Saturday, August 15, 2009

Generalizations of Woo 2

I got an interesting comment on my first posting on generalizations of woo. I seemed to hit a nerve. This person was upset that one can make generalizations of people. Well the fact is that we all do it all the time. We function by making generalizations about everything, everybody and then applying it to our actions and interactions. This is mostly done subconscioussly or it maybe conscious, but we do it whether we want to or not. Then if something or someone doesn't meet our expectionations we call it cognitive dissonance. Some people just ignore the outliers in their expectations. Others call them other and class them as enemies. Science may be thought of as a systmatic method of making generalizations. Some of those generalizations rise to a level and get to be called laws of science, others do not. When science comes up against an outlier or exception to the rule it investigates to see if it is real. If it is then theories of science that apply to it have to evolve to accomadate it. It is self correcting. That is the beauty of science. As to people the science of finding generalizations is called psychology. It is generalizations that allows us to make predictions and tests. It allows us to better understand the world, and that is including people, around us. There is a problem some people's generalizations become stereotypes and become derogatory. Sometimes that leads to persecution of a group of people. And sometimes that group is so wrong and riduculous one cannot be nice about it but show it for what it is. That is usually because honest debate has no effect on them, because they do not accept evidence or twist to their own idealogy. Then the only way to expose it is to ridicule it. Some may not agree with me on this last point and that is ok. But occasionally honey just attracts pests and all you can do is swat em.

Skeptical DoDo

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