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xkcd - the economic argument - Echoes of Flavio's Ghost Dreaming
flavius_m
flavius_m
xkcd - the economic argument







 


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flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: October 22nd, 2010 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now see the conversation further down for further ...
untermensch From: untermensch Date: October 20th, 2010 10:03 am (UTC) (Link)
excellent
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: October 21st, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is kind of natural that people believe in those things, we seek patterns, that is how we make sense of the world, and we also need answers for very difficult questions. And we are very capable of finding patterns where there are really none. Reading, amongst other things, 'Bad Science' by Ben Goldacre at the moment, he has a lot to say about some of those things and the whole nutrition-health diets and supplements - etc industry and the way the media portray them.
untermensch From: untermensch Date: October 21st, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bad Science is bloody great. I recommend Crimes Against Logic, too
lsur From: lsur Date: October 21st, 2010 11:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Just seen this - good except that there is something in astrology and, actually, financial 'analysts' do use similar systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliott_wave_principle
lsur From: lsur Date: October 21st, 2010 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
And dowsers are employed by water and other prospecting industries :-)
lsur From: lsur Date: October 21st, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
http://www.george-applegate.co.uk/services.html

At a trillion dollars a barrel it's probably worth a try :-)
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: October 21st, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm awfully sorry, but the fact that people sell those services and other people are prepared to pay for them is no proof that they actually work; the link is not for a control group, randomised research trial,

And I find it much, more uphill to believe that whatever apparent position in the sky of a ball of fire as it was in however many thousands of years ago it may take for its light to reach us, that that may have an influence in our life or our destiny... no, I'm sorry, I cannot believe that. Each of us is entitled to believe in whatever we choose to believe, including fairies and father christmas. I go along 100% with xkcd on this one, sorry.
lsur From: lsur Date: October 22nd, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Obviously this is a topic people take firm views on so I don't want to get into a lengthy thread. The point of the cartoon though was surely precisely that, that hard-nosed capitalists wouldn't pay good money for something that didn't work. The fact is that they do pay therefore they must belive there is something in it, which logically undermines the cartoon's argument.

I'm inclined to agree with you about Father Xmas though.
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: October 22nd, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
By and large that is not true. They don't find oil, etc, by sending dowsers, they spend a lot, al lot of money on prospecting, even with satellite scanning technology. Dowsing is much cheaper, why not use that? By and large, apart from the desperate and those on the fringe, corporations use far more labour and cost intensive ways to find and exploit the resources they use and sell. The cartoon is totally right.

I respect your musical opinions and like your musical tastes but on this we'll have to agree to disagree. I do not believe that what what you quote , an everyday observation that may or may not be supported by 'common sense', is where science starts. Not at this point in the game, it doesn't. There are very definite rules about what constitutes scientific method. Show me a trial conducted with control groups, peer reviewed, etc. that supports that Cancers are shy and sentimental (be it that I tend to be both, as every body who knows me can attest).

We tend to see patterns, that is how we make sense of the world and we will look for confirmations of those patterns. We also seek reassurances. If I find mine in the Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Lords of Kobol and Athena Agathon appears in my dreams, I am at liberty to believe in that. I am not at liberty to call it science.
lsur From: lsur Date: October 22nd, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do have some background in science and am aware of the points you make. I just don't accept cynicism as being the same as science though.

Of course we can agree to differ.
untermensch From: untermensch Date: October 21st, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
When you say "something in astrology", I suspect the contents are 50% bullshit and 50% confirmation bias :p
lsur From: lsur Date: October 22nd, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Everyday observation points the way - we all know chatty Geminis or critical Virgoans. Isn't that where science starts? It's then difficult to prove simply because the variables are so many, though Gauquelin's work has apparently never been disproven:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Gauquelin
untermensch From: untermensch Date: October 22nd, 2010 12:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not at all. Science starts with a methodology for extracting unambiguous understanding, definition and measurement, culminatin in prediction and verification. What you're talking about is subjective anecdote. Not science.
untermensch From: untermensch Date: October 22nd, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
(See above about confirmation bias. I know sullen Geminis, right? Hypothesis discredited. Next!)
lsur From: lsur Date: October 22nd, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Being a tad moody is a Gemini trait actually, hence the symbol of the twins - you observed correctly :-)
untermensch From: untermensch Date: October 22nd, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I used the wrong adjective. I meant 'the silent type'. How do you observe 'correctly'? There are varying degrees of correctness in *interpretation*. But you are pointing out a character trait found, in certain situations, in every single fucker alive. How is this in any way evidence for something so specific? What embarrassingly broken reasoning.
lsur From: lsur Date: October 22nd, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
You mentioned Geminis - I wasn't making a serious defence of astrology based on one trait as that's not astrology. Astrologers don't reduce things to just one trait or factor. That's why it is difficult to prove by experiment, there are too many factors involved. You have to criticise the astrology that serious practitioners present, not a simplistic version. I don't recognise the astrology you are referring to.
untermensch From: untermensch Date: October 22nd, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I believe that mention was yours. I picked it up :P

Yeah, I'm aware, to a certain degree, of how astrologers operate and how imprecisely defined and open to interpretation the subject matter is. However, it fundamentally comes down to the classification of personality types (sounds promising!) based on the position of celestial objects at the subject's birth (WAIT, WHAT?!). I'm sure we all agree on that much!

And, thankfully, that load of horseshit is quite easily falsifiable. That there are other beliefs (a fucking broad spectrum of which, in fact), and practices which go hand-in-hand with this fundamental tenet, complete with cherry-picked evidence and amorphous rationalisations, is what makes the whole scene seem more substantial than it really is.
lsur From: lsur Date: October 23rd, 2010 11:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Pretty much like economics then :-)
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