Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Saturday, July 06, 2013

An Annoying Habit I've (Mostly) Stopped

When I was in elementary school and high school, I had a habit of reading something, not bothering to remember where I read it, and then introducing it into conversations with the phrase “I remember reading somewhere…” That must have been very annoying to anybody within earshot. I've mostly stopped it.

I was reminded of this by the propensity of Internet crackpots (such as trutherbot) to repeat unsourced claims about GMO foods, vaccines, chemtrails, etc. When I try using Google/Bing/Ask/Yahoo/whatever to find out where the claim came from, I mainly get links to people repeating the same unsourced claim. (I discussed a specific example of this bulshytt here.) I am not unique in noticing this phenomenon. Mitti Mithai also had some comments:

Never trust anyone who cites a “landmark study”, but can't be bothered to give you a reference.

In other words:



Anonymous TJIC said...

I've got a friend who is worse than you ever were:

He'll read something, forget the source, FORGET THE THING, and still introduce it into conversation.


Friend: "I was reading about tensors, which are really cool, and I've got the impression that they can be applied to lots of things."

TJIC: "What's a tensor?"

Friend: "I don't know."

TJIC: "Then why do you think they can be applied to lots of things?"

Friend: "I just get that impression."

TJIC: "Thank you for this excellent conversation; I've learned so much."

7:57 AM  

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