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Think It Through: the Clearer Thinking Podcast
23 minutes | Oct 27, 2022
Episode 28: Ambiguity and Equivocation
In this episode, April explains linguistic ambiguity, equivocation, and the equivocation fallacy. She also tells some really bad jokes. Episode 28 Show Notes:Moore, Brooke and Parker, Richard. Critical Thinking. McGraw Hill. 2017.This is current textbook I use to teach my Critical Reasoning class. Much of what I say here about the types of linguistic ambiguity is taken from this excellent text. ThoughtCo is a reference site that focuses on educational content. Their articles are written by highly qualified educators and experienced instructors.https://www.thoughtco.com/polysemy-words-and-meanings-1691642How many words are there in the English language? This article will tell you:https://englishlive.ef.com/blog/language-lab/many-words-english-language/This WhatIs.com article discusses how linguistic ambiguity makes it difficult for artificial intelligence (and of course people) to decode language:https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/linguistic-ambiguity#:~:text=Linguistic%20ambiguity%20is%20a%20quality%20of%20language%20that,program%20to%20reliably%20decode%20without%20some%20additional%20informationHere's a good discussion of the expectancy violation and humor:https://thecriticalcomic.com/incongruity-theory/#:~:text=Expectancy%20Violations%20Aristotle%20also%20thought%20humor%20occurred%20with,disappointed%20expectation%20makes%20us%20laugh.%E2%80%9D%20%28ch.%2063%3B%20Morreal%29Was that really the world's funniest joke? According to this guy, it is:https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2014/03/07/287250640/what-is-the-funniest-joke-in-the-worldDr. Itamar Schatz gives a detailed description of equivocation with excellent examples. You should definitely read this:https://effectiviology.com/equivocation/Another good explanation of the equivocation falllacy:https://examples.yourdictionary.com/equivocation-fallacy-examples.htmlWhat speech is considered "unprotected?" Here you go:https://legalknowledgebase.com/what-speech-is-illegal-in-the-usNo, of COURSE we don't "torture." Except we do (or did, anyway):https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna9956644
17 minutes | Aug 2, 2022
Episode 27: Intellectual Humility: Why It Needs To Be Okay To Say "I Was Wrong About That"
In this episode, April discusses the concept of intellectual humility, which is something that people could use more of (and by "people," she means herself).Episode 27 Show Notes (so many really good sources!!!):Here's Ed Kang's article from the website YouEQ: https://www.you-eq.com/news-events/emotional-intelligence-skills-intellectual-humility#:~:text=According%20to%20Pepperdine%20University%2C%20there%20are%20four%20dimensions,intellect%204%20Willingness%20to%20revise%20one%E2%80%99s%20own%20viewpointAnother good article from the John Templeton Foundation website (there's also a great YouTube video there called "The Joy of Being Wrong"): https://www.templeton.org/discoveries/intellectual-humilityBrian Resnick's Vox article, from which I gleaned a LOT of information:https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2019/1/4/17989224/intellectual-humility-explained-psychology-replicationThis is a great, in-depth discussion of intellectual humility by Shane Snow: https://www.shanesnow.com/articles/intellectual-humility#intellectual-humility-introWhile this author and I are on different sides of some important issues, she speaks a lot of truth, and I have great respect for her:https://aleteia.org/2017/08/05/even-if-we-disagree-i-respect-you/Kate Horowitz on the connection between overconfidence and lack of intellectual growth: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/76773/overconfidence-can-stunt-your-intellectual-growth-study-says#:~:text=Being%20overconfident%20is%20a%20barrier%20to%20intellectual%20growth%2C,they%20do%20and%20what%20they%20do%20not%20know.%22How acknowledging our intellectual limitations leads to knowledge:https://www.konsyse.com/articles/what-is-intellectual-humility-why-is-it-important/Gregg Enriquez's discussion of ego: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/theory-knowledge/202105/what-is-the-egoElizabeth Svoboda on why changing our minds is so difficult: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_is_it_so_hard_to_change_peoples_mindsMatthew Buckley discusses ways to talk to people with whom you disagree: https://www.psychreg.org/respect-other-peoples-opinion/
18 minutes | Jun 13, 2022
Episode 26: Just Asking Questions...
April discusses the importance of questions and the difference between questions designed to gain knowledge and questions used to manipulate. Plus she says the word "bullshit" several times so she has to label this episode "explicit." Oh well. Show Notes:Kids and questions: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/curious-children-questions-parenting-mum-dad-google-answers-inquisitive-argos-toddlers-chad-valley-tots-town-a8089821.htmlhttps://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/importance-kids-asking-questions/ Guy who used his dead mom's ballot to vote for Trump:https://news.yahoo.com/officials-finally-found-case-dead-225210492.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAM0A4VXI1H4LuNUipKSSuf7V_DVFGlNRgL8-pd1LeyPDhkaqX5KS_lr7OOo4ME78IKjwhXfzxYe2A__xUp9j8X-uxHFcMs_LFIs5U19hXhpDcuIXFePv7ivYp5ooE5T8ZLiaV24pO5wsozTmnpB8fSHv3s_qlM_i0ECwTu_vt7ekMore examples of people who AREN'T Democrats using their dead relatives to vote for their favorite politicians:https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/maddowblog/another-gop-voter-caught-casting-ballot-dead-relative-n1276965Still more examples, debunking Fox news pundits who used them as "evidence" that the election was stolen:https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/25/trump-team-fox-news-alleged-dead-voters-most-cases-were-either-debunked-or-actually-involved-republicans/Randy Rainbow is awesome: https://www.randyrainbow.com/A description of the way that “just asking questions” actually shifts the burden of proof: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Just_asking_questionsFinally, I return to a discussion of Brandolini’s law: http://ordrespontane.blogspot.com/2014/07/brandolinis-law.htmlFrank Sesno's book: https://www.amazon.com/Ask-More-Questions-Uncover-Solutions/dp/0814436714/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8The five legitimate questions to ask to determine if something is bullshit: https://www.fastcompany.com/3068589/how-to-fine-tune-your-bullshit-detectorLiving Room Conversations stuff:https://209859-635214-1-raikfcquaxqncofqfm.stackpathdns.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/NEW-Immigration.pdfhttps://livingroomconversations.org/
21 minutes | May 17, 2022
Episode 25: Algorithm Literacy
Yes, she's back!!! In this episode, April discusses "algorithm literacy" as a critical part of overall media literacy. It's important to understand that algorithms, while they are a necessary and useful part of the online universe, also play a big role in online polarization and the normalization of extreme viewpoints. The more you know about them, the more effectively you can control what you see online. Episode 25 Show Notes:Here's the article discussing the results of the study by Project Information Literacy:https://www.edsurge.com/news/2020-01-16-report-colleges-must-teach-algorithm-literacy-to-help-students-navigate-internetPew Research Center's discussion of the need for algorithm literacy:https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2017/02/08/theme-7-the-need-grows-for-algorithmic-literacy-transparency-and-oversight/The Algorithm and Data Literacy Project, a great source for kids to learn about algorithms (you'll find the YouTube video I mentioned in the podcast here):https://algorithmliteracy.org/A LibGuides page from the University of Singapore's website on the topic of algorithm literacy: https://libguides.nus.edu.sg/digitalliteracy/algorithmPaper by Harvard professors Cetina Presuel and Martinez Sierra on the problems caused by social media platforms' reluctance to see themselves as news publishers and distributors:http://www.scielo.org.pe/pdf/rcudep/v18n2/2227-1465-rcudep-18-02-261.pdfPBS Nova investigates the spread of radical extremism on social media through algorithms:https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/radical-ideas-social-media-algorithms/Troubling information about the ways that Russian troll farms used Facebook algorithms to spread disinformation before the 2020 election:https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/09/16/1035851/facebook-troll-farms-report-us-2020-election/Financial Times op-ed advocating for more accountability of social media algorithms:https://www.ft.com/content/39d69f80-5266-4e22-965f-efbc19d2e776Some helpful articles with tips and tricks about how individuals can limit the influence of algorithms:From Mashable: https://mashable.com/article/how-to-avoid-algorithms-facebook-youtube-twitter-instagramFrom LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-reduce-effect-algorithms-your-behavior-worldview-guide-mikko/From BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-38769996
13 minutes | Jan 5, 2022
Episode 24: Fallacy Watch: the Perfection Fallacy (Perfection Ain't All That)
Ok, I'm back from running my half-marathon and, as promised, here are the sources I used in this episode:Some great ideas about how to avoid giving up on your resolutions:https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2020/02/11/this-is-the-month-when-new-years-resolutions-fail-heres-how-to-save-them/?sh=d96f742272f0Here's a great article from psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo:https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/better-perfect/201901/the-number-one-mistake-people-make-while-making-resolutionsAnother great article about the ways the perfectionist fallacy can hinder our progress:https://medium.com/syndicate-post/the-perfectionist-fallacy-and-how-to-overcome-it-c8cef7fc6c9Blogger and self-professed recovering perfectionist Vix Anderton gives some great advice about resolutions:https://medium.com/the-recovering-perfectionist/a-perfectionists-guide-to-new-year-s-resolutions-8de847986589Harvard Business Review's analysis of studies on perfectionism:https://hbr.org/2018/12/the-pros-and-cons-of-perfectionism-according-to-researchIf you want to start running, here's a great program called Couch to 5K:https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/wfhtn/documents/5k_training_program_running.pdf
22 minutes | Dec 3, 2021
Episode 23: Hey Sherlock, Why Is Deductive Reasoning So Difficult?
