Word Play and Reasoning

story links: evolution vs. peanut butter, evolution vs. banana, laraque vs ivanans, bush vs. all people, bush standing vs bush standing, don imus vs. black people, geraldo vs. oreilly, mother vs. son, rumsfield vs. evidence, newt vs. spanish people, list of logical fallacies from the art of reason, post hoc, appeal to majority, appeal to force, appeal to authority, appeal to emotion, begging the question, diversion, non sequiter, subjectivism, straw man, false alternative, ad hominem, tu quoque, poisoning the well, appeal to ignorance, complex question

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Posted to Topical
April 12, 2007 • 9:09 am | Permalink


  • Terry Ann says:

    Rocketboom takes out the claws in this one.
    Be reasonable.

  • drifter says:


  • B-man says:

    "The true Guru will never humiliate you, nor will he estrange you from yourself. He will constantly bring you back to the fact of your inherent perfection and encourage you to seek within. He knows you need nothing, not even him, and is never tired of reminding you. But the self-appointed Guru is more concerned with himself than with his disciples." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

    and so...

  • ballgame says:

    Dayum! Great show!

  • cohnjoyne says:

    So you weren\'t trying to show off or educate yesterday with all the definitions that I was getting Twittered to me... you were getting B-Roll.

    I\'m not sure how I feel about that.

  • T. S. UMBRA says:


  • tycobrahe says:

    What beautiful diction you had today my dear. And to think that it was less than a year ago you were trying to modify your natural clarity of speech. My my.

  • leron says:

    Logic is overrated. Everyone knows that.

    Just like they know you were just using this piece to further your love of anarchy. Because you hate America. And peanut butter. And Jesus. And parents who scream Jesus' name in their kids' faces from four inches away.

    Just once I want someone to wish me good luck before trying to hit me.

    Here's a word Newt should look up: pen-de-jo. My cat has a better accent. And I don't even have a cat.

    I feel like I'm channeling kam for some reason.

    Joanne, if you ever tire of vlog fame and fortune, you have a future as an editor: You've got the "you have to be kidding me" stare down cold.

    later peop.. um, I mean, uh....

  • Zacharelli2 says:

    Nice show. I've never seen this kind of information provided in the mainstream media, only on the Net.

    Appeal to force: 15,000 angry protesters demand amnesty in Los Angeles. They're very very angry!

    Appeal to emotion: We just got over the border [illegally] and they want to send us back to our [overpopulated, therefore poor] county! Boo hoo!

    • Zacharelli2 says:

      Appeal to majority: 90% of Americans believe in some kind of higher being, therefore religion is good and by golly that being must exist.

      Appeal to authority: Osama bin Laden and 19 hijackers perpetrated 9/11, because the FBI says so and was on their heels just says before 9/11 so they'd surely know, even if they won't show any good evidence.

      • Nab says:

        I believe in God. AND I believe in Santa Claus. AND I believe in evolution. In fact, I think the three are all related somehow.

        The next time you face a moral dilemma, ask yourself, WWSD -- what would Santa do? Naughty? Or Nice?

  • B-man says:

    I wonder what category corporate neglect falls under.

    Study: Cell phones are hazardous waste

    IRVINE, Calif., April 11 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have determined cellular telephones consumers discard by the millions each year qualify as hazardous waste.

  • vigodits says:

    I usually find Rocketboom informative despite desk jumping high jinx. Well today you have entered a higher plane. I would fully know that the glaciers had slipped into hell if something like this appeared on a major network. Sure RB entertains and informs daily but with these 3 minutes you performed an incalculable service. Be it a refresher to some, or of news to others this is exactly what responsible journalism is all about. You have my deepest respect.

    I am mass emailing this link to my entire address book.

    Could you imagine a day when leaders, pundits, corporate executives would be called down on their illogical fallacies? It would not be disrespect but an informed citizenry expecting truth. A titled person still has to earn respect. Only a thinking citizen can give it.

    Thank you

  • silverageguy says:

    Loved it.
    Absolutely one of the best.
    (And you know I don't like many . . .)

  • Phil says:

    To illustrate fallacies you cite/show examples only from the right side of the spectrum. That doesn't mean they're not sound or correct, but it weakens your presentation.

    Is your Art of Reasoning to convince people that logic is the province of the left?

    Seems as though this entire Rocketboom episode could be used to show how intolerance, smuggness and incivility can as Joanne said "take control of a conversation and, thus, your life."

    • Dan G says:

      I agree with Phil\'s comments. How about another segment repeating the same techniques, this time with example from left of the spectrum. I could surely use the repetition to reinforce the techniques in my memory banks

  • Nab says:

    If you want to take control of the conversation, study rhetoric, not logic. Or study logic so you know how to twist it. With logic you can figure out why you lost. With rhetoric you win. Truth? Ha!

    I particularly like patronizing non sequiturs like "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy: I knew Jack Kennedy; Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." What were they talking about? No one remembers. We only remember that Bentsen "won" that debate.

    Weasle words (twisting the meaning of words) is also a very effective rhetorical technique, often used. Usually you hardly notice, so the best examples are the ones that backfired, such as "I am not a crook" and "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

    The soundbite is probably the most powerful tool of all, to plant an image, to frame the debate and put the other side on the defensive. "Welfare queen", "soccer mom", "chickenhawk", "up or down vote", "cut and run", "vast right-wing conspiracy", "liberal media bias", "girly men", "lockbox", "compasionate conservative", "axis of evil", "weapons of mass destruction", "mission accomplished", "liberals want therapy and understanding for the terrorists", "why do you hate America", "war on terror", "war on drugs", "no child left behind", etc.

  • Kam says:

    Logic: A mime pissed me off once, so I shot him but I used a silencer & I was put under house arrest, so I bought a mobile home!
    later people

  • B-man says:

    Todays episode seemed like an appropriate time to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your awareness.

    The Headless Way

    I strongly suggest you try the "exercises" to help you understand
    how profound Douglas Harding's teaching's are.

    • Kam says:

      man B, cool site thanks. I did the mirror expreriment, liked it, reminded me of this:

  • beagle says:

    Powerful stuff - so who's idea was this feature? Once again, RB is demonstrating great range and the occasional 'video essay' format is a delight. Taking me back to my undergraduate logical reasoning/fallacy seminars is a bad thing but as someone who now argues for a living I can confirm you're pretty much spot on with your examples. That last sentence being both an appeal to authority and an appeal to flattery of course, so feel free to ignore it.

    Good work, you can definitely try this again.

  • ronen says:


  • dhenry says:

    Too many words and definitions. Eeeee! My brain hurts. I think I need pictures. But, again, B-man, you offer up some fine directions. Songs for the spirit.

  • louis says:

    Just started watching about a week ago. Have to say that Joanne's constant smirk has be completely entranced. However, today's episode was really great and Joanne was even more charming than usual.

    You guys do an excellent job. Your editors deserve a raise.

  • stuartzoo says:

    This piece was top-notch. I\'m gonna do what vigodits said and send it to my entire address book.

    And I think Joanne is trying to seduce me.

  • Ace_NoOne says:

    This was absolutely brilliant!
    Where can I get a list of these logic fallacies?

  • sergei eisenstein says:

    Veiwing this episode after Friday's sorry effort, all I can say is, that's more like it. Good stuff rendered with real wit.

  • Batocchio says:

    Fantastic! Thanks!

  • antneon says:

    One of the best Rocketbooms ever.

  • Pierre says:

    This has probably been my favorite episode in Rocketboom history.

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