formal argument

On Sith Heresy

It goes without saying that there is not and never has been any unified LS Force-use movement within the Empire. Ever since the earliest days of the Jen'jidai, the Sith philosophy and identity has been built on DS Force use - on the rejection of Jedi philosophies, of embracing the Dark Side of the Force and the celebrating of one’s passions above all things. Passion, the Sith Code would have it, is the key to freedom - and it is freedom that Sith value most of all. The nature of that freedom, of course, is different to freedom as it is valued in the Republic. To the Sith, freedom is the freedom to act without consequence - to impose ones will on the world, if not the galaxy, and to best and conquer even death itself.

Heretical Sith philosophies are not all Light-aligned or inclined, though compared to the Sith orthodoxy, many are. Strictly speaking, they tend to be LS-leaning, rather than what a non-Sith observer would class as LS. For the Jedi, LS Force use is associated, per the first line of their Code, not with emotion but with peace. The Force, as the Jedi approach it, is an ally to be worked with on its own terms rather than a beast to be tamed, and this is a view that is rarely found even among Sith heretics.

Heretical Sith practices are, ultimately, still Sith practices, and tend to still teach the harnessing of the Force through one’s emotions. Where the traditional Sith orthodoxy focuses on the use of anger and hatred (and, frequently, fear - with the caveat that it is rare that any given Sith will cop to using their own fear), heretical practices will teach the use of other emotions. Love is the most obvious one - whether it is love for one’s family, love for a spouse, love for the Empire, etc. Others include one’s sense of duty towards the Empire, an abstract and rarely documented heresy that is tolerated for obvious reasons, or hyalasha, a Sith word referring to the thrill of mortal combat and the desire to win at all costs, drawn on frequently by Sith marauders and berserkers and, so long as their targets benefit the Empire, thus tolerated. While these responses and their prizing above others falls outside of the orthodoxy, the Inquisition is frequently willing to overlook them - provided that the Sith in question still serve the Emperor’s will, and that they are not attempting to corrupt the orthodoxy as a whole.

(It should be noted that the emotion of hyalasha is not related to anger, but is about the thrill of and enjoyment of the fight - battle for battle’s sake. Sith are nothing if not thrillseekers.)

It is important to note that love and passion are not interchangeable, either in the standard Sith orthodoxy, or in heretical practices. Passion, according to the Sith orthodoxy, empowers and inspires - is a form of motivation and power. Love, by contrast, blinds and chains - stays the hand in mercy, creates weaknesses for others to exploit, and ties one to loyalties that would otherwise have long run their course. On the flip side of that, Sith heresies will argue that passion is impulsive  and unsustainable; love, by contrast, requires a solid foundation, no matter what form that love takes. Of course, this is only an example of such an argument - no formal heretical positions exist, as to adopt one would be to signal the Inquisition that one formally opposes the Sith orthodoxy, and thus opposes the Order as a whole.

It is vanishingly rare that a Sith heretic will draw on the Force as Jedi do - not by channelling their emotions to tap into the power of the Force, but instead by attempting the kind of clarity and mindfulness that the Jedi practice in order to attune to it. Such a practice runs counter to everything taught in both Sith and Imperial culture, and is an utter anathema to any Overseer. It is even more rare that such a Sith will survive long enough to teach another Force-sensitive their practice - to draw on the Force in the manner that Jedi do would not go unnoticed or unpunished in the Empire, as to embrace the path of their mortal enemies is, in Sith eyes, to become the enemy itself. Even Light-inclined heretics and practitioners are still Sith - while heresy is a crime punishable by death, it does not, in the Sith penal system, incur an automatic charge of treason.

It is equally extremely rare, of course, that any given Sith lives up entirely to the teachings of the Sith orthodoxy. All Sith have parents, and most have siblings - and, outside of the noble lines, it is rare that marriage happens purely for political purposes. Even where a marriage is arranged, it is rare that the couple will forge no feelings whatsoever - to say nothing of a parent’s natural affection for their children. Such relationships are frequently strained and complicated by the contradictory demands of the Sith orthodoxy, but the Sith are nothing if not a complicated people.

It should also be noted, of course, that love itself is not a heresy - forbidding love would be an exercise in fruitlessness, not least because it is one of the natural evolutions of certain kinds of passion, and can be used to fuel those passions in turn. Sith art throughout the ages has been dominated by passionate love stories, from the fairytale to the tragically doomed and everything between; many of the greatest Sith to ever live cited a love as one of their driving passions. It is true that the Sith orthodoxy discourages love between adherents, as - as an emotion and motivation - it is said to dull ambition and blind one to both the weaknesses and ambitions of one’s partner, as well as one’s own weaknesses. However, the Sith do not forbid love in the way that the Jedi are said to do, and indeed have used this very fact to tempt many a wavering Jedi.

Of course, these are just examples - there are as many heretical Sith philosophies as there are heretical Sith. In part this is due to the individualistic nature of the Sith, but also because - as mentioned - there has never been any unified heretical philosophical movement in the Empire. While low-level heresies are tolerated by the Inquisition, particularly in the time since the Reclamation, the more organised and more noticeable heretical Sith become, the harder the Inquisition are to crack down on them.

It is difficult to explain, in Republic terms, just how much of an affront to the Sith that challenging the orthodoxy is. It forms a vital cornerstone of Sith cultural identity, and the Inquisition, as the defenders of Sith culture, take their jobs incredibly seriously. It may seem odd to an outsider to the Empire, for a people who value freedom so much to place a value on being so strictly bound by sometimes vague and indeterminate rules. As noted earlier, however, freedom in the manner it is valued by Sith is not the same as it is celebrated in the Republic - a misunderstanding that is at the root of many a diplomatic failure.

(Part 2)

crash bandicoot: tumblr edition
  • crash: immediately got hacked after making his blog. it is now run by a scam bot
  • coco: geeky aesthetic. loves superwholock and is the most popular fandom blog on tumblr. she is also under another alias known as "the xkit guy"
  • crunch: posts really weird fitness memes all day. also spends the rest of his time making posts on his positivity side-blog
  • tawna: beauty blog. loves making diy and self-care posts, and her selfies all get 10k+ notes. also loves reblogging other's selfies to spread the love. the tumblr mum
  • cortex: constantly vagues about crash and how much he hates his guts. he is somehow the tumblr daddy and owns a secret daddy kink blog
  • nina: anime horror blog. loves tokyo ghoul and elfen lied. she's also crushing on whoever is behind that geeky fandom blog
  • n. brio: science blog. makes posts about how to do really dangerous experiments that you should not try at home. his blog is a mess and he never tags anything
  • n. gin: shitposter. nobody really knows what his posts mean but they all get 100k+ notes and are always tagged as #relatable or #me
  • n. tropy: runs an anti-SJW blog. his url is timemasters-4-real-justice and he composes really long formal arguments which make no sense if you actually read them
  • victor: owns a callout blog which keeps a record of everything terrible that cortex has ever done. also posts petitions for mutants against animal testing
  • moritz: food blog. reblogs graphics that say "fries before guys" etc. co-owner of the cortex callout blog and always spreads misinformation about him for fun

“The probability of success is difficult to estimate; but if we never search the chance of success is zero.”

A quote from Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison’s paper ‘Searching for Interstellar Communications’ that was published in September 1959, one of the first formal rational arguments supporting the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

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Series 4 and The John Problem

Well, here we are. I normally write stuff after seeing some input from the fandom, as that really helps me. But… I’m kinda afraid to look around, and I’m not sure how long to wait for the characterization close readings or even if they’ll ever come, at this point. Since the dominant mood isn’t positive, I don’t want to just see stuff to the effect of ‘John was OOC’ or ‘this wasn’t the real-world John’, one way or the other. Simply seeing stuff to the effect of ‘this is the real John and nothing surprising or interesting happened’ is also a nonstarter. So let’s proceed firstly with the assumption that this is, in fact, the real John, and also that he is IC until rigorously proven otherwise (as in part of a formal argument). Secondly, with the assumption that we’ve seen some developments and/or meaningful events in John’s characterization and it’s not simply static.

