Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pet Peeve

False Tautologies

For example, I say, "I like X," and someone else hears, "Y sucks."


I say, "X describes Y," and someone else hears, "Therefore no other entities can contain any X whatsoever."

Note: precondition followed by assumption, without platform of fact upon which to base assumption. So annoying, so defensive.

I loved math in school, but if I had to narrow it down, I think that my favorite math class ever was the hard-to-describe course I took my sophomore year in high school. It was Algebra II, but it was an advanced course and we learned other stuff in there as well, including quite a bit of logic and whatever else the instructor was interested in teaching. I loved Geometry, and Trig, and I must have loved Calculus because I took a few years of it, in high school and in college. But Algebra II was one of the most valuable courses I ever took at any level of my education, because it taught me new analytical ways of thinking.

It's all a playful interest on my part, however. I like to exercise my brain with logic puzzles, but I have no desire to live and work in a completely logical world.


Kristi said...

Interesting topic. I think that this particular logic flaw is more annoying to me when I see other people use it deliberately to mislead their audience. Both the media and political figures (and media coverage of political figures) make liberal use of this, and it drives me absolutely nuts. Stuff like:

Ideal X is Pro-American
I believe wholeheartedly in X
The other guy believes Y

That kind of crap makes me mad, and is probably why I can't stand to listen to most politics (from any party) for any length of time.

Darn it, we're going into an election year, aren't we?

Victoria/Beachcomber said...

That totally annoys me too, Kristi. I also had the "pleasure" of working with someone who was a very defensive person. If you said, "I like X" and she happened not to like X, she thought you were attacking her lack of liking X as a major character flaw or something. Drove me nuts.

Regarding math and logic puzzles. Wow. Um. Yeah, wow. I'm in awe of your talent but have absolutely no ability there myself. Crosswords and 500 piece board puzzles drive me nuts. I'm not one of the Sudoku (or whatever it's called) fans out there.

Sarahlynn said...

Kristi, or, for example, I might say that literary fiction is often character-driven, and you might hear: To say that literary fiction focuses on character development seems to imply that characters are not developed in books with other labels.

Regarding politics, I agree: this sort of thing is definitely why there's so much voter apathy and activist burn-out. It's often been said that what we voters require in a candidate is not what we need in a President. And Alan Greenspan recently said that he doesn't think that anyone who's willing to do what it takes to become President should be allowed to be President. There's a lot of truth in both sentiments, I believe.

Beach, me either. :)