For a comprehensive categorical listing of both formal and informal logical fallacies, cognitive biases, statistical broaches and styles of crooked thinking on the part of those in the Social Skepticism movement, click here, or on the Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation icon to the left.
The Ethical Skeptic Site Glossary (and Lexicon)
T-factoring – altering probabalistic or risk chain projections through understanding that the risk of tail strength inside an arrival function is more important than the function shape itself.
Tail to Body Transference – a statistical fallacy of relevant range in which one statistic is assumed to be fully descriptive across all conditions of its arrival range. An error wherein a descriptive suitable to frame a tail condition, is also applied to the main body of a distribution and assumed to be also descriptive therein. IQ measures which allow us to discriminate special needs persons, are not also useful in determining who should lead nations or corporations at the other end. Cholesterol figures which allow us to highlight who is at risk of arterial plaque do not apply to persons who have a familial history of higher cholesterol stats, etc. Mistakenly applying tail condition gradients to also be salient in the main body of the same descriptive data.
Taleb’s But – the principle which proceeds along the line of the Nassim Nicholas Taleb quote “Everything before the “but” is meant to be ignored by the speaker; and everything after the “but” should be ignored by the listener.”
Taleb’s Contraposition – For real people, if something works in theory, but not in practice, it doesn’t work. For social skeptics and many academics, if something works in practice, but not in theory, it doesn’t exist.
Taleb’s Law of Abundance – Abundance is harder for us to handle than scarcity. ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Taleb’s Law of Data – The more data you get, the less you know what’s going on. ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Taleb’s Law of Intelligence – In a complex world, intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Taleb’s Law of Tolerance – a toleration of intolerance will always escalate to extremism and proscription as the standard. The most intolerant, wins.
Taleb’s Tale of the Tail – fat tailed distributions hide their tails.
Tangenda – in critical path theory inside the scientific method, a competing critical path of questions which are misleading, poorly or bias-crafted which serve to reduce or stagnate the probative nature of science, and steer the results of the scientific method into a specific conclusive domain. A critical path is a series of questions asked under the scientific method which are probative, illuminating, incremental, contextual, logical in sequence, parsimonious, risk averse, low in feature stacking, maximum in impact, and sequitur in terms of optimal knowledge development. While this is a tall order, it can be attained. Tangendas perform as a kind of pseudo-critical path which leads inexorably to a favored or desired conclusion or conformity – corrupted by the fashion in which scientific questions are crafted or the biased way in which they are sequenced.
Tau Point Man (Person) – one who makes their cleverness or contempt manifest. Based upon the tenet of ethical skepticism which cites that a shrewdly apportioned omission at Point Indigo, an inflection point early in a system, event or process, is a much more effective and hard to detect cheat, than that of more manifest commission at Point Tau, the tipping point near the end of a system, event or process. Based upon the notion ‘Watch for the gentlemanly Dr. Jekyl at Point Tau, who is also the cunning Mr. Hyde at Point Indigo’. It outlines a principle wherein those who cheat (or apply their skill in a more neutral sense) most effectively, such as in the creation of a cartel, cabal or mafia – tend do do so early in the game and while attentions are placed elsewhere. In contrast, a Tau Point man tends to make their cheat/skill more manifest, near the end of the game or at its Tau Point (tipping point).
Taxonomy Fallacy – the illegitimate assignment or characterization of a proponent of a set of ideas, into a disfavored, extreme or fanatical group; in an effort to discredit the set of ideas without undertaking or possessing the research, evidence or qualifications necessary to justify such assignment.
Technopologist – a science communication journalist who purposely (or even worse cannot grasp) confuses issues of risk inside the public trust as simply constituting a matter of science or technology. In this manner any objections to violations of public trust or the introduction of excessive risk in order to obtain a quick profit or market domination, can be spun as a movement of an anti-science, anti-enlightenment or anti-technology nature.
Tendentious – showing agency towards a particular point of view, especially around which there is serious disagreement in the at-large population. The root is the word ‘tendency’, which means ‘an inclination toward acting a certain way.’ A tendentious person holds their position from a compulsion which they cannot overcome through objective evaluation. One cannot be reasoned out of, a position which they did not reason themselves into to begin with.
