May 2008

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Comments

@Rob

philosotainment - used multiple times in one of the posts

Is this the word of day on someone's toilet paper? or maybe it was a dare?

Friend - "Dude, I dare you to use the word philosotainment today."

Poster - "Dude, pfft that's easy. Have you ever heard of the Dilbert Blog?"

Friend - "The what?"

Poster - (rolls eyes)

XX EE

I LOVE THIS POST!

It's amazing that, even though you and I live on opposite coasts, you've somehow met my friend Bob.

Gregg

It isn’t mental illness, Scott. It’s just a lack of training in argumentation. The issue is one near to my heart. Most people don't know the difference between inductive and deductive logic. Deduction is appropriate when there is a complete enumeration of items in the premises and induction is appropriate when there is an incomplete enumeration. Argumentation is the field of study that applies dialectic logic to resolving controversy. Rhetoric deals with persuasion. The example in your posting was an example of a categorical syllogism that is intended for use in deductive (or formal) logic. Formal logic only requires the form of the argument to be correct and the premises to be correct, and the conclusion will follow with certainty. It is great for math and programming, but not much good for controversies in which the premises are NOT certain (like almost all real-life arguments). In your argument, the fallacy lies in the premise "doctors are good role models". That premise needs to be examined to see if you mean EVERY doctor or some doctors. If you mean only SOME doctors (which you clearly do, because you don't KNOW EVERY doctor) then you can't draw a conclusion using deduction. Induction allows for probability of correctness.

Chad Gould

These last few blog entries have certainly been entertaining. A few thoughts of my own:

A) I think Mr. Ahmadinejad's speech in the end proved your first foul-mouthed satire right, in a way. It is not right to attempt to censor his speech -- that only makes him a martyr. Instead, it is best to let him speak and make himself look like a fool.

B) Some of the comments seem to display an irrational fear of Islam. I think that if some Americans took the time to dig deeper into things, they wouldn't be as afraid of a fundamentalist Islamic takeover. Sure, Iran *projects* a superior huff, but domestically Iran is troubled by a bored youthful population, half with no jobs. I'm sure Mr. Ahmadinejab would prefer that people not mention Iran's heroin addiction rate, which by some accounts is the highest in the world. It's easier for the Iranian president to ruffle American feathers versus attempt to *fix* these domestic problems.

Funny how there is a shade of this in America today.

C) The Holocaust was horrible. That being said, the Holocaust does not shield an interest group affected by it from criticism. Like it or not, Jewish activists are one of several linked with what is called "neo-conservatism". Contrary to some commentators, criticism of neo-conservative policies does not imply sympathy with Nazis.

elmindreda

Currently it's psychiatry that defines what is and is not a mental problem, but please don't confuse that with actual problems (either way).

listo

I guess ripperitis have already a name, i'm not sure wich one of those but it must be here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

ShaunL

Maybe it’s -

- Scott is a cartoonist
- Cartoons simplify issues
- All Scott’s arguments are simplistic. Especially if I disagree.

Great couple of posts. Keep poking the ant hill

Andy Watt

"if u cant think straight u need to die.

Posted by: fred"

Alas! Another queer basher. Scott, you do attract 'em, don't you?

Gabriel

You're smart, but you're not that smart. You're post was bullshit filled with lies and non-sequiters and people who disagree are not insane, they just disagree with you. Get the hell over yourself.

Gabriel

Or maybe this a mental problem.
Let's say you make a sarcastic post detailing why you think the outrage about Ahmedinejab's appointment is wrong, in which you make outrageous lies about Israel, regurgitate falsehoods about Ahmedinejab's anti-semitic statements, show that you had no proper understanding of what free speech means and draw a clear moral equivalence between Bush and Ahmadinejab

Then you claim that it was a subtle commentary about the drive to war with iran.

Then you claim that people who see through your BS are insane.

