I put them all here. Well, not all of them but a bunch of them: Continue reading Fallacy Ref Memes
I’ve identified the next retail item shortage. I’ll let you know what it is when I’m done hording. Any guesses?
Governor Walz was great in his press conference today the vis-a-vis police union. (Well, he seemed to be channeling me, so of course I agreed with him.)
Two things the national guardsman turned history teacher turned congressperson turned governor said: 1) if the police union was doing its job, it would have had provisions in place that would have protected Mr. Floyd; and 2) nobody is more upset about a bad teacher than the good teacher down the hall. (Walz is making the comparison at two points between a good teachers union, which protects students and quality education, and a cop union.)
Another thing that was discussed is the “sanctity of life” rule that most Americans, frankly, can’t imagine but that is followed in other countries.
Actual example given by our public safety head in the news conference: A man (in Camden, NJ) runs into a restaurant and slashes three people. In normal US police procedure, the first cop on the scene would blow him away with a firearm. Everybody would go, “Uh he deserved it uh.”
In “sanctity of life” procedure, in force in Camden, which “defunded” already, the cops surrounded him and when safe zapped him with ray guns or something and took him alive.
As per previous conversations here about the TV show Cops: We Americans do learn how to think about many things by watching fiction on TV. Go watch a few episodes of Flashpoint. It is a fictional TV series about a super trained elite urban (but sometimes suburban or even rural) S.W.A.T. team.
But since they are in Canada, instead of running around going “hut hut hut” and shooting at everything, they do it totally differently. The pilot is about a SWAT sniper who kills a person (because he has to) but then spends the rest of his career feeling really bad about it.
It is on Hulu, I think.
Now it is time to make fun of the cops. Hut hut hut, you’all.
Mouse is a small rodent with a cigarette shaped, elongated nose that actually kind of looks like a kitchen match. Mouse is either very clever, and knows how to gaslight a predacious bird, or is the most clueless rodent in the forest. Either way, this dark tale in a picture book is ideal to help 3-6 year olds understand some of the key realities of life … and near death.
My Best Friend,* a new, fresh, amusingly and skillfully illustrated book by Rob Hodgson, author of The Cave, could be your toddler’s first relationship book, or first nature book, depending on what the child takes from it. Let me know how it goes. The three kids I tried it out on loved it.
The Cave is pretty good too.
The term “ad hominem” means directed against a person.
If you are a racist, and I say you are a racist, then my statement is ad hominem. Note that the statement may be technically correct. I’m saying something about you, and you really are a racist, so my statement is correct. On the other hand, if you are not a racist, and I say you are a racist, that is an incorrect ad hominem statement. My statement is incorrect. Either way, I have not committed an “ad hominem fallacy.” I’ve simply made a statement about you, that may or may not have been correct.
So, what the heck is the meaning of the term “ad hominem fallacy” you may ask? (Note that the term “ad hominem” itself, or “ad hom” for short, has come to imply “ad hominem fallacy.”) In the above example, you might think that if I call you a racist and you are, that I have not committed a fallacy, but if you are a racist, I’ve not. In neither of the above examples, have I committed the ad hominem fallacy.
If I sent you to this post to read it, it is more likely because I think you’ve committed the fallacy of the ad hominem fallacy. This is a meta-fallacy. You have claimed that an ad hominem fallacy has occurred because someone has called someone a racist (or some other nasty thing, I’m using “racist” as an example here, obviously) whether the accusation is right or wrong. But your reference to the ad hominem fallacy is in fact a fallacy because none of that relates to what an ad hominem fallacy actually is.
An ad hominem fallacy is when you are arguing over an issue, like are cats better than dogs, and you go after the person you are arguing with and attack them as a person as part of your argument. That is not the same as the question of whether the person is in fact worthy of this attack.
Let me give you an example.
Me: Cats are better than dogs.
Hitler: No, dogs are better than cats.
Me: No. You are, in fact, Hitler, and Hitler is a total jerk, so therefore, cats are better than dogs.
Here, I am wrong in two ways. First, you can’t say that cats are better than dogs. Or visa versa. Second, I’m arguing that the other guy in this argument is wrong because he is a jerk. I was committing an ad hominem fallacy.
However, I am right about one thing. Hitler is a jerk. So, let’s play it out again from a slightly different angle.
Me: Cats are better than dogs.
Hitler: No, dogs are better than cats.
Me: Hitler, you are a complete jerk, did you know that?
Hitler: So I’ve been told.
Me: In any event, you are wrong. Cats are better than dogs.
Hitler: Really, you can’t say one is better than the other.
Me: You know, you are right about that. You are still a jerk.
Hitler: So I’ve been told.
Here, our discussion about cats vs. dogs actually came to a reasonable conclusion and, indeed, a consensus. Who knew both Hitler and I could be so reasonable? Also, I made an ad hominem attack on Hitler. I called him a jerk. In so doing, I did not commit an ad hominem fallacy. I made a statement of belief about Hitler’s jerkiness, and very likely, I was right. I did not use Hitler’s jerkiness as part of my argument about cats vs. dogs. Even if I was wrong, and Hitler is a nice guy with a bad reputation, my statement was still not an ad hominem fallacy. It might have been wrong, but it was not an ad hominem fallacy. It was about him, so technically, it was “ad hominem” but not a fallacy.
An ad hominem fallacy is when you use a personal attack on a person in order to devalue or dismiss an argument they are making. It is NOT when you make a statement about the person, which may or may not be a personal attack, in and of itself. I maintain Hitler is a jerk, and I don’t care about cats vs dogs. Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong, but while that is an attack on the man, it is not a logical fallacy. If I say his opinion about dogs vs cats is wrong because he is a jerk, THAT is an ad hominem fallacy.
I sent you here because I think you got that wrong, and I wrote this post because I’m weary of that common fallacy, about a fallacy, being toted out in the middle of arguments.
These rocks are for sale up in Maple Grove:
They are described as “Huge rocks” but I question that because they look like small rocks to me.
Their condition is listed as “Used-Like New.” I question that too. This is new rock:
A typical Minnesota bus stop when the first day of shorts and the last day of coat happen on the same day:
Just in case you haven’t heard, the Wayzata (that’s our school) Science Bowl team won the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP this year. This is not a small feat. The teams that win, and compete to almost the end, tend to be 3-5K science and technology magnet schools. Wayzata is a great school, but it is a general high school for a fairly large district. Wayzata is pronounced “Why Zat Ah” rhymes with “Why’s it matter” said in a thick Boston accent.
An interest in science at high school age is a very healthy thing.
OK, maybe not.
How to write a letter to the editor. This one is a good example. At some point we’ll have a beer and I’ll point out the key features:
All of the sudden Al has a podcast. Just got an email from him letting me know. The first episode is with Sarah Silverman.
He also wrote Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, in case you didn’t know.
Also, did you know that I personally put Al Franken in the Senate?
Donald Trump has confused the events in a newly released move with reality, and that is why the government was shut down.
A lunar eclipse happens only during a full moon. Some full moons happen when the moon is closest to the Earth, and these are called “Super Moons.” Under some conditions, a lot of light gets round the Earth’s shadow during an eclipse, and this is red light. All three are happening at the same time this weekend, which gives us the rare Super Blood Moon Eclipse.
Here are the things to watch for during the Super Blood Moon Eclipse.
- Since the Moon will be VERY close to the earth, there is a risk of it running into things. For this reason, climbers will be held at mid level base camps on Everest and K2, and observation decks on large sky scrapers will be closed.
- Since the Moon is a critical part of the Zodiac, a very strong Super Blood Moon Eclipse can rearrange it. This is how we got Gemini — that was originally two separate constellations. Astrologers at the National Observatory are concerned that during this Super Blood Moon Eclipse, Leo may be knocked into Capricorn, which could endanger the goat. If the worst happens, those born between December 22nd and January 2nd will be Sagittarius, and those born between January 3rd and January 19th will be Aquarius.
- Tides will be affected. Instead of having two tidal cycles a day, the tide will remain high for a couple of days. This will have a negative effect on the availability of clam rolls in New England. The Governor of Massachusetts has ordered taco trucks supplied by FEMA to be deployed around the Greater Boston Metro.
- Lunacy will, simply put, run amok.
- Conservators working at megalith sites such as Stonehenge will be on high alert for the arrival of more than the usual numbers of Inferi and Zombies.
- Black cats will turn a shade of dark greenish blue. It will wear off after a few days.
There will likely be other effects, but Super Blood Moons are unpredictable, and every time one happens, some new thing previously unexpected occurs. It is always a bad thing, so be prepared. Lock your doors and windows, and make sure your Mormon Closet is full of Spam.
Where do they get these faces? Often the same guy, I notice: Continue reading Stock Market Face
Roughly, like this: Continue reading How to cancel your New York Times subscription
No, but seriously, U.S. militia groups head to border, stirred by Trump’s call to arms.
Once again, because of Republicans, and Trump, people are going to die.
We got this:
Just saw this, thought you might want to know about it: Continue reading Donald Trump’s Official Archive Established
No, he’s not dead, he 90. But for some reason, probably because his birthday was yesterday, Nature wrote him up, and it is a fun read.
In case you are wondering who Tom Lehrer is, he is this guy: