Guerilla Mythbusting: 5 Snappy Rules For Spotting and Exposing Popular Nonsense

Written by Christopher Brown

Continued from page 1

Finally, spin-doctors notoriously create mind-fog by abusing langauge. Sometimes they utter deliberately vague or ambiguous sayings. Sometimes they simply make fine-sounding claims and offer no proof. You have heard this many times: "Our product delivers twicerepparttar chocolatey goodness and only halfrepparttar 147593 calories!!" (And Joe Fried-potato, who happens to be wider than your dining room, AGREES!!). The simple way to fight mind-fog comes from asking questions that clarify.

For instance, in your criminology course, you might ask Professor Plumb, "Professor, you said something about a candlestick in a library. Precisely what did you mean by "candlestick," and did you mean to refer to this literally, or as some sort of symbol that stands for something else? Pressrepparttar 147594 point, when you feel that someone tries to sell you something, as it were, under-the-table -- and make them sell it over-the-counter instead. Make them say just what they mean, clearly and precisely.

Once you have a clearer idea ofrepparttar 147595 nature ofrepparttar 147596 claim he wishes to promote, you can toss it intorepparttar 147597 pool of "noted claims to compare and contrast," first measuring that claim by itself, and then by checking it againstrepparttar 147598 other claims inrepparttar 147599 pool. Some claims will swim, while others will plunge likerepparttar 147600 Titanic at an iceberg party.

Here, just below, we have collected a few of our favorite sayings popular on college campuses, most of which we have heard Professor Spin mumble more than once from his academic pulpit. Not only do most of these refute themselves, but they also don't get along with each other very well, as we will see. Our helpful and irreverent responses to these appear in brackets.

1. No one can really know anything for sure, when all is said and done. [Really? Are you certain?]

2. All religions are equally valid [Most, but not all, religions deny this] [But we are absolutely sure this is true anyway].

3. We must tolerate all views [except those which deny this][Which includes most, but not all, religions] [but we are absolutely sure thatrepparttar 147601 dissenting religions are all equally wrong][And, of course, we will not tolerate those dogmatic religions].

4. There are no ethical absolutes [And we mean absolutely none] [Note: This claim contradicts #1, 2, and 3 also.]

5. Slavery is wrong [Although this is true, we put it here so you would notice that it contradicts #1, #2, #3 and #4, which shows that claims 1-4 are false, but popular enough anyway].

6. Education isrepparttar 147602 key to solvingrepparttar 147603 world's problems [Unless we count allrepparttar 147604 logical problems created by educated people (see above) who say impossible things]. [Note: this also contradicts #1, #2, and #4.]

7. Your western views are too binary [You see, there are only binary views, and non-binary ones -- which is itself a binary view -- oops] [hint: all views logically exclude some other views] [Which, of course, shows that NOT all views are equally valid] [Some views, like "the earth is flat" are just goofy, and these are only "equally vaild" with other stupid ideas].

8. Religion is responsible for killing too many people [which implies that murder is wrong, even though this sounds like a moral absolute] [This also contradicts claims #1-4, and #7.] [And note that, if this statement were true, it would render all religions equally bad, not "equally valid," whatever that might mean].

9. Bible-thumping Christians are too dogmatic. [It is written: Thou shalt not be dogmatic!] [And we are sure of this] [So, follow instead OUR dogma, even though it refutes itself] [Which means that BTC's should not be tolerated, contrary to #3 above] [And that their religion is not "equally valid" with non-thumping religions, contrary to #2].

We could go on, and have great fun doing it, but you getrepparttar 147605 point. This band of hired accusers failed to coordinate their testimonies in advance. And so many ofrepparttar 147606 views promulgated from academic pulpits turn out just a little nuttier than Jif. Just because a confused-but-confident professor, politician, or spin-doctor says it loudly and often -- this doesn't make it true. So when she says, "question authority," you might want to take her at her word, and start by putting her own claims onrepparttar 147607 chopping block first.

In any case, by keeping these five rules handy, you can arm yourself against all manner of rhetorical shenanigans and verbal skullduggery.

