Thursday, 22 September 2016

Two Fallacious Memes Doing The Rounds

If you're Facebook friends with people who share memes that are superficially seductive but logically and evidentially dubious, the chances are you've seen two that are doing the rounds (again!!) with some ubiquity this week.

The first one is this charming little exhibition of attempted guilt-eliciting self-promotion:
Here's the comment I made the first time it did the rounds.
Oh dear! What a completely inaccurate and misjudged message on that sign! There's nothing wrong with voluntarily paying that little bit extra to support local shops - particularly when the products are better and there's a community relationship.
But if I saw a sign like that, I'd be more inclined to not give them my custom, because the message they are trying to convey is a load of tosh!
The reality: when you buy from a big business you also help a little girl get her dance lessons, a little boy get his jersey, and a mum and dad put food on the table - many many little girls, boys and mums and dads, in fact.
When you buy from the likes of Sainsbury's, Tesco, McDonald's, Burger King, etc you help support the living of thousands of cashiers, shelf-stackers, fast-food workers, drivers, machine manufacturers, and by extension countless other businesses too numerous to mention.
Furthermore, when you add up the net benefits to families in terms of extra money in their pockets due to supermarket price wars - which I read in Forbes a few weeks ago to be nigh-on £11 billion pounds - it really does expose the short-sightedness of this particular 'local' shop. 
The second one is this rather self-explanatory plea:

Now I've no doubt that this mass response has good intentions at its heart - after all, when there is the square peg of unused food in supermarkets and the square hole of a lot of hungry people in our country that cannot afford their weekly meals, nobody wants to think of wasted food and desperate people missing out.
But as is usually the case, the intentions may be noble, but there are potential problems that the noble intentions fail to capture, as I blogged about here.