If anyone has links or reading suggestions for an existing neutral S4 John reading, I’d be grateful. By reading I mean a close reading: canon-based but Johnlock-friendly, and otherwise constructively analytical (rather than being purely speculative, Johnlock code-related, a critique or just a response to a critique). Basically, I’m both trained and naturally predisposed to write most of my close readings with the help of lots of other people’s papers. Ideally, anyway haha. 

Essentially, if someone wants to jump in and expand on this post or point to a relevant direction others have gone, please do. Anyway, enough disclaimers. Onwards into the breach, then. 

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A Hard Lesson in Vanity: Chapter 2

Authors’ Note: Happy Saturday, spectacular readers!!! Thank you all so very much for your sensational feedback last night!!! It means the world to us!!! Time to check in with Rafael as he deals with the reality of his new situation!!! @vintagemichelle91 and I hope that you enjoy!!!

           “It’s been decided that you need to spend some time sitting second chair.”

           The DA’s words echoed in his mind like an incessant noise filling the hallway that simply would not cease. Relieved to be back in the thick of it? Yes. Still, Rafael felt like the decision was a slice to the heart of his career. Second chair? Cutter could not be serious. Suspension aside, it made no sense given his spectacular case record. Definitely something he never saw coming; maybe having to share the caseload with someone such as Eve Selby. But second chair had never crossed his mind.

           And yet, despite his wounded pride, Rafael tried to tell himself that this was temporary, and that soon enough he would be back calling the shots, dazzling the courtroom with pointed glances and well-chosen words…

           “I get it. I know this wasn’t what you were expecting.” Eve’s soft voice brought him back from his racing thoughts, and Rafael gave her a small smirk.

           “Could be worse,” he said. “Guess they could have changed the locks and told me to try my luck as a court reporter.” The joke was weak, and his head sagged while Eve sighed.

           “You have the fingers for it,” she said, lightly touching his wrist, her blue eyes sparkling and her lilting laughter hitting the walls. “But it is a silent position.”

           “Then I would have set some new precedents,” Rafael replied, letting her hand stay on his arm for a mere moment before finally pulling away.

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Why, skrimconfessionss? Just why?

Over the past 24 hours there have been a slew of pro-Stormcloak submissions to the “Skyrim Confessions” page. Normally such a stance would be seen as welcome and long overdue, but the nature of these posts have not only been offensive and prejudicial, but extremely inaccurate to every argument or analysis of the civil war that I’ve ever come across.

The war in Skyrim has very little to do with the American Revolution beyond the “rebellion” stereotype, but that isn’t the point. The point is that this confession being entirely inaccurate seems to paint Stormcloak supporters in a very negative and ignorant light. While there are a handful of players who may think this, the entire group’s reputation suffers because of things like this.

This is straight up racism apologia, but using a completely wrong base argument. Ulfric does not hate elves or Argonians, and not every individual of these races (ignoring the “elf” lumping) displays the uncooperative and isolationist attitudes shown by the Dunmer of Windhelm. It’s basically setting up a completely irrational straw man, but then supporting it from the perspective of a true bigot with a defeatist argument. Show me a Stormcloak who thinks this way.

Ulfric does not hate elves. He hates the Thalmor, which are comprised almost exclusively of high elves, but does not hate the entire race or the races that fall under the category of elf at all. More defeatism. In any case, Ulfric is not “allowing” the Dunmer in his city. Their refuge was decreed by the high king some 200 years ago, and they were there before Ulfric was even born.

I also need to address the “ya der refujeez but dey gotta getto!” counterargument to the hospitality of the Nords. The Gray Quarter was a normal part of the city known as the Snow Quarter prior to the Dunmer’s arrival, and only became a slum due to their negligence and lack of effort to work at bettering any aspect of their lives. I’ll even entertain the ridiculous notion that it was a ghetto before they arrived - is that really so horrible, given their ability to stay there for free, with no taxes owed to any Jarl, and retain their foreign (arguably illegal) religious customs? Even then, if they had free reign and total control over a part of the city essentially given to them as a sort of New Morrowind, is it entirely out of their control to fix the place up in the 200 years they’ve been there?

“Nords are racist, we live in a ghetto.”

“Was it a ghetto when you got here?”

“No, it was a clean and well-maintained part of the city.”

Everything was fine before you showed up. It’s your fault.

“Nords are racist, we live in a ghetto.”

