Errors of Addition

Let us examine the two most common types of thinking errors that occur within the human mind, as I have witnessed and experienced as a writer, critic, philosopher, and political commentator. These are errors not of argument (though they can cause poor argumentation), but in understanding. The first is the error of Addition, which is where one adds information to a set of data or facts. The second is the error of Ignorance¸ in which one ignores or down-plays information that is relevant to a subject or judgment. Of these two errors, ignorance is the one that has over the…

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Black Panther: Review and Analysis

Production Aesthetics – 9/10 Tribal African inspired sets and costumes are eclectic, but effective, and always visually interesting. This film is superior in aesthetic value to the majority of superhero flicks, presenting things that are rooted in the familiar, yet unfamiliar, as opposed to Thor, which is much more fantastical compared to the Norse aesthetics that supposedly inspired it.   Cinematography and Special Effects – 8/10 The special effects are generally very effective, but there are plenty of seams to be found within the impressive visuals, from odd-looking war rhinos to CG stuntmen that look more like dull plastic than…

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Should I Vote for a Third Party in 2016?

Should I vote 3rd party in 2016?   The following is not for those of you who are already deeply entrenched in standard party politics. I know there are groups of people who would vote for Hillary Clinton’s dead corpse swinging from the gallows for treason before they would vote for ANY republican, and I would be willing to bet there are plenty of Republicans who do the same for a Bush.   This is for those of you, like me, that feel or felt disenfranchised by the American political system with its hegemonic parties whose positions seem to be…

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There is No Such Thing as a Bleeding Heart Liberal

Love of the poor. Care for the infirm. An infinite metric of the empathy of one human to another. And yet, not.   The term “bleeding heart liberal” gets thrown around from time to time, as often as not from the “bleeding hearts” themselves, but it represents nothing of the position of the American left. The belief in government assistance programs, and their targeting of the “underprivileged” in America seems to imply an excess of empathy. That excess of empathy is derided by the right and worn as a badge of honor by the left. The reality, however, is that…

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Everyday Skeptic: Our Mission Orders Have Been Flawed

Convincing our fellows using reason and evidence is a bridge too far.   A few recent encounters out on the wide world of the internet, as well as social media, have enlightened me to a great failing in my personal perspective and my assumptions when dealing with others. That failing, that misjudgment, is in believing that other people value reason, demand evidence of claims, and have a desire to discover the truth. That failing was revealed through hateful and emotional reactions that people had to simple claims that went counter to their own stated position. The immediate reaction to reasonable…

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American Doublethink

Democracy is the best political system. I’m glad the courts threw out that voter initiative.   Discrimination is wrong. We need hiring and admissions quotas to correct past injustices.   I care about the poor. Let’s raise cigarette, sales, and gas taxes.   I believe in charity. We need to collect more tax money for assistance programs.   The war is evil, but I support our troops.   A volunteer army victimizes the poor. We should conscript the troops.   I would never assault someone just because they are doing something I don’t care for. I’ll call the police instead.…

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Sex and Society, part 1: Guard Your Eggs!

The Bright Children will return tomorrow. In the mean, enjoy the introduction to a weekly series exploring how sex has created society! What it takes for a male human to reproduce: A relatively fun few minutes.   What it takes for a female human to reproduce: A few minutes which might not be fun at all Six weeks to nine months of nausea An ever expanding midsection causing back pain, leg pain, and general discomfort Hours to days worth of painful labor culminating in the forceful expulsion of a tiny human from an extremely sensitive area. One to two years…

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Everyday Skeptic, Part 2: What is Truth?

Note: the video contains the same information as the article, but in a more conversational form. Now that we have established why it is important to be skeptical, and what sort of situations should prompt you to be extra careful, we can dive into the methods used to be skeptical. Being a skeptic doesn’t mean you disbelieve everything and everyone, it means that you demand proof of claims before you commit them to belief or take action. In future articles, we will delve into what constitutes good and bad sources of evidence, and how to tell if evidence is used properly. For now, let…

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Everyday Skeptic, Part 1: Why and When to be Skeptical

Please note: The video below contains the same information as the article, but in a more conversational form. Choose which format you prefer! I. Series Introduction: Information and Expertise Everyday life is filled with decisions. Many of these decisions are made without knowing what the outcome will be. We rely on many things to help us make these decisions, including our own experience, intuition, assumptions how other people will act, and, the subject of this article, information from other people. Everybody is an expert in something, but nobody, not even the super intelligent, can be an expert in everything. Each person…

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Judgment!

Judgment. It’s a pretty naughty word these days. Everywhere I look, I see a message that I should “stop judging people.” Usually the act of judging is made synonymous with puritanical motivations, fundamentalist religion, or bigotry. Here are just a few articles on the matter, all of which point the finger back at the judger for his or her own failings: http://www.positivelypresent.com/2009/05/stop-judging.html http://tinybuddha.com/blog/3-causes-for-judging-people-how-to-accept-yourself/ http://dalepartridge.com/please-stop-judging-people-heres/ We’re told not to judge people for a host of things they wear, do or proclaim: http://hellogiggles.com/lets-stop-judging-women-tattoos There are also acceptance movements, to help you get over judging particular books by their relative colors. Fat Acceptance…

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