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Monte Carlo fallacy

Posted by LNEIL on October 16, 2004

In Reply to: Monte Carlo fallacy posted by Fred on October 15, 2004

: : : : Hi,

: : : : Thank you very much for all of your answers. I wonder if I can use "misconception","myth", or "fallacy" to describe the idea I tried to express? The idea is that 'something seems to speak for itself, but there's something tricky or shaky if you have a close examination. Like some principles or doctrines that seem authentic and true, when you have thought them over, there may be some loopholes." Thank you once again.

: : : : Leslie

: : : I found a website about misleading arguments used when presenting a point. I couldn't find the page in my favourites - but it is there in cyberspace somewhere. I remember a book called "straight and crooked thinking" on the same lines.

: : : I would suggest "fallacy" is the closest to what you describe, but I have heard the word "chimera" used for something that seems to be something and is not - an illusion or a mirage.

: : : I particularly like the expression "smoke and mirrors" to describe something misleading.

: : : L

: : How about "sophistry"?

: Knowing about the Monte Carlo fallacy is worthwhile. Don't think that because the ball dropped in a red slot (rather than a black slot) the last four times that it is more likely to fall in a black slot the next time!!!

I think "sophistry" is the best one. I wish
it had occurred to me. I think it is not used
much any more because people no longer use
sophisticated in the pejorative sense that it
was used originally.