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One of my all-time favorite comics is this classic from xkcd:
We’ve all been there. For some of us, it’s embarrassing to admit how often. There’s something about the internet that proliferates tedious and dumb arguments about things that probably don’t matter.
Today’s newsletter is a look at three predictable failures in logic that the internet exacerbates in everyone. The result: the maddening perception that everyone is wrong, all the damn time.
Let’s get into it.
1. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence - There’s a famous Tweet that has been reposted by so many people at this point that I have no idea who originally said it. But it summarized the internet thus:
Person A: “I like oranges. They taste great!”
Person B: “Oh, so you hate bananas then? Perhaps if you opened your mind to other fruits, you wouldn’t be so prejudiced. Geez. Educate yourself.”
There’s a maxim in logic that says, “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Just because I didn’t say I like bananas, doesn’t mean I don’t like bananas.
I’d say this fallacy accounts for roughly 30% of the criticisms I get, and probably around 50% …
Hey, sorry to interrupt…
I know you were reading that and getting all into it, but I’ve got to stop you here for a second. Because you seem to have somehow stumbled onto a subscriber-only article, and I hate to say it, but this shit ain't free.
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