Fallacy #17: False Equivalence

The fallacy of false equivalence (also referred to as a fallacy of inconsistency) is an equivalence drawn between two subjects, using flawed or false reasoning. The user of this fallacy makes two things sound alike – usually like they’re both the same thing – while they really aren’t. Here’s an example: Continue reading “Fallacy #17: False Equivalence”

The Antidote To Tyranny

Although most of us don’t like admitting it, we in the West are living in a state of tyranny. I won’t waste time on details, but when force-backed edicts intrude into every aspect of our lives (“Did you strap your child into a seat approved for their height and weight?”), using the T-word is a function of our emotional readiness, not an issue of fact.

What I’ll give you in this post is a solution to the present tyranny. This solution involves no violence, costs nothing, and is available to all of us. It’s even simple. But it does have one drawback: It requires you to make decisions and to act on them. Continue reading “The Antidote To Tyranny”

Other Attacks, Part 5

This week I’d like to go through some mass attacks on our thinking… high-cost, large, professional manipulations. We’ve gone through some of these before, as with the big lie of our Fallacy #13, but the ones we’ll cover today are unique, new (100 years old or less), and dangerous.

What’s also unique about these attacks is that people can be very sensitive about them. Nearly everyone has fallen for one or more of them, and people don’t like admitting their errors. As we noted in Other Attacks, Part 2, people tend to defend their mistakes, which is how errors perpetuate themselves and end up at wild extremes. Continue reading “Other Attacks, Part 5”

The West That Was, Part 5

When law was sovereign

All of us in the modern West grew up believing that we were living under “the rule of law.” The truth, however, is that the rule of law – the sovereignty of law – ended a couple of centuries ago. And by losing it, we lost a primary driver of our civilization.

The sovereignty of law was never perfect, of course… it had to be applied by actual human beings… but it engaged the better aspects of human nature and thrived along with them. The systems that replaced it, on the other hand, thrive mainly upon human weaknesses. Continue reading “The West That Was, Part 5”

The Word We Need To Make Sense of This Moment

The past year has been a mass confusion of fear, misinformation, cover-ups, tyranny, crazed true-believers and more. Making sense of it has been difficult, and even those of us who try to do so professionally have come up short. But this morning the word we’ve needed rolled through my mind as I was waking up. And that word is scope. Please bear with me as I explain.

There’s a paraphrase of Aristotle that I love; it’s his definition of happiness:

The exercise of vital powers, along lines of excellence, in a life affording them scope.

There is a tremendous amount that can be unpacked from that short passage, and I suggest that you spend some time with it, but it’s the last phrase that’s so crucial to us now: a life affording scope. That’s what has been stolen from us over the past year, and it’s far more important than most of us have understood. Continue reading “The Word We Need To Make Sense of This Moment”

Other Attacks, Part 4

Now we can turn to more overt tricks. It’s odd that I remember encountering these during my youth and very little during mature adulthood. (Save for the last of them.) And I think that’s because abusers have far better success when using them on young people than they do on adults.

But whatever the case, these tricks remain in use, and knowing how to recognize and deal with them is especially important for young people. Continue reading “Other Attacks, Part 4”

Other Attacks, Part 3

Before we continue with “word-borne attacks,” I should add that I include deceptions as attacks. They differ from direct attacks, of course, but their goal is still to abuse us, even if it’s indirectly, and even (or maybe especially) if we don’t think we’re being misused.

And so today I’ll focus on a couple of tricks that are used in public speaking: everything from political speeches to sermons to any other type of lecture. Continue reading “Other Attacks, Part 3”

I Want To Live In Ross Ulbricht’s World

When I say “Ross Ulbricht’s world,” I’m not referring to his present circumstances, of course; he’s presently in a prison cell. What I’m talking about is the better world that Ross was building before the US government came crashing down upon him. That’s the world I want to live in.

The Silk Road web site Ross created was never simply a business, it was a mission… and that mission was to create a better world. Even it’s immediate mission, to break the War on Drugs, was only a first step toward something much more. And so, before I explain the world he was trying to create, I’d like you to see one of Ross’ posts on the Silk Road forum to make this initial point: Continue reading “I Want To Live In Ross Ulbricht’s World”