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#87- Triggered A Conversation with Scott Adams

 
OnePCWhiz
 
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OnePCWhiz
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20 November 2017 13:23
 

Not everyone agrees that the 2003 Iraq war had disastrous consequences.  It removed a brutal dictator who slaughter many innocents.

 
OnePCWhiz
 
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OnePCWhiz
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20 November 2017 13:25
 

Wonderful episode.  My favorite so far.

And it fits perfectly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilbert_principle

 
RadiantRazor
 
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RadiantRazor
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21 November 2017 02:38
 
G Cento - 19 July 2017 07:15 AM

After Harris describes Trump in the 38th minute, Adams asserts that Harris just revealed his cognitive dissonance. Beginning in the 39th minute, Adams claims that “the most classic [cognitive dissonance tell] is to imagine that you can know somebody’s inner mental processes.” He goes on to explain: “If you imagine that in [Trump’s] mind he’s thinking this or in [Trump’s] mind he’s hollowed out or in [Trump’s] mind there is no depth; if you imagine that those are in there, I would say that is entirely imaginary and almost certainly a tell for cognitive dissonance.” This accusation struck me immediately because it so obviously revealed Adams’ own dissonance. Throughout the discussion to that point, Adams had repeatedly made clear that Adams is doing exactly what he accused Harris of doing, i.e. Adams repeatedly imagines what is in Trump’s mind. Adams’ conclusion that Trump is some sort of persuasive genius is in fact entirely premised on what Adams believes is in Trump’s mind. In minute 16, Adams claims that some of Trump’s most outrageous policy positions and campaign pledges are really “pacing” for the purpose of eventually pulling people on the far right to the center. How can Adams possible know that this is what Trump is doing? He certainly can’t without claiming he knows Trump’s mind. He certainly can’t without assuming the existence of some level of depth within Trump’s mind. In minute 18, Adams describes the Trump pledge to deport 12 million undocumented people, recognizes that to people on the left the pledge is impossible, cruel, etc., and then expressly states at around 18:50: “But when I heard [the pledge], I said to myself (and I said publicly a lot of times) HE DOESN’T MEAN THAT.” Adams does not know whether Trump meant what Trump said or not. This is Adams fully attempting to imagine what was in Trump’s mind. Adams has effectively created Trump’s genius out of Adams’ own imagination about what might or might not be in Trump’s mind and what might or might not be motivating Trump.

I created an account on this site just to thank you for this comment and to let you know that I agree with you absolutely. I wish Sam had raised this point. But on second thoughts, Scott would have rationalized saying something about how he can read humans due to his deeep knowledge in psychology and hypnosis or some other meaningless thing of that sort and would have steered the direction of the argument into something like how Sam just displayed another tell by doubting Scott’s excellent deductive and observation skills which can see both the movies at the same time.

I hope Other listeners like me who are frustrated/apalled at Scott’s arguments will find positivity in the fact that ppl like Scott and their arguments are excellent tools to hone our bullshit rebuttal skills. Because though his arguments trigger by bullshit detector pretty consistently, my bullshit rebuttal framework is not equipped with all the tools nor is it particularly honed at shutting out those arguments.

The key take away for me from this episode is to build a framework to argue against this kind of bullshit. Because this is a special kind of bullshit.

—————————————————————
On the other hand it is possible that Scott knows all this is bull but has decided to perform an elaborate hypnosis on all his viewers and he wants to test how long he can carry on this bullshit induced hypnosis.

 
dbloom
 
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dbloom
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23 November 2017 22:56
 
St.Bobo - 23 August 2017 05:54 AM

Scott Adams talks about ‘tells’ that inform someone when cognitive dissonance is occurring. One of the tells that he mentions is when a person imagines that they know someone’s inner process. Yet, Scott Adams’ defense of Trump throughout the episode is explaining Trump’s motivations and strategies. Adams believes that Trump is a genius like the world has never seen before and explains WHY Trump is doing what he is doing and what his strategy is. This is, by Adams’ own definition, cognitive dissonance because there is no way that he or anyone else could know Trump’s driving forces, even if Trump were to tell us because as Adams fully acknowledges Trump lies all the time.

Adams often explains Trumps strategy throughout the episode as someone who will ‘try anything.’ He will throw anything in the air and see if it lands well. Yet, when Adams describes the way that Trump is managing the EPA, by applying scientific method of concise and exacting study, it directly contradicts Trumps approach to absolutely EVERYTHING else. It is the clearest example of Adams attempting to find the most rational explanation for a given set of actions (by Trump) regardless of consistency or past activity.

Adams wants to believe that Trump is applying logic and reason, that he has a strategy instead of incoherent ramblings. Trumps only constraint is 140 characters.

