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  1. #1
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Personal Testimony

    If we relied on personal testimony, we would not have quantum mechanics.

    And quantum mechanics is the most accurate scientific fact we have.

    Why is this?

    It is because quantum mechanics is based on statistics and statistics says that personal testimony is anecdotal and of no truth value.

    And yet personal testimony is the golden thread that runs not only through mbti but through protestantism and literacy.

    In the USA personal testimony is taken for granted in protestant churches on television and in mbti.

    Why is this?

    In 1440 the printing press was invented and the very first book we printed was the bible. Until then the bible was read aloud and interpreted for the faithful. But after printing the bible could be read and interpreted by the individual reader. So the authority moved from the institutional church to the individual, and so to personal testimony.

    But today authority has moved from personal testimony to statistics.

    And yet most of the USA still believe fervently in personal testimony as their final authority, and yet we know they are wrong and we know why they are wrong.

    Why is this?

    The first reason is that very few are prepared to study statistics, a branch of mathematics. The second reason is that personal testimony plays into our narcissism - we only have to watch a TV ad to know, "we deserve it".

  2. #2
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    There's testimony and corroborated testimony.

    When's the last time you did a quantum physics experiment?

    Physics experiments are based on data, sure. If you didn't observe or replicate the data yourself then it is testimony.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair

  3. #3
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    There's testimony and corroborated testimony.

    When's the last time you did a quantum physics experiment?

    Physics experiments are based on data, sure. If you didn't observe or replicate the data yourself then it is testimony.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair
    This is a semantic argument.

    But rather than joining you in a semantic joust, I will continue to point out that personal testimony is part of the warp and weft of the culture of the USA.

    And just as water is invisible to fish, so the our culture is invisible to us.

    However mathematical statistics contradicts the popular culture of the USA.

    Why is this?

    It is because popular culture in the USA is literate, while mathematical statistics addresses the electronic culture which holds and contains the literate culture.

  4. #4
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    This is a semantic argument.

    But rather than joining you in a semantic joust, I will continue to point out that personal testimony is part of the warp and weft of the culture of the USA.

    And just as water is invisible to fish, so the our culture is invisible to us.

    However mathematical statistics contradicts the popular culture of the USA.

    Why is this?

    It is because popular culture in the USA is literate, while mathematical statistics addresses the electronic culture which holds and contains the literate culture.
    It's not a semantic argument.

    I understand what you're saying in the general sense of 'numbers don't lie'.

    However, if you didn't gather the numbers then it's no different. Those printing the numbers can still lie - and they sometimes do lie.

    If I say "50% of Americans do x" and then go on to claim that I actually did an experiment and interviewed 200,000 people and statistically averaged it out, does it mean that I actually did that? No. It does not. It's quite possible that I never talked to a single person and just made the whole thing up and did some basic math to make it appear convincing.

    If you didn't gather the statistics, it's testimony.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    It's not a semantic argument.

    I understand what you're saying in the general sense of 'numbers don't lie'.

    However, if you didn't gather the numbers then it's no different. Those printing the numbers can still lie - and they sometimes do lie.

    If I say "50% of Americans do x" and then go on to claim that I actually did an experiment and interviewed 200,000 people and statistically averaged it out, does it mean that I actually did that? No. It does not. It's quite possible that I never talked to a single person and just made the whole thing up and did some basic math to make it appear convincing.

    If you didn't gather the statistics, it's testimony.
    I don't know what we are arguing about. I seems we both know and understand the power and value of statistics, particularly as expressed in quantum mechanics.

    But perhaps you are asking, how do we know quantum mechanics isn't a lie?

    We know quantum mechanics isn't a lie because we are daily testing quantum mechanics with experiment. These experiments are replicated all over the world in different cultures and languages. The methods and results are published in peer review journals and attempts are publicly made to falsify these results. Absolutely none of this happens with, for instance mbti, which is simply an emotional trick based on personal testimony.

    So both mbti and protestantism are based on personal testimony. And what a coincidence - mbti was made by protestants!

  6. #6
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I don't know what we are arguing about. I seems we both know and understand the power and value of statistics, particularly as expressed in quantum mechanics.

    But perhaps you are asking, how do we know quantum mechanics isn't a lie?

    We know quantum mechanics isn't a lie because we are daily testing quantum mechanics with experiment. These experiments are replicated all over the world in different cultures and languages. The methods and results are published in peer review journals and attempts are publicly made to falsify these results. Absolutely none of this happens with, for instance, mbti which is simply an emotional trick based on personal testimony.

    So both mbti and protestantism are based on personal testimony. And what a coincidence - mbti was made by protestants!
    Well yes. That's exactly it. Testimony and corroborated testimony.

    I think what you're trying to say is that some times people just go with what sounds good to them without trying to corroborate it. Kind of an "If so and so said it, it must be true!" kind of deal.

    In that context I agree with your assessment.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Well yes. That's exactly it. Testimony and corroborated testimony.

    I think what you're trying to say is that some times people just go with what sounds good to them without trying to corroborate it. Kind of an "If so and so said it, it must be true!" kind of deal.

    In that context I agree with your assessment.
    Perhaps you have agreed too quickly for another phrase for corroboration is group think. Almost all of us want to belong that is why we seek out those with opinions and beliefs the same or similar to ours. It validates us. It makes us feel right with the world - and no one wants to be wrong.

    While statistics is purely mathematical and knows not belonging, or validating, or being right with the world, or even right with God.

    We belong and are validated by our mother, while statistics tells us the truth about the universe.

    So mbti is a surrogate mother who satisfies our needs to belong and be validated. Mbti is as powerful as our mother. But whereas once we needed our mother to survive, we can survive and and thrive without our mother or her shadow: mbti.

  8. #8
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    MBTI might be our surrogate mother and statistics might be cheese for the lefticated rat but that doesn't mean it's cheddar.

    Edit: and I think we're doing a mongo footed toodlepip in the rafters. Metaphorically speaking of course.

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