28 Principle Forms of Illogical Thinking in Current Issue Debates

Shining Ana Chen
23 min readDec 18, 2020

The 21st century is an age of ideas, and propagandas are unavoidable. People who have not had enough practice in logical thinking are very susceptible to all kinds of fallacies in arguments. This wonderful book introduced to me by my former boss, lawyer YP Jou, thoroughly lists over 20 kinds of fallacies in logical reasoning. I highly recommend it to everyone.

The year of 2020 though, changed our lives. Not only do we have COVID-19 Coronavirus, but it seems that almost all previously unresolved conflicts have gotten worse this year. All of the sudden, we find ourselves surrounded by many bad arguments. In times like this, we need a clear head even more than ever. So, I decided to pull out some very bad examples of reason in this article to help each other learn what schools seem to have failed to teach — that is, the ability to tell good and bad arguments apart.

My Lessons Learned

Before jumping into each fallacy and give examples, I would like to share a few of my lessons learned about the sources of illogical arguments:

Sincere debators can be dead wrong

In my circle of friends and family, I have seen many nice and sincere people believing in many bad ideas for various reasons. Not only their family and friends hesitate to correct their bad ideas, but also they believe that their choice of belief is superior to other ideas that they did not choose. They are not open to a free debate and refuse to see that they can be wrong about something sometimes.

Sincerity is a necessary condition for a sound reasoning but not a sufficient one. If you do not regard a position that you publicly advocate, and are willing to defend in argument, as true, you are abusing reason. Who wants to argue with someone who doesn’t really believe in what he is saying? And what is more exasperating, after a long and spirited argument in defense of something you passionately believe in, than to learn that your interlocutor, defending the opposite position, was arguing just for the sake of argument? Only a sentimentalist believes that sincerity alone is enough. In fact, utter sincerity may combine perfectly with undeniable error. I can be utterly sincere and dead wrong. My sincerity cannot transform falsehood into truth. Of course, one must be sincere. But one must also be right. (p98)

Real vs. manufactured gray areas

A gray area is a situation in which the truth cannot be clearly established. Life is full of them, and they have to be cheerfully contended with. But don’t make too much of them. Some people become so fixated upon life’s gray areas that they eventually succeed in convincing themselves that there is nothing but gray areas. A little realism is in order here. We must recognize that many things are, in fact, clearly and sharply defined, and not to see that is simply not to see clearly. (pp.30–31)

Many postmodernist scholars suffer from this fallacy and claim that there does not exist such thing as “the truth” solely based on the argument that everyone sees things differently. To them, the concept of “the truth” is too definite to accept.

Insincere debators’ common strategies

There are several fallacies whose effective purpose is to make us miss the point, and they do this by diverting our attention from the issues at hand. (p121)

Arguments frequently deal with emotionally charged issues. It is especially important, when such is the case, to exert more than ordinary efforts to keep emotion under control. (p123)

The most obvious example that most people can understand is:

2 police officers on duty killed a black man during a criminal arrest in Detroit.
The police is a part of the state authority system.
Therefore, there is systemic racism in the police.

Many have learned to install scary or angry illogical arguments this way into people’s heads because it is effective to make people support their proposed solution such as “defund the police” out of pure emotional excitement. New types of fears that these arguments try to bring include the fear to be disliked and the fear to look unintelligent/unscholarly, says James Lindsay, author of Cynical Theories.

I observe that the belief that “the end justifies the means” — or in other words, gain control and block other’s chance to compete in the next game— is at an all-time high and a threat to fair games. So few people actually knows much about good logic. This is very sad and unhealthy for mankind. Therefore, I am writing this article to help raise the awareness of bad arguments and ETHOS and PATHOS persuasive tactics.

28 Common Fallacies in Arguments

In this book, the author listed 20+ common ways that illogical debators use. As you will see below that we are bombarded by arguments or behaviors from such debators in our everyday life. I would like to introduce the 4th fallacy in the book first and then follow the order in the book.

4. Equivocal Terms/Words

The fallacy occurs when we deliberately employ words with multiple meanings for the purpose of deception. (p107)

Ambiguity or lack of clarification of language has caused serious misunderstanding and even hatred between groups both in academia and in everyday life. Often, people think they know what a term means, but their discussion partner is in fact referring to something completely different. For instance, the Chinese have a different definition of the term “wisdom” but they are not aware of it, nor their conversation partner from another culture.

