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Skeptoid: Epic Cognitive Dissonance

‘Headache’ by Flickr user ‘TheRogue’

Rebecca at Skepchick has written a critique of Brian Dunning’s latest work. I originally heard the thing through the podcast feed, and it’s not quite as awful in audio-only. I groaned at most of it, chuckled a couple times, and assumed the style and execution was meant as a . . . → Read More: Skeptoid: Epic Cognitive Dissonance

On paradox and burden

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Science started out fairly modestly; with a collection of mostly wrong ideas that seemed plausible at the time. It has accreted and evolved over time to offer compelling and staggeringly consistent explanations for most of the observed universe.

There are still puzzle pieces that don’t fit perfectly: . . . → Read More: On paradox and burden

Gmail is the new AOL

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My HP 110 Mini netbook’s battery pack suddenly failed (0% available, charging… forever). Finding an official HP brand replacement battery turned out to be nearly impossible, not to mention it would cost at least as much as the crappy netbook was worth. So, I got a replacement from . . . → Read More: Gmail is the new AOL

Our stories whisper

Listening to the always excellent Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe this week, I was delighted to hear an interview with the lovely, talented, Sara Mayhew (whose blog name I (not so?) cleverly reference here in meme form).

The blog has been in my skeptic list for some time, but I previously knew precious little . . . → Read More: Our stories whisper

Your intuitions are not Magic

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From Less Wrong:

we need to study the cognitive sciences, figure out the way our intuitions work and how we might correct for mistakes. Above all, we need to learn to always question the workings of our minds, for we need to understand that they are not magical.

. . . → Read More: Your intuitions are not Magic

What sort of mirror?

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While composing this post on No Agenda Forums, an interesting problem came up. How can I show someone their own biases? They are obvious to me, but (by definition) the other person’s entire system of thinking is arranged in such a way as to find their biases valid.

After coming to . . . → Read More: What sort of mirror?

You make and break your own religion

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Note: I addressed the following essay to the general population of the No Agenda Forums, a community that I cherish despite frequent frustration. It is peopled by many conspiracy theorists and champions of various “alternative” things, such as alternative explanations, alternative medicine, etc. In short, people I cannot really reach on . . . → Read More: You make and break your own religion

Emit poetry

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Science consensus

Bucked by genius, and morons.

The latter is common.

Prejudice isn’t a discussion

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I received an email forward today from an extended family member, and it upset me more than if it had been spam or malware. It was a mal-meme:

This is not sent for discussion. If you agree, forward it. If you don’t, delete it. I don’t want to know one way . . . → Read More: Prejudice isn’t a discussion

More debate fail

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I love everything about this Skeptoid post, in which Brian makes great points about the peril of debating when the truth is on your side. It’s counter-intuitive on first consideration, but as I’ve mused previously, debating has relatively little to do with truth and mostly pivots on charisma and debate tactics . . . → Read More: More debate fail