Haidt’s Happiness

As a practitioner of positive psychology (and an atheist) Jonathan Haidt’s “The Happiness Hypothesis” reads at times like a spiritual self-help book, and in a sense it is, but it is supported by a mass of academic and scientific references. The Psybertron agenda has been on evolutionary psychology as a description of both epistemology (what … Continue reading “Haidt’s Happiness”

Partition Walls as Good Fences

Really just a holding-post as a reminder I need to publish a definitive version of the Good Fences piece. It’s been compromised so many times by suggestions of tailoring it to current publishing opportunities, but the generality of it continues to emerge. This post today from Jon Haidt has given me the nudge: This is … Continue reading “Partition Walls as Good Fences”

It’s Now Illegal to Mock Fruit

We live in a world hemmed-in by PC rules. When I started this post about 5 tweets ago, it was about the latest “Sokal” prank poking satire at gender-based social-science research. Of course, being PC rules, they are broken ironically all the time, so the levels of irony – odd or even – become crucial … Continue reading “It’s Now Illegal to Mock Fruit”

Changing Your Mind

A pet hate of mine is “rational” people who see the point of a rational argument as being to change someone’s mind, to convince someone of something. A bonkers idea at any time, not to mention a complete waste of time if you think the person you are trying to convince isn’t being rational anyway. … Continue reading “Changing Your Mind”

Trivium 21c – First Thoughts

I’m reading Martin Robinson’s “Trivium 21c” – apparently propounding adoption of the classical Trivium for the 21st century, so far anyway. As is my wont, after a scan of contents and a read of introductory chapters I’m posting my early thoughts, so I can more honestly talk about new learning vs existing reinforcement later. First … Continue reading “Trivium 21c – First Thoughts”

Vive la Différence, one more time.

Despite writing much about this before (in the links below) I needed to collate again and add the recent Twitter exchange with Jonathan Haidt (also below): Vive la Différence – April 2015 prompted by gender difference denial by Alice Roberts with Michael Mosely in BBC2 Horizon 29th September 2014. Gender difference is a good thing, better … Continue reading “Vive la Différence, one more time.”

Positive Critical Thinking

Hat tip to Anne McCrossan on Facebook: “I always say that behind any critical judgement is an idea that’s not yet fully formed. That’s the positive version. It gives people the option to get there with their ideas.” There is a noddy version of critical thinking which says it’s smart to find fault with anyone … Continue reading “Positive Critical Thinking”

Muslims and “Western” Values

(This is just a collecting post so far for material coming out of the ICM Poll reported on by Trevor Phillips. He will be broadcasting tomorrow, Wednesday, but so much has already been said, so many selective click-bait headlines, I wanted to capture a few inputs for some more considered writing afterwards. This is me thinking out … Continue reading “Muslims and “Western” Values”