1901: "Logical"

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squall_line
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1901: "Logical"

Postby squall_line » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:51 pm UTC

Image

Alt-text: "It's like I've always said--people just need more common sense. But not the kind of common sense that lets them figure out that they're being condescended to by someone who thinks they're stupid, because then I'll be in trouble."

QFT.

I honestly have no comment beyond that. I feel called out.

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby Reka » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:57 pm UTC

Yeah, GOOMHR. Really. Especially the title text.

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:00 pm UTC

Guaranteed flame-war comic.

It does bring to mind a couple sentences near the start of a short SciFi story from the late '60s about some neuro-scientists who find a way to bump up their intelligence by a couple thousand points. One of them is not-all-that-happily married, and the story goes that one day he told his wife he could show her exactly which brain cells held his love for her, at which point she was permanently turned off.

For extra credit, search & identify that story :mrgreen:
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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:56 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Guaranteed flame-war comic.

Let's get started, then! A conclusion can be logical and science-driven without necessarily referencing a particular study. It should be based on the scientific consensus, which, yes, ultimately goes back to studies, experiments and theories developed over the centuries. But you can point to specific things that people believe, like that the UK sends £350m per week to the EU, which are simply not true... I suppose I'm saying that the idea that taking into account true facts and not falsehoods when making decisions is the best approach is self-evidently true, but perhaps this idea is itself merely a hypothesis. Perhaps it was better to make a huge decision like that on the basis of lies, anecdotes and gut feelings. Maybe we should test that. In fact, perhaps Brexit is one great big fucking experiment, but somebody forgot that you need a control. Except that the Enlightenment was like one of those drug trials where the outcome is so obvious so early on that the trial gets abandoned so that the control group can get the real medicine.

It's funny, but I think it's vulnerable to Fridge Logic.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby crystalmeph » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:13 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:you can point to specific things that people believe, like that the UK sends £350m per week to the EU, which are simply not true...


Fair enough, but speaking as a US citizen who probably would have voted to remain were I eligible to vote in the Brexit referendum, your specific example is an interesting case where the guy who brought it up may deliberately have inflated the figure just so his opposition would have to respond with the correct figure, and even that figure is a lot of money. So this specific example I don't think is so much an appeal to emotion as an intentional exaggeration* designed to trap his opposition into explaining what exactly they are getting for the "true" figure of ~£136m each week[0].

*I say "exaggeration" and not "lie," because in classic shrewd political speaking style, he carefully cherry picked that from a list of real numbers available to him - It appears to be the gross amount sent each week, not the net amount after rebates and whatever other money flowed from EU->UK.

[0]https://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check/2016/may/23/does-the-eu-really-cost-the-uk-350m-a-week : "This equates to £136m a week..."

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:53 pm UTC

crystalmeph wrote:
orthogon wrote:you can point to specific things that people believe, like that the UK sends £350m per week to the EU, which are simply not true...


Fair enough, but speaking as a US citizen who probably would have voted to remain were I eligible to vote in the Brexit referendum, your specific example is an interesting case where the guy who brought it up may deliberately have inflated the figure just so his opposition would have to respond with the correct figure, and even that figure is a lot of money. So this specific example I don't think is so much an appeal to emotion as an intentional exaggeration* designed to trap his opposition into explaining what exactly they are getting for the "true" figure of ~£136m each week[0].

*I say "exaggeration" and not "lie," because in classic shrewd political speaking style, he carefully cherry picked that from a list of real numbers available to him - It appears to be the gross amount sent each week, not the net amount after rebates and whatever other money flowed from EU->UK.

[0]https://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check/2016/may/23/does-the-eu-really-cost-the-uk-350m-a-week : "This equates to £136m a week..."

That's an interesting angle, which I don't remember hearing at the time. And maybe the Remain side ought to have come back with a figure that was half the correct value, with some specious reasoning. But then we'd be into punching Nazis again

But, no, it was a lie. The original claim was worse: that we'd have an extra £350m to spend on the NHS. There's no way of interpreting that that makes it true. And making a false statement is one thing, but standing by it and repeating it after it's been shown to be incorrect is something else. And continuing to say it 18 months after every single authority on the matter has stated that it's incorrect and explained why ... that's known as utter self-serving, lying, bastardy twattishness. He had literally an uncountably infinite number of numbers available to him, but most of those numbers were wrong, and it was one of those that he chose, knowingly.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby ericgrau » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:01 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Guaranteed flame-war comic.

It does bring to mind a couple sentences near the start of a short SciFi story from the late '60s about some neuro-scientists who find a way to bump up their intelligence by a couple thousand points. One of them is not-all-that-happily married, and the story goes that one day he told his wife he could show her exactly which brain cells held his love for her, at which point she was permanently turned off.

For extra credit, search & identify that story :mrgreen:


Was he smart enough to realize he shouldn't tell his wife that? :P

Or that's the obvious response... OTOH I suppose it shouldn't matter to her that his love comes from neurons. And he can try to tell her that it doesn't matter, but he may not have any way to realize that she wouldn't believe him when he says it doesn't matter. OTOH if she can be shaken so easily as to not believe him on this, why wasn't she shaken before / why wouldn't she be shaken some other way in the future?

Err, what was this about?

Oh yeah, it does seem odd to talk about logic and then make your reason "Because it's obvious". Also, how many people say "This is true because I feel it is true, which is more reliable than any science!" Seems like a bit of a strawman.

I tried to find someone who did and all I got was a scientamifical sounding article claiming you should argue with feelings instead of facts: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_an ... facts.html

So now I think the best thing to do in the face of an argument that "I work with facts and others use feelings" is to toy with the speaker like the comic does. I'm not sure it will lead to anything constructive but it looks like it could go far and be a lot of fun.
Last edited by ericgrau on Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:09 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby DR6 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:08 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Guaranteed flame-war comic.

Let's get started, then! A conclusion can be logical and science-driven without necessarily referencing a particular study. It should be based on the scientific consensus, which, yes, ultimately goes back to studies, experiments and theories developed over the centuries. But you can point to specific things that people believe, like that the UK sends £350m per week to the EU, which are simply not true... I suppose I'm saying that the idea that taking into account true facts and not falsehoods when making decisions is the best approach is self-evidently true, but perhaps this idea is itself merely a hypothesis. Perhaps it was better to make a huge decision like that on the basis of lies, anecdotes and gut feelings. Maybe we should test that. In fact, perhaps Brexit is one great big fucking experiment, but somebody forgot that you need a control. Except that the Enlightenment was like one of those drug trials where the outcome is so obvious so early on that the trial gets abandoned so that the control group can get the real medicine.

It's funny, but I think it's vulnerable to Fridge Logic.


I do not think we need to take the comic that literally as "an conclusion is logical/scientific iff it is based on specific scientific studies", but rather as pointing out that people saying "I am making logical decisions and other people make them based on feelings" almost invariably rely just as much on gut feelings as the people they are trying to criticize.

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby Minstrel » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:33 pm UTC

I agree, flamebait, but fun nonetheless.

My quick thoughts are that there's a lot to unpack here in a relatively small number of words.

Feelings - there's a ton of ambiguity here and plenty of room for equivocation. Does he mean "emotions"? Does he mean "beliefs"? Does he intentionally use vague words to make it sounds like science and logic are on the same level as deeply felt belief, regardless of merit?

"It just seems obvious" - well, if you reduce everything far enough, yeah, that's the basic assumption. If you want to dive into the philosophical, you stop at the logical absolutes. But we don't do that in everyday life, we mostly share some basic presuppositions about how things work and one of them tends to be that logic and science are good ways to approach problems, and going on gut feel isn't usually the best approach.

And what problems? There's a lot of room for misleading wording here. Just because I use gut feel for 90% of what I do during the day doesn't invalidate the need for logic and science and evidence when approaching big problems.

The hover text - it's not nice to call someone stupid, but it's not condescending to acknowledge when you really do know more about something.

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:05 pm UTC

crystalmeph wrote:*I say "exaggeration" and not "lie," because in classic shrewd political speaking style, he carefully cherry picked that from a list of real numbers available to him - It appears to be the gross amount sent each week, not the net amount after rebates and whatever other money flowed from EU->UK.


It's the figure that would be sent if not for the rebates - there has never been a scenario or interpretation where the UK sent £350 million a week to the EU. There's a gross figure that's being sent, and a net figure after taking account of all the money the EU puts back into the UK in various ways (the former's what we could put back into the UK any way we choose by scrapping funding for all currently EU funded projects; the latter the extra money we have without taking it away from anything) and you could defend using either. The £350 million figure, in my opinion, was part of some politicians playing a long-game expecting Brexit to fail, and trying to get a stronger position afterwards.

Though most people voting for Brexit weren't doing it for the NHS funding but rather for reasons going back decades...

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby Kit. » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:47 pm UTC

squall_line wrote:"It's like I've always said--people just need more common sense. But not the kind of common sense that lets them figure out that they're being condescended to by someone who thinks they're stupid, because then I'll be in trouble."

To be honest, I would love people to have at least that kind of common sense. Then I wouldn't feel the urge to condescend to stupid people, and could better concentrate on more productive things.

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby squall_line » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:54 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
squall_line wrote:"It's like I've always said--people just need more common sense. But not the kind of common sense that lets them figure out that they're being condescended to by someone who thinks they're stupid, because then I'll be in trouble."

To be honest, I would love people to have at least that kind of common sense. Then I wouldn't feel the urge to condescend to stupid people, and could better concentrate on more productive things.

