Look At It This Way (#LAITW)

Logic / Fallacies

Saw it on Facebook…

by on Apr.15, 2016, under Logic / Fallacies, Truisms

“I’m not going to do business with you because of my deeply-held personal belief that you need to do business with people despite your deeply-held personal beliefs.”

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Paying for Mistakes

by on Jan.26, 2016, under Consequences, Logic / Fallacies, Truisms

A Facebook post this morning said something <sarcasm>oh so meaningful</sarcasm> about how one should not have to pay for a mistake the rest of their life. A mistake just means we’re human.

So, assuming there is a cost associated with a mistake, who does get to pay for it until zeroed out? Parents? Siblings? Friends? Schools and/or Churches? Goverment? Society?

Sorry, Jack, you do get to pay for your mistakes. Whether accidental or intentional. Whether big or small. That’s why we (should) spend so much time raising children to learn what’s right and wrong and to appreciate the physics of careening downhill on two sticks of wood or carbon fiber. Consequences! The nasty bottom line is – even if you’re not to blame exactly, you get to pay for your own mistakes. Hopefully, folks learn their lessons early on in life when the costs are relatively cheap.

Well, maybe you can get someone else to pay. Ask a liberal. It won’t be me if I can help it.

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It’s really quite clear…

by on Jul.08, 2015, under Consequences, Do the Math, Logic / Fallacies

“A businessman cannot force you to buy his product; if he makes a mistake, he suffers the consequences; if he fails, he takes the loss. A bureaucrat forces you to obey his decisions, whether you agree with him or not—and the more advanced the stage of a country’s statism, the wider and more discretionary the powers wielded by a bureaucrat. If he makes a mistake, you suffer the consequences; if he fails, he passes the loss on to you, in the form of heavier taxes.”

Ayn Rand

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Don’t Blame Capitalism

by on Jul.02, 2015, under Do the Math, Logic / Fallacies

When capitalism is left alone to function cleanly, it works.

In the U.S., for at least 27 years now, capitalism has been hampered by all manner of government intervention and story telling.

“As documented in Parts 1-3 (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), the Fed has generated a $50 trillion financial bubble since Alan Greenspan took the helm in August 1987. After 27 years, honest price discovery has been destroyed, thereby reducing the nerve centers of capitalism—-the money and capital markets—-to little more than gambling casinos.”

The real unemployment rate in the U.S. today is much closer to 42.9% than the reported 5.5%. Stockman’s approach to calculating this is very straightforward. How many potential work hours are available from the work-age population, and how many are actually fulfilled. If you have been paying attention at all, you would recognize that with 90+ million Americans no working, the real unemployment rate can’t possibly be 5.5%.

Read David Stockman’s article…

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Science vs Pseudoscience

by on May.08, 2015, under Logic / Fallacies, Principles, Truisms

The Skeptics Guide to the Universe publishes this helpful chart:


I would add a “for instance”:
Science: Earth Science/Climate
Pseudoscience: Man-driven Climate Change (ala Al Gore)

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Playing by the Rules

by on Jan.19, 2015, under Ethics / Morality, Logic / Fallacies, Principles

Rush Limbaugh made an interesting point recently. What if the rules of politics were as respected and as adhered to as rules in sports? You break a rule in sports and you get penalized, almost immediately. Everyone respects the rule books. It’s what makes the game fair. You know, the “even playing field.”

Not so in politics. Politicians lie left and right. And with virtually no consequences. In fact, often to their advantage. One politician I could name owes millions to the IRS and nobody seems to care, nothing happens to penalize this politician.

What if… What if we demanded that our politicians play by the rules?! Say the rules of law including the Constitution. What if there were real consequences that set the offender back a few yards. I have a dream…

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If a Law… We’re Screwed

by on Nov.13, 2014, under Logic / Fallacies, Truisms

If a law is written and/or approved by people exempt from that law, whether outright or by practicality, we’re screwed.

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Character Makes a Great Scientist

by on Oct.01, 2014, under Character, Ethics / Morality, Logic / Fallacies

“Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.” Albert Einstein

Why is that?

There are several traits that make up character, including Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. One list of character traits includes 638 items!

I’d like to put Honesty at the top of the list for this discussion. Honesty with yourself, honesty with others, honesty with Nature, etc. There is no room for politically correct pussyfooting around. There is no room for fudging the data to make some point.

I was trained to be honest about (in fact, to point out) every counterpoint I could possibly imagine to any point I might be trying to make, to any theory I might try to posit. In today’s discussions, it seems to me, not only are too many scientists willing to ignore “inconvenient” facts, but also will use all manner of fallacy to dismiss anyone that suggests anything negative about their position.

It’s a shame. But it can help you spot junk science, and junk scientists.

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