jeff riechel

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The three crises of liberal democracy

We now swim in dangerous waters, and we can no longer take the persistence of liberal democracy for granted<p>Over the past few years, I have frequently been reminded of David Foster Wallace’s commencement address at Kenyon College in 2005. Wallace began with the story of two fish swimming together, …

Political Science

No, The Founding Fathers Didn't Give You a Right to Bear Arms

How to Argue With Gun Nuts

Every six months or so there is an especially horrific gun massacre. The cold-blooded slaughter in Las Vegas, the most deadly single-shooter incident …

Famous Quotes, and Other Logical Fallacies

This post was first published on CoderHood as Famous Quotes, and Other Logical Fallacies. CoderHood is a blog dedicated to the human dimension of …

Critical Thinking

18 Common Logical Fallacies and Persuasion Techniques

It has been suggested that approximately five exabytes (i.e. about 5,000,000,000 pickup truck beds full of information typed on paper) of data are …

Critical Thinking

Is the left’s blase attitude to teaching knowledge helping the far right?

Facts must be taught and they must be valued – it’s the only way to challenge dangerous populists. Too much attention is paid to ‘transferable skills’<p>• Richard Russell is a primary school teacher<p>“65% of today’s students will be employed in jobs that don’t exist yet – so we should focus on teaching …

Education

Why People Still Support Trump

It's not all about bigotry and ignorance.<p>A week ago I expressed the hope that President Donald Trump's lamentable performance after the Charlottesville protests would hurt his standing in the polls. This didn't happen. If there was a blip, it was in the other direction. I'd be pleased if Trump's …

Democratic Party

Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories – and How to Change Their Minds

Alternative Facts<p>I’m sitting on a train when a group of football fans streams on. Fresh from the game – their team has clearly won – they occupy the …

Critical Thinking

Author Tom Nichols on how Trump won: “People looked up from their phones and said, ‘Where’s my money?'”

Author of “The Death of Expertise” on how narcissism, stupidity and the internet got us an accidental president<p>Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election represents the triumph of the idiocracy. Trump is America's fool-king, proudly ignorant and a living example of the Dunning-Kruger …

Critical Thinking

Michael Mann Responds to 'Uninhabitable Earth'

biography<p><b>Dr. Michael E. Mann</b> is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, with joint appointments in the Department of …

Climate Change

The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 21st Century, From ‘Children of Men’ to ‘Her’

With themes that range from love to fear to humanity itself, the best sci-fi movies of the 21st century all share distinctly original visions.<p>Sci-fi …

55 Essential Space Operas from the Last 70 Years

John Harris art equals space opera.<p>What makes a science fiction story a space opera? Well, it needs to take place in space obviously, though not …

The Skewed Logic of the Bell-Shaped Curve

In 1995, <i>Skeptic</i> magazine published one of our most controversial issues in our 25 year history, one dedicated to analyzing the claims of a book by …

Critical Thinking

The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book)

The controversial book linking intelligence to class and race in modern society, and what public policy can do to mitigate socioeconomic differences …

Leadership

7 Tips for Teaching Readers How to Recognize Bias

When students are learning about research topics and current events, they must also know how to recognize bias. Learning how to spot so-called “fake …

Teaching

5 cognitive biases that are killing your decisions

It’s hard to accept that what holds us back from reaching our potential is all in our head.<p>While it may be a bit of a cliche, we really are our own …

Using Clues to Infer -- AM CLASS

Book Summary: Fooled by Randomness by Taleb

The Book in Three Sentences<p>Randomness, chance, and luck influence our lives and our work more than we realize. Because of hindsight bias and …

Self-improvement

Cognitive bias cheat sheet

Information overload, lack of meaning, the need to act fast, and how to know what needs to be remembered for later.<p>Great, how am I supposed to …

Cognition

4 basic problems cause all the cognitive biases that screw up our judgment

<i>Four months ago I attempted to synthesize Wikipedia's crazy list of cognitive biases, and after banging my head against the wall for weeks, came up with this</i> <i>Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet</i> <i>which</i> <i>John Manoogian III,</i><i>beautifully organized into the above poster. Since then, I've started working on a book</i> …

Artificial Intelligence

Introduction to Psychology: A Free Course from Yale University

Taught by Yale professor Paul Bloom, this course presents an Introduction to Psychology and tries to explain what makes us tick:<p>What do your dreams …

5 tricks to free up space on your Android phone

Is your microSD card not enough? Here are some quick ways to reclaim storage space.<p>It doesn't matter if your Android phone has expandable storage via a microSD card -- you fill up whatever space you're given, whether it's 32GB or 200GB. Here are some easy ways to free up storage on your Android …

Apps

The Logical Fallacies Collection: Or 30 ways to lose an argument

Looking for a way to <i>lose</i> your next argument? Use one of the logical fallacies listed below. From <i>Ad Hominems</i> and <i>Anecdotes</i> to the <i>Straw Man</i> and <i>Tu …