The difference here is that Trump employing strategies is a premise supported by the evidence, which sufferers of Trump Derangement Syndrome refuse to admit. People like Sam suffering from TDS believe that Trump is a moron charlatan meandering through life like some sort of malevolent Forest Gump stumbling cluelessly from success to success. People like Scott Adams, and other intelligent people like myself, observe that Trump is employing a strategy, and the effectiveness of that strategy is consistently demonstrated by the evidence (IE Trump is the billionaire leader of the free world and Sam Harris is a failed scientist who makes his living doing blogs and podcasts ( everything but neuroscience.))

The fact that this thread is still alive given how much time has passed since the podcast tells you something about the obsessive nature of TDS.

 

 

 
dbloom
 
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dbloom
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23 November 2017 23:18
 

Really, the sad irony here is that Sam is the real charlatan in that he uses his academic credentials, namely his degree in neuroscience, to speak with authority on a bunch of topics for which he isn’t academically accredited, and his fans, enamored by his fancy title, eat it up.

[ Edited: 23 November 2017 23:20 by dbloom]
 
edgecumbe
 
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edgecumbe
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30 November 2017 18:47
 
dbloom - 23 November 2017 11:18 PM

Really, the sad irony here is that Sam is the real charlatan in that he uses his academic credentials, namely his degree in neuroscience, to speak with authority on a bunch of topics for which he isn’t academically accredited, and his fans, enamored by his fancy title, eat it up.

Don’t really want to re-open this topic, but it seems sad that the last word is a limp ad-hominem attack.  Maybe I haven’t been paying very close attention, but I don’t remember Sam citing or using his academic credentials outside of conversations specifically about neuroscience or philosophy.  More generally, this strikes me as a very silly position.  If academic accreditation were required to intelligently discuss topics, we’d all be stuck in very narrow silos, and almost no-one would be able to discuss politics to any broad degree.

 
dbloom
 
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dbloom
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01 December 2017 02:30
 
edgecumbe - 30 November 2017 06:47 PM
dbloom - 23 November 2017 11:18 PM

Really, the sad irony here is that Sam is the real charlatan in that he uses his academic credentials, namely his degree in neuroscience, to speak with authority on a bunch of topics for which he isn’t academically accredited, and his fans, enamored by his fancy title, eat it up.

Don’t really want to re-open this topic, but it seems sad that the last word is a limp ad-hominem attack.  Maybe I haven’t been paying very close attention, but I don’t remember Sam citing or using his academic credentials outside of conversations specifically about neuroscience or philosophy.  More generally, this strikes me as a very silly position.  If academic accreditation were required to intelligently discuss topics, we’d all be stuck in very narrow silos, and almost no-one would be able to discuss politics to any broad degree.

I think you need to google what ad-hominem means. 99.9% of Sam’s content has nothing to do with neuroscience, but he trades on his academic credentials to lend an aura of authority to his works, which is the definition of being a charlatan.

 

 
edgecumbe
 
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edgecumbe
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01 December 2017 03:58
 
dbloom - 01 December 2017 02:30 AM
edgecumbe - 30 November 2017 06:47 PM
dbloom - 23 November 2017 11:18 PM

Really, the sad irony here is that Sam is the real charlatan in that he uses his academic credentials, namely his degree in neuroscience, to speak with authority on a bunch of topics for which he isn’t academically accredited, and his fans, enamored by his fancy title, eat it up.

Don’t really want to re-open this topic, but it seems sad that the last word is a limp ad-hominem attack.  Maybe I haven’t been paying very close attention, but I don’t remember Sam citing or using his academic credentials outside of conversations specifically about neuroscience or philosophy.  More generally, this strikes me as a very silly position.  If academic accreditation were required to intelligently discuss topics, we’d all be stuck in very narrow silos, and almost no-one would be able to discuss politics to any broad degree.

I think you need to google what ad-hominem means. 99.9% of Sam’s content has nothing to do with neuroscience, but he trades on his academic credentials to lend an aura of authority to his works, which is the definition of being a charlatan.

Thanks for the tip.  This is what Google says “an argumentative strategy whereby an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.” which seems to be what you are doing.

Not sure what this “aura” is, I’m not good at seeing auras myself. I just don’t think it’s reasonable to claim he trades off his academic credentials. He trades off the fact he’s smart and articulate. In this particular context (i.e. this podcast) I’d say that’s more of a qualification that drawing boring unfunny cartoons.

 
AtariKo
 
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27 December 2017 13:29
 

It all depends upon what dbloom means by “speaks with authority”? How so? He provides reasons. His interlocutors can provide competing reasons. What’s the issue here? Moreover, you’re making an ethical claim dbloom—so I hope you have a PhD in Philosophy, otherwise you’re biting your own tail!

 
C. Brown
 
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06 February 2018 18:39
 
dbloom - 23 November 2017 10:56 PM

The difference here is that Trump employing strategies is a premise supported by the evidence, which sufferers of Trump Derangement Syndrome refuse to admit. People like Sam suffering from TDS believe that Trump is a moron charlatan meandering through life like some sort of malevolent Forest Gump stumbling cluelessly from success to success. People like Scott Adams, and other intelligent people like myself, observe that Trump is employing a strategy, and the effectiveness of that strategy is consistently demonstrated by the evidence (IE Trump is the billionaire leader of the free world and Sam Harris is a failed scientist who makes his living doing blogs and podcasts ( everything but neuroscience.))