In this episode, April can't decide whether to pronounce "deductive" as "DEE-duk-tiv" or "de-DUK-tive," so she just switches back and forth between them to see if anyone notices. Episode 23 Show Notes:Why Sherlock Holmes is more an inductive than a deductive kind of guy: https://medium.com/@daniellekkincaid/the-sherlock-holmes-conundrum-or-the-difference-between-deductive-and-inductive-reasoning-ec1eb2686112 http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/5306/1/Holmes.pdf Some good basic information about deductive reasoning: https://www.criticalthinking.com/articles/induction-vs.-deduction http://www2.fairmontstate.edu/users/ffidura/cogpsy/cpthnkng.html https://www.livescience.com/21569-deduction-vs-induction.html https://examples.yourdictionary.com/deductive-reasoning-examples.html Jesse Martin’s LinkedIn blogpost about the importance of deductive reasoning: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/science-learning-deductive-reasoning-jesse-martin My evidence (for the example syllogism) that Japanese has a homogeneous population and everyone there speaks Japanese: https://www.studycountry.com/guide/JP-language.htm#:~:text=Ethnically%2C%20culturally%20and%20linguistically%2C%20Japan,Japanese%20as%20their%20first%20language. My support for the claim (in my other example) that not all people who are in favor of public health options are socialists: https://morningconsult.com/2021/03/24/medicare-for-all-public-option-polling/ Job websites recognize the necessity for good deductive reasoning skills in the workplace: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/improve-deductive-reasoning-skills https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/deductive-skills https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/guide/deductive-reasoning/ The research that shows most of us can do deductive reasoning: https://digest.bps.org.uk/2008/12/11/sudoku-puzzles-show-were-all-capable-of-deductive-reasoning/ What’s going on in your brain when you do puzzles? Read these: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-workout/200904/puzzles-and-the-brain https://www.rd.com/article/what-happens-to-your-brain-when-do-a-puzzle/ Some fun/frustrating logic puzzles: https://parade.com/970343/parade/logic-puzzles/ https://www.rd.com/articl
19 minutes | Oct 27, 2021
Episode 22: Fallacy Watch: A Few Induction Fallacies
In this episode April discusses the hasty generalization fallacy, the weak analogy fallacy, and the mistaken appeal to authority. Can you tell she really likes to talk about fallacies? Episode 22 Show Notes:A brief description of deductive and inductive reasoning, in case you wondered:https://www.livescience.com/21569-deduction-vs-induction.htmlSome good examples of hasty generalization fallacies:https://www.bettercognitions.com/articles/hasty-generalization-fallacy-examples/I don't know about the "Captain Bligh" reference, but this Time article does explain what happened to Captain Holly Graf:http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1969602,00.htmlThis "Cranky Uncle" is actually a research fellow in climate science at the Climate Change Communication Research Hub at Monash University in Australia. I got a couple of good examples of bad arguments from this page.https://crankyuncle.com/critical-thinking-about-covid-false-analogies-about-cupcakes-and-obesity/A good source for an explanation of bad arguments:https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/logicalfallacies/searchThe Vicks 44 commercial with a very hot fake doctor:https://youtu.be/ts0XG6qDIcoThe article with a pretty good analogical argument for universal healthcare in the US:https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2019/universal-health-coverage-eight-countries?gclid=Cj0KCQjw8eOLBhC1ARIsAOzx5cG8JkvppAGHwJ6fvyGgP8W3i9Il6DTEbsvoAh5EHgWlxVr91h9Yk7QaAg7yEALw_wcBA good explanation of when you should rely on experts:https://fallacyinlogic.com/appeal-to-authority-fallacy/Pew Research data about how many scientists agree on evolution:https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/11/darwin-day/A careful reading of this will help you understand the division over how many scientists think global warming is a thing:https://www.climate.gov/news-features/climate-qa/isnt-there-lot-disagreement-among-climate-scientists-about-global-warming AMA's data showing the vast majority of physicians are vaccinated against Covid:https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-survey-shows-over-96-doctors-fully-vaccinated-against-covid-19The Forbes article discussing the controversy surrounding the actual percentage of climate scientist who agree that climate change is largely caused by humans:https://www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2016/12/14/fact-checking-the-97-consensus-on-anthropogenic-climate-change/?sh=3b6d352a1157
