The best logical fallacy of all: The Fallacy Fallacy

1000words

If you have ever shared an opinion on the internet, you have probably been in an internet argument, and if you have been in enough internet arguments you have likely been called out for committing a logical fallacy, and if you’ve been called out on enough logical fallacies in enough internet arguments you may have spent some time learning how logical fallacies work, and if you have been in enough internet arguments after having learned how logical fallacies work then you have likely committed the fallacy fallacy.

This episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast is the first in a full season of episodes exploring logical fallacies. In the first show of this series you will hear three experts in logic and debate explain how formal arguments are constructed, what logical fallacies are, and how to spot, avoid, and defend against the one logical fallacy that, after learning such things, is most likely to turn you into an internet blowhard.

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

This episode is brought to you by Trunk Club. Like Netflix for clothes, a professional stylist helps you define your new look, and then your new clothes arrive at your doorstep in a special trunk. Keep what you want, return the rest. Get started today and Trunk Club will style you for FREE. Plus FREE SHIPPING both ways! Click here for this special offer.

This episode is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Get unlimited access to a huge library of The Great Courses lecture series on many fascinating subjects. Read the rest

Chelsea Manning interview: DNA, big data, official secrecy, and citizenship

25
Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg creates portraits from DNA samples, usually working from found samples -- chewing gum, cigarette butts -- of people she's never met. But this year, she's done a pair of extraordinary portraits of Chelsea Manning, the whistleblower currently serving a 35-year sentence in Fort Leavenworth for her role in the Wikileaks Cablegate publications.

The fantastical world of Bobby Love

1
I've been a fan since I first saw photographs of Bobby Love's stunning costume designs! Images of his work fill several of my friends Facebook feeds, and I had to learn more about him! I hope you enjoy these photos, and his story, as much as I do! -- Jason

"Fantasy couture designer Bobby Love lives in a fantastical world populated by circus performers, artists and other worldly creatures. His whimsical fashion and costume designs featured here are influenced by legendary Art Deco master Erte, whom he names all his parrots after.

Born in Hong Kong, Bobby Love attended Chapman University at age 16 (youngest in his class), and went on to earn post graduate degrees in Business Administration and Psychology from USC. Through his first job working graveyard shift at a psychiatric hospital for 3 years, he learned to think quickly on his feet and handle unpredictable situations. The ability to empathize and be a good listener would be important skills he acquired.

Arriving in Hollywood at age 20, Bobby Love worked diligently and achieved a successful business career. However, he also knew he needed an outlet to express his artistic creativity. Bobby started his hobby of sketching fashion designs at age 14. This is a passion which led to him meeting many artists and performers, ultimately inspiring him to create the many fantastical fantasy couture wardrobe we see today.

Designing between 20 to 30 "suites" a year using only his free time on weekends, each "suite" represents a different fantasy/mythical theme and may include a coat, vest, matching pants, hat and accessories. Read the rest

What publishers should do

oldetime

You can’t work at a book publisher for more than five minutes without someone telling you what publishers should do. You know, “to survive.” “Be relevant.” Something.

Even literary agents, who should know better, will get in on this action. One of the most prominent agents in New York, seated next to me at an event a few years back, took the opportunity to lecture me through the appetizer course on how book publishers should band together and “build their own Amazon” to sell books. Digital disruption = solved.

“Ma'am, you may have a point. You don’t, for All The Reasons, but let’s say you did. The book publishing industry is made of book people. Book people as a class pride themselves on knowing about everything—except computers, with a vengeance. They still edit 100,000-word manuscripts with pencils. I could count on one finger the number of people in this business who could program a coffee-maker. How in the world would the people in charge hire a single competent developer? If you’d seen the technological boondoggles, the 7-figure white-label ‘content management systems,’ these rubes have fallen for…”

If you really enjoy unsolicited opinions about what publishers should do, go work at Amazon to help build a New York book publishing imprint from the ground up. The book people who still talk to you afterward will be happy to tell you what you’re doing wrong. (Guys, I'm not working at Amazon anymore. Can we be friends again?)

