Learning & Persuasion Are Not Side Effects of Debate

Somehow debating has become a positive and healthy activity. We do it on tv, YouTube, conferences, and social media. More often than not you will here the screams of the masses calling for two adversaries to debate. Disagreement becomes a spectacle to be entertained by. What’s worse is the claims that debating improves logical thinking, […]

The Cultural Wars, Explained

The group that fights against “X” instead of for “Y” ultimately loses. Anytime your cause is characterized by opposition to a position, or reactionism (think anti-abortion vs. pro-life), it will be less palatable to the people you’re trying to convince. It makes it sound like your movement is overtly critical or backward, implying right off […]

Consistency Over Logic: When Our Assumptions Affect Our Reasoning

Which description is more likely? My neighbor is an atheist, or my neighbor is an atheist and a democrat. If you picked the second option, congratulations! You just picked the illogical choice, and probably the one you’re biased to. See, the probability of my neighbor being an atheist is higher because it’s predicated on one […]

How Status Quo Bias Affects Minorities

“How it’s always been done” is the prevailing excuse for continuing any action regardless of how destructive it is. The status quo is a powerful influencer. It affects all parties involved: those deciding, those empowered by the status quo (i.e. majority), and those disadvantaged by the status quo (i.e. minority). The effect being over-comfortable with […]

This Is How Your Outreach Becomes Affected By False Consensus Bias

We tend to base our answers, assumptions, and perceptions on our collective experiences. If you’ve never talked to a wide selection of black people about their run-ins with police, judges, etc, you’ll assume more about how blacks views the issue of politic brutality. If you’ve never made the effort to discover what particular people think […]

History Isn’t Decided By Fixed Trends

Where is history trending? How you answer that depends on your ideology. A Marxist will answer that question differently than compared to a technologist, or a Christian. But the one thing they all have in common is this… Each of their views of historical trends are impossible to prove. We don’t actually know whether history […]

Illustrating The Racial Breakdown of Crime Stats Is Irrelevant

There’s nothing better (for me, personally) than having my assumptions challenged, and running into new ways of thinking about the issues. This is one of those times. This time, I had the privilege of coming across T. Greg Doucette’s twitterstorm on the irrelevance of demographic breakdown of crime stats. More specifically, how wrong the assumptions pulled […]

Capital Punishment Does Not Align With Our Values

Mainland China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and North Korea would likely register among most Americans’ lists as rogue regimes whose values fundamentally differ from ours. These are nations that have few qualms torturing their citizens. Our alliance with Saudi Arabia is one of necessity, but Americans, rightly, continue to hold deep suspicions regarding the regime. Iran […]

Why You Gotta Be So Negative: Fortune Telling & Political Analysis

Let me guess, you think America is going to hell in a hand basket if Hillary or Trump gets elected. Where you stand on Trump decides where you stand on that question. Is Trump the worst, or is Hillary? Does America stand a chance of surviving with either of them president? I’ll give you a […]

Negatively Labeling Political Groups Based On The Actions Of A Few

This is a common occurrence in politics. It’s so common, no one seems to care how twisted the logic is. If a member of a political movement acts out of line, the opposition will rush to vilify the entire movement on the basis of that one member. This is what’s called Labeling. It’s one of […]