Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fan Death Rides Again!

Fan Death Threat!
Blithely unaware of the looming danger...
(Image from Yonhap News)

Robert Koehler, founding rodent of the Marmot's Hole, has posted an entry on fan death that betrays his obvious disbelief in the truth of fan death despite his ostensibly journalistic commitment to noncommitment:
Fan Death -- Urban Myth?
Yonhap News ran a surprisingly long piece on the "debate" surrounding "fan death."

It seems most Korean doctors find "fan death" to be groundless, but Yonhap did find two med school professors who said fans could kill.
Unfortunately, the Yonhap article is in Korean, which I am incapable of deciphering, but since I -- and not those 'Korean' doctors -- am the local expat expert on fan death, I felt compelled by honor to speak out against this shoddy excuse for journalism:
I haven't read the article, but I am sure that it is wrong. Readers who value their lives should come to my website, do a search for my entries on fan death, and read my various defenses of the fan-death facts.

Don't listen to the experts. Listen to me. Fans can kill you.
Later, I posted a direct link to a complete index of my various writings on fan death:
To save all those who wish to circumvent termination by the whirling blades of death, I'm offering this public service: an index to all my blog entries on fan death!
Unfortunately, there are always the scoffers, the doubters, the sceptics -- and none such are worse than the wolves in sheep's clothing (do sheep wear clothes?). I mean those who, under pretense of arguing for the solid proof of fan death, actually intend to debunk the belief through despicable parody, such as in this comment by Mizar5:
I would warn you, dear reader, that any man with the curmudgeonly moniker H. J. Hodges cannot be trusted. He parodies an issue of utmost significance when any number of logical constructs can be used to justify the beleif in fan death.

For instance, negative proof may be used to assert that a proposition that has not been proven false is therefore true.

Statistical proof can also be offered. For instance, there is the statistical proof of spurious correlation, in which correlation may be used to imply causation. In this case, the causal connection is produced through the operation of a third causal variable ie. "lurking variable") such as the wind vacuum mentioned above.

The "three men make a tiger" proof (三人成虎), or argumentum ad populum, can be invoked to show that the premise of fan death has been mentioned and repeated by many individuals, and must therefore be accepted as the truth.

Contextomy may be employed to effectively remove an event from its surrounding circumstances in such a way as to prove that deaths that would otherwise have been attributed to strokes, heart failure and numerous other causes by mere medical science are in fact attributable to fan death.

Need I go on? With proofs so abundant, there is no need to investigate any further.
Mizar5 is obviously unserious, for what individual would seriously defend fan death by calling it a "beleif"? Another skeptical commenter with the crazy moniker of KrZ added his own two centimes:
No wonder H. J. Hodges believes in fan death, he certainly seems to enjoy the Korean delicacy of SPAM.
Naturally, such attacks could not go unanswered, even at the risk of more groundless accusations about my throwing a 'spammer' in the works, so I wrote:
SPAM? Me? Nay, KrZ! I am simply doing my logical, empirical best to warn expats against the true dangers of fan death. Articles like the one offered by Yonhap make my job tougher, admittedly, but I simply struggle all the harder.

Perhaps, as rebuttal to Yonhap, I should write for the Korea Herald another Expat Living column devoted to this pressing issue.

Meanwhile, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, Mizar5, whose moniker announces fivefold misery! His is the obvious parody, whereas my posts are in dead earnest!

I admit, however, that some of Mizar5's arguments -- against his obvious intention to debunk -- can nevertheless be used to help prove the solid fact of fan death. I especially admire his inadvertently compelling use of contextomy for its pure, empirical way of isolating a fact:

Fan + Death = Fan Death

Okay, that's actually two facts and an equation, but it's really close to the actual event, and by multiplying instances, we can amass a very considerable amount of empirical data as support for the scientific truth of fan death.

In fact, I'll go do that now . . .
With this post, consider that promise now kept.

