MemberlistThe Library Index  FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Principles of Applied Epistemology (APPLIED EPISTEMOLOGY)
Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... , 31, 32, 33  Next
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking. 'Big deal.' And quite right too, because the world is chock-full of geographical oddities and so what if this is one of them. But I also know something else you’re thinking. A tiny, bell-like voice somewhere in the furthest reaches of your brain is saying; 'Well, fair’s fair, I’d never thought of the Nile as a geographical oddity before, so I’ve got to give him that one.'

Thanks, but there’s really no need. Once you’ve conceded it’s an oddity the Golden Rule comes into play and all we have to do is look round for something similar and since the Nile is an immensely long, north-south, geographical oddity situated in East Africa, all we need to come up with is another immensely long, north-south, geographical oddity situated in East Africa. Now there’s a stroke of luck

The Great Rift Valley

As that great epistemological philosopher, Harry Hill, once said, 'What are the chances of that happening?' So, now we have not merely an odd coincidence, we have an oddly complementary coincidence
river/valley
valley/river
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

At this point I’m afraid I’m going to have to stiffen up your sinews. Don’t whatever you do, check this out. A lot of people stumble across interesting coincidences from time to time, then they go haring off to tell some expert all about it and, after a few carefully chosen words from the expert, they walk away slowly with a flea in their ear, resolving not to bother with coincidences anymore.

In this case, for instance, the expert will carefully explain to you that the Great Rift Valley is a tectonic feature caused by continental plates moving apart and therefore cannot have anything whatever to do with temporary surface features like rivers. Your correct response to this is to say, 'Thank you very much' to the expert and continue with your enquiries. If they bear fruit return to the expert and say, 'Your theories are a lot of bollocks' and run away before he can hit you with his geology hammer.

What do we know about the Great Rift Valley? For certain, as opposed to tectonic speculation.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Well, at one end is Lake Tanganyika, at the other end is the Dead Sea which happens to be the lowest point on the earth’s surface. So, it’s not a giant step to say we have
an enormous dammed lake
a several thousand mile valley with a lovely gradient
an apparently missing river

By weird contrast, right next door and exactly parallel, we have the enormous 'reservoir lake' (Lake Victoria) out of which flows a river (the Nile) several thousand miles long that by rights shouldn’t be there. Don’t you just itch to put the one in the other? I know I do.

But we must resist any such foolishness. It could all be a geographical oddity. We need another Golden Rule moment. So, let’s see, what was the original problem? Oh yes, I remember now, there was
a cradle civilization in the desert
some pyramids
a mystery river

We apply the Golden Rule and look for something similar nearby.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

And there it is, right on cue, good old Mesopotamia
a cradle civilisation in the desert with
some pyramids and
a mystery river

I tell a lie, two mystery rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. You didn’t know the Tigris and the Euphrates were mystery rivers? You really thought two rivers running straight and parallel across a desert for a thousand miles and never joining up despite them never being more than an incised meander apart is a natural state of affairs? Blimey, even my dog spotted that one.

So get to it. Join up the dots, explain what’s going on. There’s enough of you and, let’s face it, unlike me, you haven’t got anything better to do with your time. If it’s any help I think Lake Van holds the key. No, that’s all you’re getting. You’re on your own from now on. And buy my sodding book, you tight bastards.
ends
Send private message
Ishmael


In: Toronto
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Mick Harper wrote:
My pet algorithm sent me something of mine from twenty years ago. It was an article commissioned by the official Graham Hancock website where I had been selected as Author of the Month (for THOBR).


This was the very article that I commissioned from you.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

It still reads remarkably well and is a pretty decent idea considering I had to come up with something off the cuff. And it's all down to you!
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

PS It also demonstrates the potluckery that attaches to the (equally important) dissemination of ideas. I sent out dozens of copies of THOBR, a few of which actually garnered reviews in quite high places (New Statesman, Daily Mail, Times Literary Supplement) but only the one I sent to Graham Hancock's website (quite why I still don't know) had any lasting effect. And then only because you were the editor.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Deadliest single attack in Ukraine killed 300 Guardian

So let's start applying 'the tyranny of large numbers'. First off, this is a grisly subject and it is the height of bad taste to question it. Second off, the supplier (the Guardian) and the consumer (Guardian readers) are overwhelmingly pro-Ukraine and anti-Russia. So, which of these is likely to be the actual out-turn
a) more than 300
b) about 300
c) less than 300?

Since the Guardian is getting its figure from the Ukrainians, (a) is pretty much impossible. When we come to (b) we have to consider what is being counted. It is an unknown number of people who did not escape as compared to an even larger number of people who did. The second group can be counted, the first cannot (at this stage). Can they be estimated? Clearly they weren't, as it were, counted in -- it would have been mentioned -- so how can anybody know the total? Is there anyone in the world who can estimate large numbers of people in air raid shelters when they are in air raid shelters? No.

Nor, for that matter, are there many air raid shelters in the world which can trap hundreds but allow even more hundreds to escape. Do the Ukrainians have form? Yes. From the start, very large numbers of deaths have been reported from such incidents, not a single one has been confirmed (to my knowledge, and they certainly would have been widely publicised). The total number of civilian casualties from Russian bombing is reported as being in the high hundreds or low thousands. So

a) more than 300 Almost impossible
b) about 300 Very unlikely
c) less than 300 Almost certainly
d) none at all Possible

Now return to the Guardian headline. Does it convey any of this? Was anything I have written not known to Guardian sub-editors?
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

No more has been heard about this event. It joins all the other large buildings destroyed by Russian action with large numbers of (but presently uncounted) dead.

It is normal, when a building collapses, for strenuous efforts to be made to clear the rubble in case there are survivors. In the peculiar circumstances of Ukraine, where there are many such buildings, will this rule be observed? In the peculiar circumstances of Ukraine, there are an almighty number of people around unable to do what they normally do, so one might have thought so.

But Ukraine is not peculiar when it comes to the tyranny of large numbers. The last similar -- but non-war -- collapse that I can recall was that apartment block in Florida. That also had 'hundreds' trapped underneath. How many there turned out to be I cannot say, the out-turn wasn't reported with quite the widespread publicity of the initial event. It was not, I'm pretty sure, 'hundreds'.
Send private message
Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Mick Harper wrote:
No more has been heard about this event.


Well, the Russians have claimed that the Ukrainians have bombed themselves, this is a typically rubbush Russian defence in Wiley's eyes as the "it wasn't us that committed the atrocity" admits "the atrocity" (the mass civilian killing as a result of someone shelling). The Russians also claimed they were framed for shelling civilian targets in Syria.

Nevertheless the "it wasn't us guv" is the "go to" reflex defence the Russians always use as, under the Soviet State, the procedure was like that of the Spanish Inqusition that you were innocent unless you confessed, so at no stage do you admit to anything however small, or large.

The western defence of bombing civilians, we did it but it was an error, or there was mitigation, is (err) foreign to the Russians. So they won't question the numbers or admit they got it wrong.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

People who disagree with me often chide me for not knowing enough about whatever it is we are disagreeing about. This upsets me. Not because I know less than they do (I can bear that with equanimity) but because them knowing how much I know is deeply unsettling. They are often people I've just met so they can't have been stalking me, and the only other possibility is that there's some kind of database out there.

What people know
What people know about subject X
What M J Harper knows
What M J Harper knows about subject X

I am in sore need of access to something of the kind because I never know what anybody knows about anything! You can imagine the problems this poses when I'm trying to work out whether I know more about subject Y than opponent Z when disagreeing with them. But I've finally worked out a way of coping. From now on I'm just going to chide them for not knowing enough about it.

I won't be lying. You can never know enough about any subject. Nor would I be claiming to know more about it than they do. I know you are all thoroughly fed up with me saying so, but it's another masterstroke from the master.
Send private message
Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Understanding is more important than knowledge. Least that is what I understood AE to be about. I don't know that. I am probably wrong, it's probaly a circle where both are important. Yes, that's the model. Or hang on, is it a paradox more knowledge leads to less understanding? They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, what about ton loads of knowledge like Rory Naismith has on Anglo Saxon London. You can't say it's not well researched, his selected (ha) bibliography seems to encompass a whole reading room's worth of material from the British Library. Has his book benefited? He still keeps on using "Dark" metaphors saying we don't know enough. He just doesn't like the phrase. So he is presenting an exhaustive compendium of knowledge on something that he feels there is good if limited evidence for, a so-called Citadel of the Saxons. He is not going to change, any new knowledge will be stuffed in that paradigm.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

From the Instruction Manual

Only five minutes in and we are already inching ahead of Casanova experts. Not in anything that Casanova experts would think remotely important. They know all this. They certainly know Casanova is a great pretender and doubtless made up all the stuff about royal connections. They know altogether too much. It is the great weakness of experts, what is called

the tyranny of knowledge

“The more you know, the more you have invested.” How many Casanova experts are likely to entertain theories that all those years spent acquiring all that knowledge are wasted years because he never existed? Look at it this way:

we have the field to ourselves
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Failed colonial wars are dictatorship killers. Think Portugal 1974, Argentina 1982–83, Italy 1943. It’s unrealistic to expect Russia to be an exception to this rule. Lester Golden https://medium.com/illumination-curated/april-25-russia-ukraine-endgame-2b564512f8c5

A nice example of the bogus list. Portugal, yes. Well, maybe. The death of the dictator Caetano was probably more important but we'll give this one to him. Argentina, no. Argentinians would be outraged to be told Las Malvinas are a colony of theirs. But a failed war against somebody else's colony, I suppose gives him a maybe. Italy? Duh. Mussolini had lost all the Italian colonies and still he stayed in power. His country being attacked by the Anglo-Americans and him not being able to do anything about it got rid of him for a time but only to be put back by another dictator. But he did go eventually when there was nothing of Italy left to him.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Some instructive backwash from the above. This Lester Golden had started his account

I’m as old as the Carnation Revolution anniversary partygoers above. What connects me, Ukraine and the image above? I lived in Lisbon from May-August 1974, watching the results of dictatorship demolition unfold. Today I’ll go to the 48th anniversary celebrations in Porto.

This is good shit (and so was the article as a whole). It was only the colonial claim that got to me. So I replied thusly

Lester, I was fascinated by your statement "Failed colonial wars are dictatorship killers." I'll sort of give you Portugal. Though the death of Salazar had a bit to do with it, Caetona wasn't much of a dictator. I can't give you Argentina since I've never met an Argentinian who regards Las Malvinas as a colony. As for Musso, hadn't he lost all the Italian colonies and was still in power when various armies actually arrived on his doorstep? Two of them showed him the door and a third one put him back again. But if you've got some other examples, I'd love to hear about them. It's an intriguing theory.

My misspelling of Caetano, making him sound like someone out of Atomic Kitten, was unfortunate (notice I was still making a mistake over him when writing to youse guys) but he let me off the hook with that one and did something much more interesting...
Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... , 31, 32, 33  Next

Jump to:  
Page 32 of 33

MemberlistThe Library Index  FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group