Monday, August 31, 2009

Doggerel #198: "Look it Up Yourself!"

Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

One of the common themes in woo is shifting the burden of proof onto the skeptic. With it comes all the work. This particular bit of doggerel tends toward just doing the latter: The woo doesn't feel like showing their work, so suddenly we have to construct their argument for them.

Of course, there's a LOT of information out there. If we're given a vague thing to look up, there's little chance we'll know what they want us to look at. Expect "low-hanging fruit" or similar doggerel to rear its ugly head if we bother to try looking it up.

And that's only hypothetical. More likely, however, we'll demand that they do their own homework. After all, if someone's stating their case, they should be the one to do it. We don't exist for their convenience.


djfav said...

As you know, I encountered this one recently. My former friend was basically telling me that all the poor little brown people he's so afraid of are reproducing more than upstanding white citizens, by as much as 20 percent! I asked him where he got this figure and at first he replied with just one word: "Demographics," he said. I laughed in his face. He then told me to "look it up". I told him to kindly go fuck himself.

Dunc said...

Funnily enough, Greg Laden's been demolishing that particular idea recently, as part of his "Falsehoods" series: The poor and the dark skinned have more babies than the rich and the light skinned.