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When Good Thinking Goes Bad

by Todd C. Riniolo
an interview with the author
September 2009

This interview may be posted on other web sites provided the interview is linked back to without the nofollow attribute.

(20:59:19) ChatBot: DWill logs into the Chat.
(20:59:29) President_Camach: Hi DWill
(20:59:30) Chris_OConnor: Welcome DWill!
(20:59:35) Suzanne: Hello DWILL
(20:59:58) ChatBot: triniolo (Todd Riniolo) logs into the Chat.
(21:00:10) Chris_OConnor: Well, critical thinking is based on.....
(21:00:13) President_Camach: The man has arrived!
(21:00:17) Chris_OConnor: Welcome Todd!
(21:00:33) Chris_OConnor: Yes, he's here. Everyone, meet Todd Riniolo. :)
(21:00:36) DWill: Hello to you all! This chat set-up looks a lot different!
(21:00:41) triniolo: Hi everyone! Let me start with a brief prepared statement (I am not the greatest typist, so forgive my speed and accuracy for the remainder of the chat...). I wanted to personally thank everyone for taking the time to read my book. It was a great experience for me to have the opportunity to read through the discussion about the various chapters. I wish that I had the feedback prior to publishing the book, as many of the comments, ideas for examples, and suggestions would have improved the final version. We can wait a few minutes if you like, or let the questions and/or comments begin ... :clap:
(21:01:18) Chris_OConnor: Wow, it is great to see that you read our comments.
(21:01:28) President_Camach: :clap:
(21:01:38) DWill: Hi. You give a lot of examples of people and groups that you would think would be more likely than others to think critically across the board, yet the evidence seems to show that they don’t. Does education level make any real difference, then?
(21:01:44) Chris_OConnor: I always try to get authors to enter the forums and check out our thoughts. I believe some have done so, but not all.
(21:01:45) ChatBot: geo logs into the Chat.
(21:01:53) geo: Hi all.
(21:02:02) President_Camach: Hi Geo
(21:02:07) Chris_OConnor: Welcome Geo.
(21:02:41) Chris_OConnor: Good question, DWill.
(21:02:42) geo: This is the first time I've used the new chat room.
(21:02:59) Suzanne: Hello Geo
(21:03:02) triniolo: That was a great experience to read the discussion board (real feedback!). Yes, I do believe education can make a difference, but our evolutionary heritage will make us all inconsistent...
(21:03:35) DWill: Have you noticed that students have gotten better or worse at CT?
(21:04:04) triniolo: Give me a moment with the education question
(21:04:17) Chris_OConnor: Take your time
(21:04:49) geo: Can someone repeat the question.
(21:05:15) triniolo: I am currently teaching a CT class, and I see students making progress as the semester unfolds. Yet, when the context is changed (for example, from paranormal claims to a psychological claim), they struggle applying CT in the new context.
(21:05:19) ChatBot: johnson1010 logs into the Chat.
(21:05:40) Chris_OConnor: Question was: You give a lot of examples of people and groups that you would think would be more likely than others to think critically across the board, yet the evidence seems to show that they don’t. Does education level make any real difference, then?
(21:05:42) johnson1010: yo
(21:06:02) Chris_OConnor: Welcome johnson1010! ;)
(21:06:05) ChatBot: Charles_Mark logs into the Chat.
(21:06:15) geo: That's pretty similar to the question that I was going to ask, which is, Is critical thinking something that can be taught? Don't you need to have a certain temperament or outlook and, if so, what kind of temperament do students need?
(21:06:18) ChatBot: Robert_Tulip logs into the Chat.
(21:06:24) Chris_OConnor: Welcome to the chat Charles and Robert.
(21:06:33) CWT36: You also spoke briefly of the role gender and race may play in CT, could you expand on that?
(21:07:53) triniolo: Students need to be teachable. Sort of like an athlete needs to be coachable. If they are willing to learn, then I believe anyone can become a CT... Not sure where I addressed the role of gender and race in CT...
(21:08:12) Charles_Mark: Hi everybody. My name is Charles Mark. It is good to meet some brilliant minds here.
(21:08:20) Chris_OConnor: Todd said earlier that he is not a lightning-fast typist so bare with him. :) Now me, on the other hand, I type lightning-fast, but say the wrong things as a result.
(21:08:37) DWill: I was going to ask why students are adept with the paranormal criticism but not with psychological stuff
(21:08:57) geo: I'm a two finger typist myself.
(21:09:23) DWill: I'm just a plain crappy typist
(21:09:29) Suzanne: Chris sounds like a texter
(21:09:34) Chris_OConnor: Perhaps CT needs to be taught at a MUCH earlier age than it currently is. By high school or college we've already developed bad thinking habits.
