Linkage Ho!

Hmm, teh intrawebs appear to have been busy of late.

– The European Union has caught up with the fact that Wikipedia articles can tell lies about you and there’s nothing you can do about it. There is muttering about legislation.

– At Knowledge Problem Mike Giberson reports on the power of anecdote. Kevin and I are often frustrated at how often fannish online debate is derailed by someone insisting that something that is generally agreed to be broadly correct must be utterly false because his personal experience contradicts it. The UK press commented on how often the participants in the leader debates during the election used personal anecdotes (“I met someone who…”) to make policy points. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have decided to study this problem, designing an experiment to test the power of anecdote to overcome statistical evidence. To make it tough for the anecdotes they used accountants as their subjects, and yet the anecdotes still proved more powerful. Human beings are scary creatures.

– In Barcelona researchers are using virtual reality to put men’s minds into women’s bodies. Quick, someone grab Rush Limbaugh and stick him on a plane to Spain.

– Forbidden Planet International points me to a Financial Times article about the current state of the Tintin franchise. Ignore the gossip and scroll down to the sorry tale of Bob Garcia who has been fined €50,000 for publishing small-press books about Tintin. French fans have an appeal going to help Bob pay. You can find them on Facebook.

– Anil Menon has posted a long and thoughtful essay about the Ramayana on his blog.

– It may be only 1mm long, but the copepod is the strongest and fastest animal in the world.

3 thoughts on “Linkage Ho!

  1. ” Human beings are scary creatures. ” Indeed we are ..or at least some of us are, some of the time.

    On the Antiques Roadshow This Weak ? …

    ” This 1966 Zippo says “Vietnam 66-67 Da Nang US Marine Corps ” and barely visible in the naval crest lightly engraved reads “Smokey ’66”. The back side reads “Yea Though I Walk Through The Valley of the Shadow of Death I will fear no Evil For I am the Evilest Son of a Bitch in the Valley” Also lightly engraved on the back is the name “Danny”. ”

    And that is a very brief biography that puts much Military History to shame …

    Gods but the Story/ Anecdote .. that must lie behind that cigarette lighter ! .. from my History files …

    On a more personal level I will say that anecdotes are tremendously powerful as rhetorical tools.. you pick a basic story and relate to your own, and the audiences experience, and you then ………….. Pause, for Effect, in just the right places …… and you afterward tell your audience what you have done ………….. And then Catch Their Attention by doing it AGAIN ! And this after you have told them how the Technique WORKS … and it still Works.

    Good, Eh ? Reminds you of Tony Blair perhaps ?

  2. Quick – send Rush on a plane anywhere! How about on a drone and fly him half way to Spain?

  3. On the subject of anecdotal evidence…

    One of my main bug bears has always been those who insist good, solid research that is generally accepted by most must not be true as their experiences have been different. Anecdotal evidence, I would imagine, is more believable as it comes from someone you love/trust or even from seeing things with your own two eyes and is therefore closer to home than science.

    It has become more problematic, to me, since becoming a mother and having encountered many and varied schools of thought on parenting techniques, sparking debate after debate without end and the overwhelming majority citing any one of the following “My mother did X and I’m OK…”, “My Husband’s mother did X and he’s OK” or, the old adage, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. BUT, that’s a different story entirely.


Comments are closed.