Monday, August 12, 2013

Mini 'State of the Union': August 9, 2013

“Dichotomy”…  Refers to diametrically opposed traits, ideas or concepts, where the objects being contrasted and compared must be mutually exclusive  (i.e., no overlap exists between the members of each given set).   Dichotomies are useful in science and mathematics (e.g., developing keys to clearly identify species in science or developing mathematical theorems).  While useful in science and mathematics, dichotomies are often incorrectly employed in politics and advertising in order to over-simplify a given idea or problem.  Learning to identify these rhetorical tricks in language communications, particularly with respect to political agendas,  can be extremely useful.  For example, a politician running for office might say “we need better roads, therefore we need to raise taxes.”  This of course leaves out the option of re-allocating existing funds, or of using funds in a more efficient way.  The gross-over simplification of the issues is a trait common to many politicians who want to encourage uninformed and easily swayed people to vote for them and/or to agree with and support their policies and political agendas.

Perhaps, given the political environment in which we find ourselves these days, the terms ‘sophistry’ and ‘hyperbole’ would be useful terms to have familiarity with, as well,when assembling your reasoning arsenal.

[ And it doesn't have to be "them vs. us" ... We can come together, work together, in a bi-partisan effort to solve the many problems which plague our nation, but first and foremost must come recognition of the glaring fact that we must put our fiscal house back in order in order to have any hope of putting America back together again, let alone striving to restore "excellence".  Denial can only carry you so far.  You can't build Utopia with a credit card, no matter how much you believe and desperately try.  When the number of people taking from the system exceeds those who are putting something into the system, the house of cards will collapse.  And somehow, I can't shake the feeling this collapse is looming in our not too distant future.  Seriously, is this --a legacy of collapse and unrecoverable economic chaos-- the legacy you want to stamp your name onto for future generations to bear witness to? ]

No comments: