Zeno's Paradox
While critical thinking may not make up for a lack of knowledge, it is essential for gaining knowledge.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005:  
Critical Thinking:
You Too Can (Pretend To) Be a Psychic for Fun and Profit!

I'm fascinated how people come to believe what they do, but often have a hard time deciding how to respond to others' beliefs...

Over at The Two Percent Company Rants there is an interesting article, Calling All Psychics: Help Natalee Holloway. While the don't want to make fun of a tragedy, I think they have a valid point in that this is exactly the type of tragedy that "psychics" abuse to promote themselves.

I contributed to the comments with some "psychic predictions" from a random word generator. (It appears to randomly select a word from a very long list of nouns.) The first ten times I tried it produced the following:

Signature, Anvil, Camera, Aerosol, Reporter, Pill, Drought, Siren, Pyramid, Alphabet

Aren't you amazed at the psychic ability of the word generator? So many of the words are directly applicable to the disappearance! Of course, they are just as applicable to what anyone has done anywhere in a day. They're probably as good or better than anything any "psychic" is going to contribute as well.

So, why do we see meaning where there is none? The Skeptic's Dictionary has some clues for the curious: subjective validation, apophenia, pareidolia.

    -  Ron  10:10 AM

Copyright © 2002-2005 Ron Zeno      This page is powered by Blogger.
Musings not completely unrelated to human factors, management, critical thinking, medicine, software engineering, science, or the like.
Zeno's Paradox Main
Comments? Email me!
My other site
Reader Favorites:
Miller's 7+-2 Doesn't Apply
Analysis of a Dilbert Comic
Reliable & Valid Usability?
Designing for Seniors

Weekly Archives
Looking for Ancient Greek Philosophy or Mathematics?
Zeno's Paradox
Zeno and the Paradox of Motion

(Current color scheme is from Aguilar's "Equilibrium".)