Thursday, July 12, 2012

Random Notes from a Crank

Within a span of thirty minutes this Tuesday, my five-year old son was crying and telling me that "I'm always mean" to him and I "don't like" him and I don't "trust him," and then he was stating this: "I'm sexy, and I know it." Stupid hormones and commercials, respectively.

I know I've said variations of this before, but I don't think I've ever posted it on the blog. Regardless, to me it seems like people think they can make themselves look intelligent by being sarcastic. All being sarcastic shows is that you're being sarcastic, not necessarily intelligent. Sarcasm does not equal intelligence. Sarcasm = Sarcasm.

One of the presents my son got for his birthday in June is an adjustable basketball hoop. Because he's only five, we keep it at the lowest setting, which is 8 feet. I have to say, I'm a damn fine basketball player on a basket at only eight feet. I can even dunk. Shooting around on this hoop got me thinking. There needs to be a league for the shorter folks in the world. I hereby propose a co-ed basketball league that only permits players who are 5'10" and below, and they get to play on a 8 foot rim. If you're 6', Hell no! If you're 5'11," that's too bad. I could have a future in that league.

The article "How Critical Thinkers Lose Their Faith in God" is an interesting article from Scientific American, and I'm sure people will question the research methodologies used, but what about agnostics? They only worked with religious people and atheists. Harumph!

Just when you think the self-replicating code of Starbuck's has eased, there's this: one's going into a funeral home. Thinking about this analytically though, wouldn't a bar turn a better profit?


Fern said...

This point mentioned in the Critical Thinking article has some interesting implications: "Prior research has shown that difficult-to-read font promotes analytic thinking by forcing participants to slow down and think more carefully about the meaning of what they are reading." So what font should I use to print pedagogical materials? Or can I get the same effect by using an ink cartridge that's running low?

Fern said...

On a different note...I used to say I was agnostic but finally decided that it would be more consistent to come out as an atheist since I don't believe in anything else for which there is no rational evidence. Nowadays untethered "belief" often trumps science and does so by appealing to the sense of moderation that led me to stake out the middle ground of agnosticism. But that's how we end up with creationism being taught alongside evolution in science classes and other unholy compromises in the name of "balance." So, like E.M. Forster, I feel a need to be clear about the fact that "I do not believe in belief."

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

Regarding close reading strategies, why not try either or both together?

I believe in science and the scientific method. Such beliefs can make me an apostate in some circles.

Fern said...

Believers can be very strict constructionists.

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

Or believe in the invisible hand of the free market.