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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Monday, January 12, 2015

Word of the Day!

PROCRUSTEAN Pro·crus·te·an, prəˈkrəstēən,prō-/ (especially of a framework or system) enforcing uniformity or conformity without regard to natural variation or individuality."a fixed Procrustean rule"

In Green Mythology Procrustes, a son of Poseidon would invite passersby to spend the night with him.  When they didn’t fit properly into the iron bed he provided he would cut off any excess body length to fit the bed, and no one fit properly since he had more than one bed.  Theseus killed him by forcing upon him the terror he imposed on others, and his vicious reign ended.  You gotta admit: Green mythology is really weird! 

 At any rate, a Procrustean solution is the undesirable practice of tailoring data to fit its container or some other preconceived structure.  In a Procrustean solution in statistics, instead of finding the best fit line to a scatter plot of data, one first chooses the line one wants, then selects only the data that fits it, disregarding data that does not, so to "prove" some idea. It is a form of rhetorical deception made to forward one set of interests at the expense of others. In this case, the defeat of the opponent justifies the deceptive means.”

 If one looks at modern science we find there a host of Procrustean solutions from the green movement, whether it’s pesticides, GMOs, or Anthropogenic Climate Change – actually especially if it involves Anthropogenic Climate Change.  As a result scientific integrity is now an oxymoron. 

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