It is especially dangerous not to clarify terms such as “racism,” “freedom,” “respect,” “oppression,” “equality,” “revolution,” “socialism,” “fascism,” “capitalism,” “globalism,” and “protectionism” because they can have serious socio-political consequences when 2 groups of people think they are talking about the same thing, or when 1 group tactically leads another to believe that they are talking about the same thing. For example:

Countries such as Sweden and Germany that implement extensive social benefit programs have been economically successful.
Marx and Lenin said socialist systems are the 1st step to realising communism.
Therefore, Communists will implement extensive social benefit programs like in Sweden and Germany and will be economically successful too.

Notice how the word “social” in the 1st sentence and “socialist” in the 2nd statements don’t have the same meaning, but the argument uses them interchangeably. Later, I will pull more examples from these terms . Hopefully, it will make us all become more aware of the importance of a clear definition of language.

1. Denying the Antecedent

Formula:
Since A concludes B, therefore NOT A concludes NOT B. ->false!

Example:

Lowering tariff is a main characteristics of globalism.
Nation A raised tariff on some key products of Nation B.
Therefore, Nation A is practicing protectionism, the opposite of globalism.

Maybe yes and maybe not! The conclusion comes too hastily.

If Nation A’s main goal is to protect weak domestic suppliers that are definitely losing the domestic market to foreign suppliers, then yes, it is a protectionist policy.

If Nation A’s main goal is to boycott Nation B’s behavior — whether in global politics or in trade negotiation, then no, it’s not practicing protectionism but a tactic.

2. Affirming the Consequent

The most famous example is the argument that “the wet ground means it has rained.” Let’s take an example that has more importance to our life:

A racist person will disrespect someone of a different race.
Ben, a black man, rolled his eyes a lot when Ngam, a Thai woman, speaks.
Ben is racist.

Not so fast! Race is clearly not the only factor here. It could also be that they dated each other and had a horrible break-up!

3. Guilt by Association

Several Nazis were members of the Kaiser Club.
Hans was a member of the Kaiser Club.
Therefore, Hans was also a Nazi. (p106)

Many people who think they are fighting against racism suffer from a flawed argument as follows:

Many racists are white and deny they have white privilege.
Cian is a white person whose family immigrated from Ireland to the US, and he denies that he has white privilege.
Therefore, Cian is also a racist.

The argument above is as weak as one of the following stereotypes:

Many great singers and athletes are black.
Jamal is black.
Therefore, Jamal is good at singing or sports.

Many Asians are good at accounting and personal finance.
Ji-Wu is from Korea.
Therefore, she is good at accounting and personal finance.

5. Begging the Question & Arguing in a Circle

…it lacks real premises — information that offers genuine support for the conclusion. The specific mark of the fallacy is this: The very point that has to be proved to be true is simply assumed to be true. (p109)

To demonstrate what “begging the question” means, let’s take the argument of white privilege or critical race theory:

All white cultures are inherently oppressive against black and brown people.
Jim is white.
Jim’s culture is inherently oppressive against black and brown people.

If we reflect on the first statement, which has all the marks of a bona fide major premise, we see that the only way it could be made would be on the basis of a prior knowledge of the conclusion. … So the conclusion merely repeats information that we already know. No real inference is being made here. (p110)

Another version of “begging the question” is called “arguing in a circle.” The author gave an example that argues about the lack of free will:

Consider the following argument (I will label the statements so the reversal will stand out):
(A) Because human beings are entirely determined
(B) They lack free will.
Then, a few pages later, we read:
(B) Given the fact that human beings lack free will
(A) It follows that they are entirely determined in their actions.
If the 2 arguments were put right next to each other, their circularity would be readily apparent. They are therefore separated by enough intervening prose that readers can be expected to have forgotten the 1st argument by the time they get to the 2nd. (pp.110–111)

6. False Assumptions

A false assumption is such because it can be independently demonstrated to be false. The facts are clearly stacked against it. If one begins an argument with a false assumption, one’s conclusion can only be false. (p111)

Many politicians do not clarify for voters and frankly they don’t care if voters are making false assumptions about their proposed policies. Getting elected or getting the bill pass is the only important thing to them. For instance:

  • Socialist or Communist politicians say they would use the power of government to offer more extensive social benefit program such as a national health system, re-education program for the unemployed, and redistribution of educational and job opportunities.

