How Most People Evaluate Ideas

Pulled from the comments at Cafe Hayek:

"This is awesome, because its what I've believed."

Judge ideas by whether they confirm what you think already!


  1. Host and commenter: two peas in a pod, apparently.

  2. Don Boudreaux is a joke, but his piece has the benefit of reminding me that his sort don't take the thesis of the broken-window fallacy nearly far enough. That is, they don't ever wonder what they might not be seeing.

  3. Gene, need more context. There are times when it is perfectly reasonable to have this response. Theory "confirmation" is what we look for after all, and if we are hoping that our linguistic practices correspond to nonlinguistic facts, then coming upon similar thoughts/ideas/evidence, etc. is not completely irrelevant. But I do understand what you are getting at.

  4. An example of Hume's point: I've always believed there had to be a way to use the keyboard to highlight text to copy, and it was awesome when a friend showed me how.

    OR: I am trying to prove Fermat's Last Theorem in the margin of my book. It's truly marvelous. I can do it if Bloober's Conjecture is true, as I think but cannot prove. Then I hear Blubber has proved Bloober. Can't I have exactly that reaction, as Hume indicates?

    1. This wasn't a very serious post, and I of course don't know the commenter personally. But for *most* people, this would be an example of confirmation bias.

    2. This is awesome, because it's what I've believed about the Libertarianoshere for a while now!

    3. I'm serious btw. Confirmation bias is a BOAST at FreeAdvice and a few other Pauline sites.


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