Onion: Elder offers terrible advice

June 21, 2012 | By | Reply More

The Onion “reports” on this grandfather’s terrible advice.

This resonated with me. How often do you hear someone claiming that, “Of course I know what I’m doing. I’ve been doing it for 45 years.” Really? You should be deemed proficient because you’ve been hacking away at it for a long time? It’s certainly true that a lot of people who are excellent at an activity have been doing it for a long time. This is not the same thing as claiming that one is excellent because they’ve been doing it for a long time.

This sort of claim violates basic rules of logic. Just because this is true: “If it rains on me, I’ll get wet”, it does not follow that “If I’m getting wet, it is raining on me.” You could be in the shower or at a swimming pool.

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Category: cognitive biases

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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