They assume, for example, that voters would know that these policies are very costly and thus would accept the introduction of new taxes. This might hurt the economy badly and the country might not be able to afford new social benefit programs. Also, they assume that voters would agree with more private data collection by the government and new government regulations that comes with each new social benefit program. With each new social benefit program, there are more assumptions made that are often not explicitly disclosed.

  • Conservative politicians, on the other hand, say they would give citizens more freedom and choices by reducing taxes and government regulations.

However, they assume that voters would support the reduction of social benefit programs and leave it up to the market itself to determine many things. They also assume that voters would agree that encouraging businesses is the nation’s top priority.

If you don’t double-check your assumptions with candidates, don’t question when they give you a quick and simple answer, or don’t gather information about their past policies, chances are you will make false assumptions.

7. The Straw-Man Fallacy

If, in responding to an argument, I deliberately distort it so as to weaken it, then I commit the “straw-man fallacy.” … The commission of the fallacy is a dishonest mistake because it is the deliberate distortion of another’s argument. (p112)

For example, Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility makes this mistake quite often. Instead of examining arguments against her claim that every white person automatically has white fragility or white privilege, her believes that, in general, a white person who disagrees with her is does not know he/she has white privilege exactly because he/she is white. I wonder what she would say to a non-white person who defends for a white friend against white fragility or white privilege. Would her answer be: You don’t know your white friend has white fragility or white privilege because you are non-white and you’ve been oppressed?

8. Using and Abusing Tradition

The mere fact that “things have always been done that way” is not in and of itself a compelling reason for keeping on doing them that way. (p112)

it is just as illogical to cite the practice’s longevity as the sole reason for abandoning it. … A practice is not necessarily a bad practice because it has a history behind it. Indeed, it is conceivable that it the best explanation for its endurance is its intrinsic worth. (p113)

One of the most famous example in history was probably Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in China from 1966 to 1976. Mao claimed that traditional Chinese teachings such as Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism were poison to people’s minds. He also claimed that formal education systems such as universities and schools were poisoning children’s minds. Instead, he set up the Red Guards, a revolutionary organization of students and college students. The importance of learning in school was dismissed and universities were not allowed to admit new students.

The impact? Former members of the Red Guards are called today in Chinese “the lost generation” 「失落一代」and are known for their low capacity for knowledge and learning. This is how costly the consequence of believing in a bad argument for 10 years can be.

9. Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

The fallacy in question, put in the simplest terms, could be expressed as follows: “It is all right to do ____ because ____ has already been done.” … The fact that an act has been performed by others is of historical interest only. (p113)

People make this fallacy whenever they feel like violating the right of others because they are resentful and cannot deal with their own demon in the fight for justice. Example:

It is alright to ask any white person to apologize to a black person for what other white people’s ancestors in the US did because many white people and the US laws in the first half of the 20th century were unfair to blacks.

People who make such a claim knows that white people today are not responsible for something that the white people (a different mix of white people) in the early 20th century, but they make this claim to make themselves better. They also know that white people whose ancestors weren’t even in the USA during the early 20th century only apologized out of sympathy, empathy, or other emotional reasons — not because the argument is sound.

10. The Democratic Fallacy

As many great figures in history have found out, it is not easy to stand up against the crowd when the crowd holds black to be white and white to be black. (p114)

This fallacy is only used in propaganda. It is the reason why all authoritarian regimes have to have a voting turnout rate of over 90% and also gain over 95% of the vote to justify their tight control and lies. But most people — whether in authoritarian or freer nations —know that an idea seemly supported by the majority doesn’t mean much unless there is real agreement and proper conversations have taken place. It is an instinct sense of fairness that we have.

11. The Ad Hominem Fallacy

If my only purpose is to win an argument, the ad hominem fallacy can effectively advance that cause. It can turn an audience against my opponent, but for reasons irrelevant to the argument … My dubious victory was not based on the merits of my ideas, but on my ability to prevent the argument of my opponent from getting a fair hearing. (p115)

We often see claims from both the right and left wings in every country that a particular political opponent is evil and untrustworthy. We should separate these 2 issues and view these accusation as a show. That is: Someone may be untrustworthy, but one of his/her arguments may have merit although he/she may not deliver results or that his/her other arguments may deeply flawed. Similarly, a trustworthy person who almost always has good ideas may have a bad idea once in awhile.