All that said: I know what publishers should do. Read the rest

Kano Computer Kit – If kids can put together Legos, then why not a whole computer?

tumblr_o19mqoowTx1u9pcmwo1_12801

Confession: I know nothing – NOTHING – about coding. I’m still stuck in the glory days of the “if/thens” of my original Apple IIe, circa 1983. And I barely knew how to do anything past whatever I copied verbatim from Byte. I never got that right either. I don’t think. Ever. I remember staying up all night to do a Thundercats hi-res game. Tried to run it at 4am. Nothing. No Lion-O, no Cheetarah, no Snarf... NOTHING. Thus began a life of failure. BUT. I did not want my kids to suffer that same fate. Especially because it is now a presidential mandate that all kids must learn to code. And code they shall.

Kano is built on a simple idea: If kids can piece together Legos, then why not a whole computer? So they not only have a tactile experience in the building of the thing, but more importantly, they take ownership. Have a hands on experiece with their computer, and know it inside and out. My kids opened the cleverly packaged Kano box and had their machines up and running in about 45 minutes. The directions are sort of similar to Lego directions. Very simple, very easy to understand, and I’ll be damned... these boys, ages 7 and 9, were coding within the hour.

The computer itself comes with a Rasberry Pi brain, all the necessary cables, a keyboard, instructions and stickers to personalize the experience. It comes loaded with a bunch of different apps: Minecraft, Scratch, hack old school Pong, hack Snake, and many other great things, all with an eye towards hacking, coding and exploring. Read the rest

Disneyland has stopped offering 13 minutes of tranquility

TheMarkTwain

People going to amusement parks in the post World War II boom times of the early 1950s were looking for fast, not slow; they wanted to be thrilled, not dropped into a peaceful and pastoral setting. But that’s just what Walt Disney gave them in The Rivers of America. From the moment Walt Disney began to think about what would eventually become “Disneyland,” he conceived of it as a park — a “themed park.” Different “lands” would bring visitors into exotic or futuristic places with architecture, attractions, and rides. Adventureland took you into the jungle on a cruise through dense forests and encounters with wild animals; Fantasyland put you right into the fairy-tale films for which Disney was already famous; Tommorrowland showed what the future might hold; Frontierland pulled you into the old west, through a small town, toward an Indian Village (populated by real Native Americans back then), and eventually to an enormous ride through the wonders of the old west: Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland. All of Frontierland ran around the peripherary of the Rivers of America, a body of water wide enough for a 5/8 scale recreation of a steamboat—the first one built in America since approximately 1905. The steamboat, named “The Mark Twain,” along with Main Street U.S.A., was the largest physical expression of Walt’s nostalagia for an earlier, more simple lifestyle. It was his boyhood in fantasy.

Walt was a dreamer, and one of the things he wanted to do in his park was transport people to the places he remembered and romanticized from his childhood. Read the rest

Best older kid's literature from 1966

llyr

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a true-blue fan of intermediate-reader adventures published during the Sixties (1964–73). Attribute this, if you will, to the fact that these books were popular when I was an impressionable adolescent in the late 1970s. The fact remains, the Sixties were a cornucopia producing a flood of extraordinary titles: Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising series, Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Joan Aiken’s Wolves Chronicles series, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wind in the Door, S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, E.L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Sure, I dig older kids’ lit from other eras, too. But nothing compares.

In anticipation of their 50th anniversaries, this year, here’s my list of the Best Older Kid’s Lit of 1966. Please let me know which favorite titles of yours I’ve overlooked!

OLDER KIDS’ LIT on HILOBROW: Best of 1963 | Best of 1964 | Best of 1965 | Best of 1966 | Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Lost Prince (serialized) | YA Sci-Fi | ALSO SEE: Best 1966 Adventures (for Grownups).

*

In no particular order…

René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s bande dessinée Asterix adventure Asterix the Legionary. The tenth Asterix story is a particular favorite of mine — because it is a sardonic inversion of one of my favorite sub-genres of adventure: the all-for-one, one-for-all argonautica. In order to rescue a Gaul who has been conscripted into the Roman army and shipped to North Africa, where Julius Caesar was battling Metellus Scipio, Asterix and Obelix enlist in the army themselves. Read the rest

A peek into Disneyland's Dead Man’s Grotto

PiratesLai MapA

Among the attractions that will vanish for at least 18 months during the construction of the new land devoted to Star Wars, there’s a good chance that at least one, located on Tom Sawyer Island, might not return: Dead Man’s Grotto.

After the enormous (and unexpected) success of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the folks at Walt Disney Imagineering began developing an extensive makeover of Tom Sawyer Island into something that would expand the presence of Pirates into a much larger area of the park, and also motivate more people to make use of Tom Sawyer Island.

