Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Earlier this year I blogged about the logical fallacy “begging the question”. Take a second to re-read that post.
I had another rather frustrating example of begging the question today. At work we frequently get sent email notifications telling us to take some online training. It’s a great way for us to get covered on company polices and procedures at our own pace and without having to get together for a group meeting. So normally I don’t have any complaint.
Today I got one such email. The training class was scheduled to take 45 minutes and there was a quiz at the end that I had to pass in order to get credit. This is about average for these classes. Well after I looked at the class description it was clear that it didn’t pertain to me at all. It was about using a specific company program that I don’t use to track my corporate travel that I don't do and expenses that I don’t have. So I fired off an email essentially asking, “Why do I have to take a 45 minute course that does not apply at all to my job?” Now comes the logical fallacy. The answer that came back, “This course in mandatory for all managers.”
How’s that for a non-sequitor? I asked why is this course mandatory and the response, because it is mandatory.
So rather than debate the concept of begging the question with them for 45 minutes I just took the course and then, of course, blogged about it on my lunch hour.


  1. Good to know it happens outside of government work (like teaching, for example).

    Missed you guys at Dragon*Con!

  2. Completey sympathize with you. During the first several years of my guv'ment career, I had to go to mandatory staff meetings that had absolutely nothing to do with my job (at the time, dealt with microfilming and the meetings were about serials acquisitions).

    Abosolutely the biggest waste of my time ever.