16 minutes | Oct 12, 2021
Episode 21: Fallacy Watch--The False Dilemma Fallacy
In this episode, April discusses the false dilemma fallacy, in which a person attempts to persuade to you to choose between a limited number of options when there are actually more options available. Episode 21 Show Notes:Here's a great definition and discussion of the false dilemma fallacy:https://examples.yourdictionary.com/false-dilemma-fallacy-examples.htmlAnother good explanation of this fallacy:https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/black-or-whiteI admit to taking an example or two from this very good article about this fallacy:https://www.developgoodhabits.com/either-or-fallacy/This article talks about Dan Price, who lowered his own salary in order to raise the salaries of his employee (thus refuting the idea that prices must be raised to pay for wage increases):https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/369908A very detailed discussion of the ways that politicians have used the false dilemma fallacy to frame the Covid-19 debate:https://www.boisestate.edu/bluereview/covid-19-donald-trump-and-the-false-dilemma-fallacy/An interesting opinion piece about the dangers of the false dilemma fallacy from the Deseret News (it's a Mormon-based newspaper, so don't be surprised by the religious references) by Sharlee Glenn, a Mormon writer who founded the nonprofit Mormon Women For Ethical Government:https://www.deseret.com/opinion/2020/5/15/21258954/covid-19-pandemic-false-dichotomy-paradox-politics-equilibriumThese two journal articles show the rates of Covid in areas without mask mandates: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249891https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2781283
1 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
Season 3 Trailer
It's almost time for new episodes--stay tuned!
19 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
Episode 20: Who Do You Trust? Part 3: Trusting Experts (And Why We Often Don't)
In this episode, April discusses the importance of experts in society and why it's so hard for some people to trust them. And, as promised, she put lots of articles in the show notes below, because she wants you to trust her. Episode 20 Show NotesFor science information that's both educational and entertaining, subscribe to Phil Plait's astronomy blog:https://www.syfy.com/tags/bad-astronomyDaniel Newman's article about expertise is focused more towards marketing, but still applies:https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2014/04/22/experts-may-have-influence-but-what-makes-an-expert/?sh=6a6f846212c8Here's the NPR article about Idaho lawmakers calling their public health officials elitists:https://www.boisestatepublicradio.org/politics-government/2020-08-10/idaho-lawmaker-listening-to-experts-is-an-elitist-approach-to-coronavirus-restrictionsA great article from the Christian Science Monitor about our worsening anti-intellectualism and distrust of experts:https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2018/0827/Who-made-you-an-expert-Is-America-s-distrust-of-elites-becoming-more-toxicJacques Peretti's excellent discussion of how "elite" became a bad word:https://qz.com/1237582/how-elite-became-a-bad-word/Some articles discussing the factors that play a role in whether/how much individuals trust science:https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/02/do-you-trust-science-these-five-factors-play-big-rolehttps://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/02/12/key-findings-about-americans-confidence-in-science-and-their-views-on-scientists-role-in-society/Gleb Tsipursky's article about distrust in science:https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/dis-trust-in-science/Fascinating paper about anti-intellectualism in America:https://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/zQnndNgGgDkpWwavHMnA/fullArticles about the Dunning Kruger effect and covid conspiracy theories: https://europepmc.org/article/MED/29966822https://www.sciencedirect.com/sdfe/pdf/download/eid/1-s2.0-S0277953618303964/first-page-pdfA really good paper (that I didn't have time to discuss) outlining some ways that public health experts might get more people to trust them:https://kiej.georgetown.edu/trust-experts-and-covid-19-special-issue/Maria Baghramian's blog post about expertise:https://jerichochambers.com/trust-in-experts-why-and-why-not/Tom Nichols on expertise and why it's important:https://www.polit
14 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Episode 19: Who Do You Trust? Part 2: How Skepticism Should Lead You to "Trust the Science"
In this episode, April explains what skepticism is (and what it is NOT). She also discusses its importance in the scientific method, and shows how it can help you "trust the science." She also confesses that she is one of those annoying people who looks up stuff on Google to prove their spouses wrong.Episode 19 Show Notes:Richard Popkin's Britannica article on skepticism:https://www.britannica.com/topic/skepticismA great discussion explaining why scientists must also be skeptics:http://www.ces.fau.edu/nasa/introduction/scientific-inquiry/why-must-scientists-be-skeptics.phpAn excellent discussion of skepticism by Skeptoid podcast host Brian Dunning (and btw if you're not already listening to Skeptoid, you should!):https://skeptoid.com/skeptic.phpA short history of skepticism from the Stanford University website:https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/skepticism-ancient/How do researchers conduct literature reviews to find out what is known (and unknown) about a topic? Here, read this:https://impact.griffith.edu.au/known_and_unknown/Here's the blog of one of those really good science writer/journalists explaining skepticism and science:https://sciencebasedlife.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-skeptic/These are the science websites I mentioned in the episode:https://www.scientificamerican.com/https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/https://www.aaas.org/The top scientists on Twitter:https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/09/top-50-science-stars-twitterA couple of good articles I didn't reference in the podcast but are definitely relevant to the topic:https://orbitermag.com/how-to-be-a-true-skeptic/https://fishthinkers.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/5-free-ways-around-the-great-paywall-of-academia/
17 minutes | May 11, 2021
Episode 18: Who Do You Trust? Part I: Interpersonal Trust
Over the next three episodes (she only meant to do two episodes on the topic but it turned out she needed three!), April explains the connection between trust and critical thinking. In Part I, she discusses the importance of interpersonal trust, why it's so necessary, what can go wrong when we trust, and ways to avoid putting our trust in the wrong people. And she uses both "who do you trust (because it just seems right)" and "whom do you trust (because it's probably grammatically correct)" in the episode. Hey, she's not an English teacher, okay? Episode 18 Show NotesDr. Paul Thagard's definition of trust:https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hot-thought/201810/what-is-trustAn explanation of semantic pointers:https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332837961_The_Semantic_Pointer_Theory_of_Emotion_Integrating_Physiology_Appraisal_and_ConstructionI'm going to guess that about 80% of the posts here are legit (so take what you read with a grain of salt). Anyway, if even half of them are true, it's still a tragedy:https://www.reddit.com/r/QAnonCasualties/Just a few of Bernie Madoff's more famous victims:https://www.biography.com/news/bernie-madoff-famous-victimsResearch that shows we trust people who think like we do, and distrust those who don't:https://bigthink.com/scotty-hendricks/the-mere-liking-effect-why-you-trust-people-who-are-like-youWe also think the people who look like us are more trustworthy:https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107094406.htm#:~:text=When%20a%20person%20is%20deemed,according%20to%20a%20new%20study.&text=FULL%20STORY-,When%20a%20person%20is%20deemed%20trustworthy%2C%20we%20perceive%20that%20person's,study%20published%20in%20Psychological%20ScienceMarsh and Brigg's research on trust and forgiveness:https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-84800-356-9_2Author, consultant, and business founder Charles Green gives some advice about determining whom to trust:https://www.forbes.com/sites/trustedadvisor/2012/01/03/how-can-you-know-whom-to-trust/?sh=1decb7ca141e Psychologist Melanie Greenburg also has some good advice about trusting people:https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201411/5-ways-decide-who-you-can-trust
12 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Episode 17: Is Optimism Logical?
