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Ch. 9 - Junk Thought 
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Post Ch. 9 - Junk Thought
Ch. 9 - Junk Thought

Please use this thread for discussing Chapter 9. 8)



Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:10 am
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Post Truthiness
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The defining characteristic of junk thought, which manifests itself in the humanities and social sciences as well as they physical sciences, are anti-rationalism and contempt for countervailing facts and expert opinion. It cannot be stressed enough that junk though emanates from both the left and right, even though each group - in academia, politics, and cultural institutions - thrives on accusing the other of being the sole source of irrationality.

...The real power of junk thought lies in its status as a centrist phenomenon, fueled by the American credo of tolerance that places all opinions on an equal footing and makes little effort to separate fact from opinion. p. 211

I saw Susan on The Colbert Report where Steven accused her of plagiarizing from the word "truthiness" which he coined. :laugh:



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Susan lists four warning signs of junk thought.

"The first and most fundamental warning sign is an inability to distinguish between coincidence and causation - a basic requirement for scientific literacy." p. 219

"A second telltale sign of junk thought is the appropriation of scientific-sounding language without underlying scientific evidence or logic." p. 221

"A third important element in much of junk thought is innumeracy - a lack of understanding of basic mathematical and statistical concepts." p. 222

"Expert-bashing -- a favorite tool of both the right and the left -- is another distinguishing mark of junk thought, and the effectiveness of the technique depends on the public's inability to distinguish among good science, bad science, and pseudoscience. Scientific evidence, however overwhelming, is dismissed by the expert-bashers as politically biased." p. 225



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