Archive for March 15, 2004


March 15, 2004

Reason magazine coined the great term “reductio creep” to describe the process in which counterarguments’ conclusions, previously considered absurd, are now enthusiastically embraced by the people you are trying to argue against. The standard example is lawsuits against fast food companies for making people fat – once considered a reductio ad absurdum of efforts by smokers to rid themselves of personal responsibility, these lawsuits have now actually taken place.

There’s a related phenomenon, in which groups do or say things so utterly self-ridiculing and inarguably stupid that any attempt to parody them is rendered pointless. Pilger reached this nadir with his appearance on Lateline a few days ago… and now PETA, well….

Enough rambling from me. I think you’ll find this speaks for itself.