“Was it a ghetto when you got here?”

“Yes, it looked exactly like this.”

You haven’t made an effort to change anything. It’s your fault.

That’s not racism apologia. It’s just common sense.

This one isn’t as bad as the others, but has two major flaws. The first is that it supports the idea that “Skyrim belongs to the Nords” is an ethnocentric statement, when it is obviously a political one. Anyone who knows what the civil war is about should realize this, especially with the companion battle cry “Death to the empire!”

Secondly, while acknowledging that the empire is more racist than the Stormcloaks, it fails to back this up with anything but game mechanics. If they presented a brief analysis of what imperialism actually is and shown the very prejudicial comments General Tullius makes, it would have been a much more relevant argument.

Now let’s quickly look at a question someone posed the blog and how it was ludicrously answered.

theponybro:can you guys use some common sense with all these ridiculos stormcloak submissions i mean im an imperial but ive heard a lot of good arguements from stormcloaks and none of them say any of the stupid things your past few posts have said

While not the most literate of posts, I wholeheartedly agree. Even Imperials have started to realize that no one actually thinks the way this person does (assuming it is in fact one person, as the queuing seems to indicate). The response:

Common sense? We don’t delete confessions or choose not to post them if they sound “stupid” to someone or in turn favour those that would seem like “good arguments”. We want everyone to be able to express an opinion, as long as it’s in an unoffensive way. If you can clearly point out reasons why a confessions is offensive, we will consider removing it, otherwise they stay on the blog. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I personally think calling someone’s opinion “ridiculous” or “stupid” is just rude and arrogant. If you don’t agree or think they are wrong because they don’t have all the information related to form an opinion, comment on the posts and tell your opinion or educate, there’s no need for bashing others. You are entitled to your opinion just as they are entitled to theirs. We don’t choose sides on this blog.

Yes, you are very clearly choosing sides. When you make the conscious decision to publish a submission that is very clearly steeped in ignorance and will make anyone associated with a certain group look like a moron, you’re doing nothing but perpetuating the stereotypes associated with them. Let’s look at what another person said in response:

// painfruit said: I don’t care if you want to stay out of it, but don’t get on your high horse about “bashing others” when someone takes issue with the kind of disgusting racism we’ve seen in confessions today. That is not the moral high ground.

One thousand percent correct. Taking this stance is utter hypocrisy. As demonstrated further:

I feel the need to address this: I get annoyed when people bash others opinions without stating why they think they are wrong. In this case the person did not say they objected the confessions for being racist, but for being stupid and ridiculous without stating why. If he/she would have objected them for being racist and explained in a civilized manner why they think they are then that would be a whole other matter. But they clearly in my opinion objected them in a different manner that to me just seemed like bashing other people’s opinons because they differ from his/her views and is not something they want to see.

This is the point where all logic leaves the room and the universe begins crumbling due to the sheer stupidity. Katrin’s outright display of holy tolerance for racism apologists and disregard for even-handed arguments isn’t nearly as bad as the complete lack of rational thought and accountability. Is it really necessary for people to take a stand and make a formal argument against the encouragement of racism? Isn’t that one of those things people consider a crime against humanity that doesn’t need any justification for being against? Give me a reason to think you don’t fully support them, because that’s exactly what you’re implying.

This is essentially how the conversation went down, though obviously the first line is not in the words of those who run the blog themselves.

“I hate black people.”

“Dude, what the hell is wrong with you?”

“There’s no need for that tone. If you want to call me out, do so in a rational manner and present an applicable argument. You don’t have to bash someone’s opinion just because you disagree with them.”

If you’re arguing about candy flavors, television shows, or sports teams, fine. Demanding fair treatment after presenting yourself or someone you support as openly racist and bigoted for no reason is literally retarded.

A few weeks ago, before submitting my “Stormcloaks aren’t racist” confession that got oh so much love from the community, I actually sent a similar question to the moderators. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it questioned why the vast majority of civil war posts favored the empire for legitimate reasons but bashed the rebellion for “racism” dogma. A more specific problem was that, when a pro-Stormcloak confession did arise every month or so, it was focused on the singular honor of one side rather than making an object comparison. Most Imperial confessions, however, vilified the rebellion with aggressive and unnecessary claims of bigotry, hatred, and conspiracy with the Thalmor, putting more emphasis on slander rather than making a case for the widely-viewed pragmatism of a united empire.

