Category Archives: Psychology

Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow: Intro and Chapter 1

This is perhaps the most influential book of the past couple decades on the whole subject of human mental biases, how the ways in which we think entail errors of perception, and employ heuristics that are often but not always … Continue reading

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More from Cory Doctorow’s Locus Interview

While editing the ‘excerpts’ from Cory Doctorow’s long interview in the current issue of Locus Magazine, excerpts that I posted online on Sunday (here), I captured several other passages from that interview that particularly appeal to the themes of this … Continue reading

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Carl Sagan’s “Baloney Detection Kit”

Carl Sagan, one of the great scientist-communicators to the general public of the past century, author of the 1980 book Cosmos and host of the 1980 TV series of that name, has a list of ideas for how to evaluate … Continue reading

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Linkdump: Science, society, conspiracy theories, the fear of NRA conventioneers

Science: The Atlantic: Are We Living in a Giant Cosmic Void?. Maybe. Scientific American: How the Science of “Blue Lies” May Explain Trump’s Support. Subtitle: “They are a very particular form of deception that can build solidarity within groups” Guardian: … Continue reading

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Parents, Children, Identities: Andrew Solomon’s FAR FROM THE TREE

This is an enormous book, 962 pages long, 702 of that text (with the remainder consisting of encyclopedic notes, a lengthy bibliography, and an index). The book is about how parents deal with exceptional children, covering ten categories of exceptionality, … Continue reading

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Link and Comment: Modern Conservatism

From a review in Sunday’s NYT Book Review, by Damon Linker, of a book about the famous conservative intellectual William F. Buckley, and his relationships to various presidents of the United States. The review is titled “William F. Buckley and … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Expertise, Dunning-Kruger, Tactics of Denialists

NPR’s Adam Frank on Why Expertise Matters, commenting in part about Tom Nichols new book The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters. Frank quotes a couple key passages from Nichols: Nichols is profoundly troubled … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Distrust of Science; Trump’s conviction; Global society; a Two State solution

This subject is everywhere — the rejection of reality by the current administration — and I don’t collect very many of these links, but here are a few more. Tom Nichols at Scientific American, via Salon: Don’t go with your … Continue reading

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Is Trump the problem, or also his voters?

I have a link saved from a few days ago of a column by Nicholas Kristof called Trump Voters Are Not the Enemy, which he tweeted a cautionary note about not demonizing the people who voted for Trump. It’s a … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Reason; Christian victimhood; dead progressives; dystopias; Republican blondes; the fight for reason; fake history

From an Elizabeth Kolbert essay in next weekend’s New York Times Magazine: Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds, subtitled “New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.” One way to look at science is as a system … Continue reading

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