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Don't talk about the war I mentioned it but I think I got away with it

#1 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-07, 19:32

Those of you old not old enough to recall John Cleese as Basil Fawlty 'serving' German Guests will need to watch this first.
German humour as my Father always said, is no laughing matter.

There is a policy on BBO, and apparently throughout America that it is inappropriate to discuss politics. Or anything else interesting either.
Well, I'm sick of it.

I'm sorry that 20% of Americans believe that aliens (and I'm not talking about Mexicans) live on the planet Earth.
I'm sorry that 45% of Americans do not deny the existence of ghosts.
And I'm really sorry that the ridiculous idea of the existence of God and the denial of climate change and science, in general, is so important to enough Americans that they're willing to vote for Trump and his idiot Family.
And tolerate the murder of ordinary citizens (mainly black) by trigger-happy poorly trained returned servicemen and women.

But, I'm not allowed to talk about it in a polite conversation because they might get offended.
Well, bad luck partner. I've had enough.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#2 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 08:48

Several BBO threads are devoted to these topics but I agree that they are rarely properly discussed in an objective way.

One problem is that some posters drag ridiculous ideas from the depths of their ids; and impute them to the protagonist of any opposing view, no matter how often he repudiates them. Often this is combined with virulent personal invective. Thus, straw-men are backed by ad-hominem attack. Hence, any attempt by those with a minority opinion to engage in rational argument is frustrated.

The stage is left to a triumphant vocal majority: to congratulate each other; to agree about the madness and stupidity of other races/groups; and to condemn the unmitigated evil of such antagonists (BBO 3R bêtes noires: Russians, Religious, Republicans).

This is a pity because, in the interests of mutual enlightenment, the best way to hone argument and to win the battle for minds is to engage in calm friendly rational debate with those who hold opposing (and you hope) mistaken views.

For Americans, at this point in their history, this seems especially relevant and important.
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#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 09:11

And also the whole "creationism is just as valid as evolution and you have to respect my opinion" type tendency along with all the rest of the "the bible says ..." stuff.
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#4 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 13:43

It just astonishes me that less 5% of Americans will deny the existence of God.
Does this mean that when they are making a plan at trick 1 what they are doing is praying that their finesses will work?
That would explain why I've started to get better results in ACBL tournaments compared to BBO or Australian tournaments.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#5 User is online   awm 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 13:59

Keep in mind that many Australians believe dumb things also.

35% believe that ghosts exist and can influence the will of the living
34% believe that extra-terrestrials have visited the earth
21% believe that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by scientists
14% believe that vaccines cause autism

This is not to excuse the idiocy of many Americans, just pointing out that this is more or less a worldwide problem and any difference between countries is mostly just a small matter of frequency.
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#6 User is offline   trolley813 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 14:03

Quote

enough Americans that they're willing to vote for Trump and his idiot Family


Even in bridge, playing in No Trump is not always the best choice.
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#7 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 14:09

View Posttrolley813, on 2020-November-08, 14:03, said:

Even in bridge, playing in No Trump is not always the best choice.


In democracies, No Trump is always the right call.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#8 User is offline   JonnyQuest 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 14:44

View Postawm, on 2020-November-08, 13:59, said:

Keep in mind that many Australians believe dumb things also.

35% believe that ghosts exist and can influence the will of the living
34% believe that extra-terrestrials have visited the earth
21% believe that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by scientists
14% believe that vaccines cause autism

This is not to excuse the idiocy of many Americans, just pointing out that this is more or less a worldwide problem and any difference between countries is mostly just a small matter of frequency.


So using Pilowsky's logic, since he is Australian, I should enjoy great success against him at the bridge table. Or something like that.

What an absolutely ridiculous post, Pilowsky!
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#9 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 15:15

View Postawm, on 2020-November-08, 13:59, said:

Keep in mind that many Australians believe dumb things also.

35% believe that ghosts exist and can influence the will of the living
34% believe that extra-terrestrials have visited the earth
21% believe that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by scientists
14% believe that vaccines cause autism

This is not to excuse the idiocy of many Americans, just pointing out that this is more or less a worldwide problem and any difference between countries is mostly just a small matter of frequency.


I believe that many people believe that they cannot give an explanation for everything that happens. Some things they have to think about as best they can, other things they just let it be. Some random thoughts, most or all I have spoken of before.

In college I took a course in the origins of Christianity. It was supposed to be a course in Roman humanities but the instructor was John Berryman and he pretty much did whatever he felt like doing. Anyway, the subject of miracles came under discussion and I still remember his view on this: "I don't believe in miracles because I have never seen one, but I am more supportive of the view that they perhaps can happen than I am of the view that they certainly cannot happen." Not an exact quote, but that was the idea.

