Zeno's Paradox
While critical thinking may not make up for a lack of knowledge, it is essential for gaining knowledge.
Friday, December 14, 2007:  
Critical Thinking, Humor:
ED The Future (EDTF)

External delivery refers to a scientific research program as well as a community of older kids, teachers, and other adults who seek evidence of external sources of Christmas presents. The theory of external delivery holds that certain features of how Christmas presents are delivered each year are best explained by an external source, not an internal source such as your parents.
Yes, Virginia, there is evidence for External Delivery, and it's all tongue-in-cheek.

    -  Ron  10:58 AM

Tuesday, December 11, 2007:  
The Christmas Campaign

In recent years some media pundits and "culture warriors" have waged a vocal campaign against a so-called "War on Christmas." Targeting department stores, local governments and school systems for replacing Christmas with "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings," Bill O'Reilly and John Gibson of Fox News have led the charge against what they call a "secular progressive agenda" determined to drive religion out of the public square. William Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights warns of "cultural fascists" bent on destroying Christmas.

The real assault on Christmas, however, is an excessive consumer culture that has turned a holy season into a celebration of commercialism and materialism. By focusing our attention on shopping malls and the consumerism that accompanies Christmas, this misguided campaign further distracts us from the real message of the holiday.
Nice to see that some people not only aren't being fooled by the "War on Christmas" propaganda, but that they're trying to promote the real spirit of the holidays, one of giving and tolerance.

    -  Ron  11:11 AM

Sunday, December 03, 2006:  
Human Factors, Science:
"Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines"

This 2006 edition has 22 new guidelines as well as updates to existing guidelines and sources.

Nice to see that they're keeping this up to date.

    -  Ron  1:17 PM

Saturday, October 14, 2006:  

And Now For Something Completely Different:

Free Hugs

    -  Ron  6:12 PM

Monday, August 28, 2006:  

Not Soon Forgotten:

Hurricane Katrina

    -  Ron  7:58 PM

Sunday, August 06, 2006:  
Critical Thinking:
Gullible AP writer gets duped into promoting a useless gadget. Gullible news agencies help promote the scam: "Magnet gadget aims to boost wine's attraction" by Michelle Locke
"All that magnetic field is doing is separating you from your money," says Ball...
Luckily, there are others that aren't so gullible or desperate to get out such a poorly written story:
Wine Magnets and Other Scams About to Hit Our Shores
One Million Dollars Offered In Response To Our Wine Scam Article

And, again, Chris Mooney nicely addressed journalists' laziness when researching such articles as Locke's:
Blinded By Science: How ‘Balanced’ Coverage Lets the Scientific Fringe Hijack Reality

    -  Ron  7:50 PM

Thursday, July 06, 2006:  
Critical Thinking:
"Addressing the public about science and religion" by Murray Peshkin
Reasonable people need to know what science is about, especially what an established scientific theory is and how scientists know when it's right...

Science is based entirely on experiment. To illustrate what that means, I raise the possibility that the world was created three hours ago with all our memories and everything else in place, and I encourage discussion of that possibility. Science cannot refute it. That leads into the notion that a proposition is not a scientific theory at all unless it's falsifiable in principle...

I always discuss the words "It's only a theory" by saying that for practical purposes that's the same as saying "It's only science," and the price we can pay for such contempt for science is high.

    -  Ron  3:44 PM

Critical Thinking:
"A credulous man is a deceiver" - Sir Francis Bacon

In his June 9th newsletter, James Randi shares:
Johnny Carson, in one of his letters to me, September 8, 2002, referred to Larry King and Montel Williams, who were blandly accepting the ridiculous claims of John Edward and thus deceiving their audiences by giving him huge TV exposure. Johnny gave me an illustrative quotation from Bacon that described what King and Williams were doing: "A credulous man is a deceiver"
Randi continues with the Bacon quote in context and ends there. I'd hoped for more about Johnny Carson...

While I'm reminded of Chris Mooney's article, Blinded By Science, it's not a problem just with topics of a scientific nature. The problem is of lazy and unresponsible "journalism" that prefers reporting "both sides" to actual journalism. These journalists are a promoter's dream, whether the promoter is selling a product, person, or con. All it takes is getting the journalists' attention with a newsworthy topic, giving them a press release covering the point of view you wish to perpetuate, and at most the journalists will find a quote or two to "balance" the article. The journalists spread the deception. The credulous are deceivers...

    -  Ron  12:03 PM

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