You do realize that what you’re saying is classic hindsight bias, right? Saying that “Weird happens when you go a certain speed” is just as crazy as saying “Weird stuff happens when you’re a certain color”. There’s no real difference in strangeness between the statements.
Read my post again. It’s not a matter of speed vs colour, it’s a matter of “there is a maximum possible value of [quantity], much greater than almost all values of [quantity] you experience in everyday life, and weirder and weirder things happen the closer you get to it” vs “there is one particular value of [quantity], well within the range of values of [quantity] you experience in everyday life, at which weird things happens, though nothing weird happens at even very slightly smaller or larger values of [quantity]”.
Anyway, I think the post would be more effective at getting the point across if the true statements were clearly weirder (even factoring in hindsight bias) than the false ones, whereas here the intention appears to be making them approximately equally as weird.
Yes, if given a choice to believe one or the other, we’d all probably choose the speed one. But the person in 1901 is not being given the color option as a counterpoint, they’re just being told “if you go really, really fast, reality turns into an Escher painting.” I don’t know about you, but had I been born in 1901, I’m pretty sure I’d sooner believe in Scientology.
(Of course, someone in 1901 would answer “Who the hell is Escher?” :-))
ETA: And “What the hell is Scientology?”, too. Jokes aside, I would probably agree if I was a randomly chosen person in 1901, but I’m not sure I would if I was a randomly chosen physics graduate student in 1901. I mean, If there’s a reason why only four years later the Annalen der Physik published an article proposing special relativity but none proposing Scientology. (I’d probably still consider quantum mechanics less plausible than Scientology, though.)
That seems reasonable. For comparison, consider the following statement, which is the Color equivalent of the first type of statement:
If you get light that’s too blue, first it becomes invisible, then it becomes mildly harmful to humans, more harmful the bluer it gets and if it gets really, really, really blue it can pass through solid objects. In the future,doctors will use devices that emit small amounts of this very blue light to look at bones under the skin, and the most destructive weapon ever created by humanity will be a device that emits enormous amounts of incredibly blue light.
...OK, that started out as saying “that’s how light actually works [i.e. extreme ranges do weird things], so it makes sense”, and turned into me talking about how the way light works is also super weird. Oh well.
It is literally true that a computer is a machine and that it adds, but “adding machine” brings to mind a host of specific attributes that are not true for computers. “Floating black spheres” doesn’t similarly imply other attributes.
Also, “adding machine” is a noncentral description of computers because it omits important attributes that computers have. If that was likewise true for floating black spheres, then the example isn’t crazy at all—for instance, perhaps the spheres are nanobot swarms that can do almost anything, and being able to lower a male prostitute on a bungee cord is just a specific example of “anything”, and whoever described the spheres to me is being dishonest (although literally accurate) by failing to tell me that.
I think the idea is that “adding machine” is supposed to be the closest equivalent that a person from 1901 can understand, and that excuses the noncentral, misleading, description. It really isn’t, so it doesn’t.
Also, X-rays aren’t more blue than regular light. We often say that, but it’s shorthand for “x-rays have more of one particular trait that blue light has” and we normally say it to people to whom we can explain exactly which trait we are talking about and thus avoid misleading them. We wouldn’t say that the planet Venus is “very, very, Arizona” just because it’s hot, and especially not to someone who is likely to conclude that you mean it has even more cacti in it than Arizona.