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TOPIC HISTORY

On Controversial Topics, Who is More Often Right, the Majority or a Minority?



Statements

Statement Type Title Description Proposed Probability Author History Last Updated
STATEMENT Possibly Explainable By Skidding As It Makes the Turn

When the ball makes the turn onto the circular section, its rotational axis has to change from horizontal to something nearer vertical. It has been suggested that this process causes skidding, and thus slowing of the ball. To rule this out, it is essential that they measure the speed of the ball on a straightaway after it makes the turn.

They have agreed to do so (see comments on Youtube vid), but we haven't seen the results yet.

1.0 Eric Details 2016-10-06 16:04:01.0
CITATION Apparently, Pi=4 For Motion

That the majority is often wrong should be established by a careful examination of a number of cases, and TruthSift is providing that. The vaccine graphs are a good example.

However, I've just seen something that blew my mind, so I'm posting it here as an independent proof, hoping somebody out there will debunk this one.
The most entertaining conspiracy theorist out there is Miles W. Mathis, who has written up alternative interpretations of a large number of historical events, and also done some alternative science. If there was one claim of Mathis you were going to single out as particularly bizarre, it might have been his claim that pi = 4 for circular motion. I never even bothered to read his papers on it, its so bizarre (the usual way popular delusions are maintained is people refusing to look at the contradictory evidence raised by debunkers.) However, his associate has now posted a Youtube video of a simple table top experiment that seems to demonstrate conclusively he is right. 2 balls are prepared rolling at the same speed down tubes. One tube is bent into a circle. In the time the ball goes around the circle, the other ball is seen to go a distance 4D, not 3.1415D. Its very elegant, and quite contradictory to what I was taught in physics class.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhuvUSS3KAE&feature=youtu.be 

1.0 Eric Details 2016-09-29 20:16:43.0
STATEMENT The great majority of people assume without foundation that when a majority confronts a minority, the majority is much more likely right

Most people assume implicitly that when a majority is on one side and a minority on the other, the majority is right, especially when it is a credentialled majority.

This assumption is without foundation and circular.

1.0 Eric Details 2016-09-28 22:27:34.0
STATEMENT The Majority Do Not Think It Through, But Trust the Majority. Circular. Conflicting Forces Influence Crowds More than Rationality.

Since they are all mostly espousing the view because everybody else is, the fact that a view is held by a majority provides no actual evidence it is correct. Its circular reasoning. You might think the crowd would be biased to correct views, but on the other hand they are also subject to propaganda by interested parties, and to positive reinforcement and conflict of interest. A crowd of experts is particularly likely to face diverging calls for rationality and the higher profit alternative decision, and who will argue a priori that rationality is more likely to win out in a complex system like a crowd? Positive reinforcement can work purely unconsciously. The situation is still worse for complex subjects like vaccination or climate science where understanding truth requires following long complicated processes of reasoning.  As Le Bon pointed out in 1895, Crowds are incapable of following logical chains of reasoning.

1.0 Eric Details 2016-09-28 22:27:34.0
STATEMENT The Majority is Often Wrong, Even When They Are Credentialed and Widely Admired

For controversial topics, the majority is at least as often wrong as right when confronted with a minority view,

even or perhaps especially when the large majority including most highly educated people thinks skeptics are idiots.

1.0 Eric Details 2016-09-28 22:27:34.0
STATEMENT The minority often hold their belief because rationality demands it. Other reasons are less likely because opposing the majority is costly.

While the majority holds their belief because the others do, the minority needs a good reason. Going with the majority is not only easy and intuitive, but also one frequently faces social stigma or worse for taking the minority side. In cases where the majority side coincides with some financial reward, such as funding, one may also forfeit this reward in taking the minority position. 

Before you even go to look at the arguments for and against, the more opprobium heaped on dissenters from the conventional wisdom, the more they must either be rationally correct, or directly on someone's payroll. In my experience, the direct payroll more often captures the majority side, leaving the minority to stand up for rationality. 

