A Case-Study Exemplifying In What Manner the English Languag

The article was typical of what you post. Half serious, half a joke.

“It’s very easy to whip into shape the people they recruit” —think before you speak, please.

Here’s what you do. You’ll cite a fact… something about how the army uses virtual simulators for training. And then extrapolate from that to comical places… as if you were entitled to… such as that the govn’t instituted a recruitment plan for kids through video games as a response to China’s war rise, and that you’ll get a letter or something somehow if you’re good at video games.

And you expect me to respond to things like this. Well, in any case, my point is that the govn’t would be incompetent, if anything like this were the case. First of all, what a waste of time and money, to pay for and institute that recruitment plan, whatever it is, since human nature is violent enough and just leaving it to others to make violent games and violent movies is enough, and will do the trick. Secondly, video gamers who play alot are fat slobs… and whipping a fat slob into shape is considerably harder than you thing. Much harder than making an athletic person into a video gamer… which requires only learning how to push a fuckng button with your thumb. Not to mention being good wth your thumbs has nothing to do with being athletic… and that’s something that if it isn’t developed from a young age, it just withers.

I’m stopping. There’s really nothing you’ve said, or in the article, that justifies 95% of what you say. You just take these wild leaps in the direction of the malevolent instigator that I was talking about…

OK I’ll just take you on your word then.

Lol the guy who is arguing with necessarily false absolutisms isn’t going to carry on this discussion. Damn I guess I am now missing out on high quality argumentation.

Yes, or wake up and read the next sentence.

You are. It’s no fault of mine, though.

I spent some time and practically wrote you a treatise. And the extent of your response is to snort and say, “pfft, hmpph, psh”.

When I wrote a treatise for JohnJones, he at least lived up to my billing as a great thinker…

You wrote a lot. Doesn’t mean it was worthwhile or good or whatever. I thought I addressed your core points

  1. Recruiting through video games (doesn’t) mean incompetence
  2. Kids who play video games are (in)compatible with moving into military training because (every single one is fat)

I assume you just like that I don’t agree with your conclusions. If I missed any other crucial points, point them out to me.

I am flattered you have me billed as a great thinker.

You did not get the main point. The main point was about language use.

E.g., If I take a trip to buy an ice cream cone…

  • I call it, “a trip to buy an ice cream cone”.
  • You call it, “a government sanctioned excursion”

E.g 2., If I play a violent video game about war…

  • I call it, “a violent video game about war”
  • You call it, “government sponsored mind-manipulation and recruitment”

The main point of the post was about why we use language in these different ways. You seem to have your head on a swivel over your shoulder such that you can’t see the obvious fact that what motivates much of what you think are sinister plots, are really just profit motive. We are creatures with a violent nature—we don’t need to be shaped that way, and the games we play are that way only because we actually are already violent, and want to buy them. I.e., spend our money.

And at the end I speculated about why your head was on such a paranoid swivel over your shoulder…

Are you saying these are mutually exclusive to you?

No, of course not. I’m saying that you use language much like SAITD does… He calls ANYTHING (e.g., Rudy, Harry Potter, a commercial for donuts, etc) “propaganda”. It empties the important words we have of the meaning that they have.

I may see a video game that desensitizes people about killing, and also notice that soldiers need to be somewhat desensitized. I may also notice that the government lended weapons for the design of the game, or notice that action scenes used public property, or that they otherwise facilitated the making of the game in some way…

You will without hesitation call this something like, “government sponsored mind-manipulation and control”. And in so far as it goes, you may be right… just as right as SAITD is that a commercial for donuts is “propaganda” for donuts. This is what I find interesting. And as a side point, I think it’s a poor use of language. I think it says more about you, that you’ll call a weak case by an extreme term… and then really have nothing left to call the extreme case, when it happens.

If you still don’t get it, I can underline the main point for you…

I wish you’d address me an an individual, rather than as (in your mind) the member of some group. I wouldn’t belong to any club that would have me as a member. I certainly wouldn’t belong to any club that would have Gobbo as a member.

This is a positive message, but not much use because it isn’t true. If you don’t have recourse to physical violence, and have no recognisable talent, you’ll be lucky if you just hang on to what you start life with, let alone get ahead enough to make an important difference.

I suggest you are trivialising the most powerful tool of mass manipulation ever invented.

I couldn’t give a buggery about syntax and I appreciate your laughable attempt to mock MY use of language. Particularly when, like almost everyone else, you can’t even get the letters in my name in the right order.


