Bickmore’s Laws

Bickmore’s First Law of Being Reasonable

Reasonable people understand that good arguments can sometimes lead to false conclusions, and bad arguments can sometimes lead to true conclusions.

Bickmore’s Second Law of Being Reasonable

Reasonable people resist bad arguments, even if they agree with the conclusions.

Bickmore’s First Law of the Box

“Thinking outside the box” requires being capable of recognizing “the box.”  (Ignorance kills true creativity.)

Bickmore’s Second Law of the Box

“Thinking outside the box” is only laudable when “the box” is not rationality.

Bickmore’s First Law of Being Biased

Bias makes you human.  Unchecked bias makes you stupid.

Bickmore’s Second Law of Being Biased

Nitpicking others’ arguments is not the same thing as “critical thinking.”  That also involves nitpicking your own arguments.

Bickmore’s First Law of Being Open-Minded

Failing to make critical decisions based on incomplete information is called “spinelessness,” not “open-mindedness.”

Bickmore’s First Law of Pretending to be Scientific

People who think they are being all “scientific” because they insist that models be perfect to be useful don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

Bickmore’s Second Law of Pretending to be Scientific

People whose “arguments” mainly consist of lauding their own “BS Detectors” and throwing out innuendos are always obnoxious, and usually fools.

Bickmore’s First Law of Monckton 

For every person who publicly endorses Lord Monckton’s climate pronouncements for merely irrational reasons, there exists a threshold in Monckton’s behavior which, if crossed, will cause said person to regret their association.

Bickmore’s Second Law of Monckton

Any behavioral threshold posited by Bickmore’s First Law of Monckton will eventually be crossed by Lord Monckton.

Responses

  1. [...] the ContributorsAbout This BlogBickmore’s LawsLord Monckton’s Rap SheetThe Church of Monckton Anti-Climate Change Extremism in Utah A [...]

  2. I very much like Bickmore’s Second Law of the Box.

  3. Nice. I just discovered your site because of the LA Times piece, and linked to it in my newest post, which seems to relate well to your first two laws: http://new-wood.blogspot.com/2011/01/climate-change-ideology-truth-and.html

    • Hi David,

      Very nice piece. I wish more people would listen to you.

  4. [...] Bickmore’s Laws [...]

  5. Genius!!! These laws should be standard learning for children everywhere … and grown-ups when they’ll listen!

  6. [...] Bickmore’s Laws [...]

  7. Typo: Unckecked bias makes you stupid

  8. Eli has a friend who works at a place with two Nobel Prize winners. He told Eli that when he has a problem he goes to both of them. One he knows will give him the wrong answer for the right reason, and the other the right answer for the wrong reason. Takes all kinds.

    • So, if your friend already knows which answers (and reasons) are “right” and “wrong”, why does he bother to ask the Nobel Prize winners? What is the point you are trying to make?

      • I think Eli’s friend goes to his smart friends to get off-the-cuff advice, tries out both ideas, and discovers who is right by experience.

        • I’d rather know what point *Eli* was trying to make.

          What *Barry thinks Eli’s friend might have been thinking* is far too hypothetical and entirely presumptuous (unless you are Eli, working under a pseudonym – or can read Eli’s mind).

          Maybe it was just an amusing anecdote. Let’s wait for Eli to step forward and enlighten us both.

  9. [...] Bickmore’s Laws [...]

  10. […] observation as his own. In fact, Barry Bickmore has a lot of useful, perceptive observations among “Bickmore’s Laws” ( Example: Bickmore’s First Law of Being Reasonable Reasonable people understand that good […]

  11. […] Ironically enough, this calls to mind another one of Bickmore’s Laws (His First Law of Being Biased was featured in the original post about Green’s interview) , Bickmore’s Second Law of Being Biased: […]

  12. Monckton constantly accuses his opponents of “ad hominem” attacks on him and the “latin” is very impressive but whats wrong with personal attacks if they are relevant and true. His lack of scientific qualifications is certainly relevant. This reliance on “ad hominery” is phoney and should be exposed. There must be a Bickmore Law therein !

  13. […] Bickmore’s Laws […]


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