Tag: Logic

I Don’t Get It

 

When a pregnant woman arrives at the abortion clinic in the morning, she’s carrying a living being within her body. The fetus is swimming around in there, making faces, waving her arms, grabbing her piggy-toes, sucking her thumb, as innocent as a human being can be. When the woman leaves the clinic, that kid is dead. Abortion clinics are places where small human beings are killed, one after another, all day long. I don’t approve of blowing up abortion clinics, but I get the logic of it. Blow it up, and fewer babies die.

And I get the logic, too, of murdering an abortion doctor. Again, I don’t approve of it, but I understand it. Dr. George Tiller was an abortion doctor. When Dr. Tiller walked into a procedure room, the human fetus was alive. When he walked out, the fetus was dead. He—the doctor— directly and deliberately killed thousands of human beings; he specialized in terminating the post-viable fetus and made upwards of a million dollars a year doing it. And no, these were not by and large babies destined to die shortly after birth or live agonizing lives as catastrophically malformed creatures. Their mothers did not want them, and were willing to pay, in cash, for Dr. Tiller to kill them. So he did.

Member Post

 

Hi, kids! Class is back in session! I know it’s been a while, but today’s lesson is historic! Today, our lesson is about a favorite topic, logic. Or, more accurately, logical fallacies. There are many logical fallacies. First, there are “formal” fallacies, four in all, including “syllogistic” fallacies (all salmon are fish; all sharks are […]

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Pirates Dividing the Spoil

 

This is a classic logic problem. Briefly, the setup runs like this:

A band of cutthroats have skedaddled with some loot. Now comes the time to divide the take. The captain proposes a split of the treasure and the assembled pirates vote on it. If a majority of them approve of the split (or the vote is tied) the lucre is so divided. If a majority disapprove they make the captain walk the plank. Then the next highest ranked pirate takes over as captain and proposes his own split of the booty. How do they divide up the spoil?

Quote of the Day: Gender Appropriation

 

If we start calling it “gender appropriation,” do you think the Transgender thing will become unpopular on the left?

This was a comment left in the PIT by one of our members. It’s a fun question, given that the left is so against “cultural appropriation.” A white woman making tacos? “That’s cultural appropriation! You can’t do that!”¹ Why wouldn’t it also apply to gender? Or for that matter, why wouldn’t it apply to sex, which is the proper term for our biological dichotomy? Why shouldn’t a drag queen be told by a woman, “You’re appropriating my sex.”

Member Post

 

(updates in brackets)People are shocked and outraged that a vaccine that claims to be 95% effective is not 100% effective. That such people exist bothers me but at least they are not common. What worries me more is the commonness of illogic. When it comes to vaccines, it seems that people’s common sense is at […]

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The Geography of Reason

 

The Philosopher Aristotle divided persuasion into three parts: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Traditionally, we have thought of them as three separate modes of persuasion, I propose we think of them as three connected parts of shaping one’s geography of reason.

First, some definitions:

Ethos (Nature) is the word from which we get Ethnicity (natural group of people) and is traditionally thought of as persuasion by credibility. For example, doctors are credible so we are persuaded to take their advice on medicine. The criticism of Ethos is that it is an “Appeal to authority” which is a logical fallacy that lends people to say it is inferior.

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Reading an editorial in the Wall Street Journal last week (How San Francisco is Killing Its Restaurants, October 17) I found myself thinking that the author seems to assume that everyone agrees that more restaurants is an inherently good thing. [The editorial may be behind a paywall.] What if a person whom the author is […]

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There was a thing that my older brother would do back when we were kids playing chess. It infuriated me to no end. I’d sit there, thinking about a move for a couple minutes, then I’d make my move. He’d reach down and without taking any time to think at all he’d make his move. […]

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Quote of the Day: From a Devil

 

Screwtape: Of a proposed course of action He wants men, so far as I can see, to ask very simple questions; is it righteous? is it prudent? is it possible? Now if we can keep men asking “Is it in accordance with the general movement of our time? Is it progressive or reactionary? Is this the way that History is going?” they will neglect the relevant questions. And the questions they do ask are, of course, unanswerable; for they do not know the future, and what the future will be depends very largely on just those choices which they now invoke the future to help them to make.

Screwtape (a fictional character from C.S. Lewis) is a devil, a demon, a minion of Satan, a deceiver and tempter of men. Here he’s giving some advice to a younger devil on how to deceive. The devils want us to ignore genuine reason and commit fallacies. Like ad populum fallacies–appealing to the preference of a majority when the majority lacks knowledge.

But How Will You Pay For It?

 

This post stems out of a conversation at the work lunch table. Someone brought up that Brooklyn Bug-Eye’s economic illiteracy. “We’ve chased Amazon away! That’s three billion in tax incentives that we can spend elsewhere!” Not quite how that works. The discussion moved on to banning cow farts and air travel and so forth. I’ll spare you the details, you’ve heard ’em all before. The problem is that by the time you get to how you’re going to pay for such a thing you’ve already lost the argument.

Here, let’s have Rachael Carson tell it.

How to Build a Computer 20: Digital Watches

 

Because I’m the sort of simian who still thinks that digital watches are pretty neat, I figured I’d work through a practical example. We know how to represent binary numbers, and we know how to express logic with gates. That’s enough knowledge to be dangerous. From there I worked out how to light the lights on a digital watch face. Here, let me show you. But first a quick disclaimer. This isn’t my area of expertise; odds are there are plenty of ways to do this better or more efficiently. I can say at least that this one works.

Okay, let’s talk numbers. Recall from the discussion of binary that you can express any normal number as a series of ones and zeros. So, for example, you could draw One (that is, the presence of bread) in the 4’s place, one in the 2’s place, one in the 1’s place. 4 + 2 + 1 = 7

How to Build a Computer 19: Logic Gates

 

Welcome back to How to Build a Computer. You recall where we’re at, right? Hah! Trick question. As if I’d stick to a rational sequence. Today we’re going over some of the details in how you go from electrical circuits doing whatever it is that electrical circuits do and turn that into logic. We’re talking Logical Gates

Logic gates! Each one more logical than the last.

How to Build a Computer 6: Simple Transistor Circuits

 

The problem with simple transistor circuits is that any circuit with a transistor in it isn’t all that simple. And frankly, I don’t know how much you know about circuits; I’m guessing it ranges from “nothing at all” to “teach your grandmother to suck eggs why don’t you.” At the risk of boring the latter crowd we’re going to give this a slow and superficial treatment. Let’s start with a circuit that’s just about as simple as I can make it. So simple it doesn’t even have a transistor in it!

I’d make this circuit more interesting but I don’t know the symbol for ‘electric chair’.

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Considering the number of people I’ve seen on social media seriously questioning why our president didn’t publicly call for the same justice for the Las Vegas concert shooter as he did for the terrorist who mowed down bicyclists in NYC, as in his recent tweet suggesting the latter get the death penalty, I’d propose that […]

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When arguing against a post or comment denigrating Trump, those who plan to vote for him often criticize the post as helping Hillary. One of the most common refutations of this criticisms is as follows (I paraphrase): Everybody on Ricochet already knows how awful Hillary is so there’s no point in wasting more pixels criticizing […]

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Ricochetti love to argue. Lawyers love to argue. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many Ricochetti are lawyers. That makes total sense, right? Or maybe it doesn’t. It’s an example of faulty logic, even if it’s factually true. Very few of us are ever taught logic; most of what I knew before I started studying for the law […]

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I am not a lawyer. So perhaps it is only apocryphal wisdom that says a strong contract is a concise one. But the principle is sound in regard to political arguments.  The more passionately opposed to your position your audience is, the less likely that person is to consider everything you say in fairness and […]

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