Two things led to a half-hearted final product. First, fans loved Tom Sawyer Island (even though most folks didn’t visit it) because it had been designed by Walt Disney himself and it was a great (and generally safe) place to let your kids run around while parents sat in the shade. It is an important part of the park’s history. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the budget for the project was repeatedly cut so the end result was still pretty much Tom Sawyer Island with a few pirate things worked lightly into it, including a short-lived Captain Jack Sparrow Meet and Greet at the far end of the island where few people seem to go.

The most notable and interesting part of the addition took place in what had previously been “Injun Joe’s Cave.”

And when the Island was Pirate-ized, the cave became Dead Man’s Grotto.

While the overlay on the exterior parts of the island was fairly modest, there was a lot of technological fun to be found in Dead Man’s Grotto. Read the rest

Everything you know about celebrity deaths is wrong

bloids211

[My friend Peter Sheridan is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for British national newspapers. He has covered revolutions, civil wars, riots, wildfires, and Hollywood celebrity misdeeds for longer than he cares to remember. As part of his job, he must read all the weekly tabloids. For the past couple of years, he's been posting terrific weekly tabloid recaps on Facebook and has graciously given us permission to run them on Boing Boing. Enjoy! - Mark]

“Hollywood Death Mysteries Solved!”

Natalie Wood, Bruce Lee, Sonny Bono, and David Carradine were all murdered, and Richard Burton was beaten to death.

That’s according to the expert forensic authority known in academic circles as Globe magazine.

Solved?

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Those of us who thought Sonny Bono died after skiing at high speed into a tree were evidently fooled by brilliant “drug assassins” who beat him to death and planted his body on a ski slope. Because what could be easier than dragging a dead body up a mountain in deep snow?

Autopsy photos “could reveal Natalie Wood’s death was a murder.” Because even though medical examiners, police and prosecutors have viewed the photos, the truth won’t be known until the Globe’s pet attorney has seen the pictures. There you go – solved!

Richard Burton got into a bar brawl two days before he died. Though officials ruled that long-standing illnesses killed the actor, the Globe assures us it was the fight that killed him. Read the rest

The delight of the unexpected moment when your child comes upon a character at a Disney park

bootstrappers

With the unsettling closure and uncertain future of a vast original area of Disneyland which has remained mostly undisturbed since park opening in 1955, it seems fitting to reflect upon some things which made it memorable. This is the first of a series of pieces, and also the most indirect — it’ll take me six paragraphs to make my real point.

One thing every parent knows is the delight of “the unexpected moment” when your child comes upon a character at a Disney park without warning.

There’s less of that these days, with “Character Meet and Greets” having been turned into controlled experiences and fewer instances of the characters simply walking the parks and freely mingling with the guests. (You tend to see much more of this at the Tokyo Disney Resort.)

On a trip to Disneyland when my daughter was about 4 or 5 years old just under a decade ago, we entered the park early, passed through Main Street, and were taking the walkway up to Sleeping Beauty Castle that curves to the right, past Snow White’s Grotto. The white marble statues of Snow White and the Dwarfs were a gift from the Ambassador of Italy, I explained to my daughter. They reside in a man-made grotto with a waterfall.

On the walkway itself is a full-size replica of the wishing well from the film Snow White. If you lean over and listen, you will hear Snow White singing. My daughter was listening intently, looking into the well, and when she turned around there was Snow White — pretty, indeed, as a picture. Read the rest

The Explorers Guild graphic novel - "Rudyard Kipling meets Indiana Jones"

tumblr_o0t6n1XMUG1t3i99fo1_1280

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

The Explorers Guild: Volume One: A Passage to Shambhala is a throwback to the golden age of adventure stories. It’s one part pulp novel and one part graphic novel, brought to cinematic life by Hollywood director Kevin Costner. I first heard about The Explorers Guild on an episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast. Costner described it as a book that could stand the test of time. "I like the idea of taking something off the shelf that has the heft of this [book] and actually having to blow the dust off it”.

I was immediately hooked.

The story is set during World War I and revolves around the Guild’s quest to find the mythological holy Buddhist city of Shambhala, a search that will take them from one side of the globe to the other, and unveil an incredible secret. The story is Rudyard Kipling meets Indiana Jones. It’s good fun.

