This Ruthless World

Adventures in absurdity

Archive for the category “Kids Say the Darndest Things”

Some Of The More Absurd Things A Lot Of “Smart” People Believe

Viktor Vasnetsov, I am continuing my list of remarkably inane things people say remarkably often. (Previous installments: here, here and here.) Today’s theme is smart people’s stupidity. Intellectuals can sure embrace some bizarre ideas, and through processes I can’t even begin to understand, some of those ideas enter mainstream smart people’s thought. Ideas like: Read more…

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More Stupid Things People Like to Say: Third Installment

John William Waterhouse, "A Tale From the Decameron" (1916)People love saying things that sound clever. Especially people who aren’t very bright. Take that combination — an intellectually mediocre person and a desire to appear “deep” — and you’ve got the perfect recipe for the birth of notions so intensely stupid, they are destined to endure forever. These are notions that end up on “inspirational” posters of sunsets and beaches. These are notions that the world’s vulgarians repeat over and over — and still think themselves not only well-informed, but original. So here is my third list of certain pearls of “wisdom” that are common as dirt — and explanations as to how they are actually idiotic. (You can find prior installments here and here). Read more…

How Not To Be A Demagogue, Part II: Deconstructing The Emotional Appeal Fallacy Fallacy

It is a well-known fact in the legal profession that good lawyers almost never use legalese. Indeed, it’s one of the first things you learn in law school. Sure, sometimes custom and practice require arcane word formulas, but any lawyer worth his salt knows not to offer “therein’s” and what not in the body of an argument. Packing your writing or your speech with that garbage only serves to insult the court’s intelligence by signalling that you are a pretentious asshat who is using fifty-cent words to mask your lack of a good argument. If you can’t convey your point in normal, clear, non-ritualistic language, then you have no point to convey. Read more…

Eight More Stupid Things People Say All The Time

This is a follow-up to my earlier post, Now Not To Be A Demagogue: Ten Stupidest, Most Dishonest and Most Cowardly Arguments People Make All The Time. A good chunk of my (very) rough draft for that post did not make it into the final version due to the fact that some of the things I originally listed are not, strictly speaking, demagogic or displays of bad faith. For the most part, they are just plain stupid. So here is the list of gems that did not make it into the previous entry. Every time I hear one of these, I cringe. Enjoy. Read more…

How Not To Be a Demagogue: Ten Stupidest, Most Dishonest, And Most Cowardly Arguments People Make All The Time

It is a well-known fact that people say a lot of stupid crap. To point it out isn’t exactly a revelation. Still, some expressions of stupid thought are like the Red Bull of stupid — intensely nonsensical and intensely popular. Below is a list of ten well-worn arguments that, in my opinion, take the cake for idiocy, intellectual dishonesty, cowardice or some combination of the three. Read more…

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