Jan 13, 2013

The Junk Era

We live in what future historians might call the Junk Era. Junk food. Junk Media. Junk housing. Junk goods. Junk news. Junk music. Junk religion. Junk TV. All of it with a goal of appealing to the lowest desires of the largest swath of consumers.

This plague has entered the intellectual arena. We now have Junk Science, junk logic, junk reason and junk politics. On the latter, this results in a system whereby the issues of the day are reduced to slogans, taglines, phony data being published as truth and policy arguments supported by leaps of faith in reasoning.

The current rage on gun control provides easy examples. Take the following beauty, making the rounds as a means of rallying the pro-gun minions:

The problem here, of course, is that this  'A Compared to B' is invalid --  if the concern is validity in the research methodology.  Assuming for the sake of argument here that that quoted fig on death-by-hammer is accurate, the process of then comparing it to a SINGLE MODEL of firearm (the AK-47, in this instance) defies logic and avoids the basic challenge of the topic; i.e., what is the relative occurrence of deaths by guns (or its subset of assault rifles)?

The valid comparison, naturally would be to compare it to a single model of hammers, like the Stanley Model 47 Claw Hammer. But, that wouldn't support the case, would it?

So, where we should be able to engage an easy solution as a means of reducing a  readily defined problem, we get junk as the supporting arguments. Yes: it is thrown at us from all sides of the issue at hand.

No wonder we can't get anything accomplished.  


Anonymous said...

well put

Anonymous said...

That is not an AK-47 in the photo. Nice try. The stat's were not for 'one model' of a gun.