December 12, 2008

The Never Ending Story?

… On 2008.12.11, in criticism of my little missive SNOOPY SEZ...

Wai said...

The hypothesis of a bad switch is plausible only if one could discern where the fault in the switch lies. A bad switch is a bad switch no matter how many times the chain is pulled. Lucy lucked out when it was only the bulb that was bad. If the replacement bulb had not lit up when she pulled the chain, then she must go back to her first hypothesis that the switch might still be the culprit. Or try another bulb because the first replacement bulb might be back as well. But when all else fails, she might have tucked herself under her blanket and waited out the storm. Twelves years old...she wouldn't be home alone anyway.

Do I detect the odor of tiger?

When discussing much of anything with a group of peers, one must be moderate in ones attempts to make a point. When one dissects an idea to the bone, as much or more may be lost as gained. One must assume that one is average, and that some of one’s audience may be superior in subject knowledge, while others suffer from some ignorance. "Holier than thou" doesn't sell in Peoria.

One must also beware of assumptions (ass-u-me). Let us take your missive bit by bit to see if our baloney detector reacts:

"A bad switch is a bad switch…”


Perhaps true, but only further experiment will tell. Perhaps the switch is just misbehaving. Perhaps if we jerk its chain a few times we will, by abrasion and friction, burnish the contacts and convince the switch to fall back in line. With this hypothesis we arrive at the theory that a suspect switch may be repaired by the simple act of jerking a chain.


“… no matter how many times the chain is pulled”


This hypothesis is rendered invalid by the example above.


"If the replacement bulb had not lit up when she pulled the chain, then she must go back to her first hypothesis that the switch might still be the culprit. Or try another bulb because the first replacement bulb might be back as well"

As the story indicated, the bad switch hypothesis was only rendered invalid once the bad bulb hypothesis was validated. The bad bulb hypothesis remains valid until a known good bulb fails to work or some other cause of the lamp’s failure is determined. Your argument is logical fallacy… it goes without saying…


“Twelves years old...she wouldn't be home alone anyway ”

Here is where assumption rears its ugly head. You may have missed it, but I indicated in my tale that one of the possible reasons for the lamp’s failure might be “Charlie Brown had forgotten to pay the bill.” If Lucy were twelve, then CB would be twelve as well. We can hypothesize that a 12-year old probably wouldn’t be paying the bills. Furthermore, according to Charles Schultz, at age twelve CB and Lucy lived in different houses. My story is written with the intent to lead one to the hypothesis that CB and Lucy, at the time of the story, share domicile. From that hypothesis one could extrapolate that this story is staged at a time when CB and Lucy were of an age to share domicile, and possibly even a last name.

The age twelve hypothesis is rendered invalid.

…but you are free to jerk my chain some more if you wish...

14 Comments:

hilinda said...

Ah, someone who knows how to present an argument. Rare, indeed.

I think I like you.

Looking forward to seeing what else you have to say.

Wai said...

Okay, I mentioned Lucy as being a twelve-year-old because one of the commentors made that assumption and I followed along. That was my mistake.

A "bad" switch when jerked a few time to burnish the contacts through abrasion would allow the lamp to run for the time being. When after the lamp is turned off and the contacts re-oxidize, causing a faulty contact, it still remains that the switch is faulty and therefore, should be replaced.

If after replacing the bulb and the bulb still failed to turn on, one can only follow two courses of action: 1) try another bulb or, 2) jerk the chain and see if the light comes on. If "1" is found to be the correct action (because there is the possibility of getting a bad bulb from a brand new pack of bulbs) and the light comes on, then the switch is not at fault. But if "2" is true, then the switch is bad, and therefore, a bad switch is a bad switch no matter how many times it is jerked.

A crusty old phart... said...

Excellent rebuttal, but perhaps still a bit flawed.

“When after the lamp is turned off and the contacts re-oxidize, causing a faulty contact, it still remains that the switch is faulty and therefore, should be replaced.”

If the switch fails to function within acceptable parameters, the switch is “bad”. If the switch makes contact and the lamp illuminates, the switch is “not bad”. Therefore, in my example, if the chain were jerked a few times and the contacts were burnished, the switch would cease being “bad” and would become “not bad”. It is a temporal thing.

Your argument speculates about the future. The lamp could easily last until Lucy’s next garage sale and she can pawn it off on Pig Pen for a few bucks and buy a new, Chinese made lamp that is probably coated with lead paint.

Wai said...

"If the switch fails to function within acceptable parameters, the switch is “bad”. If the switch makes contact and the lamp illuminates, the switch is “not bad”."

If you have to jerk the chain multiple times to get it to work, that in essence is a bad switch. It's like saying a broken (analog) clock is still correct twice a day, but it's still a broken clock. But logic still dicates that it's still correct twice a day. Is the clock broken or not?

By definition, something in perfect working order works 100% of the time. For every pull of the chain, the light should turn on (if it was off), and should turn off (if it was on), each and every time. If it fails to meet that definition, then it is broken (faulty).

"Chinese made lamp that is probably coated with lead paint." LOL!! AND full of melamine!!

Mule Breath... said...

Semantics, and your clock analogy is faulty. The clock is “bad” because it is failing in its function to report the time. It is time that is functioning; not the clock. This argument is akin to saying a tire is mostly good because it is only flat on the bottom.

The switch is “not bad” in the temporal sense because it energizes the lamp. It is suspect, and I will differ to your argument that it is faulty, in that it may cease functioning in the future and become "bad". Still, this remains in the realm of speculation.

Wai said...

Okay, here's an analogy: if my gun fails to chamber a round when I rack the slide, do I jiggle the slide or try to force the slide forward to try to jam the bullet into the chamber? Or do I simply eject that round and try to chamber another round? If the second round fails to chamber, Do I now suspect just the ammo or both the ammo and the gun?. If on the 3rd try, the gun still refuses to chamber a round (given that the ammo is the correct for said gun), do I now suspect the gun over the ammo? Say the fourth round finally chambers, now we have a failure rate of 75%. One would conclude that the gun is faulty and should be replaced or repaired, no? The gun is analogous to the switch and the bullets to the bulbs. Would you then not conclude that the switch is faulty (bad)?

MiniKat said...

Apparently my well meaning attempted at immature jocularity opened a can of worms. Sorry about that.

My strange sense of humor and sleep deprived state had me picture a group of slumber party goers and their whole reaction to lights going out. I did not assume anything, it was a mental picture.

Little girls en masse get rather silly. I was one once upon a time. None of us had figured out logic by then. Good thing most of us grew into it. One of these days I'll figure out if I did or not.

Mule Breath... said...

Ms. Kat, Please do not cease your immature jocularity. I live for worms.

Mr. (I assume) Wai, your analogy is again flawed. You would of course attempt to clear the first cartridge, but if a 2nd round jammed you woud get rid of that damn Beretta and buy a Sig like you should have in the first place.

Rogue Medic said...

Wai,

When something does not work, we should take a step by step approach to figuring out what the problem is. If the switch did not work the first time, maybe it had not been pulled properly. If the switch is not functioning properly, it may need to have the contacts cleaned, which is not a reason to replace the switch.

The next most simple thing to assess, for many people, is the quality of light bulb. At this step she had solved the problem and did not need to progress to the fuse box/circuit breakers.

If that did not work (maybe much earlier for some), is there power elsewhere in the residence?

Is this a light plugged into an outlet that is controlled by a wall switch? Is there an open circuit somewhere in the house's electric line? Is there an open circuit somewhere in the lamp's electric line? And so forth.

This seems to be a valid approach to the problem and a valid analogy of a scientific approach.

What I find implausible, is that Lucy ended up with Chuck. What happened to Schroeder? What happened to the Little Red Haired Girl? And what about that stalker, Peppermint Patty?

I don't see this as a successful relationship, but a couple destined to appear on Springer.

Mule Breath... said...

It is the Law of Randomness in nature. One may not know beforehand if an outcome is pre-deterministic or random.

When observing random phenomenon it is always possible to suggest an underlying principle or law, but would we be correct?

The randomness in this particular case is pseudo-randomness caused by a chaotic system, with slightly different starting parameters and a whole range of seemingly random outcomes.

Furthermore, there are always some underlying randomness in regard to the starting points and the fact that these characters remained 12-years old for forty years has skewed the findings.

In this case, Schroeder turned out to be gay and Patti a lezzy. The LRHG had a thing for younger men and ran off with Linus while CB was trying to retrieve a kite from a tree. Lucy, being a pragmatist and seeing her choice was either Pig Pen or CB, took the path of least resistance. Pig Pen got a job as an accountant for Enron and is now serving 7 to 12 in minimum security at Segoville.

Ever see those Classmates banner ads? "He married her? And they had 7 kids?" Good grief!

Wai said...

Mule Breath,

Yes, I am a "Mr."

I don't own any Berettas as they are crap. I do have a Sig and two Kimbers.

Rogue Medic,

In the original post, Lucy went to get a replacement bulb and it worked when she replaced it. Ergo, there was electricity to the lamp. We were debating whether or not the light switch was working properly the first time she pulled the cord to turn on the light, before she proceeded to get a new bulb after the lamp failed to turn on, hence this entire debate. I simply posited that the switch may have been faulty, which it was not. So we ran with that.

I still fail to see the logic that if you have to jerk the chain several times in order for the switch to make contact, how then is the switch not faulty?

Anyway...

Peppermint Patty isn't the stalker; Marcy is. She is secretly in love with Chuck, whereas PP practically throws herself at him.

Rogue Medic said...

Wai,

I have owned several lights of this type. Some required multiple pulls to get them to work. So, I view this as a design problem and that is normal to check this first. I am not the one who purchased them and I see no appeal in the design.

If after replacing the bulb and the bulb still failed to turn on, one can only follow two courses of action: 1) try another bulb or, 2) jerk the chain and see if the light comes on.

My post was explaining that I disagree that those would be the only 2 options. Lucy would stop where she did, because she was successful. Stopping when successful is why people seem to find their keys in the last place they look. A frustration that I do not understand. Of course they stop looking once they find their keys, but this seems to mystify some.

If she had not been successful, then the other options are still possible.

I had forgotten about Marcy. Got to watch out for those quiet one - especially in the movie of the week or a slasher flick.

Farmgirl said...

....... Wow. I feel like I just fell head first into a barrel full of hypotheses. And half-drowned.

This is highly entertaining. Ya'll just don't mind me and my countryfied comments once in a while... I'll be stickin around to watch.

jeg43 said...

Charlie Brown is an idiot. Lucy is a bitch. Pig Pen is innocent - he got sent up because of his grooming habits - and I don't care about the rest of them.