I also took a course from Paul Holmer on the history of religion. He mentioned that in the early days of the church there was a group within it that formed The Society of Free Thinkers. Apparently a subgroup of this society came to the conclusiono that the Bible was the word of God. They were kicked out of the Society of Free Thinkers.

I was not as all encouraged to take these courses in engineering school, as I recall I had to forge a signature for permission for the Holmer course.

In high school my psychology teacher suggested that I write a term paper on Freud. When he recovered from the fact that I did not know who Freud was (the course was more oriented toward Skinner and such) he reluctantly agreed to my choice to write on parapsychology. I approached it with an open mind and. although I did not assert that J. B. Rhine was a fraud (I was 17 and showed some restraint) I wrote that I was very skeptical. History does not disclose its alternatives, but what would I have thought had I read about the id and the super ego?

Closer to home, my mother and I had an argument in the early days of the Korean War. Mom asserted that all wars are about oil. I said that I did not think that there was any oil in Korea. Mom's response: They are fighting there, there is oil there." I have no complaints at all about my mother, but she had run away from home when she was 14 and she subscribed to True Story magazine. Go easy on her with international politics.

So ghosts? In Sleepless in Seattle, eight year old Jonah asks his father about whether there is an afterlife. The father had just had a discussion with his dead wife. In his imagination, of course. Of course. Of course.

I have a half-serious view of teen-age rebellion as a necessary corrective. Adults tell kids all sorts of stuff, and during adolescence we try to figure out how much of it is true. Not all that much.

Some practical matters we must explore and hopefully come to a true answer. Others, we can let them be.
Ken
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#10 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 15:41

View PostJonnyQuest, on 2020-November-08, 14:44, said:

So using Pilowsky's logic, since he is Australian, I should enjoy great success against him at the bridge table. Or something like that.

What an absolutely ridiculous post, Pilowsky!


When I retired I stopped characterising. So I won't.
The fact that people other than Americans believe things that Americans believe has no effect on the point.

My father was once asked to see a patient. The resident told him that he had a very strange and complex delusion.
My father saw the man and listened carefully to his story. When he had finished talking my father asked him if he knew anyone else that believed the same thing.
The man replied, "yes, there's a group of us that meet in a building at the end of the street on Sundays".

My training in bullshit detection started before I could talk.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#11 User is offline   JonnyQuest 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 15:50

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-November-08, 15:41, said:


My training in bullshit detection started before I could talk.


Unsurprising.

If your mouth is full of the stuff, you early on develop an intimate relationship with it.
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#12 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 16:04

View PostJonnyQuest, on 2020-November-08, 15:50, said:

Unsurprising.

If your mouth is full of the stuff, you early on develop an intimate relationship with it.


Well, I won't discuss it with supreme beings such as yourself. Obviously, you take your advice from Paula White - here watch this video it'll appeal to you. https://www.youtube....h?v=GdfYc5B0geQ
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#13 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 16:49

View PostJonnyQuest, on 2020-November-08, 14:44, said:

So using Pilowsky's logic, since he is Australian, I should enjoy great success against him at the bridge table. Or something like that.

What an absolutely ridiculous post, Pilowsky!


Mind you, the freelance Journalist's report that you cite was interesting. Here is a link to the original research which is even more fascinating.
I agree with the point. The cupidity of the general population is astonishing.
https://www.essentia...port_260917.pdf

The inability of people to tolerate any ambiguity of meaning is a major problem.
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#14 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 17:04

And, just in case you were not certain that there really wasn't an organised group of people that are as silly as wheels, here is a link to the 2014 abstracts of the USA parapsychology society.

Learn about how to distinguish dead people from living people by looking at them.
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#15 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 17:11

View Postawm, on 2020-November-08, 13:59, said:

Keep in mind that many Australians believe dumb things also.

35% believe that ghosts exist and can influence the will of the living
34% believe that extra-terrestrials have visited the earth
21% believe that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by scientists
14% believe that vaccines cause autism

This is not to excuse the idiocy of many Americans, just pointing out that this is more or less a worldwide problem and any difference between countries is mostly just a small matter of frequency.

I recall a poll showing that 20% of Dutch computer users thought that computers deliberately crash in order to tease the user. A similar proportion of British teenage girls thought they could avoid pregnancy by taking a shower after sex.

There are probably some people who will subscribe to random silly ideas when polled, just for fun.
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#16 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 17:30

I don't think that they do it for fun, I think they are deadly serious.
Here is a link to a document from Baylor college. A Christian University.

They assert inter alia that:
"How God sustains the American Dream
Paul Froese and Scott Draper
Most Americans believe that God has a plan for them. This is not so surprising given the number of Americanswho believe in God. Still, Americans who believe strongly that God has a plan for them look very different fromthe rest of Americans, both demographically and attitudinally. Their belief in God’s plan mitigates how we expectdemographics and attitudes to correlate."

