0001 - Intro to Dysevidentia and 2020 Recap

More at https://dysevidentia.com but for now we will share what dysevidentia is while we figure out podcasting. Sqeaky has a rant where he describes a high functioning professional suffering from it. Then with Mako, they discuss their three source method for being a little less wrong and 5 topics of dysevidentia from 2020 about a prophet, veterans getting disrespect, a presidential pandemic, some line jumping liars, and some genetic engineering that wasn't.

In his rant Sqeaky shares a first-hand story about a co-worker suffering from dysevidentia.

Then Sqeaky and Mako discuss the three source method, a simple way to get fooled a little less often when learning new stuff. The the recap five topics from 2020 that get too much discussion today:
  • A faith-healer, pastor, and prophet who closes their door to covid permanently;
  • How trump doesn't respect veterans no matter what the memes say;
  • What trump actually could have about the pandemic;
  • Why people who called it a "hoax" are now getting a vaccine for it;
  • And why covid wasn't man-made.
Here is the full text of the rant and the sources we used in our discussion:

Rant - This is Dysevidentia (1:30)

I coined the word dysevidentia during a discussion with some people on Reddit. These people had good intentions. They meant to give evidence to trump supporters or religious people in hopes that this would change their mind, as if there is some piece of evidence you can give to someone who is still a trump supporter in 2021 that will spark change.
 
These well intentioned redditors are familiar with using evidence in their day to day lives, and they take this ability for granted. Perhaps they are doctors, or lawyers, or software developers or some other category of experts and they need to make new and complex inferences and presume everyone else does also. They ignore millions of people out there who don’t need to and they ignore the millions of people who are in similar professions yet simply don’t.
 
I have been a software developer for something like twenty years, and in one of my early software development jobs I worked with someone who simultaneously believed that the earth was flat and that the earth was hollow. I hope that I can rely on my audience to understand that either of ideas is ludicrous when compared against any evidence. But that isn’t the point here. We have all met someone who has denied something that was real, perhaps even done it ourselves. But it is rare to accept two such mutually contradictory things, real or false.
 
It didn’t matter to him that a flat earth didn’t have a center, `cuz the merfolk armies or the mudmen armies, or whatever armies he believed in were poised to somehow strike out from the US military bases and the mid-ocean rifts to take over the surface and kill everyone. See, by being positioned in the center of the flat earth’s sphere they could rapidly access every strategic point on the surface. And this didn’t conflict or contradict with the notion that the one world government or new world order was propagating round globe misinformation to keep the flatness secret, presumably for their own sinister reasons.
 
This person had a master's degree. This person was a software developer for 20 years when I was only a few years in. This person was highly competent, earned a professional wage, was able to manage databases, troubleshoot software, and handle novel complex tasks. Yet somehow this person couldn’t handle some basic contradiction in logic using evidence. This person honestly believed that the one world government and that the mermen or subterranean armies were going to come out of the nearby military base to attack and kill everyone nearby.
 
Despite this he continued to do things like buying property and living near the military base. I mean extra property, like rental property with the goal of producing a secondary income. He had no reasoning reconciling these beliefs with these actions.
 
It is easy to think that maybe I just had passing conversations with this individual, but we carpooled together to go to work the next city over. Me and him carpooled to go to work every day for an hour in each direction. Two hours per day we spoke for the duration of my time at this job. I got to understand his ideas inside and out and they simply didn’t fit with each other.
 
This wasn’t a simple matter of the flat and hollow earth being donut shaped or bubble shaped or something similar.No. The earth was flat and a disk, and the earth was spherical and hollow. He believed both of these and it didn’t matter this simply couldn’t happen. This is Dysevidentia, an inability to reliably process and integrate evidence.
 
Other than holding mutually contradictory and therefore impossible views this person was intelligent, capable, and professional. People like this are why I have repeatedly compared dysevidentia to dyslexia or dyscalculia. These other issues are comparatively well understood, diagnosed by doctors, and don’t always prevent someone from leading a fulfilling life or having a successful career.
 
Someone suffering from one of these three issues doesn’t make them stupid. It doesn’t stop them from being stupid either, I suspect such people are stupid about as often as anyone else. I have worked closely with people who have dyslexia and when empowered with the right tools and environment their intelligence shows in their work. Perhaps we can do something to empower people with dysevidentia or somehow shelter them from people who would abuse and mislead them like cult leaders or traitorous ex-presidents.
 
Discussion - 2020 Recap

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