Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Coming up next on Nick: fallacies!

I know there are a lot of things to watch out for in what passes for kid's TV programming these days, but never did it cross my mind that commercials on Nickelodeon would be actively promoting formal logical fallacies. And yet: catching a minute of daytime TV at a location that was not my home, I viewed this Time Warner commercial with my eyebrow creeping higher and higher.

"Here's something DirectTV won't tell you: they hate puppies.

FACT: They charge you every month for HD service.
FACT: Time Warner Cable HD is free. Saves you what could be hundreds of dollars.
FACT: You could spend those hundred dollars on, like, a mountain of dog food.
FACT: Puppies love dog food.

THEREFORE: DirectTV hates puppies.

Who hates puppies?"

Whoa. Whoa. The toddlers are watching! Next thing you know, the three-year-old is going to be coming into your bedroom early Saturday morning, spouting off false syllogisms. Some things are worse than language and violence.


Kyle Cupp said...

Whoa. Whoa. Indeed! I am thankful that we don't watch commercial television. If my son is going to argue with me, then he had better use sound syllogisms.

Anonymous said...

I remember a Nick commercial from the 80's, back when most cable TV systems had 36 channels. An announcer on the commercial said, "In Chicago, NBC is channel 5 and Nickelodeon is channel 31. In New York, ABC is channel 7 and Nick is 28. In Los Angeles, CBS is channel 4 and we are channel 34. It's true everywhere in the US: Nickelodeon has bigger channel numbers than those other networks. Don't settle for small numbers, folks. Watch Nickelodeon."

I still remember it, with a smile.


CMinor said...

I'm just a duffer when it comes to logic, but I'll have a go:

dog food=red herring
puppies=emotional appeal
I think it's also a post hoc (love of puppies causes cable companies to give away service) but perhaps there's a better term.

Any logicians out there?