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Inspector logic


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OK nobody wanted to take a stab at it but I found some information in my handbook on technical writing. It listed six errors. Some of them I think are more related to ethics.

Making a statement contrary to the common sense of the reader.

Making a generalization not supported by the facts to enlarge ones observations.

Any sentance with non-complementary clauses.

Making opinions sound as fact.

Reaching a conclusion based on an opinion.

Biasing or suppressing the facts.

Chris, Oregon

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  • 3 weeks later...
Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

Seeing WJ here today reminded me of a question I had concerning comments that he made over in the ASHI forums concerning the use of logic in our work. Is anybody familiar with what WJ was referring to? Or WJ if you read this would your expound? It sounded really interesting.

Chris, Oregon

Sorry for the belated reply. I just found this post today.

I remember the first day of college Logic 101. The prof gave this example of screwy logic: All serial killers eat eggs. Therefore, if you eat eggs, you're a serial killer. Right or wrong?

Over on the ASHI board, one often runs across just this kind of loopy thinking. It's often combined with folklore. And, I'm sad to say, faulty logic is a strong indication that the writer is unable to explain things clearly. That's a problem for HIs, who are in the explaining business.

Logic is all about the if/thens. If this, then that. I've read a whole lot of HI reports, and I've found that many working HIs just can't put together a logical argument or explanation.

Here's a pretty good explanation of Orwellian doublethink.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink

It reminds me of a recent discussion on the ASHI board, in which an HI is told by several experts that double-tapped breakers are a bad thing, but the doublethinking HI defends himself by saying that he made his judgment that double-taps in an old Bulldog panel are OK "based on functionality."

And then there's another discussion in which an HI "instructor" condemns the notion of HIs noting unsafe conditions.

Here's a link to examples of faulty logic. Does it sound like InspectorSpeak to you?

http://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/135/FaultyLogic.html

Be careful. It's a bungle out there...

WJ

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