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Category: Essays

Play the man, not the ball: in defense of the ad hominem attack

When arguing, there are many logical fallacies that can trip us up.  The idealised honest debater tries to avoid all of these traps, while pointing out when their opponent has fallen into one.  When the conversation heats up, one of the most common flawed arguments that get thrown into the mix is the ad hominem attack:  when we stop addressing the…

Forked

I’m a parenting journalist. So it may seem a bit weird that I’m choosing to write about politics, because really, most of the things I “investigate” involve parabens in bottle teats and the effects of helicopter parenting. I can list the chemical make-up of breastmilk off the top of my head, and I’m no Richard Poplak *fangirl squeal* but in…

What is a podcast?

Every now and then, when I tell somebody that Cathrine and I do a podcast, I get asked “What’s that?”.  I’ve been in conversations at parties where we talk about our favourite podcasts, and somebody always asks “What’s a podcast?”.  And the answers these people get are not helpful because they are inconsistent and contradictory.  So I’m writing this to try…

Public response to tragedy: The five stages

The recent attacks in Paris (and so many other cities around the world, before and after) shocked the world, in the way that only terrorist attacks do.  But as the days passed, while people mourned, looked for somebody to blame, or swore revenge, I noticed a pattern in how the public responds to tragedy.  I’ve noticed these common threads form over…