In this episode, April outs herself as an optimist and spends a little over 12 minutes justifying her attitude.Episode 17 Show Notes:The American Psychological Association definiton of optimism: https://dictionary.apa.org/optimismOxford Language Dictionary definition of optimism: https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/optimismPsychology Today's article on optimism: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/optimismProfessor Brian Martin's blog post about the value of optimism: https://documents.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/pubs/comments/0701optimism.htmlA good description of the optimism bias: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-optimism-bias-2795031Oingo Boingo's 1983 hit that epitomizes the optimism bias: https://youtu.be/qpjHW4mr6qoA rather long but interesting academic read about the optimism bias: https://taylorlab.psych.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2014/11/2002_When-Predictions-Fail.pdfSome good information about the optimism bias in the Covid1-9 pandemic:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.26001https://www.pcma.org/optimism-bias-downside-positive-thinking-during-covid-19/Books by Suzanne Segerstrom: https://www.amazon.com/Suzanne-C.-Segerstrom/e/B001JP4MKY%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_shareShawn Anchor and "irrational optimism:" https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-happiness-advantage/201103/are-you-irrational-optimistA transcript of Matt Ridley discussing his book at the 7th Annual Hayek Lecture at New York's Manhattan Institute: https://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/rational-optimist-how-prosperity-evolves-8316.htmlMore good Matt Ridley stuff: https://reason.com/2020/05/03/what-its-like-to-be-a-rational-optimist-in-a-pandemic/Stephanie Caine's beautiful blog post about logical optimism: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/logical-optimism-stephanie-caines/?articleId=6649370011909660675I didn't mention this in the podcast but it's a good read: https://medium.com/swlh/the-rational-case-for-optimism-6bc9a4dcbbc2More potential evidence that being an optimist is good for business: https://hbr.org/2019/03/the-financial-upside-of-being-an-optimist
67 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
Episode 16: Using evidence and logic to find the "Unfound:" An interview with Ed Dentzel
In this episode, April talks with Ed Dentzel, host of the Unfound Podcast, which focuses on missing person cases with the stated goal of turning up new information that might lead to a resolution of the case. Ed discusses how he approaches each case, using research, interview skills, and good logic and reasoning to uncover information and present it to his listeners in a straightforward manner with little or no speculation or conjecture. If you've ever wondered what it takes to put together a true-crime podcast, this is a must-listen! Episode 16 Show Notes:Here's the Unfound Podcast website:https://unfoundpodcast.podomatic.com/According to NAMUS (which Ed references in the episode), the vast majority of missing person cases are resolved:https://www.npr.org/2013/05/07/182000622/majority-of-missing-persons-cases-are-resolvedThe NCIC (National Crime Information Center) reports that as of Dec. 31, 2019, there were 87,500 active missing person cases:https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/cjis-link/fbi-releases-2019-missing-person-statisticsHere's a helpful document if you suspect that a person is missing:https://www.muni.org/Departments/police/Documents/checklists_for_missing_persons.pdfNew Jersey State Police's protocol for missing persons:https://www.njsp.org/divorg/invest/pdf/mpi-best-practices-protocol.pdfSome news articles relevant to the Thomas Brown case (this whole thing is really interesting, I'll be looking for the conclusion of the grand jury):https://abc7amarillo.com/news/local/new-details-released-in-canadian-teens-death#:~:text=A%20private%20investigator%20released%20new,remains%20were%20found%20in%20Januaryhttps://www.newschannel10.com/2019/11/12/hemphill-county-sheriff-nathan-lewis-resigns/https://abc7amarillo.com/news/local/hemphill-county-deputy-let-go-following-letter-addressing-credibility-from-county-attorneyNate Silver! That's the 538 Podcast guy, and here's his book:https://www.amazon.com/Signal-Noise-Many-Predictions-Fail-but/dp/0143125087A good explanation of the "Peltzman Effect:"https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Peltzman-EffectTad DiBiase's book about no-body homicide cases:https://www.routledge.com/No-Body-Homicide-Cases-A-Practical-Guide-to-Investigating-Prosecuting/DiBiase/p/book/9781482260069
18 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Episode 15: Logical and Personal Inconsistency
