Appealing to people’s emotions drives me nuts… hard to find the truth through the hyperbole

Oh yes, I definitely believe that xenoestrogens (BPA, a number of common industrial additives, a number of foods have it) are a problem. They’re getting rid of it, thankfully. There’s a lot about the human body that we don’t fully understand, and what’s good science one year that allows an industry to product a large amount of products that gets used by an entire population, twenty years later turns out to have possibly negative effects that weren’t visible the first time around.

I also think that the “Soy Miracle Protein” that was oversold in the 90s is biting us in the butt today, as soy does encourage estrogen growth in the body. Being a cheap product that we have a LOT of and product natively, it’s economically viable and practical, from an a “How do we feed a nation food profitably?” perspective.

But the super-health food of 20 years ago, is becoming today’s “uh, what were we THINKING!?!” today.

It’s important to be aware, to watch, to read, to pay attention. There *are* real problems that need to be solved and there are groups worth joining that fight to hold Industry and Govt agencies accountable.

My beef (so to speak) is with the hyperbole, the spooky-scary way information is passed. I’ll give an example of the Bad Side of appeals to “What about the children?” fears:

Vaccination.

Even today, millions of parents don’t give their kids vaccinations because of highly spread falsehood by a scientist who was paid to say so. There’s no convincing people that believe in it that they could *possibly* be wrong.

*That’s* the danger I worry about. Hyperbole potentially leading people too far in a particular direction.

Movies that show “The Truth” about something are VERY profitable movies. These are not non-profit enterprises. The movie makers want to make money, and _fear_ is a *great* way to get people’s attention, especially if you weave together a tale that ends with:

EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW, IS WRONG!

Scientists, unfortunately, to become notable, will often contact media to announce the latest thing that the world needs to know and the Media obliges: “Scientists say that…” some scary prophecy about the future, and we need to act now, before it’s too late.

The formula.

I don’t like the formula. It’s the same formula of Arms of an Angel with Sarah McLaughlin and the ASPCA. Save the Children foundation, Michael Moore movies take a slightly different spin but resulting in the same type of thing: producing lots of Activists.

The formula is so effective that there’s no way to really tell what’s right and wrong, true or false, because to even _suggest_ anything to the contrary, just playing devil’s advocate, as I like to do and and one becomes become, “One of _Them_”.

“He who is not with us, is against us”.

I’d rather take a reasoned approach. Some things are bad. Studies need doing, peer reviews need to happen. Concerned parents can make changes. The word can spread without the panic.

There’s no need for heroes and villains, good guys and bad. Evil Injustices to be Overcome, Governments and Industries Overthrown.

Is organic food better? Perhaps. I don’t know if it’s regulated or not, honestly – if certified organic really means anything, or if it’s just a nice label that sounds good.

There’s fake Kosher products on the shelf too; people who are Kosher have to make sure they’re getting the right symbol; the other one is a fake. [I forget which is which]

People have to watch. But I just don’t like the panic. Things that are on the surfaces of foods can be rinsed off with vinegar. Many problem items vanish when you cook them. There’s lack of practical education out there that says, “This is what happens when you eat/cook/such-and-such a thing” that _isn’t_ then followed with, “AND THIS IS WHY IT HAS TO STOP – NOW!”

Something reasonable. It’s hard to know truth from fiction and it takes careful study. Scares about artificial sweeteners for example: Claims that Sugar must be better because it’s natural. Well, getting fatter from excess carbs and the health effects from that are *probably* worse than a slight risk of something uncertain that _might_ possibly happen but has never happened yet that we know of.

But people still turn down dieting with excuses like these.

That’s why I’m ranting. Not at you. Not at El Ché. Not at Scott Flavelle – but at the media industry that almost forces a lack of really thinking things through and asking,

“What if this thing I’m worried about, turns out to be all for nothing?”

It’s not a dangerous question. It’s a sane question. A little extra research. Find the opposing opinion. Find a perspective that is different. Opposite. Try to understand if something is missing.

The way information is packaged… I just… don’t like it.

I’m opposed to appeals to emotions, to desperation, to excessive drama.

I’m doing it myself, mind you. Again, not at you guys, but at a world where “This is the Most AMAZING THING EVER!” when really, is it? No, it’s not.

Or “This will ruin the future!” Will it? Well maybe. But most likely?

We’ll manage.

I have nothing against making changes that one chooses to make.

I just get the creeps whenever I hear a singular opinion with no opposition from a lot of people. Did all of these people get the ideas from the same sources? The same movies? The same books? Or from people who read the same books, saw the same movies and wrote their own stuff off of it?

And there’s no room for a different opinion. There’s no room to be wrong.

That’s why I play devil’s advocate like this. There’s bullshit wherever you turn in life. I play spot the bullshit anytime I get too caught up in something because I don’t like a few years to go by and I look back and go, “Wow, I’ve been following a lie for years now, haven’t I? I got caught up in the drama and never stopped to see the other point of view.”

I don’t know what the right answer is. But I know it’s worth researching and attempting to get a balance of opinions from multiple points of view; not just reinforcement of the same point of view; because it’s only then that you can make decisions with a clear head.

Arms of an Angel ASPCA commercial made $30 million appealing to our pathos. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a good cause; of course helping abused animals is a good cause. But I don’t like how it’s done. I don’t like things like guilt and fear used to push ideas, even if they’re good ones.

*sigh* that’s all my rant is about. I suppose I’m just as bad, except my emotion is frustration and my target is emotional pleas that influence large amounts of people and cloud rational thinking. But I believe you’re right about the xenoestrogens – I’m glad they’re taking care of it.

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