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Informal Logical Fallacies. Screens In Schools Are a $60 Billion Hoax. (Essay Sample)


Please read How to think about weird things, pages 48-55. 
Also read this article: Don't Read the Comments, 10 Logical Fallacies in the Comment Stream.https://www(dot)wordstream(dot)com/blog/ws/2013/04/04/blog-comments-logical-fallacies
Your goal for this assignment is to scan the internet, or newspapers, or magazines for good examples of at least one of the informal logical fallacies discussed in these readings. You can also look for fallacies not found in these readings but found in this wonderful master list: Fallacy. Youtube comments, social media and twitter feeds are good places to look, but you don't need to limit yourself to these sources. Each student will get to share their findings with the class (~5 min) at various points in future discussions. I will give more instructions to that end at a later date. For now, I want you to find the fallacy and either describe it, upload it as a document, or paste the link. Also, name the fallacy or fallacies that are evident in the comment or argument and explain why it is a problem. See how Gabbert does this in "Don't Read the Comments," and use her as a model. But explain the fallacy and the problem in your own words. Have some fun with this!Here's an example:Recently this showed up in my fb newsfeed
Here's what one commentator had to say:
Nettie rightly points out that the article is basing their argument on an advertisement from a greenhouse supply magazine:
One can imagine a host of problems associated with this sort of strategy for determining truths about our world--the main ones in this case being that an ad is not a research paper, a greenhouse supply magazine is hardly a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and the makers of CO2 generators are certainly not climate scientists. This is not to say that we should simply uncritically accept what we read in scientific journals or hear from climate scientists--remember we want to think critically about any argument, no matter the source. But what we are saying is that a company that manufactures CO2 generators is not a credible authority on climate change. This fallacy is sometimes referred to as an "appeal to irrelevant authority," because the authority being cited is not qualified for this role. Nettie also objects to notion that anti-emissions campaigners exhibit "hatred towards plants" at a level on par with racism. The article does indeed make this claim, and there are perhaps many problems with it. When Nettie says "it's not even like comparing apples to oranges," she is implying that the article is drawing a "false analogy," which is so illegitimate that it's "like comparing apples with thumbtacks"--that is, to things which don't appear to have anything substantial in common, let alone enough properties to be considered analogous. When I clinked on the link and read the article myself, I encountered this question:"If CO2 is so bad for the planet, why do greenhouses pay to produce it?"This question implies an argument, the logic of which goes something like:1. If CO2 is bad for the planet, then greenhouses won't pay to produce it.2. Greenhouses pay to produce it.3. Therefore, CO2 is not bad for the planet.By deductive standards this is a valid argument. (It's modus tollens.) However, is it sound? Well the second premise is evidently true, but what about premise 1? This seems to me to be a highly doubtful premise. It assumes that greenhouse operators care about the planet to such extent that they are willing to forego technological advances if there is any potential for those advances to bring harm to it. But what if those advances promise high yield and a dramatic increase in profits? What business--or even individual, for that matter--do you know who will put the health and needs of the planet above their own when the stakes are personal and there's a lot of money on the line? Maybe Gandhi? But how many Gandhi's are out there in the world? Second, the argument seems to involve some unstated assumptions (or "hidden co-premises," we call them) that are illegitimate--for instance, the belief that what is good for the greenhouse is good for the planet. Or "If x is good for the greenhouse, then x is good for the planet" and "If x is bad for the greenhouse then x is bad for the planet." These assumptions commit what is sometimes referred to as the "scaling fallacy," which is the tendency to think that something that works on one scale will work the same at any other (larger or smaller) scale. This is a fallacy because there are a plethora of counterexamples: water, for instance, is "wet" on a macroscopic scale, but it is not "wet" at the level of a single H2O molecule. Wetness is a macroscopic property of water, not a nanoscopic one. Same here: just because massive amounts of CO2 might increase yield and be beneficial to a greenhouse crop, that doesn't mean excessive amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere will be beneficial to the planet as a whole. What's good for greenhouses could be bad for the planet. What's worse, this argument appears to be "missing the point"--another informal fallacy whose name says it all. People who rally against CO2 are saying it is bad for the planet because it contributes to unwanted and potentially disastrous changes in climate at a global scale. Most of them are not saying it is bad for plants. The plants might be out there thinking "the more the merrier" as regards the CO2, but that doesn't change the fact that excessive amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere can have significant negative effects on global climate. People who argue that "CO2 is a plant nutrient," as this article does, are missing the point of the debate. I'm sure there are other fallacies but these are some that come to my mind. To recap: in presenting their argument, the article commits at least four known informal fallacies: appeal to irrelevant authority, false (or faulty) analogy, scaling fallacy, missing the point. I think one could argue that the premise "If CO2 is bad for the planet, then greenhouses won't pay to produce it" is also begging the question. Although it's a bit harder to describe what that fallacy is and why it's evident in this case. (You'll read about it.)


Informal Logical Fallacies
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Informal Logical Fallacies
Dr. Nicholas Kardaras wrote an article in Time Magazine titled, “Screens In Schools Are a $60 Billion Hoax.” In the article, the writer misrepresents technology as something unnecessary for learners. The author indicates that naïve educators and administrators who have little knowledge about technology have been implementing technology in schools. 

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