...to change my mind. That's what I'd like to tell everyone who's ever tried to trump an argument with, "But my friend's cousin's second-removed aunt by marriage once..." or "I heard about this guy who..." Hell, even if you've seen it yourself, that doesn't make it a trend. Let's quit with the generalities and move to specifics:

Someone once tried to tell me that affirmative action is bad because the black man who was hired instead of his uncle was a poor performer for that particular job. One particular instance of failure on this system's part does not make it inviable. Show me some sort of evidence, real evidence, that affirmative action is bad, and I might agree with you. But don't give me an anecdote.

People who refuse to wear seatbelts often say, "But once I heard of this guy who, like, died because he couldn't get out of his car and it caught on fire." Well, you take your chances, buddy. I'll stay on the safe side of statistical evidence and wear my damn seatbelt.

My favorite instance of this is the guy in my high school who said that "All women are two-faced bitches" because some girl he once dated cheated on him with his best friend. Of course, that's an extreme case of drawing a broad conclusion from a single incident (no pun intended).

You want to argue with me? Fine. Just don't insult my intelligence by using poor logic and thinking that I'll be swayed to your point of view with a cute little story. Don't get me wrong; personal stories are very important. They can make impersonal statistics come to life. But there has to be some sort of real evidence behind the story. Otherwise, it's just that: a story.

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