Our personal judgement of whether one person is trustworthy or not has to do with how we see his/her arguments and actions over time — which is sometimes called reputation, not a particular argument or action.

12. Substituting for the Force of Reason

The alternative to moving people by force of reason is doing so by raw power. …People will accept the truth only when they can do so freely, having seen for themselves that what is presented as true is in fact true. (p116)

I think I’ve said enough about authoritarian regime and their need to use force to cut off everyone’s exit option and submit to their control.

13. The Uses and Abuses of Expertise

But it is argument, not just the word of the experts, which should be carrying the authoritative weight… There are many people who pass themselves off as experts but who don’t qualify as such. The test here is not what people say about what they know, but how they show what they know through argument. …The views of a world-famous musician on subjects such as the economy or global warming carry no special weight if the only authority behind them is the musician’s musical accomplishments. (pp.116–117)

University professors such as Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility who makes several fallacies in her arguments that a professor of social science should not make, is an example of abusing her own expertise to sell her arguments.

14. The Quantifying of Quality

Consider love, beauty, kindness, justice, freedom, and peace. How does one measure them? … To attempt to quantify something that doesn’t lend itself to quantification is to distort it. (pp.118–119)

The author is referring to attempts to take an absolute measurement as one would in natural science and engineering. Quality of a concept can still be determined and discussed, and the great thing about it is that obstacles to “measuring” quality lie mainly in our mindset and not technology.

15. Consider More Than One Source

Certainly it is relevant to consider the source of something or someone whose qualities we are assessing. But we must beyond that.(pp.119–120)

A source of someone refers to an aspect of person’s background, e.g. university education, religion, or hometown. A source of an idea could mean, for example, where an idea takes its inspiration.

The essence of an idea can be quite different from that of its source. Buddhism says, a righteous person can turn a poor idea into a great idea. Similarly, a devious person can spin a good idea into his/her advantage and hurt others. This is not to say that the source of an idea shouldn’t be taken into consideration. After all, it is difficult to turn a bad idea into a sound one. On the contrary, there have been plenty of examples in human history where good ideas were abused and repackaged to take advantage of others. Therefore, the author calls to look beyond the source and look into the essence.

16. Stopping Short at Analysis

The purpose of analysis is not simply to know the individual parts that make up a thing but to know how they relate to one another — to know how, taken together, they constitute a whole. Regarded in purely quantitative terms, a whole is no more than the sum of its parts. But if that view were adequate to understand the nature of a thing, then the dismantled parts of a clock, gathered together in one place, would be a clock and would behave accordingly. (p120)

There have been quite a lot of criticism about how voters in many countries have developed the tendency in recent years to vote for politicians who seem to be able to analyze social problems well because they present their analysis well. But that ability alone is insufficient to make things work in any nation. We have been ignorant about the ability to understand how a proposed solution would change or not change our complex society.

Be very careful of any proposal that sounds simple and ideal but do not discuss consequences. Take the proposal “defund the police” for example: If BLM advocates for “defund the police” in China, they will get all support from the Chinese because the Chinese police does not protect or serve people much — it exists mainly to serve the Party. On the other hand, US citizens rely heavily on police for personal and neighborhood safety. China and the US do not share the same concept of “police,” and thus a proposal like “defund the police” will affect the 2 nations very differently.

17. Reductionism

This is what we do when we call attention exclusively to negative traits of a person and then pretend that in doing so we have revealed what the person, as a person, is really all about. (p121)

Very often, this happens because we want to see the person that way and it’s not how that a person really is — assuming that person is psychologically and mentally within the reasonable range.

For example, an acquaintance of mine just gave birth to a mentally ill baby girl. She was not expecting this and was learning how to cope with this reality. Then came the presidential election, where the candidates accuse each other using very mean words. Trump calls Biden mentally ill and claims that Biden cannot do the job. This triggered my acquaintance and she posted a very long message on her Facebook wall about she believes that Trump is to look down to mentally ill patients and that is morally wrong, when in fact Trump wasn’t talking about any mentally ill patients. My acquaintance also obviously chose to ignore Biden’s accusation of Trump being a Nazi or a killer.

How a person really is is much more complex than we want to believe. On top of normal up and downs, a psychologically and mentally normal person also has several sides and thus treat different people differently. He/she also has a tendency to treat people in certain ways under certain conditions. A rational thing to do is to assess how much actual damage he/she caused you, take appropriate actions, move on, and find a place and a group of people who treat you well — a world without him/her.

