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[sticky post] 55 Simple Rules for Debate in the Modern World

It’s my own fault really. Because I like to see different sides to an argument before making up my own mind (see Rule 9 below) then I am unfortunately exposed to comments from people whose opinions are badly argued, uninformed, prejudiced, immature and just plain stupid. And this does annoy me at times.

I like to think that the 55 rules below are ones that I at least try to stick to when commenting online. I wish other people would too, even though a few of my ‘rules’ are actually opinions. Some of the rules are not so much rules for debate, more rules you should live by if you want me to value your opinion. Put it this way, the more of my rules that you break, the less highly will I rate your opinion.


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Shortish fantasy novels featuring an ordinary 20th century bloke transported to two different fantasy worlds as the heroes Erekose and Urlik Skarsol. Perhaps more high-fantasy in feel than Moorcock's more famous fantasy heroes.

Difficult to review these. As standalone stories, they're not particularly memorable or exceptional. Both books are more important as part of Moorcock's Eternal Champion cycle. In fact they're probably the best place to start for those new to Moorcock.

Song 42: Chelsea Dagger, The Fratellis

This is a fun song from this band's first album. Like many bands, their first album seemed great and full of good stuff (this is the best song), but their second was much duller and I've never bothered with the third or fourth. Apparently they're now on indefinite hiatus. Shame. They had potential.

Her Story review

'Her Story' is the best game* I've played all year.

This is not going to be a very good review because if I told you much at all it would spoil a lot of the appeal. I was lucky enough not to really see any reviews (or at least remember anything from them) before I played it. I STRONGLY recommend that you do the same. Don't look up it up on Wikipedia or anything. You can read this though.

The game is subtitled "A Video Game About A Woman Talking To The Police". Your job is to work out "her story" from the clips you see of her talking to the police. The clips have been tagged with relevant keywords and you get to search by keyword. That's about it.

It's currently (until 4th July) in the Steam Summer Sale for just £2.49. It'll take you about two hours to play it. And I think most people here will love it. And I think that a lot of people will agree with me that it's an astonishingly good performance from someone in her first acting role.

Oh, and you can play it on pretty much any PC.



* Football Manager doesn't count. It's not a game, more a way of life.

Some EU Referendum questions...

Poll #2047763 Some Referendum Questions

If you intend to vote 'Leave', would you change your mind if you discovered that UK exporters would suffer significant tariffs when exporting to the EU?

Yes
0(0.0%)
No
3(8.1%)
SEWIWEIAC
1(2.7%)
n/a - I'm voting 'Remain'
33(89.2%)

If you intend to vote 'Remain', would you change your mind if you knew that within your lifetime the EU would transform into a single state, and individual nations were abolished?

Yes
8(21.1%)
No
23(60.5%)
SEWIWEIAC
5(13.2%)
n/a - I'm voting 'Leave'
2(5.3%)

If you intend to vote 'Leave', would you change your mind if you learned that UK exporters would suffer increased tariffs when exporting to countries outside of the EU?

Yes
1(2.6%)
No
2(5.3%)
SEWIWEIAC
1(2.6%)
n/a - I'm voting 'Remain'
34(89.5%)

If you intend to vote 'Remain', would you change your mind if you knew that in future, the EU would control member states' fiscal policies, for example setting tax rates and stopping countries from running budget deficits?

Yes
6(15.8%)
No
23(60.5%)
SEWIWEIAC
7(18.4%)
n/a - I'm voting 'Leave'
2(5.3%)

If you intend to vote 'Leave', would you change your mind if free access to public benefits and services was restricted to British citizens?

Yes
0(0.0%)
No
3(7.9%)
SEWIWEIAC
1(2.6%)
n/a - I'm voting 'Remain'
34(89.5%)

If you intend to vote 'Remain', would you change your mind if you knew that net immigration would increase significantly past current levels, say to 1million a year?

Yes
3(8.1%)
No
27(73.0%)
SEWIWEIAC
5(13.5%)
n/a - I'm voting 'Leave'
2(5.4%)

If you intend to vote 'Leave', would you change your mind if you knew that it meant that the UK would not enjoy the kind of trade deal with the US currently being negotiated by the EU?

Yes
1(2.6%)
No
2(5.3%)
SEWIWEIAC
1(2.6%)
n/a - I'm voting 'Remain'
34(89.5%)

If you intend to vote 'Remain', would you change your mind if the EU successfully negotiated a free trade deal like the proposed TTIP with the US?

Yes
2(5.3%)
No
30(78.9%)
SEWIWEIAC
4(10.5%)
n/a - I'm voting 'Leave'
2(5.3%)

Free trade is...

...good, and that's why I'm voting 'Remain'.
22(61.1%)
...bad, and that's why I'm voting 'Leave'
0(0.0%)
...good, and that's why I'm voting 'Leave'
3(8.3%)
...bad, and that's why I'm voting 'Remain'
4(11.1%)
SEWIWEIAC
7(19.4%)

If you intend to vote 'Leave', would you consider changing your mind if only the 'Remain' side weren't so obnoxious?

Yes
1(2.7%)
No
2(5.4%)
SEWIWEIAC
1(2.7%)
n/a - I'm voting 'Remain'
30(81.1%)
No, but I don't think the 'Remain' side is obnoxious.
3(8.1%)

If you intend to vote 'Remain', would you consider changing your mind if only the 'Leave' side weren't so obnoxious?

Yes
4(10.5%)
No
28(73.7%)
SEWIWEIAC
1(2.6%)
n/a - I'm voting 'Leave'
2(5.3%)
No, but I don't think the 'Leave' side is obnoxious.
3(7.9%)

Fitting the narrative

One of my occasional hobbies is social media (usually Facebook) hoax-slaying. I think I'm pretty good at spotting hoaxes. You can usually recognise something in the wording that doesn't seem quite right. Maybe it's my auditing experience - professional scepticism and all that.

Usually these hoaxes are crime scare stories - marks on the pavement are signs left by dognappers, look out for axe-wielding maniacs who get into your car at petrol stations - or chain letters purporting to be from Microsoft or Apple. Today though, we've had a political one. It's this:

"The most perfect thing I have ever seen just happened on the replacement train bus service between Newport and Cwmbran:

White man sat in front of a mother and her son. Mother was wearing a niqab. After about 5 minutes of the mother talking to her son in another language the man, for whatever reason, feels the need to tell the woman "When you're in the UK you should really be speaking English."

At which point, an old woman in front of him turns around and says, "She's in Wales. And she's speaking Welsh."

Perfect."

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