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Ropey rumours: Has critical thinking flown out the window?


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Old 02-06-2013, 18:00
be more pacific
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This forum is getting very depressing with all the shoddy "I hear from a reliable source that John Actor from Monkfish has been cast as the 12th Doctor!" and "42 missing episodes found!" nonsense.

Honestly, is any old crap from some Walter Mitty's facebook page just as valid as proven fact these days? It seems wishful thinking and confirmation bias kick-in when the fanciful claims of "A. Source" tally with certain fans' desires.

Please stop spreading f***ing lies.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:02
TEDR
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I think quite a lot of the time the rumours get passed on because they tend to prompt interesting 'what if ...?' conversations.

I'm optimistic that very little of the time does anybody take the rumours to be fact.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:05
saladfingers81
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You're not allowed to be critical of anything nowadays it would seem. Every comment and opinion and rumour is equally valid and worthy and to challenge them marks one out as a monstrous villain. Its all about respect innit.

I agree though. Some people really do have no idea how to evaluate sources for anything or critique with a wise head on.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:07
saladfingers81
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Also you have the classic 'Even though its probably nonsense you cannot 100% prove it isn't true so there!" argument which I've seen utilized in the Tennant coming back threads. Despite it sounding like errant silliness until the episode broadcasts you cannot say for certain. Its a bit of a 'god defence'.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:17
bp2
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Also you have the classic 'Even though its probably nonsense you cannot 100% prove it isn't true so there!" argument which I've seen utilized in the Tennant coming back threads. Despite it being errant silliness until the episode broadcasts you cannot say for certain. Its a bit of a 'god defence'.
What's wrong with that argument? It is not always useful to dismiss something solely on intuition.

As for the original comment, I don't think many people on here believe those sort of things. I am far more concerned about the overreliance of one statistical measure by some people to come up with silly conclusions and ignoring evidence that doesn't fit with their opinions.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:22
saladfingers81
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What's wrong with that argument? It is not always useful to dismiss something solely on intuition.

As for the original comment, I don't think many people on here believe those sort of things. I am far more concerned about the overreliance of one statistical measure by some people to come up with silly conclusions and ignoring evidence that doesn't fit with their opinions.
Well I find it useful when forming an opinion or judgment to weigh up the available evidence and go from there. Therefore if it makes no sense for the show, Tennant denies it, Moffat denies it, he isn't seen filming, they announce another doctor etc etc then you are on pretty safe ground to say Not Gonna Happen. But even if all that evidence suggested above was available there are some people who would still say 'but it could happen!'. I find that sort of thing...frustrating.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:25
Dr. Linus
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To be fair, the Ben Daniels rumour has quite a lot of credibility to it - he follows Steven Moffat and the DW casting director on Twitter, who both follow him back.

All the other names are just speculation to me.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:29
bp2
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To be fair, the Ben Daniels rumour has quite a lot of credibility to it - he follows Steven Moffat and the DW casting director on Twitter, who both follow him back.

All the other names are just speculation to me.
Steven Moffat doesn't use twitter anymore unless he has returned. Also I don't think that is any proof that he will be the next doctor. How many people believed 100% that Paterson Joseph was the 11th doctor? Hardly anyone said Matt Smith's name soon after David Tennant announced his departure.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:33
Dr. Linus
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Steven Moffat doesn't use twitter anymore unless he has returned. Also I don't think that is any proof that he will be the next doctor. How many people believe 100% that Paterson Joseph was the 11th doctor? Hardly anyone said Matt Smith's name soon after David Tennant announced his departure.
That's just one example though. David Tennant was suspected so quickly that the announcement happened almost instantly.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:35
Lucien_Di
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Also you have the classic 'Even though its probably nonsense you cannot 100% prove it isn't true so there!" argument which I've seen utilized in the Tennant coming back threads. Despite it sounding like errant silliness until the episode broadcasts you cannot say for certain. Its a bit of a 'god defence'.
The onus is always on the person making the assertion to provide the necessary proof to support it - extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. It is not incumbent upon the skeptic to provide proof of negation.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:36
doesyourheadin
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This forum is getting very depressing with all the shoddy "I hear from a reliable source that John Actor from Monkfish has been cast as the 12th Doctor!" and "42 missing episodes found!" nonsense.

Honestly, is any old crap from some Walter Mitty's facebook page just as valid as proven fact these days? It seems wishful thinking and confirmation bias kick-in when the fanciful claims of "A. Source" tally with certain fans' desires.

