False Mind Boggles

By | March 7, 2018

A friend of mine from many years ago came up with one of the most useful concepts I’ve ever heard of, and that is the “false mind boggle.”

The idea of a “false mind boggle” is not just that something is wrong or factually incorrect, but that the concept that is fallacious is then used to espouse or explain something in a mind-boggling way. So, first, not a false mind boggle: “The sun is made of cheese.” That’s just factually wrong.

However, a false mind boggle: “The sun is made of cheese and the sun’s special cheese rays infect milk on earth and that makes the milk turn into cheese!”

This idea of the false mind boggle idea originated from a teacher who was fond of these nuggets of “wisdom.” This teacher despised both of us because we’d call her out on these things during class and get into huge arguments with her (She was always wrong. It was kind of her hallmark).

Anyway, I was thinking about another level of false mind boggle today, and that is the “double false mind boggle.” I was pondering it as it relates to slime molds and how they “solve” some path optimization problems and mazes efficiently. However, this is (according to some) is a false mind boggle as water acting osmotically can do the same thing.

However, this is actually a double false mind boggle as life and evolution most often follows the path of least resistance to solve any problem, so of course slime mold would just use the tool(s) available to it. For instance, if there’s a loud noise, we jump! Never mind that 99.9%+ of the time in our world the loud noise is no danger.

You get the picture.

I am still thinking about and looking for more examples now of these double false mind boggles like this. There must be hundreds of them around, at least.

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