Cordial Deconstruction

Observations from our shared single objective reality in a materialistic, naturalistic, & macro-deterministic universe.

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Random Quotes

“It’s a commonplace cliche that a teacher will tell a class that there’s no such thing as a stupid question. The teacher is lying. I’ve run across many stupid questions, and you, sir, have written one. It’s not even amazingly stupid or creatively stupid or newly stupid; it’s mundanely stupid. It’s the stupidity of a parrot squawking what, to it, are nonsense syllables, and expecting a cracker for its effort. Further, it’s not a parrot repeating fragments of the speech of great philosophers or scientists, but a parrot fed on nothing but an aural diet of the mumblings of benighted fools.

So, I’m sorry, but I’m unimpressed. Try harder. Try thinking for a change.”

-P.Z. Meyers

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“I am in denial? I think not.”

-Someone commenting under the moniker of streeves1 in a comment thread on Science Based Medicine, seemingly in all seriousness and with no apparent sense of irony.

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“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

-Upton Sinclair

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“Alternative practitioners have a big advantage.  They can lie to patients.  I can’t.”

-Dr. Steven Novella, M.D.

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“You are trying to feed imaginary cupcakes to people who are not hungry.”

-eiskrystal in a comment thread on Neurologica

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“The founding fathers were not a homogenous group, they were about as wide a variety of rich white men as you could imagine, they had a wide variety of view on just about any imaginable subject.”

-TheBlackCat in a comment thread on Neurologica.

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“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell

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“What good is a meta-analysis on crap?  If you collect individual cow pies into a larger pile, it does not transmogrify into gold. “

-Mark Crislip, M.D.

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“For every anecdote, there is an equal and opposite anecdote.”

-Steven Novella, M.D.

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“This isn’t a case of hearing hoof beats in the night and thinking zebras instead of horses. This is a case of hearing hoof beats in the night and thinking unicorns instead of horses, unicorns that fart rainbows.”

-Militant Agnostic in a comment thread on Respectful insolence

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“A debate is not won by sound argument; it’s by persuasive rhetoric.”

-P. Z. Meyers

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“I know that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in my philosophy.  But you have to prove it to me.”

-Mark Crislip

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“There are more things dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio, than exist in heaven and earth.”

-Harriet Hall

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“Anecdotes generate questions, not answers.”

-Steven Novella

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“The plural of anecdote is not data”

-Roger Prinner

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“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself–and you are the easiest person to fool.”

-Richard Feynman

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Hanlon’s Razor:  Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

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“Never interrupt your enemy in the course of making a mistake.”

-Napoleon Bonaparte

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“To wear the mantle of Galileo, it is not enough to be persecuted: You must also be right.”

-Robert Park

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“You exaggerate more than anyone else in the whole world!”

-Justin Fisher

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“All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

-Reg in Monty Python’s Life of Brian

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“You couldn’t get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of clues in heat if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance.”

-Sir Edmund Blackadder

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“You cannot reason people out of positions they didn’t reason themselves into.”

-Ben Goldacre, MD  (Paraphrased from Jonathan Swift- “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”)

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“We are not princes of the earth, we are the descendants of worms, and any nobility must be earned.”

-P.Z. Meyers

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“Flight, EECOM- Try S.C.E. to Aux.”

-John Aaron

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“…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

-Stephen F. Roberts

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“And the moral we learn from that last comment, Boys and Girls, is that if you can’t win an argument on its merits, take a shit on the desk and leave.”

-Someone named Jody in a thread on skeptico

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“…as a species we’re just really bad at understanding costs that come later on. Instead, we assign a disproportionate amount of importance to what’s immediate and tangible.”

-Barbara Kiviat of Time.com writing about credit cards but applicable to far more.

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“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.”

-Various

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“The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.”

-Pierre-Simon Marquis de Laplace

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“A simile is like a metaphor.”

-Karl Withakay (But apparently not the first to say it)

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“When all you have is a screwdriver, everything  looks like a nail.”

-Scott of PoliteDissent speaking for his two year old son playing with a new Black & Decker children’s workbench.

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“Any tool can be the right tool.”

- Red Green

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“Even Hitler built the Autobahn; it doesn’t mean he was good for Germany.”

-Karl Withakay
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“The tiger may be purring, but never forget it’s still a tiger.”

-Karl Withakay
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Karl Withakay’s Laws of Concern Trolls:

More often than not, when someone says they don’t have an opinion on something, it usually means they really do, but deny it so they can maintain the appearance of impartial objectivity.

When someone prefaces a comment by stating what they are not, or what they don’t believe, or what they’re not sure of, it tends to be followed by a statement that shows they do have an underlying true belief and their preface was dishonest BS.

When someone prefaces a comment with a claim to be an impartial or objective onlooker, please see above.

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“Sometimes the most intelligent person in the room is the one who says they don’t have an answer.”

-Karl Withakay
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Confirmation bias says, seek, and ye shall find.”

-Karl Withakay
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“If a Planck Cent was the smallest meaningful amount of money you could possibly ask for on some piece of junk you’re trying to sell at a garage sale, you can be sure somebody will offer you half a Plank Cent for it.”

-Karl Withakay
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“Be skeptical, think critically, for your adversary, The Woo walks around like a roaring lion seeking to devour the credulous and naïve.”

-Karl Withakay
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“Sometimes freedom is a two way street and individuals are the Frogger frog. One should be aware of that before hoping out into the road.”

-Karl Withakay

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