Naive Objectivity and the McNamara Fallacy

In this age of dataharvest many feel a sense of empowerment in their ability to measure and extrapolate from measurement. And indeed, measurement is a magnificently useful tool. But if held too tightly, if the seeming certainty it provides becomes a motivation in itself, the process of measurement can turn on its user. One common way the tool ...

The Transparency Fallacy

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Who is not a fan of informal logic? Who can resist the exploration of the subtle mis-turns of reasoning that lead us into the swamp of error? In honor of professor whatshisname, who was gracious enough to let me pass his logic class, I induct an Internet-age fallacy into the great book of fallacies. It's called the ...

The simplest problem-solving heuristic

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Sometimes the most powerful ideas are also the simplest. They are overlooked because of their simplicity. A simple and powerful heuristic for general problem-solving is the idea that things are they way they are because they got that way. In other words, history matters. That's obvious! Yes, it's logically obvious. But in the throws of problem-solving, we ...