Belief Vs imagination, beliefs Vs wish, subjective Vs arbitrary: the role of the coherent (virtual) bet

The role of the bet, although virtual, in the sense of `as I would be called to bet', is crucial to make clear distinctions between different concepts that could otherwise be confused. To conclude this subsection, when somebody claims something on the basis of arguments that you do not clearly understand, follow Kant's suggestion and ask him/her to bet for money. And, if it is a claim in favor of new/extraordinary physics only based on a p-value, don't hesitate to cash, as nicely shown in the comic of figure 2[27], appeared immediately after the recent (in?-)famous result on superluminar neutrinos[28].
Figure: A comic from xkcd,[27] on superluminar neutrino, valid for any fancy claim.
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...s.eps,clip=,bb=316 0 666 209,width=0.59\linewidth}
(But, besides the humorous side, I invite my colleagues to reflect on the fact the general public is not by definition stupid and there is an increasing number of well educated tax payers who are starting to get tired of fake claims.)

Giulio D'Agostini 2012-01-02