illogical things are happening everyday

A college dropout – me? The National Merit Scholar, with a family history of college graduates, back as far as a number of great-aunts who graduated at a time when higher education was the exception for women?

problemThat didn’t make any sense.

Yet the first go-around, that’s what happened. I took on too much and burned out. Few close to me disputed the wisdom of my choice, but all agreed I should try again when I was ready.

It took three years to be ready, but when I was, I was. The second time, at a different university, was the charm, and when it comes to charm, no one had more than my ultra-geeky Logic professor.

Many of my fellow students foolishly and vocally didn’t see the need for Logic 101.

Actually, he wasn’t even a professor at the time; it was his first teaching experience after graduating with a doctorate in Philosophy.

He faced formidable odds. This was before the plethora of news programs with self-proclaimed experts whose statements deserved challenge at every turn. Many, if not most, of my fellow students foolishly and vocally didn’t see the need for Logic 101.

For me, initially it was a requirement to plough through, something I didn’t expect would be challenging. Instead, it was the most challenging and rewarding course I took. I consciously apply what I learned on a regular basis.

You’d be surprised when you listen how many “experts” seem to forget, or perhaps ignore, logic.

For those unclear about what you learn in a logic course, it starts with this: “All cats are animals, but not all animals are cats”. You’d be surprised when you listen how many of the aforementioned “experts” seem to forget, or perhaps deliberately ignore, that logic.

To take the cats-animals-cats thinking a bit further, something like “Most (specific political party devotees) believe this…but not everyone who believes that is a (specific political party supporter)” escapes them.

Or, for sports fans, “if we’d scored that touchdown in the second quarter, we would have won.” Nuh-uh. Any real fan of football knows each play builds on the previous one, and scoring that touchdown would have created a different game. (Scoring a field goal without penalty in the last second, I’ll give you that one, even though technically the logic wouldn’t).

So when you hear the pundits say, “my candidate in the last election never would have created the mess we’re in,” that simply is poor logic. You don’t know what your candidate might have done. But all sides smugly say it, or something similar, all the time.

That’s the simple logic that’s violated on a regular basis. Other practical elements are equally good to know.

Okay, I can’t necessarily apply anything I learned in that course to the logic of my decision to drop out the first time. Yet it clearly was the right choice. Or was it? I’ll never know, logically speaking, because I’ll never know what would have happened if I stuck with it.

Post-A-Day June 19, 2015

image credit: © tiero – Dollar Photo Club

10 Comments on “illogical things are happening everyday

  1. I really enjoyed your post! It flowed very well and the embedded quotes really drove the key points home (how do you embed quotes so they appear integrated in the text?). I love how you integrated logic throughout the post, but still added the sports and politics component before relating logic back to your initial statement. I’m definitely going to check out the rest of your blog!

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    • Thank you so much! I paid for the Premium package, which allows me to customize the CSS, so I’m able to add “pull quotes.” Some styles allow it without the Premium package, but I’m not sure which ones. I insert them above the paragraph I want them to appear next to.

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        • For me, it has been, but right now I have the money (rarely the case) and the time to spend making the most of it. The CSS and the choice of fonts were both really important to me, and I know the CSS options with other themes offer even more opportunities to personalize. Since your theme is very new it might offer a lot of such opportunities, but there might already be enough options for you. I’d explore what you want to do with the style of your blog and the formatting of your posts, and also consider whether or not a domain name without “wordpress” added to it is important to you. For my blog, it was, for personal reasons. However, you can get just a personalized domain name without the whole premium package if you want, and if you choose to add the rest later, the cost is adjusted (overall you spend slightly more if you do this).

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          • Thank you for the advice! I think I’m going to wait a couple of months and see how much I use my blog (which I’m hoping is a lot!) before deciding to purchase a theme. I’ve been playing around with my theme today and I’m quite happy with the result.

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            • Good idea. The premium plan isn’t actually purchasing a theme, but allows you to do more with the theme you’ve got. I’m still waiting before I commit to purchasing a theme since I tend to change my mind A LOT.

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  2. I never took a logic class, either in college or grad school, so I’m definitely not the one to weigh in on your exposition. However, I found your article really interesting and easy to read. Maybe I would have enjoyed studying logic after all.

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    • I alluded to this and didn’t expound on it, but a lot of what made that class so enjoyable was the teacher. He was incredible.

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