The more I think about it, the more I think that there are few things less satisfying to the smug than insulting someone who doesn't understand he/she is being insulted. WHG would need someone who at least SOMEWHAT gets that he/she is being condescended to, but not all the way.
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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby udqbpn » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:51 am UTC

Yeah... I don't need a scientific study for every idea I have, I can have hunches, right? The problem is when I keep going by my hunch even though I am now aware that there are studies showing the OPOSITE. Yes?

Otherwise how did anyone know ANYTHING before the scientific method was invented? This seems a tad silly to me. Things did get better after the scientific method, but that's because people are sometimes wrong, not ALWAYS wrong, without science.

Citation: my brain, and if someone finds a study showing I'm wrong I'll gladly retract all of this condescending rant ;-)

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby ucim » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:06 am UTC

udqbpn wrote:Citation: my brain, and if someone finds a study showing I'm wrong I'll gladly retract all of this condescending rant ;-)
I studied your brain, and I conclude that you are wrong.

Now, it's true that I didn't use any scientific protocols in this study, but they were unnecessary because I already knew I was right, and why waste taxpayer money. :)

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby Kit. » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:31 pm UTC

udqbpn wrote:Yeah... I don't need a scientific study for every idea I have, I can have hunches, right?

That's one of the problems of trying to be fully logical: which criteria would you use to study the relevance of the scientific method... and why these, and not something else?

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:34 pm UTC

udqbpn wrote:Yeah... I don't need a scientific study for every idea I have, I can have hunches, right? The problem is when I keep going by my hunch even though I am now aware that there are studies showing the OPOSITE. Yes?

Otherwise how did anyone know ANYTHING before the scientific method was invented? This seems a tad silly to me. Things did get better after the scientific method, but that's because people are sometimes wrong, not ALWAYS wrong, without science.

See also: the XKCD comic about Mythbusters.
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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby Heimhenge » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:15 pm UTC

udqbpn wrote:
Otherwise how did anyone know ANYTHING before the scientific method was invented? This seems a tad silly to me. Things did get better after the scientific method, but that's because people are sometimes wrong, not ALWAYS wrong, without science.



If you're referring to THE scientific method as attributed to Enlightenment era scientists, I disagree.

The scientific method was refined and formalized at that point in history, sure. But longggg before that humankind was seeing patterns and making predictions. Are you asserting that, say, Neolithic's didn't KNOW the winter was coming when the Sun headed south? Or that they didn't KNOW that when they found a trail of trampled ground there would be game nearby? Or that they didn't KNOW that there was a way to get metals out of rocks?

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:41 am UTC

Neat, we've entered the 20th century of xkcd comics! The year 1901 began with Australian Federation, and the birth of Pentecostalism.

On topic: If only people had enough 'common' sense to realise why common sense has become less common. ;)
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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby paha arkkitehti » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:23 am UTC

Logical solution would seem to be more scientific study on feelings, so that we wouldn't be constantly blindsided when the world we see isn't the frictionless void we model.

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:42 am UTC

I would not be surprised if there were, in fact, studies showing that certain classes of problem are diminished when people make decisions based less on emotion and more on evidence and reason.

Kinda think the comic would be funnier if WHG was able to name such a study off the top of his head in response to Cueball's question.

(Also, wanted to mention this earlier when other said similar things but then the moment passed: both science and raw logic provide means by which we can eliminate false beliefs. All beliefs are held initially just because they seem right, as guesses or hunches from our experience thus far. Science and logic only allow us to say, of those beliefs that they don't rule out, that they are within ever-narrower windows of beliefs that might still be possible; never that they are definitively true with certainty. Nothing ever lets us justifiably say that anything is definitively true with certainty. If you demand that nobody hold any beliefs unless they can be proven from the ground up, then you demand that nobody ever hold any beliefs, period, because nothing can ever be proven from the ground up.)
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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby orthogon » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:12 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I would not be surprised if there were, in fact, studies showing that certain classes of problem are diminished when people make decisions based less on emotion and more on evidence and reason.


Daniel Kahneman and Vernon L. Smith's Nobel-prizewinning work was certainly in that area.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:46 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:If you demand that nobody hold any beliefs unless they can be proven from the ground up, then you demand that nobody ever hold any beliefs, period, because nothing can ever be proven from the ground up.


But can you establish that?

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:00 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:Neat, we've entered the 20th century of xkcd comics! The year 1901 began with Australian Federation, and the birth of Pentecostalism.

And we're on course to be in the future, following Wednesday 11th July, next! All else going as well as expected.

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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:37 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:If you demand that nobody hold any beliefs unless they can be proven from the ground up, then you demand that nobody ever hold any beliefs, period, because nothing can ever be proven from the ground up.


But can you establish that?

I can show that its negation is not among the possibilities.
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Re: 1901: "Logical"

Postby jonhaug » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:58 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:See also: the XKCD comic about Mythbusters.


https://xkcd.com/397/
https://xkcd.com/250/
https://xkcd.com/509/

FTFY

/Jon


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