Thursday, February 3, 2011

Virtually

Just a random thought... I remember learning in school and college about how to pay attention to flimsy words such as 'virtually' in product commercials. We were taught to pick these words out in various ads and discuss how people were drawn into buying a product based on such things. You watch an ad for a laundry soap, for example, and hear the announcer say "virtually ALL STAINS GONE!"... Our mind hears 'virtually' and translates that to 99.9% of stains will be removed by this magical detergent.  But the word 'virtually' is thrown in there to cover the fact that not all stains will be gone.

virtually [ˈvɜːtʃʊəlɪ]
adv
in effect though not in fact; practically; nearly
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

vir·tu·al 

–adjective
1.
being such in power, force, or effect, though not actually or expressly such: ex: a virtual dependence on charity.
dictionary.com 

Okay, so you get the idea. So what is my point about this?

Look and listen for this word in news and reports regarding things that have the potential to change our lives greatly, such as all the hubbub surrounding Global Warming/Climate Change legislation. Also pay attention to words such as APPEARS [to], IF, MAYBE, MIGHT, COULD, and POSSIBLY. See how many times they appear and take note of them. It is actually quite shocking how many times those words are used. Yet we are supposed to bow down and take it when the powers-that-be suggest, and then demand, that we conform with their ideas and solutions. Solutions to what exactly? Something that appears to be happening? That might possibly maybe cause problems? That could cause trouble? 

Everytime I read or hear something to do with changing our lives due to Global Warming, listen to our countries being blamed for droughts across the planet, or flooding, or whatever might be happening somewhere else at any given moment, I immediately think back to the classes in psychology and sociology I took that specifically spoke about how gullible the human species can be when little flimsy words are used. Why should that apply only to television commercials? We also learned in history and social studies classes about how propaganda was used in clever, crafty ways in order to guide people in the direction a govt or group wanted - how can we be so sure that isn't happening now with AGW/CC? When those flimsy whimsical words are littered throughout each and every study, report, news piece - how can so many people be so blind to them? They hear 'WILL, IS, DEFINATELY' somehow, instead of 'IF MAYBE POSSIBLY'. Wake up people, the proof is right there before your eyes, surely you can see it. 

3 comments:

  1. Let me get this straight; you're main concern is that scientific journal articles use appropriate hesitant language and that said language is somehow akin to the deception some advertisers use in their ads?

    Just for your information, the words "APPEARS [to], IF, MAYBE, MIGHT, COULD, and POSSIBLY" are going to appear in any reputable scientific journal article in any field. Even medical journals, but I'm sure you wouldn't refuse to take action on an infection in your hand because it MAY cause gangrene if left untreated, which COULD POSSIBLY mean you need to amputate said hand? No, I'm sure not. That would be silly.

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  2. Fair enough for that type of example, but then again, if i had an infected cut and I refused treatment for whatever reason, did not 'believe' that it 'may' turn gangrenous - that is ME and MY body. It's not going to affect millions of people if I do or do not take antibiotics and clean my wound. The livelihood of generations of people is not going to be affected one way or the other if I do not take some penicillin. Perhaps my own family would be affected if I was not able to work due to injuries I received after not treating myself, perhaps my boss would have to find a replacement IF if ended up with further harm. But that's all that would be affected.

    Global Warming 'science' is on a much broader scale. Millions and perhaps billions of people WILL be affected in their daily lives as these regulations push forward. It is already happening. Millions and billions WILL be affected by increasing climate change regulation, right down to every single person working in affected career fields and every single person who purchases products of any sort (increased prices and possibly lower availability, depending on how this plays out), while millions or billions MIGHT be affected IF we are indeed causing this particular batch of Global Warming and don't do anything about it. But as we do something about this possibility, we ARE affecting people's lives in a negative matter regardless of the reality of GW. That's what ticks me off, and I think that is a valid complaint.

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  3. Just for another thought - if I had an infection but could not afford the medication at that moment, a doctor is not going to force me to go out and purchase medicine. He might be able to give me a free sample, or other ideas on how to reduce the effects of the infection, or keep it clean, until I am able to buy the medication. But with Climate Change regulations, we are all forced or going to be forced to comply to certain measures whether we think it is necessary or not, whether we can afford it or not, and we will have NO choice. Ex: the US and Canada trying to ban incandescent bulbs in 2012. This idea may be tabled after problems with the efficient bulbs, but we don't know that for sure just yet. If I cut my hand, my doc is not going to force me to buy penicillin, and he isn't going to force everyone else to buy it as well, or fork out to give me the money so I can buy it. Etc Etc.

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These are my views and opinions. If you don't agree or think I am sadly misguided, that is your view. Feel free to share your thoughts but I also reserve my right to moderate content (IE foul language, excessive flaming, etc).

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