web analytics

Poor Logic – Low Impact 2023

antelope canyon
Photo by Paul IJsendoorn on Pexels.com


An ongoing theme on this website is the study of ineffective and counterproductive initiatives. This page offers news and resources examining how poor logic leads to low impact efforts.

Heat Seeking for Evidence

Sometimes if we know the conclusion we want to arrive at, we seek and selectively share evidence that helps defend and support our position.

Michael Moore is known for providing thought provoking documentary-style movies like Sicko. There is usually an undercurrent of suspicion and conspiracy theory in the reporting.

In Planet of the Humans, the assertion is that big bad corporations are behind present day environmental movements including Earth Day.

Conspiracy theories have a predictable drug-like attraction for some groups of people (liberal and conservative). They involve what is presented as little-known secret knowledge and insights that only smart people can understand and be entrusted with. Knowing the secrets puts you slightly above those around you. You can have confidence in knowing that you understand the inner workings of otherwise confusing and mystical aspects of society.

In the concluding 13 minutes in Planet of the Humans, an Earth Day founder is on stage telling thousands of people that the entire event is powered by solar energy. Then the film crew goes behind the stage to examine the small solar panel installation, and speaks with someone overseeing the installation who states that it isn’t powering the entire event. [Source] That’s certainly a problem of “poor optics.” Perhaps the event organizers are using offsets for purchase of solar sourced power. We don’t know because further investigation was absent.

At about 12 minutes remaining, the video focuses on three of the many event sponsors: Toyota, Citi Bank, and Caterpillar.

The video is edited so that juxtaposed to the mention of these sponsors are video clips showing: Toyota race cars at the track burning tire rubber and fuel, Citi Bank celebrating record profits, and Caterpillar heavy equipment being used to fight protesters of oil pipelines. [View]

Then the video cuts back to the event stage with the person at the Earth Day event saying, “Without these partners it wouldn’t be possible. Let’s give them a round of applause everyone” and the crowd of thousands erupts in applause and cheers.

Toyota is a world leader in advancing hybrid vehicle technology that resulted in cars getting over 50 miles per gallon. Citi Bank is an agnostic bank that offers services and funding to a broad range of customers. Caterpillar equipment is used on construction sites for energy efficient buildings and solar power installations.

It’s easy to point at some group, like “the media” and proclaim they are the enemy of the people. This gets the base riled up and pushed into fight or flight mode. But it’s a false narrative.

Toyota, Citi, and Caterpillar are not our enemy. Let’s say we start a movement to boycott Toyota and Citi. All of our time and energy (and budget) goes into that boycott. Now we have nothing left to address the real sources of problems and real solutions. This is a perfect example of poor logic that leads to low impact results.

Our analysis of problems needs to go deeper and further up-stream to find solutions.

The video is embedded below (queued at 1h 27 43s).

Muckraking or Muck Making

The journalistic reporting known as muckraking is ideally the factual study of corruption that harms society. It is done in a manner that discovers and accurately identifies the people and factors involved. The outcome is hopefully a change that benefits society.

The popularity of the muckraking style of reporting has lead to the muck making industrial complex — profiteers who seek ad revenue from clicks and views of tantalizing stories. These don’t seek to make change in society, they only seek to put change in their pocket.

While the Planet of the Humans makes some good points overall, and raises some question s and concerns worthy of further examination, it does tend to slip into the muck making genre at times.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com