Satirists and politicians

June 1, 2011

« Reduction to an absurdity is a mathematical procedure but it has some resemblance to irony which is the favorite procedure of the satirist. Irony adopts, to all appearance, a certain opinion and stresses it and overstresses it till it leads to a manifest absurdity. Indirect proof establishes the truth of an assertion by showing the falsity of the opposite assumption. Thus, indirect proof has some resemblance to a politician’s trick of establishing a candidate by demolishing the reputation of his opponent. »
~ “How to solve it”, G. Polya.

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