In this episode, April talks about inconsistency. While logical inconsistency is always wrong (it's known as the fallacy of inconsistency), personal inconsistency is a little more complicated. When people say one thing and then later do or say another thing, we tend to think that's a bad thing (and we are certainly right, at least sometimes). But, because consistency is so important, do we run the risk of being labeled a hypocritical flip-flopper if we should happen to come to a different conclusion than we came to previously? When is saying something different than you said before hypocrisy, and when is it justified? Episode 15 Show NotesA transcript of the NPR program referenced in the episode:https://www.npr.org/2012/03/05/147980266/our-brains-betrayed-by-political-inconsistencyAn explanation of logical inconsistency:https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/logicalfallacies/InconsistencySome examples of the fallacy of inconsistency:https://www.txstate.edu/philosophy/resources/fallacy-definitions/Inconsistency.html#:~:text=A%20person%20commits%20the%20fallacy,line%20and%20say%20no%20moreTrump's personal inconsistency regarding the Access Hollywood tape:https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/28/16710130/trump-says-access-hollywood-tape-fakeA Washington Post op-ed piece about President Biden and the filibuster (liberally oriented, of course, so it gives that viewpoint about the filibuster issue):https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/04/02/perverted-rule-how-joe-biden-evolved-supporting-filibuster-trying-change-it/A Heritage Foundation op-ed piece (which is the conservative opinion, so it helps with understanding why some people would say he's being hypocritical) about the issue of Joe Biden and the filibuster:https://www.heritage.org/political-process/commentary/senator-joe-biden-vs-president-joe-biden-filibuster-problemAn excellent, succinct explanation of personal inconsistency and why it's not always wrong:http://changingminds.org/disciplines/argument/fallacies/personal_inconsistency.htm
46 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
Episode 14: Kirk, Spock, McCoy and...Aristotle? An Interview with John Champion
In this episode, April and her friend John Champion, co-host of "Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast," get all nerdy and philosophical about the ways in which the Trek triumvirate of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy epitomize the Aristotelian proofs of ethos (appeal to authority), logos (appeal to logic), and pathos (appeal to emotion). Plus they reminisce about the good old days when Star Trek: the Experience was the coolest thing ever. Sigh...Episode 14 Show NotesHere are the episode numbers for the Star Trek: The Original Series episodes we referenced:"Balance of Terror"--Season 1, Episode 14"City on the Edge of Forever"--Season 1, Episode 28"The Empath"--Season 3, Episode 12"Requiem for Methuselah"--Season 3, Episode 19Here are the IMDB listings for the movies we referenced:Star Trek: The Motion Picture--https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079945/Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan--https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084726/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0Star Trek V: The Final Frontier--https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098382/You can find many Star Trek television shows and movies on https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/star_trek/You may also be able to find some on Hulu, Prime Video, FX Now, and FuboHere's the link to all Roddenberry podcasts, including Mission Log:https://podcasts.roddenberry.com/ If you want to search for specific Mission Log episodes, here is their archive:https://www.missionlogpodcast.com/archive/Some of McCoy's best smart-ass/heartfelt/profound wordplay: https://impertinentremarks.com/rhetoric-lessons-from-star-treks-dr-mccoy/An interesting take on the friendship between the Trek triumvirate: https://www.startrek.com/article/the-importance-of-friendship-in-star-trekHere's Michael Shermer's explanation on why Kirk is such a great leader:SHERMER, MICHAEL. “The Captain Kirk Principle.” Scientific American, vol. 287, no. 6, 2002, pp. 39–39. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/26060080. (If you don't have access to JSTOR, you can probably find this article online in Scientific American's archives.)Oh, and you may have noticed that John and I use different pronunciations for "ethos," "pathos," and "logos." Well, mostly "pathos." That's perfectly acceptable, as this article explains: https://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2020/01/ethos-logos-pathos.html
38 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Episode 13: How Skeptics "Do the Research"--an Interview with Celestia Ward
