Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Truth, Logic, and Elections

From a friend’s Facebook post:

Less than 2 weeks to the elections, I want to share a hard lesson I learned from the previous one. Especially given that I’ve had formal lessons in rhetoric and logic.

Do not believe that logical fallacies are fallacies. Or rather–understand that they are logical fallacies, but that the world does not run on logic and so any classroom lessons on what arguments are fallacious have no relevance.

The only relevant matter is if people react positively to what you say.

The people who respond to facts ARE ALREADY ANTI-DUTS. So forget about convincing more voters with facts. The numbers of the executed don’t matter to them. Duterte’s bank accounts that have been proven to exist don’t matter to them. The Duts’ family businesses that have not been registered with the SEC or which have irregularities in their filings don’t matter to them.

That shit just don’t fly for them.

Accept it.

Rely on appeals to emotion, on ad hominem attacks, on oversimplified memes, on dramatic pictures, short posts with punchy lines that are light on numbers. Get people to identify with you first, get them to agree with you on things that are completely nonpolitical so that they start to see that you aren’t so different from them.

Resort to all the muck that works in the real world.

If people have to be tricked into believing the truth… that’s better than them continuing to be tricked into believing lies.

Pictures of executed people are more effective than the names of the murdered. Pictures of Chinese businesses are more effective than long talks about interest rates. If you’ve worked in graphic design or in marketing or the ad business, YOU ALREADY KNOW what works.

I’m afflicted by a certain form of foolish idealism that makes me want to believe that decisions should be made based on things like facts, logic, and reason. I want to believe that we can take the high road, and not have to resort to the same tactics I find distasteful. I realize that often this isn’t how the world works, and yes ever since the last elections, I’ve found myself more and more disillusioned and disenchanted about how the Filipino electorate makes their decisions. I don’t what happens with the elections in two weeks - I don’t even know how I’m going to be voting - but my expectaions are not high. Regardless of what happens or what compromises we end up making or supporting or whatever imperfect politicians we end up voting for or electing, I think we need to make sure not to lose sight of the ideals we hold and of what we believe the ideal world needs to be, and how we need to get there. Otherwise, what are we even fighting for?

Posted by under post at #philippines #politics
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