Wednesday, February 18, 2015

If only we could be immunized from stupidity

Gee and here I was worried that I wouldn't have enough rationalized idiocy to comment on. See apparently ever since Mickey Mouse gave a bunch of vacationers cooties the "anti-vaccination" movement has been exposed as a "thing." Yes it's not just for conspiracy nuts and silicone-laden playmates/surgeon generals anymore. In the year 2015, there is a vocal minority who are willing to let a freaking measles outbreak happen then give their "pure" children a shot to protect against entirely preventable diseases.  Naturally some of our media's response to this is "well, just because their theories are illogical shit doesn't mean we should make them feel all wrong about it."

Testimony from people who actually have kids is, of course, going to be more credible. (See Roald Dahl's story about his daughter for a particularly affecting testimony.) I'd urge parents with the impulse to shame and insult to try that approach instead, not just because it strikes me as more likely to persuade the typical anti-vaccine parent, but due to the conviction that while anti-vaxer ignorance has caused great damage, the vast majority are not, in fact, especially selfish people, and characterizing them as such just feeds into their mistaken belief system. Put another way, the parents I know who vaccinated their children, mine included, were not acting selflessly or sacrificially to protect the herd. They were appropriately confident that vaccinating their kids would significantly increase rather than reduce their chances of surviving and thriving in this world.  
Well-informed selfish people get vaccinated!
 This is BS for the reason I state in this article's comments:
"Anti-vaxers should not be pandered to..." Which is why we should not legitimize their willful ignorance by framing the issue as if it were a debate. See if parents don't care that they are causing "great damage" to other people, the yes they are selfish, ESPECIALLY when they have the knowledge and opportunity to do otherwise. This is stuff we learned in 1st grade, yet a segment of us have to act like we didn't. We SHOULD be ashamed of such ignorance, if we are the functioning, capable, civilized society we THINK we are!
 I mean, geez just because unvaccinated people help spread diseases when they don't have to doesn't mean that they should bad about it or anything. Health concerns should be treated as if they were a customer service issue by which foolishness should be given the benefit of the doubt, right?  Maybe we should start offering a free toaster with every vaccination, so the anti-vaxxers can be "persuaded" not infect an alarming group of people. If it produces one less hand-wringing article about whether the public is acquiescent enough toward myths and ignorance, so much the better.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Um...can I choose "All of the above"?

Hello, welcome to two plus two equals seven. This is my first time trying my hand at the blogging thing that's been all he rage (that's why I'm posting here instead of the MyFace and InstaTweet that's the youn'uns have been all abuzzed about. So this inaugural post will be just a brief statement on the nature of this blog in general, including why this blog is titled as such.

One of the things that bothers me about certain arguments is not just what people argue about the (usually shallow and lazy) way they argue about it, relying on cliches they clearly spent little thought on. One of those is what TV Tropes calls the Golden Mean Fallacy. Wikipedia calls it something else, but I like the Golden Mean Fallacy name. This say that the "middle ground" of an argument is the most favorable position simply because it's the in the center of two opposing positions (which are then classified as "extreme" simply because they are differing positions. You know, like if one group of people claimed the answer to 2+2=4 and others argued that 2+2=10, then obviously the real answer would be 2+2=7 which all sensible people would realize unlike the far-flung extremist representing their underlining bias for "4s" and "10s". Logic! Anyone with a speck of common sense can see what the problem is here, and yet you people make these type of arguments often, especially if you watch political shows bloviating about how we must use this type of logical fallacy to reach "moderates" ("Let's compromise on this destructive fact/fiction divide and agree with a good 'ol half-truth?")

This is the type of argumentative silliness I'm going to deconstruct in this blog. Theoretically.

Of course it's my blog, so I'm well aware that more that likely this blog is going to be me bitching about things that bug me or other vitals social issues and stuff (Oh lord he's one of those) or displaying my proud PHd in Geekology or other time-wasting BS. Of course that's not mutually exclusive with the above either.

In any case, to all potential fans/followers/haters/people who wandered here by mistake, thank you for joining my on this sure-to-be-wild tour on our often absurd world and the rhetorical silliness it sometimes sustains itself with (but don't worry, they'll be bathroom breaks.)