The old timey language took me a while to get used to, but after a few chapters the style and voice really enriched the story and made it feel even more like an adventure from another time. The plot meanders a bit, like an old black-and-white Saturday matinee movie, always begging you to turn the page to find out just one more secret, but I found that perfect for this kind of story. If you enjoy plunging into mysterious, sprawling worlds you will probably like it too. I enjoyed returning to it again and again each night as I read. Read the rest

Keep your scythe, the real green future is high-tech, democratic, and radical

1654x2551sr
"Radical ecology" has come to mean a kind of left-wing back-to-the-landism that throws off consumer culture and mass production for a pastoral low-tech lifestyle. But as the brilliant science journalist and Marxist Leigh Phillips writes in Austerity Ecology & the Collapse-Porn Addicts: A Defence Of Growth, Progress, Industry And Stuff, if the left has a future, it has to reclaim its Promethean commitment to elevating every human being to a condition of luxurious, material abundance and leisure through technological progress.

5 books that bust the myths of drug writing

junkie

In November of 2014, my crime thriller Cracked was published by Titan Books. Its protagonist is a crack-addicted former fighter and personal trainer, Danielle “Danny” Cleary.

Soon after I signed the publishing contract for this series – it will be a trilogy – I realized with a kind of sinking, sickening clarity, that I might be asked about the drug use in the book. While Cracked isn’t about, uh, crack per se, I knew that having an addict for a heroine was going to raise some eyebrows. The drug use, like some of the violence in the book, is precise and detailed. Barbra Leslie's Cracked is available from Amazon.

Now, I’ve never been a fighter (although I do like to punch things). But the drug use? Yeah, I didn’t have to make that part up. Ten years ago, after a painful split from my then-husband, I tossed my middle-class, respectable life out the window and dove head-first into a world of dive bars, cocaine and finally, after falling for a guy whose addiction beat mine by many years and orders of magnitude, crack. (This was very out of character for me: I’m one of those people who can’t smoke weed without feeling nauseous, and never had a second’s interest in any hallucinogen or opiate, though à chacun son goût, and all that.) I was able to stop. I’ve been drug-free for about seven years now.

Despite all this – and my bookworm English degree, and a life filled with reading nearly everything I could get my hands on – I was never attracted to books about drugs, or written by addicts. Read the rest

Gene Luen Yang's inaugural speech as National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

image1
Gene Luen Yang burst on the graphic novel scene in 2006 with the Eisner-award winning American Born Chinese, a brilliant memoir about growing up as an Asian American; and followed up with a diverse oeuvre that spanned video games, Asian representation in superhero comics, and digital literacy.

The Entrepreneurial State: how the "free market" stalls without government-funded innovation

Buzz_salutes_the_U.S._Flag
Mariana Mazzucato's The Entrepreneurial State uses empirical research to demolish the capitalist orthodoxy that holds the state to be a feckless, harmful distorter of markets.

Slideways: if Connect 4 was as sneaky as Go

animation (4)
Slideways is a tic-tac-toe variant that lets players occupy squares, change their opponents' squares, or move where the squares are relative to one another. It's a strategy game with more sneaky ways to win -- and lose -- than seems possible, at first.

How to become better at smelling and avoiding the many varieties of bullshit

blurbull

How strong is your bullshit detector? And what exactly IS the scientific definition of bullshit?

In this episode we explore both of those concepts as well as what makes a person susceptible to bullshit, how to identify and defend against it, and what kind of people are the most and least likely to be bowled over by bullshit artists and other merchants of feel-good woo.

You’ll hear how Gordon Pennycook and his team at the University of Waterloo set out to discover if there was a spectrum of receptivity for a certain kind of humbug they call pseudo-profound bullshit – the kind that sounds deep and meaningful at first glance, but upon closer inspection means nothing at all. They wondered, is there a “type” of person who is more susceptible to that kind of language, and if so, what other things about personalities and thinking styles correlate with that tolerance and lack of skepticism, and why?

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

This episode is brought to you by The Great Courses. Get 80 percent off Behavioral Economics: When Psychology and Economics Collide presented by professor Scott Heutell along with many other fantastic lecture series by visiting this link and ordering today!

Support the show directly by becoming a patron! Get episodes one-day-early and ad-free. Head over to the YANSS Patreon Page for more details.

In every episode, after I read a bit of self delusion news, I taste a cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener/reader. Read the rest

More posts