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

Written by Christopher Brown


College students tend to wax enthusiastic aboutrepparttar lessons they pick up in class. Curiously, this very admirable trait, a thirst for knowledge, has a downside to it. When one learns at a rate best described as "alarming," which college students often must do, little time exists to sit and sift through all that new material carefully. And this burdensome task would mandate yet more study time, which luxury few students can afford.

This means that, for very practical reasons, they will tend to accept readilyrepparttar 147593 sermons that echo from academic pulpits. Consumers of media information have nearlyrepparttar 147594 same problem -- a large flow of information thrust at them, and little time to sort throughrepparttar 147595 facts with their attending hype and spin. Election years only magnify this problem, and political candidates can grind axes withrepparttar 147596 best of them. When a scandal breaks out,repparttar 147597 media blitz can sometimes blind evenrepparttar 147598 more critical viewers with their ensuing data-storm. So we have done some ofrepparttar 147599 extra homework for all these groups to help them makerepparttar 147600 best of this unhappy situation. Here, we offer a clear-headed set of rules to disperserepparttar 147601 fog quickly, bringing daylight torepparttar 147602 topic at hand.

As a first step in learning to adopt a cautiously critical posture, we would like to introduce to our readersrepparttar 147603 rule, "take careful notes and develop a long memory by referring back to them now and again." Spinmeisters count onrepparttar 147604 fact -- a most unhappy truth -- that most people do not remember whatrepparttar 147605 sales script said that they fed torepparttar 147606 masses last week. This way, when they changerepparttar 147607 story next month, you can call them on it. If it's a political speech in question, "Tivo" it, so you can play it back when later when spin proponents deny that their guy ever said it inrepparttar 147608 first place.

Second, isolaterepparttar 147609 parts ofrepparttar 147610 speech,repparttar 147611 lecture, or what-have-you, that seem to formrepparttar 147612 main points ofrepparttar 147613 argument. Often this or that advocate of -- let us arbitrarily pick one, say, "scientology," will not state allrepparttar 147614 main points of his argument explicitly, but will only imply them. Makerepparttar 147615 implied parts explicit yourself by asking, "what assumption(s), does this depend upon that he has not stated openly?" Then write them down. For instance, if one were to argue, "We had to attack his country becauserepparttar 147616 guy is a tyrant," then note that this assumes -- unless otherwise qualified -- that we must attack all countries where tyrants rule. Given today's political climate, this would not promote a very promising course of action. So stated, we would have to attack almost everyone, starting withrepparttar 147617 I.R.S.

So remember to make a list ofrepparttar 147618 important claims in question -- whetherrepparttar 147619 speaker or writer has stated, implied, or simply assumed them.

Third, "Always examine a claim by itself first."

This provides a fast and easy way to prevent reckless professors, for instance, from hoodwinking students into bogus philosophies (as is their custom). For instance, considerrepparttar 147620 popular claim, "There are no moral absolutes." This would mean that claims about morality necessarily have exceptions. Evaluating this claim by its own words, however, quickly reveals that it provides to us an example of a moral absolute. It allows no exception, while speaking torepparttar 147621 topic of morality.

Ironically, then,repparttar 147622 claim instances an example of just what it denies. The claim cannot be true on ITS OWN terms. Such claims would playrepparttar 147623 roles of felon AND whistleblower all at once. The philosophy department has named these propositions, "Self-referential absurdities." They represent a form of logical or propositional suicide, since they affirm by example, and yet forbid by principle,repparttar 147624 very same thing. This is likerepparttar 147625 man who marches back and forth all day; and when you finally see his picket sign, you find it reads, "Down With Protesting." Look for these and you will find more than you imagine might suffuse popular chatter.

Fourth, compare and contrast these claims, assumed statements, and implied assertions with one another, asking, "Are these logically consistent with each other, or do they get along like Larry, Moe and Curly whenrepparttar 147626 ladder-swinging begins, andrepparttar 147627 paintbrushes start to fly?" Sometimes speakers will utter logically incompatible sayings within a very short span. So you will need to learn to identify them to note when this happens. Here, you will have located spin, exaggeration, unwarranted claims, or even outright lies. You might even get two-for-one.

