Hope springs eternal

datePosted on 11:06, May 1st, 2009 by Lew

Over at The Standard the aptly-titled Mathemagician has been snapped trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat to prove that the government’s student loan carrot is in fact a stick.

This is fundamentally the problem with True Believers – they’re so committed to an ideological position (in this case, that National are trying to rip everyone off) that they’re credulous to the point of naïvete. Skeptic founder Michael Shermer lists this as one of the five core reasons Why People Believe Weird Things in his book of the same name: if it suits people’s worldview to believe something, they don’t bother to examine it too closely for fear they might prove themselves wrong.

The most cursory bit of critical thinking about this topic ought to have revealed it was all smoke and mirrors, but there wasn’t even that – in this sense it’s sort of like Schneier’s Law, viz:

Any person can invent a security system so clever that he or she can’t imagine a way of breaking it.

Since they’ve deleted the old table showing the original calculation, here’s a screenshot. Good work, Pat.

L

4 Responses to “Hope springs eternal”

  1. roger nome on May 1st, 2009 at 12:12

    “they’re so committed to an ideological position (in this case, that National are trying to rip everyone off) that they’re credulous to the point of naïvete.”

    Quite – look at this laughable attempt by MacDoc to rationalise his position as a global warming denialst.

    http://www.macdoctor.co.nz/?p=2032

  2. MacDoctor on May 1st, 2009 at 18:57

    Quite – look at this laughable attempt by MacDoc to rationalise his position as a global warming denialst.

    Indeed. It is a perfect example of why you should never argue with a left-wing ideologue troll. They keep changing the nature of the argument, rather than developing it. The funny thing is you seemed to think you have made some sort of point.

  3. Lew on May 1st, 2009 at 19:40

    Hey roger and MD,

    I’d appreciate if you wouldn’t use my thread to settle a private disagreement.

    L

  4. Pablo on May 1st, 2009 at 20:54

    I second Lew’s request. I must confess that I am disappointed at Roger’s continued inability to separate personal from intellectual disagreement. I say this pointedly and publicly because it was Roger who originally hijacked the thread. BTW Roger–was that really you raving over at Slater’s site a week or so ago? If so, it was a very poor show and reflects poorly on the rest of us here at KP because of the association with you.

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