Thursday, April 09, 2015

Glanton's Law

Someone has nicely enunciated a razor-like law of discussion and thought, one which I have often found myself fruitlessly explaining, viz., the distinction between a general statement and a universal statement.

He puts it nicely and even gives it a name
“When making general statements, it goes without saying that degrees, exceptions, outliers, and edge cases exist. It also goes without saying that the existence of these in no way invalidates statements that are true the overwhelming majority of the time. As such, when making general statements, there’s normally no real reason to bother bringing those things up.”
My favorite example of how this plays out in the typical mushy head was an exchange in a comments section

A writes:  Every test measuring general intelligence shows that Blacks in the US have an average IQ of around 15 points lower than the White average. 
B replies: Well, I have a Black neighbor who's an engineer and he's at least as smart as I am. 
A responds: Good. Glad to hear it. Now go over to his house and ask him to explain to you the concept of "average."

---

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You read AntiDemotist too, huh? You might have covered these two subjects before but I do not recall. What are your stances on Monarchy and anime? The two biggies for Monsieur Anti-Dem.

-A

Anonymous said...

Allow me to clarify about the Monarchy question. I realize you are open to Monarchy but:

1) What is your condensed, general opinion on Anti-Demotist's views on Monarchy in contrast to your own?
( I could hold conversations about him, Brett Stevens and More Right all damn night)

2) Would you accept America becoming a Commonwealth again, with Queen Elizabeth and the Head of State?Likely meaning that in America she would be the new Executive Branch, Administrator and would have Veto Power over Congress.

Sorry if any of it is overwhelming, off topic or just plain something you don't want to talk about.

-A

wizardprang said...

Here is my summarization of Glanton's Law:

"Generalizations always have exceptions. Those exceptions do not render them void."

If someone can improve on that, I'd love to hear it.

DrAndroSF said...

I only found the Glanton Law piece by a link on Free Northerner. I am not a regular read of AntiDemotist.

I have hardly thought about monarchy at all, to tell the truth. When I lived in Canada, there was only the most formally vestigial remnant of the monarchy there. For all intents and purposes, it was just another parliamentary democracy.

A constitutional monarchy does have the possible benefit of separating the sacrality of the nation and the state from the line of politicians who come and go. You could, in theory, separated the Nation from its managers. But royal families are often an embarrassing mess.


And wizardprang's version is indeed tight. I think AntiDemotist's version also aimed as making the rhetorical and style point that noting exceptions was a distraction.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...