Sunday, October 19, 2008

Counterintuitive Conclusion of the Day

Conclusion: Jack Layton and Stéphane Dion are effectively extreme right-wingers [1].

The proof is simple, based on two statements I hear a lot and which, based on their commonness, I have no choice but to assume are true without the need to question their validity.

  1. All of the parties/party leaders are effectively the same. [2]
  2. Stephen Harper is an extreme right-winger.
Because Jack Layton, Stéphane Dion, and Stephen Harper are party leaders, they are all effectively the same, by Statement 1. Thus, because Stephen Harper is an extreme right-winger by Statement 2, Jack Layton and Stéphane Dion are also effectively extreme right-wingers [3].

[1] By this I don't mean that Jack Layton and Stéphane Dion are effective at being extreme right-wingers. They are not (well, effectively, they are effective at being extreme right-wingers, as I suppose I have shown above). Rather I mean to say that it is difficult to distinguish one from the other.

[2] See footnote [1] above. Statement 1 has been put to me thus: All parties are evil. The only difference between them is the lies they tell to get elected.

[3] I'm well aware that we could apply the same argument to show that Harper and Dion are leftist moonbats or to show that Harper and Layton are probably not going to lead their respective parties into the next federal election. This effectively reduces the diversity of political persuasions, which are usually described as points on a line or occasionally a circle [3.1], to a point, thus rendering the terms "right-winger", "left-winger", and "centrist" effectively meaningless.

[3.1] It has frequently been acknowledged that a line is inadequate to describe the various political leanings. A circle has been proposed as an alternative. This too, I find inadequate, as a circle is merely a line with the ends connected. I prefer a plane, or perhaps some other 2- or higher- dimensional manifold. A non-orientable one would make things more interesting. But it is what it is, and we can't be choosy with reality now, can we? [3.1.1]

[3.1.1] Oops. I've gone and made the footnotes longer than the post again.

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