Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On “Meta-watching” Political Debates


It seems like every year, the bar of the political debate gets lowered, and this year was no exception. I don’t want to be that “frog that boiled to death” because the temperature of the pot of (cold) water was increased so gradually (turns out this makes a great metaphor but is not reproduced in real life), so I recalibrate myself by watching “Prime Minister’s Questions” on C-SPAN where the Prime Minister of the United (as of today, at least) Kingdom answers questions from the British House of Commons, live, without a script. I don’t necessarily believe that great debating skills make for a great leader, but at least the Members of the ParliamentĀ are able to bring topics that are pressing to them and get an answer from the Prime Minister. In the course of word sparring, stats are mentioned, counter points are made. In most of the cases, they don’t end up agreeing, BUT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES!

Although I consider myself to be a politically-interested person, having worked in state government and interacted with members of local and federal governments, I could not stomach this year’s election news cycle. As a result, I skipped watching the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention this year, opting to watch specific speeches curated my social media circle of friends that I knew I would enjoy.

When I was listening to podcasts about logical fallacies and many of the examples experts gave came from politicians, I thought perhaps I could have watched the debates, the convention and campaign speeches, by making it into a drinking game of sorts:

  1. Each player picks a politician. When the chosen politician commits a logical fallacy, drink (I like the list here, as Wikipedia’s is quite long, or you can simply use the basic ones mentioned in You Are Not So Smart podcast (e.g., Episodes 67 to 71: the fallacy fallacy, the strawman fallacy, the black and white fallacy, the no Scotsman fallacy, the Texas sharpshooter fallacy), or
  2. Each player picks a fallacy and if any politician commits that particular fallacy, drink.
  3. Each player picks a political party, and if any politician from that party commits any fallacy, drink.

Perhaps by looking out for the fallacies, our focus will be at the meta level vs. what they are actually saying, so our blood pressure will be under control.

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This entry was posted on July 26, 2016 by in games, language, Psychology, Thinking and tagged , , .
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