Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:25 am UTC

Antimony-120 wrote:
SurgicalSteel wrote:
Keand64 wrote: I found that, assuming one person per second in America is [something to convince you to get a product in a commercial], it would take about a decade before 1% of the population is affected.

Wait:
1 person per second = 60 people per minute = 3600 people per hour = 86,400 people per day = 31,536,000 people per year = 315,360,000 per decade
Approximate population of U.S. as of 2010: 310,387,000
Approximate population of Earth as of 2010: 6,872,200,000
315,360,000 is about 4.5% of the population of Earth.

So ... I think your math is off.


Of course part of the issue is that you'll get a turnover rate, as new people are being born and others are dying. So the actual "pool" of people across a decade is larger than the "pool" at any given point in time. Nonetheless, 1/sec is a very high rate. (You also neglected leap years, but that's a minor point).

More than anything though this particular fallacy isn't just about a math fail, it's a series of small failures that add up. First off, the rate is probably NOT as high as they suggest. Even if the rate WAS as high as they suggest, it's likely that many of the "units sold" or whatever are people who are getting a new unit to replace a broken or lost one, are testing the product out and may not continue to use it, and various errata in terms of being placed in inventory or used for one time things. Finally, the rate, even if it was as high as they suggested, is likely not sustainable. Any growing market will naturally have very fast growth in the early stages, and slow down later as the target market becomes saturated, the market moves on, and the like. This sort of "choose the absolute best time and use that number" trickery is common.
Except you're ignoring what the rate is about - sexual assault. There's people who are repeatedly assaulted as sexual assault in relationships is kinda a thing, be it a presumably equal adult relationship or a parent/child relationship. Or, hell, a neighbor/neighbor relationship. Then there's the notion that there is no saturation rate - sexual abusers don't wake up one day and say "Gee, I sure have done enough.. I suppose I should stop."

RAINN's reporting the figure to be 1 every 2 minutes. They provide their own math.

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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Levi » Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:05 am UTC

Somehow I got the idea that the original topic was oral cancer. Then I reread the previous posts and am now a little bit afraid that I'm losing mental faculties. At least it was mentioned, but still...

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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Poochy » Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:40 am UTC

Well, the original topic was sexual assault, but it seems my mention of an oral cancer screening sales pitch accidentally derailed it. To my understanding, the people SecondTalon quoted were talking about the oral cancer stuff.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby GraphiteGirl » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:24 am UTC

"Very low calorie diets, or VLCDs, are the most effective nonsurgical way to reduce weight. Optifast is one such diet."

Surely you don't actually think the acronym is going to be the deciding factor? I suppose it's a more pleasant way to say "borderline starvation meal replacement diet".
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Zohar » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:06 pm UTC

I suppose technically you do lose weight pretty fast with these diets. People tend to forget what happens when you're done with the diet.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby KrazyerKate » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:08 pm UTC

There's a Home Depot ad I keep hearing on the radio and my Pandora stations, and it's got this really cool acoustic-guitar type music in the background. I can't find anywhere to listen to that music. What do I google? Home Depot Song? I just have to savor the occasional thirty seconds I get of it whenever it comes on.

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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Zohar » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:54 pm UTC

You could try finding the commercial on YouTube and asking there, or even send Home Depot an e-mail requesting information.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby EmptySet » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:27 pm UTC

GraphiteGirl wrote:"Very low calorie diets, or VLCDs, are the most effective nonsurgical way to reduce weight. Optifast is one such diet."

Surely you don't actually think the acronym is going to be the deciding factor?


Acronyms sound impressive while not actually meaning much. See also relabeling "water with some table salt added" as the miracle ingredient Fraudulin™.

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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby The Scyphozoa » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:55 pm UTC

GraphiteGirl wrote:"Very low calorie diets, or VLCDs, are the most effective nonsurgical way to reduce weight. Optifast is one such diet."

Surely you don't actually think the acronym is going to be the deciding factor? I suppose it's a more pleasant way to say "borderline starvation meal replacement diet".

Reminds me of "Very Fancy Doilies".


Anyway, I'll let you guys figure this one out:
Image
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Giant Speck » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:57 pm UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:Anyway, I'll let you guys figure this one out:
Image

wat
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Whelan » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:08 am UTC

Wait, no that wasn't ARCOmedes, it was Renee DesARCO.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby The Scyphozoa » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:12 am UTC

Whelan wrote:Wait, no that wasn't ARCOmedes, it was Renee DesARCO.

...Right, you're almost there. What else is wrong with that ad? I'm looking for two more things.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby frogman » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:15 am UTC

ARCO isn't a verb. And it isn't original either, Kohl's did it first.
yeah yeah yeah

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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby The Scyphozoa » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:22 am UTC

frogman wrote:ARCO isn't a verb. And it isn't original either, Kohl's did it first.

You're getting there, actually the point I was trying to make with that is that using your company's name as a verb is one of the most annoying things you can do; Google never pushed the use of their company's name as a verb, and it's far less annoying than Arco or Kohl's, which probably has something to do with being a transitive verb.

And my last gripe about it is that ARCOmedes is one of the worst puns I've ever heard. BBBREAAAGHGHAHG!
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:27 am UTC

Google actually strongly opposes the use of their name as a verb, since they run the risk of losing trademark power.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Antimony-120 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:29 am UTC

also "straight up gas" makes me want to punch something.

SecondTalon wrote:Except you're ignoring what the rate is about - sexual assault. There's people who are repeatedly assaulted as sexual assault in relationships is kinda a thing, be it a presumably equal adult relationship or a parent/child relationship. Or, hell, a neighbor/neighbor relationship. Then there's the notion that there is no saturation rate - sexual abusers don't wake up one day and say "Gee, I sure have done enough.. I suppose I should stop."

RAINN's reporting the figure to be 1 every 2 minutes. They provide their own math.

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I would like to note that I was actually just commenting on the fallacy, the discussion had moved from that particular point. Do the stats on sexual assault sometimes have this type of fallacy applied (both to make them seem larger or to make them seem smaller)? Yes, all the time. I'm more tolerant of people overstating the issue, since it's an issue difficult to overstate, but I'm not going to say that the sexual assault stats are any more reliable or using this type of intentional maximisation of shock value any less.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby picnic_crossfire » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:30 am UTC

Brought to you by the Straight Up Gas Institute?
That's straight up hilarious.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby NecklaceOfShadow » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:31 am UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:Image

I would have preferred a pun like "Cogito ARCO sum", even though it makes no sense at all.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:33 am UTC

Antimony-120 wrote:I would like to note that I was actually just commenting on the fallacy, the discussion had moved from that particular point. Do the stats on sexual assault sometimes have this type of fallacy applied (both to make them seem larger or to make them seem smaller)? Yes, all the time. I'm more tolerant of people overstating the issue, since it's an issue difficult to overstate, but I'm not going to say that the sexual assault stats are any more reliable or using this type of intentional maximisation of shock value any less.
And yet, the point that some things happen more than once remains. If the argument was that X number of Y nation's citizens would be in a car accident this year, you wouldn't run through the math and conclude it stupid because in 10 years there wouldn't be any more people to be in an accident.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby EmptySet » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:39 am UTC

If ARCOmedes is so famous, why do they need a thing saying he was a famous guy? Shouldn't everyone already know who he is?

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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Giant Speck » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:51 am UTC

Also, shouldn't it be "I ARCO, therefore I save"?
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby joshz » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:58 am UTC

Giant Speck wrote:Also, shouldn't it be "I ARCO, therefore I save"?
No. Clearly, it's saying ARCO is so expensive that you need to save in order to purchase their product.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Giant Speck » Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:10 am UTC

joshz wrote:
Giant Speck wrote:Also, shouldn't it be "I ARCO, therefore I save"?
No. Clearly, it's saying ARCO is so expensive that you need to save in order to purchase their product.

