Thursday, January 30, 2014

Propaganda - Section F

Section F: Technique of Maneuver (How to win an argument that you're losing)

0. No Technique

1. Diversion: Changing the subject of a conversation successfully
            Example: Reporter: “Mr. President, did you make a mistake in authorizing arms to be sent secretly to Iran?”
            President: “Mr. Jones, congratulations on your award as Journalist of the Year. Also I liked your recent article on
              the economy.”

2. Disproving a Minor Point: Considering several arguments, but attacking only the weakest one
           Example: You said that Lykeisha had limited experience as a cheerleader, very poor jumping ability, and did not
             smile a lot during her routines. So you don’t want her on the cheer squad. But Lykeisha was a member of her
             cheer squad in both 7th and 8th grades. She belongs on the squad here at Bonaparte High.

3. Ad Hominem: Making a personal attack on the person but not addressing the argument
           Example: Judge Ginsbork says he will represent us well as a conservative Supreme Court Judge. This comes from
             the same man who smoked pot during his years at Harvard.

4. Appeal to Ignorance: "You can't prove you are right or I am wrong"- The speaker claims they are right because you can't prove they are wrong - usually ending with a question
           Example: Sure there’s life on other planets. You can’t prove there isn’t.

5. Leading Question: Asking a question to sway the listener toward a desired response or make him/her uncomfortable.  There is no right answer to a leading question, any answer will incriminate.
           Example: Talk show host to accused child abuser: “Which of your children did you abuse first – your son or your

6. Complex Question: A series of Leading Questions when only one answer is expected
           Example: Didn’t you run across campus yesterday? Haven’t you been on campus many nights before? Didn’t you
             paint the flagpole lavender? Answer me, “yes” or “no.”

7. Inconsequent Argument: Offering evidence or statistics not related to original argument
           Example: Ad: “University proves Grandmother’s Oats the best of all 14 leading cereals! Yes, we have the
             evidence. In a study of 14 nationally-known breakfast cereals, Grandmother’s Oats was first in protein. (See page
             163 of the March-April issue of Food Research, an official publication of the Institute of Food Tech­nologists.)”

8. Attacking a Straw Man: Interpreting someone's response to be something different; putting words in someone's mouth, arguing against a position that their opponent has not taken,
           Example: Joshua, you can’t be serious about allowing those kids to use our back lot to play ball. Next thing you 
             know, they will be messing around in our back yard and pestering us about drinks and bathroom privileges. How
             can you allow such intrusions?

9. Victory by Definition: The speaker can't be proven wrong because the counterexamples don't fit the "real" definition of what is being argued.  Original speaker is winning by redefining his original terms.
           Example: Teel: “These students seem to have some school spirit.”
           Beel: “Ah, yes, but when I said that students today don’t have any school spirit I was talking about genuine
              students, not these rah-rah boys.”

10. Begging the Question: Arguing in circles or restating the original argument itself
           Example: The proposed law will certainly reduce juvenile delinquency, because it provides steps which will   
             prevent crimes on the part of teenagers.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Propaganda - Section D

Section D: Techniques of Exploitation

0. No Technique

1. Appeal to Pity: "Help me or something bad will happen to me."
        Example: Student to teacher: “Please don’t give me an F! If I bring that home I’ll be grounded for a month and      might even lose my job. Please give me another chance!”

2. Appeal to Flattery: Unsolicited compliments to get someone to do something
       Example: Form letter received through the mail: “Because you are one of our most valued customers, we are sending you a 10 days’ trial of a new product we are introducing to the American market. If not satisfied, return after the trial period. If satisfied, kindly send payment.”

3. Appeal to Ridicule: Making fun of or joking about a person or thing
       Example: My worthy opponent says that he has gained valuable experience from his past campaigns. That’s true. He has gained a lot of experience – a lot of experience in losing.

4. Appeal to Prestige: Offering the listener a chance to be important or famous
       Example: Be the first kid on your block to play the new fun game Spaz!

5. Appeal to Prejudice: Trying to persuade someone to do something because of their background or beliefs
       Example: During a political campaign, a salesman made a point of wearing a Republican badge when calling on his Republican clients and a Democratic badge when calling on Democratic clients.

6. Bargain Appeal: Offering a chance at a good deal or to save money
       Example: There’s no need to shop around wasting gas, time, and money. Come to us for all your needs at the very lowest prices in town! The lowest prices anywhere.

7. Folksy Appeal: Trying to make the listener feel like you are just a "regular person"
       Example: Channel 8, your neighborhood station.

8. Join the Bandwagon: Do what everyone else is doing, because you don't want to be left out
        Example: Everywhere I look I see maxi-coats this winter. Dad, I’ve just GOT to have one.

9. Appeal to Practical Consequences: Trying to convince someone to do something to avoid unwanted consequences
        Example: Mother to Son: “John, if you don’t dry the dishes and put them away correctly, you will not go to the concert.”

