When Strawmen Make “Distinctions without Differences”

L&D: A key thing for newcomers to learn – although it’s not easy if not impossible when one is new – is how to recognize a Strawman Argument being used in presentations and promotions.

I had to figure out who & what to trust starting back in 1979, and those who called out the BS publicly were very helpful as I climbed the Learning Curve. Then, if I reverse-engineered the BS, I would often find the Strawman or Strawmen.

I had to learn how to more quickly spot such Strawmen as they were being erected, for some are slow builds and sometimes less obvious, while others are quick builds and much more obvious – at least when one is wary, ever vigilant.

I recently saw someone on Social Media erecting a Strawman argument, trying to make a “distinction without a difference,” as the saying goes, about terminology that they don’t really define themselves, terms that are actually synonyms.

When Strawmen Make “Distinctions without Differences” – It’s a Marketing Pitch

Theirs was actually an old Strawman argument, revived for today, for those too new to the field to see it for the general noise that it is.

The general attack on one term in favor of another, which were both conveniently left undefined and somewhat vague, was simply a form of self-promotion that I’m not sure accomplishes much other than bringing attention to themselves.

It reminded me of a series of beer commercials where two sets of casts argued back and forth, “Tastes Great” versus “Less Filling” about the very same product.

I wish we could find ourselves communicating with each other in a way that’s “Adding Greater Value” and “Subtracting Useless Noise.”


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