Posted by: graemebird | June 1, 2007

Convergence Epistemology: The Immense Power Of Applying What You Learnt In High-School


(reworked from Catallaxy)

 High school science and maths is absolutely critical for the understanding of our planet… our world.

For example. If you applied high school science and maths to the global warming business you should already have figured out to a high level of personal satisfaction that this is likely a gargantuan fraud.

And then when you go digging for information that you didn’t learn in high school you are going to be sure of it.

In economics…. aside from economic modelling…. high school maths is 90% of what you need…….. Of what you have to be conversant with to work through most real-world examples.

For example we can find out very quickly, that the 76-who-sucks’ contention that reducing emissions will cost only one years economic growth…….

… appalling and hateful as that gargantuan amount of money is…..

…….nonetheless we find out that this figure is untenable and a ridiculous underestimate…

…….And that the ultimate stupidity of trying to reduce CO2 emissions will cost a great deal more than that….

…. We can find that out very quickly, but the mathematical component to finding that out is only high school maths.



You see the thing is its like building a shack. In that you cannot do the whole job with only a hammer.

Armchair thinking might be compared, in this analogy, to the intelligent human labour component. While algebra, calculus, statistics, set theory and so forth might be looked at as various tools.

To build the shack you need to be swapping tools all the time. But you can build a pretty righteous shack with the plane, the spade, the hammer, screwdrivers, and all these other basic tools.

The great 20th century boneheadedness appears to be the idea of fixating on one tool or just two or three.

You look at the early 20th century philosophers for example. Many, if not most of them appear to want to do everything in terms of written sentences and bivalent deductive logic.

Poppers anti-induction would seem to be a residual bias or a compromise with this preisthoods bad habits. Perhaps I’m wrong. I’m looking at it from an outsiders point of view.

The best thing I’ve seen in terms of solving knotty problems is George Reismans huge economics book. There may be better examples out there. But since I’ve been mostly concerned with economic problems and had a lot of objections to what I’d learned I was in a good position to appreciate the panache with which Reisman went about things.

The thing is he was always picking up a different tool.

Now in this analogy…. taking any one tool to tertiary level won’t help you much. But in a capitalist society, without taxeaters distorting things, you can easily outsource each component to tertiary level…. that is so long as you retain and can apply the tools you learnt in high-school.

If in building my shack I choose to swap my hammer for a nail-gun its not going to make much difference unless I’m able to update all the other tools and am going for a more substantial and high-tech building. 

Likewise if along with the spade I get myself a dingo-digger it will help a little bit but it won’t change the ultimate result. And in any case I’d likely rely on someone else to have that dingo-digger and thats fine so long as I knew what needed to be done if I was using just the spade and doing it myself.

But if I stick with the dingo-digger to the exclusion of any other tools instead of building the shack I’ll go further and further into the hole and I may never get out.

By some weird group-think analogy with Hume-and-Popper folks have gotten people to thinking that statistics represent empiricism and empiricism is where its at….the REAL-DEAL in science as it were.

This is a ridiculous contention, and if its just an almost subconcious assumption it is a harmful one. But nonetheless this “bias” appears to have taken a great many people in. Or at least this vague-notion has set up an unhealthy slant to matters scientific.

When I’m building my shack some sort of HACK-SAW or even a larger SAW will be a necessary tool to have on-hand and to pick up….. I will need to pick up a SAW often for one small task at a time.

In the same way STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES are an absolutely essential component to solving controversial real-world problems. So I’ve got this hack-saw but there is a human brain behind it. A human brain and carefully directed human labour. With the statistics there ought to be relentless, almost saturation, induction and apriori thinking.

But there’s this evil white dwarf with a chainsaw and he’s just going to wreck everything. Thats what Lambert is doing with his statistical-Lamberting. He’s basically a facist lunatic and the tiniest tree-hut can never be built with people like that mucking about.

You can try to tie him up and muzzle the facist… but there he is again, having slipped his ropes… yet still wearing the muzzle and cranking up his gargantuan chainsaw.

This makes even building the tree-hut nearly impossible and quite hazardous.

Particularly as there are so many more lunatics around like him. Hanging about in places like (


Armchair thinking uses the tools mostly of induction, apriori and the use of analogies.

So let me make another analogy. It used to be that maths, biology, physics, economics and so forth all came under the orbit of “philosophy” and philosophy now is whats left after all these specialties have been developed and spun out.

In the same way we started with induction and apriori. And arithmetic, Venn diagrams, statistics, bivalent deductive logic were developed as powerful tools but they were developed and spun out from INDUCTION AND APRIORI……..

….In the same way we can say then that all these powerful tools are really imbedded induction and apriori……


…..And to note this is bit like observing that hammers, saws and spades, and the like, are evidence of human thought and labour from some time in the past.



Imagine a child who has just learned to walk. He’s learnt to walk at 10 months old. And now he is 14 months old.

Its the 1950’s and little Yukos lives in big country house in a cold climate but his parents aren’t rich. So despite the cold climate they have no carpet and they have only mats on linoleum…

Yukos has learnt to walk on the Lino, but he cannot talk yet except for the repetition of single syllables like “mamamamamamamama”

Anyhow he’s walking around but then he sometimes stands still and pisses his pants.

But when he wets his pants he wets the floor also and then its only a matter of time before he slips over, hurts himself and starts crying.

Well that WAS THE CASE when he was 12 months old.

But he’s slipped over so many times now…….. he’s wet his pants and slipped over so very many times…. that the little fella, who cannot yet talk, has “seen” a pattern forming.

So now at 14 months old when he feels like taking a good, long, luxurious pee-pee he walks over to one of the mats and for once stands very still.

Now he no longer slips over and his older siblings are very proud. They think that he will surely grow up to be a genius. They think that little Yukos is something of a genius already in fact.

But when the friends of little Yukos’ older brothers come over to stay the weekend they say….. “Hey this mat is wet how come?” and they look at the ceiling for leaks and forrow their little brows in confusion and wonderment.


You see induction is innate and even precedes human language. So all these other tools we have are really just imbedded induction.

And the idea is to come at a controversial problem from every conceivable angle and to be picking up and putting down every tool in your tool-box or that you keep in your two-tonne liquified-coal fueled van.

Never hold any one tool for too long. You are just fooling yourself and wrecking the construction.


If you get the epistemology right, then the rest of the tools you acquired in high school will be immensely powerful and will be most adequate for sorting out the rights and wrongs of a really obvious fraud like this crazed-leftists global-warming hoax.


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