I call it "You're a f**king douchebag Scott, rot in hell -ism" Have fun with your neo-nazi buddies and all those enlightened chums across the Atlantic. I mean it's been literally, what, decades since they committed a major genocide on their own patch, right?

Borjan

Well...

Logic is a powerful tool of reason, but reason itself is rather arbitrary (in humans) and not really necessary for survival. It's an evolutionary thing.

I'll send you a link in the e-mail.

Steff

What?
We cannot add to the already too long list of 'mental health problems!'
Everyone that has Ripperistis should pick up a new activity, preferably outside and very active. Get off the couch, away from the desk and doing something to raise your heart rate, respiration, and enjoyment level of life. QUALITY fun, fun, fun.
Funny how much clearer the head is after a refreshing walk or game (playing, not just spectating.)
And then there is the overwhelmingly growing attitude that it is okay to JUDGE others when we should all be LISTENING and trying to stretch our imagination to understand what life is like in someone elses' skin.
You are a master comedian, of course your web log might just be too much for some, but I didn't post the other day solely because I was too freakin' busy, I read it and laughed and then thought, wait what is he saying, and then I laughed again, sometimes it takes a bit for it to soak in, but I am sure that eventually it will.
Sometimes I think that people throw an idea out there just to get gears greased up and moving round and round.
I bet you are already addicted and could not quit the log if you tried (snot really a challenge- the others probably cannot either.)

A positive mind is a strong mind and a strong mind just can't be beat!

Joemer

The human mind is obviously highly susceptible to brainwashing and trauma based mind control. Television, music and entertainment driven by a corporate\political agenda have proven very effective along with an education system that has deteriorated to a degree where our instutions of higher learning resemble high priced trade schools.
The general population is no longer capable of critical thinking as a result, much less civil debate. You're just seeing the results of it.

Allan

This discussion of the last few days reminded me of a joke I recently heard;

Two builders (Dave and Stuart) are seated either side of a table in a pub when a well-dressed man enters, orders a beer and sits on a stool at the bar.

The two builders start to speculate about the occupation of the suit
Dave: - I reckon he's an accountant.
Stuart: - No way - he's a stockbroker.
Dave: - He ain't no stockbroker! A stockbroker wouldn't come in here!
The argument repeats itself for some time until the volume of beer gets the better of Dave and he makes for the toilet.
On entering the toilet he sees that the suit is standing at a urinal.
Curiosity and the several beers get the better of him.
Dave: - 'Scuse me.... no offence meant, but me and me mate were wondering what you do for a living?
Suit: - No offence taken! I'm a Logical Scientist by profession
Dave: - Oh? What's that then?
Suit: - I'll try to explain by example ... Do you have a goldfish at home?
Dave: - Er ... mmm ... well yeah, I do as it happens!
Suit: - Well, it's logical that you keep it either in a bowl or in a pond. Which is it?
Dave: - It's in a pond!
Suit: - Well it's reasonable to suppose that you have a large garden then?
Dave: - As it happens, yes I have got a big garden.
Suit: - Well then it's logical to assume that, in this town, if you have a large garden then you have a large house?
Dave: - As it happens I've got a five bedroom house ... built it myself!
Suit: - Well given that you've built a five bedroom house it's logical to assume that you haven't built it just for yourself and that you are quite probably married? And with a family?

Dave: - Yes I am married, I live with my wife and four children.
Suit: - Well then it is logical to assume that you are sexually active with your wife on a regular basis?
Dave: - Yep! Five times a week!
Suit: - Well then it is logical to suggest that you don't masturbate very often?
Dave: - Do what? Not me, mate!
Suit: - Well there you are! That's logical science at work!
Dave: - How's that then?
Suit: - Well from finding out that you had a goldfish, I've told you about your sex life!
Dave: - I see! That's pretty impressive. Thanks mate!
Both leave the toilet and Dave returns to his mate.
Stuart: - I see the suit was in there. Did you ask him what he does?
Dave: - Yep! He's a logical scientist!
Stuart: - What's that then?
Dave: - I'll try and explain. Do you have a goldfish?
Stuart: - Nope
Dave: - Well then, you're a wanker

Plop

If you disagree with me, you clearly have a mental problem...

