Damper, The

The presumption that only the ordinary, the unremarkable, the banal, can be true. If what you are saying is surprising, you must be making it up.

More generally, the damper is the argument that the truth can be presumed to be somewhere in the middle between the extremes. This can be a manipulative tactic, since the “middle position” can creep towards an extreme as circumstances and expectations change. The damper can be a successful way of ensuring that the opposition never really gets going because it does not think the middle position is worth getting excited about; not realising that it is constantly moving ahead and being redefined. Today’s middle is yesterday’s outlier.D1

And the damper can take the form of “striking a balance”. Find a mid-position between reason and mayhem: reason now seems unreasonable; the road to mayhem is already halfway-travelled.

 

Related entries:

Moderation, Calibration, Fallacies, Lean Education.

« Back to List of Entries
David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was an economist, historian and writer, based in London. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, Lean Logic and Surviving the Future. A film about his perspective and legacy - The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation? - was released in 2019, directed by BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong. For more information, including on Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

Comment on this entry: