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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  09:48:42  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Michael Shermer's latest blog leads me to think that we need some kind of regulation limiting Michael Shermer's blogging rights.

Sorry that I have no time to make more of a comment.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter




Edited by - Gorgo on 12/12/2008 10:20:07

Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  10:10:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As bad as the blog post may be, some of the responses are even worse:

It seems that the “argument from authority” logical fallacy is manifest here (as well as others). Dr. Shermer, your expertise is not economics, and therefore your opinion here carries no more weight than mine, critical thinkers though we may be.


Apparently anyone who speaks about something that is not within their field of expertise is committing a logic fallacy. Others claim that Shermer treats regulations like a scared cow, an entirely baseless claim. Just because it (to me at least) is a piss-poor argument does not mean that Shermer is wrong, nor does it mean that he is arguing incorrectly. What really blows my mind is some of the replies to the effect of, "I will from now on treat anything you say with skepticism." As if they didn't before?!?

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 12/12/2008 10:16:06
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  10:18:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Apparently anyone who speaks about something that is not within their field of expertise is committing a logic fallacy.


I agree with you completely.

Having said that, do you not get the feeling sometimes that he uses his phDness, and his skeptic society pulpit for things like this post where he now just seems to be promoting lies created by the extreme right wing?

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  10:41:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having said that, do you not get the feeling sometimes that he uses his phDness, and his skeptic society pulpit for things like this post where he now just seems to be promoting lies created by the extreme right wing?


I can't say I'm at all familiar with his blog posts, nor much of his writings. That being said, in this particular one, I got no sense that he was suggesting that he knew more than the average person or made any claim as to being an authority.

And can you really blame a man for using his popularity and resources to get a point across? If you agreed with his point, would you even have objected to his using "his skeptic society pulpit"?

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  10:48:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote

And can you really blame a man for using his popularity and resources to get a point across? If you agreed with his point, would you even have objected to his using "his skeptic society pulpit"?


I think that it gives him some responsibility to have some idea of what he's talking about, don't you?

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  12:04:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree. It's a terrible blog but not surprising. Shermer is a Libertarian, and in my view, he drank the koolaid. He has suggested that free market systems are both moral and a natural step in the evolution of man and his economic systems...

The Mind of the Market: How Biology and Psychology Shape Our Economic Lives

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  12:26:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've got no objection to anyone speaking outside the area of their expertise. (I, perforce, do all my speaking that way.) But it certainly should be noted when a person has a much lesser knowledge of one subject than he does in others upon which he expounds. The problem is, economic Libertarianism is the Marxism-Leninism of the Right, in that both "philosophies" are generally taken as dogma by their followers.

Neither is a religion, but there is usually a religious-like certainty attached by followers of each, which is quite immune from debate.

The number of pages of regulations from year to year does not indicate the strength of those regulations, any more than the total number of base pairs in an organism's genome indicates its complexity. Shermer is just tossing out bullshit there, and knows it.

Shermer indeed sips of this particularly vile Koolaid. (BTW: When we lived in San Francisco, my first wife and I knew a couple who were followers of Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple. They actually did end up drinking the Original Gangsta Koolaid in Guyana.)


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 12/12/2008 12:30:01
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  14:00:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, I like a lot of what Michael Shermer has to say, and this blog is the result of a collaboration to start a TV show called the Skeptologists. I'm looking forward to that happening.

http://skeptologists.com/

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  14:32:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Shermer has a tendency to be dogmatic? You think?

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  15:05:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

I've got no objection to anyone speaking outside the area of their expertise. (I, perforce, do all my speaking that way.) But it certainly should be noted when a person has a much lesser knowledge of one subject than he does in others upon which he expounds. The problem is, economic Libertarianism is the Marxism-Leninism of the Right, in that both "philosophies" are generally taken as dogma by their followers.

Neither is a religion, but there is usually a religious-like certainty attached by followers of each, which is quite immune from debate.

The number of pages of regulations from year to year does not indicate the strength of those regulations, any more than the total number of base pairs in an organism's genome indicates its complexity. Shermer is just tossing out bullshit there, and knows it.

Shermer indeed sips of this particularly vile Koolaid. (BTW: When we lived in San Francisco, my first wife and I knew a couple who were followers of Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple. They actually did end up drinking the Original Gangsta Koolaid in Guyana.)


But... It was not really kool-aid...

Seriously, I think that Schermer screwed the pouch on this post.
You can agree or disagree with his thesis, but way to demonstrate, using the number of employees without bringing it to the growth of the economy or just counting the number of pages of legislation, is really weak.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  17:24:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Ricky

Apparently anyone who speaks about something that is not within their field of expertise is committing a logic fallacy.
The worst part is that Michael Shermer is an adjunct professor of economics, so it's not like he's talking completely out of his butt. Or does Claremont Graduate University just hand out jobs at random? Could I teach art history there?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  17:51:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by Ricky

Apparently anyone who speaks about something that is not within their field of expertise is committing a logic fallacy.
The worst part is that Michael Shermer is an adjunct professor of economics, so it's not like he's talking completely out of his butt. Or does Claremont Graduate University just hand out jobs at random? Could I teach art history there?
The Claremont Colleges are considered first rate. He has no excuse...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  18:08:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

He has no excuse...
No, but neither does the person who wrote comment #10. Sure, Shermer's tiny bio on that blog doesn't mention that he's an economics professor, but it only took me three mouse clicks to get to a more detailed bio from the blog post in question.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  18:24:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't see a degree, do you?

I understand that Milton Friedman had some kind of economics education though.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  18:54:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Simon


But... It was not really kool-aid...
"Flavor Aid"? I did not know that! Then... then... Jim Jones and Michael Shermer must both be right!

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2008 :  19:54:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Gorgo

I don't see a degree, do you?
Apparently, one doesn't need a degree in order to know a subject well enough to teach it.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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