May 17, 2011

The Legitimacy of Blogs

Are blogs legit? Since joining this site this question has been lurking in the back of my mind. Since many of the contributor were/are involved in debate we often deal with the question of what is qualified evidence. I would like to get writers and readers take on the legitimacy of blogs when used as evidence in situations such as legal issues and debate.

My personal take is that it is 100 percent legitimate. Several state supreme courts have used blogs and wikipedia. I'd like to hear everyones opinion.

P.S. Does the author being qualified change the issue of an average blogger? If a professor were to write a post on LoF is it more legitimate then ours? I think we should also have a discussion of what determines an author's credibility



  1. I think it depends on the author. There's a difference between citing something like Larval Subjects and citing my friend Aaron's personal blog ( <-- example).

    It should all come down to the credibility of the author, not the medium of communication.

  2. I definitely agree with Chris on this one. The Question is only how credible are the people that are using these mediums of communication. It is hard to define what makes up a credible author or what gives speakers a certain authority. We cannot rule out peoples opinions as legitimate arguments we can however be skeptical of all opinions and always seek to analyze arguments critically and not to blindly accept all claims but also to not reject all claims but find a way to reconcile these two forces at play in a way that can foster productive conversation on the issue at hand

  3. Blogs are still below peer reviewed journal articles and other articles that have to go through a process to be approved. Even if someone is qualified a blog can be filled with random musings like the Corsi card (written by someone with a PhD from Harvard).

  4. But why is it that the opinions of those people who do the reviewing of a journal should be placed higher than a warranted assertion by anyone? I don't agree that blogs are "below" peer-reviewed journals, because I don't place blind faith in the people who sit on those review boards. If you make a claim and back it up with a warrant that kind of discussion should useable as argumentation by anyone. It just requires a certain standard for backing up the claim, whether it be logic or data.

    I think the subject-matter would largely determine that standard as well. If you make a claim about the condition of the economy the evidence should probably have warrants that are backed up by researched data, but if the evidence you're citing is philosophical I think the logic of the argument is what would determine its legitimacy (meaning it doesn't have a need for some kind of research). Claim-specific standards for warrants would essentially remove the "authority" of peer-review journals over the political thought of someone who couldn't get the political clout to be in a think tank.

  5. But peer review is necessary to check something like citing an author out of context. While it is theoretically possible for a debater to have an extensive knowledge of the author in question such that they can call them out, it seems like it would be practically impossible if said author was prolific enough.

    Also, if it is a security K often times the evidence will make claims about a series of anecdotes and peer review could be necessary to be check falsification.

    Basically peer review is more likely to catch someone lying to support a claim.

  6. Yeah, but you're acting like the ONLY solution is peer review. If this were to become a problem in a blog post that was being reviewed as contentious or as crucial to something like a court case (Adam's example) the blog post and it's context would be researched and subsequently discredited if it were using information wrong.

    Basically, your indict of bloggers boils down to "sometimes people use things out of context." Well, duh. It's called Fox News. The way to solve back your claim is just for individuals (*the* individual, not *an* individual in an ivory tower elsewhere) claim some responsibility for their arguments and just research their opponents claims instead of polemically excluding them.

  7. Your solution to the problem of lying IS peer review, I just think it should come first and after it occurs it is more legitimate. I feel like we agree on most of this but I could be wrong.

  8. I just disagree that it has to come first. The difference between our solutions is Deleuze and Guattari's difference between rhizomatic and striated thinking: you want to trust a board of transcendental intellectual authorities to validate information, I want individuals to take it upon themselves to test and research information. I don't think it needs to come first nor do I think it's the crux of legitimacy. I think that individuals should be responsible for processing the information they absorb instead of having it spoon-fed to them like babies/Fox viewers.

    I think it was Mao who said those who don't investigate things should be deprived of their right to speak...? I don't mean this literally, but the principle behind the fascism is relevant.

  9. Why can't individuals test and research information after it has been validated by "transcendental intellectual authorities"? It is not the end of investigation just a method for verifying information that a lone individual would have very great difficulty ascertaining, like the state of the economy or specifics of a certain scenario which experts are experts on.
    All of this seems to indict the idea of evidence at all because you as a blogger are still an expert on ontological criticism as it relates to debate reviewing the works of other authors.

  10. Inb4 debaters who blog want to have their blog articles cut for debate--- oh wait. I came late to the party because that is exactly what OP is talking about.