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OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

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The Cat-Tribe
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OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:13 am

The following exchange took place in another thread and, in my opinion, raises an interesting question about what is and is not relevant/proper/permissible in a debate over WA policy.

The Cat-Tribe wrote:
Bears Armed wrote:OOC: Can people please stop arguing about NS legislation on the basis of RL studies and laws? :(


I'm glad you brought this up and it may well be worthy of its own thread, because the answer is "to an extent, yes, but not really."

I did try to make RL comments OOC, but treating WA as divorced from reality is a bit silly. RL laws don't have much place here, I agree (with the possible exception of examples), and I didn't bring them up. RL studies are a different matter. Just as a study done in the U.S. may be relevant to legislation in Japan or vice versa, RL studies can be relevant to issues before the WA.

The alternative is unacceptable. When people make assertions of fact as the basis for opinions that simply aren't true, it is reasonable to be able to say (1) "why is that true? where is your evidence?" and (2) "here is evidence to the contrary." Does a fact in RL necessarily mean the same is true in all WA nations? No. But there should be some basis for explaining why the fact doesn't apply to the WA. For example, gravity generally exists. Simply saying "but this is the WA" doesn't make gravity go away.


To reinforce my comments, let's be clear that (without commiting a violation of the rules regarding WA proposals containing RL references) many (if not most) WA proposals are premised on someone's perception of a RL problem. That perception may or may not be accurate and the premises of arguments ought to be scrutinized.

What say other Ambassadors?
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Glen-Rhodes
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:21 am

If the real-life study correlates to the proposal or debate, I see no reason why you shouldn't be able to mention it OOC.

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Linux and the X
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Linux and the X » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:49 am

Just come up with an IC cite for it, then give an OOC cite at the end.
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Quintessence of Dust
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Quintessence of Dust » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:13 pm

I think the only thing to do is to demonstrate that, at the least, there is no reason why what is true for RL wouldn't be true for NS.

A study commissioned by the RAND Corporation on nuclear weaponry would be of questionable application to an NS debate, because the logic of nuclear war is so different in a world in which nuclear war does not assure mutual destruction. By contrast, most medical studies probably would be applicable, because "a human from Quintessence of Dust" is not really any different from "a human from Sweden".

In the specific instance you're referring to, I think your studies are a bit off because, while they might be applicable to US-like countries in NS - of which there are thousands, I'm aware - they would have less bearing on countries of a different social structure (just as the APA's reports on abstinence education would be pretty incommensurable for the Afghan government).

Do bear in mind, though, that you are, TCT, a US lawyer, right? You're really grounded in US law...and for a lot of countries, regardless of whether they're based in RL or NS, that doesn't have all that much bearing. What Marbury said to Madison matters stuff all in terms of my constitutional IRL, let alone in NS.
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Charlotte Ryberg
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Charlotte Ryberg » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:32 pm

Good point. It is common that I see some proposals are inspired by real events and real life events can be used to develop a proposal but the rationale and the text in the proposal itself has to be devoid and independent of RL references otherwise it is illegal, so yes, no problem about RL events inspiring you to come up with an idea, but be sure to give a reason why it will work as if that event never happened, or as if a generalised event happened. So, you could say IC "I think a warning system is great because it will warn people of a tsunami in the event it happens" then OOC, "I think this is why so many deaths were caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami and I think this could have been prevented by a warning system and therefore this is my inspiration that could be expanded and elaborated upon".

Lots of possibilities there.

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Glen-Rhodes
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:39 pm

Quintessence of Dust wrote:Do bear in mind, though, that you are, TCT, a US lawyer, right? You're really grounded in US law...and for a lot of countries, regardless of whether they're based in RL or NS, that doesn't have all that much bearing. What Marbury said to Madison matters stuff all in terms of my constitutional IRL, let alone in NS.


Generally agreeable response. But what is this? TCT is a lawyer, Sionis Prioratus is a doctor. Am I the only person here that hasn't even graduated high school? :?

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Flibbleites
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Flibbleites » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:17 pm

Glen-Rhodes wrote:Generally agreeable response. But what is this? TCT is a lawyer, Sionis Prioratus is a doctor. Am I the only person here that hasn't even graduated high school? :?

Don't feel bad, I'm only a dishwasher.

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Unibot
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Unibot » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:21 pm

Am I the only person here that hasn't even graduated high school?


Um... :unsure: , GR, your position is much better than mine.

Most players wouldn't believe I've graduated high school yet even if I payed them to. :oops:
Last edited by Unibot on Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Glen-Rhodes
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:27 pm

Flibbleites wrote:Don't feel bad, I'm only a dishwasher.

I won't, but I didn't mean it that way. :blush: I meant that next week, I will only be starting my senior year of high school...

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Unibot
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Unibot » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:34 pm

I meant that next week, I will only be starting my senior year of high school...


In three weeks for me !

(Wow we are derailing this thread)

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Flibbleites
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Flibbleites » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:46 pm

Unibot wrote:(Wow we are derailing this thread)

Yes you are, now get back on topic.

