One of the telling issues with people is when they avoid the facts of the case and instead resort to an argument form called an appeal to authority. This usually indicates that the person making the appeal knows they are wrong and are making a last ditch effort to avoid admitting they have made a mistake.
The appeal to authority can come in many forms:
- Prof. Whatchamacallit says that
- I read it in a book
- I wrote a book
- You are not as smart as I am
- I’ve got an advanced degree
- I saw it on YouTube
In some of the comments to this blog there was the claim that the person was an authority. The appeal to authority was that since they were an authority they must be right. Really? An authority?
If someone writes a book and can’t get simple issues correct such as when something happened, or a person’s profession as clearly stated in the referenced article, or the definition of terms as stated by the author in the article then I say, read the articles. Read the articles and fix the next edition of the book.
So how does an “authority” make so many simple mistakes.
It might be proofreading?
It might be easier to make stuff up than to do actual research?
It might be indifference?
It might be hubrus that prevents someone from checking what they think might be right?
We all deal with these so-called authorities all of the time. It might be a boss, or a clerk, or a sports/politics/movie/scotch/comic book or whatever self proclaimed expert. The discussion should be about the facts and not how pompous someone can be.