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« The world of made-up statistics | Main | Four year old Texas boy dies from dog attack »

January 18, 2013



Excellent as always! Another thing I look at is what is the goal of the organization or poster. And I like to seperate the stated goal from their actual actions to see it they are the same. Unfortunatley, it seems some have a hidden agenda at times. I am also skeptical of blogs that delete counter opinions. Don't get me wrong I don't mind deletion of posts that use inappropriate language or are hatefull but to simply delete a post because it has a well thought out counter opinion does not seem right. Unless of course you just want all to believe that the "cause" is supported by all. Kind of an enforced "group think". Some pages I have seen even go so far as to imply their is some sort of grand effort against them and soon the the issue gets completely off track. You kind of touch on this in your item #6. As for anomyous posts. I would generally agree with the fact that those that post should be willing to be idnetified. However, I can understand why some that have valuable information to share may be in a position that they are not comfortable being identified. So if the post has reliable data I would still consider that. In the world of Animal Rights it seems like emotion trumps reason and it is sad to see some of the issues being debated disolve into "fight" reminecent of the third grade.


#1 somewhat contradicts #4. A person can be anonymous/pseudonomous and still provide credible information from reputable sources.

I think your points are broadly, to look at the credibility of the author(#1,#2, #4, #5, #6) and whether the point of view is in line with professional consensus(#3).

One important thing when looking at logical arguments derived from factual claims:

A person can list multiple facts with sources and yet make invalid arguments or conclusions from them. On the other hand, a person may list multiple "facts" that are in fact false, but make sound logical arguments from those false premise.

The first type of errors tend to be(but is not always) easy to spot. You don't generally need to know anything about a topic to spot reasoning errors, you just need a critical mind.

For the second type of errors, if you don't have enough knowledge about the topic, you won't know that the premises are false. Which would mean that the conclusion, despite being based on solid reasoning, is invalid. So it's important to not just accept a premise at face value.


Touche' annoymous.

And yes, definitely agree on the types of errors -- and while I agree that #1 is not necessarily an absolute, I've found very few cases where someone remains provides information anonymously for long periods of time and that information is of much value. It can happen, but I've seldom seen it.

Randy, I generally agree that leaving out important dialogue, skepticism and counter points is often a sign of trouble as well. It does lead to group think. I also don't like when there is no commentary allowed at all -- although I do realize when some people reach "celebrity" type status that keeping up with comments can be overwhelming...


Kind of an enforced "group think".

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