Monday, July 12, 2010

Speshul Arguments of the Day

Morning all, blogging will be light over the next few days due to working odd hours, but I did just want to pass comment on something that has been tickling me. More than once in the past week I've seen certain left wing bloggers that like to think of themselves as "rather clever don't you know" link to a little video by Charlie Booker about the media presentation of mass shooting.

The video (below) contains some footage about mass shooting with Charlie Brooker moaning that rolling news channels saturate their coverage, and then has a "forensic psychiatrist" (that's a hired opinion if you were wondering) banging on about how the coverage of mass shootings by the media creates further mass shootings, or what someone might call "copycat" events.

You can probably guess where this is going right? The Charlie Booker skit first started doing the rounds from the self-righteous clever lefties after the Derrick Bird shootings. In the last week it's been linked to again because of Raul Moat with the to-be-expected addendum of "see it was always going to happen and science told us so, we love science, science rocks, science is God muwaahahahah".

OK, so they didn't do the bit about science, but the point is, like in the video you have the "expert" opinion and the words "why not ask a forensic psychiatrist?", or, as logicians would like to put it argumentum ad verecundiam, that is to say, source A says that B is true, source A is authoritative, therefore B is true.

But it doesn't stop there of course, because whilst the original argument attempts to appeal to authority we also then have the argument that was made in the video being affirmed because of the Raul Moat event. Also known as post hoc ergo propter hoc, or, A occurred, then B occurred. Therefore, A caused B.

Thus we reach the tickling aspect of whole thing. For not only do we have a logical fallacy being used to chastise the news reporting the news, we also then have the same logical fallacy being used to support another logical fallacy that claims the first logical fallacy was right.

I can think of few words better than "that's pretty fucking speshul" to describe the sheer wonderment of the edjumacation level of said people.

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