Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 2nd Jul 2006 21:26 UTC
Features, Office People say I rant too much. I complain and complain, but never seem to really like anything. As I promised a few weeks ago, I will talk about things I love about computers. After explaining why I like to complain and rant, this column will solely deal with fluffy bunnies, green meadows, blue skies, and shiny, happy people. I promise.
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>Sure. We do it all the time in science.

Thanks, I'm glad you agreed with me. Like I said as well, "agreement presupposes an understanding of each others' stance on an issue. Without prior knowledge of the opposite point of view, there cannot be true agreement to begin with."

>Um, no. You told me about a lot of hypothetical biases that might surround the scenario, but none in the scenario itself.

I don't see the difference. I UNDERSTAND the difference, but I don't agree that there is a difference. My bias is that the data (what you call "objective measurable empiricism") is meaningless without interpretation, and evaluation of the means of collection. I don't think you can separate them. You may disagree, and that's understandable, because that's your bias. That's the importance of acknowledging biases. I see every day the misuse of statistics to prove a political or economic point. The data is objective in most cases. But how do you collect it? How do you present it to get your point across? It's ALL biased . . . at least, that's my opinion, and MY bias.

>The scenario I gave was an example of objective measurable empiricism.

Don't you find it strange that I said I agree with you, and you were quick to say, "um no?" Why? Why is it that we are going back and forth? Where is the source of our disagreement. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, or vice versa. You have your opinions on the given scenario and, in my mind, it is equally valid to mine. Yet, we are stuck.

This takes us full circle back to the original topic: BIAS. It's OK for us to disagree. We are not disagreeing on the "objective measurable empiricism," (again, I said I agree with you) we are disagreeing on the role of the circumstances around it. I know you were trying to prove that biases don't have to exist, but disagreeing with me is bringing our respective biases out. Your bias is that you value the purity of science, its objectivity. My bias is that I'm skeptical about the abuses of science and the prevalence of "junk" science.

>But even if you ignore the original example, you have just agreed that the post you responded to with the text string comments and that post claimed to contain an example of unbiased action.

Unfortunately, I don't understand this statement at all, so I cannot respond. Maybe it's just too late ;)

Remember, the original article has nothing to do with computers. It was a social commentary on a niche hobby that is shared by visitors of this site. Computers are just a metaphor. The dennotation is that computers aren't that important. The connotation is that the opinions of people who love computers aren't that important. I don't think that was Thom's original intention, but that is the result.

I just wanted to say that I rather enjoyed this exchange. You had some great points, though I do respectfully disagree with some of them. I hope you can respectfully disagree with me. If you are an American, I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day. Thanks again. This is my last post on this thread.

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