Why We Like What We Like
By Alva Noë
Can you tell the difference between gourmet liver paté and dog food?
I mean, can you tell the difference by taste?
Many of you are probably pretty sure that you could, and also that you could tell the difference between a $100 bottle of a splendid vintage and some $5 schlock, right? But can you really? In a blind taste test?
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on April 28, 2012 at 5:55pm —
This is a great article by Malcom Gladwell about how we sometimes fail under intense pressure to perform well, because we either choke or panic. He briefly describes the difference between implicit and explicit learning, and how these relate to choking and panicking under pressure. Well worth the long read. From the… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on December 8, 2011 at 5:00pm —
This is a decent article. He starts out with a pretty good assessment of what a fanatic is and wants, but then he suddenly changes gears to talk about literature and humor. Kind of caught me off guard, but if you read the tagline he tells you he's gonna do that. Worth the long read.
He has some good observations:
"Conformity and uniformity, the urge to belong and the desire to make everyone else belong, may be the most widespread if not the… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on November 7, 2011 at 5:35pm —
Is myth more comforting than reality?
by Quinn O'Neill
For parents wishing to introduce their children to a scientific worldview, two new books may make the job a bit easier. Daniel Loxton’s book “Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be” recently won the 2010… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on October 4, 2011 at 12:57pm —
This is worth reading about. There are not links provided to many of those publications, but I suspect you can find some of them if you Google the titles. - Dallas
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on June 20, 2011 at 11:00am —
The Backfire Effect The Misconception:
When your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking. The Truth:
When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger. Wired, The New York Times, Backyard Poultry Magazine
– they all do it. Sometimes, they screw up and get the facts wrong. In ink or in… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on June 15, 2011 at 3:00pm —
Rapture Ready: The Science of Self Delusion
"A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point." So wrote the celebrated Stanford University psychologist Leon Festinger  (PDF), in a passage that might have been… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on May 23, 2011 at 2:00pm —
Belief in a Just World Continue
I was home sick when the news of the Japan earthquake came in. I could only hear the television from the other apartment talking about something huge, because the local reporters started referring to CNN, when normally the news would be comfortably confined to local political bickering and showbiz…
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on March 14, 2011 at 2:13pm —
Running to catch the sun Continue
We are all heading for the grave in an indifferent universe. How do we cope with such existential concerns?
So you run and you run to catch up
with the sun but it's sinking,
Racing around to come up behind you
The sun is the same in a relative way,
but you're older,
Shorter of breath, and one day closer
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on January 15, 2011 at 9:28pm —
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on December 15, 2010 at 3:04pm —
I am posting this not so much because of his opinions on progressive and conservative politics, but because of what he has to say on intrinsic and extrinsic values, especially these quotes:…
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on October 13, 2010 at 3:00pm —
Having sat through two dozen or so graduation speeches, I have naturally wondered why they are so often so bad. One reason, of course, is that the speakers are chosen for their eminence in some field, and not because they are either competent speakers or gifted writers. Another reason is that the audience is eager to be done with all ceremony so that it can proceed to some serious reveling. Thus any speech longer than, say, fifteen minutes will seem tedious, if not entirely… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on July 27, 2010 at 10:00am —
Is Civility Dead?
by Natalie Pompilio Continue
I live in a city known for its brotherly love, but I didn’t see a lot of that one recent day while reading an on-line edition of the newspaper where I work. The public comment section contained some of the coldest, most vicious writing I’d ever seen.
Under an article about a woman’s murder and her boyfriend’s arrest, some one wrote, “So 2 pieces of trash are off the street…
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on March 18, 2010 at 11:30am —
On the strange relationship between giving thanks and taking lives
by Ben Popper
I try not to get too friendly with animals I plan on killing. This was my rookie year working at White Gate Farm, a small organic operation in East Lyme, Connecticut. Every six weeks we slaughtered a flock of around 100 chickens. Emotionally this was easy, since the birds had ignored me completely while they were… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on November 24, 2009 at 2:00pm —
PROJECT IMPLICIT: The Implicit Association Test for Religion
It is well known that people don't always ‘speak their minds’, and it is suspected that people don’t always ‘know their minds’. Understanding such divergences is important to scientific psychology. This web site presents a method that demonstrates the conscious-unconscious divergences much more convincingly than has been possible with… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on October 5, 2009 at 5:41pm —
Why You Can’t Help Believing Everything You Read
What is the mind's default position: are we naturally critical or naturally gullible? As a species do we have a tendency to behave like Agent Mulder from the X-Files who always wanted to believe in mythical monsters and alien abductions? Or are we like his partner Agent Scully who was the critical scientist, generating alternative explanations, trying to understand and evaluate the… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on September 17, 2009 at 4:21pm —
FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS AGO
: American history, politics, and culture: a non-partisan look at our past and how it influences our lives today
Like many Americans, my understanding of the history and events that shaped this nation—and the people we are today—is greatly lacking. Modern life is structured in a way that does not require us to draw upon our… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on September 1, 2009 at 12:22pm —
Well, I've started another group. Please join us if you think you might be interested.
LINGUAPHILES & SESQUIPEDALIANISTS
is a group for people who love languages, words, and grammar.
The only requirement for joining this group is that you possess a modicum of interest in languages, etymology, grammar, punctuation, and pronunciation. You do not have… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on August 11, 2009 at 5:24pm —
Well, Mr. Obsessive/Compulsive can't leave things alone, so I've started yet another group:
THE KNIFE & FORK
is a group for anyone who has a strong interest or mild curiosity in food, cooking, eating, drinking, and nutrition.
Posts will be open to a broad range of food-related topics. You do not have to be a food snob, an epicure, or a bon vivant to… Continue
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on August 10, 2009 at 2:45pm —
Well, guys, I have started a new group here on Atheist Nexus: Herculaneum: A Place for Men
. Although I have trouble keeping up with the groups I’m in now, and although I have also turned down invitations to join other groups, I’ve been thinking about these issues for some time, and felt like starting Herculaneum was something I really wanted to do.
Added by Dallas (on hiatus) on August 3, 2009 at 4:00pm —