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Definition of Generalities

http://www.healthylivingindia.org/2011/09/mainstream-medias-top-health-generalities.html

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/P6yMdgTGg5MusMrtWIEDbL/Features-of-glittering-generalities.html

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1921&chapter=114146&layout=html&Itemid=27

http://iteachforindia.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/of-pseudonyms-and-other-generalities/

 

For the past Three months although this blog was dormant, I wasn’t, Blogosphere doesn’t let you live without it. I was only living a disguised life, writing somewhere with a pseudonym, following all those whom I have always loved and have admired their writing skills and styles in every post.

There is one thing I must tell you living a life where no one knows you as in no one knows who you are, and there is absolutely no one who can judge you for what you say or write or do or think is just amazing..its sensational..its thrilling and its so much fun…until you take LITE…

Anyways I had a lot of fun and I PLAN to continue with both my lives i.e. clark kent as well as superman…For now I am bored with such a powerful life and have returned back to earth to be among the humans and live a peaceful life which is obviously so humanly…with soo many likes and dislikes and all other random things which all of you do…

So as a part of this endeavor of mine I am living a simple life in Bangalore and just for the sake of grades and ofcourse money I am doing an internship here at Cypress Semiconductors..oh by the way for those who dont know me…PSOC turns me on!!!

The hardware lab here is so much fun…ofcourse the analog labs in college were fun too but this is just awesome…even though I miss my lab partners here(not ARC he has upgraded from my lab partner to my room partner).

So here in Bangalore I met a lot of people, worked with a lot of really really cool people at Cypress and Dream a Dream an NGO I am working with.

Glittering generality can be defined as a word which appeals directly to the emotions and gains approval without any logical justification or evidence. The listener is hypnotized by the positive connotations of the word and believes that it agrees with his own convictions.

Glittering generalities have two features. They are vague and often ambiguous, and the listener receives the sense that is close to his own perception of the word. Second, they are positive words, sometimes called virtue words. The listener almost instinctively trusts the source. Here are some examples: family values, birth right, democracy, caring society, honour and freedom. Many of these are abstract nouns with a penumbra of meaning that is hard to spell out.

Exposition.—Vague generalities comprehend a numerous class of fallacies, resorted to by those who, in preference to the most particular and determinate terms and expressions which the nature of the case in question admits of, employ others more general and indeterminate.

As expression is vague and ambiguous when it designates, by one and the same appellative, an object which may be good or bad, according to circumstances; and if, in the course of an inquiry touching the qualities of such an object, such an expression is employed without a recognition of this distinction, the expression operates as a fallacy.

Take, for instance, the terms, government, laws, morals, religion. The genus comprehended in each of these terms may be divided into two species—the good and bad; for no one can deny that there have been and still are in the world, bad governments, bad laws, bad systems of morals, and bad religions. The bare circumstance, therefore, of a man’s attacking government or law, morals or religion, does not of itself afford the slightest presumption that he is engaged in anything blameable: if his attack is only directed against that which is bad in each, his efforts may be productive of good to any extent.

This essential distinction the defender of abuse takes care to keep out of sight, and boldly imputes to his antagonist an intention to subvert all governments, laws, morals or religion.

But it is in the way of insinuation, rather than in the form of direct assertion, that the argument is in this case most commonly brought to bear. Propose anything with a view to the improvement of the existing practice in relation to government at large, to the law, or to religion, he will treat you with an oration on the utility and necessity of government, of law, or of religion. To what end? To the end that of your own accord you may draw the inference which it is his desire you should draw, even that what is proposed has in its tendency something which is prejudicial to one or other or all of these objects of general regard. Of the truth of the intimation thus conveyed, had it been made in the form of a direct assertion or averment, some proof might naturally have been looked for: by a direct assertion, a sort of notice is given to the hearer or reader to prepare himself for something in the shape of proof; but when nothing is asserted, nothing is on the one hand offered, nothing on the other expected, to be proved.

All the Hindustan Times pieces that I came across are in this list. The list also includes other newspapers as well as magazines and TV shows. Given how serious the issue of health and fitness in India is becoming, it’s quite surprising how no medium has bothered to even try and provide usable information.

Cardio Causes Injuries

A health generality because it’s not as if the treadmill bites your ankles off when you step onto it. Injuries come from mistakes – either using improper footwear, improper form or not concentrating on your workout. Given how important cardiovascular exercise is in maintaining a lifetime free of serious illnesses, to declare that cardiovascular activities cause injuries is just irresponsible.

