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Master of Philosophy, Lord of Debate, Sultan of Reason

The Adventures of Fallacy Man, from Existential Comics.
posted by Artw on Jan 4, 2014 - 55 comments

Scientists Confirm Sheeple Safe to Eat

With 2000+ global studies confirming safety, GM foods among most analyzed "Environmental impact studies are predominant in the body of GM research, making up 68% of the 1,783 studies. These studies investigated environmental impact on the crop-level, farm-level and landscape-level. Nicolia and his team found “little to no evidence” that GM crops have a negative environmental impact on their surroundings." [more inside]
posted by Knigel on Oct 8, 2013 - 169 comments

“We were for the Contras in Nicaragua; wary of affirmative action,”

Matt Welch, Reason: The Death of Contrarianism
Klein, then at The American Prospect, a progressive D.C. opinion magazine founded in 1990, wanted Peters, founder (in 1969) of The Washington Monthly, to answer for the way neoliberalism had degenerated into lefty-on-lefty contrarianism. “What has happened, at least to some younger folks like me,” Klein said, “is that at times this appears to have become not an honest critique, but a positioning device. The idea that it’s not about the quality of the argument, but the display: You show honesty by attacking Democrats, you show independence by attacking liberals. At times I think that has been a damaging impulse on our side.”
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 22, 2013 - 30 comments

"a certain... moral flexibility would be the only way to describe it"

Our Inconsistent Ethical Instincts
We like to believe that the principled side of the equation is rooted in deep, reasoned conviction. But a growing wealth of research shows that those values often prove to be finicky, inconsistent intuitions, swayed by ethically irrelevant factors. What you say now you might disagree with in five minutes. And such wavering has implications for both public policy and our personal lives.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 18, 2013 - 26 comments

Inside joke! Obscure meme reference!

The Pew Internet And American Life Project has a new report out on Teens, Social Media, and Privacy. danah boyd comments:
My favorite finding of Pew’s is that 58% of teens cloak their messages either through inside jokes or other obscure references, with more older teens (62%) engaging in this practice than younger teens (46%).
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 5, 2013 - 51 comments

David Simon ReasonTV interview

Last week Reason Magazine posted a 20-minute video interview with David Simon (The Wire, Homicide, Treme and more) on its web site. On his personal blog Simon accused the Reason editors of "shanking" the interview by selectively editing the video in favor of "banter and quick reposite", and sacrificing context and complete arguments to the extent that the interview seems "incoherent." In response to Simon's comments Reason has posted the full 1 hour 20 minute audio of the interview. (direct link to mp3 audio)
posted by mediated self on Sep 23, 2012 - 21 comments

What kind of PRI will rule Mexico?

With the election of Pena Nieto to the presidency, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) ends a twelve-year absence from the seat. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 3, 2012 - 29 comments

Drones are here, many more are coming and there’s no going back.

Al Jazeera: 'US admits ops in Yemen and Somalia: White House formally acknowledges "direct action", believed to mean drone strikes, against al-Qaeda and its affiliates.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 19, 2012 - 98 comments

We are star stuff.

Hi. Here's Stephen Colbert (out of character) and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson having an 85 minute conversation about science, physics, and the universe.
posted by lazaruslong on Nov 28, 2011 - 49 comments

How to Make Hip Hop Hits

boyinaband rocks Reason and shows us How to Make Hip Hop Hits.
posted by swift on Oct 7, 2011 - 16 comments

No they don't

People argue just to win, assert researchers. Rationality may have evolved simply to let people feel triumphant; internet inevitable. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston on Jun 14, 2011 - 97 comments

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears....

The Science of Why We Don't Believe In Science. Or How To Win An Argument: Try Not To Rely on Facts. MotherJones investigates what recent research can tell us about how we reason (or don't).
posted by Diablevert on Apr 18, 2011 - 45 comments

Causal vs. Effectual Thinkers in Business

What distinguishes great entrepreneurs? "Discussions of entrepreneurial psychology typically focus on creativity, tolerance for risk, and the desire for achievement—enviable traits that, unfortunately, are not very teachable." So Professor Saras D. Sarasvathy (Caution, autoplaying video) of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business created a case study to try to determine how they think, "with the goal of transferring that knowledge to aspiring founders." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 10, 2011 - 10 comments

Religion, freedom and democracy in Egypt

Deacon Dodge has a couple of posts (here and here) about religion, freedom and democracy amid the turmoil of Egypt. [more inside]
posted by KMH on Feb 4, 2011 - 4 comments

Make Music Anywhere

Pocket music apps are letting composers and artists create music anywhere - and they're developing fast. [more inside]
posted by Stark on Aug 11, 2010 - 51 comments

How Facts Backfire

Why having the facts sometimes isn't enough, and what that means for politics and society.
posted by jhandey on Jul 12, 2010 - 61 comments

Premanand will not recant

Basava Premanand, rationalist and founder of The Indian Skeptic, is dying. [more inside]
posted by vanar sena on Sep 28, 2009 - 17 comments

