I agree, yours is a more reasonable interpretation. I think I was interpreting "winds" as referring to "the winds of evidence," which is not reasonable in this context.

I do think your accusing me of "tribal affiliation signaling" was unnecessary and uncharitable: I don't consider Bush to have been a significantly worse a president than any other recent presidents. I just happened to have run into the quote awhile back, and in my misinterpretation thought it was a good anti-rationality quote.

Edit: I did some thinking to try to figure out how I could have missed the obviously correct interpretation of Bush's words. The first hypothesis (which Constant first put forth) was that I was signalling tribal loyalties -- boo Republicans, yay Democrats. That does not make much sense, however, because I pretty solidly dislike all major political parties and the entire politics theater of the U.S. Maybe I was attempting to signal loyalty to the "boo politicians" tribe, but I think there's a better explanation: a cached thought. Even though I do not currently belong to the anti-Republican tribe, I did belong to that tribe in my high school years (i.e. during Bush' presidency), and I was most likely operating on a "Bush is stupid/irrational" cached thought.


I do think your accusing me of "tribal affiliation signaling" was unnecessary and uncharitable:

I swear that it was not my intent to make any statement about your motivation, and I have evidence of my intent. In another comment in this discussion I wrote:

I offer the hypothesis that the function of the repetition of these quotes down the years has been to signal tribal affiliation.

Notice that I wrote "down the years" and "has been". I put in those words intentionally, to direct attention toward the repetition of the quote... (read more)

Arational quotes

by Dr_Manhattan 1 min read14th Apr 201153 comments


Jacobi, an eminent algebraist, was fond of saying: “Invert, always Invert

- Charlie Munger

So based on the above and the regular "rationality quotes" feature I figured why not try a thread for quotes that are not rational? Obviously we do not plain stupidity, but I think quotes that appeal on first listen would qualify. As a side benefit of analyzing specific errors this might serve as an inoculation from rhetoric.  

I am using "arational" rather than irrational to highlight this distinction.

PS. Please feel free to reply with meta comments on whether this is a valuable idea.