Terms of Service Error – when citing a contention which is included as an element of a corporation’s Terms of Service as therefore constituting something which is correct, or as an example of a restriction which is moral or scientific based on the grounds that a corporation has enforced it on their contracted clients or customers. Abrogating the US Constitution or other aspect of goodwill and freedom, based on the fact that to not do so would ‘violate your agreement to our Terms of Service.’
The First Duty of Ethical Skepticism
The First Duty of Ethical Skepticism is to oppose agency. In the same way that science is a method, even so ignorance is also a method. But the scope of cultivated ignorance extends further than that of science itself, in that it is also a method of conditioning and contagion. It propagates through exploiting all manner of cunning and deceit. As an ethical skeptic, your first duty of philosophical acumen is not to execute the scientific method per se, which is straightforward in comparison. You are not here to promulgate conclusions, as that is the habit of your foe. Your ethical acumen is necessary rather, in spotting the clever masquerade of science and knowledge. Ethical Skepticism’s first duty therefore resides not solely in the examination of ‘extraordinary claims’, but also in examining those claims which serve to harm through the clever masquerade, hidden in plain sight, as if constituting ordinary ‘settled science’.
The Nine Features of Great Philosophy
1. Distinct – Serves in an incremental or open critical-path role
2. Cogent – Is focused, concise and meaningful
3. Novel – Has not been fairly addressed before
4. Non-obvious – Not really obvious to the average philosopher
5. Adeptly Addresses Prior Art – Leverages or fairly modifies prior philosophical work
6. Not Sophistry – Not developed to feature nor protect an agenda
7. Clarifying – decreases the entropy of knowledge and understanding
8. Useful – bears incremental utility inside a specific context domain
9. Teachable – Can be effectively communicated and sustained
The Principle of Benevolence – benevolence should necessarily be elegant. Sufficient elegance spoils its beneficiary. Therefore benevolence mandates struggle.
The Riddle of Skepticism
Through claiming skepticism, one has struck the tar baby and can no longer plead denial of their action in contending philosophy. With the exception of man’s inalienable natural rights, the discipline of philosophy, even an examination as to how we go about developing knowledge, cannot be employed as a means to bypass science and pretend to act in its place, as this is not the purpose of philosophy. Skepticism, the philosophy in defense of the knowledge development process (science), is likewise bound by this construct.
The question one must ask them self, before venturing into this hall of mirrors called skepticism is not, whether or not I can establish a likelihood of being right or wrong on a matter. The question in the mind of the ethical skeptic should be ‘If I were wrong, would I even know it?” and “If I were wrong, would I be contributing to harm?” This is the focus of the philosophy of skepticism and not this indolent business of leveraging one’s current limited knowledge into a pretense of ‘evaluating claims’ demanded upon a silver platter. Such self deception constitutes merely cynicism and a pretense of representing science. Therefore, defending the integrity of the knowledge development process is betrayed once one starts tendering conclusions in lieu of it.
Science is the process of knowledge development and the body of accepted knowledge such process serves to precipitate. Pseudo science is a process of corrupted science method employed inside a pretense of representing science – but inside that same constraint can never be ‘a body of unacceptable knowledge’ as this violates objective logic, domain theory as well as skepticism itself. Pseudo skepticism therefore, is a process of corrupted philosophy employed inside a deciding in lieu of or pretense of representing science.
Doubt, belief, ignorance of risk, along with social pressure to accede to stacked provisional knowledge; therefore, stand as the raw materials which are spun into the fabric of the lie. This is why the ethical skeptic relies upon the suspension of these things – embodied in the philosophy of epoché. Rather than decide for himself what is true and untrue, instead he robs the lie spinner (even if himself) of the raw material he desperately needs. He is not denying knowledge, rather denying the tradecraft of the lie.
Once plurality is established inside an argument, if something indeed be false, it should eventually betray its falsification through accrued intelligence. And in being found wrong, become highly informative in the process. If we choose instead to maintain an a priori intolerance of a subject as being wrong, and then further choose to block its research through the authority of clever apothegm, then no probative critical path development (intelligence) can ever be undertaken consequently. Wrong and seeing, is a world better state than is correct and blind.
This untrod horizon of pure skepticism therefore lies fallow and misunderstood through the sleight-of-hand wherein Pyrrhonistic epoché is straw man defined as a ‘denial of knowledge’. This is philosophical domain ineptness – and creates the false dilemma that methodical cynicism is therefore the only bifurcated alternative offered to the seeker of truth. Much of our ignorance and suffering today stems from a misunderstanding of these key principles.
Thinking with the Little Head – also know as being a ‘dickhead’. The habit of some shallow or sociopath men in that every action they take is crafted inside the context of getting laid, or gaining the attention of women (or their perception of how that is attained).
The Three Forms of Inference
Abductive Reason – a form of precedent based inference which starts with an observation then seeks to find the simplest or most likely explanation. In abductive reasoning, unlike in deductive reasoning, the premises do not guarantee the conclusion. One can understand abductive reasoning as inference to the best known explanation.
Two Forms of Abductive Reason
ex ante – an inference which is derived from predictive, yet unconfirmed forecasts. While this may be a result of induction, the most common usage is in the context of abductive inference.
a priori – relating to or denoting reasoning or knowledge that proceeds from methods and motivations other than science, which preexist any form of observation or experience.
Inductive Reason – is reasoning in which the premises are viewed as supplying strong evidence for the truth of the conclusion. While the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument may be probable, based upon the evidence given combined with its ability to predict outcomes.
Deductive Reason – is the process of reasoning by reduction in complexity, from one or more statements (premises) to reach a final, logically certain conclusion. This includes the instance where the elimination of alternatives (negative premises) forces one to conclude the only remaining answer.
Thunder Chamber – an appeal to authority version of echo chamber, much more imperious in its insistence and intimidating in its effect. A club of science communicators – catalyseurs seeking conflict between laypersons and scientists, to enable furtherment of their power as a furtive liaison therein.
TLDR – “I don’t have the attention span or even mental capacity to grasp Dr. Seuss, much less this. Please tender me a one-liner or idiom, because, if you want me to understand, you must pose your point in buckets of something with which I am already familiar.”
Torfuscation – pseudoscience or obfuscation enacted through a Nelsonian knowledge masquerade of scientific protocol and study design. Inappropriate, manipulated or shallow study design crafted so as to obscure or avoid a targeted/disliked inference. A process, contended to be science, wherein one develops a conclusion through cataloging study artifice or observation noise as valid data. Invalid observations which can be parlayed into becoming evidence of absence or evidence of existence as one desires – by accepting only the appropriate hit or miss grouping one desires as basis to support an a priori preference, and as well avoid any further needed ex ante proof. A refined form of praedicate evidentia or utile abstentia employed through using less rigorous or probative methods of study than are requisite under otherwise ethical science. Exploitation of study noise generated through first level ‘big data’ or agency-influenced ‘meta-synthesis’, as the ‘evidence’ that no further or deeper study is therefore warranted – and moreover that research of the subject entailed is now socially embargoed.
Trait Ascription Bias – the tendency for people to view themselves as relatively variable in terms of personality, behavior, and mood while viewing others as much more predictable.
Transactional Occam’s Razor Fallacy (Appeal to Ignorance) – the false contention that a challenging construct, observation or paradigm must immediately be ‘explained.’ Sidestepping of the data aggregation, question development, intelligence and testing/replication steps of the scientific method and forcing a skip right to its artificially conclusive end (final peer review by ‘Occam’s Razor’).
Transactional Popper Demarcation Error – incorrectly citing a topic as being a pseudo science, when in fact its sponsors are seeking falsification based protocols to counter the antithetical premise to their case, or its sponsors are employing predictive studies being employed simply to establish plurality for sponsorship inside the scientific method.
Transcendental Substitution Bias – when one holds a compulsion to not to participate in traditional social institutions which promote brotherhood, tribal union or spiritual values; and instead substitute non-traditional institutions one finds as more acceptable. Passing such a proclivity off as justifying a delusional superiority.
