[Editorial] Appeal to Authority, What are the Rules? - P.O.W. Report

Thursday, April 30, 2020

[Editorial] Appeal to Authority, What are the Rules?

This was originally published on thearthurmartin.com however,  due to the coronavirus I felt that this was a topic that is worth revisiting. Enjoy!

What is Appeal to Authority:

 Manipulation of the general public has been a tool of politicians, religious leaders and marketing experts alike for centuries, utilizing appeal to authority often to support their causes with little to no evidence for doing so. Instead, these figureheads use the art of deception to leverage their fame and recognition as a means to validate their claims.

Have you ever wondered why actors like Luke Wilson endorse AT&T as "America's largest wireless phone coverage provider" or why Jennifer Aniston appears in Aveeno skincare commercials to say it's the best product on the shelves?

Marketing firms often hire the most famous A-list celebrities to promote their products for the sole purpose of using their appeal to authority to convince their fans that the product they endorse is worth buying. As Seth Stevenson posits in his 2009 Slate article "Indie Sweethearts Pitching Products," Luke Wilson's "role in these AT&T ads is straight-up spokesman — the [ads] are horribly misleading."

I was having a debate with an internet friend recently about global warming and the evidence my friend turned to was the 'appeal to authority' fallacy and he said, "90% of scientists say global warming is happening" at which point I replied.

 "Would you then drink and eat from uranium glass just because 90% of manufacturers say that it's safe for you?"

"That's absurd!" My friend replied, "that would never happen."

Except it has ladies and gentlemen, you most likely even ate from it:

 The use of uranium in glass was much more prevalent than most people realize. Not long after the discovery of uranium in 1789, glassmakers began experimenting with uranium compounds as colorants, and in the period between the 1830's and World War II, all manner of objects made of the glass - from everyday drinking glasses, cups, and dishes to decorative pieces and art glass - appeared on the market.

During the war, supplies of uranium were diverted to the development of the nuclear bomb. By the time the commercial production of uranium glass resumed in 1959, government restrictions and the negative connotations associated with radiation forced manufacturers to switch to depleted uranium, which is less radioactive. The relatively small quantities of uranium glass still being made today are of the decorative variety, such as the Burmese glass line made by Fenton Art Glass (USA).

Not all uranium glass looks alike. Vaseline glass - so named because it resembled the ointment at that time - was so popular between the 1880's and the 1920's that the term is sometimes used as a synonym for uranium glass. Purists define Vaseline glass as a transparent yellow/yellow-green glass that derives its color from its 2% uranium oxide content. It's identified by fluorescence, or as VGCI (Vaseline Glass Collectors, Inc.) members like to say, "If it doesn't turn green, it's not Vaseline!"

 Jade glass, also known as Jadite or Jadeite, is another particularly popular type of uranium glass. It was marketed by such companies as McKee and Jeannette Glass in the 1920's and '30's, but by the time Anchor-Hocking's Fire-King Jade-ite line appeared in 1942, uranium was no longer being added.


 The glaze of older Fiesta dinnerware contains a measurable amount of uranium oxide. The highest levels of uranium were used in the red glaze, which actually owes the vibrancy of its hue to the radioactive material. (Other companies produced dishes with uranium, but none were so widely sold as Fiesta’s.) The exact amount varies, but the uranium ratio was often as high as 14%. This was sizable enough for the federal government to seize Fiesta’s uranium stocks during World War 2 for the development of the atomic bomb. By 1959, Fiesta relaunched their red product line using depleted radiation (a slight improvement, I guess), and they didn’t stop using that until 1972.

This interesting tad-bit of history just demonstrates how dangerous it is to appeal to 'authority' and believe someone just because someone with a big check book or lab coat tells you to listen to them. After all, in recent memory mercury was given out as a medical CURE. The reason why it's important is because we have been told for decades now (even our entire lives) to believe things simply on faith instead of researching and question the reality and the world around us. Whether it's debating Global Warming, WMD's in Iraq or Russia Collusion...it's important to take a step back and ask a few basic questions.

Or "coronavirus"

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