Tuesday, January 13, 2004
I found this pretty cool link on how to avoid logical fallacies ...probably a good read for anyone who wants to be politically involved or, in fact, anyone who wants to write or simply recognize poor arguments. It may sound boring at first to sift through lessons in logic (personally I think it's fun -- but then again I actually enjoyed writing the LSAT!!!), but a closer look may show you just the extent to which we frequently engage in these types of errors. As importantly, it reveals how often politicians or journalists or thinkers engage in these types of errors. Certainly, most media advertising would actually fall into one of the categories.

Take a look at the Coke tv commercials. The caption on the site reads "Whatever is true in your life, Coca-cola is right there with you. Watch as everybody keeps it real in the latest TV commercials." How true is that? Do we all have coca cola right there for us in the most important moments in our lives? Is coca cola a "person", capable of "being there", or of making people "keep it real"? Are people more "real" because they drink coke? Are we happier because we can buy coke, rather than pepsi or any other product? I love watching commercials and questioning the messages behind the ads. There is a reason companies spend over $200 billion dollars a year on advertising. Take a look at this article describing some of the most common techniques employed in advertising.

By being aware of what we, as people, are encourage to do, to buy, to think, or to be, as consumers, we may have more deciding power in our lives. By being aware of the logical fallacies we are sold every day -- "if you buy this shoe your flailing relationship will no longer matter," "if you drink this juice girls will want you," etc -- we can take steps to rectify our own educated choices.


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