Hasty Generalization – FT#14

Hasty Generalization – FT#14

Show Notes

The fallacy of Hasty Generalization is committed when an assumption is made based on too little information. It may, for example, be that a small sample of a large group has been observed, and the properties of this sample are assumed to be present in the larger group.

This is fallacious because we don’t know how representative the sample is of the larger group. Statistics based on small sample sizes aren’t reliable, and can be misleading, so they shouldn’t be relied upon when making generalizations.

The examples used in this episode will be coming soon.

Here are the links to the stories we talked about

A perjury trap is not a logical fallacy: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/michael-cohen-is-the-33rd-person-mueller-has-charged-and-could-be-among-the-most-important


And finally, some things we really don’t have time to talk about:


  • The votes are finally in, and the Democrats picked up a total of 40 House seats, and won with the largest midterm vote margin in history. And that’s actual history, not Trump’s version, where nobody’s ever done as much winning as him.
  • Speaking of winning, General Motors is laying off 15% off it’s workers and closing 5 factories in the US and Canada, partly due to the $1 billion they’ve lost due to the steel tariffs.  Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau tweeted “we’ll do everything we can to help the families affected by this news get back on their feet” while Trump tweeted “We are now looking at cutting all GM subsidies, including for electric cars”, because revenge is way more fun than helping people.
  • According to Donald, Ivanka and just about every Republican spokesperson, Ivanka’s use of a private email account to conduct official government business, is absolutely nothing like Hillary’s use of a private email account to conduct official government business, and anyone who says they’re the same is just crazy. Just because she sent hundreds of emails to cabinet officials, White House aides and her assistant, does not mean you should chant ‘lock her up’ next time you see her.
  • Trump is still working his way through his copy of “Dictatorship for Dummies” and it looks like he’s reached the chapter on Propaganda, because during one of his daily twitter attacks on CNN this week, he proposed starting a state run TV network to tell the world how great he is.  Which will probably put Fox News’ nose out of joint cos they thought they were definitely a shoe-in for the job. 
  • The confirmation of Trump judicial nominee Thomas Farr to the Eastern District of North Carolina is not going so smoothly.  With Senator Jeff Flake refusing to confirm any nominees until the government agrees to protect the Mueller investigation, and all Democrats voting against, it would be a tie vote, but for the fact that Senator Tim Scott has announced he will vote to oppose.  Nobody knows why, exactly, but it could have something to do with the fact that Senator Scott is the only African American Senator in the GOP, and Thomas Farr is a white supremacist who fights against civil rights.
  • According to psychologists, men who are worried they might have small dicks are more likely to have voted for Trump. A pair of NYU psychologists studied the regional levels of google searches for terms such as ‘penis enlargement’; ‘penis size’; ‘erectile dysfunction’; and ‘how to get girls’, compared the results to the regional voting trends in 2016 and 2018 and found a strong correlation.  If you listened to the last episode, you’ll know not to assume a causative link, but it would explain a few things.
  • The government chose Black Friday to quietly release a federally mandated report on climate change which began “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities.” But nobody panic, because Trump says it’s fine.  He told the Washington Post “One of the problems that a lot of people like myself — we have very high levels of intelligence, but we’re not necessarily such believers.” So, you just have to choose who to believe – the scientists of the 13 federal agencies that make up the US Global Change Research Program, with their ‘facts’ and ‘evidence’, or people like Donald Trump, with their ‘very high levels of intelligence’.
  • After Trump claimed that the President Niinistö of Finland had told him that they rake the forest floors to prevent forest fires, everyone in Finland made fun of Trump on twitter, posting photos of themselves sweeping, raking and vaccuuming the forest, with hashtags such as #RakeNews and #RakeAmericaGreatAgain. It must feel great for Trump to be respected again all over the world.
Jim Cliff

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