Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Communication Is an Intersection

“Communication Is a Two-Way Street” is a trite metaphor that, although useful at times, is an incomplete description of the reality of the process of communications. Yes, there are senders and receivers in communications. The senders can only control how they present messages. They can’t control how messages are received. Only receivers can control their reception.

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Knowing the Problem of Induction

Through these experiences, I found out how religious people “know” what they know. There could be no doubt, because the words came directly to me while I was experiencing the ecstasy. There was no induction needed, because through those experiences I had the Truth.

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The Cold War

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and other TV shows like it helped young Americans learn what and who to be be afraid of, and most importantly, what our enemies looked like.

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Ninety Degrees Screws Everything Up

This county road runs on a diagonal, northwest-southeast. Most of the time this doesn’t cause a perspective problem for me, except when I approach it from an east-west road…as I always do when coming from home. For some reason, my perspective overrides my rational understanding of directionality. It overrides my knowledge that the sun rises in a generally easterly direction and sets in a generally westerly direction depending on the time of year.

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Trust and Critical Thinking in Science Reporting: A Case Study

Over the weekend, I authored a guest post on a peer-reviewed publication. I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, but it was an opportunity to apply some of my thoughts regarding my upcoming session on Trust and Critical Thinking for ScienceOnline, which seeks ideas on how to report science in a way that teaches readers to interact with information skeptically.

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Readings in IQ and Intelligence

Apropos of the continuing tendency for white supremacists to show up crowing about IQ, here is some reading that may help people understand the history of IQ testing and its relationship to the complex phenomena that lumped under the term “intelligence.”

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Asking Clarifying Questions

I will tell you now that I am more interested in having a beer with a creationist than I am with someone who insists that he or she knows the “right approach” to build enthusiasm for evolution. I get to the point where I can’t stand to be around people who know this answer, but can’t see the irony in the idea that they have come to this conclusion on how to increase the acceptance of science without using science to find out.

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Burning Down the AGW Denialist Billboards

I don’t expect these dyed-in-the-wool cranks to change their minds, but it is appropriate that those of us who do have bits and pieces of the internet in our charge keep the dialog honest and progressive. The denialists are putting up offensive, inaccurate, one-liner billboards. We are burning the billboards down with science. It is worthwhile work, important work, and it can even be fun on occasion.

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Credulity, Skepticism and Cynicism

You’ve met them. “Oh, those scientists. They get their funding from the government/industry/political think tanks. They’re just producing the results needed to keep their money flowing. They’ll say anything it takes. Besides, it’s not like they don’t make mistakes. Even Newton and Einstein had it wrong.”

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Denialism and Customer Service

What I want to tell them is to take this opportunity to get into the nascent renewable energy fields. What I want to tell them is to shake their ideas that Al Gore invented global warming so that he cold be more powerful and better-liked by the country that gave him an electoral majority in 2000. What I want to tell them is that if painting contractors are not getting bids that can support them, it is time to learn how to apply materials that capture sunlight. What I want to tell them is that there is money to be made.

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