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Thread: How to present an argument: Dr. Phil Plait

  1. #1
    Emet is offline Senior Member
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    How to present an argument: Dr. Phil Plait

    This lecture was presented at TAM8 by Phil Plait. He's speaking to skeptics on how to present arguments to convince someone that "they're not thinking clearly when they're not thinking clearly". Substitute your favorite scam for each time he mentions alternate therapies, magical thinking, supernatural beliefs, etc.

    Dr. Phil Plait: The goal of skepticism

    (There was a lot of positive reaction to the talk, but also some criticism.)



    Phil Plait's Don't Be A Dick talk at TAM8 Now Online
    A half-truth is a whole lie.

  2. #2
    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: How to present an argument: Dr. Phil Plait

    Quote Originally Posted by Emet
    Substitute your favorite scam for each time he mentions alternate therapies, magical thinking, supernatural beliefs, etc.
    To do so would be an exercise in generalization.

    "skepticism" is not exposing "scams"

    Professional fraudsters are not mere purveyors of woo.

    A hyip ponzi "playa" is not the same as a HYIP ponzi "player"

    And hyip ponzi "playas" or HYIP ponzi "players" are not the same as "true believers"

    And hyip ponzi "playas" or HYIP ponzi "players" or "true believers" are not the same as naive victims.

    And hyip ponzi "playas" or HYIP ponzi "players" or "HYIP ponzi true believers" or "HYIP ponzi naive victims" are not the same as UFOlogists/creationists/woosters.

    ESPECIALLY
    if their life savings is at stake and their "investment" is not simply academic or emotional.

    There is no single "movement" with a single goal when it comes to posting on anti scam forums.

    In fact, there are probably as many differing reasons why people post as there are posters.

    Similarly, what works on a penny-ante charity type scammer will make little or no impression on an "Andy Bowdoin" type fraudster who is 18 months into a $250 MILLION dollar "autosurf" fraud.

    In fact, in that regard, professional fraudsters are streets ahead of anti scammers in that THEY don't use a shotgun approach on their targets.
    Professional fraudsters "qualify their prospects" and then tailor their strategies to suit.

    IM(very)HO, forums are for entertainment.

    There is little chance of forum posters influencing more than a handful of readers and for anyone to think otherwise is an example of ego at work.

    In fact, any "real" anti scam work involves emailing, harassing, informing and liasing with "real" law enforcement agencies and "real" media.

    IOW, a scam is not A scam
    a scammer is not A scammer
    a solution is not A solution
    a learning style is not A learning style
    what's good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander.
    shotguns are not necessarily as effective as derringers in all cases.



    Oh, as a footnote:

    some people really are complete assh***s and deserve nothing better than being treated with scorn, derision and utter contempt.

    The guy who firmly believes he was cured of his cancer by the power of prayer is NOT the same as the guy who knows full well "cancer" is not a single entity and tries to sell you silver colloidal s**t as a guaranteed cure in the full knowledge it's s**t and doesn't "cure" anything.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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