Archive for July 4th, 2010

Jeffrey Ellis has a good term for lack of reciprocity: asshat. In critical discourse, it’s very easy to confuse contrary opinion with narrow-mindedness, and I thank Jeff for reminding us that whilst it is always possible to be contrary without being an “asshat”, you can never be an asshat and still be justifiably called a critical thinker.

As critical thinkers who wish to adhere to the principle of reciprocity, we should commit to the opinion that a person is an asshat (or any other negative characterization) only to the extent that can be justified by evidence. That a person has a different opinion than ours does not by itself constitute any evidence of asshattery, and to say otherwise is to violate the principle of reciprocity.

However I have recently found it is possible to combine asshattery with irrelevance, and actually easily commit the same mistake in the guise of critical discourse. Neither qualify as critical thinking either in my book, but that’s going beyond the term.

Thanks Jeff.

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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These men burn calories and eat as if preparing for the World War.  To give us an idea of the athlete appetite, here football center back Fabio Cannavaro describes his diet:


While the news report that Michael Phelps consumes 12,000 calories a day, he claims just 8,000-10,000 calories:

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