Newer Is Better


Today’s Logical Fallacy, at the request of our friend Sara is, the Appeal to Novelty or, Newer is Better.

Where yesterday’s Appeal To Tradition tried to use the idea that older is better as factual evidence, the Appeal To Novelty tries to pose the idea that because something is new it is automatically better.  This is a fallacy because it assumes that because something is new it is automatically better.

This fallacy has the following form with X’s being played by a pony today

1) Pony is New.

2) Therefor Pony is correct or better

Western culture seems to be prone to this fallacy especially when it comes to technology. The media and advertising have continually bombarded the US with the notion that newer is better.  The idea of progress and modernization (that has somehow become entangled with evolution) creating a “great big beautiful tomorrow”, to quote Walt Disney and the Carousel of Progress, also contributes to this fallacy.

An example of this fallacy might look like this: There are many people who love their ebook readers (Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony PRS-700, etc). They’re a big technological craze and although it has slowed a bit, there are still those that claim that eventually ebooks will replace their analog cousins.

Another example might be: (Using an invented product)

1) Introducing the brand new Titanium Pony! It doesn’t require feeding, Titanium Pony is always ready to play and best of all it doesn’t leave road apples! Get YOUR Titanium Pony today!

2) The Titanium Pony is better because it’s new.

In some cases this is NOT a fallacy though. Fresh fruit is better than rotted fruit. This is not because it is new or novel. So there ARE times when new is better and it is not a fallacy.


Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. Sara said,

    January 21, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    See I think the Titanium Pony there isn’t good because you are giving a lot of reasons that aren’t just it is new. A pony that doesn’t need food or sleep or defecate has a lot of things that are better.

    But sometimes it it just “TiTANIUM Pony! Upgrade your software from 3.0 to 4.0. because 4.0 is brand new! It is NOWNOWNOW!”

    There was a big rush of this in like the 90s when lots product bottles just slapped “new” on the same old product.

    And thanks!

  2. Herbwoman said,

    January 22, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Thanks for that, Sara. I really appreciate it. I’m going to write a follow up post and direct people to your reply.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: