Sunday, May 05, 2013

Quoting Voices in One's own Head II

I have been knocking down straw men knock downers.  Some use the pathetic rhetorical trick of criticizing "some" without naming and of them.   I am amused by self reference (will never grow up) but gave the example of Reinhart and Rogoff vs ultra Keynesians who may or may not exist only in their heads.

But something worse is quoting voices in one's head as authorities.

 Kathleen Parker 
wrote about the FDA's decision to allow plan B to be sold over the counter to girls aged 15 and up.  I read the teaser which had something about parents or government  being in charge ("girls" and "government" both start with g, so the confusion is understandable).  I avoided reading the op-ed.

But I read a very very convincing critique by political animal Kathleen Geier .  Here I found Parker's dialogue with herself

Question 2: Do you think that girls as young as 11 or 12 should be able to buy the morning-after pill without any adult supervision? Didn’t think so.
Question 3: If you answered yes to Question 2, are you a parent? Didn’t think so.
I have two daughters and I think that girls as young as 11 or 12 should be able to buy the morning-after pill.

OK my younger daughter is 15 already and we live in Italy (where prescriptions are required for morning after pills)  so my opinion is irrelevant.

But what does it take to tell people what they think ?  Parker could refer to a poll or something.

I think this pathetic rhetorical move is more common that the straw man.  Pundits regularly tell their readers what regular people think based on ESP or something.  I don't think that polls are good measures of public opinion, but I think relaying on authority of pundits is worse.

Mistermix too

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