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On truTV's Adam Ruins Everything, host Adam Conover (the former CollegeHumor cast member with the quirky suits and big hair) tends to...ruin things. By that, I mean he explains the actual bizarre truths that lie beneath common misconceptions and scientifical/historical/cultural misunderstandings (even if people don't want to hear it). It's just sorta in Adam's nature - and here are 6 times Adam's specific brand of correcting others blew our minds to get you excited for the premiere of new episodes on 11/27 at 10/9c on truTV.
1. The truth about home ownership
Home ownership is a key part of the American dream, right? Lots of space all to yourself, being trapped in a dying suburb, having to do constant maintenance and upkeep, and being mired in debt for 20 to 30 years! Oh wait - yeah, that's kinda not all that great, isn't it? On the one hand, it's pretty nice to at least "own" your own place to live and not be subject to rent increases and things like that - but on the other hand, the 2008 housing bubble showed that your "investment" may not actually be worth as much as you paid for it, and it traps you in a specific area and limits your employment options.
And you have to mow the lawn.
2. Why antiobiotics could be destroying life as we know it
Antibiotics are great - but humans can be a big problem. Over time, diseases have become more and more resistant to antibiotics - largely thanks to humanity's own laziness: inconsistent use, not finishing a prescription, and generally just not taking the notion of medical reality as seriously as we all should. The net result are new super-strains of diseases that have built-in resistance to many antibiotics - and if the trends continue, could eventually lead to a strain that we have no solution for that could practically wipe out humanity.
Yep, you tossing away a couple pills after you started feeling better may be leading us down the road to another plague - but at least we'll get to make plenty of Monty Python references.
3. Why baby formula is one of the most important (and life-saving) innovations in modern history
There's a lot of stigmatization and misinformation surrounding baby formula, especially in an age where many are obsessed with the term "organic" (regardless of how meaningless that word usually is). People see baby formula as less natural than breastfeeding - and therefore not as good for the baby. But the reality is that not only is it just as good (and often supplements breastfeeding), without it society would be in a much more dire place. Pre-baby formula, if a woman couldn't breastfeed, there really weren't any other options - the child would need to have a milkmaid or (as was more often the case) would suffer malnutrition. Baby formula actually gave mothers who couldn't breastfeed an alternative.
Another VERY important change brought about by baby formula was the freeing of new mothers from the pains and tedium of breastfeeding - which is an exhausting and time-consuming process. Having to breastfeed 35 HOURS A WEEK takes a major toll on women, to the degree it makes it near-impossible for them to be able to return to the workforce, if that's what they want.
So lay off formula parents - and generally, don't make any judgments about how someone you don't know is raising their child. Probably a safer bet.
4. Why college rankings are totally meaningless
U.S. News gets a lot of attention for their annual college rankings - and it's all a bunch of hooey. Originally, it was based on simple recommendations between college presidents - and later, they created their own vague formula for deciding how colleges were ranked....that was even MORE meaningless. Since they decided what the categories were and how they were weighted, they could basically shift any school to any placement they wanted. So if your school has ever been ranked number one, don't get too full of yourself.
5. The truth about why taxes in the US are so confusing
The US tax code is, to put it lightly, one of the most byzantine overly-complex beasts of bureaucracy ever conceived. If you feel overwhelmed by filling out your taxes, then it's doing the EXACT thing it's meant to do. Why is the tax law still so baffling? Because tax preparation companies (like the ones that own TurboTax and H&R Block) want to keep it that way. Who would pay for their services if the tax law was simple and understandable?
So remember - if you see a tax preparation lobbyist, it's your duty to yell obscenities at them.
6. Why confronting people about their misconceptions is often a terrible idea
When they say "Adam Ruins Everything," they really mean ADAM RUINS EVERYTHING. Like, including his own show.
There's a common thing that happens when people are confronted with information that challenges their beliefs - despite being given clear evidence that something they thought was incorrect, their (wrong) belief actually gets stronger, because of something called "The Backfire Effect." It means that the confrontation of new information is treated almost like a physical attack, triggering a fight-or-flight reponse and actually activating the part of the brain that recognizes physical pain. So - they get defensive and dig in deeper.
Behold - the ruiner has BECOME the ruined...
Care to double check Adam's ruins? Check out his sources page here and make sure to tune in to truTV on November 27th at 10/9c for new episodes of Adam Ruins Everything!