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I was taking a walk yesterday.
A heron flew up from a ditch.
I heard some guys talking from a garden.
The Bing image today is that of a little frog in a flower...
It all adds up now!
This is the definite proof that the government is out to get us and corona is just the beginning!
On a serious note, why do people keep questioning officials and scientists, but are quick to hop on the bandwagon when some random fool makes a claim?
And on that note, I hereby claim that every programming language except C# causes cooties*
Because officials and scientists are sometimes wrong and sometimes can't even be trusted?
Greg Utas wrote:
anyone with a different take on things, regardless of their expertise.
Who are mostly wrong and mostly can't be trusted
People are basically saying that they don't believe or trust people who research subjects for a living, but they're perfectly fine with someone who read something on the internet.
My favorite (and very non-Lounge safe) example:
90+% of researchers: "Research has indicated that the earth will be 3 degrees warmer on average in 30 years which will have huge consequences to how we live."
People / POTUS: "It's -3C today so that indicates researchers are obviously lying."
"Officials" often have an axe to grind because the government, run by politicians, pays them. And politicians have more axes to grind than any other group.
Scientists are usually paid by politicians or corporations, so neither are they immune to knowing where their paycheck comes from. It's far worse with economists.
I look on most predictions with amusement and/or skepticism. There's no end of them, and I love Taleb's observation that Semitic languages have no distinct word for forecasting, and just use prophesying. When I was in high school, two forecasts were that an ice age was heading our way and that, over the next 30 years, billions of people would starve to death. These prophecies were made by scientists.
We have lots of experience with people predicting what the weather will be like the coming winter, or summer. They study how the crows fly, the patterns formed when they throw the coffee grounds on the ground, the stars or whatever.
If these soothsayers are completely wrong nine out of ten years, but hit reasonably close one year, which do we remember - the nine failures, or the one hit?
How many persons can you name who made predictions and failed?
That one that you do know the name of: He failed last year, didn't he? Yes, he once hit the bulls eye so well that they wrote about it in the newspapers - that was, lets see... seventeen year ago, I remember that very well, and he has had a name since then. Even though he has not repeated the feat, he must possess some very special abilities, don't you agree? Everybody does!
Another side is how exact and provable statements the soothsayers make. A few years ago, one of the guys at the Norwegian Meteorological institute played a little prank on the TV audience after reporting the forecast for the next day, he gave an overview over the weather for the summer: There would be some rain and some sun, we must expect wind on the coast and in the mountains, but also calm periods … A couple days later, he was back, telling that he had received much positive feedback on his summer forecast, no negative. But it was nothing but a joke. Of course we will have some sun, some rain, some wind, some calm! He took us through what he had "predicted", pointing out how he had not pinpointed anything neither in time nor region, not given any temperature in degrees, only as "warmer" or "colder", without any point of reference. Similar with rainfall, he predicted "some", and, in periods not fixed, "more". "Wind" can be anything from a soft breeze to a full storm; he had deliberately not used any more exact terms. It was all just loose bs. But, he claimed, his summer forecast would be 100% correct. He had looked through the previous fifty summers, and every one of them fit well within his predictions: There had been sun, rain, wind and calm, as he had predicted.
Weather, pandemics or anything else: Usually, 90% of it phrased so vaguely that it is non-verifiable, or it is natural. If a soothsayer is caught making 5% mistakes, he (or his followers) will point to the other 95%: Look there! That was not wrong! No, but if it was bs throughout, it leaves only the 5%, which was proven to be wrong. We must peel away the bs and that which goes without saying before even starting to consider how much truth and correctness there is in what's being said. For the summer weather forecast, there would be nothing left - but that was certainly intentional.
"'Do what thou wilt...' is to bid Stars to shine, Vines to bear grapes, Water to seek its level; man is the only being in Nature that has striven to set himself at odds with himself."
Wait a minute - have you actually SEEN them walk and chew gum at the same time?
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, navigate a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects! - Lazarus Long