This was the start of the first article in a 68 page document.
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#17 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 17:45

Kenberg's comments are apt, as usual. My tuppence worth. Stating the obvious. Rehearsing some preliminary truisms and tautologies :)

The fundamental certainty is that there are no other certainties.

Oliver Cromwell_"Letter to General Assembly of the Church of Scotland" (1650) said:

I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.

At school we're taught that Natural Philosophy progresses though 3 phases, spiralling in towards truth. Thus "Thunder" is:

  • Myth and Magic e.g. "Anger of the Gods."
  • Logic and Reason e.g. "Clouds banging together"
  • Scientific experiment and observation e.g "Shock wave due to thermal expansion of plasma in the lightning channel" (or whatever the latest theory is).

Scientific theories (like "Evolution" or "Climate Change") are working hypotheses, statistically induced and corroborated by experiment and observation but refutable by further observation and experiment. As often happens, in practice.

Belief in a scientific theory is rational but justifiable only if "belief" means "high level of confidence, short of certainty".

Richard Feynman_"The Physics Teacher" (1966) said:

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

Behaviourists explain behaviour (from amoeba to human) in terms of operant conditioning -- positive and negative reinforcement.

B F Skinner_"Beyond Freedom and Dignity" (1971) said:

A person who has been punished is not thereby simply less inclined to behave in a given way; at best, he learns how to avoid punishment.

Geneticists explain behaviour in terms of gene survival

Richard Dawkins"The Selfish Gene" (1976) said:

The minimum requirement for a suicidal altruistic gene to be successful is that it should save more than two siblings (or children or parents), or more than four half-siblings (or uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, grandparents, grandchildren), or more than eight first cousins, etc. Such a gene, on average, tends to live on in the bodies of enough individuals saved by the altruist to compensate for the death of the altruist itself.

But Scientists rarely attempt to explain belief.

Logic and Maths seem more reliable but still prone to paradox and uncertainty e.g. Gödel's incompleteness theorem. also

Ludwig Wittgenstein_"Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus" (1921) said:

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen. (Whereof one cannot speak. thereon, one must be silent)

Advice to be ignored :)

There's a metaphysical chasm between mathematical/scientific "truths" and ethical/moral "beliefs". IMO, they are categorically different. You can't logically deduce "ought" from "is" without assuming the equivalent of 2 deontological axioms (so neither provable):

  • General. You should so act as to maximise (or to comply with) "good".
  • Specific. X is good (Different philosophers define this "good" in different arbitrary ways. e.g Greatest happiness for the greatest number, Your wealth, The "Golden" rule, Human "rights", Pleasing God, and so on.

Whether you worship at the of the church of the Spaghetti monster or in the temple of Mammon, you can't defend your belief by appeal to science.

IMO, it's a question of "Hope" rather than "Faith". We hope that "Human rights" or "the 10 commandments" (or whatever) are true in some way. Sort of makes sense -- but still wishful thinking.

Kurt Gödel_"The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us (MIT Press)" (2013) said:

The meaning of the world is the separation of wish and fact. Wish is a force as applied to thinking beings, to realize something. A fulfilled wish is a union of wish and fact. The meaning of the whole world is the separation and the union of fact and wish.

Arguably, we should dispense with seemingly superfluous hypotheses,

John Punch, who formulated the popular version of"Occams Razor" in 1639 said:

Non sunt multiplicanda entia sine necessitate (Entities are not to be multiplied without necessity)

But some might struggle with no raison d'être...

Blaise Pascal_"Pensées" (1670) said:

Pesons le gain et la perte, en prenant croix que Dieu est. Estimons ces deux cas : si vous gagnez, vous gagnez tout; si vous perdez, vous ne perdez rien. (Pari de Pascal).
Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing). (Pascal's Wager)

Perhaps 95% of Americans are right.

T S Eliot_"Mr. Eliots Sunday Morning Service" (1920) said:

Sweeney shifts from ham to ham
Stirring the water in his bath.
The masters of the subtle schools
Are controversial, polymath.

T S Eliot_"Whispers of Immortality" (1920) said:

And even the Abstract Entities
Circumambulate her charm;
But our lot crawls between dry ribs
To keep our metaphysics warm.

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#18 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 17:48

So to summarize Pilowskys position

"Some American's believe stupid things, therefore it's appropriate to make gross generalizations about all Americans"

"Some Australians believe stupid things, therefore [crickets chirp]"

This is while I stick to much more specific assertions like

"Pilowsky is f$ckwit and a troll"
Alderaan delenda est
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#19 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 17:59

Yes, Richard. Super clever.
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#20 User is online   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-November-08, 18:00

View Postnige1, on 2020-November-08, 08:48, said:

....
Thus, straw-men are backed by ad-hominem attack.
....


This kind of sums up the whole of 2020 really. Sadly many of those who use these tactics most are those who should know better. And many do not even seem to understand the extent to which those tactics are used
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