And logically, if you agree with me, you cannot be sure you don't have one either ;)

Graham Bannister

http://blogadvisorysystem.com/

Greg

'fraid you're out of luck there. Psychology gave up on trying to find a decent definition of sane ages ago and decided to go with 'you're sane when most of your culture says you are' sanity now requires a decent amount of irrationality.

If you don't believe me look up depressive realism - deperessed people tend to have more rational views about the world but we call them crazies (obviously in more scientific terms)

It strikes me a possible solution is to attempt to start a new culture in which rationality and sanity are considered the same thing. I don't think you've got the money to buy an island somewhere though :S

gordon_goosemonster

It is a kinda mental problem, but it’s not neurological it’s environmental.
Basically certain people brainwash their children to believing certain ‘truths’. These ‘truths’ would include their religion, race, sexual orientation, political affiliation and stuff.
Anyone who dares to question these truths are automatically demonised and despised.
Even a hint of criticism, such as Scott’s previous posts, triggers an un-rational response. Hence the disjointed shite replied.

mpk

BTW, speaking of logic and how it is often misapplied, one of my favorite strips of all time is on page 122 in "Shave the Whales." Dogbert sits on a pillow and ponders:
-People catch worms to go fishing.
-People eat fish that just ate worms.
-There is definitely a wasted step here.

Next comment, in response to "car free since '93" -

If you agree with Szasz that there is no mental illness, then you are mentally ill, and need to be hospitalized. (Oops, am I coming up with a false argument? )

Or perhaps you were just opening the forum up and exposing an alternative view points that those of us curious enough to follow the link can decide to accept, reject, or blame you for?

I digress here since I've had to care for family members who would be a harm to themselves and others. To me, they were mentally ill. No ifs ands or buts. Medication and compassion got them through the weirdness.

In short, my personal experience causes me to disagree with some of Szasz philosphies summarized on Wikipedia. I was more worked up about what I learned about Szaz than the opinions I developed while reading Scott's recent blogs or the extreme liberal/conservative comments made in reply.

Maybe my meds are working...

Tarun

Hi Scott,

I ve been reading your blog for a few months and dilbert for a few years. A lot of thoughts and also the logic that you apply are similar to the way I think. I strongly recommend that you read a book called "Fooled by Randomness" and then follow it up with another called "The Black Swan". Both these have been written by Nassim Taleb.

Clare

Just maybe, some of your blog readers are saying "dance monkey, dance!" to you?

T.G.

"All you did was sugar-coat the same schtick to make yourself appear superior."

Yes. In essence is all the same :).

Intelligence is no sure cure for subtle or not so subtle ripperitis, biased judgements are a possible root and arrogance and contempt are a possible symptom, hehe.

me

Well, I think it boils down to education. When I was a kid, we had a whole year of logic classes where the primary theme was how to avoid error in thinking (such as the one you describe).
I must say that not everybody understood, so maybe this should be thaught to older children. As we all learn how ro swim, how to play basketball or whatever, so we all (at least it seems) need to learn how to think. I mean, most everybody knows hot to think basic thoughts needed to get laid, get something to eat and get roof over your head, but very small number of people learns the rules of baseball just watching the game (and if you don't know the rules it soon gets boring) and similarly, from observing people think complex thaoughts (and not everbody does this), it's hard to learn to do it yourself.

Dmitry Z

Ah, if only that would work!

Andrew

Of course you know...most people NOT suffering from Ripperitis don't leave comments as often as the sufferers. We (yes I speak for the collective) just enjoy your work and shake our head in disbelief at some of the comments, whilst laughing our tits off.

Hard to believe this condition exists and sufferers are probably a danger to society, but then again, at least it is entertaining.

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