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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Brain Pickings "Baloney Detector"

This is like an extended "favorite". The website Brain Pickings, which lists 9 Techniques for discovering and fighting "Baloney". Suggest people read their blog. But for my own memory I'll list them as 10 techniques:

  1. Testable: Confirm Facts, make sure verifiable assertion (testable)
  2. Validate POV: Debate Evidence from Multiple Points of View (POV)
  3. Discount Arg from Authority: Ensure Authority based on Facts & Experience. Discount arguments from authority.
  4. Test alternatives: Spin and Test multiple hypotheses, Examine all possible arguments and use 1 & 2 to eliminate bogus ones.
  5. Watch Personal Bias: Do not attach to hypothesis, even one's own or one's null hypothesis. Compare alternatives.
  6. Validate all links in a chained argument: To be an integral hypothesis all links must be validated.
  7. Validate Premises (this was listed under above). Faulty arguments usually based on faulty premises.
  8. Falsfiable: Ask if the hypothesis is falsifiable. If it's not it's out of scope for practical application.
  9. Occams Razor. If you have more than one hypothesis that fits facts, simpler and easier one probably true.
  10. Duplicatable? Practical? Is the hypothesis in the scope of practicality? Theories about origins of the Universe are fun, but not practical. Can it be duplicated? Can it be tested?


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