Saturday, December 31, 2022

"Winning" by changing the topic

So many times I see someone start off by making (or responding to) a claim and then changing the topic midstream so that it looks like they won if you're not paying close attention.

I pick on Scott Adams a lot and I'll do it again. I see him do this sleight of hand very frequently. He did it again a couple of days ago. As I've said before, when he's right he's right. When he's wrong it's generally because he's a government supremacist. Providing cover for political criminals in various ways. Like this latest example.

He posted a poll asking "How many of you believe some group of elites or leftists or someone important wants to reduce the population of Earth?"

In his livestream, he later claimed the right answer is "That's nuts".

Of course, it depends on how you define "elites", what you consider to be their "groups", who you think is "important", and what you mean by "wants", etc. It requires a lot of assumptions. I mean, you could consider the Georgia Guidestones to have been a clear piece of evidence; a confession. But I bet he'd brush that away with claims it wasn't the "wants" of a group of important elites or something, since it doesn't conform to his beliefs.

I was not on the "Yes" side, but had chosen the third path (which he claimed was the wrongest answer)...until I heard his explanation as to why "No" (or, as he framed it: "That's nuts") is the "right" answer. His explanation was flawed and he changed the topic so he could "win" which made me realize he was wrong. I change my answer to "Yes" ("I believe it").

What he did, midstream, was to change it from a question strictly about reducing the population to a question of economics. He said the elites understand that for economies to work, the population has to grow. They want more and more people to rob ("tax"), sell to, and, employ. This is a tangent to his original question. I saw the sleight of hand, though.

Many of the "elites" are communists (or commie-lite), thus showing they are economically illiterate. Plus, the economy isn't their motivation; "saving the planet" is. 

Yes, smart people know a good economy and advanced technology are a net good for the environment, but all my life I've seen people argue the opposite: that everyone needs to live a primitive life, without "unnatural" technology, for the good of the planet.

I love primal and primitive things. I'm not so ignorant as to believe it's better for the planet. I know how it would be a disaster.

He's not the only one who does this trick. It happens a lot. I've probably done it (unintentionally) myself. A claim is made, and instead of addressing that claim, someone comes in and makes a counter-claim that is off-topic, but looks relevant if you weren't paying close attention, then claims a "win" based on this irrelevant point. Sometimes it's so predictable you can almost see it coming-- in fact, I've pre-written responses, just to have them ready when someone inevitably does it.

I couldn't do this without your support.