Brawndo: It's Got What Plants Crave. It's Got Electrolytes!
The title of this post is excerpted from Idiocracy, a film I hadn't seen until this afternoon. The film itself deals with the premise of civilization having entered a sort-of ultra-modern medieval period as a result of a cultural shift in favor of demonizing intelligence / education. I found the film's initial idea being the premise fairly weak (dumb people reproduce more often than smart people, as a result of technology and medicine undermining natural selection, ergo the population becomes filled with idiots) because, even if stupid people are outbreeding smart people, the natural curiousity and intelligence of human beings as a species ensures that a solid portion of stupid parents' children will grow-up relatively intelligent anyway.
The world, however, I do think is frighteningly plausible, based on the idea that there might be a mechanism that could be used to undermine our natural curiousity / intelligence (as it has in the past) and lead to the proposed demonization of intelligence:
The scene of the film I excerpted the title of this post from actually illustrates this quite well:
In Idiocracy's fantasy world, the United States is about to face a massive food shortage because of agricultural failure. Regardless of vigorous irrigation methods, crops simply aren't growing.
The protagonist of the film discovers that, as a result of corporate maneuvering for profit, water has been replaced by Brawndo - an energy drink - as far as any form of consumption (including farming practice) is concerned. Water is now only known as a septic agent, and Brawndo's slogan (It's Got What Plants Crave. It's Got Electrolytes!) has become common sense among the uneducated populace. The thing is, while the energy drink may have been a somewhat acceptable irrigation fluid for a little while, it's electrolytes (salt) built-up in the topsoil - killing crops and creating conditions necessary for dust storms
When the protagonist attempts to argue that the fields should be irrigated with water instead, the following argument ensues (not quoted word for word - I tried to break it down for better reading):
'...But Brawndo's got what plants crave. It's got electrolytes. You want us to put water on the crops instead?'
'Like, the water that comes from the toilet?'
'Well, it doesn't have to come from the toilet, but yes. We should put water on the crops instead of Brawndo.'
'But Brawndo has what plants crave! It's got electrolytes!'
'Well, let's look at the situation. The plants aren't growing, so I'm pretty sure that the Brawndo isn't working. We should just try the water out instead and see if that works.'
'Yeah? Well, I've never seen plants grow out of a toilet.'
'Okay, look - we want to get this problem solved. So we have to try a solution of some kind. Let's see if the water hypothesis works, and go from there, rather than worrying about what plants may or may not crave.'
'But we know what plants crave. Brawndo. It's got electrolytes.'
'...Okay - what are electrolytes? Do you know?'
'Yeah. It's what they use to make Brawndo.'
'But why do they use them in Bawndo? What do they do?'
'They're part of what plants crave.'
'But why do plants crave them?'
'Because plants crave Brawndo, and Brawndo has electrolytes.'
Theists, I want to you go through the argument above, and pick-out the logical fallacies therein. And I want you to hold onto this thought for later.
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."
- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940