Christopher Brown enjoys writing articles and books, building websites, trading stocks, and blogging. He has taught both English and Philosophy at two colleges, tutored many students, and hosted a radio talk-show. Now, he manages the Ophir Gold Corporation blogsites.

To visit them, go to Writing With Power at or OGC's Free Web Traffic at

Geurrilla Health Tactics: 5 Snappy Tips For A Healthier, Happier You

Written by Christopher Brown

Continued from page 1

Studies also show that you derive far more benefit from exercising if you do it at intervals. If you walk for ten minutes, walk slowly to warm up forrepparttar first minute, then speed it up with a little burst forrepparttar 147592 next minute or two, then slow way down to relax and rest up for your next, more rapid interval. This way, you are never more than a minute away from a resting point, and you don’t feel so much pressure to perform. Interval training (or I.T.) has remarkable benefits (compared to mere "steady state" exercising) – includingrepparttar 147593 reducing of stress. So go alittle harder on Tuesday in your exercise routine, and a little easier on Wednesday. Then pick uprepparttar 147594 pace again on Thursday. Train at intervals.

4. Keep your house very clean at all times, especiallyrepparttar 147595 bathrooms and kitchen. This is where germs tend to accumulate. All houses have some dirt and mold in them. Dirty houses have a great deal more than clean ones, and overrepparttar 147596 long haul to much micro-garbage inrepparttar 147597 air will tend to cause all sorts of allergy problems and other harmful side-effects. Keeprepparttar 147598 toothbrushes well insulated when not using them, and store them in a room OTHER thanrepparttar 147599 bathroom. It could tell you why, but some of you might be eating. Trust me, just do it.

If your circumstances make it too difficult to keeprepparttar 147600 house very clean, hire a cleaning service. Your health is worthrepparttar 147601 cost. And wash your hands – and your children’s hands – often throughoutrepparttar 147602 day. This simple practice can reduce illness-related "down time" by as much as 50% or more

5. This one may seem a bit odd at first, but there is good logic behind it. Try not to userepparttar 147603 heater or air-conditioner in your vehicles much, especially if you travel on rural or dusty roads. The air blown intorepparttar 147604 cab (and blown intorepparttar 147605 faces and lungs ofrepparttar 147606 driver and passengers) has NO FILTER. This is nuts, but it is true. Just think about it for a minute.

Your engine has an air filter in it because dirt blows underrepparttar 147607 hood and can clog uprepparttar 147608 mechanical works. Hencerepparttar 147609 filter. Butrepparttar 147610 same dirty air, which blows acrossrepparttar 147611 engine and intorepparttar 147612 cab of your vehicle, doesn’t have to traverse a filter before it reaches your lungs.Yikes.

It is often quite dirty – especially if you live near a construction site or dirt road – and this dirt can accumulate in your lungs, and possibly even your bloodstream. I have no idea why no one seems to have thought of this when they builtrepparttar 147613 vehicles we drive, especially when so many now spend countless hours commuting – sitting behindrepparttar 147614 wheel, withrepparttar 147615 heater or A/C blasting away. I know of no studies on this topic either, but common sense says "Don’t blast a steady stream of dirt into your lungs over long periods of time."

If you can, instead of usingrepparttar 147616 heater, put on another layer of clothes, or a very warm jacket. If you can, instead of usingrepparttar 147617 A/C, just roll downrepparttar 147618 window(s) to cool off – or drink some cold water. And remember, exercise helps keep your system stay cleaner too, so take that advice seriously and put it into practice.

Your personal health ranks very high among your personal assets, so take it seriously enough to spend some time thinking about it, and doing something to improve it. Start with our "big five." You will be glad you did.

Christopher Brown has taught English and philosophy for two colleges, attended the California State University, and went to seminary in Orlando, FL. He has read a great deal on exercise and health issues. To visit his sites, see (Writing With Power) and (OGC's Free Web Traffic) (Extreme Profit)

    <Back to Page 1 © 2005
Terms of Use