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Ace-O-Spades
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The Perfect World >> Blogosphere >> Ace-O-Spades

Ace-O-Spades

CalGal -- Monday, January 05, 2004 -- 07:21:38 PM

The first TPWer blog to hit the big time! Mention in NRO's Corner.

Blog: Ace-O-Spades

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Frank Black -- Thursday, February 12, 2004 -- 07:24:36 PM -- 403 of 2025

Ah, here it is: Smart People Believe Weird Things

In April 1999, when I was on a lecture tour for my book Why People Believe Weird Things, the psychologist Robert Sternberg attended my presentation at Yale University. His response to the lecture was both enlightening and troubling. It is certainly entertaining to hear about other people's weird beliefs, Sternberg reflected, because we are confident that we would never be so foolish. But why do smart people fall for such things? Sternberg's challenge led to a second edition of my book, with a new chapter expounding on my answer to his question: Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for nonsmart reasons.

Rarely do any of us sit down before a table of facts, weigh them pro and con, and choose the most logical and rational explanation, regardless of what we previously believed. Most of us, most of the time, come to our beliefs for a variety of reasons having little to do with empirical evidence and logical reasoning. Rather, such variables as genetic predisposition, parental predilection, sibling influence, peer pressure, educational experience and life impressions all shape the personality preferences that, in conjunction with numerous social and cultural influences, lead us to our beliefs. We then sort through the body of data and select those that most confirm what we already believe, and ignore or rationalize away those that do not.

This phenomenon, called the confirmation bias, helps to explain the findings published in the National Science Foundation's biennial report (April 2002) on the state of science understanding. . .

The Skeptic article referred to is pretty good. Much of it addresses academics who are very good at bringing arguments to reinforce their beliefs, mistakenly thinking that skill at confirming their biases is in reality skill at arriving at (foregone) conclusions.

It's essentially what drives conspiracy theorists. All evidence must be modified to support the conclusion. Cleverness is determined largely by skill at interpreting conflicting evidence.

Ace of Spades -- Thursday, February 12, 2004 -- 07:37:04 PM -- 404 of 2025
Um, it's definitely an upturn, I mean, uh, you can't, uh, you know I, what do you say? -- Paul "Unravelling" Krugman, answering a question posed by Brian Williams about the economic upturn and Paul Krugman's consistent predictions of a depression

Thanks, Frank. Stole it (but gave credit).

Sydney,

Good point... maybe I will have to trot out my suddenly-revived prediction.

Milty,

Yeah, I knew that would happen eventually. I was leeching that gif off some guy's site, which is, I know, a real lapse of E-tiquette.

He probably changed the address or else took the gif down.

Ace of Spades -- Thursday, February 12, 2004 -- 07:45:01 PM -- 405 of 2025
Um, it's definitely an upturn, I mean, uh, you can't, uh, you know I, what do you say? -- Paul "Unravelling" Krugman, answering a question posed by Brian Williams about the economic upturn and Paul Krugman's consistent predictions of a depression

TJ/"Jan Brady,"

Sorry! I remember seeing your link, but I never followed it, never read it. I didn't know it was to an economist article (or else I quickly forgot, if I knew for a moment).

TabouliJones -- Thursday, February 12, 2004 -- 10:25:20 PM -- 406 of 2025
I wish everyone would do something interesting with their taglines so I wouldn't mistake the first line of post for them and miss important information.

Ace,

Apology accepted, not that I deserved or expected one. I just wanted to whine Jan Brady style (you bastard!). At any rate, the Courtney Love funny more than made up for any slight.

Jamie R. -- Friday, February 13, 2004 -- 06:45:40 PM -- 407 of 2025
Lost to the Dark Side.

The new "A,B" caption for the Love photo is very funny.

FX -- Monday, February 16, 2004 -- 04:31:35 PM -- 408 of 2025
I was shot and left for dead in the Perfect World, and all I got was this lousy tagline

I saw a link to yer Blog on another Forum.

Small world, but perfect.

