Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the thinker: Being A Skeptic

Interesting post over at the ThinkingProf Blog.

the thinker: Being A Skeptic

He writes what I consider to be an irrefutable truth. Especially with the 'I get my news from John Stewart' demographic.
At times, I'm not sure people are even reading--much less reading critically and carefully--the information that they present and the links that they post.
And then goes on and uses one of my posts as an example.

I like the post because imparts some historical details I previously did not know (historical perspectives is a stated goal of this blog). It's worth a read.

I think his overall point is that in the arena of discourse facts can be used fast and loose and details may be obscured?

In this day and age of the sound bite, 'John Stewart as a Journalist', and hyperbolic propaganda, I could not agree more. I just feel a little self-conscious that I was singled out (not really). I would urge the professor to cite examples of the left committing similar transgressions (if that is what in fact he thinks they are) as well.

I am not sure the professor necessarily debunked the message I tried to convey by using the quote which was "The girl couldn't quite communicate the point of her sign. She was just super smart and if you didn't get it then you were just too dumb"


  1. Thank you for your comments on my post and for continuing the conversation on your site as well.

    I don't know if you saw, but I posted a response to your comments. I found them very helpful and thought-provoking. It's always a good thing when someone makes you think, as you have done several times this week.

    If I singled you out, it was only because it's difficult to find people speaking both forcefully and thoughtfully about the issues that matter to them, as you do here on your blog. I actually liked your blog because it wasn't just ranting: it was attempting thoughtful and thought-provoking engagement with the issues through external references and links.

    So, ironically, it was the underlying strength of your blog that made it a good example for what I wanted to argue in my own post. But I realize now in reading your comments and in rereading what I wrote that I did not communicate that at all--and I should have. I apologize for that.

    And yes, you've summarized my point exactly: there is too little attention to detail and nuance in public discourse in general to suit me and the tendency of both sides of the media debate to play "fast and loose" with facts bothers me. You've hit the nail on the head.

    I don't think the girl in the video was super-smart or that anyone who didn't "get" her sign was dumb. I think the signs were silly, actually, and the students made no effort to communicate their points to you at all. I responded to this a bit more in the comment on my post.

    And, as I indicated there, as a result of your input, I'm going to try to be more aware of my own blind spots in both my writing and my thinking. Thank you for pointing them out--it's a valuable insight to give someone.

    One last thing: I'm a "she," not a "he"! :-) Good luck with your blog--I'll be reading. I've enjoyed and appreciated the exchange.

  2. Thanks for stopping by. I'll be checking in on your blog as well.

    And sorry for the gender presumption faux pas.