Transporter Paradox – a paradox which plays off of the notion of a Star Trek transporter mechanism. A thought experiment in which a subject is transported to a location, and then the memory pattern buffer of the transporter causes a second copy of that person to also accidentally be created the next day. Both individuals are that person, but the first individual is regarded as the real person. So how does the original person know that they are not already a copy of their self from some earlier time – or even from a place with no time? This introduces the fallibility of conjecturing that recreating a mind simply through replication of its physical neural array and memories, is inductively suggestive of nihilism. One cannot inductively prove that that mind was not a replication of an earlier form, or even immortal form.
Trashionality – the false claim by SSkeptics that they represent the position of science or critical thinking on a topic. A pretense made by a SSkeptic through application of intimidation, intimations as to personal brilliance and simple logical if-thens based on highly convoluted presumptive and furtive underpinnings, employed in lieu of actual scientific method, to preclude legitimate research or discourse around all Skeptic Cabal disfavored subjects.
Trivia Fallacy – the rejection of a entire set of data by the pointing out of one questionable or disliked element inside the data.
Truckle Fallacy – when a skeptic makes visible and biased overtures to politically correct movements, whether sincere or not, in order to placate any critics which might arise from that advocacy group, or to enlist the aid of those movements in attacking persons the fake skeptic regards as foes.
Truzzi Fallacy (of Argument) – the presumption that a position of skepticism or plausible conformance on a specific issue affords the skeptical apologist tacit exemption from having to provide authoritative outsider recitation or evidence to support a contended claim or counter-claim.
Tu Quoque (“you too”) – an argument stating that since the opponent has conducted a fallacy, logical broach or hypocrisy then the proponent should not be held to account for violations, or stands correct in their position due to the opponent having made errors, the same or similar errors.
Türsteher Mechanism – the effect or presence of ‘bouncer mentality’ inside journal peer review. An acceptance for peer review which bears the following self-confirming bias flaws in process:
- Selection of a peer review body is inherently biassed towards professionals who the steering committee finds impressive,
- Selection of papers for review fits the same model as was employed to select the reviewing body,
- Selection of papers from non core areas is very limited and is not informed by practitioners specializing in that area, and
- Bears an inability as to how to handle evidence that is not gathered in the format that it understands (large scale, hard to replicate, double blind randomized clinical trials or meta-studies).
Therein such a process, the selection of initial papers is biased. Under this flawed process, the need for consensus results in not simply attrition of anything that cannot be agreed upon – but rather, a sticky bias against anything which has not successfully passed this unfair test in the past. An artificial and unfair creation of a pseudoscience results.
Turtles all the Way Down Error – originally the regress problem in cosmology posed by the “unmoved mover” paradox, now more commonly used in jocular fashion to elicit that an explanatory idea has in epistemological terms, simply shifted its paradox to a different or less visible plane of accountability, and not resolved it.
Twitter’s Razor – all things being equal, the shorter the video or the less information related, the more likely a just indignation can be derived.
Twittertation Error – when one demands inappropriate or impossible comprehensive recitation in a chat venue which is not designed for comprehensive recitation.
Two Sided Coin Objection – when a person is prepared with a dismissive quip no matter which version of objective data arises. If it is too precise, that is the problem, too broad, that is the problem, too blurry vs. too clear, too recent vs. too old, meta-analysis vs. cohort studies, etc. An indication of existential commitment to such an extent that really no objective data will ever suffice in the person’s state of mind.
Tyflocracy – from Greek: τυφλός (tyflós: blind eye). A power wielding and expansive form of governance or administration which is willfully or maliciously blind to a suffering subject group or citizenry – often displaced in favor of groups who are not under its charge, employed as a means to increase its power. A group who strategically apportions risk, dismissing or refusing to examine its impart to a disfavored group over which they rule or have administering authority and impact – wherein a condition of negligence is indistinguishable from malevolence.
Ultracrepidarian – an expression for someone who insists upon tendering an opinion on things, or even or a single topic they know little or nothing about. A group or media entity who saturates available information with worthless, misinforming, disinforming, mis-sense, nonsense, incoherent or other ignoratio elenchi opinion, passed as in-club recitation authority, in order to obfuscate or squelch the argument surrounding an issue.
