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April 27, 2013 / JayMan

An H/T to P&T

I’d be remiss to not give credit to two guys who have been a great inspiration to me and have helped to set me on my present path.

spot-icon-penn-and-teller-bullshit-2128361-200-200Second only to getting at the truth, I think the desire to debunk bullshit is one of my primary motivations. While I’ve long been a critical thinker, Penn & Teller: Bullshit! gave me extra gusto to root out falsehoods regardless (or probably especially because) of how popular or deeply enshrined they are, a pattern that continues to this day. 😉

One would think that’s otherwise known as simply being a scientist, but for some reason that doesn’t appear to be the quite the case in today’s society…


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  1. szopeno / Apr 27 2013 12:30 PM

    BTW, Jayman, I loved reading your discussion with other liberals 😀

    A thought: just occured to me that regression to mean should happened with outcomes on liberal/conservative attitudes, isn’t it? That is, extreme conservatist on average should have children more conservative that average joe, but still less conservatist than their parents, am I right?

    • JayMan / Apr 27 2013 1:00 PM

      Thanks. 🙂

      Yes. Assuming that the narrow-sense heritability of political orientation is in the 0.3-0.4 range, there should be a regression to the mean of about (1 – 0.4)nσ of political attitudes per generation, I believe. With secular effects on top of that.

  2. Greying Wanderer / Apr 27 2013 3:23 PM

    I think this is connected to the idea of most scientists doing their best work when young men i.e. i think part of the desire to knock over existing truths comes from aggression which is partly related to youth. Particularly irascible scientists might not suffer from that problem.

  3. Adalwolf / Apr 29 2013 3:01 AM

    Yesterday I had to explain to someone that, no, it is impossible for a random German to be more genetically similar to any African man than to his/her neighbour, because the similarity of two people’s genomes increases the more and the more recent ancestors they share.
    I suppose we could do with fellas like these—or you—in our country too…

    • JayMan / Apr 29 2013 4:16 PM

      Every society needs at least a few… 😉

  4. Sideways / May 10 2013 9:19 PM

    Their immigration episode was pretty awful.

    • JayMan / May 10 2013 11:51 PM

      I don’t agree with all their views. Still, it takes a certain amount of orneriness to make a show titled Bullshit and set out to expose such. Does that mean that they are always correct? No, but it was inspiring.


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