18. Misclassification

We misclassify things because we fail to properly identify them in the 1st place, and we do that because we are not paying attention. (p121)

All Fascist regimes oppressed foreigners.
Nation A is deporting all rejected asylum seekers and aliens who are illegally working in the country back to their homeland.
Therefore, Nation A has a Fascist regime.

The above argument classifies deporting rejected asylum seekers and aliens who are illegally working in the country as oppression against foreigners. This is a problem of misclassification or definition of a term.

19. The Red Herring

It introduces emotionally volatile information which is deliberately calculated to agitate a specific audience. Two things make this tactic fallacious: 1st, it is a direct appeal to emotion, not reason; 2nd, the information introduced has nothing at all to do with the issues being dealt with in the argument. (p122)

A red herring is an analogy for a subject that the audience feels strongly about but has nothing to do with reason. This fallacy is a common tactic to end the debate against a winning opponent in front of an audience.

Maybe a person has said or did something that we are very sensitive to, but we should separate that from the topic in discussion if they have nothing to do with each other. For example, many people criticized Trump for mocking reporter Serge Kovaleski’s disability. Maybe Trump had the intention and maybe he didn’t, but what should have been more important was his claim that Kovaleski denied his own report that some Muslims or Arabs celebrated 911 was completely lost. The media successfully used “Trump is a mean person” as a red herring and also deployed the Ad Hominem fallacy, making the illusion that Trump’s “personality” is more damaging than national security issues such as terrorist groups like Jihad fighters were celebrating 911.

20. Laughter as Diversionary Tactic

Getting people to laugh at an argument can serve as a powerful way of dismissing it, but this may have nothing to do with the intrinsic worth of the argument. If a devious debator cannot get an audience to laugh at an argument, he might try to turn his opponent into a laughingstock… (p122–123)

21. Tears as Diversionary Tactic

The author describes how tears can effectively downplay the importance of evidence that is relevant to the argument by gaining sympathy from the audience. Sympathy and falsely attributed guilt instead of good reason are the main reasons why many white people submit to extreme-left organization BLM’s demand to kneel down on the street.

22. An Inability to Disprove Does Not Prove

In scientific terms, if one’s data cannot reject a hypothesis, it just means that one cannot determine whether the hypothesis is false or not. Very often, people who are too eager to claim that the hypothesis is therefore true have already chosen what they want to believe and are often not neutral in terms of interests.

A variation of this is “an inability to prove does not disprove.” For example, many people are unsatisfied with the way their church is run and no longer go to church. But to jump to the conclusion that there is no God is a completely different story. I think we can all agree that mankind has not found a scientific method that provides decisive evidence to prove or disprove the existence of God, or the lack of it. Hence, it would be illogical if an atheist calls a religious person irrational, and vice versa! Since we can neither prove or disprove, everyone should have their religious freedom as long as they do not threaten or trick others to join a religion or when they want to leave it.

23. The False Dilemma

I commit the fallacy of the false dilemma when, in a situation entailing several possibilities, I attempt to persuade you that there are only 2. The dilemma is false because it represents a distortion of the actual state of affairs. (p125)

Both extreme left and right groups love to use this tactic. For example, the extreme right groups like to claim that all or most foreigners are intrusive societally and economically, while the extreme right like to say that the current system is too corrupt and needs to be destroyed and replaced. Usually, people can tell that these are over-simplification of the situation or options and dislike them very much. But there are societal conditions such as natural disasters and economic crisis that make people become vulnerable to false dilemmas.

24. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

The Latin name for this fallacy “after that and therefore due to that” means that a cause-and-effect relationship was incorrectly established, let’s say A causes B, solely based on the fact that A always takes place before B happens on the timeline. It does not recognize that there isn’t enough evidence to establish a causal relationship and/or never considers the possibility that A and B are both the result of some event(s).

Many jobs are based on the idea of a male breadwinner, who relies on a non-working wife to take care of the children.
It follows that the main cause of women’s oppression in the family is capitalism.(Marxist Feminism)

OR

Many jobs are based on the idea of a male breadwinner, who relies on a non-working wife to take care of the children.
It follows that family structure is a key institution which allows patriarchy to continue. (Radical Feminism)

A little historical context here: Marxist theory was developed in the prime time of capitalist economy. Prior to having a capitalist economy, people worked for landlords but didn’t called that a “job” — that is to say, a “job” offered by a capital industrialist is a modern concept (but breadwinner isn’t). So Marxist Feminism is claiming that capitalism caused women’s oppression in the modern, nuclear family structure. But as you can see, this is quite a weak argument.