Please stop spreading f***ing lies.
I posted a rumour about Peter Stray getting it earlier. I don't know if it's true or not but have heard this twice from different people locally. Is hardly a lie if it is not true. Makes sense to me as they often pick someone new.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:37
saladfingers81
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The onus is always on the person making the assertion to provide the necessary proof to support it - extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. It is not incumbent upon the skeptic to provide proof of negation.
Agree completely! The problem is those that make the extraordinary claims often have nothing to rely on except the inability of those challenging the claims to be able to prove 100%.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:38
Rooks
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This forum is getting very depressing with all the shoddy "I hear from a reliable source that John Actor from Monkfish has been cast as the 12th Doctor!" and "42 missing episodes found!" nonsense.

Please stop spreading f***ing lies.
Why do you assume they are lies? Sure, most rumours are unlikely to be true but unless you know for sure that each rumour is false then it's not a lie, it's just speculation.

And frankly, speculation is all part of the fun. Every few years we get the guessing game of who's up next. It's a bit of harmless fun which seems to have this forum more active than its been in a while.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:39
Dr. Linus
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I posted a rumour about Peter Stray getting it earlier. I don't know if it's true or not but have heard this twice from different people locally. Is hardly a lie if it is not true. Makes sense to me as they often pick someone new.
Don't worry, given that he's such an obscure name I'm sure I'm not the only one who is happy to believe you're telling the truth about that. Whether or not it's true is another matter, but I don't think many of us are keen to shoot the messengers.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:43
Lucien_Di
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Agree completely! The problem is those that make the extraordinary claims often have nothing to rely on except the inability of those challenging the claims to be able to prove 100%.
That's actually a logical fallacy you can call them on, argumentum ad ignorantiam:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:44
DiscoP
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I quite like this quote from RTD in The Writers Tale, he's talking about criticism on online forums but I think it also applies equally to validity of source material:

Originally Posted by RTD
We're taught from childhood that the printed word has authority. If something is typed, it seems official. (History will look back on this as the maddest time - a period of ten years or so in which we all typed to each other!)
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:44
alfster
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Has critical thinking flown out the window?
Was it ever in the house where this forum and Dr Who is concerned?
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:45
doesyourheadin
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Don't worry, given that he's such an obscure name I'm sure I'm not the only one who is happy to believe you're telling the truth about that. Whether or not it's true is another matter, but I don't think many of us are keen to shoot the messengers.
LOL thanks. They only reason I posted it is us Welsh are famed for loving a gossip, and with a basic rule of separation and the shows involvement with Wales it seemed worth sharing my hot tip.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:45
Rooks
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That's actually a logical fallacy you can call them on, argumentum ad ignorantiam:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance
Only works if some says something as fact. Doesn't work if it's speculation (which pretty much everything is at this point).
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:47
be more pacific
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What's wrong with that argument? It is not always useful to dismiss something solely on intuition.
It's generally useful to dismiss something based on a total absence of credible evidence.
As for the original comment, I don't think many people on here believe those sort of things. I am far more concerned about the overreliance of one statistical measure by some people to come up with silly conclusions and ignoring evidence that doesn't fit with their opinions.
By "one statistical measure", do you mean the viewing figures which pretty much determine whether or not the show gets recommissioned? Of course, there are many other measures of success including iPlayer requests, AI figures, episode polls for registered forum members only (reducing the risk of multiple voting), merchandise sales and the number of hits websites such as Digital Spy get for Who-related news stories.

Meanwhile, the "evidence" of dissatisfaction comes from vocal critics who believe the general audience must agree with them.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:47
Dr. Linus
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LOL thanks. They only reason I posted it is us Welsh are famed for loving a gossip, and with a basic rule of separation and the shows involvement with Wales it seemed worth sharing my hot tip.
I looked him up and he does seem worth a shout.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:48
Dr. Linus
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It's generally useful to dismiss something based on a total absence of credible evidence.
In law, yes.

In a light-hearted forum discussing the casting of a TV show, it's facetious and overly authoritative.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:50
Lucien_Di
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Only works if some says something as fact. Doesn't work if it's speculation (which pretty much everything is at this point).
True, but it does reinforce that 'you can't 100% prove it's false so it's valid' is specious reasoning, and restates that the burden of proof lies with the person making the assertion not the skeptic.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:52
bp2
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It's generally useful to dismiss something based on a total absence of credible evidence.
.
Not really. In the 18th century they couldn't prove how useful electricity is. Does that mean electricity has no use?
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:54
Lucien_Di
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Not really. In the 18th century they couldn't prove how useful electricity is. Does that mean electricity has no use?
No, that is begging the question - your conclusion is implied in your premise, that useful things must be proved useful.
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