Tuesday, October 18, 2016

41% of people believe election would be rigged against Trump

If we're ever going to progress as a nation--or a species, even--there's going to have to come a time where things are only believed, especially coming from our politicians, if they're supported by good ole' fashioned verifiable, mind-independent evidence and sound inductive/deductive logic. 

There's 0 basis for believing what 41% of people believe. No evidence. A thing does not become true because one man believes it with all his heart. A thing does not become true simply because your candidate is losing. A thing is only true if logically sound argument can demonstrate it, with supporting evidence.

Trump will lose, and lose badly. But not because anything is rigged against him. It's because he's a crude moron which a penchant for the tu quoque logic fallacy.

But the real problem is almost no one knows what that means. And therein lies the failure of the public school system.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Vote Hilary

An appeal to third party voters:

Vote Hilary, because you don't want the Supreme Court packed with right-wing ideologues for the next forty years.

Vote Hilary because she doesn't think climate change is a lie perpetrated by the Chinese government.

Vote Hilary because you care about what might happen to immigrants and children in war-torn countries if her opponent is elected.

Vote Hilary because her opponent's VP pick, a man a heartbeat away from the presidency, is a creationist hellbent on overturning Roe v. Wade.

Vote Hilary because she has an actual plan for fighting crushing student loan debt.

Vote Hilary because you're concerned about what Trump is hiding in his tax returns.

Vote Hilary because every living former president is voting for Hilary.

Vote Hilary because you don't think sexist jokes are okay.

Vote Hilary because the 2000 Bush/Gore election was decided by less than 1,000 votes in Florida. 

Vote Hilary because you trust the leadership and guidance of Bernie Sanders.

Vote Hilary because among all of the candidates that have any chance of being elected (both of them), her values are the ones that most align with yours.

Monday, September 5, 2016

On the failure of our educational system

Our education system has failed on a massive scale because far too many people simply cannot tell truth from deception. This can be done through knowledge of argument. Because it is through argument that we critically assess and vet competing ideas. And that can be hard to do effectively without having basic knowledge of how arguments actually work: what is the structure of an argument, what makes an argument good or bad, and how to spot a logical fallacy (an error in logic). 

When you familiarize yourself wth the various categories of logical fallacies, it becomes easier and easier to recognize them in practice. Some politicians and other public figures spew logical fallacies by the truckload, and maybe many of these people wouldn't see the political light of day if the public were better at recognizing bad reasoning.

 Another important factor would also include include knowledge and appreciation of good quality evidence. And some knowledge of philosophy: who are philosophy's greatest thinkers, and what did they argue?

 To be clear, knowing these things does not necessarily make one a great thinker.
Because humanity is still fallible. And of course, many people get along just fine without knowing how logic works "under the hood." But from these considerations, it does not follow that some people, if not many, would not be better equipped to deal with the arguments and ideas that come at them daily.

 Students of debate and philosophy do pick up most, if not all of these tools in class, but most people in school aren't taking these classes. And I believe some things won't ever change unless these critically important educational gaps are filled for all students.