Saturday, May 14, 2011

Discussion Question Number Three: Part Ten

Concepts in Need of Further Discussion (Generalizations)

Seeing as generalizations have yet to be discussed, I will talk about generalizations (I think all the other previous concepts have had pretty well thought out and talked about). In chapter fourteen, from the Epstein book, there are pre-distinguished premises that are needed for a good generalization to occur. There must always be a big enough sample size, a sample size that is studied well, and a sample size that is representative. (289) However, according to the text, even if the three requirements for a good generalization are satisfied, the result of the generalization can still be a weak and/or bad argument.

The idea of generalizing, without being some sort of professional with scientific reasoning, can lead to bad things, as well as, evidently a bad argument. It is, as shown in some examples in the text, to say because a person has met a certain amount of people from a specific subgroup, leads to the idea that there is some quality or trait that is consistently showing and that, in their perspective, is shown in everyone in that subgroup, which is unlikely especially considering what exactly it is that person is proposing that is shown in that subgroup.

This chapter also covers terms such representative sample (if a sample is unbiased, and represents all subgroups of the entire population equally as all the other subgroups are represented) and random sampling (only correct and valid if the choices that were chosen at random had an equal chance of not getting picked from the rest of the members of the population that could have been chosen instead, and vice versa). (284)

Discussion Question Number One: Part Ten

What I've Learned

There's a lot that I've learned, definitely. I learned that you really have to listen to an argument being told, and really evaluate and analyze whether or not their statements and/or claims are worthy arguments. I learned there are many ways you can distinguish an argument as. There are terms such as "strawman" (refuting a person's claim by putting words in their mouth) and "mistaking the person for the claim" (unjustly assuming that anything relating to that person and the claims they present, because it happens to be them saying them, is false), which I learned about in the different concepts laid out in the Epstein book. I also learned about vague and ambiguous claims, and how it can lead to a weaker and less valid argument, because the argument is vague/ambiguous, which can lead to confusion, as it can say more than one thing without being clear to their audience.

I also learned about the concept of arguing backwards, as well as, cause and effect. The manner in which you decide to argue could be expressed by means of beginning from its result and moving backward, or vice versa. Sometimes, the result of arguing from effect to cause leads to a weak argument. In an instance, it was said that a man wore his jersey to a football game he attended. His team ended up winning, and because of that result/effect, he wore his jersey to every game. The cause to his clothing preference led to the result of the winning game, so to speak. Of course, there are many other concepts unmentioned that I've learned in this course.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Discussion Question Number Two: Part Ten

Group Decision Making: Favorite/Least Favorite Aspects

My favorite thing about the class was the convenience of being able to access everything through the website. This was my first online class, so I was unaware of how everything was going to feel like, and how well I'd be able to handle doing the work versus actually going to class. I enjoyed that everything was planned out ahead of time, and how essentially the professor was so well-organized and polite about everything.

I really enjoyed blogging about the posts and doing comments much more than I originally thought I would. Everything that was expected of us to do was fair; it wasn't asking too much. My least favorite thing about the class was the isolation, because it is an online class, and the fact that we all didn't really get to interact with each other as we would if it were a lecture/seminar. It was difficult at times to maintain motivation in getting started on discussion posts sometimes because it was such a convenience to simply open up the laptop and head to webpage. I don't think there's anything that needs improving in the class.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Discussion Question Number Three: Part Nine

(Chapter Fifteen)

Cause and Effect in Populations

Chapter fifteen teaches the concept of cause and effect in populations. It illustrates three major points and experiments available to further distribute any response or result about a certain population and its differences. The textbook refers to these three experiments as: a controlled experiment (cause-to-effect), an uncontrolled experiment (cause-to-effect), and another uncontrolled experiment (effect-to-cause).

Epstein includes a main example dealing with smokers and non-smokers, as well as the probability of getting lung cancer, and how much influences and differences are in these two aspects or lifestyles that will ultimately see if it contributes or lessens the probability of receiving lung cancer. The example is illustrated through all three points of experiment. The controlled experiment, seen as most inhumane, would have a large sample size gathered by those who are giving the experiment. One group would stay away from cigarettes, the other would smoke twenty-five of them a day. They would then check back on the sample size twenty years later and see its effects on the participants, and so on, with the other experiments with small variants to the experiment (first uncontrolled gathers decided smokers and non smokers, and checks back at the same time; second uncontrolled takes the result and traces back to its cause of a smoker receiving lung cancer).

