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Category: Logical Fallacy

Wild fires: Is everything a single variable problem?

Wild fires: Is everything a single variable problem?

Western state Governors are increasingly blaming climate change for western wild fires, as if the wild fires are a single variable. If only we could control the climate, we would no longer have wild land fires. Realistically, there is no magic control knob on climate that we can control and which will reduce fire danger for decades to come.

There are concrete steps that can be taken immediately to reduce the threats of future wild fires – but politicians would rather blame climate change – which they do not control – because to acknowledge there are factors which they can control is to acknowledge that their leadership has failed.

A common mistake people make is to focus on a single variable in a multiple variable problem. In this case, the focus is on one variable that cannot be controlled in the near term, while ignoring other variables that can be controlled.

Is this reporter on drugs?

Is this reporter on drugs?

Reporter standing in front of burning buildings says in live broadcast “I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly.”. Setting fire to buildings is not unruly. Got it.

Missing logic: United Airlines blames climate change for their terrible on time performance

Missing logic: United Airlines blames climate change for their terrible on time performance

United Airlines blames climate change for lousy on time performance in 2019. Which is a total bull shit argument as United was #1 in 2018 and some how, climate only impacted United in 2019, unlike high scorers Delta and Alaska Airlines. PR staff spin nonsense to deflect blame from poor management.

Are social media posts badly misinformed? Probably

Are social media posts badly misinformed? Probably

In light of the survey finding most voters are badly misinformed on well known and popular public policy issues the same is likely true about social media posts. It is likely that more than half of political or policy oriented social media posts are incorrect. But depending on who makes the posts, and how many followers they have, their incorrect posts can be influential – and plant non factual and illogical constructions in the minds of their targets.

Ignorance contributes to the effectiveness of propaganda

Ignorance contributes to the effectiveness of propaganda

Democrats won the popular vote in the U.S. Senate, therefore the 2018 election is unfair, says the meme. Sounds convincing – until you see this claim taken apart by the Washington Post. In fact, Democrats won 22 of the 35 seats or 65% of the seats while receiving just 55% of the total votes. Read the whole thing. This is an example of propaganda messaging that uses the “What you see is all there is” method. Also see thelogical fallacy of implying a vote of 1/3d of the Senate seats is a vote of 100% of Senate seats, fooling the target of the propaganda messaging.

Part 8: Is Denmark a socialist country?

Part 8: Is Denmark a socialist country?

This blog analyzed a popular social media propaganda post that was widely distributed in 2016. The poster encouraged viewers to share if you wanted the U.S. to be just like Denmark. Nearly all the claims about Denmark, however, were false. Yet the poster was widely shared. Another popular meme is that Denmark is a socialist country and we should be just like Denmark. Except Denmark is not a socialist country – and that is according to the Prime Minister of Denmark.