Here’s the build up:
STEPHEN COLBERT: Now, Poncho, you were interning the night all hell broke loose at 60 Minutes.
PONCHO DENEWS: Yes, Stephen, I was definitely there that night because I’m an actual human witness.
STEPHEN COLBERT: Tell us what happened, Poncho.
PONCHO DENEWS: Well, I was coming back from getting chewing tobacco for Leslie Stahl, when I heard explosions of shouting.
STEPHEN COLBERT: And what did you do next?
PONCHO DENEWS: I ran towards it. I scaled the 30-foot wall surrounding the newsroom. Once I landed, a shadowy figure ran towards me, so I knocked him out with the butt of my harpoon gun.
STEPHEN COLBERT: And who was that?
PONCHO DENEWS: Turns out it was Morley Safer. But, then I turned around, and I saw… I saw….
STEPHEN COLBERT: Who did you see?
PONCHO DENEWS: It was Hillary Clinton and her band of thugs! She was swinging a bike chain and yelling, “We’re here to kill the story! Who wants to eat some chain?” (audience laughter and applause) Then she pistol-whipped Morley Safer. Which was cruel, since he was already unconscious.
STEPHEN COLBERT: So it was Hillary Clinton who made CBS apologize.
PONCHO DENEWS: Yes!
STEPHEN COLBERT: I knew it! Anything else?
PONCHO DENEWS: Yes, Stephen, I have one more exclusive. I’m not really 60 Minutes intern Poncho Denews. I’m… (takes off facial hair) Charlie Skinner!
Heres the real important part:
STEPHEN COLBERT: What?! Where’d that college intern go??
CHARLIE SKINNER: There never was any intern, Stephen! I did it to prove a point! That as journalists, we are the gatekeepers of truth! We separate right from wrong, fact from fiction, delicates from permanent press! I recall a man who said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” That man was Spider-Man’s uncle. And now… he’s dead! The public needs us to be the watchdogs of democracy. We have a responsibility to criticize our leaders without reproach, report national secrets without fear of imprisonment. If we violate this contract, this public trust….
STEPHEN COLBERT: How much longer does this go?
CHARLIE SKINNER: Almost done. Then we will have a puppet press of hearsay and innuendo and speculation, hyperbole, and nonsense! Ding dong! Who is it? It’s Domino’s. But more importantly, it’s the truth!! (wild audience laughter and applause) Delivered hot and crusty! Or your money back! That’s a guarantee we make America every night, otherwise the world is just crazy bread.
STEPHEN COLBERT: Technically, crazy bread is Little Caesar’s.
CHARLIE SKINNER: It’s called poetic license, goddamnit!
STEPHEN COLBERT: You’re right, The Newsroom’s Charlie Skinner. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s something I have to do.
Link to the Full Transcript here
Link to the video at Colbert Nation here
“The material universe is perhaps more like an organism than like a repetitive machine. Whereas an older generation of scientists and philosophers thought the universe was like a watch, many now regard the universe as more like a large organism. It grows and develops, and its first stages can only be properly understood when its completely developed state is perceived.”
“A human embryo does not unexpectedly and accidentally become an adult person, and it can only be properly understood as a potential adult…On the organic view, this trajectory of development, of increasingly integrated complexity, producing new sorts of properties, and eventually the ability to comprehend and conciously shape the future of the universe, is implicit in the universe at the moment of the Big Bang or in whatever gives rise to that primordial explosion.”
“From this point of view, it is a basic mistake of reductive materialism to try to explain everything in terms of its simplest elements–as though a large enough group of such simple elements just had to be mixed up at random for a long time, and would then produce brains, thoughts, and the theory or relativity.”
(Keith Ward, More than Matter, p. 83-84)
“The universe does not consist of discrete temporal slices, all isolated in their own little bubbles of time. Causal tracks and connections extend back and forth through time, and a present moment of consciousness can contain echoes of the past and premonitions or anticipations of the future. So we might see the universe not as a set of atomistic time-slices accidentally stuck together, but as one interconnected or entangled space-time whole. We do not see what objects are by seeing just one temporal slice of their existence. That would be like trying to understand a person by looking hard at them when they are asleep. We need to see them from beginning to end of their temporal existence and within the whole context in which they exist.”
(Keith Ward, More than Matter, p. 84)
“It is consistent with modern quantum theory to regard the whole cosmos as a web of interacting energies, of spatially and temporally located powers. Each part is not, like Leibniz’s unfortunate monads isolated and closed in on itself. Each part is essentially open to the totality of the space-time nexus. Each receives stimuli from all the others that surrounds it, integrates those stimuli into a unity of being, and actively responds in accordance with its own specific powers. At the simplest level, for instance that of subatomic wave-particles, both stimuli and responses are more or less algorithmic–they behave in accordance with regular and largely predictable routines, described by basic forces of nature like electro-magmatism, gravity, and nuclear forces. Only in this way can they take form stable atoms upon which more complex unities can come to exist.”
(Keith Ward, More than Matter, p. 100-101)
Click here for more quotes by philosopher Keith Ward.
I would suggest the following 12:
1) Relevance (to the question under consideration)
2) Gravity/Scope/Impact/Implication/Significance in Size or Degree
3) Purpose/Meaning/Values (Ethics, Empathy, Compassion, Character, the Human Spirit, Self-Actualization, etc…)
4) Defines those purposes and objectives clearly
5) Backed by Good Reasons (Quality, Credible)
7) Clear defining of terms (i.e. not via obsfication, over-vagueness, or confusion)
8) Honesty (including doesn’t engage in logical fallacies in a malicious way)
9) Engages the other side (in either a direct or indirect way)–thus facilitating
10) Perspective (ideally multi-perspective or multi-diciplinary)
11) Includes and/or identifies assumptions (or conditions)
12) Understands options and/or opportunity costs (and defines them clearly)
For Historical Perspective you can learn about the Toulmin Model of Argument–the most trusted in addition to Aristotle in the field of logic, argument, and rhetoric–explained here and here. (the former is the Wikipedia entry for Toulmin, whereas the later is the visualization of his model along with an explanation)