A serious question for Sam Stone on Factual Errors

This is a 100% serious question. I’m a scientist. This means I’m wrong a lot. Such is the nature of science. However, when I’m wrong I adjust my belief state accordingly. In other words, when I’m shown to be wrong, especially factually, I accept that I’m wrong, adjust and move on.

You make a lot of factual errors on this site. I’m not going to list them. If you don’t see them, then perhaps that answers my question. What goes through your mind when a factual error is pointed out to you? Do you adjust the facts in your head? If you keep getting facts from flawed sources, then does the thought ever come to you that you should get new sources of fact?

I am legitimately curious because I do not understand and as above I’m a scientist with an insatiable need to understand things. Help me out, please.

Would it be your Department Chair or some other entity that screens such questions through a filter of whether finding out the answer to a particular question is likely to yield results that justify the expenditure of available resources?

If you want me to respond, you are going to have to point out one of my factual errors. Be specific.

I do make them, just like everyone else, and unlike many here when I agree that I made an error I own up to it.

I am also likely the most fact-checked and nitpicked poster on this board. I once had someone from the board call our kid’s school administration to fact-check on me because they thought I was lying. I wasn’t, and the poster to their credit admitted it.

You’re a scientist. Sam_Stone just believes he is.

I feel obliged to intervene here in the interest of fairness. An objective, scientific approach to the question raised by the OP does require specific evidence, not just vague allegations.

I think it’s fair to say that Sam is quite far to the right politically, and therefore many of us will strongly disagree with his political posts. That’s not necessarily the same as being factually wrong, though sometimes it might be. If this is what the OP is referring to, some examples would be helpful.

Conversely, here is an example of where Sam made a mistake and readily admitted it, even though it turned out that by sheer coincidence he was partly correct.

I’ll just point out this post:

@Sam_Stone While I grant that the website and writer both seem serious, it’s hard to not get the immediate tingle up the back of the neck when a “serious” author is using “magical thinking” - a deliberately provocative term - as the title for what is purported to be a straightforward policy review. And then when he starts churning out numbers that’s suggesting that we’re 2 orders of magnitude off of being able to convert to renewable energy - while living in nations that are already at something like 20% renewable - it’s pretty hard to continue reading without feeling like this is a deliberately dishonest work. So much so that I have to say:

If you have to lie as a prerequisite of holding your beliefs - be they liberal, libertarian, conservative, republican, or otherwise - then you, fundamentally, do not have any real belief in your political positions.

I have no problem being a Republican and being honest, and posting honest data. If you find difficulty doing the same then you should really ask yourself what political position you’d really rather be holding, because it doesn’t seem to be the one that you’re professing.

If there’s some subconscious part of you, deep down, that has accepted what all the commies and socialists have been saying all this time but you just really really don’t want to admit those things to the conscious part of your mind - well…I’d say that you’re not doing yourself any favors with letting your mind guide you around like that. You’re not doing anything good for yourself or the world, helping to spread nonsense across the Internet.

If you’re uncomfortable with honest right-wing sources so much that you have to branch off into la-la land, then the problem isn’t political leaning, it’s your faith in your own beliefs. Come back to true faith or switch to the party that you really want to be - whatever the hell that is.

Start a thread anywhere but the pit and I will be happy to debate it. I will not engage in debate here.

That’s because this is the only forum where people can call you out on your bullshit without breaking the rules.

Of course you don’t want to engage in a discussion here. Much better to cower elsewhere and continue your spew.

Unfortunately for you, anyone and everyone can read the Pit.

If you can’t debate someone’s arguments without personally attacking that person, your arguments aren’t worth shit.

Typical conservative projection.

@Sam_Stone hasn’t come clean about how massively, colossally wrong he was about Trump’s ridiculous tweets about declassifying info. He hasn’t come clean about how massively, colossally wrong he was to take the Hunter Biden laptop stuff as anything other than right-wing tabloid nonsense. He hasn’t come clean about how massively, colossally wrong he was to take the Durham investigation as anything other than a right-wing sideshow. So why would anyone expect him to come clean about some new big factual error he made?

How do you debate the arguments of someone who is dishonest debater without falling afoul of the rules. Yes you can attack the argument not the person, but that leads to having to slap down a Gish Gallop of falsehoods and logical fallacies. At some point in order to adequately debate their arguments them you have to admit that all of the arguments have the same problem and its not anything particular to an individual argument it’s person making it.

Do you honestly still believe that? Wow.

You all launched a whole lot of vile attacks at me for posting about it, but I was right. The laptop was real, was not Russian disinformation, and contains a trove of very damaging information.

I don’t expect an apology.

From your link.

But the data had been so mishandled over the years that it was impossible to reach a general conclusion about its contents.

What “damaging information”? The existence of a laptop does not vindicate the Hunter Biden laptop bullshit. It’s tabloid nonsense. Not a single damaging fact has been revealed from this nonsense story. What has been confirmed is entirely mundane (i.e. Hunter had a laptop, he sometimes wrote emails, etc.), or was already known (i.e. Hunter had a drug problem). Nothing new that is damaging has been close to confirmed. Nothing more than rumor and innuendo.

Why are you still married to this utter bullshit? What’s in it for you? I don’t get it. Total nonsense. You’re smart enough that this should be obvious to you.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and (once again) put forth a bit of a defense of @Sam_Stone. AFAICT the only thing he is guilty of is holding what I would regard as far-right views (not “alt-right”, just radically and unapologetically conservative). He is otherwise a thoughtful and well-informed poster. I haven’t exactly been monitoring his posts so there’s stuff I may have missed, but while I disagree with many of his positions I haven’t seen anything to indicate he isn’t being sincere.

Sam’s position is that he brings the same reasoned arguments to political discussions and would prefer to conduct those discussions in a venue where he isn’t subjected to a pile-on of personal insults. But I see that he’s now offered some responses and kudos for that. We’ve had numerous informative discussions here in the Pit. Just because it’s the Pit doesn’t mean it’s just a cesspool of shit-flinging.

I read all three stories, and none of them support your contention that you were right about this story at any point.

I’m a quasi-libertarian, which means I am more receptive to libertarian views while not agreeing with all of it, I am not ‘far right’. I’m vaccinated, I wear a mask when appropriate, I believe in climate change as a serious problem, totally support gay rights and trans rights and for that matter the right of consenting adults to do whatever they want so long as they don’t coerce others. If you want to marry into a threesome, I don’t care, I support harm reduction over incarceration, and think drugs should be legal.

It’s a rather lonely place to be these days, because from my persoective the left and right have gone bonkers. When I post here, I get accused of being a crazy right-wing dupe. When I post on a site with primarily right wing people, I get accused of being a left-wing dupe who believes in the ‘myth’ of climate change and who thinks that Donald Trump needs to go away and never show his face in politics again.

I try to stick with the facts. However, I’m aware that I also have biases, so when I read something from the left or the right, I tend to go to the other side to read countervailing opinions, then make up my own mind. This always pisses off partisans. But I do the same thing when reading technical documents or 'look at this great new invention!" stories. Trying to find opposing viewpoints and take them seriously is the best way to find the closest thing to the truth. It’s getting harder.

I find personal attacks highly unpleasant and the enemy of rational debate, whether it’s directed at me, or when I lose my cool and do the same. The notion of ‘winning’ debate by abusing/shutting down one side with insults and unpleasantness, or declaring people to be so beyond the pale that their arguments aren’t worth addressing, to be antithetical to free expression and debate. Cancel culture and censorship are two of the worst developments in a free society. A free society cannot survive if information is kept from the actors within it.

The comments I made about Hunter’s laptop and the Durham report were both couched in a suitable amount of skepticism, and my questions about them were framed like, “IF this is true, what do,you think the implications are?” I was hoping to start debate, not a multi-page pitting for ‘gullibility’. Like it or not, both are real things with ongoing developments, and attacking people for even bringing them up is pathetic.

I think the Pit is terrible for this board, because it gives angry people or those without a rebuttal a mechanism for just lashing out at people asking sincere questions they don’t like, instead of engaging them calmly and fairly on the merits of what they are saying.

So far what I have seen is that the implications were bullshit. I mean, after what the right did with the bullshit flying about the “climate gate” emails, one should had learned a long time ago what many conservative sources were going to do: to make a lot of bull from personal and misrepresented emails from who they oppose.

Are you sure?