free debate

September 5, 2011

What Not to Buy: Critical Thinking Applied

Time Moneyland has put together a great list of "12 Things you should stop buying now." This is a great application of critical thinking and has something for everyone. The list covers everything from new college textbooks to super high SPF sunscreen. One of the things I also really like about the way this is put together is that it includes the exceptions to the rule. For example, they rightly point out that some people with really fair skin may need very high SPF sunscreen, however the difference between SPF 30, and SPF 50 is much less then most people think. My personal favorite, though, was probably number 1.

The pitch: Fight back against the aches, chills and other misery-inducing symptoms of the flu with herbs or vitamin supplements.

The truth: We’ll let the CDC handle this one. From the agency’s website: “There is no scientific evidence that any herbal, homeopathic or other folk remedies have any benefit against influenza.”

The exception: Chicken soup, especially if it’s homemade. No, it won’t cure anything, but if it makes you feel a little less crummy, slurp away.
If you are unfamiliar with homeopathy, it consists of diluting a substance until none of the substance remains and then calling it a cure. Nonsense is nonsense, no exceptions. And really who can argue with some nice chicken noodle soup when you're sick?