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"The Internet Blowhard’s Favorite Phrase..."

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posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 09:43 PM
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"Correlation does not imply causation"

But... it may indicate a common sense link.

There...I said it. I said it for millions of anonymous internet users everywhere. I said it for those of us with precious few stars, flags or time to waste arguing ad nauseum. I said it for truth!

I will now fade into oblivion after dropping this bomb and let the more stubborn, rhetorical and (pseudo)scientific among us argue the finer points.


Link



The correlation phrase has become so common and so irritating that a minor backlash has now ensued against the rhetoric if not the concept. No, correlation does not imply causation, but it sure as hell provides a hint. Does email make a man depressed? Does sadness make a man send email? Or is something else again to blame for both? A correlation can't tell one from the other; in that sense it's inadequate. Still, if it can frame the question, then our observation sets us down the path toward thinking through the workings of reality, so we might learn new ways to tweak them. It helps us go from seeing things to changing them.

So how did a stats-class admonition become so misused and so widespread? What made this simple caveat—a warning not to fall too hard for correlation coefficients—into a coup de grace for second-rate debates? A survey shows the slogan to be a computer-age phenomenon, one that spread through print culture starting in the 1960s and then redoubled its frequency with the advent of the Internet. The graph below plots three common versions of the phrase going back to 1880 as they turn up in Google Books. It's that right-most rise that interests me—the explosion of correlations that don't imply causation in the 1990s and 2000s. Beware of spurious correlations, I know! But it is tempting to say the warning spread in the squall of data on the Web, as a means of warding off the cheap associations that ride a stormy sea of numbers. If now we're quick to say that correlation is not causation, it's because the correlations are all around us...
edit on 10/2/2012 by Sergeant Stiletto because: (no reason given)
edit on Tue Oct 2 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: EX TAGS




posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 10:08 PM
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Take quantum entangement for example.....mona and lisa are 2 identical particles and while you can see that they mirror each other perfectly you can not see the link. they are correlated but as the old saying goes, pics or it didnt happen.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 10:13 PM
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reply to post by Sergeant Stiletto
 


Star & Flag


"Correlation does not imply causation" But... it may indicate a common sense link.


To me, it does indeed indicate a link.

Tangible example:
Fat cats who control media, religion, finance, energy regularly meet covertly or without public accountability - the net result being we get poorer & more reliant on their systems / tools whilst they bypass accountability of their intent for full blown control of our lives - without our permission.

Spiritual example:
Little American lad is reincarnated - once being a WWII pilot downed and died off Japan. His knowledge of specifics relating to his past life overwhelm all whom are still alive & familiar with his apparent past life.



telegraph .co.uk

Coincidences are proof we are all linked and that nothing happens by chance. We live in a duality - the world we are taught and the world as it actually exists - the two are diametrically opposed in their message about why we are here.
edit on 2-10-2012 by Sublimecraft because: added vid & link



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 10:16 PM
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reply to post by shaneslaughta
 




I hear ya. But hear me...it doesn't necessarily mean there is no relationship. It's just a caution against jumping to conclusions.

A prudent person would look deeper.

Also, not all internet arguments necessitate scientific rigor...



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 10:20 PM
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reply to post by Sergeant Stiletto
 


this is true, its just easier for me to provide my view when the reference is one i can state unequivicly
probably spelled that wrong.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 10:41 PM
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Ahha It's that day is it. When someone trying to argue logic, gets railroaded into being a 'blow hard' -- wait, an 'Internet Blow hard", even, because it doesn't fit with the opinion of someone else.

"The sun just burped!"
"Zomg I knew I felt a headache!"

but but but...

"Shhhh now, you internet blowhard, you can't prove they didn't get a headache from the sun burping..."

With arguments like that, why do people even bother with that edumacation baloney anyways... best to just stick yer finger out the window 'n see if it here done stopped raining yet.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 10:45 PM
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reply to post by winofiend
 




I didn't say we should all hang our asses out the window and let ignorance fly. I said we should use common sense.

Sometimes correlation does, in fact, equal causation.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 10:57 PM
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From my perspective, that is a phrase I don't see much - as I tend to spend my time in social and political forums but there are correlatives there. People who memorize the list of logical fallacies and then, ironically enough, use the term "straw man" as a straw man.

"God in the gaps" is one that does come to mind from science/fringe forums.

In my opinion and in most cases, it pains me to see these generalized and automatic statements of dismissal as they demonstrate that the person using these terms is likely engaging in confirmation bias - possibly even on a subconscious level.

Example: Make me sit through a slideshow of 10,000 internet UFO pics and, eventually, I'll just become numb to it all and declare each one an anomaly - not based upon any real analysis - but simply out of habit.

I imagine that some folks also participate in this manner with full awareness of their lack of analysis - but that's a different subject altogether.

How to get people to turn off the reflexive and instinctive reactions and substitute a new dynamic? A proactive control of reflex? Well Pavlov had some ideas about that, as did Nietzsche. And I'm sure a lot of very smart people, even now, are sequestered in small labs trying to pick the combinations of this lock too.

What we can do, now, is to avoid reaction to the reaction. We can be proactive in our approach to their reaction. If faced with an aphoristic reaction, we can request specific qualification. "OK, fine... but how does that exactly apply to THIS particular....."

