[ExI] Captchas

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Sat Aug 13 22:23:45 UTC 2011

Spike wrote:

>Eeesh.  It brings up one of those nightmare scenarios where some silly prole
>saw the show and confidently declared "Hey y'all, watch this shit!" which
>became his last words.  Then Adam and Jamie would be indirectly responsible
>for his death.  They definitely need to retest that myth.

Mythbusters is great fun but it's quite clear that while they can
prove something's possible, all their failures establish is that
*they* failed.

I hope (but doubt) the viewers realize this.

It's fun, though, when they fail, to devise a better experiment
than the one they tried.

It goes with the other parlor games I've played with my daughter,
e.g., watching commercials with an eye to identifying the mix
of fallacy and emotional manipulation (my favorite are variations
of the tautology "only X is X," although it's hard not to be struck
by "gold has never been worth zero"), and faux compliments
(that is, remarks taken as compliments that actually aren't, like
"you've never looked lovelier" (ugly as usual) or "I'll never forget
our date" (try as I might)).

I feel much the same about Bullshit! as I do about Mythbusters.
Fun, a lot of sizzle, but not that much steak.

Perhaps both best considered as gateway drugs to critical
thinking. This generation's version of Wff 'n Proof. Lure them
in with Kari and Teller before we hit them with predicate
calculus and Bayesian reasoning.

-- David.

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