fuzzy logic

Rule number one when attempting to make an argument justifying an opinion or view:

Know what you’re talking about.

Case in point: a friend on Facebook posits a question about whether a car can be sexy. Several people reply, including a coworker and car guy, and myself. One of the people who reply is the original poster’s 16-year-old sister, who decries any chance that a car can be sexy and then declares that she should never have a nice car because “the guy will be more in love with the car than he is with me.”

There are several dimensions to sexiness and sensuality, and nobody really wants to go to bed with a car. The car guy and I (he has his degree in political science so he is extremely well-spoken and well-read) explain the difference between human sensuality and the physical attractiveness of an inanimate object. The sister does not yield, nor does the poster of the question, regardless of logic or information to the contrary.

This is the problem that permeates our culture to the deepest levels when it comes to our media. Talking heads get paid millions to tell others what–and how–to think, no matter how damning the evidence is to the information they give.

This all leads to a long-held belief: have all the necessary information that your argument requires before you make it. Otherwise, you might end up looking like an idiot, or worse: a Fox News anchor.

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