Fallacies aren’t specific to any one specific arena, and often times they are about as pervasive as untreatable cancer.

Not only are they pervasive, they are also maddeningly-difficult to isolate and avoid. Many smart people fall victim to fallacies in the form of logical, perceptual, or inferential fallacies when presented with data contrary to their current set of beliefs.

There is nothing special about this, this is just the reptilian portion of the human brain trying its best to maintain a worldview or paradigm that ensures the survival of the individual. Where the real problems begin is when it isn’t just a single person or a set of people, it’s when entire structures or institutions come into question based purely on their efficacy in regard to the goals of the enterprise, whether stated or not.

Within the howling maelstroms of fallacies, there are often delicate fragments of the truth. Hidden amongst the masses of data, anecdotes, and inferences, truths become visible when we question our own assumptions. When we begin to ask serious questions, we can peer through the curtain and get glimpses of that truth.

  • Do the data, inferences, or complaints question the efficacy of the work?
  • Is the work benefitting more than just the achievement of the goal?
  • Is the reason for embarking on this work purely self-serving (i.e. increasing exposure on a topic purely to increase exposure)?

If these questions aren’t holding the answers that validate your reason for starting the work in the first place, then a change of perspective or direction might be in order.

On the other hand if the point was to change the course of the discourse, then maybe you’re on to something.

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