Fallacies in logical thinking: Rail reconsidered

350 years before the current era, Aristotle discussed thirteen fallacies to logical thinking which led to the scientific method we use today to prove premises by use of verifiable facts.

How many of these fallacies are being used to promote light-rail in the Tampa Bay area are up for discussion.

For example:

1. We believe that reducing traffic congestion and related pollution while moving people about more efficiently are good for the economy.
2. We also believe that light-rail does these things.
3. Therefore we believe that we need light-rail.

One fallacy is starting with the desired solution and building a proof-of-need based on that solution.

One other  fallacy in this thinking is that there may very well be other, better solutions which we are not sufficiently considering.

The millions spent on rail consultants and the support of Tampa’s glitterati  almost convinced voters to fund light-rail despite the missing facts of routes, ridership, alternatives and costs.

Still today, we are talking about how to fund, manage and operate a light-rail system without considering replacement costs of track, rolling stock and stations as they exceed their useful life spans. We are still talking about substantial subsidies instead of public/private partnerships.

We are still not talking about what has changed in the last 20 years when someone first decided for us that we wanted or needed light-rail.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

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One Response to “Fallacies in logical thinking: Rail reconsidered”

  1. Marilyn Smith Says:

    Isn’t this where the cue is: you can fool some of the people????

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