Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Phantastic Ferniture





Yeah, I haven't posted much music lately. But I'm way into Phantastic Ferniture right not. They're from Australia. And worth checking out. So check them out.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Hubert Gaskins (how not to think)

Over the past few days my Twitter experience was marred by the illogical interloping of one Hubert Gaskins. Gaskins, like many others, has mastered the art of illogical thinking, at least as represented by his argumentation on Twitter.

Now. Why waste my time refuted pathetic argumentation by the apparently little-known Gaskins?

Good question. I ordinarily wouldn't bother, but he's proved persistent in tagging me on Twitter so that his ridiculous comments cross my path of vision. That's despite me asking him not to tag me with any more replies unless he fulfills one particular (likely impossible) qualification.

So, if Gaskins persists, my replies will link to this post, which provides all the evidence a person should need to see why I take Gaskins' comments completely unseriously. He's earned it.

Gaskins tweeted to the PolitiFact Bias Twitter account, spouting baseless assertions:


How did Gaskins respond to the encouragement he was given to support his accusations, including a link explaining that the editors of PolitiFact Bias see no utility in criticism unaccompanied by specifics (facts)?

One can only marvel.



Yes, ladies and gentleman, Gaskins responds to the encouragement to provide specifics by failing to provide specifics. He says the very existence of "PolitiFact Bias" proves its bias, implying that Gaskins takes it as axiomatic the neutrality of PolitiFact.com. What other condition could make the existence of PolitiFact Bias an automatic proof of bias? It's hard to imagine that Gaskins gave any serious thought to his claim.



Gaskins goes for the old "I've already offered solid evidence" trick. As though saying it makes it true.

What kind of "solid evidence" did he present?




Well, he baselessly accused me of lying, basing on his opinion on the idea that Trump's claim that he did not authorize Wolff's White House access was not relevant. That is, Trump's claim was not relevant to the truth value of Trump's claim, if one is paying attention to the logic of the discussion.


What use is there in trying to reason with a person who thinks that saying one authorized no access to the White House is perfectly equivalent to saying they denied all access to the White House?

The situation improves only marginally if Gaskins equivocally traded one type of denial for another. Under that condition, Gaskins would make himself a willful equivocator.



 At least Gaskins got a "like" for this one.

Gaskins believes a contradiction exists if Trump says he did not speak to Wolff "for (the) book" and Wolff says he talked to Trump.

Does Gaskins not realize that authors interviewing subjects for a book tend to set up an appointed time for the interview? They don't just talk to people conversationally and then claim to have interviewed them for the book. Gaskins repeatedly displays this skill for ignoring nuance, and displays no apparent realization that people often use true statements to mislead an audience. If Gaskins understands this without showing it in print, then he apparently fails to realize that PolitiFact tends to give Democrats (and Republicans, though to a lesser degree) ratings like "Half True" for true-but-misleading statements.



Again, Gaskins' "solid evidence" lacks substance. He charges PolitiFact Bias with "using" its conservative bias to find bias from PolitiFact. How did PolitiFact Bias do this? Gaskins has no specifics. People can look and judge, he says. I agree, and I repeat our challenge to our critics to bring any specifics to our attention. If our critics can't think of specifics then maybe they should re-evaluate.

Gaskins' says the entire PolitiFact Bias article is "awash in selective semantics." With all those "selective semantics" to choose from, why does Gaskins not offer any examples? Is it so hard to pick one among the many that Gaskins finds himself too paralyzed to choose?


PolitiFact Bias (Jeff D) asks Gaskins for specifics backing his charge. Gaskins replies without specifics. PolitiFact Bias, he says, includes only the parts that favor the narrative. If we left out anything important, Gaskins doesn't identify it.

Gaskins apparently has the energy and enthusiasm to keep up his act forever.

But we find his act justifies taking a dismissive attitude toward his comments.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A "Half True" update

Years ago, I pointed out to PolitiFact that it had offered readers two different definitions of "Half True." In November 2011, I posted to note PolitiFact's apparent acknowledgment of the problem, evidenced by its effort to resolve the discrepant definitions.

It's over five years later. But PolitiFact Florida (archived version, just in case PolitiFact Florida notices something amiss) either did not get the memo or failed to fully implement the change.
We then decide which of our six rulings should apply:

TRUE – The statement is accurate and there’s nothing significant missing.
MOSTLY TRUE – The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.
HALF TRUE – The statement is accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context.
MOSTLY FALSE – The statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.
FALSE – The statement is not accurate.
PANTS ON FIRE – The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.
PolitiFact Florida still publishes what was apparently the original standard PolitiFact definition of "Half True." PolitiFact National revised its definition in 2011, adding "partially" to the definition so it read "The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context."

PolitiFact uses the updated definition on its main page, and directs readers to PolitiFact's main "principles" page for more information.

It's not even clear if PolitiFact Florida's main page links to PolitiFact Florida's "About" page. It may be a vestigial limb of sorts, helping us trace PolitiFact's evolution.

In one sense, the inconsistency means relatively little. After all, PolitiFact's founder, Bill Adair, has himself said that the "Truth-O-Meter" ratings are "entirely subjective." That being the case, it matters little whether "partially" occurs in the definition of "Half True."

The main problem from the changing definition comes from PolitiFact's irresponsible publication of candidate "report cards" that supposedly help voters decide which candidate they ought to support.

Why should subjective report cards make any difference in preferring one candidate over another?

The changing definition creates one other concern--one that I've written about before: Academic researchers (who really ought to know better) keep trying to use PolitiFact's ratings as though they represent reliable truth measurements. That by itself is a preposterous idea, given the level of subjectivity inherent in PolitiFact's system. But the inconsistency of the definition of "Half True" makes it even sillier.

PolitiFact's repeated failure to fix the problems we point out helps keep us convinced that PolitiFact checks facts poorly. We think a left-leaning ideological bubble combined with the Dunning-Kruger effect best explains PolitiFact's behavior in these cases.

Reminder: PolitiFact made a big to-do about changing the label "Barely True" to "Mostly False," but shifted the definition of "Half True" without letting the public in on the long-running discrepancy.

Too much transparency?

New music: Frankie Rose "Red Museum"

How long has it been since I last posted a music video.

No matter. Here's a new one by Frankie Rose.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Just trying something


Having trouble uploading to Tineye, so I'm publishing this here to give a URL to see if that helps.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Deep Purple: "Time for Bedlam"

Looks like Deep Purple will produce another magical album (again with the help of producer Bob Ezrin) with the upcoming release of Infinite.

This advance track serves as evidence: