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Gaslighting's evil twin siblings: Brandolini's Law of the Asymmetry of Bullshit and Gish Galloping

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by InfiniteRubix, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. InfiniteRubix

    InfiniteRubix Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Some of what we face as pwME has naming that I wasn't aware of.... Essentially they amount to the relative insurmountability of an overwhelming blitzkrieg of BS:

    Bullshit asymmetry principle (Brandolini's Law)
    "Bullshit" on @Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit?wprov=sfta1

    Gish gallop
    "Gish gallop" on @Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop?wprov=sfta1

    Set with gaslighting, I think they are part of what pwME face today, both in the meta sphere, of medical research ignorance Vs scientific research norms, and the practical day to day arena, of dealing with one on one medical ignorance. There are just too many layers to unpick when dealing with an ignorant medic, usually with levels of ignorance that would result in that medic's exclusion from non-medic scientific fora and/or ridicule. And yet....

    I have been furious with the rise of these two trends over the past decade as norms of political discourse, debasing those who have advanced them and their political competitors (at the cost of the people, including those who believe them). I didn't realise that the phenomena had names, until today. They relate to us as pwME too, so knowing the terms is a plus.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
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  2. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    As the late Terry Pratchett put it:

     
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  3. DokaGirl

    DokaGirl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Experienced both of these recently. These ways of engaging with people create a wall of muck, very difficult to navigate or shovel out of the way.
     
  4. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The difficulty is when the perpetrators also manage to get their false message, erroneous information out first thanks to undue influence with the media. Before you even open your mouth you're forced into the role of being defensive, or in denial.

    However, I also believe people choose to believe what they want, what suits. The jump to judgement without questioning is disturbing to me. Bad enough when it's the general public, but when it's people involved in health authorities, scientists and doctors who are supposed assess and weigh evidence it's downright negligent.

    I don't really know how one addresses either of those. When I was a schoolgirl (distant mists of time) we were taught to question, make up our own minds and be able to explain how we reached our conclusion. That seems lacking now.

    Also, changing one's mind wasn't seen as a negative, if you could explain why. It was better to change your position after due thought & consideration than to not bother thinking at all.
     
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  5. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  6. BruceInOz

    BruceInOz Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    What a funny coincidence. I just googled "Brandolini's law gish gallop" since I had been thinking about how both concepts seem very relevant to the abundance of conspiracy theories that plague the modern world and this thread was at the top of the results.
     
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  7. InfiniteRubix

    InfiniteRubix Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    :)
     
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  8. InfiniteRubix

    InfiniteRubix Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Agreed.

    On the supply side, I think that it is at least partially a symptom of increased competition. One can compete in many ways relative to employment objectives. I think that applies across the supply chain, from idea conception to distribution of the final article. Quality is just one of them, sadly. Objectives themselves span quantitative objectives and unquantifiable career tactics, those spanning networking, prestige by association through to subconscious processes like groupthink.

    On the demand side, there's the "always buy big blue" effect, that power of brand in time scarcity from competition. Brand of person, publication or profession. Plus the outsourcing / implicit faith in what one is a part of, a fundamental survival and prioritisation strategy we all live with. We usually don't think in detail about how literally every thing we use works in detail. It's usually only about some topics and to a finite level of depth.
     

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