A Reminder

Nobody asked but …

This picture shows an animated electric sign located in, I believe, New York City.  It is a readout of The National Debt Clock.  I don’t know how long ago it was photographed, but a check today says that the big number is now over $22.5 trillion.

 

Thank you, Seymour Durst.  It seems, to me at least, that it is a bad idea, however, since the display is restricted to one address in an urban hive of moneychangers.  The residents of this hive thrive on the number going ever higher.

Instead, we should be blaring the number out in the “Flyover Zone.”  Soccer moms need to know!  This number should be clarioned on the Golden Arches, and above the portals of schools and colleges … even on those DHS displays on our Interstate highways (see something, say something)!

Even if the number could be 100% overstated, we should be scared out of our skulls.

— Kilgore Forelle

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The Fallacy Fallacy Redux

Nobody asked but …

Just because someone argues about a thing by using a logic fallacy does not make the thing itself untrue.  In fact, citing your antagonist’s logic slip, then claiming victory thereby is just another instance of the appeal to authority.  The authority in this case are the tandem of your fallacy guru and your argumentation guru.

Firstly, you cannot “win” an argument, since an argument is a process for testing fact, not a pissing match.

Secondly, it is impossible to make a sound argument by citing a fallacy.  Such would only get you and your debate partner to a logical starting point for addressing any remaining fallacies.

Here is an example: some will insist that global warming is climate change that will come true, because … science.  But an open-ended reference to science is no different than an appeal to magic practitioners.  It is an unsupported assertion in the form of an appeal to authority.

BUT — and this is a big “but” — the fallacy makes the original assertion, that global warming is coming, neither true nor false.  There are no authorities who can know the future.

— Kilgore Forelle

 

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Facial Recognition Fantasy

Nobody asked but …

There is a television writers’ trick often employed to move a plot along, the fictional use of alleged facial recognition software.

I have no idea how sophisticated FR really is, but I do know that those who propound its magic have no incentive to tell us its limitations.  Just as a car salesman will romance us with purported positives all day long, while neglecting potential flaws, script writers and law enforcement officials have vested interests in our belief in the wonders of science.

The worst part is that if the insiders say some technology works, human nature is such that they are lying.  The technology is likely to be “not ready for prime time.”  If we can’t check their veracity, they can demand our faith.

— Kilgore Forelle

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Road Test

Nobody asked but …

Here is a good way to check your latent tendencies on the voluntaryist/interventionist scale.

When you are riding shotgun with a significant other or a close associate driving, do you:

  • Give unrequested directions?  If not, you might be a voluntaryist.
  • Ask what route will be taken?  If not, you might be a voluntaryist.
  • Mime the mechanical techniques of operating the vehicle?  If not, you might be a voluntaryist.
  • Point silently turns that could be made?  If not, you might be a voluntaryist.
  • Supervise braking, accelerating, and speed decisions?  If not, you might be a voluntaryist.
  • Relax and trust the driver?  If so, you might be a voluntaryist!

— Kilgore Forelle

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Teletrouble

Nobody asked but …

Maybe it’s because I got my driver’s license renewed last week, but my phone is ringing off the wall with calls that usually start like this, “hello, this is Bob (or Chuck or Wayne or some other macho moniker) on behalf of the Police Fund for [whatever].”

Firstly, yes, that’s correct, we here in Kentucky must seek the permission of the state to engage in human action, and pay for it, and get placed on all kinds of lists, official, semi-official, quasi-official, and pseudo-official.  I mutter under my breath, Robert A. Heinlein’s admonishment,

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

I do not tolerate police fund drives, much less those that are conducted by mercenaries (paid fundraisers).  In particular, I don’t tolerate fund drives that purport to be for the benefit of some underprivileged set.  I can just see the wretches held incommunicado someplace for a week, listening to and watching 24/7 propaganda.

— Kilgore Forelle

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