"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."

                --Archilochus

Glenn Reynolds:
"Heh."

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."




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Friday, October 22, 2010

Thought Experiment

From the Juan Williams episode, we know that it's not all right to think, "Hmmm. Those guys are Muslims. I know it's not completely rational, but I can't help but being jumpy when I'm on an airplane with 'em."

So let's do a thought experiment. We won't use the word "Muslim." Instead, let's use the word "crocodile." OK? So the question is, do you qualify as a lunatic if you say, "You know, it's certainly not completely rational, but when I see a crocodile on the plane with me, it makes me jumpy and nervous. I don't have anything against crocodiles, but on airplanes, they sort of freak me out."

That's the experiment. Think about it.

[UPDATE] It's an Instalanche! If you click on the main page and look around, I'll be your best friend.

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Comments on "Thought Experiment"

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:22 PM) : 

If I had been mugged by a guy wearing a red carnation in his lapel I would be nervous the next time I passed another man with a red carnation in his lapel.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:30 PM) : 

Reductio ad absurdum is a logical fallacy.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:35 PM) : 

NPR was the islamophobic (fear of islam) actor is this. They fired Juan because they didn't want their offices bombed.
MattB

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:36 PM) : 

This is retarded.

 

Blogger Blob said ... (8:49 PM) : 

Reductio ad absurdum is not a logical fallacy.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:02 PM) : 

I don't know, I'm more afraid of "Snakes on a Plane". It was such a bad film, I want to sue to get those 105 minutes of my life back...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417148/

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:07 PM) : 

Just yesterday there was a plane crash because of a loose croc--all the passengers in their fear shifted the lane uncontrolablly.

 

Blogger Steve said ... (9:09 PM) : 

It would be offensive if the crocodiles used four passenger planes to attack innocent civilians at work while screaming "Allahu Akbar" as they did it.

 

Blogger Kyle Haight said ... (9:12 PM) : 

Bad analogy. There's no legitimate reason why a crocodile would be on an airplane, so seeing one would indicate that something highly unusual was going on. Is the same true of Muslims? No.

NPR's firing of Mr. Williams reveals them as a group of politically-correct Islamophobic cowards, but the proposed thought experiment is just stupid.

 

Blogger Joe said ... (10:00 PM) : 

as a crocodile-american I'm offended.
Can't a reptile come to this country and get a fair deal? It appears not.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:04 PM) : 

There's no legitimate reason why a crocodile would be on an airplane,

The standard of "legitimate reason" is probably a bit different in the Congo.

In any case, it's rational to be afraid, when on a plane, of things correlated with planes crashing, whether or not their presence is expected or the correlation offends our sensibilities, though of course such fear should not be grounds for persecution of any kind.

Anyways, my favorite part was this.

ironically the crocodile also survived the crash but was later killed with a machete by rescuers sifting through the wreckage.

There's a lesson there somewhere.

 

Blogger Photog714 said ... (10:45 PM) : 

Anonymous said: Reductio ad absurdum is a logical fallacy.

I think you'd better retake that logic course. Reductio ad absurdum is not a fallacy.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:12 PM) : 

When I'm in the deep south and I walk into an all-white restaurant with my Asian wife and half-Asian children, I feel a bit uncomfortable. I am white. Am I a bigot? Why do the patrons of the restaurant sometimes look at us curiously?

 

Blogger Lance said ... (11:22 PM) : 

All those crying reductio, let's change the experiment a bit...

You're hiking a forested trail and you notice a black bear several dozen yards ahead. Does having an uneasy feeling make you anti-bear? You know perfectly well that the vast majority of black bears are mild mannered and no threat to humans. Does this make you any less uneasy?

 

Anonymous Willy said ... (11:47 PM) : 

What's completely ridiculous about all of this is that even die-hard politically-correct leftists would feel as uncomfortable as Williams in the same situation. They'd also feel less safe around black teenagers, just like Jesse Jackson. But they don't have the character to admit it to themselves. Rather, they deny that the feeling even exists. It's part of their religion. They remind me of the stereotypical country preacher who implores his congregation to reject all feelings of lust. Then he gets caught in the backroom with a teenage boy.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:49 PM) : 

NPR employees see Juan Williams walk into the building.

They have uneasy feelings.

They act on those uneasy feelings by expelling Juan Williams from the building.

Fortunately for Mr. Williams, the building wasn't at 35,000 feet altitude at the time.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:52 PM) : 

Oh, NPR didn't even let him get on the plane--they used a phone.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:00 AM) : 

Yes, Muslims have a minor PR problem. That PR problem is not our fault.

