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February 07, 2019



"Liam Neeson's error was to fail to see that millions of black men had not raped his friend. "

A lot of error (and ugliness) is down to this very pervasive failure to distinguish "some" (ie, at least one, or "a few") from "all" (or "a lot"). Yes, this is a failure to take in everyday experience, but it verges on a failure to understand sheer *language*, or think straight, never mind fancy statistics.

Incidentally, (1) I thought this (horrible) error was one small part of what Liam Neelson was confessing to, and (2) I confess to rather liking John Humphreys -- to me he seems(ed?) to skewer "authoritative" nonsense, from any quarter.


Kind of related to Tyler Cowan's Stubborn Attachments. (Be great if you reviewed it, Chris)

derrida derider

It's one of those declensions, innit? "I know stuff, you are opinionated, he is prejudiced". But I think Schumpeter had it right when he said (from memory) "We see things badly because of our ideologies, but we could not see at all without them".
As for Neeson, his only crime was honesty in admitting to a visceral reaction. Given the prevalence of "holier than thou" Puritans across the political spectrum it was unwise of him.

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