Compendium of lerrors in logic.

Thu, 03 Apr 1997 20:49:28 -0500
David Lloyd-Jones (

Bruce R. McFarling wrote:

> > b.) Africa is exploitable,
> Africa *is* exploitable. Part of the reason for the lack of
> capital inflows is that Africa is too *easily* exploitable:

Here Bruce takes advantage of the dual meaning of exploitable, "useful,"
or "subject to being cheated." Since we have all learned from Bruce's
posts on logic, we are able to recognise this as an exploit in the
undistributed middle.

> > All three are ridiculous.
> Exactly. While based on perfectly valid observations of what is
> going on, if simplified to this degree the result is too extreme to be
> taken seriously. Of course, it was dlj who suggested this as the
> explanatory framework. Since he read this framework in in order to
> ridicule it, there may be suspicious souls on the list who would suspect
> (a thing, I've heard, that suspicious souls do) that dlj's reading is not
> unbiased.

Again time for recourse to logic: the fact that a conclusion is ëxtreme"
does not per se renbder it false. My drinking buddy Karl Hess comes to
mind. Similarly the fact that a suggestion is _mine_ is not necessarily
evidence for its incorrectness.

Finally, the fact that one is a "suspicious soul"does not ipso facto
preordain that everything one examines will turn out wrong. Suspicion
is for many people a useful attribute in finding what is correct, good,
sound and beautiful.


(Computer glitch: the word pronounced X-treem is showing up on my screen
with the Japanese character mon, gate, in the place of the e and the
ex. I hope it comes across correctly at your end...)