Yet another weird SF fan


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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

An Argument against the Bloggs Test

I frequently use the Bloggs test (the term “Bloggs test” comes from Princeton Review) to analyze studies:

  1. Figure out what Joe Bloggs (an average reader) would conclude from the report. If the report was strongly stated, it was probably either written by an activist who was trying to get people to believe that conclusion or by someone who based it on the activists' press releases.
  2. Determine the strongest potential piece of evidence that would point in the same direction. If that evidence were true, the report would have mentioned it.
  3. In the absence of such evidence being mentioned, conclude that it doesn't exist.
The problem with that is not everybody uses the strongest piece of evidence. For example, the commonest evidence cited that women can be great scientists (the career of Marie Curie) isn't the strongest evidence in that direction. Emmy Noether is a much better example.

I was inspired by the noted crackpot Jim Donald, who called the Bloggs test “the poster-girl principle.”

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