Archives for July, 2010

Disco. president Bruce Chapman wonders: It is not clear why the number of academic freedom cases seem to be increasing. Is it because the iron hand of ideological conformity is squeezing professors more tightly? Or is it because more subjects of attack are fighting back in court? Or is it because he’s making numbers up…

Deep Thought

Convention centers and convention center hotels should offer free internet access. There’s no excuse not to do so. And no, Louisville Convention Center, it does not cost $100/day to provide access in your exhibit hall. Hell will freeze over before I or any sane person would pay anything like that. Frankly, hotel-near-the-Louisville-Convention-Center, $12.95 is too…

Happy Birthday to me!

I’m another year older, as is Mick Jagger!

Backfiring

An interesting new article today at the Skeptic’s Dictionary, explaining the backfire effect. Several recent papers have found that information contradicting people’s initial beliefs can actually increase their acceptance of those beliefs. This is true in political contexts and in religious context. In one example, people given false information about a Supreme Court nominee (which…

Netroots Nation

I spent the last few days at the 5th Netroots Nation, in Las Vegas. As always, the conference has been a whirlwind of political geekery and good, clean fun. This year featured a video address by the President, and Q&A sessions with the Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate, not…

Calitics has the story about that whooping cough epidemic: With whooping cough now at epidemic levels, it’s becoming clear that one of the primary culprits is the idiotic trend over the last 10 years of parents, mostly affluent whites, opting out of vaccination out of a baseless fear that the vaccines are unsafe.

#SBFAIL Continues

Yesterday, Bora Zivkovic announced he was leaving ScienceBlogs. This is kinda huge. Bora is as close to a scienceblogging god as any scienceblogger will admit to believing in. He gives every evidence of omnipresence and omniscience about the interplay of science and the internet. He’s created many of the ideas that keep the scienceblogging community…

Stephen Schneider, RIP

In February, at the AAAS meetings in San Diego, Stephen Schneider gave a gangbuster talk about climate change denial. Schneider was energetic, feisty, and absolutely right about the challenges faced by scientists trying to talk to the media. NCSE’s Genie Scott, a fellow panelist, came away deeply impressed, and she knows more than most about…

Be afraid

Sensuous Curmudgeon and PZ are both having fun poking through the background of Kansas gubernatorial candidate Joan Heffington. Heffington forthrightly calls for creationism to be taught in public schools, and pledged to demand advocates offer a “biblical and constitutional reason exist for the passage of any new law.” Yeesh. PZ responds to this development: Quick,…

Who knew?

Shorter PZ Myers: Backlash? Harming the cause? Where?: Simplicity is preferable to science. Let us accept, arguendo that this post is poorly written. So what? Does that mean it’s wrong? When did PZ Myers – the scourge of framing – come to defend the notion that science discussions are best evaluated based on their presentation…