[extropy-chat] Peak Oil news

Ian Goddard iamgoddard at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 8 02:13:22 UTC 2006

--- Hal Finney <hal at finney.org> wrote:

> Mostly my interest in Peak Oil is not really the
> question of whether or when it will happen, and 
> what its effects will be [...]  My interest is 
> more "meta".  I see the Peak Oil community as a 
> relatively closed group of true believers. [...]
> The question, then, is what methodologies we can 
> use to evaluate whether belief systems like these,
> beliefs which are contradicted by those of the 
> larger world, are correct or not.
> [...] I hope to find "black box" methods of 
> evaluation that could be of general utility in 
> judging the accuracy of claims that come from 
> relatively isolated communities.

 But wouldn't that imply that the popularity of a
given set of statements should affect the evaluation
procedures applied to them? My sense is that not only
does keeping things meta entail excluding
consideration of popularity, but even at a micro level
the consideration of popularity runs the risk of
systematically instantiating "socially correct," as
opposed to ontologically accurate, conclusions,
thereby defeating the whole project. 

 An ideal example of applying a universal and thus
'meta' procedure to all empirical statements was your
excellent critique on this list (years back) of the
belief held by a relatively small group headed by some
FLIR experts who opined that flashes on FLIR video
taken during the final Waco siege show gunshots
directed into the Mt Carmel center. Your analysis
tested the veracity of claims on a micro case-by-case
basis irrespective of who held them. You motivated me
to second-guess the experts heading that belief cell,
which I was in. Following your lead and with the full
FLIR video and official report in hand I took to
carefully examining each and every claim forming that
cell at an ultra-micro level and found each falsified
resulting in a wonderful example to behold in myself
of total belief collapse. [*] ~Ian

[*] http://users.erols.com/igoddard/wacoflir.htm 


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