I wouldn’t say the number of supporters on each side is even enough to mean there should be balance within the confession material, but a lot of fault falls on the shoulders of those running the blog when the majority of confessions are like this. They claim to not pick sides and present every argument justly, but given the history of what this blog posts and the display we’ve seen in the past day or so, this simply isn’t true. To make matters worse, my question never got answered. Given the way both questions earlier were approached, maybe that’s for the best.

In the face of all this, I’m convinced that skyrimconfessionss is a full-fledged Imperial blog that either filters through confessions for ones supporting their agenda (while letting an occasional rational one like mine slip through to avoid suspicious), or a straight up propaganda page that is creating fake confessions to make the side they oppose look like imbeciles. Their refusal to answer a perfectly reasonable question about their intentions, along with answering other legitimate questions with hypocritical and self-righteous apologetics, has left me with very little reason to think otherwise.

My only suggestion? A name change. “Skyrim Confessions” seems to indicate things people do that are unusual or admissions of unique play styles and viewpoints. Your blog is no longer this. Here’s a a more appropriate title:

“Ill-conceived, confrontational, and ignorant hogwash spoken by people who don’t know anything about the lore of a three year old game, mixed with racist straw man arguments that the inclusive entirety of our opponents agree with, carefully weeded through to appear appeasing to both sides while avoiding any semblance of fairness, balance, or rationality, garnished with holier-than-thou hypocrisy upon being called out.”

Where’s colonelkillabee when the world needs him?

I’ve been gushing about this fic all morning and it’s only right that I actually point you all in the direction of this amazing gift:

@raisingcain-onceagain wrote nothing to cure the soul, but for me for AIA and it was incredibly wonderful and nice of them to do this and oh my good lord what a fic! It’s got my (dubiously) good boys Annatar and Tyelpe before everything goes to hell for them, humor so much good post-drinking humor, that good friends to lovers trope that I am weak as hell for, “all the trappings of formal argument theory without any of the usual ends”, and is so ridiculously wonderfully in character and the banter THE BANTER I am dead

go go go give it a read because trust me you’re going to love it

A PSA About Asagao Self-Insert Ships

I’ve seen some discourse on the topic of self-insert ships within the fandom of Asagao Academy. I’ve been hassled on it before. People think that a fan shipping themselves with a real person is weird. And it is. But in our defense, it’s not like that at all. 

First of all, I just want to say this:

I do not in any way, shape, or form ship myself with real life Jared.
Jared is married, as well as almost twice my age. Shipping us together would be weird, wrong, illegal, creepy, etc. My ship consists of Asagao Kay and Asagao Jared.

Asagao Kay and Asagao Jared are in no way completely, 100% related to their real life counterparts.
This is explicitly stated at the very beginning of the game, as far as Jared goes. 

“The characters of the Normal Boots Club and Hidden Block Club are inspired by the personas of the real life NormalBoots and Hidden Block groups… Despite this, the characters are an original, fan-made creation and are heavily fictionalized.“ 

As for myself, Kay is a character I have created. Yes, she is a self-insert, yes, she looks like me, but I’ve made her fit into the world of Asagao. Everything I draw, say, or write about Kay is completely fictional.

Now to all of you people who seem to think the whole self-insert thing is weird: I get it. I still think it’s weird sometimes. But as far as Asagao Academy goes, it’s just like shipping yourself with any other fictional character. Yes, they are based off of the real guys, but they aren’t the actual real guys. Similar? Yes. Equal? No. 

NormalBoots =/= Normal Boots Club 
Hidden Block =/= Hidden Block Club 

So the next time you go to trash someone about their self-insert ship, don’t. Leave them alone. If you have a problem with it, fine. But keep it to yourself. If the NormalBoots and Hidden Block guys actually had a legitimate problem with it, something would have been said by now.

Ichigo and Rukia

This is a scene from chapter fifteen in my fanfic Dragon Infatuation. Ichigo and Rukia are arguing as is usual. Their poses are based on the silhouettes of them in the very first opening of the anime. 