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The Cat-Tribe
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:48 pm

Quintessence of Dust wrote:I think the only thing to do is to demonstrate that, at the least, there is no reason why what is true for RL wouldn't be true for NS.

A study commissioned by the RAND Corporation on nuclear weaponry would be of questionable application to an NS debate, because the logic of nuclear war is so different in a world in which nuclear war does not assure mutual destruction. By contrast, most medical studies probably would be applicable, because "a human from Quintessence of Dust" is not really any different from "a human from Sweden".

In the specific instance you're referring to, I think your studies are a bit off because, while they might be applicable to US-like countries in NS - of which there are thousands, I'm aware - they would have less bearing on countries of a different social structure (just as the APA's reports on abstinence education would be pretty incommensurable for the Afghan government).

Do bear in mind, though, that you are, TCT, a US lawyer, right? You're really grounded in US law...and for a lot of countries, regardless of whether they're based in RL or NS, that doesn't have all that much bearing. What Marbury said to Madison matters stuff all in terms of my constitutional IRL, let alone in NS.


1. I don't think RL studies are conclusive on any issue. They are persuasive to the extent they are analogous and irrelevant to the extent they can be distinguished from WA nations on some rational criteria.

2. I actually think the specific instance in which this issue arose is worth discussing. We had someone arguing that teaching abstinence as part of comprehensive sex education was counter-productive and harmful. They had no evidence or reasoning to support this. They further challenged me to provide some evidence that abstinence education could be beneficial. I cited studies and multiple expert sources related to the RL United States. Thus, abstinence education can be and has been beneficial--even if there are theoretical situations were it wouldn't be. In the absence of either reasons why these studies aren't applicable to WA, my point was proven.

3. I would note that it was not I that raised Marbury v. Madison or made an argument premised on what it said. I merely pointed out (in one or two sentences) that another poster's argument based on Marbury v. Madison was (a) irrelevant to WA and (b) completely erroneous. I apologize to the extent this contributed to a discussion of RL, US legalese.
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Al-Arabiyya
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Al-Arabiyya » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:17 am

Having read a great deal of that debate, I understood your need to quote real life studies. The person was attempting to push an agenda and claimed that teaching and encouraging things other than abortion was wrong... The claims made in such repeal were based on fake science studies and needed to be null by real ones that argued against it since they would have proved more logical point. I don't believe in all cases that real life studies will be helpful for NS, but since all resolutions that use words like "NOTING that" and "RECOGNIZING that" when in used in context of showing that there is a negative effect based on non-existent data, real data needs to be brought into play.

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Hirota
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Hirota » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:38 am

I think it's reasonable to cite RL evidence as a decent platform to use in a debate - of course we will have those nations which roleplay so far outside RL norms that they are not bound by RL limitations (such as future-tech nations), and the very fact the the NS multiverse is outside of RL norms in itself, but I think you have to have a platform somewhere, and citing RL and implying parallels with NS life seems reasonable to me.
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Kelssek
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Kelssek » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:06 am

This brings to mind one of the most infuriating discussions I've ever had, with someone who claimed that my arguments based on RL economic theory, backed with RL examples, were wrong, not because I was incorrect, not because they countered it with a stronger case, but because my argument contradicted game stats.

Then, more recently, there was that time travel proposal... Needless to say, I consider such things highly silly. Transcendently so.

There's plenty of suspension of disbelief going on here. We've got interstellar empires and sapient non-human lifeforms, nations existing in temporal warps and one of the ambassadors, who sadly seems to be occupied in other pursuits in recent times, is a dragon.

But I'm going to draw the line when you start on the premise that the laws of physics are bunk, or that game stats are evidence in an argument.
Last edited by Kelssek on Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Quintessence of Dust
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Quintessence of Dust » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:10 am

The Cat-Tribe wrote:2. I actually think the specific instance in which this issue arose is worth discussing. We had someone arguing that teaching abstinence as part of comprehensive sex education was counter-productive and harmful. They had no evidence or reasoning to support this. They further challenged me to provide some evidence that abstinence education could be beneficial. I cited studies and multiple expert sources related to the RL United States. Thus, abstinence education can be and has been beneficial--even if there are theoretical situations were it wouldn't be. In the absence of either reasons why these studies aren't applicable to WA, my point was proven.
To be clear, I think in that case the onus was on the others to then show why the studies you presented could necessarily not be related to the question at hand - but that had they actually done so, it would have been a reasonable position to adopt. Demanding someone supply evidence, then objecting when they provide it, just seems like sloppy debating on their part.

But this is an issue on which much of a consensus seems unlikely, because how people treat RP conventions is always a bit in flux.
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The Cat-Tribe
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:06 am

1. Although I appreciate the comments of those saying my use of RL studies in the other thread was OK, that isn't the point of this thread. To the extent the other thread is a useful example, great. But I'm not here looking to justify my behavior or recieve feedback on it.

2. I want to be clear that I agree that RL studies (and facts) can be distinguished from WA applicability. And I think anyone citing RL had better have some rational argument as to why the RL data is relevant. But I think the onus then shifts to those who want to distinguish the RL data. Simply saying "this is WA, not RL" shouldn't cut it.
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
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Kelssek
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Kelssek » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:02 pm

The Cat-Tribe wrote:2. I want to be clear that I agree that RL studies (and facts) can be distinguished from WA applicability. And I think anyone citing RL had better have some rational argument as to why the RL data is relevant. But I think the onus then shifts to those who want to distinguish the RL data. Simply saying "this is WA, not RL" shouldn't cut it.


Yes indeed, I can agree with that. It always will depend on the context.

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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Bears Armed » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:55 am

Kelssek wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:2. I want to be clear that I agree that RL studies (and facts) can be distinguished from WA applicability. And I think anyone citing RL had better have some rational argument as to why the RL data is relevant. But I think the onus then shifts to those who want to distinguish the RL data. Simply saying "this is WA, not RL" shouldn't cut it.


Yes indeed, I can agree with that. It always will depend on the context.

So can I, actually, it's just that in the debate that prompted my remark we were presented with a whole page of back-&-forth wall-of-text arguments based on RL cases & laws that seemed a bit too much to me...
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Hirota
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Hirota » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:38 am

Bears Armed wrote:
Kelssek wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:2. I want to be clear that I agree that RL studies (and facts) can be distinguished from WA applicability. And I think anyone citing RL had better have some rational argument as to why the RL data is relevant. But I think the onus then shifts to those who want to distinguish the RL data. Simply saying "this is WA, not RL" shouldn't cut it.


Yes indeed, I can agree with that. It always will depend on the context.

So can I, actually, it's just that in the debate that prompted my remark we were presented with a whole page of back-&-forth wall-of-text arguments based on RL cases & laws that seemed a bit too much to me...
I guess that RL sources are fine, as long as they are not used to excess.

Saying NS (or WA)≠RL is a pretty crappy way of dismissing an argument, but if it helps avoid essays on international law, biology or any other subject being thrown around by multiple parties that can only be a good thing IMO. What should follow WA≠RL is an explanation of why this RL evidence isn't valid in NS. After all, what you are trying to do is devalue the sources being presented to you which do not support your point of view, and I think it's important that why you feel a source isn't important should be explained.
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The Cat-Tribe
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:38 am

Bears Armed wrote:
Kelssek wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:2. I want to be clear that I agree that RL studies (and facts) can be distinguished from WA applicability. And I think anyone citing RL had better have some rational argument as to why the RL data is relevant. But I think the onus then shifts to those who want to distinguish the RL data. Simply saying "this is WA, not RL" shouldn't cut it.


Yes indeed, I can agree with that. It always will depend on the context.

So can I, actually, it's just that in the debate that prompted my remark we were presented with a whole page of back-&-forth wall-of-text arguments based on RL cases & laws that seemed a bit too much to me...


To clarify, I wasn't trying to call you out or focus attention upon you with my OP, Honored Ambassador.

I believe I have agreed that the discussion of RL caselaw in that thread went overboard and apologized for any contribution I made to that kerfuffle.
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
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With that, "he put his boots on, he took a face from the Ancient Gallery, and he walked on down the Hall . . ."

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Kelssek
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Kelssek » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:58 am

And, having just written a post which implicitly references the Bhopal and Exxon Valdez disasters, the American military-industrial complex, and 20th century international trade, and also in keeping with the precedent from back in the UN with a proposal that referenced HIV/AIDS, if something is a problem or has happened in the real world, I think the general convention is that you can assume it is a problem here or something very similar has happened somewhere in the over 2.5 million nations that have existed.

Incidentally, that discussion about the American legal case and constitution was completely bonkers.
Last edited by Kelssek on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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New Leicestershire
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby New Leicestershire » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:17 am

Kelssek wrote:And, having just written a post which implicitly references the Bhopal and Exxon Valdez disasters, the American military-industrial complex, and 20th century international trade, and also in keeping with the precedent from back in the UN with a proposal that referenced HIV/AIDS, if something is a problem or has happened in the real world, I think the general convention is that you can assume it is a problem here or something very similar has happened somewhere in the over 2.5 million nations that have existed.

Incidentally, that discussion about the American legal case and constitution was completely bonkers.


I think sometimes we have to reference things from RL because there simply aren't any well known examples from the NS world to illustrate our argument. In our discussion on free trade for example, there aren't any examples of trade-related events from NS to be found without sifting through RPs. And then the event you cited could be disputed by people who don't recognise RP, or don't recognise that particular one.

I think it's best to always try to frame the RL reference in an NS context though. Try to keep them to sort of oblique references. Certainly there have been oil spills and other industrial disasters in NS, but if you can make the point without mentioning the RL event by name it's always best to do so.

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Kelssek
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Re: OOC: RL "facts" and permissible WA debate

Postby Kelssek » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:29 am

That's been my approach, normally :P


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