Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog. (Logic & Industry PR)


Ubu is perhaps the most famous dog name next to Rover. But, isn’t it funny that you rarely meet a dog with either of these names? How can this be? It’s somewhat ironic and somewhat paradoxical, and it is an example of how something can be and can not be at the same time.

The most interesting part about this type of paradox is that there is really no solution to it. Here’s another paradox: “If this sentence is true, then 2+2=5.” On one hand, there is logic within the sentence itself “if A, then B.” So, everything is fine. On the other hand, you know that 2+2=4. So, things are not fine.

Why point this out? Because it’s the same thing we see going on right now in the pro-gas industry press. Public Relations “nightmares” are dealt with by inventing paradoxes and sending them out to the public via whatever media is available at the time. So, if thermogenic methane were to wind-up in someone’s private water well, this is what we would still hear:

“There’s never been a documented case of groundwater contamination from the hydraulic fracturing process itself.” (Informed readers will realize I’m loosely quoting a dozen or more humans from industry, government, and academia.)

They might as well say, “If this sentence is true, then fracking is safe.” They might as well say this because you, Joe Human, do not have the expertise to conduct your own scientific study. You have to rely on representatives from the disciplines of industry, government, and academia for your information–for True Statements.

And we all know this. But you might not have realized it. I hope today you can take any statement and ask yourself, “Is this one of those self-referential statements that can only be true if it is true?” Because, if it is, then you have to have a lot of faith to take it as true.

Now… there’s the bigger, begged question: In whom will you have faith?

Read Alison Rose Levy’s column in the Huffington Post before you decide. She points out some of the major industry statements that are only true if they are true.

About adamaecompton

just a three-legged rescue dog, bloggin about critical citizenship, the environment, and all sorts of literacy.
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