I use ‘propaganda’ to mean something that propagates values, that ‘carries’ a message, if you like. Propaganda isn’t an inherently bad thing, and my objections were to the values being propagated through Batman (particularly the third one) rather than to the fact that I had called it propaganda.

You look at the ‘natives’ in King Kong and tell me that movie isn’t racist propaganda. Go on, I dare you. I mean, if you actually do that then I will verbally fist you up to the gall bladder but don’t let that put you off. I’m not touching Harry Potter with Gobbo’s dick, and trust me, he’s got a long dick.

I dunno what it is with your villains twirling their mustaches. My villains are mostly clean shaven and, contrary to conspiracy film legend, actually inhabit quite well-lit rooms most of the time. They don’t rub their hands together that much, though they do like making little pyramids with their fingers and thumbs.

Why did a talented cast (sorta) and a talented director (so so but above average) make such a shit movie with so much money? Christ, they could have just done basically what they did with the second film and had some crazy fucko cause chaos until Batman figures out a way to catch him (which just so happens to be using the kinds of technologies that are currently being developed and put into use by the NSA, GCHQ etc.). I maintain it was because of the constraints of what you can say through Hollywood.

If you’re trying to hurt my feelings then you’re succeeding.

‘Government sanctioned outing’ sounds about right, given where America is right now. I can hear Obama saying it. But then, I can hear Obama saying anything because he would say anything. He’s a really good actor, I could see him playing himself as the president in a disaster movie. Sorta like what he’s doing now.

I dunno if it required explicit authorisation. I do know that very, very, very few movies whose values go against those of centralised, hierarchical power ever get given even 1/300th of what Christopher Nolan gets for his intellectual trash.

That’s the world being corrupt and bad, which is why we need government.

Not the army in the movie, the army in real life. You see how easy it is to get them confused?

You don’t need to be able to do 25 situps to remote-pilot some battle droid/drone aircraft/ED209. Though there’s enough kids who are speed freaks and whatnot who never eat and play like 10 hours a day and have incredible hand-eye co-ordination and ability to stare at a screen doing the same thing over and over. If you think about it, that’s a really useful skill for next-gen warfare, extrapolating just a little way from where we are now.

And in any case, it is true. If this shocks you then maybe you’ll understand why calling Batman ‘propaganda’ doesn’t seem like such a radical or objectionable thing to do.

Nah, government is incredibly incompetent, for the most part.

None of what you said subsequent to this point in your post has anything to do with me.

Not just propaganda for donuts - propaganda for a set of life values that encourage the consistent purchase of donuts.

That’s because I prefer to use adjectives and preferably adverbs too to describe the precise nature of something, rather than trying to encapsulate it all in a noun like a tabloid newspaper…


You cut the post up in an attempt to respond to each line or so, and you managed to completely miss the point. …I can’t decide right now if that is actually what went wrong with you, or else you decided to come in and agree without saying so, and by responding in a way that confirms the main point. Whichever it is, have a nice life.

No, I responded to each part of your argument separately. More like each paragraph than each line.

Anyway, I’ll take your smug avoidance of counter-argument to be an admission that you’re regretting starting this thread now because it hasn’t gone the way you hoped.

Everything is propaganda. Using the word correctly doesn’t empty it of meaning. It just means that it’s being used correctly. It’s just one of those words that applies to ‘media’ basically. I know you might not agree with this point, but if you ever want to understand where me and Siatd are coming from. It’s crucial to understand.

If you are sitting there waiting for 1940’s Soviet flyers as examples of propaganda, that’s not going to work.

I am interesting in hearing your definition of propaganda, Mo.

No, you walked in and confirmed that you use extreme words on weak cases, in a way that leaves distinctly nothing left for extreme cases. That’s the point, and this much is clear. You will call my trip to buy an ice cream cone a “government sanctioned outting”. A commercial for donuts is “propaganda for donuts”. A movie a “mass manipulation tool”…

I just wanted to be clear about this… so that everyone who reads anything you write can care less, and think less of when you use these terms… knowing that you’ll use them on fucking anything, including my buying an ice cream cone.

As I said at the beginning, the post is about language. If you want a mirror, then it’s toward the end of the post.

How would you feel about slackening the Rules on replies a little, but keeping the Rules for OP’s the same? I really don’t care if the place ends up being just a bunch of OP’s, as long as they are all quality material, pursuant to the purpose of the Forum’s existence in the first place.

