2
   

Do offsite links to videos, web pages, etc. help ones argument?

 
 
Reply Sun 2 Jun, 2013 11:16 am
I generally avoid them as desperate attempts to bolster a weak exehesis. What do you think?
 
View best answer, chosen by neologist
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jun, 2013 11:47 am
@neologist,
Neo that's really an interesting q and thanks for it

For some 17 years I'd have maintained that yes, when pertinent. But unless it's a most intriguing OP with a super title I find that nobody much cares what I think, much less accesses my links

Especially after owing to some kind of weird digital mixup incapable of correction they aren't propagated in a normal fashion but are transmitted only to Canada
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jun, 2013 01:07 pm
@dalehileman,
Looks like we touched a sore spot. 2 down votes already. I wonder. . . Did RL see this?
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  6  
Reply Sun 2 Jun, 2013 01:36 pm
@neologist,
Sometimes; it depends (like everything else, of course). Links to obviously skewed, biased sites (StormFront, etc.) hurt an argument.

Wikipedia is an okay resource, but not always. Wikipedia can be very good for geographic and demographic-style information, e. g. the general census info for Provo, Utah for 2000. Information on celebs (not just entertainment but in fields like medicine) can be spot-on, too. On issues like global warming, it's not so good at all, as the crowd-posting method results in posting wars, and the pages can change on a weekly or even daily basis as people ride their hobby horses and scream at the tops of their lungs. Wikipedia is generally a secondary source at best, but it can be a good way to get to primary sources.

For medical questions, respected sites like WebMD or sites for places like the Mayo Clinic or Sloan-Kettering are very informative, but they are often interspersed with crap from the latest pretend wannabe Dr. Oz sites (really, if that man wants to have a shred of credibility, then his people need to start suing the acai berry and other quackery sites for using his name without permission. Rachael Ray has the same problem these days).

As for news sites, some are better than others. Breaking news is subject to errors and exaggerations, but that was true before the Internet was a gleam in Al Gore's eye. Wink

As usual, your mileage will vary.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jun, 2013 09:14 pm
@jespah,
Well understood. Certainly, when there is medical or scientific evidence of value, the link should be provided. In that case, a synopsis would be appreciated

However, my intent was to focus on links where the content could be stated in a sentence or two. Often times, the links are red herrings, straw men or personal attacks. Should we feel put upon when we open a link to what amounts to a fallacious wast of time?

If I sense where the argument may be going, I don't bother. Tell me if I am missing something.
jespah
  Selected Answer
 
  4  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 08:31 am
@neologist,
Oh, I understand what you mean. My link says this! Your link is crap!

At that point, I pretty much consider the argument to have hit its end and the participants are engaging in dead horse flogging. At about that point, I call it a day and collapserize the thread.

PS Nice avatar! Dunno if I had noticed it before.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 08:47 am
Links are just as useful as the citation of books. If you are citing Erich von Daniken, it's a load of crap, and the fact that it's a book doesn't cover the stench. If you're citing William Manchester, you've cited a careful scholar who backs up what he writes with citations of other authorities and a large body of references to his sources.

The same thing applies to links. Although it's not always possible, it does help if you make a claim, that you can cite a reliable online source. For a long time, that would have been Wikipedia, but that has changed dramatically lately. People with agendas have gone in there and edited articles heavily and no one seems to be doing anything about it.

It really depends on what one is attempting to substantiate. I once wrote something in a thread, and the member i was speaking to said it was bullshit. I cited my source--author, title of the work, and even the page number where that author made his claim. I then politely said that i preferred that author as a source to an anonymous person online. This brought on a spate of declarations about my ignorance and credulity, so, as Jespah has said in different context, that was the point at which the converstaion was over.

This is special area of academic action. If i were writing for publication in an historical journal, and the editorial staff accepted my article tentatively, they would send it out to be vetted by people known to be knowledgeable in that area of history. If those people were to say that my citations don't pass muster, then nothing in the world can save my article. In the online world, the quality of one's sources, and the interpretation one makes of those sources are subject to exactly the same review as a citation intended for a written work. The only difference is that it doesn't cost anything, or not very much at all, to post a load of old horsie poop online, so, as the Romans said in the Forum, let the buyer beware.
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 09:05 am
@neologist,
neologist wrote:

I generally avoid them as desperate attempts to bolster a weak exehesis. What do you think?

I still have a historian's need to footnote my political statements and arguments. Like with any corroborating evidence, one needs to take every source with a grain of salt.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 03:03 pm
@tsarstepan,
Agreed. Short of actually naming the worst offending members, or worse still, posting links to their posts, I chose to offer a generalized discussion.

3 thumbs down so far. Hmm.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 03:04 pm
@Setanta,
I am one who appreciates the effort you apply to your posts, Set.

But, I'm so old now, my attention span . . .you know..

Er. . What?
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 03:23 pm
@jespah,
jespah wrote:
PS Nice avatar! Dunno if I had noticed it before.
Thank you. I think your avatar shows a person with great courage . .
determination. . . fortitude . . .
..... How many bites did you endure whilst rabbitizing said canine?
0 Replies
 
 

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