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Friday, January 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

"There's a seeming inconsistency in contemporary American politics: at the same time the central government's size and power have reached unprecedented heights, a smaller percentage of the public view the government in Washington favorably than at any time in the last half-century."
--Richard Winchester, AmericanThinker.com, Jan. 2

It is unclear why he believes it is an inconsistency.

13 comments:

  1. Maybe he thinks there's no lag in the system?

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  2. Sorry this is a non-sequitur...but supposing I rashly resolved to do something in 2014 about my lack of Scholastic thinking, are there particular books you'd recommend to those of us with a more literary than strictly philosophical bent? The only significant name I know is Gilson (from ref.s via GKC and Merton) and I'm not sure he's the place for me to start. I'd very much appreciate any scholars you could point me to. (you could probably file this under "Eifelheim"-bwahahaha!!) A thousand thanks!

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    1. Feser's Aquinas
      This series of lectures: http://home.comcast.net/~icuweb/c02001.htm#1

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    2. Thanks! (there's probably an Indulgence for causing others to read Aquinas)

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  3. I think the implicit premise behind the inconsistency he sees, which he didn't state explicitly, is that the country that is unhappy with the federal government has been complicit in asking for its expansion in the first place.

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  4. Nothing to do with this post (in particular), but io9 has an interesting article up -- after which several people ignore the intent of the article and get into big arguments...

    But the article gives me one more reason to pause whenever presented with another chart or graph supporting this point of view or another.

    http://io9.com/on-correlation-causation-and-the-real-cause-of-auti-1494972271?utm_campaign=socialflow_io9_facebook&utm_source=io9_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

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    1. 'Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.' -- Aaron Levenstein

      "The good statistician ... distrusts all figures -- he either knows the fellow who found them or he does not know him; in either case he is suspicious." -- Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive, p. 144

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    2. I think that causation is not an empirical matter. Empirically, all we see are correlations. Then, the scientist, if he can figure out a theory that relates the variables, then we say that a cause exists. That is, causation exists at the level of theory, not in the observations.

      But, theories are non-unique and provisional. A given set of data ("correlations") may be explained by different theories ("causation").

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    3. In mathematical logic, any finite set of data can be explained by multiple theories among which the data cannot distinguish. Is an electron a particle or a wave? Or is it something of which we have no direct experience?

      What distinguishes a correlation from a physical theory, emphasis on the physical, is that the latter proposes a physical mechanism by which B is entrained by A. (That's why the use of mathematical limits and convergence is not an answer to Zeno and his tortoise.)

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  5. Maybe it depends on what the AmericanThinker wants you to think "size" is. If it's number of employees, it's on the way down.


    Numbers, words, contexts, and hidden agendas

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    1. He seems to write that people view the federal government less favorably DESPITE the government getting in their business more and more.

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  6. I was curious about this since American Thinker is known for being pretty conservative...

    It looks to me like the opening line is a set up for the article where he goes "if we assume X, why do we see Y?" The whole thing does seems badly edited and rushed, for instance at the close he mentions 4 possible explanations but I was only able to read 1. Certainly glancing at the author's other articles I don't think he believes it as inconsistent. Maybe we should lobby TAT for a "director's cut" of the article.

    (and no, I'm not related to him)

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  7. Foxbutterfield is that you?

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