The Thought Refuse

A Virtual Repository for the Mind

Archive for April 2009

The Real Reason Obama Can’t Shake Hands With Chavez

with 3 comments

President Obama was photographed smiling and shaking hands with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela at the Summit of the America’s.  The incident has drawn criticism for Obama, specifically that his behavior with Chavez endangers America’s prestige.  The crux of the critique is that we can’t be seen as soft, while providing Chavez with political leverage back home.

Quite typical of elite propaganda, the issue has been debased into an ideological battle.  In one corner, we have the noble, righteous, and benevolent United States.  And in the opposing corner, we have the cruel, merciless, totalitarian regime in Venezuela.  This is the simplistic foreign policy propaganda the American public is so often forced to digest, and after decades of feeding, we’ve become accustomed to view world matters in terms of good versus evil.

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Written by huxbux

April 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm

Study Supports Expert Bias

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ne of the more common logical mistakes we make is to turn to the expert bias, also known as the logical fallacy arguing from authority.  The logical error is committed by espousing expert credentials for sound logic, in order to make a logical argument.  A logical argument is founded on logic alone.  No amount of degrees or experience can supplant concrete logic.

Recently, a study was done on how expert advice affects the decision making part of the human brain, and lends physiological evidence that we are predisposed to experts over logic.  This has long been the contention of logical proponents, the most well known being Nicholas Nassim Taleb, who detailed in his New York Times best selling book, The Black Swan, just how detrimental and pervasive the expert bias can be.

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Written by huxbux

April 15, 2009 at 1:12 am

Second Life: Relationships In Hyper Speed

with 17 comments

Anyone familiar with the game Second Life will agree that it is equally part intriguing and equally part mind numbing.  On one hand, Second Life exists as an endless journey of the imagination, where whatever the mind can fathom, can be created with enough hard work and patience.  Yet, on the converse side, and for a large majority of Second Life inhabitants, it is a glorified internet dating chat room.  It is this relationship aspect of Second Life that is it’s greatest and worst characteristic.

Consider the following facts:

  1. The average Second Life intimate relationship lasts, on average, two months.
  2. The average time between Second Life relationships is two to three weeks.
  3. 90% of rebound relationships outside of Second Life fail. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by huxbux

April 1, 2009 at 6:51 pm