16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Video Game Violence is Not Violence

In the 1960s, as Bandura conducted his media effects research, the British folklorists lona and Peter Opie spent years observing and studying children's outdoor play. They watched children play games—many of them made up—with names like Underground Tig and Witches in the Gluepots and concluded, "A true game is one that frees the spirit. It allows no cares but those fictitious ones engendered by the game itself." When children commit to the games, they opt out of the ordinary world and "th...
Folksonomies: gaming violence
Folksonomies: gaming violence
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24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Mediocrity Principle

The reason this principle is so essential to science is that it’s the beginning of understanding how we came to be here and how everything works. We look for general principles that apply to the universe as a whole first, and those explain much of the story; and then we look for the quirks and exceptions that led to the details. It’s a strategy that succeeds and is useful in gaining a deeper knowledge. Starting with a presumption that a subject of interest represents a violation of the pr...
Folksonomies: meaning purpose universe
Folksonomies: meaning purpose universe
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P. Z. Myers' explanation for how this principle means we cannot look to supernatural explanations for our origins, because there is no reason to think we are an exception to the rules of the universe.

07 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 Does the Universe have a Purpose?

Anyone who expresses a more definitive response to the question is claiming access to knowledge not based on empirical foundations. This remarkably persistent way of thinking, common to most religions and some branches of philosophy, has failed badly in past efforts to understand, and thereby predict the operations of the universe and our place within it. To assert that the universe has a purpose implies the universe has intent. And intent implies a desired outcome. But who would do the desi...
Folksonomies: meaning purpose perspective
Folksonomies: meaning purpose perspective
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If it does, it's difficult to see what that purpose would be in light of what we see around us.

28 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 Greed Mutates Science into Pseudoscience

Nature may be as selfishly studied as trade. Astronomy to the selfish becomes astrology; psychology, mesmerism (with intent to show where aour spoons are gone); and anatomy and physiology become phrenology and palmistry.
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It transmogrifies astronomy into astrology.

23 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 Measuring the Intent in a Child's Smile

It is well-known that those who have charge of young infants, that it is difficult to feel sure when certain movements about their mouths are really expressive; that is when they really smile. Hence I carefully watched my own infants. One of them at the age of forty-five days, and being in a happy frame of mind, smiled... I observed the same thing on the following day: but on the third day the child was not quite well and there was no trace of a smile, and this renders it probable that the pr...
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Darwin describes his methodology for determining if his infant's smile was intentional.

07 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Good and Bad From Chemistry

From common salt are obtained chemically as primary derivatives chlorine—both a war gas and a means of purifying water; and 'caustic soda.' … [O]n the chlorine side there is obtained chloride of lime, (a bleaching powder and a disinfectant), chloroform (an anesthetic), phosgene (a frightful ware gas), chloroacetophenone (another war gas), and an indigo and a yellow dye. [O]n the soda side we get metallic sodium, from which are derived sodium cyanide (a disinfectant), two medicines with [l...
Folksonomies: chemistry intent
Folksonomies: chemistry intent
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From basic elements, scientists can produce benefits for humans or weapons.

06 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Intellectual Quackery in Academia

Intellectual quackery extends throughout the landscape of academia; tenured professors in the humanities and social sciences, on the right and left, are constantly purveying theories that are the philosophical, literary, and artistic equivalents of junk science. That many of the researchers consider themselves intellectuals is sad but unremarkable in the annals of quackery withing academia: junk thought with an intellectual patina fosters anti-intellectualism as effectively as junk science wi...
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This is the worst form of junk-thought, because it comes from a source the public considers reliable, the Colleges and Universities.