Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why We Have Dysfunctional Politicians | Big Think

Astrophysicist and science educator Neil deGrasse Tyson reveals if he’d run for President and what he would do if elected.

Source: Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why We Have Dysfunctional Politicians | Big Think

Every nation gets the government it deserves.
— Joseph de Maistre

This is the fundamental problem. American education sucks and the majority of Americans are idiots as a result. They haven’t been taught how to learn, only how to memorize. So now they all bitch about congress and then vote to re-elect the same assholes.

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Calling Bullshit: Data Reasoning in a Digital World

This makes me happy. It’s a college course on bullshit detection.  Now if we can just make it mandatory for every grade from K through 12 the citizens might stand a chance against the politicians and the corporations that own them.

Source: Calling Bullshit

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Study Shows That Teaching Young Kids Philosophy Improves Their Academic Performance, Making Them Better at Reading & Math | Open Culture

Should we teach philosophy to children? You’d have a hard time, I imagine, convincing many readers of this site that we shouldn’t. But why?

Source: Study Shows That Teaching Young Kids Philosophy Improves Their Academic Performance, Making Them Better at Reading & Math | Open Culture

YES! Everyone should graduate high school with the equivalent of an AA in Philosophy. How can we expect people to know how to think when we don’t teach them?

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Hearing Aids

Hearing Aid Forums is offline, bummer. Seems to be quite a bit of info here though.

Source: Hearing Aids Knowledge Base

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iHear Medical – hearing aids you can adjust at home

Know idea if these are any good but $600 for a pair plus a $99 “test kit” (and $49 software or is that in the kit?) is still under half the price of the ones I got from Costco. I’m pretty happy with those and with Costco’s free adjustments, but the ability to tweak as needed would be really nice.

 

Home

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50 Things You Can Control Right Now

You can expel all your energy on things you can’t control or use it to create positive change in your life. Here are 50 ways to start right now.

Source: 50 Things You Can Control Right Now

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Playing with syntax highlighter

some text here

some more text down here

Hey look, it’s a plugin for making code and config snippets pretty.

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Get Rich Slowly

Get Rich Slowly

 

Interesting.  Wordpress inserted previews for other links but not this one.  I wonder what the difference is.

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The “News”

I would agree with most of this but I wouldn’t say to ignore the news completely, rather take in a broad but shallow stream.  Lots of sources but all you really want is the headlines to give you a general idea of what’s going on, maybe read one or two articles, but don’t wallow in the shit that has become global politics.  Also, buy a gun and a

 

Should We Avoid the News?

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Why Humanity Destroyed Itself

I’m currently reading The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt where he uses the metaphor of  the elephant and the rider.  The elephant is instinct, the rider is consciousness.  He talks a lot in the early section about how the rider often spends it’s time justifying and excusing the snap decisions made by the elephant. I completely agree that this is what happens and even that it might be part of why consciousness evolved but he seems to argue that this is right and proper and I completely disagree with that.

The elephant is instinct.  It’s a super fast pattern matching machine that’s purpose built for for making snap decisions on limited information.  On the African savannah that was probably a really good thing. In the modern world it’s a recipe for global destruction.  The elephant is always going to make that snap decision, that’s it’s job, and the rider is always going to feel an impulse to back up the elephant, but that’s what a clever animal would do.  A human would feel that impulse, then set it aside and examine the elephant’s decision, perhaps do a little research, and take a serious look at whether the elephant’s choice, made in a second without benefit of logic or reasoning, was really the best decision for the modern world.

Haidt says that research shows that education doesn’t improve the ability of the rider to control the elephant but I don’t think the kind of education we do is likely to. I think that to control the elephant, or rather, to disregard the elephant, the education would need to be aimed at that specific skill. I think meditation might be part of that training.  My limited experience with meditation is that’s all about disregarding your impulses.  Observing them but not getting caught up in them.  That seems exactly like the training you’d need to disregard the elephant.

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