Ichigo is wearing a zoot suit, and Rukia is wearing a white dress with blue lace pattern and train. 

Here’s a link if you are interested:

With these explanations of the two methods – ABA, which prevails in the United States, and TEACCH, which prevails worldwide – it must be called into question how disingenuous it is to compare the two in “effectiveness” when both have widely different definitions of what an effective outcome is, given their stated goals and principles.

Applied Behavioral Analysis still finds as its main goal to make autistic children “indistinguishable from their peers”, through the use of conditioning behaviors. While the TEACCH method, especially as implemented in countries where most of the studies of effectiveness involving it have been produced, are ardently against the outcomes of “indistinguishability”, but focus on adaptation of autistic individuals as they are within their environments, both philosophically and on the level of structured classroom methods. Indeed, most studies or arguments, both formal and informal, comparing the two methods and denouncing TEACCH have been from the U.S.-centric viewpoint of ABA’s desired outcome, not from either a non-U.S. or TEACCH centered point of view.

—  TEACCH: Cross-Cultural Discussion on Autism Interventions Remain Culturally Deadlocked
On Latin and Alcor's Invocation

So I was reading through the Transcendence AU, and I noticed that a few fics and pieces of art so far have used a set invocation for Dipper/Alcor:

 “Splendidum stella, te invoco. Te invoco ut facere voluntatem meam. Dico nomen tuum: Alcor!”

As a student of Latin, I found this pretty interesting, but I wanted to see if I could make it more accurate as far as the language. I put it through GoogleTranslate to see if I could get an idea of what the original creator wanted, and it came up with this:

“Bright star, I call upon thee. Thee I invoke in order to do my [own] will. [And] I say your name, Alco[r]!”

Pretty good! But with a few tweaks, the Latin could be even better. Here’s my thought process behind a slightly more official version of what Alcor’s invocation would sound like:

To refine the translation while preserving the meaning the original creator intended, I broke the invocation into parts. The first part is ‘bright star,’ obviously a reference to Dipper.  So far the translation has been “Splendidum stella.”  This is okay, but to be ‘proper’ Latin, the adjective needs to follow the noun. The adjective also has to match the gender of the noun, so: “Stella splendida.”  The word ‘stella’ has been chosen for ‘star;’ now, Latin has a few words that mean ‘star,’ including ‘stella,’ ‘astrum,’ and ‘sidus.’ ‘Stella’ is a feminine noun, while ‘astrum’ and ‘sidus’ are masculine, so I do have to question its use a little, but technically, it’s grammatically correct, so I kept it. Also, it’s good to note that the vocative case is used for calling on someone, and that’s the case used here, although it looks the same as the nominative in this instance. If we were using ‘sidus,’ this would change, and the invocation would look like ‘Side splendide.’

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Formally establishing an argument for gender abolition that doesn’t rely wholly on transphobic notions of bodies, ignore the reality of people who are gendered in different ways at different times and whose safety can be called into question by that illegibility, or consider gender a stable notion worth upholding by another name/in another form is really important to me and, I think, very very possible.

anonymous asked:

This is random but, in your opinion does formal argument have a place in discussions of religion? and religious concerns?

Hi anon, sorry for this super late reply! For a while I felt like I didn’t know enough to have an opinion, but based on the little that I know, here I go!

I do believe that formal argument has its place, especially traditionally in the philosophy of religion. Though it’s not something that I would personally use when it comes to religious topics, I can see its place in the discipline. I can also see how it has the potential to be limiting and reductionist if not used well / in the appropriate contexts, and I think this is because formal logic is not organic to the logic and language of religion (which is something that New Atheists do not understand :( ).

Outside of philosophy of religion (and other theology-related academic disciplines), I don’t think that it’s relevant, meaningful, or useful, so for me it does not have a place in religious concerns or religious life.

But I have to backpedal a little because I know that formal argument also has a place in apologetics, and I know that apologetics is not just a thing in the realm of academia because it is important to a lot of religious people. And as with philosophy of religion, I am thinking of more old-school-method apologetics.

So anon I hope that was an OK answer and that you will see this! And I am really sorry if I misunderstand about formal argument because of my n00bness

What do you guys think about formal arguments tho?!