Noah Vickstein

Prescott, AZ, United States

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Noah Vickstein
Posted about 2 years ago
Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.
Please learn what "Reductio ad Hitlerum" means. It's one of the most misunderstood fallacies in online discussions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum Wiki: "Reductio ad Hitlerum is a form of association fallacy. The argument is that a policy leads to – or is the same as – one advocated or implemented by Adolf Hitler or the Third Reich and so "proves" that the original policy is undesirable." Let me reiterate. You suggested that there is a degree of isomorphism between what I wrote and Nazi rhetoric. Why? It's not made explicit. In what way am I saying anything comparable to Nazi ideology? You allude to some anti-Zionist propaganda. That's great! But it doesn't discredit my comment at all; in fact it's completely irrelevant other than as a minor historical coincidence -- talk about stretches! But you seem intent on demonstrating the inherent ideological dangers lurking underneath. Really! I agree, what I said was was a stretch, but here you are, suggesting brazenly that I am opposed to discussing Nazi ideology and may in fact be what you said you did not mean to imply. You're the one that brought up Nazis at all! Demonstrate their relevance please!! You say: "my conversation with you is over." Indeed. It should have been when, instead of pursuing a dialogue, you eagerly misinterpreted my meaning with your questionable analogy. Can you appreciate my position in this? From where I sit, you could have explained yourself much better. Good Luck!
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Noah Vickstein
Posted about 2 years ago
Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.
As far as I can understand, you're beef is with a straw man. 'Psi', from what I can tell, is shorthand for an area of research that offers significant challenges to the current theoretical paradigm on account of consistently reproduced anomalous results. I don't think the theories entertained are necessarily correct, but I do think that scientific rigor and inquiry are obligated to investigate anomalous findings, and that doing so can result in vast improvements to theoretical understanding. As I've said elsewhere, something like philosophical idealism can perhaps have an easier time than pure physicalism in explaining these phenomena.
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Noah Vickstein
Posted about 2 years ago
Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.
You suggest that there is a degree of isomorphism between what I wrote and Nazi rhetoric. That is a textbook case of reductio ad Hitlerum -- an egregious logical fallacy. You're obviously aware of the absurdity of reductio ad Hitlerum, as evidenced in this exchange: Hoopes: I happen to think that the world could benefit from superior pedagogy. I must be an idealist as well as an elitist. Grobbelaar: Didn't Hitler also think that? Hoopes: Yes, I suppose so. Does that make it bad, or do the details of the pedagogy matter as well? Yet that doesn't prevent you from pursuing it here. You write: "it may be useful for you to consider the role of actual Nazi sympathizers in the construction of antimodernism." Why would this be useful to me? I can see how saying so is useful for you in giving the impression that my comments are trivial. I assure you they are not, but you don't seem interested enough in philosophy of science to find out.
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Noah Vickstein
Posted about 2 years ago
Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.
"My characterization of "the public" as "stupid" is a vast oversimplification of what I actually think. However, I'm not writing an article for a peer-reviewed journal or a book-length exegesis." Nor are you giving a TED talk, evidently. I think Mr. Anderson has made it clear that TED is not interested in this discussion. Congrats, Mr. Hoopes. You've saved the day, yet again. EDIT: I would be very surprised indeed to learn that you're an idealist, especially after the effort you have put into defending materialism here. I jest, of course, but I hope you see the potential for confusion.
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Noah Vickstein
Posted about 2 years ago
Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.
I think you underestimate the reach of TED. How often do people link you to TED videos? For me, it happens quite regularly. For better or worse, TED has insinuated itself into the public conversation on legitimacy, much like Wikipedia has. People expect TED to abide by their slogans and mission statement. Very few are aware of the extent to which TED actively curates its brand. TED is in a unique position to influence what is considered intellectually legitimate, if not outright dictate it. The concern is that whatever doesn't make the grade will be further suppressed irrespective of its actual claims to legitimacy. Surely you can appreciate TED's great responsibility here. I know you disagree that any of these things are legitimate, and it may be you are right, but in case you are not (babies in bathwater), it would be better to let a guilty man go free than to execute one who is innocent.
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Noah Vickstein
Posted about 2 years ago
Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.
"It is as relevant today as ever, especially with the Internet." You could make the claim that the Internet has "still not been successful at putting pseudohistory to rest" as you do above, But you're in effect suggesting that, were the existence of an Internet able to dispel untruths and ignorance, it "ought" to have already done so. The implication is that, since it has not done so absolutely, then its existence significantly contributes to the level of misinformation, hence the "especially." The "is-ought" problem, succeeded by a black/white fallacy. In fact, I don't accept your premise. I think there is reason to think that the existence of the Internet has a moderating effect on the currency of ideas. That this process is gradual is not evidence against its actually occurring.
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Noah Vickstein
Posted about 2 years ago
Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.
John, what are you saying? Where have I mischaracterized materialism, or targeted Judaism, or controverted the golden rule, or "demonized" anything? I am really taken aback by your new offensive. Do you imply I am an advocate for forgetting the horrors of the past? As I mentioned elsewhere you betray a woeful lack of philosophical understanding. What reasons do you have for assuming I am mischaracterizing anything? What is your evidence that I am opening the door to human injustice? These aren't criticisms leveled at materialists, but logical corollaries of its philosophy. You probably don't believe that any other credible philosophy exists, which demonstrates the extent of your ignorance. I paraphrased Bernardo Kastrup because I find his rational articulation of idealism very compelling. What's that? Oh, it's the exact same philosophy of Hitler? Better stick to materialism then since nothing destructive ever came of that. Well John, thanks for irrationally invoking Godwin's law. If you're interested in researching Bernardo's revitalized idealism you can start here: http://www.etvita.com/2013/03/making-case-for-idealism-et-vita.html And by the way, I find your suggestion that I'm a Nazi sympathizer (Reductio ad Hitlerum) in poor taste.