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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dangerous Logical Fallacy

OK, we've all seen the ads on TV for some alarm company where some creep is watching an innocent woman or child or both and kicks open their front door in broad daylight. All of a sudden, an alarm shrieks to life, the criminal makes eye contact with his intended victim and runs off.
I can't tell you how much these ads offend me. First of all, anyone fucked up enough to kick in the door of someone's home in broad daylight is not going to turn tail and run off just because some alarm goes off. The first thing they are going to do is get hold of their victim to control their movements, that way they can keep them away from any exit or phone. The next thing they'll do is bind the victim with something so they can be controlled with minimal effort. So by the time the company monitoring the alarm system lets the phone ring the required number of times, they then have to determine whether it's a genuine emergency or someon'es talking on their phone & just doesn't want to answer the call-waiting signal (I do that all the time), they then call 911 to alert the authorities. You think the cops are going to show up in time to save you? Ask Nathan Lee how that worked out:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/08/28/florida.murder.kidnap.911/index.html?iref=newssearch
His wife was kidnapped, raped and then murdered while she was talking to 911! Ok, they may not have heard the gunshot that killed her but fuck! Five calls to 911 did sweet fuck-all to help this poor woman. It broke my heart to listen to her calls & it made me angry at the impotence of the "system" that so many people count on for their safety. If you worry about safety for yourself & your family, learn how to avoid or take care of trouble. I have dogs & guns, but let's be honest, that's not a universal solution & won't work for everyone. Same for Martial Arts. But you can do something, just find out what that something is and do it.

That's a classic example of Appeal to Emotion, a logical fallacy used to prove a point without resorting to actual facts. Any time you see an ad that implies "what you have is not good enough" whether it's your SUV, sunblock or alarm system, they are appealing to your emotions rather than your rationale. They count on your ego, lust, ignorance and fear to motivate you to buy the latest & greatest products, namely theirs. Why else would someone buy a Cadillac Escalade? It's the exact same vehicle as a GMC Yukon, just dolled up so they can charge a shitload more money for it, because isn't a Cadillac better than a plain-old GMC?
The whole SUV craze was based on an appeal to emotion: "Don't you want your family to be safe?" - an appeal to fear, because it's been proven time and again that SUVs are less safe in accidents; "How impressed would your neighbors be if you brought home a Lincoln Navigator instead of a boring old Ford Explorer like they have?"- an appeal to vanity or pride, because they never explain why the Navigator is a better vehicle, just that it's an impressive display of wealth & it will make your neighbors jealous of you; "You can do anything or go anywhere! It's sporty and useful!"- an appeal to vanity again, because the only time 99.9% of SUVs go off-road is when their drivers are drunk, and minivans are way more utilitarian. But don't minivans have their own logical fallacies attached to them? "It's not Manly," "It's a 'MommyMobile,'" are classic appeals to vanity. You don't need a 6000 pound all-wheel-drive vehicle to negotiate the strip malls of Suburbia

2 comments:

wvcycling said...

I agree. The commercial system by broadview is bullshit. It is fear tactics with highly suggestive rape situations. Just like the mom/daughter one, or the treadmill girl too...

They're preying on the weak as much as the raping burglars of doom are... Well, maybe not THAT MUCH~

Anonymous said...

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