Wednesday, December 17, 2008

faulty pattern recognition

this article made me think of yet another Bad Argument in the section of bad arguments1 from the Dilbert book The Joy of Work:

Example: His last six wives were murdered mysteriously. I hope to be wife number seven.'s just a hunch here, but it may not be a great decision for your personal safety to get engaged to a guy who is suspected in the murder of his third wife and the disappearance of his fourth. i understand the whole concept of legally innocent until proven guilty--and, yes, no one should have their freedom taken away on little more than a pattern. i'm not trying to say Drew Peterson should be convicted on what's out there.

however, when choosing who you are going to date, much less enter into a long-term relationship with, the standard of proof needs to be a lot lower. it's your life, and no one else has a constitutional right to be in it. if a person gives you a vague sense of the heebie-jeebies, that's enough to justify not dating them, and there's not a darn thing they can do about it to entitle them to dating you.

if a person has a pattern of wives dying or disappearing under suspicious circumstances, that should make them darn near undatable in anyone's book. this prospective Wife Number Five has only been dating him for four months--it's not like they've been together for years and he had the chance to entrap her in a long-term abusive relationship that was impossible to leave before his wives started dropping off the face of the earth. she had the chance to find out who he was, see the pattern on the covers of the newspapers, and run the other way.

in short, if Wife Number Five disappears, i'm not going to have a whole lot of sympathy for her.

1 yes, the very same list of bad arguments that led to RogueClown becoming one of my internet handles. :)

1 comment:

Bill Austin said...

Your site has won a Blog of the Day Award (BOTDA)

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Thank you,

Bill Austin