Logic Is Overrated · 8 April 2012

Logic is overrated according to my friend, Mike. And according to him, he proved it logically during a couple meetings with his colleagues.

Mike is a math teacher who is passionate about his students. He wants them to learn math and logic and life. So naturally, he would appreciate keeping his views about logic out of the public, but a good story always trumps the chaos it might bring. At least in his case. Besides, since he was fighting for the good of his students, they will all love him more than they already do.

The specifics of the cause Mike was putting forth are not completely relevant, but suffice it to say that he was concerned for his students’ well being. He was fired up and went into a meeting with a few math colleagues looking for a fight.

Now, Mike is a large man who can look surly and mean when he wants to. People who know him will tell you that he is really a big teddy bear, but the grizzly bear can and does rear his ugly head from time to time. That grizzly was what showed up at the meeting. Consequently, even though he can and does use logic, it was thrown out the window that day.

Mike started the meeting ranting and raving and fighting mad. He was waving his arms and frothing at the mouth, globules of spit flying everywhere (like the grizzly bears we see in the movies). He was cussing and swearing and making a scene while making his case. Emotion was the rule of the day. And his point was made. Of course, everybody would surely concede any point to a giant ranting and raving grizzly bear. Which of course, meant another meeting. With the whole department this time.

Mike had to state his case again at a second meeting. Only this time, he used logic and reason. He used statistics and anecdotal evidence. He was eloquent and poised. He did not raise his voice or wave his arms wildly. And the frothing mouth and flying spittle were kept to a minimum. He made his point clearly and concisely. Or at least, clearly. Mike’s petition on behalf of his students would be granted and changes would be made. Logic and reason had won the day even though passion and emotion brought the need for change to the forefront.

I was not there at either of the meetings, but I am sure I have not exaggerated too much. After all, I am merely relaying Mike’s perspective and he never embellishes or uses hyperbole to enhance his stories. (Where is that sarcastic font?) Still, it would have been great to be a fly on the wall watching as Mike proved once and for all that logic is indeed overrated.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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