Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! Have some Ferguson commentary.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

For now, I'm only going to give a very brief description of an exchange about Ferguson, aka the Savage Lands.

A: Look, there's only one fact that matters in the Ferguson shooting.
Me: What's that?
A: He was shot seven times in the back, while he was running away. That's totally indefensible, and you shouldn't be surprised that people are outraged.
Me: Uh... that never happened.
B: Yeah, that got disproved a while ago. See these links.
A: ... Oh.
A: Well he was shot six times, that's completely unjustified.

What I loved about this exchange was the complete ease with which 'the only fact that matters' didn't matter whatsoever the moment it turned out the supposedly most important evidence went in the exact opposite direction he thought it did. Without much prompting, this guy laid out his position, took a strong stand (despite apparently not even following the case), and the moment his information (which he himself expressly regarded as utterly decisive) turned out to be complete bunk, he responded by... finding a whole new way to accept the opinion he previously held.

He did not noticeably pause and consider, even for a moment, that his complete failure to even be informed about the topic - to say nothing of getting a key fact wrong - should temper the certainty of his opinion, or challenge his view.

As near as I can tell, this guy is not the exception when it comes to how people reason.

He is the rule.

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