Baloney Detection Kit

The Baloney Detection Kit. "With a sea of information coming at us from all directions, how do we sift out the misinformation and bogus claims, and get to the truth? Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, lays out a 'Baloney Detection Kit' — ten questions we should ask when encountering a claim."
posted by homunculus on Jun 25, 2009 - 52 comments

The seeming nonsensicalness of this incredible universe

"Workmanlike" astronomy: The Vatican Observatory, among the oldest astronomical centers in the world, brings a team of Jesuits to the papal summer residence. Its scientists play a large part in the church's efforts to reconcile faith with reason. [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jun 22, 2009 - 31 comments

Philosophia Islamica

Meet the Islamic Philosophers. Arabic philosophy sought to reconcile the science and empiricism of Aristotle, the metaphysics of Neoplatonism, and the revelations of the Holy Qur'an. From the first thoughts of Abū Yūsuf Yaʻqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī, to the 20,000 pages of Abū 'l-Walīd Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Rushd, the influence of these Muslim polymaths profoundly shaped Western thought. [more inside]
posted by ageispolis on Mar 31, 2009 - 12 comments

Science and the "Obama Restoration"

The Essential Parallel Between Science and Democracy. "[T]he restorative steps Obama has taken vis-à-vis science are praiseworthy not so much because they respect science as because they respect the grand institutions of democracy. This is no accident, because the very virtues that make democracy work are also those that make science work: a commitment to reason and transparency, an openness to critical scrutiny, a skepticism toward claims that too neatly support reigning values, a willingness to listen to countervailing opinions, a readiness to admit uncertainty and ignorance, and a respect for evidence gathered according to the sanctioned best practices of the moment."
posted by sarabeth on Feb 18, 2009 - 28 comments

America's Middle Class

Livin' Large - To hear the Lou Dobbses and Bill O'Reillys of the world--not to mention politicians ranging from Ron Paul to Hillary Clinton--the middle class of America (however you define that term) has never had it so tough. Between credit squeezes, out-of-control immigration, rising costs of education and health care and everything else, it's all darkness out there for those of us who are neither millionaires nor welfare cases, right? (A video presented by Drew Carey and reason.tv)
posted by blue_beetle on Feb 5, 2008 - 120 comments

Science and Technology in the 2008 Presidential Election

Dr. President: "The next president of the United States of America will control a $150 billion annual research budget, 200,000 scientists, and 38 major research institutions and all their related labs. This president will shape human endeavors in space, bioethics debates, and the energy landscape of the 21st century." With the coming election, the AAAS has created a new website and devoted a section of their journal Science to the Democratic and Republican candidates' positions on science and technology issues. But to help further clarify their positions, some people are calling for the candidates to have a presidential debate on science and technology. [Via The Intersection and Wired Science.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 9, 2008 - 48 comments

Come on Down

Drew Carey defends medical marijuana.
posted by Curry on Nov 5, 2007 - 61 comments

No one really misses Angelfire.

So, are you feeling nostalgic? There's also an, uh, adult section. Of course. [more inside]
posted by converge on Oct 6, 2007 - 39 comments

More than fish wrapper

At rivertrout.com, the goal is to bring together people who nurture a passion for an old, and yet exquisite, form of literature: The writing of letters.
posted by netbros on Aug 28, 2007 - 12 comments

Slaves to Superstition

Episode one of controversial evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins' new series Enemies of Reason premieres on Channel 4 tonight. Here's a list of topics.
posted by chuckdarwin on Aug 13, 2007 - 310 comments

Science and Islam

Science and the Islamic world—The quest for rapprochement. "Internal causes led to the decline of Islam's scientific greatness long before the era of mercantile imperialism. To contribute once again, Muslims must be introspective and ask what went wrong."
posted by homunculus on Aug 7, 2007 - 19 comments

What science can, and can't, tell us about the insanity defense.

'You Can't See Why on an fMRI.' Brian Doherty explores the vagaries of the insanity defense, centering on the sad cases of Andrea Yates and Eric Clark.
posted by Sticherbeast on Jun 19, 2007 - 7 comments

In Defense Of Foreign Policy Reptiles

Learning From Ike: What a Republican realist could teach George Bush. "If we hope to succeed, we manage evil. We minimize, mitigate, and manipulate evil. But efforts to pre-emptively eliminate evil are prone to end in overreaction and destabilization, with consequences that are often worse than the original problem."
posted by Sticherbeast on Apr 18, 2007 - 36 comments

20 questions for 20 politicians.

Let's play 20 questions. 20 candidates for President, 20 personalized questions.
posted by Sticherbeast on Feb 16, 2007 - 19 comments

This is a way nerdy analysis of the cost of shopping at drugstores vs. Wal-Mart vs. the gas required to get to them.

