Posted by: Barry Bickmore | December 5, 2011

Bickmore’s Laws updates

I made a few updates to my “Bickmore’s Laws” page.  If any of you have any suggestions for other “laws”, put them in the comments.  If I like them, I may put them in an addendum on the page.  The theme of the “laws” is the difference between rationality and pseudo-rationality.

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.  Unckecked bias makes you stupid.

Bickmore’s Second Law of Being Biased

Nitpicking others’ arguments is not the same thing as “critical thinking.”  That 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.”

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Responses

  1. In the spirit of the season, analogous to “only the true messiah denies his divinity”. Actual experts don’t claim to be such.

  2. Ouch.

    http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/12/06/383301/media-inaccurately-presents-huntsmans-radical-climate-reversal-as-a-squishy-tweak/


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