10. Passing from the Acceptable to the Dubious: Beginning with acceptable statements, then switching to an unrelated statement or argument to get someone to do something
       Example: Stay healthy. Take mild exercise every day. Walk whenever possible. Eat balanced meals. Get restful sleep on ’Nities Sleep-well Mattress.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Propaganda -- Section C

A little something to keep you warm while you wait for school to re-open and AG practices to return:

Section C: Techniques of Irrelevance

0. No Technique

1. Appearance: Judging someone based on the way they look
       Example: That girl exchange student from Denmark is really a sharp dresser. I’ll bet she’s smart,  too.

2. Manner: Judging someone based on the way that they act
      Example: Melissa was bubbly and cool. She really handled those tough questions with confidence. She is a much  better candidate for the job than Sally, who was nervous and jittery.

3. Degrees and Titles: Using a degree or title of a speaker to impress the listeners
      Example: “I like the perfect fit, the luxurious feel, and inner warmth of my Brady’s Leather Jacket,” says Laura Stern, President of the American Dog-Breeders Association.

4. Numbers: Using numbers to make a point
         Example: Ad: “Use Galma-Mudd, the face cream preferred by eight out of ten women in the Cleveland area.”

5. Status: Using someone who is famous to endorse a product or support a position
      Example: You should take 500 milligrams of vitamin C every day. The Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling recommended vitamin C to prevent and cure the common cold.

6. Repetition: Using the same word, phrase or sound repeatedly to capture the attention of the listener
       Example: Wool carpet has everything that a carpet should have. Wool has a natural bounce in every fiber. Wool carpet has lasting beauty. Wool carpet has lasting color. Wool carpet resists flame. Wool carpet cleans easily. The answer is WOOL.

7. Slogans: Using a short, catchy phrase or sentence designed to be easily remembered by the general public
       Example: Ad: “Open your mind to the world. Select Netscape software for complete and total access to the entire World Wide Web.”

8. Technical Jargon: Using technical language to impress or confuse the listener
       Example: Ad: “This new dress from Janis Kaye’s Originals contains a new fabric, dureneum, which keeps the cloth from shrinking and resists dirt.

9. Sophistical Formula: Using an old saying or cliché as the main point in an argument
      Example: Let’s not give up. True, we have tried everything. We have telephoned; we have knocked on his door; we have written to him. And we have not yet received a cent from him. But “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Propaganda -- Section A

Happy New Year Everyone!

The last practice before break we started learning Propaganda by going over the techniques in Section A.  Below is a brief description of those techniques:

Section A: Techniques of Irrelevance
0. No Technique: No Propaganda is being used in the example, or Propaganda from another section is being used.

1. Prejudice: Judging someone based on their inclusion in a group.  Prejudice can be either for or against someone, and can stem from race, religion, sex, age, political affiliation, etc.
Example: Let’s invite David into our club, we need a Baptist member.

2. Academic Detachment: When faced with two options, speaker chooses neither options and instead does not make a decision.
Example: Both candidates have been throwing dirt at each other during the campaign, so I’m not going to vote for either of them.  I’m staying home.

3. Drawing the Line: When faced with a situation with multiple options, speaker reduces the choices to just two.
Example: We can either watch the Olympics, or we can watch the Food Network.  (there are no other viewing options?)
Hint - Listen for "choice" words like "either", "or".

4. Not Drawing the Ling: Speaker is faced with a limit, but chooses or asks to go past that limit (What’s one more?)
Example: I have been absent from school for ten days already.  What’s one more day?

5. Conservatism, Radicalism, Moderatism: Conservatism – Everything old is good; Radicalism – Everything new is good; Moderatism – Likes compromise
Examples: Conservatism – We’ve used these score sheets for every tournament for the last ten years, why change now?
Radicalism – We Democrats must take a fundamentally different approach from the agenda of the last 8 years.
Moderatism – Ad: Sealy Serta mattresses offer the perfect combination of mattress qualities.  They’re not too hard, not too soft.  They conform to fit your body.
Note - It is not necessary to indicate which of these three techniques is being used.

6. Rationalization: Making excuses for something that has already happened.  The speaker refuses to take responsibility for a mistake.
Example: There was no way for me to win the On Sets match.  The girl I was playing knew both of the judges.

7. Wishful Thinking: The speaker believes something to be true because they really want it to be true.
Example: I deserve a good grade because I put a lot of effort into studying.

8. Tabloid Thinking: Speaker reduces an entire group to a stereotype or applies a generalization about a group.
Example: Dave is a typical programmer – you know, thick glasses, pale, skinny, and hardly able to talk to a normal human being.
Note - Tabloid Thinking differs from Prejudice in that with Prejudice an action is suggested, whereas in Tabloid Thinking a stereotype is being used, but no action is advocated.

9. Causal Oversimplification: A complex event is explained by references to one or two causes.
Example: It’s easy to stop inflation, just get the Federal government to balance its budget.

10. Inconceivability: The speaker declares a position to be false because they can’t conceive of it being true.
Example: I just can’t understand why the students would go on strike.  If I were a student, I wouldn’t go on strike.