Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Narrative Fallacy

CNN reports that oil surges nearly $3 as Thanksgiving weekend is expected to spur demand.

Is CNN suggesting that oil traders woke up this morning and said "Hey, look at this on the calendar--Thanksgiving! People might drive, and stuff, to, like, go places to eat Turkey. I totally didn't expect this major driving holiday to just pop up out of nowhere!"

This is a great example of the Narrative Fallacy--after the fact, it seems easy to explain why something happened. Before the fact it isn't quite so easy. I could have told you yesterday that people may drive places for Thanksgiving--I could have even told you when Thanksgiving would appear on the calendar--but I didn't have CNN's crystal ball to realize that this would be the reason oil is up today.

I wasn't around at the time, but I'm told that in 1938 people thought Neville Chamberlain was doing a fine job--it wasn't until 1945 that it was obvious to those same people that they knew all along that he had royally screwed up.

Peak Oil For Our Time!

7 comments:

Dark Daughta said...

Yeah,
I don't think many children are educated or socialized in ways that allow them to develop into adults capable of critiquing analytically. They learn simultaneously how to lie from the adults around them who tell denial based lies. Then they learn to obscure this fact by not examining anything too closely. Grown to adulthood, many take what is given to them in the form of the news at face value even when there's a little buzzing, something in the back of our minds, on the tip of our tongues that bids us "Heed, things are not as they seem."

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