Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Who's thinking for the thinkers?

Over at The Breda Fallacy: pooh.

I especially liked this quote:

"When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."
- Winnie the Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner

I think much of the current crop of Pols could be lumped into the BoVLB (Bear of Very Little Brain) group. It's not the thinking of things that causes the problem. It's not the examination of others that seems, to me, to be the issue. It's the disconnect that many of our elected officials seem to have between gedankenexperiment and reality. There seems to be a mentality in Washington that goes something like:
  1. The people elected me therefore They like me.
  2. I thought of this therefore They will like this.

This amazing step of logic is know as The Fallacy of the General Rule. But they blithely go on believing it.

Or they will fall into the trap of The Argument of Small Numbers. Just because the people they hired like the idea doesn't mean the larger case is true.

Similarly, just because the Idea they had worked good in their mind, doesn't mean it'll work once reality starts reaching into the pot.

It used to be that logic was taught in school. It was a course unto itself. Either in high school or college we learned how to argue and through association how to think. We were taught how to look at a hypothesis or premise and think about it critically. Come to our own conclusions of it's inherent worth and act accordingly. When logic was dropped I don't know, but we're paying the consequences now. We have an entire populace that knows no better than to blissfully follow what they've been told and, may the great Ghoo save us, the ones telling us what to do aren't any better than the rest of the flock.

No comments: