Critical Thinking Skills, Please

We are being bombarded with claims that 2012 is a record fire year, and that fires are getting worse. I made a post yesterday pointing out that YTD 2012 has had the fewest number of fires in the 10 year long NIFC database, and that there were many more, and much larger fires in the past.

So a few people start arguing over whether or not 2012 is really a record low.

Who cares? The point is that 2012 isn’t anywhere near a record high. Some people need to step up their game. Arguing over the number of angels on the head of a pin is mindless.

About stevengoddard

Just having fun
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10 Responses to Critical Thinking Skills, Please

  1. Eric Barnes says:

    C’mon Appell. He’s talking to you. It should be very easy to step up your game.

  2. suyts says:

    Well, yes. And my contribution was to show that we’re watching the NIFC revise history.

    http://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/fireInfo_stats_totalFires.html

    I thought that it would go without stating that you’ve demonstrated that we’re not setting any sort of record in fires.

  3. Hugh K says:

    Easy Steven…..Naturally there will be some confusion until sex poodle Algores’ Dirty ol’ Man Does Dirty Weather Report airs in November to tell us what to ‘feel’.

  4. Jason Calley says:

    Of course, even if there HAD been a record number of fires (and there were not) there are many other factors other than weather that are responsible for fires. Here in Florida we had massive fires back in 1999. The major cause? Tax policies. No, really. A lot of speculators had bought up property that was covered in mixed growth deciduous trees with pockets of swamp. The speculators found that by clearing the property, doing some draining and planting massive groves of pine, they could quality for special tax breaks on lumber property. Serried ranks of pine trees burn better than mixes of older growth broad leaved trees. Result: major fires.

  5. The response you got was quite typical. It goes like this:

    Bob: There were not record fires last year. It seems there may have been a record few.

    Fred: It was not a record low. I am sure you’re wrong and that just shows how scientifically illiterate you are.

    These individuals pick apart every nuance of language, latch on to misspelled wordes and claim these things show how wrong the speaker is. The actual original subject/statement is ignored. It’s misdirection intended to keep people from asking too many questions.

  6. Too many people confuse critical thinking with simply being critical. Then, if you point out that critical thinking means to have the ability to distinguish fact from fiction, a good argument from a bad one, and honesty from dishonesty, they accuse you of being judgmental. The idea appears to be to win the argument without ever engaging the argument.

    I am at a total loss as to what is won by such a strategy. Perhaps the best answer is “OK, I will let you be god now.” Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have a living to earn and that takes some serious critical thinking, innovation, invention, and a lot real effort to achieve.

  7. Lionell: You make excellent points. As to what is won by this strategy, nothing. That is not the goal. The goal is not to lose. If you never engage the argument, you can’t lose it. I know you can’t win either, but having had many discussions with people who use this tactic, the goal definitely seems to be to not lose. It’s like not trying to do anything because you can’t fail if you never try. It’s not really rational, but a lot of people think that way.
    (Glad you have things to do and innovations to achieve. We need more people like you.)

  8. gofer says:

    “ A great number of people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ”
    — William James

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