Lesson one: Critical thinking and BS detection - Fuelly Forums

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Old 08-02-2006, 04:51 PM   #1
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Lesson one: Critical thinking and BS detection

On the front page of this site there is a news story about MPG-CAPS. How it got syndicated on Yahoo's News Page is beyond me, but I digress.

Here is a link to the story:

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art44900.asp

And this will be your first lesson in critical thinking. This lesson is mainly intended for people who can't smell the BS a mile away after reading the first line of this article.

MPG-CAPS Product Testimonies from people who tried MPG-CAPS and liked them so much, they became distributors! These testimonies were sent to me by the owner and he asked me to publish them.

At first glance the above sentence makes sense... kind of. When was the last time you liked a product so much you wanted to sell it? I've personally never done that, and odds are most people don't act that way either.

I love Papa Johns Pizza so much I decided to become a Pizza Delivery Guy. Yeah.... didn't think so.

Anyway, let's examine this statement a bit further. From the get-go the author is telling you that all of the opinions are biased. They are not objective. They do not come from a third party.

They might as well have said, "The following opinions are by people who WANT you to buy MPG-CAPS." When trying to be objective, stuff like this doesn't fly.

Another thing that should make you wonder is the source of the information. (...These testimonies were sent to me by the owner and he asked me to publish them....) The author should have just said, "The owner of MPG-CAPS wrote this article for me and I just put my name on it."

Another line that should set off your BS detector is the following one:

Studies indicate that the average increase in fuel economy is 7-14%.

First of all, which studies? Ones conducted by the "owner?"
Secondly, I've read a number of research reports in my time, mainly in college and mainly regarding psychology. Regardless of the subject matter, the methodology is the same. I have NEVER seen a creditable scientific report claim an average and then give a range of numbers. An average is not a range. They teach how to calculate averages in 7th grade pre-algebra. If these people are smart enough to invent a magic pill to increase your fuel economy I am left wondering why they can't do simple mathematics.

These items are found in the first few sentences. The rest of the article is full of other gems.

Based on these conclusions we can determine that something fishy is going on...

Put on your skeptic hats, and this has been lesson 1

Matt
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:43 PM   #2
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hahahaha toolio
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:02 AM   #3
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OMG, I almost peed myself reading that.

You go Matt!

I design medical instrumentation for a living and attention to detail and claims is second nature if you don't want to:

a) kill someone
b) be sued for false claims

Critical thinking could solve a lot of the world's problems.

Most people don't know how.

Just reinforces "A fool and his money are soon parted"
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:45 PM   #4
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Same thing...or not?

http://www.peswiki.com/index.php/Dir...rformance_Fuel
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZugyNA
I appears to be the same thing. If you want a really good laugh from the peswiki site, visit this:

http://www.peswiki.com/index.php/Dir...Tony%27s_Guide

Quote:
Tony's blanket debunking of any and all fuel economy or additive claims makes his stance suspect, when so many have claimed to have voluminous documentation to the contrary. His denial of any conspiracy whatsoever shows serious naivet? of history-laden human nature for the powers that be to protect their long-established turf. The "Skeptic's Dictionary" he pushes poo poos just about every "fringe" claim imaginable, from UFO's to acupuncture. Hence, it is hard not to suspect that he is a paid disinformant to be so thoroughly dismissive of so many areas that have such a deep wealth of documentation supporting them.
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:04 PM   #6
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nice work matt! entertaining read.
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Old 08-05-2006, 05:48 AM   #7
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Some people are just natural skeptics...maybe a poor childhood experiences...possibly genetic?

Maybe just from living in a world full of ***holes.....

Think yin/yang....2 sides to a coin....good/evil.....
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Leading the perpetually ignorant and uninformed into the light of scientific knowledge. Did I really say that?

a new policy....I intend to ignore the nescient...a waste of time and energy.
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:20 AM   #8
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZugyNA
Some people are just natural skeptics...maybe a poor childhood experiences...possibly genetic?

Maybe just from living in a world full of ***holes.....

Think yin/yang....2 sides to a coin....good/evil.....
Or "programed skeptics"are messed up by somebodies else's improper testing protocol's. I will give examples later but i think the others will not understand.
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Old 08-05-2006, 07:18 AM   #9
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This is too funny:

http://www.peswiki.com/index.php/Dir...Tony%27s_Guide

So, the source of suspicion and the main objection is to the blanket claim:

Quote:
Tony's blanket debunking of any and all fuel economy or additive claims makes his stance suspect
How beautifully ironic, since that objection is itself a blanket statement. And an untrue one to boot, since I can think of at least 2 fuel economy mods that fuelsaving.info concedes would likely improve FE.

No, I'm not going to name them. Go read the site yourself and decide if he's a paid lackey of the man.

Now whose blanket statements call their credibility into question?
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:11 PM   #10
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It's my personal belief that those trained in academia-land are usually wearing blinders put there by those who tend to finance education...big business.

There are lots of revolving doors between business and education...as there are between business and govt...and so forth.

Once people become obligated in certain ways while climbing the ladder of success...their views become skewed.

Strangley enough...the higher you climb...the narrower your views might be?

Some maintain some independence...some don't.
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