The idea of sweeping generalizations is made with the idea that it should become more trustworthy of certified scientists who make and devise experiments to conclude whether or not a cause of something truly is that particular thing. I found all of this really interesting.

Discussion Question Number Two: Part Nine

Mission Critical Website

The Mission Critical website honestly did not make me want to go any further about learning about anything with the numerous links it provided within the webpage. I felt the usefulness was definitely there, as it provided loads of information and directories that lead you into knowledge. However, the overwhelming amount of information can really put back a person into finding a more simpler, more organized webpage that still had the ability to retain most of the information, but in a less intense manner.

There is no doubt that I learned quite a bit. All the examples provided in almost every section, just as the Causation website provided, helped tremendously in allowing for the understanding of many concepts sink in. I'd always forget what "Straw Man", and I could certainly come back later to this website to see and jog my memory from this concept that seems to have become somewhat blurry. I realized that Mission Critical provided ideas from learning with an introduction to statements, claims, (basics in learning about arguments) to detailed concepts and diagrams to go with the information presented, as well as, information and exercises to Causal arguments. I really thought it was useful that they provided the exercises that allows you to pick answers, which in then explained if it is a good answer to pick and why or why not, which was excellent to see. It is a very good webpage in allowing the reader to fully envelop themselves in the world of argument. And by simply putting aside the overwhelming feeling from all the links, you can learn indefinitely.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Discussion Question Number One: Part Nine

Cause and Effect Website: Reading and Exercises

The usefulness in the Cause and Effect website holds most of its weight in providing precise and detailed examples to better help the reader in understanding the concept of causation, a way of using or a type of inductive reasoning. It states that the most important use for inductive reasoning comes from the act of arguing causation.

The website provides the example of continuous accidents from one event, or difference from a normal circumstance, and how a cause-and-effect conclusion comes from about it. There is a ripple as the bicycle, who does not immediately see the truck parked in a bike lane, a first car who does not immediately see the bicycle swerve off in avoidance of colliding with the truck, and the second car who does not immediately see the first car brake in avoidance of colliding with the bicycle. This example is very good, as it provides an easy image to recreate in a reader's mind, become much easier to follow along, with the help, as well, of the straightforward and easy word usage they provide. The author describes that this instance, and the trial that could possibly come from this trifecta of accidents, doesn't become a matter of causation until it becomes known that the observation and difference of the truck being there caused the accidents to occur, and the fact that there is a difference from what normally is present in traffic and what wasn't that particular day, which helps distinguish what and what couldn't pass by as causation. This entire example really broke down what was needed to be learned about the concept, and really opened with something that can be related by plenty of people with such a common event that happens in everyday life.

The website also allowed for the two important factors to remember when dealing with causation (reverse causation and the importance of proving it, making sure the effect is correct in comparing it with causation) and goes in some depth about what they have to do with causation and what could be the result if it differed in any manner, which again, help the reader receive a better understanding of the concept. It, overall, was a good website to look over, and helped that much better to clarify any question about the concept by reading it from the textbook alone. The exercises at the end were additional helpers, and were a quirky and convenient addition to the webpage to add usefulness as a whole. They were easy to read and answer, and provided useful and aware-inducing information to add to our current knowledge of the particular subject.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Discussion Question Number One: Part Eight

Various Real World Examples for Reasoning by Analogy

1) Reasoning by Analogy: I've used my cellphone here plenty of times in the Valley with no problems, so therefore, I can use it in the Bay Area, and expect and receive the exact same effect of no problems, too.

2) Sign Reasoning: If there is a sick person, there is a feeling of being unwell, in mood, for that person as well.

3) Casual Reasoning: My brother and I ate some sausages at a local restaurant for breakfast while my father did not because he does not like them, therefore I ate his so they would not go to waste. My brother and I get sick the next day and my father does not. The food at the restaurant got us sick.

4) Reasoning by Criteria: I wish to be respectful and kind to others, therefore, I will hold open that door for that gentleman.

5) Reasoning by Example: You should get one of those re-usable water bottles, it's better for the environment, and I have a friend who says it's bad to keep re-filling those plastic, disposable bottles with liquids, and worse in general to buy those to get a drink of water.

6) Inductive: Only lend amounts of money you wouldn't be bothered never getting back; you will be, mostly likely, not as frustrated with a person who has yet to pay you back.

7) Deductive: I always place my water bottle next to my bed so I can grab it every morning to get more. The water machine is in the DC, as it has been ever since I've been here at SJSU. My water bottle will be there tomorrow, and so will the machine so I can fill it with water.