions
> 3) divert other OCLUG members exchanges of information
> First, this is an open discussion forum, Bill. Anyone stating that
> someone, on any topic, is "bullying" their way into a thread on this list,
> is completely out to lunch.
Didn't your mother ever teach you not to interrupt?
Haven't you ever read an article about netequitte?
Did it not sink in that OCLUG members felt forced to create a new
moderated mailing list in order to avoid people like you?
I won't bother going into the definition or examples of the behaviour of
bullies but look it up. Your actions fit the bill.
> > Before you stick a refutation in here, let me admit that an appeal to
> > the large number of people who use and edit Wikipedia says nothing about
> > the 'accuracy' or 'truthfulness' of the information published by
> > Wikipedia.
> > However, when a belief is widely held the Burden of Proof falls on the
> > challenger of that belief. If the challenger can not or does not offer
> > any proof for his assertions, then the rest are justified in holding
> > that belief until some proof comes along that justifies altering or
> > abandoning a belief.
> > Which puts you in the position of the challenger of the validity of
> > using Wikipedia.
> First Bill, where the burden of proof lays is highly subjective. I find
> it amusing that you simply assert that the burden of proof is always on
> the challenger, when that is _not_ the case.
The Burden of Proof is not highly subjective. Read any good book on
Debating Techniques and/or Argumentation, Logic or Rhetoric.
> For example, let's say that someone is accused of theft, and most people
> in Toronto believe that he is guilty. I suppose you then believe that the
> burden of proof must be on the individual charged, instead of on the
Ah! That explains the problem, you have the education level of an
American. In Canada, we don't have prosecutors, we have Crown
Your example is precisely ass-backwards. The Crown is obligated to
establish the proof exactly because the Crown makes the original
challenge in the legal process.
> No so! There are other cases where the burden of proof is not where you
> suggest it is.
Not so! There are no other cases that I can think of where the Burden
of Proof does not rest with the challenger.
I can think of many challenges to a widely held belief system in
Science, Mathematics, History, Religion and Philosophy were the
challenger has had to prove his argument, before it is accepted. The
only caveat is, the wider the belief system is held, the stronger the
challenger's argument need be. History is strewn with such cases where
the challenger could meet the test, was upheld and the belief system
consequently change;, and cases where the challenge failed and were
> > It is up to you to offer proofs of your position, not for others to
> > defend Wikipedia. A show me, prove to me, attitude on your part, is out
> > of sync and is an irrational way for you to proceed. Nor should others
> > pick up the gauntlet of an irrational (illogical) challenge, but should
> > wait to refute any evidence if appropriate and if offered.
> You, and an undefined number of "others" contend that the brand
> new, effectively virginal, not even complete yet, extremely young and
> unpolished Wikipedia is accepted worldwide as a trustworthy and factual
> You've asserted that the Wikipedia is (again, as in the last thread)
> accepted everywhere to be of high calibre because... uh... everyone
> accepts it as so! You have no data to prove that the Wikipedia is
> accepted as very trustworthy by a majority of English Internet users.
> You simply assert it is so, because..? Please fill in the blanks.
I and others have never made such an assertion. But anyone who might be
reading this exchange is welcome to go through YOUR assertion above,
parse it; and examine the substance and quality of your given assertion.
> > Now, before we examine whether you have offered any proof for your
> > assertions, lets look and another piece of empirical evidence.
> One study is your proof? One contested study? On one encyclopedia?
> Very well...
No, one obfuscated reference by you to the study and complaint was your
assertion. I just put both sides out there so that everyone interested
> > There the matter rests.
> I remain skeptical that one contested study validates your claims.
I make no claims. Its your assertion. And, you haven't demonstrated
you have the Authority to be skeptical (sic) in any meaningful way.
> > So far in this post, we have established that:
> No, so far you have claimed these things.
> > * The Burden of Proof falls on Brad Barnett and not the other way
> > around.
> > * Objectively, the accuracy rate of Wikipedia is around 90.5% for
> > Wikipedia articles of fact.
> No acceptable proof.
But ... no acceptable proof it's not. It is part of the evidence you
brought into the discussion.
> Bill, I'm not going to waste my time on your spiel below. If the first
> diatribe is any indication, you've stopped discussing the Wikipedia and
> started discussing minutiae.
I never did discuss the validity of the Truthfulness of Wikipedia. You
presented no facts or evidence to discuss.
> For example, you spend two pages dissecting a humours statement (taken as
> such by Andy), yet do so by employing the same flawed logic as you do
The usual criteria by which readers judge humorous statements is that
they contain some humour.
> If you want to honestly discuss this topic, stop with the silliness and
> discuss the points raised. I'm not going to go through page after page of
> response to a statement with an emoticon indicating humour after it.
What I did do in the "minutiae" was point out to list members who are
fed up with reading diatribes how to rationally go through unsupported
statements and parse them for content and fallacies without getting
caught up in irrational emotional personal 'hot buttons'.
This is the end of this discussion for me. All that I see in your
writings is what a friend of mine used to call "the arrogance of the
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