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24 April 2009

Apathy...

I am suffering from Apathy right now... I guess the version I am suffering from today is the "general fatigue" version... Not getting a good night's sleep probably has a lot to do with it (air conditioning was loud, and there was some manner of construction that was just outside my trailer). [As an aside, Al Udeid is the only place I can think of that has a gated community protected by armed guards, where you still live in a trailer...] However, one of the contributors to my fatigue is fighting morons...

I suppose the throwing feces school of discourse is their only recourse. In the pro-disease nutter arguments I have seen, they keep saying things authouritatively with nothing to back them up. No citatations, no evidence, nothing. And when they do have a link, it's one that has already been soundly and wholly refuted to the point that the only appropriate reaction is to outright mock it. Yet they keep throwing out the same stuff in just an effort to wear down the rational people. Their method of argument is to overwhelm with bullshit...

Sadly, there is no way that anyone can reasonably be expected to counter every single one of their ridiculous assertions... They keep crapping out their nonsense until they have stunned their opponent with their stupidity. It's like playing chess with a pigeon. They fly in, knock over all the pieces, crap all over the board, then fly back to their flock and claim victory. Sadly, these birdbrains don't even understand the basics of what they are arguing, let alone something as significant as evidence and science.

Heck, these idiots are found in numerous camps. I suppose, the biggest camps are creationists, pro-disease anti-vaxers, homeopaths, alien abductees, ... aw man, now I'm apathetic and depressed at how many idiots there are...

Well, here's something to at least peruse in order to recognize these idiots:

The Operative Laws of Pseudo-Science by Fnord

1) The Law of Bipolar Order: (1) Given any set of data or line of reasoning, there can be only two conclusions to choose from -- only one of which is true. (2) Given any chain of events, there can be only two outcomes -- only one of which is desirable.
2) The Law of Burdensome Disproof: An unproven assertion must be sufficiently disproven to be false. (Alexander’s Corollary: “The burden of disproof lies with the dissenting party”). For example, this applies to cases where everybody knows that the defendant is guilty, and therefore the defendant must prove his innocence beyond any doubt.
3) The Law of Cardinal Perspective: Only the asserting party possesses enough of the right kind of mental capability to fully understand every aspect of the assertion.
4) The Law of Cascading Events: Any given activity, no matter how benign, will eventually lead to undesirable or disastrous results. This is also called The Avalanche Law.
5) The Law of Circumstance: Any assertion believed to be true by circumstance alone can not be refuted by a contrary assertion that is supported by mere facts.
6) The Law of Diction: Any assertion that is made with perfect diction, grammar, punctuation, and spelling bears greater validity than an assertion that is made from perfect data and reasoning alone.
7) The Law of Flawed Scruples: Any assertion may be disbelieved if the asserting party is found to have ever had a breach of ethics, morality, or fashion sense.
8) The Law of Hidden Analogies: Any two (or more) events or ideas that are related by at least one similarity – no matter how superficial the similarity – are analogous to each other. For instance, “comparing apples and oranges” makes sense in light of the fact that both are fruit, both grow on trees, both contain seeds, both have skins, et cetera.
9) The Law of Hidden Authority: (1) Expertise in one field automatically grants expertise in another unrelated field. For example, a Journeyman Electrician is automatically an expert in the Psychology of Child Development. (2) Experience in one field automatically grants expertise in related fields. For example, a Masseuse is automatically an expert in Chiropractic.
10) The Law of Hidden Causes: A conclusion may be made before the facts are all in and any reasoning is applied. This is also called The Law of Common Sense.
11) The Law of Hidden Connections: Everything is connected to everything else. Thus, any conjecture may be used to reach a valid conclusion provided that a connection can be drawn between the facts and the conclusion. This is similar to the Law of Hidden Analogies, except that the hidden connections may be obvious only to the asserting party (See also The Law of Cardinal Perspective.)
12) The Law of Image Aversion: Any assertion is to be disbelieved if the asserting party (or the assertion itself) is associated with an unpopular image, regardless of the validity of the data or reasoning behind the assertion. For example, the report published by independent experts is to be disbelieved by ordinary, working-class people because the experts are all wealthy, ivy-league graduates.
13) The Law of Implied Approval: Any assertion is to be believed if the asserting party applies enough flattery to the opposition.
14) The Law of Implied Threat: Any assertion is to be believed if the assertion implies or expresses dire consequences for disbelieving the assertion.
15) The Law of Irrelevant Meaning: Nothing is irrelevant; everything has meaning. While a piece of information may appear, at first, to be irrelevant, later information and the interpretations thereof may reveal the true relevance of the initial information.
16) The Law of Mutual Validation: Cause and effect are interchangeable. For instance, the statement “I am always right because I’m the boss; and I’m the boss because I’m always right” uses mutual validation.
17) The Law of Ordinal Perspective: Any question for clarification or validation of even one aspect of the original assertion is de facto evidence that the questioner does not possess enough of the right kind of mental capability to fully understand any aspect of the original assertion.
18) The Law of Overwhelming Disproof: Any data cited to disprove an assertion must be kept to a higher standard than the data cited in the original assertion.
19) The Law of Popular Support: Any assertion believed by a majority need not be proven. For instance, since “Everybody Knows” that a middle-eastern man can’t learn to fly an airliner in a few short months, those planes must have been flown by remote control.
20) The Law of Revealed Mysteries: An unpopular assertion may be disbelieved if it can be connected with an unknown threat to civil liberties. Cabals, conspiracies, and unregistered governmental entities are often cited.
21) The Law of Volumetric Repetition: (1) If an assertion is spoken loudly and repeatedly, then it must be true. (2) If an assertion is repeatedly published in capital letters and in several publications, then it must be true. (Hitler’s Corollary: “If you say something loud enough and often enough people will believe it.”)

A well-constructed pseudo-science assertion meets four criteria:
1) Believability: Its assertions are acceptable to those making the assertions, whether or not others involved in the discussion believe them.
2) Deniability: It directly opposes the strongest counterarguments, whether or not it actually addresses and refutes them.
3) Self-Sufficiency: Each of its assertions supports at least one other assertion, whether or not they directly or indirectly support the stated conclusion.
4) Volume: It contains a great number of assertions, whether or not those assertions are provable or relevant to the subject under discussion or the eventual conclusion.

Follow the link for even more hillarity on woo.

2 comments:

Beverly Price said...

Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your page!

Larian LeQuella said...

Hey, thanks Beverly. :) Glad to see someone actually comes here and reads my mad ramblings. ;)