 

1.0 Eric Details 2016-09-28 22:27:34.0
CITATION Gustav LeBon The Crowd (1895)

“The inferior reasoning of crowds is based, just as is the reasoning of a high order, on the association of ideas, but between the ideas associated by crowds there are only apparent bonds of analogy or succession. The mode of reasoning of crowds resembles that of the Esquimaux who, knowing from experience that ice, a transparent body, melts in the mouth, concludes that glass, also a transparent body, should also melt in the mouth…
The characteristics of the reasoning of crowds are the association of dissimilar things possessing a merely apparent connection between each other, and the immediate generalization of particular cases. It is arguments of this kind that are always presented to crowds by those who know how to manage them. They are the only arguments by which crowds are to be influenced. A chain of logical argumentation is totally incomprehensible to crowds…

http://www.amazon.com/Crowd-study-popular-mind-ebook/dp/B004UJNFQI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1457368810&sr=8-4&keywords=the+crowd

 

1.0 Eric Details 2016-09-28 22:27:34.0
STATEMENT There has been incredible Progress in Quality and Length of Life, Surely Humanity is Getting Something Right

   There has been incredible progress in quality and length of life, surely humanity is getting something right

1.0 Eric Details 2016-09-28 22:27:34.0
STATEMENT Even so we would be much better off but for crowd confusion on controversial topics. Progress we all agree on is being held back.

Technology, and the benefits of the marketplace have advanced humankind greatly at least in material terms.
Medicine appears to be an excellent example. How can we have crowdthink?
 
But it seems likely from the vaccine diagrams here that vaccines are highly iatrogenic and from other evidence that fluoride in the water is iatrogenic and that chemotherapy is iatrogenic and etc. The evidence that vaccines contributed significantly to the decline of diseases, when examined, also looks shaky. We need a diagram, but unvaccinated and vaccinated diseases both declined, and have both made comebacks together in different times and locations such as 1990's former soviet union and 2015 UK, so common causes seem likely. Nutrition and Sanitation come to mind. Not only that, but surveys by the BMJ and the Cochrane and the Office of Technology, US Congress, show that less than 40% of medical practice is backed by science.

But then this suggests it is quite plausible we would be even much healthier if, for example, vaccines had never been invented.  This is offered as an example to prove that the fact of Progress does not imply crowd sense.

1.0 Eric Details 2016-09-28 22:27:34.0
STATEMENT Probably, but that doesn't refute the statement.

I expect there are lots of things we all agree on, without even thinking about the subject, because its so non-contentious.
But that doesn't make the claim that there has been a lot of progress inconsistent with the claim the majority are often wrong. If you view the body of ele3, you will see it explicitly discusses the case when there is contention.

1.0 Eric Details 2016-09-28 22:27:34.0
STATEMENT Why do you then accept kgm^2/s^2 is massless when it has kg????

Why do you then accept kgm^2/s^2 is massless when it has kg????

Massless is not possible. Matter does not convert into massless energy.
Matter with existence in time, volume, tensile strength, the ability to produce gravitational and electromagnetic forces and mass moving per second along a distance is what enrgy is.

1.0 FTJSMbyEED (C) 2012 Angela Stahlfest-Moller Details 2016-09-28 22:27:34.0
CITATION This is evidently true even of credentialed experts. Medicine provides an example where propaganda wins the crowd.

This is evidently true even of credentialed experts. Few Doctors have ever read the scientific literature pertinent to vaccines, for example, so they are as subject to group think and interest group capture as anyone else. In the words of Le Bon, they are a "Caste".

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”  – Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and Former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal http://www.commercialalert.org/relmanangell.pdf   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12561803   

 Only at most 40% of medical practice is supported by science according to all the surveys of which I'm aware cf the following:

John S Garrow  BMJ. 2007 Nov 10; 335(7627): 951.doi:10.1136/bmj.39388.393970.1F PMCID: PMC2071976 What to do about CAM?: How much of orthodox medicine is evidence based? http://www.dcscience.net/garrow-evidence-bmj.pdf  

http://www.fas.org/ota/reports/7805.pdf   Assessing the Efficacy and Safety of Medical Technologies, Office of Technology Assessment, Congress of the United States (1978)

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=101041    Jeannette Ezzo, Barker Bausell, Daniel E. Moerman, Brian Berman and Victoria Hadhazy (2001). REVIEWING THE REVIEWS . International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 17, pp 457-466.

 http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/x/index.html   BMJ Clinical Evidence  

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-larry-dossey/the-mythology-of-science_b_412475.html   Larry Dossey, Deepak Chopra, Rustum Roy, The Mythology Of Science-Based Medicine

S. A. Greenberg, "How citation distortions create unfounded authority: analysis of a citation network", BMJ 2009;339:b2680 http://www.bmj.com/content/339/bmj.b2680  

1.0 Eric Details 2016-09-28 22:27:34.0
STATEMENT If we all agreed, wouldn't the majority be right?

If we all agreed on the thing that was correct, wouldn't the majority be correct in that case? 

1.0 LeftRightWatermelon Details 2016-09-28 22:27:34.0