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Other plagiarism arguments

People overly concerned with tracking down and denouncing plagiarism have defective characters.  They are small-minded, reactionary bullies....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Critical Thinking

People tend to think in dichotomous ways. For example, if you happen to question the efficacy of various sorts of "alternative medicine," people will think you are an advocate of everything that the big pharmaceutical companies advocate. Really, though, those two questions are totally separate. A treatment associated with "alternative medicine" works (or not) because of whether it works, not because it is "alternative" or "natural." A drug developed by a drug company has the effects that it has, the efficacy (or not) that is has, because of what it does, not because of its origin. A scientific theory is valid if it works and produces the predictions it has predicted, not because it is "science." There is no contradiction in applying equal degrees of skepticism to anything and everything.

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What does this have to with with Scholarly Writing? Nothing much, except that being very, very smart does not allow you to bypass cognitive biases. You have to figure out each new intellectual problem from scratch, figuring out what to believe and what not to believe. The kind of articles that seem to be pure confirmation bias do not seem quite as revelatory.

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