pete3428: April 2012 Archives

Do you have student loans? I recommend watching this short clip of President Obama slow jamming the news on Jimmy Fallon last night.

Humor and likability are persuasive ways to get people to vote for you. I think this technique is working well for Obama.

When you first log on to www.BarackObama.com the website asks you for your E-mail address and phone number. This is an example of the Foot-in-the-door technique, and I think that it works well. It is a very small request, with no money or time commitment involved, and may get the person involved sometime after the 2 seconds it takes to give that information over.

Another website that promotes Obama's re-election is his Facebook page. Facebook is a very powerful tool, especially if you're trying to garner the youth vote. One persuasion technique used on this website is the "Characteristics of the Messenger" technique.clooney-and-jpg
Obama is endorsed by and poses with one of the most famous and popular actors in the country George Clooney. Research shows that we're more likely to be persuaded if the message is delivered by attractive people. I think this may be preaching to the choir a bit, but if even the smallest percentage of people are persuaded by this, it would be a worthwhile technique of the campaign.

Is Sugar Bad For You?

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I read three interesting articles on the health effects of sugar, which can be found linked below:

"Is Sugar Toxic:"
"Sweetener Myths:"
"Sugar is bad For Your Health:"


It is generally acknowledged that Americans eat too much sugar. But what types of sugars and how much, if any, is considered good for your health? We go to the internet for the answers, but who can you believe? Our job as scientifically literate citizens is to be able to figure out the accuracy and bias of any new information we come across.

I found "Is Sugar Toxic" to be free of errors or logical fallacies. Everything discussed had clear references to scientific studies, and all the names involved with them. Gary Taubes thoroughness made me confident that what I was reading didn't have a strong bias.

In "Sweetener Myths" I was reading the answer to a question about what the difference was between sucrose, fructose, and other types of sugar. Their answer was "sugars are all the same" at which point they referenced "a New York University nutritionist and author Dr. Marion Nestle admits, "the body can hardly tell them apart." The fact that the doctor had to use the word hardly tells me that there is a difference, and the motivation of the author is to get me to ignore that difference.

When I was reading "Sugar Is Bad For Your Health" I noticed the line "The body's attempt to use [refined sugar] results in the formation of toxic substances such as abnormal molecules containing five carbon atoms." To me, mentioning abnormal molecules is a way to confuse the reader and talk over their heads, thus making them believe your argument without understanding it. This lessens the credibility of this article, whether it's true or not.

I'm not trying to argue one way or the other on this topic, because if everyone approaches the available information scientifically, little argument is needed.

For a more in-depth and scientific look at this topic you can watch a very popular lecture given by Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by pete3428 in April 2012.

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