Woo-meisters will not be pleased. While perusing this week’s Skeptics’ Circle, I was reminded of something that I had meant to post about a couple of days ago.
I don’t know how he did it or where he got it, but somehow he has found the Holy of Holies for woos everywhere. He found The Woo Handbook. In it, he finds the twenty main strategies for dealing with Skeptics. They’re pretty much all there: shifting the goalposts, labeling skeptics as “close-minded,” introducing quantum mechanics, and appeals to ignorance, along with #18, the technique of woos that probably annoys me the most (at least, it did back when I was on Usenet and actually used to participate in debates that stretched over days or weeks):
In debates that continue over several days, you should repeat arguments you made earlier as though the skeptic is a fool for not having answered these points. In a long debate, few people will realize the skeptic did refute those earlier arguments. At the very least, the skeptic will now have to waste time searching back and quoting what was written before. Few people will bother to follow the argument in this much detail.
It’s as if a football team managed to get a copy of the playbook for its arch-rival. Of course, when that happens in football, the team whose playbook has been compromised will change its strategy. Woos, however, are unable to change their playbook, because the fallacies in it are all they have.