Prove Anything Ploy!

Confirmations; glean them!
Disconfirmations; trash them!
...end up buried in...

It's easy!
Just select anything that corroborates.
And ignore everything that doesn't.

Select.  Select.  Select.  Select . . .

It was the 1940's.  Cigarette manufacturers advertised their product as something resembling a medicinal wonder drug.  It could cure you of just about any ailment.  Cigarettes could relax you, and relaxation is a virtual panacea.  Cigarettes help social interactions: just look at those great social "smokers." 

That's how you do it.  Just "accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative...and don't mess around with Mr Inbetween."

It must have worked!  The advertisers kept it up for years.

Until one manufacturer felt it was time to get the jump on the competition.  Tell the truth?  The whole truth?

Kools cigarettes got the jump by advertising their deadly, addictive product with, "For a treat instead of a treatment...Smoke Kools."
August 1944
Medical Authorities

"When smokers changed to Philip Morris, every case of irritation of nose or throat—due to smoking—either cleared up completely, or definitely improved!

Facts reported in medical journals on clinical tests made by distinguished doctors...Proving this finer cigarette is less irritant!"


Some Rules for Advertisers
No one, but no one,  must see the bad qualities of your product.   (It really doesn’t have any, of course.)

Tout the good qualities

Exaggerate the good qualities
if you must

Invent good qualities
if necessary

At least imply good qualities
if all else fails...and it might

You can always visually associate good things with your product...even though irrelevant to it.

... Dr  Logic??    Who's he?   Who did he ever lick?
And don't let the gulls know what you're pitching 'em 'til the end! Doctor Chainsmoker Kool
Pseudoscience can happen when we turn these advertiser's rules on ourselves, when the deception becomes self-deception.

 "It is essential in a democratic society that young people and adults learn how to think, learn how to make up their minds. They must learn how to think independently, and they must learn how to think together. They must come to conclusions, but at the same time they must recognize the right of other men to come to opposite conclusions.  So far as individuals are concerned, the art of democracy is the art of thinking and discussing independently together."

From The Fine Art of Propaganda

Institute for Propaganda Analysis, 1939

Visit Propagandacritic Web site 
(at Temple University

 Once upon a time, grade school children were taught about 
the common techniques of
"The Seven Tools of Propaganda"
LOOK OUT!!        LOOK OUT!!        LOOK OUT!! LOOK IN
Were you?

Smoking can help you lose weight!
Doctor Chainsmoker Camel
Smoking helped him lose weight.
and gain emphysema, throat cancer , heart attacks...
(cancer metastasized in early 2002)
Died Mar 6, 2002, of emphysema.
Name-Calling...Glittering Generalities...Card Stacking...Transfer...Testimonial...Bandwagon...Plain Folks...

Lasciate omni speranza, per me va nella Rationality is simple but subtle
Supermarket supersucker!!
He was elated as he examined his lottery tickets in the supermarket checkout line.  The thrill of winning shone in his face.  The desire to win radiated from him through animated body language.  The iron will to ignore his losses roared out, too, in a language of gullibility unheard by himself, but screechingly loud and clear to the lady standing in line behind him.

"Good grief!" she thought to herself.  "Another supermarket supersucker!"

"I'll reinvest it," said the man to the checkout clerk.  "Give me two more tickets."

By selecting any coroborating evidence and rejecting all disconfirmations we  might convince ourselves we have proven any hypothesis or justifed any behavior.  This often seems to be just common sense . . . 
 . . . We deceive ourselves.
Science fights self-deception, and one way it does so is to press for the whole truth.  Science is discovery made when that common sense is questioned.  Science is uncommon sense discovered when we dig deeper than we thought possible. 
Don't dig deep, and you'll end up buried in  B S .

"Common sense is nothing but a series of prejudices laid down in the mind prior to the age of eighteen."
.........................Albert Einstein

Quantum Jumps
Quantum Jumps
to Opening Page
to Index Page
to the simple but difficult puzzles
to the Misconceptions workshop
to Wason's gate into the Edge
to the fine print
to A parallel (and newer) Website
to the zoo and the perceptions exemplar
to The Platinum Plover Egg
to Accurate Maps
to Glen Canyon Memories
to your humble Webmasters: Email us!