Mythical Myths

Just a bookmarking post again, but a developing and recurring theme, the myth that so many things are myths when they’re not.

Just today “Learning Styles” mocked as a fashionable myth, but they’re real, not mythical. What is wrong is their prescriptive application by people with only noddy level of understanding.

Same with Maslow motivation, Gender differences, Left-Right brain differences and so on. Even consciousness and free-will themselves!

Particularly scary example here

Oh dear, even people with neuroscience training believe an awful lot of brain myths

That “Oh dear” headline says it all about how dismissive popular science is of real science – disappointed with the BPS here. Most of what is there is not mythical just badly explained and understood. (Notice the same contributor did the same a year ago.)

Just last week a list of mis-used word pairs, where I’d also have to say, the mis-used case is often correct, but being used at a meta level, simply misunderstood by the unwise who are enslaved by rules. Ironic and Coincidental being a case in point: Often coincidental situations are ironic, the irony wouldn’t be significant – worth mentioning – if it weren’t also coincidental. The irony is usually in the context where the coincidence arises. I tend to use the word “spooky” to avoid being accused of misuse but often simply use ironic and be damned. Several other misuses in there that I would defend as meta-uses.

Many more in there. Begging the question – a question-begging assertion often begs (demands) a question. The difference between begging “the” question (already posed) and begging “a” question (that may be asked).


Also published on Medium.

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