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Author Topic:   What are acceptable sources of "scientific knowledge"?
Taq
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Posts: 7201
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 16 of 38 (724988)
04-23-2014 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Ben!
04-23-2014 10:26 AM


Re: Conspiracy Theory and Validation
Can you expand on this? It's not clear to me why this isn't a reasonable concern to have.

Perhaps you could explain why it is a reasonable concern. The fact that no one can present a reasonable argument is what makes it unreasonable.

And what is a "nutter"?

Someone whose beliefs are not tethered to reality.

Given their experience, that seems reasonable to me--not to you?

What makes it reasonable?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Ben!, posted 04-23-2014 10:26 AM Ben! has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Ben!, posted 04-23-2014 11:41 AM Taq has responded

  
Ben!
Member (Idle past 1184 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 17 of 38 (725003)
04-23-2014 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Taq
04-23-2014 11:20 AM


Re: Conspiracy Theory and Validation

Can you expand on this? It's not clear to me why this isn't a reasonable concern to have.

Perhaps you could explain why it is a reasonable concern. The fact that no one can present a reasonable argument is what makes it unreasonable.

Would you accept that there's a long history of governments trying to control their populace? Either through force, through selective access to information, or other means? I do.

I also accept that the US government does its fair bit of shady, back-room stuff. All of the recent NSA revelations a nice example of it, but plenty of others, including the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.

I know the government (and particularly defense agencies) are funding research related to AI, reading minds, brain-computer interfaces, and alike. As a researcher in the AI field, I have a pretty clear view of those things.

To hear that a government agency is spraying chemicals in the atmosphere without our knowledge would not be surprising. That there's a potential effect of such aerosols on brains would not be surprising. To know that the government was interested in such effects, and had hypotheses about the effects, would not be surprising.


Given their experience, that seems reasonable to me--not to you?

What makes it reasonable?

I thought I outlined that in my previous post relatively clearly, so I will leave things waiting for a response to that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Taq, posted 04-23-2014 11:20 AM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15963
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 18 of 38 (725020)
04-23-2014 12:51 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Ben!
04-23-2014 9:55 AM


Well, I'm trying to talk more generally about decision-making as a community. I'm hoping for a bit deeper analysis and thought on what is satisfactory for the communities we live and interact with.

Any thoughts on standards that you think best apply to communities you're familiar with?

I'll think about it. After all, I don't usually interact with communities as such, just collections of individuals.

Thanks! OK, so... which are the inferences to believe, and which are the inferences to doubt? Where's the place that does a nice job summarizing all the relevant inferences, tracing them back to other inferences, that ultimately get back to the data?

I really need that, so I can *not* spend hours and hours of my life investigating and verifying stuff I don't know.

Well, if you want to check the chain of inference and its relationship with the data, then you do in fact have hours of work ahead of you, all scientists have done in that case is do the experiments for you (hey, it's a start). If you just want to know that this has been done, that there is a reasonable relationship between the data and the inferences, then you're going to have to take someone's word for it (scientists) which is quick and easy. I don't see that there's something that combines the merits of both approaches.

Are you suggesting that only those well-educated in democracy (or political science more generally) should participate in democracy?

It would seem like a good idea. I'm not suggesting that this should be law, I'm suggesting that it would be nice if occasionally people said to themselves: "I know that I have never studied this subject. Maybe I shouldn't confidently opine on it in public. Maybe I shouldn't allocate my vote based on guessing what the answer is". This is particularly desirable when the person in question is a member of Congress.

And, as someone who's looking for practical answers to current situations... how would I ever apply this?

Could you be more specific?

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11773
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 19 of 38 (725023)
04-23-2014 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Ben!
04-23-2014 9:42 AM


Re: Illogical use of logic?
Sorry if I was unclear, but my main focus is not about discussion here, but more generally about what we expect / demand from others in how decisions are made in our lives.

What we do here doesn't work very well in real life. Story time:

Many years ago, before I got my FOID card, I walked into a gun store to take a look. The guy behind the counter was showing me some different models, and then he asked me if I had my FOID card. I told him that I didn't have one. He got irritated and began to lecture me about how it was illegal for me to even touch a bullet without a FOID card. I told him that sounded unreasonable and that I didn't believe it. He got angry and accused me of calling him a liar. I told him that I thought that he simply misunderstood the legislation and that since we didn't have it in front of us to read, then I was going to reserve taking his word for it and maintain my position that his was in error in some way. He called me a smart ass and then I told him to fuck off and then I left his store with him yelling at me on the way out.

So I go home and look up the legislation and it lists all this things that you cannot do without a FOID card, including handling ammunition, but then it ends with "unless under the direct supervision of someone with a FOID card". So I was right, it was perfectly legal for me to stand there and handle guns and ammunition because I was under his supervision. But I never went back to run it in.

Anyways, had that been an online discussion instead of a real life one, then I could have looked up the legislation before I responded to him and pointed out where he was in error and that would have been that. But since I couldn't, it didn't work out so well.


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nwr
Member
Posts: 5538
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 20 of 38 (725031)
04-23-2014 1:53 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Ben!
04-23-2014 9:42 AM


Re: Illogical use of logic?
Long time, no see.

So if, for example, I support some position (let's say, anti-abortion) based on my religion, and someone responds with information about why my religion is bunk because of depositional layering... what's the expectation for a response? Is it my job to suddenly research and understand such data? How could I judge otherwise? What if I had tickets to a ball game that I wanted to go to instead?

It's not entirely clear what's being asked.

If you believe "anti-abortion", that's fine with me. Just don't have any abortion. There isn't a problem unless you attempt to impose your belief on others.


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15963
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 21 of 38 (725035)
04-23-2014 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Ben!
04-23-2014 9:42 AM


Re: Illogical use of logic?
Or, to say it another way: responding to illogic with logic seems to me itself illogical and missing the point. You've assumed a logical proponent when every indication is that they're not. So, as a logical person, it may be worthwhile to explore other approaches. What other approaches might accomplish the same goal (bringing someone else to your same conclusion) without using logic as the method?

Brainwashing and the salutary application of electricity to the tender parts ...

... seriously, at that point we may have reached an impasse. Apart from anything else, I don't particularly want people to agree with me for bad reasons.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Ben!, posted 04-23-2014 9:42 AM Ben! has responded

Replies to this message:
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Taq
Member
Posts: 7201
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 22 of 38 (725054)
04-23-2014 6:21 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Ben!
04-23-2014 11:41 AM


Re: Conspiracy Theory and Validation
Would you accept that there's a long history of governments trying to control their populace? Either through force, through selective access to information, or other means?

Does that mean you can make up anything with relation to governments controlling their citizens and have it be reasonable? No. That is the whole point.

The government planting mind control chemicals in jet fuel so that it can be used to control the minds of the US population is ludicrous.

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Ben!, posted 04-23-2014 11:41 AM Ben! has responded

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MFFJM2
Member (Idle past 769 days)
Posts: 58
From: Washington, DC
Joined: 10-11-2009


Message 23 of 38 (725075)
04-24-2014 7:33 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Ben!
04-23-2014 11:41 AM


Re: Conspiracy Theory and Validation
Allow me to add mt $.02...

quote:
Would you accept that there's a long history of governments trying to control their populace? Either through force, through selective access to information, or other means? I do.

Governments..? As in from the beginning of history..? Sure, some governments past, present, and probably future have and will try to control their populations. So what..?

quote:
I also accept that the US government does its fair bit of shady, back-room stuff.

Well, that's not the same thing is it..? Or are you suggesting that you have evidence that the US government is now trying to control the minds of the populace through force, or some other means..? What is the evidence that you have that supports that contention..?

quote:
All of the recent NSA revelations a nice example of it, but plenty of others, including the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.

The NSA revelations are not about trying to control the populace, but rather about trying to gather information (ostensibly on terrorists) through listening in to private cell phone conversations sans search warrants.

The Tuskeegee Experiment was a deplorable time in our history when the US violated the rights of individuals in an attempt to gather clinical information, but they weren't about trying to control the populace either.

quote:
I know the government (and particularly defense agencies) are funding research related to AI, reading minds, brain-computer interfaces, and alike. As a researcher in the AI field, I have a pretty clear view of those things.

The DOD, and particularly DARPA, funds studies on all sorts of outlandish stuff, as part of their attempt to find a better way to defeat our enemies. They funded a study on astral projection too, as part of the Stargate Project, "a $20 million research program that had started in 1975 and was sponsored by the U.S. government, in an attempt to determine any potential military application of psychic phenomena. The program was terminated in 1995 after it failed to produce any useful intelligence information." So what..?

quote:
To hear that a government agency is spraying chemicals in the atmosphere without our knowledge would not be surprising. That there's a potential effect of such aerosols on brains would not be surprising. To know that the government was interested in such effects, and had hypotheses about the effects, would not be surprising.

Purity of essence is what you should really be concerned with here. Flouridation of water is undoubtedly part of the effort to control our minds.


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Ben!
Member (Idle past 1184 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 24 of 38 (725080)
04-24-2014 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Dr Adequate
04-23-2014 2:08 PM


Re: Illogical use of logic?
Apart from anything else, I don't particularly want people to agree with me for bad reasons.

So I went to a screening of a Dawkins & Krauss documentary. They suggested that the key to solving global warming is education. Seems in line with what you say above.

For me, desperate times call for desperate measures. I'd rather recognize and accept the current state of affairs, raise enough capital to have a stellar ad campaign convincing people that global warming is the #1 issue of our lifetime, and make progress, than take such a systemic approach that clearly is much slower and therefore riskier (in terms of effecting change). It's a recognition of what people are, what their rights are, and using our logical minds to work with that.

For me, what you've written comes off as extremely passive. Why do you feel comfortable to rest on your principles and let this stuff happen? Perhaps you live in a country where you're generally shielded from the effects of global warming, religious war, or anything else that calls for more creative, immediate solutions than "let's educate everybody"? People are going to suffer and die--we know this.

I'm very interested to understand and discuss; in my eyes, what you've expressed is simply a different form of fundamentalism. So, here's to hoping you're willing to engage a bit about it


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-23-2014 2:08 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
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Ben!
Member (Idle past 1184 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 25 of 38 (725083)
04-24-2014 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Taq
04-23-2014 6:21 PM


Re: Conspiracy Theory and Validation
You respond like I gave just the one justification. That's not correct.

I didn't say (or at least didn't mean to say) it's reasonable to believe it; I am arguing that it's reasonable to consider it, rather than dismiss it out of hand (as I feel you're doing).

The government planting mind control chemicals in jet fuel so that it can be used to control the minds of the US population is ludicrous.

I wasn't suggesting they can control minds generally, but there are lots of effects that could be dealt with this way (like, reducing motivation, suppressing responsiveness to improper acts, etc). If we found out that a government agency allowed particular chemicals to be used to treat plants/foods, despite knowing that they have such suppressive effects, ... I wouldn't be totally surprised.

Am I a nutter?


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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5772
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 9.3


Message 26 of 38 (725087)
04-24-2014 10:06 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Ben!
04-24-2014 9:53 AM


Re: Conspiracy Theory and Validation
Am I a nutter?

Yup

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15963
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 27 of 38 (725093)
04-24-2014 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Ben!
04-24-2014 9:38 AM


Re: Illogical use of logic?
If they come to agree with me for bad reasons, what happens when someone shows them that the reasons are bad? Won't they come to regards me as a liar and a fool? Won't they think that if I could have given good reasons, I would have done so? Won't they conclude that there are no good reasons? Won't this cause them to react against my idea and the lying liar who deceitfully foisted it on them?

And then not only have I not convinced them, but I'm going to have a lot of trouble convincing them of anything else.

When I have a rock, it seems to me improvident to build my house upon the sand.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Ben!, posted 04-24-2014 9:38 AM Ben! has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11773
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 28 of 38 (725099)
04-24-2014 10:38 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Ben!
04-24-2014 9:53 AM


Re: Conspiracy Theory and Validation
I wasn't suggesting they can control minds generally, but there are lots of effects that could be dealt with this way (like, reducing motivation, suppressing responsiveness to improper acts, etc).

Ahem:

quote:
I think it's interesting the two drugs that are legal - alcohol and cigarettes, two drugs that do absolutely nothing for you at all - are legal, and the drugs that might open your mind up to realise how you're being fucked every day of your life? Those drugs are against the law. Coincidence? See, I'm glad mushrooms are against the law, cos I took 'em one time, you know what happened to me? I laid in a field of green grass for four hours, going, 'My God, I love everything.' Yeah, now if that isn't a hazard to our countries...How are we gonna justify arms dealing if we know we're all one?
-Bill Hicks

.

If we found out that a government agency allowed particular chemicals to be used to treat plants/foods, despite knowing that they have such suppressive effects, ... I wouldn't be totally surprised.

Here in St. Louis, the U.S. military secretly sprayed poor black people with radioactive aerosols from the rooftops to see how a potential weapon might affect people.

Here's a news article.

Here's a link to the paper


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1754
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 29 of 38 (725256)
04-25-2014 5:46 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Theodoric
04-24-2014 10:06 AM


Re: Conspiracy Theory and Validation
Yup

Lacking the smiley this deserves a jeer.


This message is a reply to:
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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5772
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 9.3


Message 30 of 38 (725275)
04-25-2014 10:01 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by ProtoTypical
04-25-2014 5:46 AM


Re: Conspiracy Theory and Validation
If he didn't want my opinion he shouldn't have asked. There was no smiley because
1. I don't use them because I don't think they have any place in serious debate.
2. My comment was an honest answer to his question.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
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