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is what brings out meaning.

Ordinary flat talk is heard or read and produces no blip in cerebral glucose consumption, it just gets layered unexamined into the compost heap we call our 'memory' and five minutes later is lost under a more recent layer.

Recalling such 'learning' does however allow us to say stupid and banal things in the future.

McIntyre 6 Dec 11

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It works for me and my wife. QUESTION: did we watch that already... I don't think so... hmmm... we watch it again and at the end we realized we saw it last week. Lol.


I think you need to go out more, read more and meet more interesting people. Posting here is a start at least.

SamL Level 7 Dec 11, 2017

True, true, true, dunno.

I have had problems with posting on forums in the past because nearly everyone just posts something they heard on the news, believes it and wants to rebroadcast it as the side they are pulling for, and to tell everyone else they are wrong and by implication stupid. The amount of thinking is usually minimal. I want to find out if it is better here.

@Mcintyre There is a minimum of that here but mostly not.


The link I made with reducio ad absurdum is it follows an argument through to it's inevitable conclusion and finds it to be absurd, conflicting with reality. Alternatively following a line of reasoning could result in finding it leads to the only possible result.

Irony is making a statement considered to be wrong or contradictory, or which is subsequently shown to be wrong, and having made the statement the audience should then think it through and realize it is wrong.

Although there are many aspects to irony the one I described is the same as reductio ad absurdum.

Anything to get people to think something through is something we badly need to do.


My short stories are often described as having ironic endings. That is to say, in my writing of short fiction I enjoy endings that are unexpected, but are consistent with the plot line. I've been called the O. Henry of Science Fiction. Whether the title is deserved, I can't say. There are, of course, other meanings to the word 'irony', but I don't think one could equate 'irony' with 'reductio ad absurdum'.

I think I understand what you are trying to say here, and I appreciate your approach to the idea, I just think that pulling the two together is something of a stretch. If I'm missing it, please let me know.


I think of irony as being a form of reductio ad absurdum, a powerful thinking tool that is evidently very under used.

I usually think of sarcasm as being a form of insult, where a person says what another person wants to hear but using a tone of voice to make it clear they do not themselves hold the statement to be true.

Both have a number of possible meanings and forms but as a prototype of the entities I use the above simplistic definitions.

Any clarification would be more than welcome because this is a long way outside my area of expertise.

Do you have any insight into the actual objective of US education or is the problem somewhere else?

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