 

Blogger Tman said ... (1:16 AM) : 

I think the answer to your question depends on whether or not the alligator is dressed in muslim garb and acting all muslimy.

If it's like a chinese alligator then it's probably cool.

 

Blogger Iapetus said ... (1:27 AM) : 

When I walk into a sushi bar and all the customers are Asian while I'm the only white person, I figure the unagi must be terrific.

 

Anonymous Aggrieved Crocodile said ... (2:05 AM) : 

Alligators are not crocodiles. Do we all look alike to you, you racists.

 

Anonymous Steve Skubinna said ... (4:08 AM) : 

Well, if you kept this concern between yourself and your psychologist you'd probably be all right.

But if you were careless enough to mention it to anyone else, you'd be denounced as "crocophobic." Some might suggest that you were yourself struggling with your identity as a suppressed crocodile.

But seriously, who besides Captain Hook is worried about crocodiles?

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:33 AM) : 

But seriously, who besides Captain Hook is worried about crocodiles?

Zeebas?

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:34 AM) : 

If Juan Williams walked into NPR with an AK47 would you assume that he was returning Nina Totenburg's gun.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:21 AM) : 

"Am I a bigot? Why do the patrons of the restaurant sometimes look at us curiously?"

Try wearing pants.

 

Blogger mr said ... (8:31 AM) : 

"Am I a bigot? Why do the patrons of the restaurant sometimes look at us curiously?"

In my case, I am usually curious about the story that brings two people from different backgrounds together into the best of all possible relationships: an apparently happy marriage blessed with healthy children.

My curiosity isn't restricted to mixed-race couples, but in an environment where they are rare, yeah, they momentarily draw my attention.

 

Blogger Steve said ... (10:21 AM) : 

""Am I a bigot? Why do the patrons of the restaurant sometimes look at us curiously?"

In my case, I am usually curious about the story that brings two people from different backgrounds together into the best of all possible relationships: an apparently happy marriage blessed with healthy children.

My curiosity isn't restricted to mixed-race couples, but in an environment where they are rare, yeah, they momentarily draw my attention."

This does raise the question of what the allowed behavior is supposed to be. Are we expected to studiously ignore the presence of someone else, or is it racist because we ignore them?

I am so confused.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:27 AM) : 

"If I had been mugged by a guy wearing a red carnation in his lapel I would be nervous the next time I passed another man with a red carnation in his lapel."

If I had been mugged by a guy with his head covered and face partially concealed by a hoodie sweatshirt on a hot July day in South Central LA I'd be nervous the next time I was approached by a guy with his head covered and face partially concealed by a hoodie on a hot July day ...

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:35 AM) : 

Historically, only a tiny, tiny percentage of Ku Klux Klan members ever participated in a lynching or a beating. So there's no reason at all for a black person to feel nervous if several guys in Klan outfits are approaching...

 

Blogger Rabel said ... (10:55 AM) : 

I live in the deep, deep south. There aren't any all-white restaurants. Much more likely to find those when I'm in Boston.
I have an Asian wife. If people look our way, it's because the wife is a stone cold babe.

 

Anonymous Meryl Yourish said ... (11:04 AM) : 

Dude, I clicked on the main page. I am now your best friend.

 

Anonymous Uncle M said ... (11:09 AM) : 

The author of this blog is clearly psychotic, but I like the way his mind works.

 

Anonymous Sophist said ... (3:40 PM) : 

So let's do a thought experiment.

I'm pretty sure this doesn't qualify as a "thought experiment". That would require that it included actual thought.

 

Anonymous Caravelle said ... (7:01 PM) : 

I've got another thought experiment! We won't use the word "Muslim." Instead, let's use the word "seeing-eye dog." OK? So the question is, do you qualify as a lunatic if you say, "You know, it's certainly not completely rational, but when I see a seeing-eye dog on the plane with me, it makes me jumpy and nervous. I don't have anything against seeing-eye dogs, but on airplanes, they sort of freak me out."

Still as scary ? How about if I substitute "fluffy bunny" ?

As to whether Muslim people are more like crocodiles, fluffy bunnies or seeing-eye dogs, consider the following thought experiment. A Muslim man is walking down the street and encounters a blind woman at the the light.
What is the probability of the Muslim man eating the blind woman ?
What is the probability of the Muslim man ignoring the blind woman ?
What is the probability of the Muslim man helping the blind woman across the street ?

Then ask the same question of a crocodile, a fluffy bunny and a seeing-eye dog, and see which matches best.

 

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