Monday, April 28, 2008

Slip Sliding Away

Another not so interesting day in that I wrote 750 words and worked some more on my problem. I don't think I made any progress, but in some ways that is progress because I now know a few more things that don't work.

It was, however, interesting in the sense that my rather large pending bet is looking weaker and weaker. It will be settled by the end of this coming weekend at the latest and I will not enjoy losing it. It is going to hurt for sure. but then, if I weren't willing to lose it, I wouldn't have placed it. But there will be little solace in that knowledge.

I mentioned logical fallacies last time. There are a lot of them. The Nizkor Project is a website that lists 42 of them. Even one called the Gambler's Fallacy. Another good site: Unfortunately, most of the examples in both sites are especially weak and contrived for effect and demonstration. In day to day life, they can be more subtle.

I think the problem is that most people do not realize how complicated making a proper argument can really be. Even I am not perfect at it, but I like to think I recognize improper arguments more often than most. I would have to say my biggest pet peeve is reading fallacies built into the mainstream media. I've stopped reading and watching much of the traditional media sources for exactly this reason.

I have said over and over that a journalist is nothing but a person who goes to college for four years to learn to write like a six grader. I understand they may need to simplify their work, but there is no need to present the news through fallacious arguments. It is reprehensible in my opinion. News reporters should be akin to teachers in that they present information, but their standard is based on the advertising dollar rather than anything of merit.

It's late and I don't feel like ranting about it now, but perhaps I'll post some examples later this week.

No comments: