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Quotes / Straw Vulcan

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Logic could only take you so far, then you had to get out and walk.
Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent

I cannot — yet I must! How do you calculate that? At what point on the graph do 'must' and 'cannot' meet?
Ro-Man, Robot Monster

Logic, logic, logic. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not its end.

Bob: It was really more foolish than that. I used to ask myself — why doesn't she love me?
Mary: You asked yourself - that?
Bob: All the time.
Mary: (Throws bedclothes on sofa, exploding.) That's why I hate intellectuals! They're all so dumb!

Like all cyborgs I am unhampered by emotions unless required otherwise by lazy scriptwriters.

Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables one to be wrong with authority.
The Second Doctor, Doctor Who, "The Wheel in Space"

It's been said by others (typically those with an axe to grind) that the Technocracy in general, and Iteration X in particular, want to stomp out the impurity of human emotion and eradicate Mankind's ability to feel love, desire, fear, pain and glory, to replace it with a seamless, textureless shell of logic. That's bunk. Humans have emotions for a reason, as there are problems that can only be solved by the application of emotional understanding. Only an idiot would believe those understandings are not important. Contrary to popular belief, most of Iteration X are not idiots. Master Confucius was not an idiot. To experience subdued emotion, in Confucius' mind, was not to abandon emotion but to temper it with wisdom and logic.
Mage: The Ascension - Convention Book: Iteration X

Edgeworth: Thanks to you, I'm saddled with unnecessary... feelings.
Phoenix: Unnecessary feelings?
Edgeworth: Yes. Unease... and uncertainty.
Phoenix: Aren't those kind of necessary?
Edgeworth: They only serve to get in my way.

Real Life

Chaos and optionality, which to these days governed the historical and political ideas, have been replaced by a stunningly uniform and harmonious scientific theory.

Logic is like the sword — those who appeal to it, shall perish by it.
Samuel Butler

Logic is a poor guide compared with custom.

Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities.
Lord Dunsany

I've never been a fan of books. I don't trust them. They're all fact and no heart.
Stephen Colbert, parodying this trope

Consider Mr. Spock of Star Trek, a naive archetype of rationality. Spock's emotional state is always set to 'calm', even when wildly inappropriate. He often gives many significant digits for probabilities that are grossly uncalibrated. (E.g: "Captain, if you steer the Enterprise directly into that black hole, our probability of surviving is only 2.234%" Yet nine times out of ten the Enterprise is not destroyed. What kind of tragic fool gives four significant digits for a figure that is off by two orders of magnitude?) Yet this popular image is how many people conceive of the duty to be "rational"—small wonder that they do not embrace it wholeheartedly.
Eliezer Yudkowsky, Why Truth? And...

While the idea of having Tuvok betray Janeway makes for good drama, the plot doesn’t do enough to explain it. It is worth noting that Tuvok’s betrayal is a rather cynical portrayal of Vulcans, suggesting that Voyager buys into the same logic as Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Far from a rational ideal, Prime Factors seems to present logic as a philosophy easily corrupted – falling into the trap of suggesting that human 'feeling' is objectively the right way to view the universe. 'You can use logic to justify almost anything,' Janeway explains. 'That’s it’s power, and it’s flaw.' She stops short of suggesting that one must follow their gut.
Darren Mooney on Star Trek: Voyager, "Prime Factors"

Wow. I've never seen a Vulcan cave that fast. This might be the quickest mental takedown of a Vulcan by a lowly, emotional human in the history of the franchise. Usually, it takes a little while before the human character's insane, emotionally-based plan pays off, much to the Vulcan's chagrin...Seriously, this happens so much that, logically, the Vulcans should consider giving up on the whole logic-only thing. I mean, going by what we see on screen, it never, ever works.
The Agony Booth on Star Trek: Voyager, "The Fight"

It was whilst Tuvok was dismissing Paris’ suggestions of recreating Vulcan that I realised he was now by far the most boring character on this show. He rejects any attempt at humour, fails to acknowledge the beauty and wonder of space travel and has become little more than a humourless, one note joke that all of the characters have a kick at eventually. I pity poor Tim Russ who on the few occasions gets to do something different proves to be an excellent actor but considering that is once every three seasons you would never be able to tell if you took a glance at the series as a whole.
Joe Ford on Star Trek: Voyager, "The Disease"

Oh dear, I really don't think I'm going to like this T'Pol. I've found that Vulcans can run the gamut from mellow (Saavik, Voyager's sadly underused Vorik) to gruff (Tuvok, Sarek) to kind of sassy (Spock, Valeris), all under the guise of logic and restrained emotion. They're my favourite Trek species, actually. What can I say? A large part of me has to relate to the guy standing at the back of the room with his armed folded, rolling his eyes at everyone. I don't think I've ever met one I didn't like. Until now.
The Agony Booth on Star Trek: Enterprise, "Two Days and Two Nights"

The other claims in this song are not scientifically verifiable and are therefore worthless.

What has “reason” ever done for us, other than produce utilitarian arguments for the liquidation of human beings and the commodification of everything? Reason makes it possible to declare that the deaths of children are “worth” it, whatever the fuck “it” is supposed to be. Reason makes despair possible, the same way aspirations to immortality make death unbearably sad. Reason helps us get nowhere and never stop going there.


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