All posts tagged: Wrongology

Animal Species and the Language Police

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has taken offense to phrases that they say trivializes cruelty to animals. They call it “Speciesism”. In a recent Twitter post, they wrote “Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations.” The response to this tweet was not particularly supportive of the concept. For the most part, the internet laughed. “So you’re saying that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” “You’re flogging a dead horse.” “So you’re advocating violence against flowers now.” “PETA probably has bigger fish to fry…oops.” “So, Curiosity thrilled the cat (not killed).” “Hey peta! You forgot to let the weather know it has to stop raining cats and dogs.” “I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, sound too pig headed, but want to address the elephant in the room, there is more than one way to skin a cat.” “We should also address the 800-pound gorilla in the room …

Everyone Talks about the Weather

Weather is the state of the atmosphere at any given time and place. Climate is the long-term average of the weather in a given place. While the weather can change in minutes or hours, a change in climate is something that develops over longer periods of decades to centuries. – United States Environmental Protection Agency – Certain ‘activist’, ‘extremist’ or ‘alarmist’ media will invariably report colder than average temperatures as just being ‘weather’. Warmer than average temperatures will be reported as   ‘climate change caused by CO2 emissions’(formerly global warming.) Drought, extreme rainfall, heat waves, wild fires, cyclones, flooding, hurricanes – certain media will always claim these are caused by climate change, even if reputable scientific sources dispute these claims. Whether you are an Anthropogenic Climate Change Believer or Skeptic, the important question is “What are you going to do about it?” In a one-year longitudinal study of 600 American adults, participants reported their climate change beliefs, pro-environmental behavior, and other climate-change related measures. (Journal of Environmental Psychology, Volume 56, April 2018, Pages 55-62) Three belief …

Peterson Derangement Syndrome

Someday “Peterson Derangement Syndrome” will be cited in the DSM as a peculiarly virulent social contagion which did not affect ordinary people, but which left-leaning intellectuals, lacking immunity, succumbed to in droves. – Barbara Kay of the National Post – Dr. Jordan Peterson, clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto, speaks in Calgary tonight at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Peterson, the author of the book 12 Rules for Life,  made headlines in 2016 when he opposed Bill C-16 (which affords transgender people the freedom from discrimination under the Criminal Code). His opposition was not to the rights of transgender people. He saw the language part of the Bill as an extension of a campus culture that he believes is controlled by “social justice warrior, left-wing radical political activists.”  He saw the potential  of being charged with a hate crime or running afoul of the Ontario Human Rights code if people failed to use a transgender person’s self identified pronoun. Cathy Newman : “You got into trouble for refusing to call trans-men and -women by …

The Dark Side of Group Loyalty – Bias and Fallacies

If you are promoting the value of loyalty, it may be that you need to promote other values at the same time, like fairness and integrity. As effective as loyalty can be in promoting other positive behaviors, Loyalty in isolation can be a dark thing. – Angus Hildreth’s comments, Group Loyalty – The Information Age has given us access to incredible amounts of data and opinion, but also vast numbers of Biased Reports and False Narratives… and an Uncivil Outrage that is triggered when people are unwilling to look beyond the easy facade of their Loyalty and Bias. How culpable are politicians and the media in stirring the flames of anger? What is the role of Social Media?  How do YOU know when mountains of bias are covering a more accurate truth? Here are just a few ideas that could help you to be more informed and less manipulated. Be Cautious of Statistics The Four M’s of Statistics –  they can be Manipulated, Mismanaged, Misrepresented and Massaged by officials and other groups to promote their …

The Quippery

Yikes! We’ve got Americans!

Americans Worried about Russian Interference According to a CNN poll in 2018, nearly 3/4 of Americans are worried about foreign (Russian) interference in United States elections. Ironic, then, that powerful American interests are meddling in Canadian affairs! Yikes We’ve got Americans! Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States, recently visited Canada’s eastern province of Ontario, and spoke out on behalf of the Liberal Premier’s ‘Cap and Trade’ system: “I don’t want to interfere in your politics but I have to speak out when I see all of the candidates in the other party proposing to go backwards…” (Ontario’s Liberal Government was defeated in a provincial election on June 7th.) Mr. Gore has also expressed his displeasure with the KM (Kinder Morgan) Transmountain pipeline, which is a Canadian expansion project (from Alberta to the British Columbia coast) that, after a 29-month review, was approved by the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Canadian Government (November 29, 2016). (Protests and lawsuits continue to delay the construction). Fossil fuels are subsidized 38x more than renewables globally. Now …