I think the best thing would be for the forum to be a place where a competent person exercises judgement about what good philosophy is, without any strict criteria about things that don’t matter and are restrictive… like word count, formatting, citations, etc

I offer my services for that. I think I’m the best for it.

OH will think it will become OH’s philosophy forum if he does that. So, he shouldn’t do it. There are many methods, styles, philosophies… it’s not hard to judge what’s quality and what’s not, without inserting your bias into the forum.


You run into a basic problem encountered by any philosophy discussion site. Define “good philosophy”. You can define that any way you want - and that’s the problem. The amount of “good philosophy” I’ve seen in ILP wouldn’t fill ten pages. I don’t do good philosophy because it’s damned hard work and I’m lazy, but I know it when I see it - and that is probably true for every member except that everyone has their own definition of what that might be. And don’t kid yourself that you or anyone else can approach philosophy without bias. It’s bias that keeps the words flowing…

As for the Academy, great party, except no one but aum showed up. Aum needs commendation for doing exactly what was asked in the rules and regs. Too bad all those people wetting their pants to do ‘serious philosophy’ disappeared. ILP will never be a site of serious philosophy. It’s mostly just bullshitting no different than the neighborhood pub. On rare occasion, there are serious discussions in every forum, but they are the exception rather than the rule. ILP is no different than panning for gold: A few flakes in a pile of dirt.


I disagree with you absolutely on just about every point you made…

Firstly, there is plenty of “good philosophy” on this site, and plenty of “good philosophers”. Since you say nothing else to explain this comment, it may be hard for me to persuade you of the opposite. Here’s my speculation: Frankly, I’m not convinced that you know what you’re looking for. You’re here and are not quite sure what philosophy is (despite what you think), since, as you mention there’s all kinds of different definitions.

My impression is that you are confusing all the various methods, tools, and styles of doing philosophy… with philosophy itself. Yes, there’s all kinds of schools, and traditions, and ways of doing philosophy—but only if you think there’s nothing that unites all of them are you going to be lost in different ways of conceptualizing what philosophy is.

The fact of the matter is that across all the different ways of doing philosophy, all the methods, the tools, the styles, the schools, the traditions… are the same basic questions. Foundational questions, I’d say. Answering them gets you the sophia part. Bothering to answer them at all is the phil. That’s philosophy. Once you think of philosophy this way, you won’t find yourself getting lost in defining it just because people have different techniques.

The only question you should have, is what are the questions? —And that’s easy! Nobody really disputes what the basic questions of philosophy are. How do I know what I think I know? What’s the good life for man? How should I behave? What is beauty? What is valid reasoning? What’s the best system of government? These are the main ones. There are some others. And there are hundreds of others that fall under these very general ones.

Show some quality in answering a question… and you have quality philosophy. It doesn’t matter if you do it through heavy use of P’s and Q’s, or less formal argument (like the Continental tradition), or examining your experience (like the phenomenologists), or through narrative (like Camus), or dialogue (like Plato), or diatribe (like Nietzsche), or conceptual analysis (like the Analytic tradition), or methodological skepticism (like Descartes), or transcendental questioning, (like Kant) or etc. It’s not essential whether you build a big system (like Hegel), or build no system at all (like iambiguous). Quality is quality. As long as you’re doing something to answer the question, in a way that what you’re actually doing to answer the question can be criticized. Quality, my friend.

And here’s the essential point: The ONLY way to improve the content of the site is by exercising some judgement about the quality of the philosophizing. You simply can’t affect the quality by requiring it be properly cited, formatted correctly, of a certain length, etc. That simply has nothing to do with the actual quality of the philosophizing. And in any place where you find quality philosophy in a public medium, like journals, you have some sort of review----someone who judges. That’s the ONLY way to improve the content of the site. And the site is no less inclusive just because some part of it (a section) get reviewed.

I don’t consider ‘propaganda’ to be an extreme word. However, even if it were, you’re talking about a general trend rather than a specific instance - some you’re a long way from having demonstrated.

And yet you think you are:

Amazing, really, that you could be so deluded.

Not just propaganda for donuts.

So not content with accusing me of… whatever it is you’re accusing me of, you’re also implying that without your noble, benevolent, bullshit thread that everyone is so thick that they’d be drowning in an ocean of confusion.

You are exceedingly smug and self-glorifying, that much is clear. You have a massive superiority complex.

This thread is about your egotism, and nothing more.