Less brainstorming, more reasoning

Over the past few weeks I bookmarked, well, I pinned on my Pinboard a couple or more of posts and titles about logical and cognitive fallacies. I’m not the one entitled to give a lesson on the topic,  but it might be helpful to recall that some of these discussions are centuries old. With the reading of Adland still resonating in my mind, and being immersed myself in the design of digital communication and marketing projects on a daily basis, I found out that these kind of basics were very relevant to me – perhaps much more relevant now than when I tried to grasp them as a student.

In fact, the business of designing digital platforms for brands (“digital platforms what?” ok, it’s a namesake!), or, more precisely, the design process that’s behind it, works through innumerable discussions that might greatly benefit of a thorough understanding of these common fallacies. As everyone in the field knows too well, the reality of agency life, and of the agency/client relationship, is dominated by meetings and discussions, many of them face-to-face, but also in writing (oh yes there are collaboration platforms too, but that’s not the point at the moment). Well, honestly I think that the quality of these discussions is quite poor pretty often, in the sense that are ridden with bad arguments. It’s a paradox but that’s happens even during brainstorming exercises (I’ve just been shown a great parody of the case by some good folks at DigitasLBi London but I don’t have the references right here) – and brainstorming in any case is frequently reduced to an unstructured “informal chit chat” as J.C. Jones noted a long time ago (no wonder people then have better ideas just sipping a coffee in a quiet place).

I put “reasoning” in the title but I could have written “rhetoric”, meaning the good reasoning, the use of good arguments. So I tried a Google search and Scholar also pointed to a world of research about design and rhetoric that it’s worth exploring (with a bit more time on hand). Anyhow, let’s have a look at the basics, as said. Here you have short readable pieces, a well illustrated book and even a poster (free in Pdf form). Enjoy. No, think about it.

First, from FastCompany Co.Create, the story about a recently published illustrated book about bad arguments.

Now More Than Ever, You Need This Illustrated Guide To Bad Arguments, Faulty Logic, And Silly Rhetoric

With your mind well refreshed by the logic gymnastic, you can get a bit of psychology.

The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational

Back to logic now. “Thous shall not commit logical fallacies” is a more concise guide printable in various formats – some big enough for an agency or a client meeting room…

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