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Tags donald trump , internet incidents , Trump controversies , US-Russia relations , vladimir putin

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Old 9th January 2017, 02:45 PM   #521
The_Animus
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
It was to make a specific point about arguments from authority. But I'm sure you know that because you read the thread?
And that point has already been addressed.

Read the thread please.
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Old 9th January 2017, 02:51 PM   #522
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
And that point has already been addressed.

Read the thread please.
Apparently not sufficiently.
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Old 9th January 2017, 02:52 PM   #523
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
And that point has already been addressed.

Read the thread please.
What point do you have in mind?

Far as I can tell, Caveman1917 still claims every appeal to authority is a fallacy and, indeed, that real men don't use informal reasoning, but do a full Bayesian update every time a snippet of information comes in.

I don't see how pointing out to him that the exigencies of life require us all to appeal to authority on a regular basis, or else remain ignorant of well-settled scientific, historical and even mathematical claims. I believe that, for instance, FLT has been proved, Thales existed, four of Jupiter's moons were discovered by Galileo and even that Trump won the electoral vote on no basis other than multiple reliable sources told me each of these.

Until Caveman1917 agrees that some appeals to authority are reasonable, I'm sure examples like the vaccination and the ones I wrote above will come up.
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Old 9th January 2017, 02:53 PM   #524
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Nah, it depends on the interpretation of probabilities. In Bayesianism, probabilities are interpreted as degrees of belief, the so-called subjective interpretation. Probability can certainly well model reasoning with incomplete information.
That's an example of using the same term for two different things (or three, if you count both the objectivist and subjectivist Beyesian interpretations). But Caveman specifically said "probability theory" which applies to the study of random distributions.
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Old 9th January 2017, 02:53 PM   #525
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
The fact that she is a proponent of conspiracy theories makes me distrust her reported quotes of CIA officials. I'm surprised you don't think similarly.
If anyone's a proponent of conspiracy theories it would be the US government and intelligence agencies. For goodness' sake, the claim under consideration is a conspiracy theory.

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I believe you'll find the strongest thing I've said is that, in this case, where all of the agencies agree
Does the FSB agree? What about the MSS?

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and a bipartisan group of congressmen find the evidence compelling
They'd probably find the evidence for a 6000 year-old Earth compelling as well.

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(and, as someone pointed out, an independent private firm came to the same conclusion)
Do you have evidence that this private firm is "independent"?

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I don't consider that conclusion to be advocacy of blind faith.
Here's the difference between advocacy of blind faith and skepticism:

You've mentioned this private firm (CrowdStrike) which "comes to the same conclusion". At least with its report it makes verifiable claims, as opposed to the intelligence agencies themselves.

Advocating blind faith would stop there and simply use that as a basis for believing the claims. Skepticism would be skeptical of it and attempt to investigate the claims. How about we try that approach for once?

Originally Posted by CrowdStrike
In June CrowdStrike identified and attributed a series of targeted intrusions at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and other political organizations that utilized a well known implant commonly called X-Agent. X-Agent is a cross platform remote access toolkit, variants have been identified for various Windows operating systems, Apple’s iOS, and likely the MacOS. Also known as Sofacy, X-Agent has been tracked by the security community for almost a decade, CrowdStrike associates the use of X-Agent with an actor we call FANCY BEAR. This actor to date is the exclusive operator of the malware, and has continuously developed the platform for ongoing operations which CrowdStrike assesses is likely tied to Russian Military Intelligence (GRU). The source code to this malware has not been observed in the public domain and appears to have been developed uniquely by FANCY BEAR.
Here, have the source code of X-Agent. That wasn't particularly hard, now was it? So much for that "exclusive operator of the malware" then.

Originally Posted by CrowdStrike
Today CrowdStrike is releasing publicly an intelligence report which was circulated to CrowdStrike Falcon Intelligence customers detailing the use of the trojanized ‘Попр-Д30.apk’ application by the Ukrainian military and the deadly repercussions inflicted on that platform by Russian forces.
Interestingly the Ukrainian government denies this purported Russian hacking of their artillery outright, and explicitly asks media not to spread false information like this.
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Old 9th January 2017, 02:56 PM   #526
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
That's an example of using the same term for two different things (or three, if you count both the objectivist and subjectivist Beyesian interpretations). But Caveman specifically said "probability theory" which applies to the study of random distributions.
In the literature (which I have not read in years), they speak of frequentist, subjectivist and (I think) objectivist interpretations of probabilities.