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At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is some of the most interesting FAN-tastic resoning from a self described "asocial, difficult, snarky, and struggling" college professor, one with a 'bulging forehead, deformed mouth with wrinkles, biggest issues, but also inspiring and full of humor,' according to a former student.
He seems to have some of the qualities of my sainted mother and his paternal grandmother Nora. When she was challenged, she had two answers: (1) The exception proves the rule, and (2) well, I know what I know.
How can one argue with such logic?
I have tried, to no avail, and will likely be in the cemetery {or cemetary, as JK says}, without ever winning one argument.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, no one can ever defeat me in argument, for I have a secret weapon . . . irrationality.

Works every time.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow I knew the intentional mis-spelling (actually it wasn't, wordplay, but I admit, it's elusive) would bring out the miscreants.


I've yet to gather and correlate all my research so my conclusions are not yet definitive but I will attempt to go with what the evidence seems to indicate.

In 2006 (the most recent year that there is complete statistics for) US death certificates with a finding of "Cause of death-undetermined" numbered in excess of 115,432. Interestingly the highest by-state numbers are in those with the greatest weather related disparities ie temperature, humidity, etc. Interviewing the two coroners I know personally, neither of them cared to speculate as to whether an electric fan might have been the cause in any undetermined cases they were familiar with. But I found it very interesting that neither would go so far as to proclaim, "You JK, are a crackpot."

Temperature disparities coupled with no outright proclamation as to my mental state would seem to indicate that fan death is real.

But wait, there is one more small piece of information that I gleaned in an offhand sort of way. I was speaking with a Utah State Police Sergeant who happened to mention he was investigating a "mysterious death." Without considering too much I asked him if there were, "any electric fans operating in close proximity?"

Turned out there was one in one room and one in the room where the body was found. The investigation is ongoing and the cause is still: undetermined. He did promise to get back in touch with me should the cause turn out to be "fan death."


PS. One must do a little wordplay in order to keep the doubters engaged.

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One can only conclude that irrationality and crackpot musings will trump doubters and miscreants every time.
Therefore, I will leave the field of battle, wounded but defiant, and as my mother always said, "I know what I know."

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thank you, JK, for the additional empirical evidence for fan death.

I find very intersting the manner of expression:

"'Cause of death-undetermined' numbered in excess of 115,432."

Note: "in excess." This rather open-ended number could range anywhere from 115,433 to several millions, so we really have no upper limit on just how many are dying of fan death, but I'm willing to wager that everyone in America is succumbing to this dire danger. A hundred years from now, nearly each of us will be dead!

All because of willful ignorance . . .

So, please, don't ignore the very real threat of fan death.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, if only all skeptics were so easy to vanquish.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been contemplating another "little story," either "Encounter With A Bear?" or "Fishing, A Lightning Strike...(What Is That Strange Smell?" but I first must consider; Am I ready for another session of ridicule, doubt and 'dissing?'
Jeanie is on a trip, I think, and as she is the only one who defends me, I will wait for her return. Hopefully she took a fan to combat this hot, humid weather.

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, I understand that Ben Franklin went fishing for a lightning strike and caught a big one. Are you actually an Uncle Ben?

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Cran,

Apparently you've not paid particular attention to her blogs. She did take a fan.

But Jeanie (being the scientific-minded sort) took one of the folding paper models.

Professor, I have noted in some of the certificat3s, "there are apparently contributing factors", these I would "guess" might have something to do with...

Cran, do you notice any problems with my "E's?" I am looking forward to your "Bear Kilt by an Electric Fan Weilded by Ozark Preacher" blog.

I know, I have trouble with "I before E, except after C."

Just wierd I guess. Kinda like that "Isamov guy" you mentioned earlier.


At 11:24 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, you also appear to suffer from lysdexia . . . I mean, dylsexia . . . dammit! Dyslexia! There, I finally nialed it down.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soon my story will appear in an email to Perfesser Jeffery. Both aforementioned stories involve fis{h}sing, therefore prompting dissing. Which will it be?
I am sure all will be waiting with 'baited' breath.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, Uncle Cran, you've certainly got me hooked.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Bohemian in Korea said...

"truth that comes from the gut, not books" (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," October 2005)

Couldn't resist.

At 9:24 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, BoHinK. I'm Stephen Colbert's biggest fan!

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


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