Unit Bias – the tendency to want to finish a given unit of a task or an item to completion before beginning work on, or considering another avenue of research. The effort to avoid unwanted data by remaining fixated on legacy avenues of research, as a pretense.
Unity of Knowledge Error (Religion) – to conflate and promote consilience as consensus. Consilience is by its essence inductive and therefore cannot alone underpin a ‘unity of knowledge’ as Edward O. Wilson contends. Only diligent investigation of all compelling alternatives, deductive science, can serve to finalize and unify knowledge (under consensus). To promote consilience as a unity of knowledge or substitute for consensus, in absence of having diligently investigated competing alternative hypotheses, is also know in ethics as ‘religion.’
Univariate Error – a procedural error (not a ‘fallacy’) wherein one is misled by the phenomenon where it’s possible for two multivariate distributions to overlap along any one variable, but be cleanly separable or have the relationship disappear when one examines the whole relational or configuration space in its entirety.
Universal Attribution Error – in this error a person is likely to make an internal attribution to an entire group instead of the individuals or disparate factions within the group.
unsinnig – a Wittgenstein proposition framing class identifying propositions which are nonsense. A question or claim of compromised coherency. Feynman ‘not even wrong.’
Untouchable Generalization – a condemning or dismissing generalization that comes with qualifications that eliminate so many cases which could falsify the derogatory claim, that what remains of it is much less impressive than the initial statement might have led one to assume. Yet the defamation stands as fiat knowledge and recitation nonetheless.
Unvestigation – the process of asking loaded questions and sculpting data so that your fake research will produce your desired conclusion.
Usir’s Looking Glass – when forced to choose an ontological truth between those who wield power and have destroyed all opposition, and those of the opposition who lost – all things being equal, the latter is where one should begin their search. To discriminate truth, it is best to begin first with that which was erased from knowledge.
Usurpation Error – when attempting to employ a recitation from an unrecognized, fringe or false authority as to policy or definition when the topic in question already has a recognized governing body which regulates policy, definition and standards.
uti dolo (trick question) – a question which is formed for the primary purpose of misleading a person into selecting (through their inference and/or questioner’s implication) the incorrect answer or answer not preferred inside a slack exploited play of ambiguity, interpretation, sequence, context or meaning. The strong version being where the wrong context is inferred by means of deceptive question delivery; the weak version being where the question is posed inside a slack domain where it can be interpreted legitimately in each of two different ways – each producing a differing answer.
utile absentia – a study which observes false absences of data or creates artificial absence noise through improper study design, and further then assumes such error to represent verified negative or positive observations. A study containing field or set data in which there exists a risk that absences in measurement data, will be caused by external factors which artificially serve to make the evidence absent, through risk of failure of detection/collection/retention of that data. The absences of data, rather than being filtered out of analysis, are fallaciously presumed to constitute bonafide observations of negatives. This is improper study design which will often serve to produce an inversion effect (curative effect) in such a study’s final results. Similar to torfuscation. As well, the instance when an abstract offers a background summary or history of the topic’s material argument as part of its introductory premise, and thereafter mentions that its research supports one argument or position – however fails to define the inference or critical path which served to precipitate that ‘support’ – or even worse, tenders research about a related but not-critical aspect of the research. Like pretending to offer ‘clinical research’ supporting opinions about capitalism, inside a study of the methods employed by bank tellers – it only sounds related. In this case you have converted an absence into a positive. A formal error called utile absentia. This sleight-of-hand allows an opinion article to masquerade as a ‘research study’. It allows one to step into the realm of tendering an apparent epistemological result, which is really nothing more than a ‘they said/I say’ editorial with a scientific analysis bolted onto it, which may or may not present any bearing whatsoever into the subject at hand. Most abstract surveyors do not know the difference – and most study leads cannot detect when this has occurred.
Utility Blindness – when simplicity or parsimony are incorrectly applied as excuse to resist the development of a new scientific explanatory model, data or challenging observation set, when indeed the participant refuses to consider or examine the explanatory utility of any similar new model under consideration.
Vacuous Truth – is a statement that contends an absence or presence of a principle in an empty set domain, to imply the accuracy of a consequent argument. A contention that science holds no evidence in support of a topic which has not undergone scientific efforts at collecting evidence in the first place. Such a statement which is technically true, but is not correct in relationship as a logically qualified antecedent in support of the consequent.
Validity – an inductive argument is valid if its conclusion logically follows from its premises, and in parallel a deductive argument is valid if its predicates support its conclusions. Otherwise, an argument is said to be invalid. The descriptors valid and invalid apply only to arguments and not to propositions; which can be false, true or undetermined.
Value (Argument Outcome) – a consequentialist objective of ethical skepticism. The quality and relevancy of an argument such that it provides for improvement in clarity, understanding, agreement, focuses or constrains an experiment, reduces a hypothesis set, counters misinformation, or alleviates suffering or ignorance.
Relevancy –The quality of an argument such that it contains social value.
Reduction – a method of science wherein the process of induction or deduction is employed to falsify, or through consilience, render a hypothesis as false or more highly unlikely and therefore no longer salient or relevant.
Critical Path – the sequence of most highly effective argument tests which serve to falsify, eliminate, reduce or provide best consilience inside a set of plausible arguments.
Veneering – making a public show of doing good things to help distract from the bad things you are also doing.
Verdrängung Mechanism – aka The Lindy-Ignorance Vortex – the level of control and idea displacement achieved through skillful employment of the duality between pluralistic ignorance and the Lindy Effect. The longer a control-minded group can sustain an Omega Hypothesis perception by means of the tactics and power protocols of proactive pluralistic ignorance, the greater future acceptability and lifespan that idea will possess. As well, the harder it will to be dethrone as an accepted norm or perception as a ‘proved’ null hypothesis.
Verisimilitude – an argument establishing a screen of partially correct information employed to create an illusion of scientifically accurate conclusion. The acceptance of specific assumptions and principles, crafted in such a fashion as to lead to a therefore simple resulting explanatory conclusion.
Verschlimmbesserung – (German) to make something worse while trying to make it better. The fallacy of judging disasters by the measure that, those who bore the ‘good intentions’ should bear no fault, or place themselves as disconnected from the disaster.
via negativa (vs. via positiva) – a way of describing something by saying what it is not. For example, employing a finite concept of attribute or object which can be employed as a non-descriptive for God or ultimate reality or a human condition, etc. This bears less confidence in inference than does a via positiva attribute or description.
virgo sui – the principle of the virgin self; a psychology which exists as a counterpart to pathological mindsets inside immoral activity. A childish mind cannot accept nor recognize their own dark nature or nefarious actions. A criminal never thinks that they actually committed a/the crime, or may excuse it as justified in some way by means of society, the victim, being street smart or simply that this is the way of their world. A person who commits a wrong and immediately denies inside their own mind that they did it or are culpable. The opposite of repentance.
Virtue Signalling – the ironic principle entailed in the social observation that, prima facia ethics or normative ethics, virtue, religious precepts, morality, victimhood, identity warfare, personal conduct codes, etc. can, and often do serve as a cover for unethical agency masquerading under such pretenses. An action performed in accordance with socially correct pressure, or inside a visible boundary of political correctness, which is performed by a person wishing to show that they are on the good side in a political argument. Symbolic virtuous acts or positions adopted solely to build political power or exempt one from being accused of racism, bigotry, misogyny, greed or any of the canned talking attack points currently being fad utilized by the political left.
Virtue Telescope – employment of a theoretical virtue benefit projected inside a domain which is distant, slow moving, far into the future, diffuse or otherwise difficult to measure in terms of both potential and resulting impact, as exculpatory immunity for commission of an immoral act which is close by, obvious, defined and not as difficult to measure. Similar to but converse of an anachronistic fallacy, or judging distant events based on current norms.
‘Vitamins Don’t Cure Cancer’ Fallacy – an informal fallacy wherein the task of proof or effect threshold assigned to the test subject is far in excess of, or out of context with, the contentions being made about the test subject. Studies which show that supplements don’t cure cancer, therefore they are all a waste of money, or there are 28 types of depression, so inflammation is not related to depression, or quality of life improvement is not a ‘medical outcome’. Ridiculous contentions which are not backed by the study which they cite as evidence.
