Mudcat Café message #1224603 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #71422   Message #1224603
Posted By: Wolfgang
13-Jul-04 - 10:52 AM
Thread Name: BS: The end of the world is nigh.
Subject: RE: BS: The end of the world is nigh.
I wasn't referring to the number of times Teribus has posted, but to the length of his posts. (Don Firth)

That comes close to argumentaum ad ignorantiam which you have so beautifully explained in a recent post. It could be done in principle but it would be very time consuming.

I did it the easy way, Don, with two small samples.

In this thread, you have posted an average of 255 words per post in seven posts. I took Teribus last seven posts in the old Mudcat search for comparison (eliminating one empty post) and found an average of 121 words per post.

I know that Teribus writes very long posts sometimes but so do others including you and me.

My cursory impression, Don, is that you have claimed something as a fact which was based on faulty personal impression and nothing else. When you have been corrected on the number of posts you quickly did switch to length of posts. My first quick check did not come out in favour of your claim.

Could it simply be that you are wrong? We all know that diatribes from people we do not agree with seem to be much longer (and unnessessarily so) than those of people we agree with. And the posts we ourselves write are concise and mostly too short to tell all the good arguments we know. You may have been a victim of this bias.

I have often done some counts when people have claimed something on the posting history, for here personal impression can be checked against reality (and as many know, I always look for dsicrepancies between personal impression and reality). One more example: Ake recently has claimed that right-wing posters use more often than left-wing posters words belittling opponents. If one actually counts one finds that that is simply not true. Ake here is partially blind, for he spots the offenders on the other side of the political continuum and overlooks them on his side.