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  • Foto van schrijverNatalya Thelen

“(Mis)communication and the Anthropocene”

Well... here we are. You, me and the mess that our predecessors had made.

It is only a few years since the word “Anthropocene” has entered the common language. This is the first time that a term used in geology is chosen over a cultural term. In this essay I will discuss a bit about miscommunication, science and philosophy. Why I think these topics can be turned into an artform to bridge the abstract subject matter of the Anthropocene and concrete and personal life worlds.

“I would like to try to make sense of something that isn’t written in stone”


I think we as a society can win a lot by acknowledging fallacies, which are common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of an argument. I summed up some of the fallacies with accompanied examples to clarify how miscommunication can be the root of the problem.

CORRELATION FALLACIES These do not imply causation “with this, therefore because of this” Example: You can get lung cancer if you smoke
SLIPPERY SLOPE [1] a course of action is rejected because, with little or no evidence, one insists that it will lead to a chain reaction resulting in an undesirable end or ends. Example: I don't think it's a good idea to lower the drinking age. Next thing we know kids will get to drive at age ten, and vote at fifteen.

This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices. Example: Do we safe the rainforest or do we safe the sea life.

This is an appeal that presents what most people, or a group of people think, in order to persuade one to think the same way. Example: People are more likely to vote for the candidate that they think is winning

This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them. Example: The level of mercury in seafood may be unsafe, but what will fishers do to support their families?

This move oversimplifies an opponent's viewpoint and then attacks that hollow argument. Example: Person 1: I think we should mute debaters’ microphones when it’s their opponents’ turns to speak so they can’t interrupt each other. Person 2:
I disagree because I support free speech.

This fallacy compares minor misdeeds with major atrocities, suggesting that both are equally immoral. Example: That teacher who gave me a F is as bad as Hitler.
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