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Good Math by Mark C. Chu-Carroll

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12Mr. Spock Is Not Logical

I’m a big science fiction fan. In fact, my whole family is pretty much a gaggle of sci-fi geeks. When I was growing up, every Saturday at 6 p.m. was Star Trek time, when a local channel showed reruns of the original series. When Saturday came around, we always made sure we were home by 6, and we’d all gather in front of the TV to watch the show. It’s a really fond memory. But there’s one thing about Star Trek for which I’ll never forgive Gene Roddenberry or the show: the way that they abused the word “logic,” every time Mr. Spock said, “But that would not be logical.”

Mr. Spock’s pronouncements taught a huge number of people that “logical” means the same thing as either “reasonable” or “correct.” When you hear people ...

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