Monday, June 18, 2007

Two kinds of arguments

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you, the Argument by Assertion. (Emphasis mine)

I used to tell them that the inherent “inconclusiveness property” of science doesn’t apply to my theory because free market fundamentalists are not so complicated like nature. I used to tell them that free market fundamentalists are “trivially simple” and there is only one property that defines them (unlike nature where you need to consider several parameters). This property is their stupidity. So, as I used to tell them, the essential “inconclusiveness property” of science need not apply to my theory about them. Today I came across an article by Czech Republic President, Vaclav Klaus, on Financial Times

The dictates of political correctness are strict and only one permitted truth, not for the first time in human history, is imposed on us. Everything else is denounced.
The scientists should help us and take into consideration the political effects of their scientific opinions. They have an obligation to declare their political and value assumptions and how much they have affected their selection and interpretation of scientific evidence.

Here you go guys and gals, reading this blog, this is (yet)^(infinity)th proof of the inherent stupidity of free market fundamentalists.

Decoded, this paragraph reads as follows.

I used to tell them I was right. So, as I used to tell them I was right. Today, I came across a POV that disagrees with mine. This is clear proof that I am right. I am right. Because I am right. So, I am right. You are wrong. Hence, I am right.

Also, presenting, the Argument from Ignorance. (Emphasis original)

I don’t know much about economics but even I know that you cannot make cross border comparisons of GDP because it doesn’t account for the local differences in the quality of food and other stuff (Update: lemme add here that it is true even with PPP considerations). Also, it is a known fact that India’s overpopulation is a big reason for the poor economic growth (refer to Thomas Malthus on this topic).

Yes, and hence we cannot conclude that the US is more prosperous than India because you know, cross border comparisons of GDP are not possible, because of differences in quality of food and stuff. I had heard of the phrase that every living man is the slave of some dead economist. I never knew that dead doomsday economists would however be invoked to assert that 1+1 is actually 2.

I have now re-decided. No more fisking, even. Unless it's on a matter of science, where this man presumably knows something at least.


doubtinggaurav said...

You are ronery indeed

zen babu said...

Yes I am. But only for three more days. Then, hell awaits.

Btw, what do you feel about people who are from neither convents nor KVs?

doubtinggaurav said...

Hmmm, depends on whether they pledge oath of allegiance to me.

zen babu said...

They never will. They have heightened sense of ego that prevents any such pledges. You will have to start thinking in terms of coalitions now.

Anonymous said...

Nilu gave a better name to this!

zen babu said...


I know he did. But he only covered argument by assertion, and in a different context. This one I thought was even more obvious. Plus, I claim the "Argument from Ignorance" to be an original discovery, or atleast an original nomenclature.

Sanjana Govindan said...

: )