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From the British Tabloids- ‘Girl crushed by tree during teacher strike’

From the British Tabloids- ‘Girl crushed by tree during teacher strike’

July 16, 2011 No Comments

Girl crushed by tree during teacher strike
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8610392/13-year-old-girl-crushed-by-tree-during-teacher-strike.html, published 01 Jul 2011, last verified 7/16/2011

Girl crushed to death by a falling branch as she sat on park bench on the day her teachers went out on strike

Basic Statistical Mistakes

Basic Statistical Mistakes

June 24, 2011 No Comments

I’m reading ‘In the Basement of the Ivory Tower’ by the pseudonymous ‘Professor X,’ who teaches English 101 and 102 as an adjunct at two unnamed colleges in the North East – one a small liberal arts college and …

Freud on Robert’s Dream Theory

Freud on Robert’s Dream Theory

March 6, 2011 No Comments

In The Interpretation of Dreams, Ch V (p. 210-211 of the Avon edition, Strachey translation, Freud argues:

And there is another objection that can be raised to Robert's theory. If it were really the business of dreams to relieve our memory of the 'dregs' or daytime recollections by a special psychical activity, our sleep would be more tormented and harder worked than our mental life while we are awake. For the number of indifferent impressions from which our memory would need to be protected is clearly immensely large: the night would not be long enough to cope with such a mass. It is far more likely that the process of forgetting indifferent impressions goes forward without the active intervention of our psychical forces.

Quasi-Freudian Analysis of Father-hating Atheists and “anti-democratic” “classic tyrant” Barack Obama

Quasi-Freudian Analysis of Father-hating Atheists and “anti-democratic” “classic tyrant” Barack Obama

August 8, 2010 1 Comment

Analysis of Paul Vitz's psychoanalytic argument against Obama:

Are the Sins of the Fatherless the Root of Obama’s Tyranny? Does Obama’s anti-democratic ideology result from his dysfunctional childhood? An intriguing book, Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism, by Paul Vitz, argues this type background is a common precursor to the classic tyrant’s personality. This suggests Barack’s beef with America might result from his own deficient past.

Thermos: buy this or your baby will die!

Thermos: buy this or your baby will die!

July 13, 2010 No Comments

Collected by Boing Boing, this fabulous undated bit of advertising hits all the right notes: appeal to fear and appeal to authority at the same time!

Post hoc on the West Wing

Post hoc on the West Wing

July 9, 2010 No Comments

A clip from one of the first episodes of 'The West Wing,' in which President Barlett explains post hoc ergo propter hoc to his staff that "We didn't lose Texas because of the hat comment..."

‘Obverse’ in the Washington Post

‘Obverse’ in the Washington Post

July 6, 2010 No Comments

E.J. Dionne shows off:

(click to enlarge image)
For educational use only
E.J. Dionne using obversion
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Biracial Analogy example

Biracial Analogy example

July 6, 2010 No Comments

One of my favorite simple examples, arguing from analogy in opposition to restrictions on gay marriage:

(click to enlarge image)
For educational use only
Biracial v. gay marriage analogy - Washington post
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Fake Expert

Fake Expert: A fallacious appeal to authority in which the 'expert' is not an expert at all.

Expert in the wrong domain

Expert in the wrong domain: a fallacious version of an appeal to authority - i.e. appealing to a doctor...

Slippery Slope

Slippery slope: If we take one step, we’ll have to take all the rest of them because there’s no...

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Post hoc ergo propter hoc: “After this, therefore because of this”, a fallacy in reasoning about causes. (I took...

Poisoning The Well

Poisoning the well: Telling the audience what to think of a speaker when you’re introducing the speaker (My next...

Loaded Question

Loaded question: A question with an unacceptable pre-supposition. (Why do you hate America so much? – Stephen Colbert)

Fallacies of Relevance

Fallacies of Relevance: Bringing up irrelevant considerations in an effort to distract listener from the merits of the actual...

Guilt By Association

Guilt by Association: You are just the same as X, and X is terrible. Therefore, you’re terrible (the conclusion...

Genetic Fallacy

Genetic fallacy: Saying that some idea’s history or origin (genesis) means it is true/false.

Equivocation

Equivocation: when an argument relies on an ambiguous word (a word with more than one possible meaning), shifting in...

Enthymeme

Enthymeme: general term for an argument with a gap (missing premise)

Confusing Correlation With Causation

Confusing Correlation With Causation: (Buying gas is correlated with owning a car. Clearly, buying gas causes car ownership.)

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias: seeing what you believe; interpreting observations/data to match a conclusion you already have in mind.

Undermining Biography

Undermining Biography: sewing seeds of doubt due to questionable background. Also known as ‘swiftboating’.