Your parenthetical comment is false or misleading in numerous respects:


1. One can reasonably argue that Trump is not even a billionaire or at the very least he exaggerates his net worth. See this article.


“In 2004, Timothy O’Brien published TrumpNation. In the course of researching that book, ‘individuals who worked with Trump and had a good sense of his finances’ thought Trump’s net worth was ‘$150 to $250 million.’ Trump later sued O’Brien for damages for saying he was worth so little. The suit was later dismissed.”


Here is Timothy O’Brien’s account:


“My sources—individuals who worked with Trump and had a good sense of his finances—thought he was worth $150 million to $250 million. Trump sued me for publishing that figure as part of a range of assessments of his wealth, saying it had damaged his reputation and business. Among the documents discussed during the litigation was a Deutsche Bank assessment from 2005 that put Trump’s net worth at about $788 million; at the time, Forbes had pegged Trump at $2.7 billion, he was telling bankers and regulators that he was worth $3.6 billion, and he was telling me he was worth $5 billion to $6 billion (a billion or two more than what he had told me the year before).”


Even if you rely on the $788 million Deutsche Bank number, then that is still nowhere near the $2.7-6 billion range that Forbes and Trump claimed at the time.


Now, you might object that the $788 million figure was from 2005, 13 years ago, and that Trump could have grown his net worth from $788 million in 2005 to $10 billion in 2016.


But I strongly doubt this:


“Today Trump claims he is worth $10 billion. This would require a tenfold run up in Trump’s wealth over roughly a decade. Even if we take Trump’s own estimate of $1.7 billion it would require a five fold run up over a decade. The problem is that Trump hasn’t done anything over that period that would account for that kind of wealth accumulation. Trump does very few major building projects these days and the few he does he does mainly with other people’s money. After the bankruptcy crises of 25 years ago, Trump shifted his business model from high profile real estate development to licensing and television. He licenses his name for hotels, buildings and golf courses on the high end and steaks, water, ties and more on the low end. This probably generates a massive amount of income for us mortals. But not many billions of dollars over a decade. There’s also been a major run-up in the value of Manhattan real estate over this period. But not nearly enough to get Trump from $1 billion to $10 billion. A year ago industry insiders were highly skeptical when Trump claimed that he had made $213 million for 13 years of The Apprentice. But even if we take Trump’s word for it, that’s still not remotely the sum of money to put in a dent in the run up of wealth he claims.” (source)


Furthermore:


“Nobody who is in the business of estimating the wealth of the extremely rich believes Trump is worth anywhere near $10 billion. On the high end is Forbes which pegs the number at $4.5 billion. Bloomberg puts the number at $2.9 billion. Fortune says he’s worth $3.9 billion. These estimates are all dramatically lower than what Trump claims. But the Fortune and Forbes estimates put Trump comfortably into the billionaire category.” (source)


So even if Trump is a billionaire, he still exaggerates and thus lies about his wealth.


2. Yes, Trump is currently the US President and, in that narrow sense, he is the leader of the free world. But the vast majority of the rest of the free world (e.g. UK, Germany, France, Australia, Canada) despises him for good reason. In addition, roughly 60% of the US despises him. Even Trump himself said aloud to his advisors, “People really fucking hate me!” This is one of the few truths that he has uttered.


3. Sam Harris completed a BA in philosophy at Stanford and a PhD in neuroscience at UCLA. I strongly doubt that Trump could have ever accomplished the same, given his temperament, sense of entitlement, lousy reasoning skills, and lack of intellectual curiosity.


Finally, Sam Harris allegedly has a financial net worth of $2 million. This is pretty good for a podcaster, blogger, and public intellectual. And he often discusses science (e.g. the podcast on the science of meditation). So, overall, he is not a “failed scientist.”


Now, since you consider yourself intelligent, I think you would enjoy and benefit from an introductory philosophy/critical reasoning course or text. For example: Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings.

 

[ Edited: 08 February 2018 18:55 by C. Brown]
 
Joeletaylor
 
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Joeletaylor
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01 May 2018 22:54
 

CONSERVATIVE FREE SPEECH IS A FARCE

Last week a professor posted a tasteless tweet about B Bush. Right on que, Ben Shapiro and the “free speech” right demanded her job — of course. Because the new right/ alt right only defends right wing speech. Which is to say, they do not believe in free speech. A genuine belief in speech refers specifically to speech you don’t like.

Leftists targeted by “free speech” conservatives — subsequently booted from Twitter
KT Nelson (Antifa super soilders tweet)
Jesse Farrar (drowning college republicans Tweet)
Sam Seder (satirical tweet re Polanski)
Matt Christian (also an Antifa supersoilders Tweet)

*Examples of Ben Shapiro of the rest defending liberals or leftists: LITERALLY ZERO.

 
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