Mildly Amusing Missives #3 – And More Owls

The Owlets Take Flight Part Two of the Great Horned Owl Story is over here: The Owlets Take Flight A Little Bit About Ants I bought an ant farm. I don’t know where I am going to get a tractor that small! – Steven Wright – Ever so Virtuous Virtue signalling: when you express an opinion in public to show your moral superiority and gain approval – without actually taking a significant action. (Isaac) Newton wouldn’t last long as a ‘public intellectual’ in modern American culture. Sooner or later, he would say ‘offensive’ things that get reported to Harvard and that get picked up by mainstream media as moral-outrage clickbait. His eccentric, ornery awkwardness would lead to swift expulsion from academia, social media, and publishing. Result? On the upside, he’d drive some traffic through Huffpost, Buzzfeed, and Jezebel, and people would have a fresh controversy to virtue-signal about on Facebook. On the downside, we wouldn’t have Newton’s Laws of Motion. ― Geoffrey Miller – Gender Neutrality in Canada Gender neutrality is a hot issue is …

This is my Crone Voice

On one of my recent ‘wanderings’ I came across the word ‘Crone’ or more specifically, the Crone Archetype. Initially, I had a not so pleasant vision of a ‘Crone’, but further reading made me realize that some might say I AM a Crone! Perhaps you are too. (If you are a man, then your corresponding Archetype would be Sage.) If you are a woman of a certain mature age, have abandoned the need for ‘properness’, are up front, and don’t mince your words – you might be a Crone. If you are seen as a being a straight talking mentor, occasionally a trifle crabby  and perhaps even  a bit flirtatious and sassy – you might be a Crone. If you have found an inner peace and accept who you are; if you are realistic and have practical expectations – you might be a crone. I ticked off a lot of the ‘You might be a Crone’ boxes. When I reviewed the content of my blog, my ‘Crone Voice’ was evident in so many of the …

The Quippery

Increase Your Chances of Being Right

In “post-fact culture”, where rationality seems to vanish in the storms of lies and conspiracy theories, beliefs about the future are crucial. – Gapminder Data System – Are you smarter than a chimp? Watch this funny, entertaining and encouraging video to see how your knowledge compares to the chimps at the zoo. How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant. – TED Talk by the Gapminder Founders – What facts surprised you or made you think more positively about the future of the world?

The Quippery

Wrongology – Admit and Embrace Fallibility

Wrongology – the study of what is ‘not right’ – not in conformity with fact or truth, not required, not intended, not fitting, not suitable, not appropriate; deliberately misleading. I made this definition up for a word that is not in the dictionary. There is, however, an interesting TED talk by “Wrongologist” Kathryn Schulz who explains why we should admit and embrace our fallibility. (She also wrote a book: Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error.) Kathyrn points out that the state of being wrong often feels exactly the same as being right. We feel good, (though we are puzzled as to why others don’t agree with us). We don’t attempt to understand why others disagree because if we are wrong, we won’t feel so good. It is incredibly easy to be wrong in the age of biased mass media. I read a report last week that criticized our Canadian Prime Minister’s fiscal priorities  when he responded  to a disabled veteran at a Town Hall Meeting: “I was prepared to be killed in action,” …

The Silent ‘M’ of Mass Media

English has 13 letters that are, at times, silent. A ‘B’ might as well disappear when it is at the end of a word if it follows an ‘M’. ‘C’ is not pronounced in the ending ‘scle.’ ‘D’ disappears in handkerchief. E, G, GH, H, K, L, N, P, S, T, U and W may also be silent on occasion. Readers should also be aware that when a media campaign tries to generate mass hysteria, based on nothing but purposefully vague and unsubstantiated claims, the ‘M’ in ‘Masses’ can also be silent. Social media makes it incredibly easy to spread false or misleading information. Facebook’s algorithm, which tends to only show users content they agree with, makes the company complicit in spreading falsehoods. That feeds into people only seeing particular viewpoints or sources, which allows for these kinds of sites to be circulated with much more frequency.  Facebook needs to create a “check this source bar” that would display information about a story’s origin. We have to remove the barrier for people to fact-check what …