Well, that's not a very good advertising strategy...
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Antimony-120 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:11 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Antimony-120 wrote:I would like to note that I was actually just commenting on the fallacy, the discussion had moved from that particular point. Do the stats on sexual assault sometimes have this type of fallacy applied (both to make them seem larger or to make them seem smaller)? Yes, all the time. I'm more tolerant of people overstating the issue, since it's an issue difficult to overstate, but I'm not going to say that the sexual assault stats are any more reliable or using this type of intentional maximisation of shock value any less.
And yet, the point that some things happen more than once remains. If the argument was that X number of Y nation's citizens would be in a car accident this year, you wouldn't run through the math and conclude it stupid because in 10 years there wouldn't be any more people to be in an accident.


No, but that's not what I said was occuring. I never suggested that they did the math wrong on that page. If you told me that half of all americans would be in a car accident this year, and negelected to mention that stalling was considered an accident, then the stat is both true and being maximized for shock value. (In this particular instane I have NO IDEA if the example stat is true in any way shape or form, just an example). Similarly I've seen polls taken where the number of "sexual assaults" was astondingly high, in this case because the poll question was biased to "Have you ever had an unsolicited compliment on your looks? (cat-call, etc.)". On the other hand I've also seen the stats rated as extremely low, where "sexual assaults" was limited to cases of reported rape, which is completely and utterly rediculous.

Like I said I'm less annoyed at the overstating group than the ones who understate, because of the issue at hand.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Xeio » Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:52 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Google actually strongly opposes the use of their name as a verb, since they run the risk of losing trademark power.
Has this ever actually happened in practice though? I mean, I know most people call tissues Kleenexes or bandages Band-Aids and as far as I'm aware neither of them has lost their trademark...

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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Levi » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:46 am UTC

Cellophane lost its trademark, but that wasn't because people used it as a verb; it was because there was nothing else to call it.

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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:34 am UTC

Xeio wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Google actually strongly opposes the use of their name as a verb, since they run the risk of losing trademark power.
Has this ever actually happened in practice though? I mean, I know most people call tissues Kleenexes or bandages Band-Aids and as far as I'm aware neither of them has lost their trademark...
Yes, wikipedia has a list.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Giant Speck » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:46 am UTC

PhoenixEnigma wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Google actually strongly opposes the use of their name as a verb, since they run the risk of losing trademark power.
Has this ever actually happened in practice though? I mean, I know most people call tissues Kleenexes or bandages Band-Aids and as far as I'm aware neither of them has lost their trademark...
Yes, wikipedia has a list.

Oooh... I like this one:

Freeware
Trademarked in the early 1980s by Andrew Fluegelman, but the trademark status was abandoned following Fluegelman's disappearance and presumed death
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Cloud Walker » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:56 am UTC

Giant Speck wrote:Also, shouldn't it be "I ARCO, therefore I save"?


Yes. The ad's reasoning isn't valid.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Mazuku » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:51 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
Google actually strongly opposes the use of their name as a verb, since they run the risk of losing trademark power.


Why would that be the case? Do prople go around saying that they will google it and then use something like YAHOO! instead??

When I google, I use Google... whats the problem?
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Zohar » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:01 pm UTC

Because sometimes people say google and end up wikiing something, or going to Yahoo or whatever. And it's happened before, see "xerox" and "frigidaire" (which I don't think is used as much abroad as it is here).
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby OBrien » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:36 pm UTC

OK, not exactly an advert as such, but on the basis that the title was advertising the rest of the article...

Morbidly obese man loses 200lbs on chocolate diet

So naturally I think "What the fuck?" and read the article. It turns out that the man wasn't on a chocolate diet at all, he just cut the crap out of his diet but to keep him going when his will power was low he "would treat himself to a small square of rich, dark chocolate - just enough to satisfy his sweet cravings." The hell? That's not a chocolate diet: A chocolate diet is one that involves eating only chocolate and chocolate based foodstuffs. This is a sensible, nothing that's bad for you diet with one, small concession.

EDIT: OK, so the link didn't want to work, so here's the website just written down for y'all to see:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... -diet.html
Spelling and grammar can go screw themselves.

