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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Nate Silver runs some numbers on government spending (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Nate Silver runs some numbers on government spending
Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Ah, so if you define the metrics by which "The US health care system" could be "the best in the world" to exclude any situation in which US medicine is, in fact, leading the way... then yes, your statement is correct. But there are plenty of things that could be measured, e.g. research, or expensive, experimental treatments, or similar.

Wow, lying?

Anyway, Rabbit says 'look at overall health, and don't just measure by narrowly defined conditions and then lump them together.' And you're critical (to the point of outright calling her a liar) for excluding the US from the outset.

Here's the original statement she made:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
The US health care system is the best in the world by exactly one, and only one, metric. -- It is by far the most profitable health care system in the world.

She doesn't say "look at overall health" or anything like that. Actually, she very specifically mentions metrics, and says that the only one the US is the best at is profit.

In context, she basically brought up the idea of measuring healthcare by various metrics. But she totally ignored plenty of potential metrics one could look at, e.g. highly expensive experimental treatments, an area in which the US still leads the world.

If she'd said "US healthcare is overall terrible, the biggest thing our healtchare system cares about is profit" then I might have rolled my eyes a little but I would not have responded so strongly.

To act as though she is considering all/most of the possible metrics, and then declare that profit is the only one the US leads at, is... maybe not a lie, true. But if it's not a lie, it's a massive overselling of her opinion, stated from severe ignorance. It doesn't stand up to even a cursory look at the actual state of affairs.

So yeah, I think it was a lie. Or a statement of intentional hyperbole made for rhetorical effect... which is sort of what I meant by "lie," yeah?


quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
But your response is to *also* exclude a way of looking at the problem yourself-that is, overall health. What, is she doing too much excluding to the point that she's lying or something?

I disagree. I'm not trying to exclude anything. I'm not arguing that we lead at overall health or whatever. That wasn't her initial claim; that wasn't the claim I was objecting to. Do you see what I mean?


quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Serious question: you feelin' alright, man? I ask because it seems to me (and this is subjective and I could very well be radically misreading things) that the last couple of weeks a good bit of shine has come off your amiable but firm disagreement paint job, if that makes any sense. Aside from disputing the term liar, I also posted because I was quite surprised you said it. Anyway, just asking and if I'm misreading then I'm wrong and apologize for it.

Aw, thanks for the concern! [Smile]

I'm fine. When I called it a lie... well, I knew it was a rude way to put it, but believe it or not I didn't intend for that to be taken as a grave insult or anything. People do use hyperbole for rhetorical effect a lot... and when it's suitably egregious, I don't think it's unreasonable to call such statements "lies." Do you disagree?

Also worth mentioning: In my experience Rabbit has a tendency to make broad, sweeping posts where she asserts that she's right and anyone who disagrees must be an idiot. Then she chooses not pursue much followup argument. I've found it frustrating in the past, and I may have inadvertently let that memory color how rude I was willing to be.

I still stand by my point, but I should have clearly stated that I considered the "lie" to be weak rhetorical hyperbole. Just calling it a lie and leaving it at that comes off as a petty comment instead of a substantive one, which makes my point easier to lose.

PS: Rakeesh, can you think of any other specific instances where I've seemed less amiable and more... whatever I may have seemed (Rude? I think I've always been a little rude, though... Cruel? I don't intend to be cruel, so that would be really important to note.) I'm curious, because if this is a trend, it's not intentional. Feel free to email me if you've got thoughts on this (danjfrank at gmail).

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
What metrics can you look at which make the US health care system look good? Every time I ask this question the answer is usually from a different but related system which isn't "the US health care system", as in, the quality of the medical service that people get in the United States. But something else which is apparently supposed to make up for the fact that our health care system sucks is just appended to it. Like here it is "research".

I'm not trying to "make up for" anything or make the US healthcare system look good. That wasn't what I was arguing.

I was objecting to Rabbit's specific characterization.

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The Rabbit
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You weren't objecting to my specific characterization. You called me a liar. The two are different.
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Dan_Frank
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Actually, I called your assertion a lie. So, yeah, I was pretty clearly objecting to it.
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Destineer
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I feel like the word "lie" should be banned from Hatrack. People don't know how to handle it, on either the giving or receiving end.

If I were to say "Literally nothing good came of the Iraq war," that wouldn't be a lie the way the word is normally used. (Who was I trying to deceive?) It would be hyperbole.

On the other hand, if someone said "You lie!" in response to a statement like that, I wouldn't get upset. I'd back off and acknowledge that yes, I left out a lot of real-life nuance in my rhetorical zeal.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
I feel like the word "lie" should be banned from Hatrack. People don't know how to handle it, on either the giving or receiving end.

If I were to say "Literally nothing good came of the Iraq war," that wouldn't be a lie the way the word is normally used. (Who was I trying to deceive?) It would be hyperbole.

On the other hand, if someone said "You lie!" in response to a statement like that, I wouldn't get upset. I'd back off and acknowledge that yes, I left out a lot of real-life nuance in my rhetorical zeal.

It's a tricky thing. I can envision lots of scenarios where you could be considered lying, though, if you posited a statement like that in a critical discussion of the Iraq war. Who are you trying to deceive? I don't know, other people in the discussion? The line between hyperbole and a lie is not large, in my view.

Also, the concept of lying to yourself is well-known in our society. So at minimum, I'd say such a statement about the Iraq war could reasonably be characterized as lying to yourself. [Razz]

On the other hand, yeah, it was certainly taken a lot harder than I expected. I'll try to stick to calling such things hyperbole, if only to spare similar outrages in the future.

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Blayne Bradley
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"No good came out of the Iraq War" sounds like a hyperbole because the term "no good" has a certain North American linguistic materialistic context; as long as we define good to be a philosophical concept as we understand "goodness" then the statement is absolutely true. No good came out of the Iraq War. Padding the pockets of Blackwater and toppling an authoritarian regime so that another authoritarian regime takes it place accomplished nothing.
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Dan_Frank
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Blayne... I disagree. I think I'll leave it at that, though.
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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Actually, I called your assertion a lie. So, yeah, I was pretty clearly objecting to it.

Actually, you called her a liar.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Actually, I called your assertion a lie. So, yeah, I was pretty clearly objecting to it.

Actually, you called her a liar.
I don't understand the purpose of this reply.

You can't mean this literally, because I literally didn't. So, you're telling me that your interpretation of what I said is consistent with hers.

Okay. You've given no reasoning behind your interpretation, so it's not going to persuade me, so was this just... to offer solidarity to Rabbit? To make sure I know you think I'm wrong but don't want to argue why? I don't get it.

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Parkour
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You said that what she said was a "fabrication". That she fabricated it. That it was a lie. When you call someone's statement a lie you are calling them a liar.

Basically the words you used were calling Rabbit a liar. Whether that was a mistake or not counts, but you are better off if you understand what your words meant.

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capaxinfiniti
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by capaxinfiniti:
quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
Growing up in a place with a modern gravity and sewage system is predicated upon personal behavior and choices?

No. Modern sewage systems are an example of a technological advancement. Using the system properly and effectively is an example of personal behavior.
Access to the same systems which provide sanitation is not equal.
Are we discussing the US? And are we talking about sanitation/hygiene being wiping effectively and washing your hands after or the various pros/cons of sewer system types?

quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
If I were to say "Literally nothing good came of the Iraq war," that wouldn't be a lie the way the word is normally used. (Who was I trying to deceive?) It would be hyperbole.

Then people should refrain from using such sever hyperbole. If one uses the phrase "literally nothing" then someone else shows that statement to be false, the phrase was used in ignorance, deception, or both. A good policy would be to avoid definitive terms.
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Destineer
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quote:
You said that what she said was a "fabrication". That she fabricated it. That it was a lie. When you call someone's statement a lie you are calling them a liar.
This is the kind of silly Hatrack histrionics I'm talking about. Saying someone lied isn't the same as calling them a liar, the way the word "liar" is ordinarily used. Telling one lie doesn't make you a "liar." Otherwise people wouldn't get insulted when you call them a liar. It would just be a matter of course that everyone is a liar. Everyone knows that everyone has lied at least once in their life.
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Dan_Frank
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Parkour, this line of discussion is really baffling. Let's recap, because I just can't wrap my head around it.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
The US health care system is the best in the world by exactly one, and only one, metric. -- It is by far the most profitable health care system in the world.

This is such a blatant fabrication that it sort of destroys your credibility.

You can make your points without lying. I promise. You really ought to do so.

So here she characterized the US health care system in a specific way. Right? And then I said that way was a lie. I didn't just say fabrication, either, I definitely said "lie," it's right there. Okay.

