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Re: Bombasts

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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on December 9, 2001 16:35:32 UTC

Mr. Pearson,

(I read earlier where you asked us not to use your first name anymore.)

I wasn't always so quiet around the 'bombasts.' I used to argue with Alex until I was blue in the face. But now I consciously ignore his blather; his beliefs are religious in strength, and not even Godel's Incompleteness Theorem or Einstein's fourth dimension can convince him he's wrong. Indeed, Alex will say (has said) that Godel, easily one of the most important logicians of the 20th century, and Einstein, easily the most important physicist since Newton, were wrong.

In other words, I certainly stand no chance swaying the guy.

You can't get real discussion out of Alex. He either
A runs away (indicating he thinks he's wrong. This is pretty cool, actually, because you realize you've stumped a PhD-equivalent physicist!),
B repeats his opinion (indicating he can't further explain his view, but still thinks he's right), or
C questions your credentials (indicating he sees that you are smart enough to debate him, and wishes to preempt any future A's).

Ask someone the following question: "Can you think of one piece of evidence that would change your position on the subject?" If he can't answer this, or if he qualifies his response with something like "when pigs fly," then he's too closed for intelligent debate.


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