Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Logical Fallacies - The Straw Man

Forgive me, Chin Seng. This is another non-chess-related post. Today, we get to discuss the Straw Man fallacy. This is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone misrepresents his opponent's position and attacks that without having to refute the original position.
"The straw man is one of the best-named fallacies, because it is memorable and vividly illustrates the nature of the fallacy. Imagine a fight in which one of the combatants sets up a man of straw, attacks it, then proclaims victory. All the while, the real opponent stands by untouched."
Let us take a look here:
I think we can see clearer now why he (Jimmy Liew) conducted the attacks on FGM's training for our National Juniors via anonymous bloggers. The first training of its kind for our Juniors.
First of all, just to point out a factual error. Definitely not the first training of its kind for our juniors. The straw man here is the "person" who allegedly conducted an attack on the FGM training. Now, that you know who the straw man is, let us pile on the attack on him:
This may also explain why there were attempts to boycott the Thematics despite its benefits to our stronger players.
The straw man is also responsible for the boycott of the thematics.
Does this also explain why Lim Zhuo Ren was attacked until he broke down and wrote that email when his only "offence" was to have a look see if the training we were providing is beneficial or not? And he made the fatal mistake of signing up with us.
This part is super tricky. First of all, there has never been proof of any attack on Zhuo Ren. Only "some people" said this and that. That's why the above statement is in the form of a question. This is really tricky. When you have no proof of something, just phrase the statement in the form of the question to mislead the reader. Insinuate the idea. Pile on the attack on the straw man. Remember, the straw man is the one who allegedly conducting all forms of attacks.
There was also the flurry of activity on his allied blogs to counter the attempts of us asking MCF to have written selection criteria. But MCF stood firm and acknowledged our requests.
I have not seen any blog that tried to counter any attempt for a written selection criteria. The MCF had a written selection criteria all along. Oh wait, someone made a request to the MCF. Does this mean that he is telling the MCF what to do? Hmm... is a request the same as a suggestion? I wonder...

So, when other people make suggestions to the MCF, it is telling the MCF what to do. But when people make requests to the MCF, it is not. The straw man is now also credited with having allies that have tried to counter any form of written selection criteria. Now the straw man has friends. Wow, now he is fighting against many straw men who are attacking him. I wonder who is the blogger who is against written selection criteria. Straw man, anyone?
And now again there is another very "strong" attempt to stop MCF from looking at the abuse of authority from certain organisers. They are again telling MCF what they should or should not do.
Is he talking about the comments here? The closest mention to MCF I see is this:
In no where in the handbook does it say that FIDE does not allow organizers to ban certain participants from taking part. I guess if the MCF does not have a specific rule that says players cannot be banned from certain tournaments, MCF is off the hook again. No need to do anything with Raymond's whining.
Forget that he misinterpreted the MCF constitution. Who is the one telling MCF what to do? The one calling the MCF to do something about an alleged "abuse"? Strange... I wonder how it feels to smack oneself in the face.
Isnt it getting clearer now? What does this signify if not tyranny? What is it that Jimmy and friends are so afraid of? So really, who are the trouble makers? Who is putting up the roadblocks to improvements.
Oooh... more questions. Let me have a go at answering them. Is it really getting clearer? I think it either signifies delusion, or an ultimate showdown with straw men. I don't know what Jimmy and his friends are afraid of. But they should definitely be afraid of the straw men, because they can sure do a lot of things for straw men. Oh wait... I think they should be afraid of the person who defeats the straw men. I think he is more powerful. Who is putting up the roadblocks? I think the straw men are. Otherwise, I can't think of anyone.

So, can one small attack on some training by the straw man can lead to such huge consequences? (Remember, this is a question). It's OK. Let us just attack the straw man anyway. But wait, let us name it Jimmy Liew. This should be fun.


  1. So who you really are? Economist? Scientist? Lawyer? :) Will the real Ninja please stand up?

    Don't bother to answer it. It doesn't matter. What matter is what you write, your points, arguments and counter arguments...

    and to me you shows really good understanding of logic and fallacy (and mechanism behind it)...and for this i don't think anybody brave enough to challenge your point openly!

    All the best, Ninja

  2. Ninja, thanks very much for this piece. Explains everything in easy to understand way.

  3. Has anyone specifically banned Rayond Siew and son? I think RS is just guessing, and he could well be right. Even he accepts the fact he is the trouble maker parent.

  4. Thanks, Ilhamuddin. I guess the most accurate way to describe me is "a seeker of truth". So, proof and concrete arguments are important. I think it helps chess a little bit to have critical thinking. And being a chess player, it also helps analytical thinking in other aspects of life.

    Also, in the good old days, economists, scientists, artists, etc were not really separate professions. Everyone of those is just a philosopher. Just some trivia, Pythagoras (more known as a mathematician), was allegedly the first to called himself "philosophos", which is derived from the Greek words, "philos" (loving) and "sophos" (wise), which is to represent himself as a man who loves wisdom.

    However, it is really not my intention to intimidate anyone from speaking up. In fact, I encourage it. Pointing out that no one is brave enough to challenge my points will only encourage "He Who Must Not Be Named" (Shoutout to Harry Potter!) to attack the straw men.

    Jimmy, you're welcome :) Now you will be further accused of having more allied blogs and hiding behind anonymous bloggers... AGAIN. Never mind that all his arguments are countered. All my arguments are not relevant because:

    1) The Chess Ninja is confused. He also has not learnt how to read. So whatever he says is nonsense.

    2) The Chess Ninja is anonymous. So he is afraid. That's why his points are not valid. That is also why he can be ignored.

    (Remember poisoning the well?)