Rosetta Stone -- Sunday, February 22, 2004 -- 12:56:48 PM -- 409 of 2025
"I can't wait to get to your web site," Bill Clinton to internet woman.

I do it all the time on THE ATLANTIC. Even NPR's empty shell. It annoys the hell out of our liberal friends, the smear merchants.

Nicholas Kronos -- Monday, February 23, 2004 -- 05:26:43 PM -- 410 of 2025
Quoting the actual words of Trump is an unfair tactic because he inevitably sounds like an idiot about any subject on which he speaks.

Ace has been running a "Sullivan Flip Watch."

Today Sullivan supports a war tax on Americans making more than $200,000 per year and says this about Nader: "My gut reaction to the news that the self-righteous narcissist, Ralph Nader, will be running for president as an 'Independent' is to demand that he cease and desist despoiling a perfectly respectable political position. He's not an independent. He's a far-left, paranoid Democrat who delights only in hurting his own party."

Well, those are two positions with which few Democrats would argue.

stostosto -- Tuesday, February 24, 2004 -- 10:27:31 AM -- 411 of 2025
It's wonderful to be here; it's certainly a thrill.

Of course taxes will have to be raised. I predict they will be in the next Presidential term, regardless of who is President, regardless of who is in majority in the Congress. America, after all, while periodically given to hubris and irrational exuberance, is basically a sensible country.

Weaver -- Tuesday, February 24, 2004 -- 02:07:13 PM -- 412 of 2025

Of course Mexico will have to be annexed. I predict they will be in the next Presidential term, regardless of who is President, regardless of who is in majority in the Congress. America, after all, while periodically given to hubris and irrational exuberance, is basically a sensible country.

stostosto -- Tuesday, February 24, 2004 -- 02:24:45 PM -- 413 of 2025
It's wonderful to be here; it's certainly a thrill.

Weavie, I sense you disagree. But Bush's tax cuts have blown a long-term hole in American budgets and you're not going to plug it by cutting down on expenses. Sorry.

Weaver -- Tuesday, February 24, 2004 -- 02:54:10 PM -- 414 of 2025

No, no, I like your style of posting so much that I am copying it!

You see, the long Mexican border has blown a long-term hole in American security measures, and we're not going to plug it by border patrols. Sorry.

stostosto -- Tuesday, February 24, 2004 -- 09:32:23 PM -- 415 of 2025
It's wonderful to be here; it's certainly a thrill.

Stop it, Weaver, my stomach hurts.

And go here if you want to know what I am talking about.

stostosto -- Tuesday, February 24, 2004 -- 09:59:23 PM -- 416 of 2025
It's wonderful to be here; it's certainly a thrill.

(I edited that last sentence in).

Weaver -- Tuesday, February 24, 2004 -- 10:20:20 PM -- 417 of 2025

No, you stop, my stomach hurts.

And if you want to know what I'm talking about, you can read Malthus.

stostosto -- Tuesday, February 24, 2004 -- 10:39:49 PM -- 418 of 2025
It's wonderful to be here; it's certainly a thrill.

What did Malthus have to say about the Mexican border?

I encourage you to read the link, and the article linked to in that link.

Oh, and mark my words: Taxes will be raised in the next term. And it will be good for you.

Weaver -- Tuesday, February 24, 2004 -- 10:46:55 PM -- 419 of 2025

So has it been written, so let it be done.

rdbrewer -- Wednesday, February 25, 2004 -- 12:20:44 AM -- 420 of 2025

Ace, it might be interesting to examine Kerry's new found federalism (on the gay marriage issue). Perhaps he now feels that the issue of abortion should be left to the states as well.

Milty -- Wednesday, February 25, 2004 -- 11:56:12 AM -- 421 of 2025
proud owner of the rare Eustacian back-from-the-cold post

Ace, are you Catholic?

rdbrewer -- Saturday, February 28, 2004 -- 12:46:36 AM -- 422 of 2025

According to the major media: Roy Moore, evil; Gavin Newsom, good.

That might be worth a few remarks.

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The Perfect World >> Blogosphere >> Ace-O-Spades