Tuesday, May 01, 2007

State of the Doggerel

Just thought I'd start a fresh thread relating to all things Doggerel. Here are some various items on my agenda for the series:

1. What should I do for Doggerel #100? I think I should try to find the most profoundly stupid and annoying bit I haven't covered yet. The kind I type foamy replies to between acts of unspeakable violence against the air around me. Since I started the series with "supernatural," I think it may also be appropriate to find some opposite. (Annoyingly, I've already covered "natural" and "materialism")

2. Grammar clarification: I use the word "doggerel" in different ways. First, "Doggerel," capitalized, is how I refer to the specific series of blog posts. Without capitalization, "doggerel" refers to any cliché woo arguments or vocabulary that don't meaningfully contribute to an argument. It does not have to be covered already.

3. Feel free to drop in generic suggestions. I'll probably get more from you in a fresh thread. One thing I'd like to do a little more on is "buzz-word" doggerel. I tried doing about half-and-half for a while, but I'm at about 1/3 with entries like that.

Edit: Forgotten handy link added.


Ryan Michael said...

I think you should take Tom's advice on the Skeptico thread:

What about all the good things [woo] has done?

Anonymous said...

What, no handy link to the list of Doggerel for those of us with crappy memories who don't remember what's all on it?

About the only thing I can think of is "other ways of knowing," which you touched on in Science Doesn't Know Everything (in which you linked to Skeptico's take on it). I think it's used often enough to get its own full treatment.

Tom Foss said...

I'm not sure of that one for #100. I ended up bouncing around the archives recently, and it gave me an idea. See, Infophile linked to his 42nd post somewhere, which linked back to an older post here, which featured an early comment by one Yamil Luciano, the man who would be Cocksnack.

Anyway, he said something in there which would become something of a catchphrase: "Devastating Truth." I think that, or even just "Truth," would make for a good centennial post. I know you've done "You're just afraid of the truth!" but I think this could come from a bit of a different angle, questioning how truth can be "devastating," to whom it is devastating, and whether or not such a thing really exists.

Other ones, spinning mostly out of recent threads on Skeptico, would be "critical thinking," "fanciful," "absolutist," "[woo] isn't the worst thing ever," "so what if [woo] doesn't really work?" and "troll," the latter of which I've seen bandied around to mean "anyone who disagrees with me."

And there's always classic terminology like "vibe/vibration," "crystal," "aura," "holistic," "allopathic," "healing," and "wellness." That list of words, along with "organic," are straight from the "things to include in your advertisements and/or packaging if you don't want Tom to buy your product."

Bronze Dog said...

Tom, I think you just filled up my calendar for a good, long while.

Tom Foss said...

I'm happy to be of service, BD. You know how much I love reading the Doggerel posts :).

Incidentally, I was watching an episode of the Atheist Experience on Google Video the other day, and some Christian suggested that science--specifically the view that when you die, you go into the ground, and the heat and chemical energy of your body goes back into nature to sustain other organisms--a "fairy tale for adults." I about fell out of my chair at that one.

Anonymous said...

Whilst it's more of a clumsy mis-direction than Doggerel an opening that pops up quite regularly is "I'm a skeptic but...."

Infophile said...

A couple more to add to Tom's already-big list:

"Just-so story" (a favorite of creationists)
"Paradigm" (in comparing the current argument to a paradigm shift in science)

Joshua said...

Do you have something on "paradigm"? Speaking of buzzwords and stuff.

Bronze Dog said...

I've got "New Paradigm."

Rhoadan said...

You haven't covered "natural" or "artificial" yet as far as I can tell. I just ran into someone on a feline CRF support group going off on water fluoridation because "its a chemical and therefore not natural." Yes, that's how it was phrased. :headdesk:

Bronze Dog said...

I've done "natural" and "chemicals," but I haven't done "artificial" yet. Definitely on the list.

Dikkii said...

I've done "natural" and "chemicals," but I haven't done "artificial" yet.

Yeah. My pusher man tells me they're hard to get, as well.