Once reflexive and automatic responses become involved and difficult? Well... we train the reflex out of the reflexive.

~Heff
edit on 10/2/12 by Hefficide because: I stand humbly corrected in a spelling error!




posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


I definitely agree with you that the phrase has more to do with a reactive or reflexive mindset than actual intellectual curiosity.

In particular, when it comes to the internet and, most particularly, when it concerns controversial topics that test our comfort level. People are more predisposed to rely on such clichés when pseudo-support in the form of other people's research or analysis is available at a click of a mouse.



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 12:46 AM
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when I want to graduate some idea about a causal mechanism into a belief, I need to see evidence of that actual mechanism. A correlation can point us in the right direction in our search... but it can also mislead.

The phrase correlation != causation is just a reminder that we're only part way through the journey and that we should remain prepared for unexpected detours. In my book, it is always beneficial to be reminded.
edit on 3-10-2012 by Tearman because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 06:35 AM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
From my perspective, that is a phrase I don't see much - as I tend to spend my time in social and political forums but there are correlatives there. People who memorize the list of logical fallacies and then, ironically enough, use the term "straw man" as a straw man.



I thought I was the only one who noticed that. It's a hard thing to get people to understand something that by it's very use limits their understanding.. Haha.



How to get people to turn off the reflexive and instinctive reactions and substitute a new dynamic? A proactive control of reflex? Well Pavlov had some ideas about that, as did Nietzsche. And I'm sure a lot of very smart people, even now, are sequestered in small labs trying to pick the combinations of this lock too.


What I do is that I try and argue both sides in my head, and that usually keeps me out of any auto responses. Changing up your sentence structure and using new vocabulary to expand consciousness into novel ways of thinking is good. If you aren't growing consciousness you are shrinking it. (that was one of those things wasn't it) hahahaha..

speaking on causation:

Just because Ia hot girl walked by and I turn my head at the exact same time keeping her in my field of vision doesn't mean I am looking at her... Right? Yea see if that holds up with your girl
Maybe there was a UFO?

In this case you are pretty sure what's going on because you have background knowledge about male behavior. It's not proof though.. Still, It's the same for anything else, and a lot of the time you have so much background info about something it is untransferable on a forum..
You can see causation, but you don't know why others can not cause you don't know what they don't know.


The funniest part about all of this is everything is linked through causation.. Some of you humans call this moving in time away from the big bang.
edit on 10/3/2012 by Dustytoad because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 06:58 AM
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But correlation doesn't imply causation.

Since when does stating a simple fact make one a "blow-hard".

There are a lot of mentally challenged people on ATS, but that does not imply that ATS causes mental decline...although there may be a link



No, correlation does not imply causation, but it sure as hell provides a hint.


No, this is not true, it may provide a hint, but it doesn't "sure as hell" provide one.
edit on 3-10-2012 by humphreysjim because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 07:03 AM
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I assume you are indirectly wanting us to ignore evidence that is indicative and shoud be heeded and turn our attention to hope and change?! Wouldn't that fit the bill as being "cognitive dissonance?"



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 07:47 AM
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Bikinis and hot weather at the beach are linked.

The bikinis don't cause the sunburn.

But most people make mistakes similar to the allegation above, and need to be reminded that just because two things go together doesn't mean one is responsible for the other's existence. It's an unfortunate reality of being surrounded by idiots.



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 12:36 PM
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reply to post by Sergeant Stiletto
 



"Correlation does not imply causation"


I find it amazing that people have starred & flagged this thread.

To understand the phrase, requires that it be taken in context.

e.g.
A cat is an animal that has four legs. = Correlation.
All animals with four legs are cats. =/= Causation

The whole idea of the statement is to point out that we have to be very careful when quantifying data observed into a hypothesis/theory.
edit on 3/10/2012 by OccamAssassin because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 12:48 PM
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You are giving them too much credit, haha.
I think your forum debate skills are head and shoulders above the fray.
I'd feel lucky if I was arguing along those parameters.
Correct use of Correlation and Causation go out the window;
Really what I see is tired juvenile phrases like;
EPIC FAIL


Which I'm sure to receive for posting this.
edit on 3-10-2012 by sealing because: edit



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 02:24 PM
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And to think, in all this time I thought the internet blowhard's favorite phrase was either "Been there, done that" or "pics or it didn't happen", or even maybe "Search is your friend". I always thought the ones who use "Correlation does not imply causation" were the "internet blowhards who want to sound like Phage but aren't smart enough so they use cliches".



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 03:21 PM
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Regardless of how aggravating the phrase might be, it's still true. Correlation does not imply causality, and that understanding is crucial in arguing a point.

For example, yesterday it rained and I got a bad migraine. It would be easy for me to believe the rain caused my headache....or even that it had a minor influence on it. But the fact is, I stupidly walked head first into a car door and that was the cause of the headache. The two evens weren't even linked.

I guess what I'm trying to say is don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Yes, I know, another cliche.....



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 06:10 PM
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reply to post by Sergeant Stiletto
 


"The Internet Blowhard’s Favorite Phrase..."

I thought it was ...... " WAKE UP SHEEPLE !!!!!!! " block capitals and multiple exclamation marks are a must !!!!!!!

_______________

Imho, automatically assuming a causal relationship is much more common on threads- rather that excessive cautions from "blowhards" about correlations.





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