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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby rrwoods » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:12 pm UTC

OBrien wrote:OK, not exactly an advert as such, but on the basis that the title was advertising the rest of the article...

Morbidly obese man loses 200lbs on chocolate diet

So naturally I think "What the fuck?" and read the article. It turns out that the man wasn't on a chocolate diet at all, he just cut the crap out of his diet but to keep him going when his will power was low he "would treat himself to a small square of rich, dark chocolate - just enough to satisfy his sweet cravings." The hell? That's not a chocolate diet: A chocolate diet is one that involves eating only chocolate and chocolate based foodstuffs. This is a sensible, nothing that's bad for you diet with one, small concession.

EDIT: OK, so the link didn't want to work, so here's the website just written down for y'all to see:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... -diet.html

What really sucks about that is that the $15,000 he won from his friends would make a much better headline and isn't there at all.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby phlip » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:32 am UTC

OBrien wrote:dailymail

Well there's your problem... if we had a thread for "Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in the Daily Mail" then it would probably get more posts than this one...

Code: Select all

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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Cloud Walker » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:35 am UTC

OBrien wrote:It turns out that the man wasn't on a chocolate diet at all, he just cut the crap out of his diet but to keep him going when his will power was low he "would treat himself to a small square of rich, dark chocolate - just enough to satisfy his sweet cravings." The hell? That's not a chocolate diet: A chocolate diet is one that involves eating only chocolate and chocolate based foodstuffs. This is a sensible, nothing that's bad for you diet with one, small concession.


Not even that! Dark chocolate is good for you: antioxidants.
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Keand64 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:11 am UTC

Mazuku wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:
Google actually strongly opposes the use of their name as a verb, since they run the risk of losing trademark power.


Why would that be the case? Do prople go around saying that they will google it and then use something like YAHOO! instead??
When I google, I use Google... whats the problem?


I use 'google' to mean 'look up in the dictionary'...but thats just me.

Also - I recently saw a commercial advertising "quality psychics that go through an intense screening process" (or something along those lines), and I wondered what exactly the false advertisement laws on such a controversial topic are? Like, how can you prove the validity of a psychic when a good percentage of the America don't believe they exist?
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby GraphiteGirl » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:28 am UTC

Keand64 wrote:Also - I recently saw a commercial advertising "quality psychics that go through an intense screening process" (or something along those lines), and I wondered what exactly the false advertisement laws on such a controversial topic are? Like, how can you prove the validity of a psychic when a good percentage of the America don't believe they exist?

The ability to do a very convincing cold read on a sceptical person seems like the thing you'd be screening for - they don't say what they've screened for exactly, so it could even be something like a lack of a criminal record for fraud ("I see a tall, dark stranger, and you'll meet him as soon as you deposit $50 in this bank account...") or a general personable demeanour and lack of antisocial tendencies ("You're going to die in about a month. No, really, trust me on this. I'd start doing all the things you never felt brave enough to do if I were you - spend all your savings, tell your boss where to shove it, have heaps of unprotected sex... Now you have a nice day!" *click* *snigger*)
Sandry wrote:Man, my commitment to sparkle motion is waaaaay lower than you are intimating.

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Keand64
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Keand64 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:04 am UTC

That makes sense, I guess, but it still seems like a grey area to me...then again, I doubt a skeptic would hire a psychic in the first place, unless, of course, he was trying to exploit said grey area.
CorruptUser wrote:That's how the robots will takeover. Sentient spambots.

In the future, man will be required by law to enlarge his penis and use vicodin, and on occasion, donate $5000 to a Nigerian.

solarion
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby solarion » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:42 am UTC

Okay, this one's a stumper.

stumper.png


So...they're basically completely alienating their target audience? Why would you click on that?

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Keand64
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Re: Logical fallacies/douchebaggery in commercials.

Postby Keand64 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:33 am UTC

because there's nothing else to click on?
CorruptUser wrote:That's how the robots will takeover. Sentient spambots.

In the future, man will be required by law to enlarge his penis and use vicodin, and on occasion, donate $5000 to a Nigerian.


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