Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Dire or emotionally charged warnings about the consequences of global warming can backfire if presented too negatively, making people less amenable to reducing their carbon footprint, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.
“Our study indicates that the potentially devastating consequences of global warming threaten people’s fundamental tendency to see the world as safe, stable and fair. As a result, people may respond by discounting evidence for global warming,” said Robb Willer, UC Berkeley social psychologist and coauthor of a study to be published in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science.
“The scarier the message, the more people who are committed to viewing the world as fundamentally stable and fair are motivated to deny it,” agreed Matthew Feinberg, a doctoral student in psychology and coauthor of the study.
I don’t mean to attack the propeller-beanie-egghead, but I’ve been noticing this trend with “research” material and I think it’s a measurable one. Let me state it by means of example: I am doubting like the dickens anybody ever woke up some morning, be he a propeller-beanie-pocket-protector type or some normal person…and said to himself…”Self? I wonder how social order might be possible when individuals are tempted to behave selfishly? Maybe I should look into that and write a research paper about whatever it is I manage to dig up.”
I think papers like these begin with the finger-waggling lecture, and then all else is filled in around it. Can’t prove it, but not exactly going out on a limb on that one. And I think research papers like these represent a fairly new trend. Not an instantaneously new one; if you’re old enough to be my parent, and you’ve been working in the university system your whole life, you might have found this situation when you started: Papers written by eggheads who knew exactly what they wanted the paper to say, before they “discovered” a single thing. Exercises in confirmation bias.
And I’m no spring chicken myself. This seems to be a sixties thing. Maybe it’s all Rachel Carson’s fault. Just a thought; agree with her work or not, it’s definitely an example of what I’m talking about and I haven’t been able to find too many examples before Silent Spring. But who knows, maybe it goes clear back to Freud.
It certainly is a problem we should engage. All kinds of higher-education professionals like to dish out that tired old bromide, “I’m not here to teach you what to think, I’m here to teach you how to think.” That is a pledge, a promise of sorts, and it seems to me the rest of us are doing a fairly lackluster job of holding them to it. Whenever an egghead makes up his mind what a paper is supposed to conclude, and then starts gathering the data, that promise is being violated.
Oh, and as an aside: Tuning out, when someone starts trying to sell you on the idea that “the planet is doomed unless you do what I say”…is what intellectually healthy people do. Yeah, even when the facts aren’t all in yet. There’s such a thing as figuring out when someone’s trying to bullshit you.
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