Anyway, probably not necessary to get too involved in mere terminology. I don't think this distinction makes much of a difference in the long run.
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Old 9th January 2017, 02:57 PM   #527
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Each of these claims (she held an official position, the CIA had disinfo campaigns) is justified fundamentally by an appeal to authority on your part, unless you have direct evidence. As such, you are relying on an argument that you have explicitly called fallacious.
That is correct. Technically it is all fallacious. Personally, I go with accepting a claim by someone if that someone has a vested interest in denying the claim. For example if the Russian government says "yep we did the hacks" then I would accept that, even if it also technically an appeal to authority.
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Old 9th January 2017, 02:59 PM   #528
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Until Caveman1917 agrees that some appeals to authority are reasonable
I've said that they are fallacious, which is correct. I've not said that they are all necessarily "unreasonable".
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:05 PM   #529
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Apparently not sufficiently.
If you can't bother to read the thread or remember its contents and expect me to do it for you, then I won't bother with you.

Good day
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:05 PM   #530
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
If anyone's a proponent of conspiracy theories it would [...]
I've told you that I'm not interested in convincing you that these agencies, CrowdStrike, and the congressional committees are trustworthy authorities.

I am, however, interested in knowing whether you admit that your citation of the Casey quote is (by your own addled understanding) a fallacy. Clearly, it was an appeal to authority and you (mistakenly) believe that all such appeals are fallacious.

So, do you agree that by your own claims, everything you've said about Casey and, indeed, any of past CIA activities you have not witnessed are the products of fallacious reasoning?

This is not a tu quoque attempt. I'm not saying that this would make your understanding of appeal to authority wrong[1]. I just want to be sure that you agree that your own statements on appeal to authority entail that we reject the above statements.

Similarly, it should be said, according to other statements of yours, you have not engaged in almost any "meaningful" reasoning in this thread. For instance, on the basis of past CIA activities, you infer that they are not trustworthy -- an example of informal inductive reasoning. You really should take the time to give your full probability distribution over the set of meaningful propositions, so that we can see the outcome of your Bayesian calculations.

[1] Though it is, of course, wrong.
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:07 PM   #531
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
That is correct. Technically it is all fallacious. Personally, I go with accepting a claim by someone if that someone has a vested interest in denying the claim. For example if the Russian government says "yep we did the hacks" then I would accept that, even if it also technically an appeal to authority.
Okay, so you intentionally engage in what you consider fallacious reasoning throughout this conversation. Evidently, you don't care about reaching a reasonable conclusion, so perhaps we should end our conversation.

Or perhaps I'll adopt a similar strategy, and use a Magic 8-Ball to compose my replies.
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:08 PM   #532
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
BS. You've been "asking for the evidence" knowing full well that you are not going to get classified information until it's declassified.
That's not my problem. No evidence is no evidence, irrespective of how you want to rationalize it.

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The first time I asked you if your skepticism meant that you supported a full congressional investigation, you said "no" with no explanation.
I support the publication of the evidence. The furthest I'm willing to go is to have the evidence given for independent review to randomly selected computer scientists who may be required to sign a NDA. I have absolutely no interest in your "congressional investigation".

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I haven't seen this "arguing that one should accept the claims on ideological grounds" that you're claiming
The assignment of "trust" to these intelligence agencies is ideological. Unless you're willing to provide some empirical basis for why we should "trust" them? Let's completely ignore that I've been asking time and again for such empirical evidence for their "trustworthiness".
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:09 PM   #533
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
In the literature (which I have not read in years), they speak of frequentist, subjectivist and (I think) objectivist interpretations of probabilities.

Anyway, probably not necessary to get too involved in mere terminology. I don't think this distinction makes much of a difference in the long run.
"Frequentist" is the term for the "random event" type of probability, e.g. what frequency an outcome should be expected if the phenomenon is random. But you're right that it doesn't make much difference for this discussion; Caveman wants to assign an initial "probability" based only his distrust of the intelligence community itself, and then stop right there. That kind of "probability" is meaningless even if you assign it a number.
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:11 PM   #534
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
I've said that they are fallacious, which is correct. I've not said that they are all necessarily "unreasonable".
A fallacy is a bit of reasoning in which the truth of the premises neither entail the truth (deductive) nor the probable truth (inductive) of the conclusion.

To use reasoning in which the truth of the premises is not tied in this way to the truth of the premises is unreasonable on the face of it, not significantly better than a Magic 8-Ball and probably worse than a Ouija board (which has the advantage of really spelling out what we want to see).

You have also said, by the way, that any informal reasoning is not "meaningful reasoning". This is a phrase which is, ironically, meaningless, but is probably intended to be similar to "unreasonable".
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:14 PM   #535
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
"Frequentist" is the term for the "random event" type of probability, e.g. what frequency an outcome should be expected if the phenomenon is random. But you're right that it doesn't make much difference for this discussion; Caveman wants to assign an initial "probability" based only his distrust of the intelligence community itself, and then stop right there. That kind of "probability" is meaningless even if you assign it a number.
Agreed. His notion that Bayesianism is how we should reason when we have incomplete information is bizarre. It is simply impossible for humans to behave thus, however interesting it is as a normative theory of ideal agents or as a program for expert systems.
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:16 PM   #536
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I wouldn't hang my hat on that difference, if I were you.

There are various historical figures who are known to us only through the testimony of others. When a sufficient number of contemporaries agree that this or that fellow existed, and their accounts are similar enough, and if we there is reason to believe these accounts were written independently and without common prior (lost) source, then we ought to conclude it is probable the person existed (ignoring, of course, fantastical tales).

But we cannot reasonably expect any better evidence than such testimony.
But we aren't getting testimony. We're getting government agency heads or journalists telling us that unnamed persons who are experts have information that cannot be disclosed which gives them a 'high degree of confidence' that their proposed conclusions are true. Remember, government agency heads and CEOs go to Congress so we can see our representatives really kick up a fuss at them and shake their fists and show us what responsible stewards of the public interest they are.

Within the state intelligence and private high-tech defense sectors (to pick Clapper as an example), these guys are to some degree interchangeable administrators and if something too scandalous bubbles up, they tender a resignation and swap seats with someone serving on a few executive boards who suddenly need to extricate themselves from the private sector for a new government agency head opening up...

To go back to the Hannibal example, I can assign a high degree of confidence to his existing because I've seen numerous scholars describe detailed accounts based on similar primary sources like Polybius, Livy, Plutarch, etc. There is especially high value in the keen insight of such experts when they demonstrate conflicting details between sources and expanding the view to an entire primary source's tendency to bias their historical chronicles in predictable ways.

That imparts a far higher legitimacy than if I do not get to hear the scholars myself and the primary sources are off limits to me and every effort is made to seem as if there's not even a whiff of dissent.

I, like you, have no problem calling the Russian allegations probable and/or plausible.

I guess the underlying tension for me is that there's a different response in geopolitical terms for 'probable' vs. 'proven'. However, given Trump's callous attitude towards the issue, there isn't likely to be a hot-headed overreaction (well, not in that direction anyways).

I still think there's a slight chance this was an attempt by the intelligence community to give him a big shiny red button to push (which opens a flow of money and operational discretion) and keep his attention off of actual sensitive operations for a while. I think there's a chance he's playing it like a business man. When you get threatening legal letters (which he is also good at sending), you brush your shoulder off and say 'let them actually file their claims if they think they've got a case' (forcing them to reveal evidence so you can beat them up with it). Because it's the ones who respond at all that have made the first mistake, especially if they buy into the threats and act concerned. That's how he sees the world and that's why a lot of government institutions are going to be scratching their heads for a while trying to figure out how this country works now.

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Old 9th January 2017, 03:18 PM   #537
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I am, however, interested in knowing whether you admit that your citation of the Casey quote is (by your own addled understanding) a fallacy. Clearly, it was an appeal to authority and you (mistakenly) believe that all such appeals are fallacious.

So, do you agree that by your own claims, everything you've said about Casey and, indeed, any of past CIA activities you have not witnessed are the products of fallacious reasoning?
Of course. I'm not the one with the addled understanding here.

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This is not a tu quoque attempt. I'm not saying that this would make your understanding of appeal to authority wrong[1]. I just want to be sure that you agree that your own statements on appeal to authority entail that we reject the above statements.
It doesn't entail that we should reject them. How does all this even work in your head?

"The moon is made of cheese therefor 2 + 2 = 4." This is a fallacy, therefor we should reject that 2 + 2 equals 4?

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Similarly, it should be said, according to other statements of yours, you have not engaged in almost any "meaningful" reasoning in this thread.
That would be false.

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For instance, on the basis of past CIA activities, you infer that they are not trustworthy -- an example of informal inductive reasoning. You really should take the time to give your full probability distribution over the set of meaningful propositions, so that we can see the outcome of your Bayesian calculations.
The burden of proof would be on the one claiming the CIA to be "trustworthy". I am perfectly free to argue that one should use a better standard than informal reasoning for this "trustworthiness", as well as using informal reasoning to contradict the claim of its "trustworthiness".
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:28 PM   #538
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
If you can't bother to read the thread or remember its contents and expect me to do it for you, then I won't bother with you.

Good day
What, do you have caveman1917 (or phiwum, for that matter) on ignore? It's still actively an issue.
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:28 PM   #539
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Okay, so you intentionally engage in what you consider fallacious reasoning throughout this conversation.
Yes of course. I'm not the one with the problem distinguishing between "fallacious argument" (ie there exists at least one interpretation under which the premises are true and the conclusion false) and "unreasonable argument".

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Evidently, you don't care about reaching a reasonable conclusion, so perhaps we should end our conversation.
Yeah, sure. I'm pretty much the only one here who even seems interested in checking these claims (looking up malware source-code and what-have-you-not) as well as countering ideology-based reasoning, so clearly I am the one who doesn't care about reaching a reasonable conclusion.

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Or perhaps I'll adopt a similar strategy, and use a Magic 8-Ball to compose my replies.
I'd much rather you stop substituting ideology for evidence. You want to argue that we should trust intelligence agencies? Then provide empirical evidence for it.
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:30 PM   #540
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
Caveman wants to assign an initial "probability" based only his distrust of the intelligence community itself, and then stop right there.
That's plain BS.
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:36 PM   #541
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Agreed. His notion that Bayesianism is how we should reason when we have incomplete information is bizarre. It is simply impossible for humans to behave thus, however interesting it is as a normative theory of ideal agents or as a program for expert systems.
Impossible for humans to use Bayesian inference? I can give you tons of papers (written by humans) which refute that.
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Old 9th January 2017, 03:38 PM   #542
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Old 9th January 2017, 04:45 PM   #543
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
But we aren't getting testimony. We're getting government agency heads or journalists telling us that unnamed persons who are experts have information that cannot be disclosed which gives them a 'high degree of confidence' that their proposed conclusions are true. Remember, government agency heads and CEOs go to Congress so we can see our representatives really kick up a fuss at them and shake their fists and show us what responsible stewards of the public interest they are.
I'm using the word "testimony" in quite a wide sense. If someone tells me that X, then I have received testimony that X. Of course, being told both X and evidence for X would be preferable.

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I, like you, have no problem calling the Russian allegations probable and/or plausible.

I guess the underlying tension for me is that there's a different response in geopolitical terms for 'probable' vs. 'proven'. However, given Trump's callous attitude towards the issue, there isn't likely to be a hot-headed overreaction (well, not in that direction anyways).
There is a difference between probable and proved, but let's keep in mind that the persons who decide what our reaction will be have seen the evidence. Therefore, it may be rather closer to proved in their estimation. (Of course, I'm pretending that the reaction will be determined by rational beings, rather than Trump.)
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Old 9th January 2017, 04:51 PM   #544
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Of course. I'm not the one with the addled understanding here.



It doesn't entail that we should reject them. How does all this even work in your head?

"The moon is made of cheese therefor 2 + 2 = 4." This is a fallacy, therefor we should reject that 2 + 2 equals 4?
Pardon my terseness, which led to a misleading expression.

What I mean is that a fallacious argument should not change our opinion about the truth (or probability) of the conclusion.

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That would be false.
Oh? What "meaningful reasoning can you point to, aside from the couple of examples of trivial equations or references to deductive logic?

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The burden of proof would be on the one claiming the CIA to be "trustworthy". I am perfectly free to argue that one should use a better standard than informal reasoning for this "trustworthiness", as well as using informal reasoning to contradict the claim of its "trustworthiness".
Sorry, this burden of proof argument is utter nonsense, with no reasoning behind it. In any case, I've said that I don't plan on trying to persuade you that the CIA is trustworthy. It would be a fool's errand.
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Old 9th January 2017, 04:56 PM   #545
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Yes of course. I'm not the one with the problem distinguishing between "fallacious argument" (ie there exists at least one interpretation under which the premises are true and the conclusion false) and "unreasonable argument".
Not the definition of "fallacious argument", of course, except when we speak of fallacies in deductive logic (and there, we usually do not refer to invalid arguments as fallacious).

But now you are defending your bizarre view on fallacies by claiming that some fallacious arguments are "reasonable". How strange!


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Yeah, sure. I'm pretty much the only one here who even seems interested in checking these claims (looking up malware source-code and what-have-you-not) as well as countering ideology-based reasoning, so clearly I am the one who doesn't care about reaching a reasonable conclusion.



I'd much rather you stop substituting ideology for evidence. You want to argue that we should trust intelligence agencies? Then provide empirical evidence for it.
I've told you a couple times that I want to argue no such thing. Our discussion is about introductory concepts of basic reasoning.

Note that any "empirical evidence" I could provide, just like yours, would be appeal to authority, one of those arguments you call fallacious in all cases, but reasonable sometimes.

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Old 9th January 2017, 05:00 PM   #546
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Impossible for humans to use Bayesian inference? I can give you tons of papers (written by humans) which refute that.
It is impossible to use Bayesianism as the means of reaching conclusions in every aspect of one's life. It is not a practical means of reasoning when we are walking down the street, driving a car or watching the news. This is because:

(1) It is impossible for humans to actually specify a probability distribution over the set of all propositions, or even the finite portion we will need in our finite lives.

(2) It is impossible for humans to provide updates to this distribution every time some bit of information comes in.

It is impossible for humans to reason using purely Bayesian methods in their daily lives. Of course they can reason using Bayesianism where the set of propositions is small and not constantly updated, but not in the sense in which we constantly need to make decisions.

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Old 10th January 2017, 09:30 AM   #547
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Sorry, this burden of proof argument is utter nonsense, with no reasoning behind it.
The burden of proof of someone's "trustworthiness" is on the one making the claim of someone's "trustworthiness"? If that is "utter nonsense with no reasoning behind it" then that makes it all the easier for me:

I declare Alex Jones to be an "appropriate" authority, thereby not incurring a burden of proof, and since I've declared him "appropriate" I can appeal to his authority without it being fallacious. This authority makes a claim about the existence of fish people, but there is no evidence because his source would prefer not to reveal himself:
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


Appealed to authority? Check.
Declared the authority to be "appropriate"? Check.
Gave a rationalization for why the evidence isn't provided? Check.

Well then... Accept the fish people!

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In any case, I've said that I don't plan on trying to persuade you that the CIA is trustworthy.
Then I do not see a reason to continue this conversation.
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Old 10th January 2017, 09:50 AM   #548
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
The burden of proof of someone's "trustworthiness" is on the one making the claim of someone's "trustworthiness"?
I am not intending to persuade you that the reasons for my conclusion are good. I don't think I can persuade you of that. Therefore, I have no burden of proof at all.

You do seem to try to persuade me that the CIA is untrustworthy. Thus, you might have a burden, but I won't hold you to it, because it is not a conversation I wish to have.

Our discussion was more basic. It was about your addled notions regarding certain fallacies.

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Then I do not see a reason to continue this conversation.
We've talked about quitting long enough. Let's do it.
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Old 10th January 2017, 10:24 AM   #549
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Our discussion was more basic. It was about your addled notions regarding certain fallacies.
My notions aren't addled, on the contrary. I just prefer my notions and definitions to be precise.

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We've talked about quitting long enough. Let's do it.
May I suggest that further such discussions might be more productive if you didn't go into "teaching mode" where you apparently just assume that someone criticizing or rejecting your statements must be doing so because of having "addled notions"?
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Old 10th January 2017, 10:25 AM   #550
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Rush just said with respect to the Russians, "he's never seen the Democrats this mad since Lincoln freed the slaves".
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Old 10th January 2017, 10:30 AM   #551
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Evidence? For all we know it doesn't exist, it could have been fabricated, pulled out of context, or any other number of possibilities.
While true, would you ever accept that some evidence gathered by intelligence should remain classified for good reasons?
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Old 10th January 2017, 10:33 AM   #552
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
A few senators in the US does not constitute an oracle, no matter how "bipartisan" they may be.
Which now raises the question: since you're not an Oracle either, what would it change if the information was declassified?
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Old 10th January 2017, 10:36 AM   #553
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Which now raises the question: since you're not an Oracle either, what would it change if the information was declassified?
It's doubtful that there is any such information.
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Old 10th January 2017, 10:41 AM   #554
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
My notions aren't addled, on the contrary. I just prefer my notions and definitions to be precise.



May I suggest that further such discussions might be more productive if you didn't go into "teaching mode" where you apparently just assume that someone criticizing or rejecting your statements must be doing so because of having "addled notions"?
Look, I can see that you have some familiarity with formal and probabilistic methods (and your familiarity with the latter exceeds mine). But it is clear that you haven't a clue when it comes to norms about actual reasoning of actual (non-idealistic) humans. Hell, I have only half a clue, but at least I don't pretend that if it's not Bayesian (or similar) then it's not "meaningful".

I appreciate your technical background, but not your utter ignorance on how real persons living real lives must make decisions, nor on your ridiculous impression of the meaning of "fallacy" in the non-formal world.
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Old 10th January 2017, 10:48 AM   #555
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
You and several others in this thread need to do themselves a favor and repeat the following: "I don't have a clue about who hacked the DNC. There is no evidence available to us proving who hacked the DNC. My trust in the conclusions of the intelligence community are entirely an appeal to authority."
Precisely the position I take on science: I don't understand half of all those weird equations and arcane data, and I certainly don't trust the scientific "authorities" (i.e. people who can say whatever they want and no one can decode their made-up theories). Go with your guts, I say!
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Old 10th January 2017, 11:02 AM   #556
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Originally Posted by logger View Post
Because the "community" is corrupt?
How would you even know that?

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Why not?
Unholy mother of Hell, man, this is one of the founding principles of rational thinking.

Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Being a skeptic sometimes means the answer is , "I don't know and neither do you."
Perhaps, though some here seem to be taking this approach simply to avoid reaching conclusions they don't find convenient.
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Old 10th January 2017, 11:05 AM   #557
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Precisely the position I take on science: I don't understand half of all those weird equations and arcane data, and I certainly don't trust the scientific "authorities" (i.e. people who can say whatever they want and no one can decode their made-up theories). Go with your guts, I say!
If I may edit your post, it was a good rejoinder up until the part I struck out. The Animus was advocating agnosticism, not arbitrary judgment.

Others will try to claim there's a difference with science, but there really isn't for the great bulk of us. You and I either cannot or have very, very good reasons not to try to replicate experiments. How many years work before I gain access to an electron microscope? So, even for most scientists, the great bulk of scientific claims come down to appeal to authority, at some level.
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Old 10th January 2017, 11:13 AM   #558
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
I am free to assign "trust" to him, making him an "appropriate authority", so by your own argument you should now believe that we have immortal souls.
No, that isn't Upchurch's argument at all. You don't pick authorities out of a *********** hat. What you are doing now is engaging in anti-intellectualism, exactly as Upchurch mentioned.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
If anyone's a proponent of conspiracy theories it would be the US government and intelligence agencies. For goodness' sake, the claim under consideration is a conspiracy theory.
No, that's not what "conspiracy theory" means.

Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
It's doubtful that there is any such information.
Why?
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Old 10th January 2017, 11:14 AM   #559
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
If I may edit your post, it was a good rejoinder up until the part I struck out. The Animus was advocating agnosticism, not arbitrary judgment.
Only because the conclusion reached would be inconvenient to him, which leads back to the "guts" part.
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Old 10th January 2017, 11:22 AM   #560
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
While true, would you ever accept that some evidence gathered by intelligence should remain classified for good reasons?
I don't really see how this is relevant. The point is that the evidence is not available, whether that is for "good" or "bad" reasons has no bearing on that.

Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Which now raises the question: since you're not an Oracle either, what would it change if the information was declassified?
It would be available for independent review and I would be able to also review it for myself.
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