Von Restorff Effect – the bias inducing principle that an item that sticks out is more likely to be remembered than other items.
War Footing – a human conditioning wherein oligarch powers outline the purpose of life and the purpose of science as being critical in some theoretical final conflict. A conflict which demands supreme time and sacrifice on the part of its victims (the participants), sustained under the guise of WWII soldier or Cool Hand Luke style silent suffering. A social delusion of extremity, which benefits big governments and large socialist corporations, while at the same time stealing lives, in order to establish control and make money.
Weapon Word – words of mass defamation. A fashion term inside SSkeptic discourse, being forced onto the public, and targeting a goal of defaming targeted individuals, observations and in the deceptive obviation of access to science by unwelcome topics. Words plied to place SSkeptic compliant peer pressure on budding scientists or persons of influence in grade school, high school and beyond.
Whack-a-Mole Science – when an arguer presents objection after objection to an observation, data or construct, only to shift to another objection in an inventory of habitual objections as each successive objection is satisfied or made irrelevant. Typically employed when one has no desire to allow discourse on the subject at hand, and through ignoring each successive failure of objection they raise.
What’s Done is Done Bias – the artificial refusal to accept new data because an argument has ‘already been settled.’
Where’s my Check Fallacy – the false pretense on the part of an individual who is a Social or Celebrity Skeptic, or otherwise uses skepticism to promote themselves in their institution or career, that they do not receive any compensation for their visible positions on public matters, nor take payment from those who regularly seek to promote specific business, social and political goals and doctrines via well established channels of Social Skepticism.
Whipping Horse – a martyr issue, study, chart, graphic or event which is cited as exemplary in condemning a targeted group or thought set – which is over-employed or used in a domain of ample equivocation, equivocal slack, straw man or other ambiguity that it simply becomes a symbol and ironically maintains no real salience to the argument at hand.
Whistleblower’s Irony – the same person who claims that ‘if conspiracy existed there would be whistleblowers’, is typically also the first person to publicly demean anyone who is a whistleblower.
Wicker Man Argument – when an arguer has assembled an array of straw man or misrepresentation arguments so canned, pervasive or presumptuous that it appears that the arguer is arguing with a completely different person than the person with whom they are engaged in discussion. A penultimate, habitual or standing straw man misrepresentation of opposing thought and persons.
Wicker Man Defense – a position, as in the case of religion’s often being called ‘the ultimate strawman,’ where so many special exemptions are able to be pleaded or apologists habitually spin the idea that any critique offered towards their side constitutes strawman, ignorance or tu quoque errors – that the defended philosophy or position actually has no effective defining essence which can be pinned down in the first place.
Wikipediad – lying through facts. When one attempts to portray themselves as an expert on a subject and squelch a specific idea by relating the entire repertoire of science in and around that idea through showering the discussion with history and ¡facts!, none of which actually pertain to the context or question at hand.
Wilo’s Law – a failure in communication is never by accident. Communication usually fails, except by accident.
Wishful Accusing – accusing a person of making a decision with regard to data or observations according to what the opponent believes might be pleasing to imagine on their part, rather than according to evidence or reason. The minor implication embedded being that the opponent exhibits no such fault.
Wittgenstein Attribute by Exception – a condition wherein the definition of a concept, term, quality or attribute can only be objectively described by comparison to what it is not. A logical object which is exclusively tenable through outlining cases wherein it or its qualities are absent. Often framed by ‘I don’t know how to define it, but I know when I am in it’, for example; usually involving merely a personal standard of measure. Attempts to define as logical objects, concepts such as love, happiness, genuineness, good, enlightenment, etc. Two errors result from a positive logical object approach in defining this type of Wittgenstein attribute:
a. epistemological study or social deliberation of such qualities ends up being more equivocal, ineffective or subject to personal experience than is presumed beneficial, and
b. the pseudo-objective standards of such a definition, can be worn as a masquerade by entities which truly do not actually bear such concepts as qualities.