Yoga For Weight Loss

While the benefits of yoga form posture, form, balance and core strength is almost legendary, it is completely incorrect to claim that yoga (yes, even the famous hot yoga) will help with your weight loss efforts because of its negligible calorie burn rate. Read more here.

Healthy Food aka “Diet Food” is Boring and Bland

The closest thing to reality in terms of the concept of “diet food” is hospital food. And hospital food is made that way so that you remember how bad it was and try your damnedest never to get back in there again. The fact is that food does not have to be deep-fried, or swimming in oil, or drowned in salt or greasy to taste good. It’s one thing for “health food” companies to use this fallacy as a marketing tool, it’s another for a news and information service provider to toe the line.

Meat and Alcohol are Vices That Damage Weight Loss Efforts

Meat is a very important natural complete protein source and there is enough proof that moderate alcohol consumption is good for health. To provide information that is completely contrary to scientific fact is absolutely absurd. And the fault does not lie in people giving the advice, it lies in the reporters and editors who find the need to give information in happy bite-sized pieces, use their (incomplete) judgement and, in short, continue to propagate myths and half-truths.

Walking is Good Exercise aka Walking is Enough

This is like saying “walking is better than sitting.” While it definitely is more strenuous than sitting and watching TV, walking is not enough to lose weight and neither is it enough to count as cardiovascular activity if not done right. Either way you’re better off challenging and pushing yourself if you want to see results and benefits. Exercise is supposed to get the blood pumping, if its relaxing, it’s a Sunday stroll. Read more on why walking is not enough for weight loss and the benefits of uphill walking.

What Do You Do to Keep Fit: Either Diet or Exercise

Any survey that lists “healthy diet” and “I exercise” as separate options is going to give you half-baked results. For the simple reason that it’s not enough to do one without the other. Healthy living is one of those old-school concepts of right or wrong. You don’t get 50% grace marks for doing one or the other. Diet and exercise together form the crux of healthy living and to say one or the other is “enough” is giving out false information.

Dancing is Enough to Get Your Dance Instructor’s Body

If you think your jazz exercise, Zumba or street jazz instructor got that fit dancing one hour a day thrice a week, then you need to step out of the Matrix. All instructors work out daily – usually a minimum of two hours a day – and strength training forms a large part of their workout. Dancing may be good cardiovascular exercise but muscle building is the only way to stay fit and keep the fat off. So yes, dancing might boost your circulation and keep life diseases at bay but in isolation, don’t expect much else.

Gyms Are Boring

… and therefore you should look at other avenues for staying fit such as bla bla bla. Why has no one stopped to ask “What makes your gym boring?” The answer is most likely either people aren’t seeing results or the workout isn’t working out for me. Now rather than blaming an inanimate room full of inanimate objects for you not reaching your goal, wouldn’t it make more sense to see what you are doing wrong and therefore not reaching your target? Usually it’s either your workout is not challenging you, your diet is undoing all the good exercise work or you want results in 1 month. Rather than leave something half-finished to half-try something else, how about understanding the core of what’s going wrong first.

Bite-Sized, Out-of-Context Fitness Advice

For example: “Post Workout: Eat, get a drink, have proteins and create supplements.” Now, unless everyone out there in the world has the attention span of a stoned goldfish, where is the need to have to make little nuggets of truth out of everything? Myths and half-truths come from out of context words of wisdom and rather than looking to break these myths, mainstream media finds it easier to run along with them. Read more about half-truths in our Myths section.

15 Minutes of Exercise a Day is Enough to Get Fit

The truth is 15 minutes of exercise a day is enough to keep lifestyle diseases at bay but nowhere close to what you need to get fit. Being fit is about having a low body fat percentage i.e. more muscle than fat. Also, being thin does not necessarily mean you are fit or healthy. 15 minutes of exercise might be enough to avoid life-threatening diseases but if your goal is to be fit, you need to first know where you stand and would need to follow a strict diet and exercise plan based on that.

The moral of the story is that mainstream media will not give up their obsession and blind faith in health generalities. Guaranteed, these health generalities are not perpetuated by the qualified experts interviewed but by the writers who find the need to edit the information to “make more sense to the readers.” The idea of this post then is to help those readers decipher the information and leave with the right knowledge.

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