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Principles of Curiosity
#1
Brian Dunning of Skeptoid has produced a new movie that he has made available for free online. The aim of the video is to encourage critical thinking and it is largely intended as a teaching resource for schools. There's 40 minutes to get through, but the production standards are pretty high. I'd be interested if anyone found anything particularly objectionable about it. 

I have been in touch with Brian (at Alex's request) about coming on the Skeptiko podcast and discussing this latest project but I'm not sure when, or whether, it will happen now. 



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#2
Does he warn people that the hardest things to think critically about are things you believe strongly - and that people treat evidence differently depending on whether or not it confirms their existing beliefs? Because critical thinking failures most often occur when strongly held beliefs are involved. Emotional thinking is important and valuable in its proper place, but sometimes it overpowers our rational thought, and people who pride themselves on their intellect are not immune to it even though they may think they are.
The first gulp from the glass of science will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you - Werner Heisenberg. (More at my Blog & Website)
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#3
(08-15-2017, 05:33 AM)Jim_Smith Wrote: Does he warn people that the hardest things to think critically about are things you believe strongly - and that people treat evidence differently depending on whether or not it confirms their existing beliefs?

I guess you can answer that yourself if you watch it. I must admit that I am reluctant to watch it because I'm averse to someone assuming I can't think critically because of what I am prepared to consider and what they are not. I'm so used to people setting themselves apart as "rationalists" and "free thinkers" and "brights" and, of course "critical thinkers" that the aversion has become deep seated. But perhaps I should steel myself and watch anyway.
"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” ― C.G. Jung
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#4
Oh God, no! I survived 15 of the 40 minutes but my screen was in danger of being flung across the room.

It was like watching some fundamentalist christian propaganda show. All false smiles and patronising assurances. Little set-up conversations saying things like "My friend told me that acupuncture is the cure for everything". I lost count of the number of times pejoratives were uttered in that first 15 minutes: "pseudoscience", "magical", "miracle". According to this guy, we are all gullible and being led by the nose to buy snake oil cures and believe in fairy tales. 

Sorry Malf, but this is so far below the level of debate here (or at Skeptiko) that I can only assume you posted it as a joke. If so, you got me - I bit.
"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” ― C.G. Jung
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#5
I seem to remember Brian Dunning being pretty irrational/unreasonable when interviewed by Alex about the Global Consciousness Project.
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#6
(08-15-2017, 09:39 AM)Chris Wrote: I seem to remember Brian Dunning being pretty irrational/unreasonable when interviewed by Alex about the Global Consciousness Project.

There was also the time he went to prison for scamming people out of their money.

But, that said, diamonds in the rough and all that. I'll give the video a whirl.
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
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#7
(08-15-2017, 07:39 AM)Kamarling Wrote: Oh God, no! I survived 15 of the 40 minutes but my screen was in danger of being flung across the room.

It was like watching some fundamentalist christian propaganda show. All false smiles and patronising assurances. Little set-up conversations saying things like "My friend told me that acupuncture is the cure for everything". I lost count of the number of times pejoratives were uttered in that first 15 minutes: "pseudoscience", "magical", "miracle". According to this guy, we are all gullible and being led by the nose to buy snake oil cures and believe in fairy tales. 

Sorry Malf, but this is so far below the level of debate here (or at Skeptiko) that I can only assume you posted it as a joke. If so, you got me - I bit.

Heh. I did say it was largely pitched for a school aged audience. I think there is a gap in the teaching of 'life skills' for youngsters. I can see why he upset you but there are thinking tools presented here that  kids can use! Maybe CT supporters missed out on this sort of input? Specifically, was there any logical flaws in what was presented?
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#8
(08-15-2017, 06:25 PM)malf Wrote: Heh. I did say it was largely pitched for a school aged audience. I think there is a gap in the teaching of 'life skills' for youngsters. I can see why he upset you but there are thinking tools presented here that  kids can use! Maybe CT supporters missed out on this sort of input? Specifically, was there any logical flaws in what was presented?

Not so much logical flaws as overstating the obvious and the heavy-handed, almost sneering, way that anomalous or paranormal subjects were lumped together with the miracle diets and magic pills. Which is why it makes it even worse that it was aimed at children (although I didn't get the impression that it was). It really did come across as the kind of propaganda I've seen from evangelists.
"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” ― C.G. Jung
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#9
(08-15-2017, 05:33 AM)Jim_Smith Wrote: Does he warn people that the hardest things to think critically about are things you believe strongly - and that people treat evidence differently depending on whether or not it confirms their existing beliefs? Because critical thinking failures most often occur when strongly held beliefs are involved. Emotional thinking is important and valuable in its proper place, but sometimes it overpowers our rational thought, and people who pride themselves on their intellect are not immune to it even though they may think they are.

Scott Adams thinks Richard Dawkins is suffering from mass hysteria.

https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/statu...7167707137

Adams doesn't fail to remind us that Dawkins prides himself on being a very rational person.



Here is some background info:
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/goto/post?...ost-119056
Quote:http://blog.dilbert.com/post/16429762860...ria-bubble
Quote:SCOTT ADAMS' BLOG

How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble

Posted August 17th, 2017 @ 12:36pm
...
A mass hysteria happens when the public gets a wrong idea about something that has strong emotional content and it triggers cognitive dissonance that is often supported by confirmation bias. In other words, people spontaneously hallucinate a whole new (and usually crazy-sounding) reality and believe they see plenty of evidence for it. The Salem Witch Trials are the best-known example of mass hysteria.
...
If you’re in the mass hysteria, recognizing you have all the symptoms of hysteria won’t help you be aware you are in it.
...
But if you are not experiencing mass hysteria, you might be totally confused by the actions of the people who are. ... You can’t tell if they are stupid, unscrupulous, ignorant, mentally ill, emotionally unstable or what.
...
One sign of a good mass hysteria is that it sounds bonkers to anyone who is not experiencing it.
...
But when you start seeing ad hominem attacks that offer no reasons at all, that might be a sign that people in the mass hysteria bubble don’t understand what is wrong with your point of view except that it sounds more sensible than their own.
...
The mass hysteria signals I described here are not settled science, or anything like it. This is only my take on the topic, based on personal observation and years of experience with hypnosis and other forms of persuasion.


"But when you start seeing ad hominem attacks that offer no reasons at all, that might be a sign that people in the mass hysteria bubble don’t understand what is wrong with your point of view except that it sounds more sensible than their own."

I think this symptom is often exhibited by pseudo skeptics and it indicates materialism is a form of mass hysteria.
The first gulp from the glass of science will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you - Werner Heisenberg. (More at my Blog & Website)
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#10
The sceptical aversion to being fooled or being wrong about a particular subject. Is a source of endless fascination for me.
Lucky for me I have a great deal of personal experience in both.
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