April talks with Celestia Ward, one of the hosts of Squaring the Strange, a podcast that focuses on evidence-based analysis covering a very wide variety of topics. In this episode, April finds out how Celestia got started as a skeptical researcher; they also discuss some of the techniques Celestia uses to focus on finding facts while still acknowledging that she, like all of us, has biases. Along the way they mention skeptic icon James Randi, Penn and Teller, folklorist Jeannie Thomas, and Mick West, author and founder of metabunk.org. April also find out that Celestia is a big fan of the number 13 (the episode number)! After the interview, Celestia mentioned that she spent eight years as an academic editor at Johns Hopkins University Press, and says of that experience "Cutting your teeth on reference lists that are nearly as long as the chapters instills you with a respect for thorough research." Episode 13 show notes:Here’s the Squaring the Strange website. You can also find them on Apple Podcasts: https://squaringthestrange.libsyn.com/website Hey, look what I found! An 2015 article about Celestia in Skeptical Inquirer, written by Ben Radford (now one of her co-hosts on Squaring the Strange): https://skepticalinquirer.org/newsletter/facing-art-and-skepticism-caricaturist-celestia-ward/ A good NPR article giving some background and a proper sendoff for James Randi: https://www.npr.org/2020/10/22/926717787/amazing-escape-artist-magician-and-skeptic-james-randi-dead-at-92 The website for one of the best skeptic/science podcasts out there, The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe: https://www.theskepticsguide.org/ A great article from a science education website about why scientist must also be skeptics: http://www.ces.fau.edu/nasa/introduction/scientific-inquiry/why-must-scientists-be-skeptics.php Wikipedia (yeah, sometimes it’s a perfectly good source) has a list of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit episodes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Penn_%26_Teller:_Bullshit!_episodes Here’s the lecture by Jeannie Thomas in which she references the SLAP testing method, and confesses that she’s even been pulled in by scary-sounding claims that ended up being untrue (it is a BYU lecture, so there is an opening prayer—do with that what you will): https://vimeo.com/507323130 To quickly check a news story to see if it has any basis in fact, try https://leadstories.com/ or factcheck.org Wanna buy Mick West’s book? Here you go: https://www.amazon.com/Escaping-Rabbit-Hole-Conspiracy-Theories-ebook/dp/B077YS5G2N Contact Celestia Ward for information about her caricatures at: https://www.2headsstudios.com/
13 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Episode 12: Fallacy Watch: the Misplaced Burden of Proof
April talks about one of the sneakiest fallacies, the misplaced burden of proof. Here's an example:Friend: George told me he's not getting the vaccine because it's dangerous.You: How do you know it's dangerous?Friend: I'm just telling you what George said. How do you know he's wrong?You: I...um...what?Here's what it is, and what to do when it happens to you.Show Notes:Here's an explanation of the misplaced burden of proof:https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/burden-of-proofIn case you want to make a Prove Me Wrong meme, here's the meme generator. Just make sure your audience knows it's a fallacy, please:https://imgflip.com/memegenerator/140087640/Prove-me-wrongHere's the amazingly sexist and fallacy-laden interview with Gavin McInness:https://www.ttbook.org/interview/proud-boys-founder-gavin-mcinnes-youd-be-happier-housewifeThe Effectivology website is full of really great articles about fallacies and making good arguments. This is the article I refer to in the episode:https://effectiviology.com/burden-of-proof/There's a subtle but important difference between presumption and assumption. This explains it:https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/assume-vs-presume
19 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Episode 11: Outrage Culture: How Anger Keeps Us Engaged Online
April begins Season 2 by talking about why we seem to be so angry these days, and what we can do to take it down a notch. Episode 11 Show NotesHere's Nancy Rommelmann's op-ed describing the fallout from the online outrage against her and her husband: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-rommelmann-me-too-portland-20190222-story.htmlHarvard's Elizabeth Bartolet writes about the things that trouble her about the MeToo movement: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2018/1/16/bartholet-metoo-excesses/An NPR story about outrage with Steve Inskeep and Shankar Vedantam: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/09/768489375/how-outrage-is-hijacking-our-culture-and-our-mindsSome of the short and long-term effects of anger can be found here: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/anger-how-it-affects-people#:~:text=The%20long%2Dterm%20physical%20effects,learning%20relaxation%20techniques%20and%20counsellingRichard Ford's excellent Stanford blog post about what he calls the "outrage-industrial complex":https://law.stanford.edu/2019/12/20/the-outrage-industrial-complex/Psychology Today author Rob Henderson writes about the social underpinnings of outrage: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/after-service/201906/moral-outrage-why-we-attack-each-otherVictoria Spring's article in Scientific American about the positive and negative aspects of outrage: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-outrage-be-a-good-thing/Some great ideas from journalist Zaid Jalani on how to de-escalate your social media outrage: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_avoid_the_social_media_outrage_trap
1 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
Season 2 Trailer
April's pretty excited for her upcoming season!
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