September 08, 2015

Message to a Facebook Friend of a Facebook Friend

You know how I knew your facebook post was going to be partisan talking-point bullshit? Because you started out with "I've read the entire deal with Iran..." I'm not sure what kind of free time you've got on your hands, but I find it difficult to believe you spent any of it wading through 150+ pages of legalese about reactors, heavy water, and enriched uranium. And even if you did, you'd have to have a "rather particular set of skills" (to paraphrase Liam Neeson) to fully understand it. But I don't know you; maybe that's right in your wheelhouse. However, then you had to go and add "and spoke to many others who have also read it." That, my friend, is a bridge too far. You might be able to convince me that you had read it. It's available online. I even skimmed through it myself. And by skimmed, I mean I read the first couple of pages, and then scrolled through it, looking at random sections. You might even be able to convince me that you fully understood it, even though people who are experts in the field have had some trouble with it. But the idea that you know "many" people who have accomplished a task only slightly longer and less interesting that sitting through a Russian film festival strains credulity.

I actually just felt bad for you when you came up with the howler, "and I was talking to my friend who's an expert in international law...." Oh, of course there are experts in international law out there; most people just call them "lawyers," which makes me wonder why you didn't. This smacks of that faulty appeal to authority, whereby we're supposed to give more weight to your argument because you referenced someone (an unknown someone, in this case) who you've claimed is an "expert" (again, without actually giving any real credentials). I'll bet you were one of those guys who had a Canadian girlfriend, too.

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