Now this is what you call an alpha nerd. I remember this guy from his inspiringly, excruciatingly detailed analysis of various routes he took into work, collecting data over a year.
posted by Mr. Gunn on Sep 21, 2006 - 36 comments

Reasonable Thoughts on Operation Iraqi Freedom

Hindsight on Iraq is 20/20 -- but views diverge. Reason magazine asks notable libertarians, conservatives, and academics -- from Instapundit Glenn Reynolds (one word: "win") to Illuminatus! author Robert Anton Wilson ("Bush has used [the invasion] as an excuse to destroy the last few tattered remnants of the Bill of Rights") -- if they would have chosen differently in 2003, knowing how the war would develop.
posted by digaman on Apr 3, 2006 - 97 comments

Best of the logical web

Fallacy Files
posted by Gyan on Feb 11, 2006 - 16 comments

...plainly jinxed by whatever faith he cringes before ...

President Jonah --an essay/history lesson/bible lesson/etc by Gore Vidal. ...We have also come to a point in this dark age where there is not only no hero in view but no alternative road unblocked. We are trapped terribly in a now that few foresaw and even fewer can define ...
posted by amberglow on Jan 28, 2006 - 33 comments

Happy 90th, Klan Deuce!

Hooded Progressivism: The secret reformist history of the Klu Klux Klan.
"Today the Federal Reserve is more likely to be the object of a Klan conspiracy theory than the source of its favored candidate for president. Today, for that matter, when a movie inspires people to create odd organizations and dress up in costume, they're more likely to end up at a convention devoted to Star Trek than a convention devoted to nominating a presidential candidate. A lot can change in 90 years. "

posted by Sticherbeast on Dec 3, 2005 - 27 comments

No, you're wrong! No, YOU'RE wrong!!

If You're a Christian, Muslim or Jew - You are Wrong - A rant over at the Huffington Post.
And let's be clear about this, it IS a rant, and a beaut at that. But it's a sentiment that's run through the head of everyone who isn't a member of the three mentioned groups. No one in the mainstream media says things like this, I wonder why?
The post is made. Let the emphatic agreements, and the vicious denials... begin!
posted by JHarris on Oct 23, 2005 - 259 comments

The culture war continues...

An antidote to theocracy - A celebration of rational thought over government-sponsored, populist ignorance, religious tolerance over an encroaching theocracy, it's just one more salvo in the constantly shifting culture war within America.
posted by AlexReynolds on Apr 13, 2005 - 44 comments

The End Of Faith

The End Of Faith

A belief is a lever that, once pulled, moves almost everything else in a person’s life. Are you a scientist? A liberal? A racist? These are merely species of belief in action. Your beliefs define your vision of the world; they dictate your behavior; they determine your emotional responses to other human beings. If you doubt this, consider how your experience would suddenly change if you came to believe one of the following propositions: 1. You have only two weeks to live. 2. You’ve just won a lottery prize of one hundred million dollars. 3. Aliens have implanted a receiver in your skull and are manipulating your thoughts.
posted by nofundy on Mar 19, 2005 - 156 comments

Stephenson Expounds!

Reason interview with Neal Stephenson containing (among other things!) libertarian-statist-terrorist triangulation, the epidemiology of domination systems, praise for 17th century financial & philosophical sophistication and... oh and an apologia for his endings :D [via SE, also see :]
posted by kliuless on Feb 10, 2005 - 23 comments

And I pray you can make it better down here. I don't mean a big reduction in the price of beer

Pray For Reason is a call to Americans of all religions and belief systems who want to see their country's policies at home and abroad based on facts, history, and reasonable thought processes.
My favorite: Dear God (in all your forms), protect us from those humans among us who wish to direct the destiny of the world for their own gain. Bring them humility, compassion and enlightenment, and allow them to see the interconnection of all beings. (Or bring down upon them a rain of burning rocks, whichever strikes your fancy.) Amen
posted by amberglow on Jun 11, 2004 - 10 comments

We know where you live!

Reason magazine uses individualized data to give its subscribers a '1984'-style surprise. The idea surfaced a year ago at a cocktail party: What if you opened your mailbox to find a national magazine with your name on the cover and the headline "They Know Where You Live!" — under an aerial photo of your house? And what if, when you turned the page, the editor's note and the advertisements included details about your neighbors? (LA Times/Reg. Rqd)
posted by ColdChef on May 20, 2004 - 23 comments

Confessions of a Welfare Queen

Confessions of a Welfare Queen. How rich bastards like John Stossel rip off taxpayers for millions of dollars. By John Stossel.
posted by ZenMasterThis on Apr 5, 2004 - 29 comments

But it is at times of bewilderment that the weapon of analysis and criticism comes into its own...

But it is at times of bewilderment that the weapon of analysis and criticism comes into its own... If western culture is shown to be rich it is because, even before the Enlightenment, it has tried to "dissolve" harmful simplifications through inquiry and the critical mind. Umberto Eco speaks in The Guardian.
posted by rushmc on Oct 15, 2001 - 11 comments

[The Extropian vision]

[The Extropian vision] Reason magazine reports from Extro-5. Visionaries or crackpots? Just how fast are things going to get strange?
posted by davidchess on Jun 26, 2001 - 8 comments

2001 - The year of new reason?

2001 - The year of new reason? "There is clearly only so much that people can take in terms of stories which range from the unnecessarily alarmist to the downright silly, and the news media are at last recognising this."
posted by todd on Jan 3, 2001 - 4 comments

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