Why skeptics aren't close minded... pt 1

A skeptic says "show me" or "prove it"

The problem inherent to those statements is it implies that you don't believe what is being said. It sort of implies that you're rolling your eyes a bit.

"my car can go 210MPH on the highway" "prove it" "but that's illegal!" "so show me on a track in the desert where it is legal then" "that takes too much time, why can't you just take my word for it, why do you always have to nay-say everything i say?" "oooohkay..."

It's like this in diagnosing problems with people who've had severe trauma and don't know if they can trust you on your authority. You say "so what trauma have you experienced" and they after a bit will say "trauma x and y at age 9, trauma z at age 12"; you say "have you seen anyone about those traumas?" "no but i feel i've worked through them and i'm fine now"
to which you must say "Show me"; in other words... no you haven't. Statistically speaking you can't work through childhood trauma by age 22, because growing up and going through puberty and dealing with highschool and then college and dealing with the whole sex thing is also technically "traumatic" in the sense that it "Causes a high amount of stress on the mind and body" - you're rejecting the hypothesis that they've presented because of your knowledge of psychology and statistics therein.

The interesting thing, and the reason i bring it up, is that there are fringe cases in psychology (and even cars!) that may be able to cope with a powerful sense of will and self worth. But these are fringe for a reason, you can take those as you receive them. But everyone who has "dealt with it" on their own CLAIMS that they've fixed themselves by themselves. And that's where being skeptical comes in.

No one wants to be called a liar, or have it implied that they have no clue what they're talking about. there's a reason i am not going into clinical psychology... I don't want to constantly burst people's bubbles. that's why people who are actually getting the therapy that they need despise going to therapy. You're not supposed to enjoy it. So while i want to help people, i don't want to do it that way.

Phew. What a weird post this is. My main point is that people are defensive by nature, and want to be self sufficient, and asking them to back up what they are saying usually puts them on the defensive.

The reason scientists don't have this problem that often is that when someone says "gravity causes things to tend to fall toward the earth" no one says "prove it!"... because it's accepted as true. If a scientist says "Gravity implies gravitrons" then we say "show me" or "prove it"...


Bulverism: another common fallacy!

from the wiki:

You must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became so silly. - C.S. Lewis (emphasis in original)

This fallacy is prevalent, i fear. "you only believe that because you're a man" - and "it is therefore untrue"


My earlier post re: logic is a construct of satan are panning out. perhaps i'll invoke him tonight and ask him about it.

Argumentum ad tempermantum: Where's the middle ground?

From the wiki:
"On the one hand, we have the Theory of Evolution, and on the other, we have the theory of Intelligent Design. We should teach the controversy -- give both viewpoints equal time and consideration, rather than preferring one over the other."

The thing i find truly amazing is that almost every tactic used by the religious sector is a fallacy. This almost begs the question: is logic spawned by satan? Of course it is! And satan makes a delicious Egg Salad Sandwich.

My favorite Logical Fallacy explanation: ad populum!

"It is logically fallacious because the mere fact that a belief is widely held is not necessarily a guarantee that the belief is correct; if the belief of any individual can be wrong, then the belief held by multiple persons can also be wrong. If for instance, a logical proof that the answer is A attempted to make the argument that 75% of people polled think the answer is A, there is a 25% chance that the answer is not A. However small the percentage of those polled is distributed among any remaining answers, this chance by definition disproves any guarantee of the correctness of the majority. In addition, this would be true even if the answer given by those polled were unanimous, as the sample size may be insufficient, or some fact may be unknown to those polled that, if known, would result in a different distribution of answers." - from the wikipedia entry - my emphasis.

As Isiac Asimov said, "Every society prior to ours believed that the sun revolved around the earth... should we take a majority vote on it?"

I really like that logically saying that 95% of the planet believes in god is proof that there is a god is completely fallacious.

More to come on these lines, as i am reviewing logical fallacies to keep my wit sharp and also to try and prevent myself from using them.

Connection speeds around the world... and FRIST PSOT!!!!!!!!

i live in the boonies here in leesville, louisiana. As such, i consider myself fortunate to have broadband access - something i haven't done without since DSL was first available in Los Angeles County in 1998. My cable connection out here is via suddenlink, and i've been having a at the throat war with them since i first got it installed. Basically, there's a problem with the actual connection as opposed to modem, or router, or anything. So they're sending a guy out at midnight tonight to fix it. Supposedly.

So back to the subject... I was digging around on speedtest.net and discovered that they have a global data speed database... which caused this conversation to occur - check it out yourself, i was just finding these facts interesting:

genewitchZero (8:54:56 PM): utah has the highest per capita upload speed in the US
sinister0 (8:55:12 PM): interesting
sinister0 (8:55:14 PM): and odd
genewitchZero (8:55:28 PM): united states has an average upstream of 938
genewitchZero (8:56:14 PM): russian federation has average upstream of 2895
genewitchZero (8:57:11 PM): australia clocks in at 438 average
genewitchZero (8:57:20 PM): oo asia.. let's see
genewitchZero (8:57:31 PM): japan
genewitchZero (8:57:32 PM): shocking
genewitchZero (8:57:34 PM): 4996
sinister0 (8:58:03 PM): figures
genewitchZero: we're not even on the top ten upstream countries
genewitchZero: there's a company called poundhost that provides 30 megabit average upstream
genewitchZero: ...
genewitchZero: japan, russia, romania, asiapacific, sweden, bulgaria, latvia, hong kong, lithuania, moldova
genewitchZero: those are the top ten average upstream countries
genewitchZero: we're the fastest overall continent, but not in the fastest of countries. genewitchZero: japan averages 10mbit downstream
genewitchZero: we ranked 10th at 4775
genewitchZero: with a continental average of 4785kbps down
genewitchZero: africa was 589
genewitchZero: it's amusing cause we're supposedly the most technologically advanced country in the world
genewitchZero: but the countries we blow the fuck up are connecting faster than us genewitchZero: oh and countries we have arms races with
genewitchZero: CAPITALISM!
genewitchZero: IT WORKS!
sinister0 (9:07:09 PM): the speed issue is due to low population density and the fact that the fcc allows that if one person in the zip code has a 144kbps connection or faster then the zip code is considered to have broadband
genewitchZero (9:07:24 PM): yah this is real world stats... as opposed to some survey
genewitchZero (9:07:32 PM): some testing site's database
genewitchZero (9:07:36 PM): i was pulling it up realtime
genewitchZero (9:07:41 PM): a lot of it makes sense though
genewitchZero (9:07:49 PM): most of the us is on dialup still i guess
genewitchZero (9:07:51 PM): like
genewitchZero (9:07:56 PM): per 1000 homes
sinister0 (9:08:53 PM): there are a lot of places in the country where your internet options are pretty much dial up or satellite
genewitchZero (9:10:09 PM): indeed
sinister0 (9:12:30 PM): we're also stifled by the fcc's opinion that cable companies versus phones companies is competition
genewitchZero (9:15:03 PM): ?
genewitchZero (9:15:07 PM): what do you mean?
sinister0 (9:18:20 PM): the fcc feels that oligopolies are okay, just not monopolies
sinister0 (9:19:10 PM): "Your cable internet suck? Switch to DSL. Your DSL suck? Switch to cable. They both suck? Well too bad, that's all the competition we're allowing"
sinister0 (9:21:57 PM): fixed wireless doesn't require building miles of hard lines. If it becomes feasible someone else may enter the market
genewitchZero (9:22:47 PM): heaven forbid the government kick back money to help it out
genewitchZero (9:23:01 PM): $1000 per square mile for fixed wireless versus what is it
genewitchZero (9:23:09 PM): $16,000 a linear mile for fiber
sinister0 (9:24:29 PM): it would be nice if the government subsidized it, but if they don't I hope they just keep out of it altogether
genewitchZero (9:25:13 PM): the government staying out of private industry that uses radio waves?