Monday, November 26, 2007

"Neo Conservative" and the Arnold Rimmer defense.

In one of the early episodes of the British comedy series "Red Dwarf," the dead but hologrammatical Arnold Rimmer asks Holly (the ship's computer) to read some of the crew's confidential files to him, finally asking to have his own read back to him, during which Holly narrates the captain's observation that Rimmer "constantly fails the engineering exam."

"Constantly fails the engineering exam??", explodes Rimmer in annoyance, "I'd hardly call eleven times 'constantly failing'. I mean, if someone ate roast beef eleven times in their life, you'd hardly say that that person 'constantly ate' roast beef, would you?"

You can see the logical absurdity here -- whether something happening eleven times should be considered unusual depends, of course, on the event, which leads us to Blogging Tory "Neo Conservative", and his head-shakingly bizarre dismissal of the number of Taser-related deaths in Canada over the years:

There have been 16 taser related deaths in Canada over the last four years.

That works out to 4 instances per year... which, my paranoid friends, is statistically insignificant.

Quite right, Arnold ... I mean, Neo. Are members of Canada's law enforcement community regularly murdering people with Tasers? Oh, pish -- if someone eats roast beef four times a year, you'd hardly say that they're regular consumers of roast beef, now, would you?

Neo Conservative -- the Arnold Rimmer of the Canadian blogosphere.

P.S. For those of you who don't appreciate Neo's utter and overwhelming Rimmerness, well, here's a clip from the series, during which the crew of the Dwarf answer a distress call from a crashed Earth ship, on which the resident android assures them there are three remaining female officers, and Rimmer pleads with Lister to build him up at the impending meeting, and call him "Ace" and "Big Man" and go on and on about how Rimmer's had just tons of girlfriends and is incredibly brave, in order to impress the chicks.



thwap said...

Was it on this site that an actual statistician protested the misuse of the term "statistically insignificant"?

You know how far Neo's sort of insanity goes don't you? Norman Pohoretz, in his execrable "Why We Were in Vietnam" dismissed accusations of US genocide by saying that the population continued to increase during the war.

Essentially:"We didn't commit genocide! That's unfair. We just killed millions and millions of people."

By Neo's "logic" the Canadian government could select one Canadian at random, per year, and shoot them in the head. T'would be "statistically insignificant."

CC said...

It's not like you should have to explain the absurdity of Neo's position to anyone with a functioning brain stem. It's so idiotic, all you can do is gaze in shock and horror that someone would actually say something like that out loud.

Extending your analogy, one might suggest that, once a year, we Taser to death a Blogging Tory. After all, statistics predict that there will be over 72,000 deaths in 2007 due to cancer alone. So why give a crap about the occasional dead Blogging Tory due to Tasering? I mean, get over it.

And those 70+ dead Canadian soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan? Apparently, Neo is not all that interested. He said so.

M@ said...

It's so idiotic, all you can do is gaze in shock and horror that someone would actually say something like that out loud.

I prefer to back away slowly, avoiding eye contact. You don't want to mess with stupidity on that scale, man. Just get out without letting it affect you.

Scotian said...

Personally I think you are doing a disservice to Arnold Rimmer with this comparison, but I can see your point.

Robert said...

Someone only needs to be killed once to make that a very significant statistic as far as they are concerned.

Neo might understand that point better if it were explained to him by someone holding a taser, pointed in his direction.

Simon said...

Sadly, arguments put forth by dimwits like Neo distracts John Q. Public from the bigger issues, for instance the chilling effect that even an occasional abuse of police power can have on dissent and free speech.

Don't tase me, bro!