May 2008

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« Almost as Funny as a Turd | Main | Proof of God »



Heinlein once wrote, "I shot a error into the air. It's still going EVERYWHERE."


It's funny how:

"I understand a point of view"

seems to now mean:

"I completely agree with a point of view I understand"

I'm not sure that the dailykos guy realizes that his quote just means "I understand something that was said". I find this a lot nowadays, especially from those from the U.S. It seems that you can ONLY understand views that you agree with.

For a Godwin's Law type example, I can fully understand how the Nazis wanted to use the Jews as a scapegoat for all the socio-economic problems that Germany was experiencing, I can also understand how they would want to eradicate this perceived "problem". I'll leave it up to others as to whether this means that I want to kill all Jews.

John Brunundungas

Scott Adams think Al Gore invented the Internet!


Wait, wait.. Dick Cheney & Richard Simmons? Did I miss an Enquirer story or something?


And now you'll be labeled as tree hugging jargon spewing Al Gore loving liberal. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Political Outsider

Bill Maher is brilliant at framing a guest so that he can disagree to make a point that HE wants to make. He's not such a great listener. He's also a BOOB according to a friend of mine.



I'm glad you revisited this topic because I had a similar problem with cognitive dissonance (or not), stemming from your blog post. I read your post and then followed the link to Bill Maher's transcript. I usually find Maher to be receptive and perceptive, so I was surprised to see how badly he and his panel missed the point of what Lomborg had said. I mentioned your blog post and what you had said about Bill Maher's reaction to Lomborg to my girlfriend, who is a fan of Bill Maher's show. She read your blog and his transcript, and she was immediately skeptical of Lomborg because she had read things before about him and his previous book where other people were skeptical of him via their own cognitive dissonance. She also asked me where my Limbaugh-esque position on global warming came from and was talking about how she couldn't understand Lomborg's premise for a book... it became a bit of an argument.

Now, I never said anything about what I feel about global warming, or that I agreed with Lomborg. All I said is that I agreed with what you wrote about how you thought they couldn't really hear what he had said, because they seemed to believe there can only be two diametrically opposed viewpoints on this topic. She tends to be one of those people who says she likes to look at the whole issue before forming an opinion, but now I'm not so sure and that makes me really sad.

A Person

You have been had! Every time Lomborg makes someone go "well, on the other hand..." he is making that someone dance like a monkey. The arguments in his book are not exactly the same as the arguments he made on Maher. Google "lomborg errors" for a few boring details about how the memes in the book are elaborately spun. (Which independent of the TV appearance, of course)

He is trolling, a spinner of memes for attention. But aren't we all!


Wow! between this example, and the previous one - the guy who went crazy about semantics of agnostic vs atheist - its seriously scary how cognitive dissonance can affect a human brain. Glad you're spreading awareness about this.. I find that if I watch myself for signs of cognitive dissonance goes a long way to help me avoid it... If more people could understand and accept this, maybe we'd actually benefit from intelligent people who don't know how to boil down complex issues into simple sound-bytes...


Well I finally checked out the link to Daily KOS. The guy makes a valid point:

"Since Dilbert the comic character usually keeps his wits about him, I can only conclude that, in one of those obscure signs of the true glory of human creativity, it's possible for a comic character to sometimes be smarter than his own creator."

In other words [ ]:

Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses.

But you wouldn't shut up, so you became a cartoonist instead.


I know nothing about the topic, but I'm totally doing carpet fishing when I get into work tomorrow...might use paper drawn out of hats though, rather than write a program (unless someone has or is going to write a program that they'd be willing to share?)


Actually, the internet invented Al Gore.

He was a botched photoshop job that ended up coming to life by some weird science experiment.

If people really knew the dangers of photoshop, it would banned in all civilized nations.

Kevin Kunreuther

In answer to Nancy B:
"Does anyone miss the dinosaurs?", unless you're talking about their descendants (i.e., barnyard chickens, ostriches, geese, any birds in general), we happened long after they had their turn at the wheel, so there is nothing to miss.
How many vicious maneaters or pesky aquatic / non-aquatic avians have bit the dust in the past hundred years? Hmmmmm .... we've almost eradicated smallpox, that's pretty dangerous. Passenger pigeons: bird poop everywhere you looked for days on end, couldn't see the sun in the sky for a week, according to my great grandfather Oswald.
Today, black bears are wandering into New Jersey suburban housing developments demanding voting rights, iPods and poodle burgers, coyotes are enjoying mouse canapes and lattes at kosher delis in Chicago and I've recently had three raccoons and a posse of possum families trying to establish a fundamentalist social collective in my garage and back garden and were holding one of my orange tabbies captive unless I increased my organic garbage output and provided comprehensive veterinary care as well as replacing the pecan tree out front with a walnut latte dispenser - I don't negotiate with terrorists, and Swampy was not a very lovable nor loving feline, so one less cat to feed and the animal control officer carting off the main offenders and the ringleader to the Paradise Pen down the road. We lost a few boughs from the pecan tree during one skirmish, that also took out an innocent red-eyed albino ferret that was handing out copies of "The Watchtower" door to door, but you know, c'est la guerre.


Once someone has committed themselves to a misunderstanding, they cannot back down and apologise when proven wrong. This also applies to management in the UK Health Service.


Don't worry Scott...its DailyKos....these people are lunatics ....they would make Stalin biggies!!

le Big MAC

I write (type?) by a poster that reads, "My Mind's Made Up - Don't Confuse Me With Facts".
All discourse, particularly social, economic and religious, is firmly divided by society into Left and Right. Which camp are you in? Think there are problems with the theories behind Global Warming? To the Right with you! Find Bill Maher's New Rules routine funny, even if they're about things like clogs or shampoo? Banished to the Left! Never mind the world of ideas is in fact a HUGE spectra of high, low, left right and center ideas. (I'm using the USA definitions, the world definitions I know are different.)
And as one gets older and more confident about one's worldview, one shuns or at least over-categorizes every new thought that enters your smug little world. One kind of person I hate are people like these polarizing talking heads assholes on cable news, or similar Aggressive people who get praised for shooting down ideas they don't like regardless of the idea's validity, because it shows their "Conviction" or "Confidence". What is so great about being confident or dedicated to ideas that are bad? Why is that smart, or heroic?
If anyone is Left and Right, maybe you would pick Margaret Cho and Sean Hammity-but everyone else is somewhere in the MIDDLE.
In fact the fact I'm even discussing this makes you want to push me to the Left. I challenge that YOU-yes you reading this-are becoming more Right in your old age. Unless you're an attractive female, in which case you are feeling very affectionate. Behold my power of mind reading!
One more revealing quote, from late stand up Bill Hicks on why he used psychedelic drugs: "It does open your eyes to the fact that everything you've learned, is just Learned and not necessarily True. There's dick jokes on the way...." It seemed really appropriate :p


Bjorn uses facts and simple statistics created by credible sources (such as U.N. agencies). It is interesting how people react when facts fly in the face of their beliefs. It gets emotional. They don't debate him on intellectually. Maher didn't, that's for sure.

You called it correctly, Scott. You know you did.


Bjorn uses facts and simple statistics created by credible sources (such as U.N. agencies). It is interesting how people react when facts fly in the face of their beliefs. It gets emotional. They don't debate him on intellectually. Maher didn't, that's for sure.

You called it correctly, Scott. You know you did.


Bjorn uses facts and simple statistics created by credible sources (such as U.N. agencies). It is interesting how people react when facts fly in the face of their beliefs. It gets emotional. They don't debate him on intellectually. Maher didn't, that's for sure.

You called it correctly, Scott. You know you did.

Nancy b

Finally - a site filled with intelligent people who know that argument solves nothing. As to the Polar Bear and Penguins - does anyone miss the dinosaurs???


Scott, don't waste your time and energy debating with idiots. Maybe the guy who wrote that blog drives a hybrid himself and you touched a sensitive point; it seems he only took a sentence out of your blog to pick at...


Yes, jaw-dropping. Maybe it shouldn't be so surprising to me, but it is. I find it quite disturbing.

I'm also no sure I could keep quite if I was being so grossly misunderstood in this sort of public way, despite tending to agree that your "out of the bottle" view is correct. Though, of course, you're not being totally silent; you've written about the misunderstanding here.


Next headline: Dilbert drawer delusion: I am Al Gore.

Ron Davison

Subtlety and rankings (or nuance and advertising revenue) go together like Dick Cheney and Richard Simmons. I saw that show as well and was blown away by how completely these four people so missed the point. What's the quip? The opposite of listening isn't talking - it's waiting. They were all waiting to make their points and what Bjorn had to say simply didn't fit into any simple, pre-manufactured categories these people had.


The guy from the link you posted was a douchebag. A devout follower of assholeism.

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