Author Topic: Possible New Rule?  (Read 1214 times)

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Offline Ghoti

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Possible New Rule?
« on: November 04, 2015, 11:48:33 pm »
I have an idea for a new rule that might make it easier for debaters to debate without getting sidetracked by irrelevant bullshit: the Specific Citation Rule. It would simply be that citations should be as specific as possible - instead of linking to a site, link to an article; instead of linking to a blog, link to a specific post, etc. For example:

Bad: "The Bible says you're a sinner!"
Better: "It says in the book of Romans that everyone sins."
Best: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God - Romans 3:23"

It seems pretty obvious, but I've noticed that there have been several instances where someone opted to give a very broad source, forcing the other person to dig through a bunch of unrelated crap in order to find where and if so-and-so actually said such-and-such. What do you guys (and gals, and people not otherwise specified) think?
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Offline davedan

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Re: Possible New Rule?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2015, 11:50:06 pm »
The Ultimate Paragon rule of Citation Excellence.

Offline Ironchew

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Re: Possible New Rule?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2015, 03:09:47 am »
I have an idea for a new rule that might make it easier for debaters to debate without getting sidetracked by irrelevant bullshit: the Specific Citation Rule. It would simply be that citations should be as specific as possible - instead of linking to a site, link to an article; instead of linking to a blog, link to a specific post, etc. For example:

Bad: "The Bible says you're a sinner!"
Better: "It says in the book of Romans that everyone sins."
Best: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God - Romans 3:23"

It seems pretty obvious, but I've noticed that there have been several instances where someone opted to give a very broad source, forcing the other person to dig through a bunch of unrelated crap in order to find where and if so-and-so actually said such-and-such. What do you guys (and gals, and people not otherwise specified) think?

I'm happy with a link and a summary of the point said link backs up; at least I know what I'm looking for and I can make an objective decision whether or not the citation is accurate. On the other hand, posting walls o' links on their own annoys me to no end primarily because I don't know what I'm looking for.

The most egregious abuses of link-spamming remind me of evangelists that hand out their literature instead of engaging in a conversation with targets they hope to convert.
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Offline Svata

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Re: Possible New Rule?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2015, 05:29:34 am »
I have an idea for a new rule that might make it easier for debaters to debate without getting sidetracked by irrelevant bullshit: the Specific Citation Rule. It would simply be that citations should be as specific as possible - instead of linking to a site, link to an article; instead of linking to a blog, link to a specific post, etc. For example:

Bad: "The Bible says you're a sinner!"
Better: "It says in the book of Romans that everyone sins."
Best: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God - Romans 3:23"

It seems pretty obvious, but I've noticed that there have been several instances where someone opted to give a very broad source, forcing the other person to dig through a bunch of unrelated crap in order to find where and if so-and-so actually said such-and-such. What do you guys (and gals, and people not otherwise specified) think?

I'm happy with a link and a summary of the point said link backs up; at least I know what I'm looking for and I can make an objective decision whether or not the citation is accurate. On the other hand, posting walls o' links on their own annoys me to no end primarily because I don't know what I'm looking for.

The most egregious abuses of link-spamming remind me of evangelists that hand out their literature instead of engaging in a conversation with targets they hope to convert.


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Offline mellenORL

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Re: Possible New Rule?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2015, 09:20:17 am »
I'd add that all links must have a quote paste of the relevant portion being cited in the argument. Otherwise, as 'Chew stated, the wall of links effectively act as a sort of anti-homing missile chaff. A lazy man's obstructionism.

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Offline The_Queen

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Re: Possible New Rule?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2015, 09:33:16 am »
I am against this rule, as I think the direct question rule suffices for this point. For example, "Direct question, where in the blue fuck does it say that in your source?" This rule only creates more of a burden on the one providing the source while giving more incentive for people to not do a lick of reading or independent research. As someone who doesn't have a shit ton of time to do research, but still does research for a living, a rule like this would disincentivize me from posting things related to law or science because I don't have 30 minutes or an hour to run, find the source, place it here, and put the relevant portions in nice and neat little quote boxes.

ETA: I also think the rule could be ripe for abuse due to burdens of proof. We had a long debate with Paragon recently about how it works, but I am not entirely sure that various people on here understand the concept. For example, if I say that there are no black crows, the burden is not on me to prove that, but on somebody to prove that opposite so as to disprove my assertion. Nonetheless, I still made the initial assertion and a rule like this could require me to proof the assertion. On a page like this, where debates are common and burdens of proof might be hard to assign, a rule like this could place the burden on the wrong party and require a specific citation which cannot be done, resulting in a rule violation.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 09:41:15 am by The_Queen »
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Offline Sigmaleph

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Re: Possible New Rule?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2015, 10:03:17 am »
I don't like the idea of enforcing debate standards via mod authority.

For one thing, there's no rule that says you have to provide sources for your claims in the first place. Sure, it's always a reasonable request to make, but people should be free to say "dunno, heard it somewhere and I don't recall exactly where", or "a private conversation with my friend X who has a Ph.D.", or whatever. We're not publishing academic papers here.

You can always direct-question for a more specific citation, as Queen says. Even if someone refuses to cite more specifically, you've already put them in the position of admitting that. For all debate purposes, you've already won. I don't thinking getting official action (bans, or warnings, or whatever) on top of that is called for.
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