For instance, whenrepparttar 147628 U.S. invaded Iraq, it did so againstrepparttar 147629 voice ofrepparttar 147630 U.N. inspectors, who wanted more time. This shows thatrepparttar 147631 U.S. (or at leastrepparttar 147632 current administration) believes it proper to ignore whatever authorityrepparttar 147633 U.N. might have when it deems it necessary. Yet when Iraq defiedrepparttar 147634 very same U.N. authority (Saddam, as we say, "dissed"repparttar 147635 U.N. inspectors)repparttar 147636 Bush administration claimed that this provided grounds to invade Iraq. The "Okay for us, but not for them" trick is calledrepparttar 147637 fallacy of self-exception. One commits this error in reasoning when he lays down a rule for everyone or every argument, and then arbitrarily excuses himself (or his position) from following, or being subject to,repparttar 147638 same rule.

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

Written by Christopher Brown


The subject of health care itself often seems plagued with conflicting advice, or even heated controversy. Witnessrepparttar recent Cruise-Shields incident, which will doubtless occupy several chapters in future health and nutrition texts. So what to do about this advice-riddled and divisive field when you want to find out what you can do to better your own health? We suggest that you do a little research, read differing opinions, andrepparttar 147592 reasons given for them, and then go with what you feel confident about.

Although I am neither a doctor nor a health care professional, I have studied a great deal aboutrepparttar 147593 effects of various kinds of personal habits, vitmains, etc., and their known consequences to your health. So here I will offer what I regard as well-proven tips for really improving your own health in very practical and effective ways.

1. Eat yogurt and a banana every day. Yogurt has live cultures in it, meaning "good bacteria" that your body absolutely needs, and which any caffeine beverage or alcohol will tend to reduce or eliminate. Electricity and anti-biotics kill these off too. This good bacteria functions like millions of tiny janitors, eating up and cleaning away any sort of debris which might float about in your bloodstream or body. You must replace these daily to stay healthy inrepparttar 147594 long run, and yogurt is one ofrepparttar 147595 easiest sources both for this, and for calcium. You can also buy acidophilus milk atrepparttar 147596 grocery store, or pro-biotics from your local health food store.

Bananas contain potassium, a mineral necessary for many bodily functions, including muscle development and maintaining proper hydration, and which can and often does suffer depletion from environmental and dietary factors. So, as they say, go bananas.

2. Eat fresh not cooked or canned - vegetables and fruit every day without fail. Once you heat a vegetable to over 120F degrees,repparttar 147597 enzymes they contain begin to break down. These enzymes aidrepparttar 147598 digestion process, which formsrepparttar 147599 central part of good health. There are other ways to get enzymes in your diet, but eating fresh fruits and veggies remainsrepparttar 147600 best way.

A great way to enjoy your daily dose of enzymes comes by "juicing." This has become something of a health craze of late, and a great one at that. You can buy a good juicer for about $200 or so, or for less if you don't mind bargain hunting. Try e-bay. To "jucie," you simply turnrepparttar 147601 juicer on and stuff your fruits and veggies downrepparttar 147602 chute. The juicer then aggressively works them over, yielding onlyrepparttar 147603 juice inside them outrepparttar 147604 bottom chute to fill your cup.

Fresh fruit and veggie juice is delicious, and it will really help improve your health in many little ways. Try combining different juice "partners," including oranges and carrots. They go well together. And, yes, ladies,repparttar 147605 vitamins and minerals in fresh fruit and veggie juice can help give your skin a healthier, more youthful tone. Andrepparttar 147606 anti-oxidants they offer overflow with other health benefits too.

3. Exercise For Fun. Find a game or sport you enjoy, and do it for 10 minutes a day. My children love it when I chase them aroundrepparttar 147607 park so I do. They laugh and we all exercise, but no one outruns "the claw." Studies show, time and again that most people dont exercise because they think they dont have enough time. But this is nonsense. Most people waste more than 10 minutes a day just chatting.

Start slowly if you are a beginner, and go easy. Maybe just walk for 10 minutes at a comfortable pace. Just do SOMETHING. 10 minutes of exercise every day will greatly enhance every aspect of your health, starting with your cardiovascular system. After you feel confident with your level of health, set some short term goals. Time yourself, and see if you can do it "just a little" farther or faster. If its too hard, slow down or back off a little. Enjoy your exercise. It really can be fun.

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