In the 2nd argument, Radical Feminism claims that employers favor male employees and thus patriarchy caused the modern, nuclear family structure. It sounds plausible but it could very well be that patriarchy and the modern, nuclear family structure are both consequences of something else. What could that something else be? It is most likely the Industrial Revolution, which at first gave women workers advantages but then quickly changed other aspects of our lives, e.g. urbanization and the high demand for engineers, which happened to be mostly men because much more men like to work with machines than women do. In fact, a similar event happened 3000 years ago. Archaeologists today agreed that most human societies turned patriarchic when we entered the Iron Age, when heavy iron tools put women in disadvantage in farm work. Thus, women began to work from home and made light industrial products while men worked on the fields with powerful animals dragging heavy iron tools.

25. Special Pleading

The “fallacy of special pleading” is committed when we selectively omit significant information because it would weigh against a position we are promoting. The result of those omissions is a serious distortion of the subject under discussion. (p127)

Extreme environmental warriors often suffer from this fallacy. They do not provide evidence that shows how much of our climate change is due to human activities and how much is the Earth changing by itself. In fact, many scientists have concluded that we have insufficient knowledge about WHY our climate is changing. The Earth by itself can change climate dramatically in a very short period. For instance, the Earth had gone through many dramatic changes in the last 3000 years (see plot below). The Earth was even hotter during dinosaurs’ time and the gas composition in the atmosphere then was very different.

Environmental historian Zhu Kezhen’s 竺可楨 reconstruction of China’s climate changes summarized by Robert B. Marks

26. The Fallacy of Expediency

The governing attitude is: It doesn’t matter how we get there, just so long as we get there. (p128)

“Equality” used to be understood as equality of opportunities but now many justice warriors want nothing but equality of outcome. They feel justified to get what they want even if it means hurting innocent people in the progress, and this is making the fallacy of expediency.

27. Avoiding Conclusions

It is one thing to acknowledge there are certain problems that may be insoluble, that certain conclusions are beyond our reach. But it is quite another thing to adopt the principle that problems as such are insoluble and conclusions are such unreachable. That is to use reason to undermine the very nature of reason. (p128)

In the 21st century, we are seeing the rise of many extreme environmentalists, who believe that the very existence of modern human societies only brings destructions to the Earth. Their inability to find a balance between human activities and its impact on environment lead them to find no conclusion or believe that they have not found any solution for the problem even after reaching agreements with governments.

28. Simplistic Reasoning

If we are tempted to call black white, or white black, it is because the complexities of life sometimes overwhelm us. But it is not a rational response to a complex reality to simplify it in such a way that grossly distorts it. … Some audiences have a refined capacity for accepting only what they want to hear. Others have a need for easy answers. It is cynical to exploit these weaknesses. (pp.128–129)

For example, there is a joke about how employees conclude that capitalism is the reason for everything that goes wrong in the company or products/services during every workshop that examines the root causes of the problem. Surely this is a sign that people have difficulties to see the complex situation or problem they are facing.

Another example is the complexity of “self-interest”:

How to Deal with Extreme Left and Right Arguments?

Unfortunately, the book doesn’t say anything about this. Luckily, there are many good articles online about this.

What I can say, as a professionally trained job coach with a strong psychology background, is that the majority who believe in extreme-left or extreme-right ideas are emotionally or psychologically unstable at least at this point of their life. And the thing about such people is that, unfortunately, others (even someone who is suffering from a different psychological illness) can sense their unhealthy state of mind and would run away ASAP because their behavior is too irrational or unpredictable for most people.

In a troubled time like the 21st century that is characterized by over-complexity and hyper-uncertainty, more and more people are having difficulties finding order and balance in their life. We are seeing more people than previous generations, who cannot hold themselves together and fall out of emotional and psychological stability, hence also an increase in the number of people who support extreme-left or extreme-right ideas. This societal phenomenon will have a severe impact on our politics and is a main challenge of our generation.

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Shining Ana Chen

An Asian farmer’s grandchild, an American engineer, and a job coach working with the German Unemployment Office, who actively re-thinks about the human history.