Friday, November 04, 2005


So when scientists say that their data supports a certain finding, a whole slew of un-skeptical people who lend those scientists Ethos just believe it's true. When a former high-ranking general who has been trustworthy in the past says that there are definitely weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, we tend to believe him. Why would he lie? He must know what he's saying. He’s got the charts and the prospect of letting the situation continue unabated is frightening. If you surround yourself with enough people of supposedly high rank or trust and have them establish arguments, the public has a hard time (as a whole not individuals) believing that they could actually lie to us, especially if they are emotionally charged arguments that gets to our basic fears of safety for ourselves, our way of life and our children.

See you must question motivation behind what people say. Are they being paid? Are they supporting their own or somebody else's agenda? Etc. This is especially true on the Internet. There are all kinds of people trying to part you from your money or to spread their own agenda on an unsuspecting public. People who fall for scams aren’t stupid it’s just that the scammer has made a convincing argument that to the person duped looked convincing at the time. For the most part, a person who was scammed will in hindsight say that if they took some more time to thing about it the scammer didn’t make any sense. That’s because in addition to seeming trustworthy and informative the scammer made the pitch based on emotional response. When faced with an argument, look at all the data being offered. Take a few minutes to ask, why am I feeling scared, happy etc… when I hear this. Make decisions for yourselves. Of course we can’t go through life all the time questioning everything. We must give some ethos to people but we have to be very careful with that. We could end up in a very bad situation.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Good thoughtful post, Lon.

I'll be back again some time soon.