Then later on when I talk about it, Rabbit says...
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
You weren't objecting to my specific characterization. You called me a liar. The two are different.

But... I was objecting to that characterization. I called it a fabrication! That's a big objection.

So that's why I said...

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Actually, I called your assertion a lie. So, yeah, I was pretty clearly objecting to it.

This is true. I did, in fact, call her assertion a lie. And I was objecting to it.

Since I called it a lie, it's true that you could also say I called her a liar, in a sense. That's fair! Though usually I think calling someone a liar implies chronic lying, whereas saying "x is a lie" is more of a specific event assertion. But maybe that's my personal interpretation?

But either way, I definitely objected to her assertion. I may have also called her a liar, arguably, but when she specifically said I didn't object to her characterization, that was incorrect.

Also note: I said "actually" here because I was correcting this false statement.

Now here's where it really gets confusing. Because you come in here, Parkour.

quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Actually, I called your assertion a lie. So, yeah, I was pretty clearly objecting to it.

Actually, you called her a liar.
So, you mimic my style, with the "Actually," indicating you're correcting me. So I thought you were saying the quoted text was false, and I hadn't called her assertion a lie or objected to it, I had in fact only called her a liar.

That doesn't make any sense, though. It's factually inaccurate. So, I pointed that out.

And now we're back to here. And you respond with:
quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
You said that what she said was a "fabrication". That she fabricated it. That it was a lie. When you call someone's statement a lie you are calling them a liar.

Basically the words you used were calling Rabbit a liar. Whether that was a mistake or not counts, but you are better off if you understand what your words meant.

And I still don't understand the purpose of your message.

Is your point just that, when you say someone has lied, they could take that to mean that you called them a liar? Sure. I didn't deny that. But she asserted I called her a liar and did not specifically object to her statement. That's what I was correcting.

And that's what you argued with. Why? Here, let's look at it again:

quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Actually, I called your assertion a lie. So, yeah, I was pretty clearly objecting to it.

Actually, you called her a liar.
What were you trying to say here? Was your only point that saying someone lied is tantamount to calling them a liar? Then why act like you were correcting something I'd said in the quoted text?

Did you just write "Actually" because you thought it would be a clever bit of mimicry for rhetorical effect? Did you just not pay attention to what exactly I was saying in the post you quoted? Did you misunderstand me somehow? Was it just laziness?

I don't get it.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
You said that what she said was a "fabrication". That she fabricated it. That it was a lie. When you call someone's statement a lie you are calling them a liar.
This is the kind of silly Hatrack histrionics I'm talking about. Saying someone lied isn't the same as calling them a liar, the way the word "liar" is ordinarily used. Telling one lie doesn't make you a "liar." Otherwise people wouldn't get insulted when you call them a liar. It would just be a matter of course that everyone is a liar. Everyone knows that everyone has lied at least once in their life.
Right. Okay, so it's not just my interpretation of "liar." Good, didn't think so.
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Parkour
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Okay so just to be clear here I have two people here who are going to stick behind the statement "saying someone lied isn't the same as calling them a liar".
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Samprimary
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Okay what a fascinating conversation that is wonderfully silly even for this place but

quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
This is the kind of silly Hatrack histrionics I'm talking about. Saying someone lied isn't the same as calling them a liar, the way the word "liar" is ordinarily used. Telling one lie doesn't make you a "liar." Otherwise people wouldn't get insulted when you call them a liar. It would just be a matter of course that everyone is a liar. Everyone knows that everyone has lied at least once in their life.

uhhhhhh yeah dude if you you say that someone's lying you are calling them a liar. and no this doesn't hinge on "has a person ever told a lie" it's calling them a liar in the context of the current conversation, which is what happened to rabbit

and pretty much anyone who knows her as a poster would have known how much of an insult she was going to take it as???

i hope??????

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Destineer
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I also don't think she was lying, or that Dan should have said she was. I hope that was clear as well?????

The linguistic issue about 'liar' isn't one I've thought a lot about, but I think it's actually pretty interesting. My feeling is that you can't use the word to express "you're acting like a liar in the present context." The way we normally do that with other characteristics is by saying "You're being a dick," "You're being a smartass," etc. "You're being a liar," by contrast, doesn't sound right to my ear.

Seems to me that "liar" is a word that applies to people who are prone to telling a lot of lies, or who have told exceptionally bad lies.

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