Wittgenstein Error (Contextual) – employment of words in such as fashion as to craft rhetoric, in the form of persuasive or semantic abuse, by means of shift in word or concept definition by emphasis, modifier, employment or context.
Wittgenstein Error (Descriptive) – the contention or assumption that science has no evidence for or ability to measure a proposition or contention, when in fact it is only a flawed crafting of language and definition, limitation of language itself or lack of a cogent question or (willful) ignorance on the part of the participants which has limited science and not in reality science’s domain of observability.
Describable: I cannot observe it because I refuse to describe it.
Corruptible: Science cannot observe it because I have crafted language and definition so as to preclude its description.
Existential Embargo: By embargoing a topical context (language) I favor my preferred ones through means of inverse negation.
Wittgenstein Error (Epistemological) – the contention that a proposition must be supported by empirical data or else it is meaningless, nonsense or useless, or that a contention which is supported by empirical data is therefore sensible, when in fact the proposition can be framed into meaninglessness, nonsense or uselessness based upon its underlying state or lacking of definition, structure, logical calculus or usefulness in addressing a logical critical path.
bedeutungslos – meaningless or incoherent. A proposition or question which resides upon a lack of definition, or which contains no meaning in and of its self.
unsinnig – nonsense or non-science. A proposition of compromised formal structure or not framed in a scientifically valid form of reduction. Feynman ‘not even wrong.’
sinnlos – mis-sense, logical untruth or lying. A contention which does not follow from the evidence, is correct at face value but disinformative or is otherwise useless.
Wittgenstein Error (Epistemological Bias) – the contention that a proposition must be supported by empirical data or else it is nonsense or meaningless, or that a contention which is supported by empirical data is therefore sensible, when in fact the proposition is at least in part critically dependent upon a tenet of philosophy which is more than simply elemental in nature.
Wolfinger’s Inductive Paradox – an ‘anecdote’ to the modus praesens (observation or case which supports an objective presence of a state or object) constitutes data, while an anecdote to the modus absens (observation supporting an appeal to ignorance claim that a state or object does not exist) is merely an anecdote. One’s refusal to collect or document the former, does not constitute skepticism. Relates to Hempel’s Paradox.
Wolfinger’s Misquote – you may have heard the phrase ‘the plural of anecdote is not data’. It turns out that this is a misquote. The original aphorism, by the political scientist Ray Wolfinger, was just the opposite: ‘The plural of anecdote is data’. The only thing worse than the surrendered value (as opposed to collected value, in science) of an anecdote is the incurred bias of ignoring anecdotes altogether. This is a method of pseudoscience.
You Can’t Wake Someone Who is Pretending to be Asleep – a principle which cites that a faking individual will never follow through with the traits of the disposition they are faking. A fake skeptic will draw conclusions on scant data and hearsay, as long as it conforms with what they believe. Or conversely in logic, mainstream media cannot be shocked to awareness by emergent news or observation inside something they are choosing to ignore in the first place.
Yule-Simpson Paradox – a trend appears in different groups of data can be manipulated to disappear or reverse (see Effect Inversion) when these groups are combined.
Yule’s Razor – all things being equal, favor a successive falsifying study/conclusion which was serendipitous in nature, over an initial suggestive one featuring anchoring bias in its discovery, inclusion, and methodology. Data volume and Yule-Simpson contradiction bear less importance than this razor.
Zeigarnik Effect – states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. This imparts a bias to refute arguments or ideas which are unfinished.
Zero Risk Bias – making a decision or creating economic, insurance or financing arrangements so that a zero-risk scenario is developed – ignorant of the ramifications involved in cost or where risk is shifted or the de-optimization entailed in the decision made.
Zombie Theory – pseudo-theory or an old paradigm of understanding which is still being enforced by a portion of the scientific community as consensus, when indeed it is not – and/or the topic is undergoing a Kuhn-Planck paradigm shift. A walking dead placeholder theory which is abused and contorted to both explain everything unknown, and as well uses wicker man rationalizations in order to excuse its shortfalls long after it has ceased to serve any valuable explanatory potential.