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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Violence: The Kind of Work You Don’t Want to Bring Home

Fighting, Porn, Abuse, and Assault in Las Vegas Note: this article is opinion, reflection, and analysis, not authoritative accounts of factual events. Source material should be used for citation, not this article, except as it pertains to the opinions of the author. Rarely do I step outside of my usual fiction-philosophy mode of content for this site and do current event topics, but an interesting story popped up on my radar from my former home of Las Vegas. It seems that a professional MMA fighter promoted through Bellator MMA who calls himself “War Machine” (allegedly) severely beat his girlfriend, porn…

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Echobox

Echobox. It’s a box… that echoes, obviously Everybody’s second voice Second talk, second mind, Echoes back a righteous choice Zion! Zion! To Zion we shall go! Infidels cannot hold Zion against its rightful heirs! Billy sat and played with his toys. Mother’s echobox was on again, firing its angry nonsense words down the hall. It seemed like it was always on, even when she slept. He wanted to close the door, but he knew if he did, he would get in trouble. She would take away the toys. Billy… What a stupid, average, nothing name, he thought as he piled brick upon brick.…

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Teachers make a DIFFERENCE! What about YOU? Huh?

A Reflection on the Ego of the Teaching Profession I had a different article in mind for today, but a conversation I had during work yesterday with my screenwriting partner Matt (find his website here) inspired me to create a different piece. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share! Credit/Source: Zen Pencils, zenpencils.com              I am a teacher.             I have been a teacher for more than ten years, in various faculties. I’ve taught at private and public school. I’ve taught individuals and I’ve taught classrooms full of kids. I’ve taught at the college level and the elementary school level. Given…

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The Grand Magicians and False Prophets

There is no magic; There are only illusions. There are no wizards; There are only magicians. The crowd waits for the reveal with bated breath. The curtain drops, and what was, is no longer. The magician bows and accepts the prestige of the illusion. They love the show, and the lights, and the costumes. The crowd love watching the impossible become real. Not because they really believe it, but because they know, ultimately, that it is all a lie. That’s the fun of it. We know that what our eyes see and our hears hear is not what is true.…

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