Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Look closer. Think harder.

Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Keep perspective.

If it doesn't stand to scrutiny, maybe it isn't true.

Don't be paranoid, just wary.

Life requires every bit of smarts, courage and patience you can muster.

Chances are you hear a false, misleading or distorted claim every single day.

Consciously reject hedonism.

There's no substitute for personal responsibility.

So how would you test that theory?

"... with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

Civilization good. Barbarity bad.

Civilization is fragile. Handle with care.

With a name this pretentious, it's gotta be good!

Knowledge is power.

"Our life is a story. A rather long and complicated story ... And over the course of that story your heart has learned many things. Some of what you learned is true; much of it is not."   -John Eldredge

The truth matters.

It's the false beliefs that do the most damage.

In the 20th century, six times as many people were murdered by their own governments in peacetime than died in combat.

Scrutinize the press as closely as the military or government.

"I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on."   -C. S. Lewis

"I don't think that's true."  -Bob the Tomato

I like the music, but the lyrics are, um, disappointing.

Buy your Gullibility Offsets here!

If you like the Internet, thank the military.

Start snitchin.

Seeking a tactful, tenacious commitment to the truth.

Question the statement and the presumption.

"... to search for truth is to be open to the possibility that some discovered truth will lay claim to one's allegiance." - Harold J. Berman

You think more clearly when you quit caring about getting invited to parties.

Misguided compassion is less compassionate.

A false claim asserted confidently and believed sincerely is still false.

Advertisers aren't evil. They just don't have your best interests in mind.

Myths and frauds shouldn't be the basis for your opinions.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cultural Anthropology as Science

How Napoleon Chagnon Became Our Most Controversial Anthropologist:

Postmodern theory precipitated a crisis. Under the influence of Derrida and Foucault, cultural anthropologists turned their gaze on their own “texts” and were alarmed by what they saw. Ethnographies were not dispassionate records of cultural facts but rather unstable “fictions,” shot through with ideology and observer bias.

This doesn't help produce trustworthy results in any field of research:

A new generation of anthropologists came to see activism on their subjects’ behalf as a principal part of the job. Chagnon did not...

As Alcida Ramos, a Yanomami expert at the University of Brasilia, later explained to Science: “To do anthropology in Brazil is in itself a political act. We don’t separate our interests as anthropologists from our responsibility as citizens.”

This open-microphone American Anthropological Association (A.A.A) session sounds like an event Zombie would cover, with wingnuts coming out of the woodwork:

A colleague from Uganda praised Tierney’s book and suggested that Westerners manufactured the Ebola virus and disseminated it in his country, just as Chagnon and Neel had started the measles epidemic. Members of the audience applauded both speakers. ... For Gregor, who recently retired as an anthropologist at Vanderbilt, the session was “a watershed moment.” “These are people who are supposed to be scientists,” he told me. “This had the look of an emotionally charged witch hunt.”

Related: The Magician’s Twin: C.S. Lewis and the Case Against Scientism

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Selective Introspection Alert

I came across this post and couldn't stay silent. Red Letter Christians: Whose Death Does God Cheer?

While I agree with much of what the author says, the side-bar juxtaposition speaks volumes.

I haven't heard a single Christian speak words like he relays, though I'm sure some do.

I believe it's wrong for a Christian to indulge hatred, even toward Osama bin Laden.

But one who "despises a vile person" seems to please God. I won't claim to know exactly what that means.

I believe there is such a thing as justice: it's completely different than hatred, and is even fundamental to God's character. Rejecting its existence or mis-labeling it as hatred distorts His image.

I believe justice was done.

Update: There's also the notion that he's been stopped from committing more evil--the same as any apprehended criminal. Should one feel happy about that? I say yes, and go so far as to say that's a very unselfish happiness, since (I think) I personally am pretty unlikely to be his next victim.

Obama Gets Osama

Hat's off to President Obama.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


To the point:
1. “You don’t burn the Koran, because if you do, Muslims might go on a killing spree.”
2 “You do burn the Bible, because if you don’t, Muslims might go on a killing spree.”

Friday, February 04, 2011

Wikipedia's Patriarchal Hegemony

So it turns out that over 85% of Wikipedia contributors are male.

Patriarchal hegemony? Brutal oppression of women?

Of course not. But great fodder for those claims by those so inclined to make them.

For me, it's a good example of working backwards from a statistic.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How Facts Backfire

A very interesting read, from the Boston Globe: How facts backfire:
“The general idea is that it’s absolutely threatening to admit you’re wrong,” says political scientist Brendan Nyhan, the lead researcher on the Michigan study. The phenomenon — known as “backfire” — is “a natural defense mechanism to avoid that cognitive dissonance.”

Human nature, sadly, is still human nature, whether you call it positive internal efficacy or whatever.

Update: Tom gives it some attention it deserves.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Peter Hitchens

A very interesting read: How I found God and peace with my atheist brother: PETER HITCHENS traces his journey back to Christianity.

Read it all. No excerpt does it justice.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

An incoherent ad

Playing on the what-the-fat-cats-don't-want-you-to-know meme to the point of incoherency.

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