Friday, July 13, 2007

The Longest Delayed Punchline Ever

I was just about to write a comment in another blog about someone resorting to a reducto ad absurdum argument and I caught myself. Where the hell did I, who never finished college, get all these fancy latin phrases?

Looking back, I remember a 16mm film from high school. It was about how to identify propaganda and counter it. It stuck with me because "propaganda" was depicted as a 7-headed dragon, with one head being ad-hominum attack, another being false analogy, and so on. It was a keystone in my logical development.

I guess it's a pretty dry concept and they filmmakers had to do that to "catapult the propaganda." And it didn't occur to me until just now that depicting propaganda as a dragon IS propaganda.

Setup... beat... beat... beat... (repeat for 30 years) ... PUNCHLINE!

1 comment:

Skot said...

I learned about this stuff in a speech class in college, but the most valuable sopurce was a dictionary of philosophy and religion, which listed out logical fallacies.

This list is nicely reproduced on Wikipedia: