April 16, 2006

Critical Thinking - Or the application of thought on reality matrixes

Why didn't you play sttuuupid Justin, and say "I thought Miers was a woman... woah she is a man... *cringing body language*" Would it be too obvious? Low chance of success? Lack of penetration?

As for trolls, I think a lot of conservatives (or whatever they call themselves) like Justin and I, understand the philosophy of the best defense is a good offense. We just don't tend to use that strategy a lot. It's almost like pouring water into your data processors and using that as an excuse why you can't finish your programming project. For one thing, it's a waste of time, your time and everyone else's. For another, it is not very effective. Conservatives were always interested in long term strategies, rather than short term strategies. That is the entire philosophical basis of conservatism. Short term changes are unstable and anti-beneficial, while long lasting instutions are Good tm. Liberals have a different take. And it is just as valid, if not even MORE useful in the 21st century. But fake liberals have the vices of both, and the virtues of neither.

Therefore the tu quoque argument by Anon doesn't work.

"Hellooooo? He already didn't get his way, as he nominated a woman just last week and it became so controversial that she declined it!"

Not that this group has read him - and who, really, can make it through the crap this guy writes(?)

Well, I can GC. (Chomsky) And I found his works amazingly clear and unambiguous. It wasn't what I expected. Although, I should have, given his efficacy.

To Neo,

In relation to diplomacy, the less said the better. Since the purpose is to gain an advantage and edge upon the opposition, the less you say and the more they say, the more information you gain and thus the more advantage.

In relation to personal communication, the more said the better. Simply because, with the lack of body gestures and voice tones, words must substitute for other channels of communication that are lacking. The most frustrating and unclear comments are short, ambiguous and obtuse comments.

If someone doesn't understand a word or a phrasing, they're not going to admit to that and be made to feel a fool. It's a lot easier to blame other people, than to focus on self-education. Even the self-educated people don't admit it, they simply go research and come back with the knowledge. Acting as if they had known all alone what was going on.

It's the difference between human motivations leading to bad behavior and motivations leading to good constructive behavior. It can go either way, depending up a person's personality and desires.

There's another dimension to it as well. A lot of people like to quote the classical authors and famous folks. It lends a kind of credibility, to use words that one doesn't need to craft up originally using one's own personal abilities. Usually, reading comprehension isn't a problem unless a person doesn't start reading like somewhere around the 6th grade. Reading, as in, voracious reading. Not text book reading.

I believe a lot of people desire to have the definitive "quote" that will instantaneously convince anyone of their point, whatever their point is. This creates a certain vortex of doubt. Because, communication doesn't occur by quotes or sound bites, but by words and meanings. And the less informed both sides are of the other, the more words and communication channels are required for true understanding. But back to the definitive quote, you can quote something and not even understand what the author meant, so long as it sounds good. And a lot of quotes do sound good, with a flair for tone and imagery. But that does not mean that what one feels, equates to understanding. So there's a tendency of self-delusion, when it comes to short and seemingly understandable lines.

This has to do with propaganda again. The best art of persuasion removes any doubt or confusion, and latches unto a person's inspirational desires. To do that, one has to be short and use small words that a lot of people can understand, and not take too long before their attention wavers. The rhetoric skill of Ancient Greece and their demagogues, are as valid today as they were in their time.

The more that is said, the more material that another person can analyze and obtain a better understanding from. This facilitates communication, but it does not guarantee it. What it also does is to cause people to somehow think that what is said at the end, is independent of anything else. This goes back to the quotes I mentioned. Classical quotation is independent of any of the author's other works. You don't have to read Clausewitz to understand his quotes and to use them. (Although, there's a big difference if you don't read it) Which means, if a person latches onto the conclusion of Neo and thinks it is right, that person is very likely to tend to think that everything else Neo wrote is superfluous. This is even more likely to occur if someone disagrees with Neo's final conclusions. Not every one uses quotes from authors they haven't read, of course, but given the amount of classical and modern work, it is almost necessary in the usage of quotations. Therefore, this produces a "systemic error". Meaning, the system produces the errors, not the individuals or the individual actions. This is as opposed to a good scientific methodology for an experiment, but faulty implementation experimentation.

If you recall, a lot of atheists use "separation of Church and State" to mean that the church cannot encroach upon politics and government positions or property. To a person who understands the context of the quotation, used by Jefferson in his time, that deliberate or undeliberate fabrication is the exact opposite of the reality. Which is that separation of Church and State, as it was used and when it was used, was meant to protect the Church from State persecution and restrictions. To which, removing judges that show the 10 Commandments and other things, is part of. A lot of people need to be curious and understand that the quotations they hear and the soundbites they see, are only the least part of the body of knowledge in existence. Another bad reaction is that when people see something long, they react to it in an emotional manner. For whatever reasons, because "normal" people don't tend to write such long things, they start psycho-analyzing the person's motivations rather than reading what the person is saying logically. This produces incompetent and retarded prejudices and conclusions, which interfere with communication instead of facillitating it.

The idea that you cannot have any belief in God, is atheism, which is a religion. And the Founding Fathers didn't really like the state sponsoring One Religion, because the state tends to want to "convert" everyone to that One Religion. To which of course, is rather obvious, because it is already happening. When a religion conflicts with the state and its jurisdiction, the religion becomes outlawed and persecuted.

You see the consequences in lacking a fundamental understanding of Communications Theory, Human Nature, and Propaganda in just one aspect of people's lives. Yet it is ongoing and malfunctioning, in many more instances.

Given my analysis of your format, Neo, I don't tend to think a lot of people who do understand your points, would act in the manner you so described. Because if they do understand it, presumably they also understand (so they believe) why it should be wrong and explain that reasoning through concise argumentation and logic. Chomsky would understand your points Neo, but he would choose a specific propaganda method to attack it. Most commentators here, I see, don't act in a manner consistent with Chomsky. Chomsky doesn't really believe in what he says. But most people who comment here, do believe in what they say, most of the time. (as another commenter said)

I can recognize that there are logical, well-thought-out arguments on the other side

I'm so far right of Bush, i'm actually on the Left of Neo's political spectrum, but right of most Democrats. So it is easy for me to see Neo's "other side".

A major part--maybe the major part--of critical thinking is learning to recognize logical fallacies in argument.

Judging from experience, most people can't even understand the definitions of specific logi fallacies seen on net sites. I'm not talking about the name and not remembering which is which, I'm talking about actually understanding the descriptive definitive sentences saying what each logical fallacy "is". They get so confused. How do I know? It was exactly that way when I started learning logic and philosophy and writing. I don't even want to know how it is for people with lower IQs than mine. There's a specific time limit by the way. Sometime after your college years, you are just going to stop learning how to think about your thinking. So you'd better input the template correctly the first time before the cement sets.

Why is this not ordinarily taught in school and considered a required subject, as important--if not more so--as history or English, or even reading?

Because that kind of knowledge is a weapon, and many people aren't comfortable with the new generation having superior weapons than the older generation. This happened with the internet, with revolutions in arms, and so on. Again, whether systemic or experimental, the problems will cause malfunctions to occur.

We'll see how far I get with this; I'm learning some of it as I go along, myself.

Neo, here's a tip. The best way to learn logical fallacies is to find specific instances of it in other people's writing, or even your own, and describe it in writing. Describe why it is a fallacy. Did that for a few weeks on a debate forum, and kaboom, all the falacies became ridiculously easy to remember. You won't instantly recognize them of course, if you don't think about it, but so long as you avoid them, it's not really a problem. So I really don't think about them any longer. Linear logic is not enough for me. Non-linear logic, now that's interesting.

I've got ideas for about two hundred different unwritten posts churning around right now, with short notes on most of them) has been known to get in my way.

Whenever I get an idea, I just start writing until I stop. Which is sorta like Eric Flint I guess. It's hard to write about ideas I've come up with in the past, cause it is like the muse slipped away in the night or something.

This is ridiculously funny of course, because whenever I was told to "brainstorm" in school, I never understood what they were talking about.

But I'm trying to do my bit--although, of course, the vast majority of my readers are already critical thinkers, right?

I think I'm more of a critical mass thinker than a critical thinker, since once it reaches a certain mass the chain reaction starts and then stops. As opposed to other kinds of critical thinking.

I guess it was an idea whose time had come, especially for psychobloggers

The psychobloggers behave on the same mental frequency. If you recall, Bookworm wrote about dirt about a few days before Neo did. Very close mental frequencies here, much can be learned.

Personally, I don't even care about trolling. Bad arguments are bad arguments, and good arguments are still arguments. Regardless, much can be learned from both.

Very often I ignore most of the comments and questions--troll-like or otherwise--here.

Right, like John Kerry. Our very own modern major general.

The problem is that, with history, there is no "right" answer

This must be different in contrast to war, in which Full Scale Invasion is the right answer.

This reminds me. Most people don't understand that proof and evidence are inductive logic. Deductive doesn't require proof or evidence. A lot of people don't seem to understand that for some reason... cause for some reason a lot of people say they will only believe in something that has been proven, but that is rather restrictive. (the person who said that people do the conclusion first then trace it back, is refering to Deductive Logic, in reverse. A has to be true, therefore...)

First, if we are driven by our fears, are we in control?

Well, maybe steve should have asked that when steve, you, recommended the US pull into Iraqi bases and don't come out, cause you were afraid they'd get blown up like helpless kittens by IEDs.

As I told people here before, don't take counsel of your fears. Obvioiusly one has to at least have the self-honesty to admit fears, before they can do something about taking or not taking counsel of them.

If you cannot reliably agree on past interpretations, then you cannot reliably forecast the future

I don't tend to think agreements by committee ever did forecast anything correctly. It is only a non sequitor in the sense, that well, it is not part of Steve's reasoning and therefore, well as you can see. And therefore, if you believe that something is wrong if it is not part of steve's reasoning, then I guess that would be a valid use of non sequitor... although not very useful in my opinion.

People can't predict the future because they don't know everything that is going on now. No computer programmer can know what a program can do, if all he knows is what his individual module and contribution is. This is irregardless of how much historical knowledge he has about the history of programming by his fellow team-programmers. To predict the future, one must know the present, regardless of the past.

The past has nothing, nothing, to do with any inherent ability in predicting the future. What the past is good for, is testing current scale models of analysis algorithmns. Feed specific data and times into the machine, get a prediction of the past. Then check to see if that was correct historically. Then, this allows accurate prediction of future events, using that algorithmn and method.

5 Comments:

Blogger Van said...

Are you some sort of an idiot?

I would appreciate it you would stop leave comments on my blog that have absolutely nothing to do with the thread.

Go back to the hole that you came out of and stay there - moron!

17 April, 2006 07:41  
Blogger Van said...

To Ymarsakar:

You have to nerve to write:
"The degradation of mental faculties is expected on the Left and for Democrats. This is regardless of who you are, for to believe in an ideology based upon faith is to compartamentalize your mind and degrade whatever reasoning gifts you still had available."

And yet your ideology (Neo-conservatism) has never been proven in any political or economic environment. In fact, it is a complete failure in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Neo-conservatism is incongruent, completely uncalibrated by a successful archetype. And here you have the audacity to question the historical relevance of liberalism which is the foundation of our nation, has stood the test of time since the days of Jefferson, and has delivered the strongest middle-class and military in the history of the world.

Have you seen the polls? Your days are numbered, your ideology is failing. It has no traction, and it is sinking. It cannot work in the long run because it only appeals to a very small minority.

American Liberalism on the other hand has an historical precedence. It has been weakened before, it always comes back. Why?
It appeals to the majority. It appeals to the heart and mind of men. It strikes a balance between civilian and military interests. It balances corporate interests and the interests of the individual.
This is not faith, its precedence – proven history.

Your ideology is not proven, and it is failing. Which requires faith again?

5:51 AM

17 April, 2006 11:20  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Well, van, if your blog is to act as a mirror and not as a hub for others to send you messages, good for you van.

But personally, it's rather convenient to have a blog on the internet to have others send me comments that they would like me to see, but that's just good old Jacksonian me.

The Democrats and the Left are fake liberals. Neo-conservatism is the inheritor of real Liberalism. But irregardless, neo-conservatism doesn't matter. Because Jacksonians made up a huge majority of America, and I'm a Jacksonian first and foremost, neo-conservative by label not choice.

17 April, 2006 11:45  
Blogger Van said...

"The Democrats and the Left are fake liberals. Neo-conservatism is the inheritor of real Liberalism"

Just because Neo-conservatism has some of its roots in Trotskyism, doesn't make it the rightful heir to American Liberalism; nice try.

Neo-cons are, and will always remain in the minority. In fact, our president was elected on a platform of military isolation in 2000; he was elected by a slim margin of moderate conservatives --not by hawkish, ready to invade all of our enemies Neo-cons.

The failures of the Clinton administration in Kosovo and Mogadishu ensured that the United States citizen was finished with interventionist policies.
The tragedy of 9/11 changed that for a time, but your precious Neo-cons have blown it again.

We have poured too many of our resources into fighting a war that had nothing to do with 9/11 and Al Qaeda (our real enemy).
We have lost an opportunity to actually win a war worth fighting for in Afghanistan.

And is the world any safer? No!

Americans are not stupid, they're catching on.
Your days are numbered.

Also, I find it difficult to believe that you are a Jacksonian Democrat since you support an administration that is, well, adherently Federalist.

Whatever.

17 April, 2006 13:28  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

MD, it's not like I care. But the insult, is indeed stupid. Or if I did care, it wouldn't matter. Because, you don't see the underlying current. Or if you did, it doesn't show up when you talk to Van. But irregardless, if you can't reason about it, you don't convince anyone. If you did convince anyone, it would not be a good thing. Bottom line, your reasoning isn't very good. One of the reasons you and van can communicate, is because you both prefer ad hominem attacks to real logic.

Van's ad hominem insults are just part and parcel of the process. His ignorance of Jacksonianism is another thing. Obviously, van, if you knew about Jacksonianism you would have realized that I wasn't refering to myself as a Jacksonian Democrat. Google it up, if you have the curiosity. I always wished people were more curious, you know.

The only people Liberalism wants to liberate, are people they care about. And they don't care about a lot of people, in the end. That's par for the course of course, but still.

You got to let go of your fetish against neo-conservatives van. Because they aren't mine and I'm not a neo-conservative.

Your days are numbered.

Spoken like Bush to Saddam.

Are you some sort of an idiot?

I would appreciate it you would stop leave comments on my blog that have absolutely nothing to do with the thread.

Go back to the hole that you came out of and stay there - moron!


You got to go, Van, cause there's one thing doesn't happen and you know it. That's honesty, you're not honest with yourself and that lack of quality prevents you from understanding or even debating with people like me.

17 April, 2006 19:37  

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