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29 September 2014

The Thin Line Between A Nobel Prize and a Straight-Jacket

I’ve written frequently here about conspiracy theories, and it’s something that has long fascinated me (and many meteorologists as well, thanks to the chemtrail folks). I spotted a great piece on the subject today by Katy Waldman in Slate. I must say, that having conversed with these folks in person, and via email for 3 decades, it made a lot of sense to me. So, if you have relative or …


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22 November 2013

Why Isn’t Tom & Jerry On?? My Memories of 50 years Ago Today

Everyone old enough to remember this day 50 years ago has a story, and here’s mine. I was a young child, and my memories of that day are a bit jumbled, but some events that day I remember like it was yesterday. The sky in Oklahoma was a bright but deep blue, and not a cloud was in the sky, just like Dallas 200 miles away to the south. My Dad …


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13 August 2013

Why Arguing With A Wing-Nut Is Actually More Than Just A Waste of Time

You almost certainly know that it’s a waste of time to argue with wing-nuts. If not, you’ll soon learn, but there is actually solid scientific evidence that not only does it not do any good, it actually makes the conspiracy lover even more certain of their belief. It’s called the “back-fire” effect. I am reading an excellent book You Are Now Less Dumb by David McRaney. He goes deeply into …


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27 March 2013

How not to prove you’re not wearing a tin foil hat.

  Do those who think climate science is a giant hoax or a conspiracy, also tend to have other conspiratorial type beliefs? A paper written back in 2010 attempted to answer that question: (Lewandowsky, S., Oberauer, K., and Gignac, G. E. in press). NASA faked the moon landing–therefore (climate) science is a hoax: an anatomy of the motivated rejection of science. Psychol. Sci. doi:10.1177/0956797612457686). The paper did indeed discover such a connection …


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