(21:09:48) Chris_OConnor: LOL
(21:09:48) CWT36: You talked about the disproportionate number of males in groups such as the Skeptics Society
(21:10:19) President_Camach: I agree.
(21:10:26) triniolo: The way I teach the course, we cover paranormal claims first (it's exciting to students)... Yet, they all seem to struggle when a new topic area occurs. I have not met many skeptics that apply CT to economic claims, so perhaps it is not just students who have this issue
(21:10:27) geo: Todd, is that you on the cover of When Good Thinking Goes Bad?
(21:10:47) DWill: That's a good point (Chris) Yet teachers are often criticized for teaching that way--not the "content'
(21:10:54) triniolo: No, I am not on the cover... I will catch up with the previous questions...
(21:11:06) Chris_OConnor:
(21:11:24) geo: Cool.
(21:11:26) DWill: You're fast Chris!
(21:11:42) Chris_OConnor: Todd would never paint himself into a corner like the fool on the cover.
(21:11:48) Suzanne: Yes, teachers are not critical thinkers themselves in the primary education level. They tend to discourage CT in their students.
(21:12:02) geo: If I asked a question about, say, a rhino, would you be so quick with an image?
(21:12:18) triniolo: Yes, I think CT should be taught very early (Santa is a great way to do it!). I used the disproportionate number of males in Skeptical organizations as an example of applying one set of standards in one situation, while not applying them to ourselves...
(21:12:20) President_Camach: CT takes effort... why work your brain for such a poor paycheck?
(21:12:21) DWill: Follow the rules, class!
(21:12:37) johnson1010: paranormal claims are easy to refute. The claims are fantasy and plainly unlikely to be true. Psychological claims, or economic categories seem like a thing that can be intimidating to people who do not feel qualified to comment.
(21:12:50) johnson1010: true Suzanne
(21:13:00) triniolo: I agree with that too often teachers discourage CT... It even happens at the college level...
(21:13:18) DWill: Could you explain about the disproportionate males?
(21:13:28) Suzanne: Please
(21:13:39) Chris_OConnor: I think a huge obstacle with teaching critical thinking to children is that public school teachers in the USA are monitored heavily. Offend parents and you're in trouble, and you could offend if you use astrology or some other subject as an example of poor thinking skills.
(21:13:40) Charles_Mark: This is in response to DWill. I think the rational mind is bombarded with too much information. There seems to be some skepticism among students when it comes to finding sophisticated rational answers. Think of this. I have not heard one smart person explaining in simple terms on television why we ended up in the economic mess.
(21:13:58) triniolo: yes... one moment
(21:13:59) johnson1010: i have had some experience with arguing with teachers. They get angry, you don't change anyone’s mind, you disrupt class and you feel like it has been a waste. it discourages further questions/ interruption.
(21:14:00) Robert_Tulip: Hi everyone, I haven't read When Good Thinking Goes Bad but have read summaries and the Booktalk threads. This theme of critical thinking is really important to shift culture from basing opinions on received authority to basing opinions on evidence.
(21:14:39) Suzanne: I agree Johnson
(21:15:34) ChatBot: Frank_013 logs into the Chat.
(21:15:48) triniolo: In chapter 12, one claim of racism or sexism is when you do not have adequate representation... By the way, this is what typically happens in the real world... I simply turn the tables on my skeptic friends who believe that some companies/organizations are racist/sexist because of the numbers and applied it to us (i.e., inconsistent standards).
(21:15:52) Chris_OConnor: Well, we actually made it. Welcome Frank. :)
(21:15:58) Frank_013: hey all
(21:16:14) President_Camach: Is there an inverse relationship between critical thinking skills (education) and religious belief?
(21:16:52) triniolo: I would speculate yes. However, humans are good at compartmentalizing so the relation is not perfect...
(21:17:18) Chris_OConnor: Good question, President Camacho. I'm wondering the same thing.
(21:17:39) DWill: Yes, you avoid almost any mention of religion.
(21:17:45) Charles_Mark: Culture and brain is like the two way traffic. The brains of one generation of people inherit culture and reshape the same for the next generation. I think from the time of the invention of printing press this process has accelerated to the point that now we are running out of ideas to solve problems. The modern educated brain is creating more problems than solving problems.
(21:18:14) triniolo: The avoidance of religion was on purpose... I'll elaborate a little
(21:18:18) Chris_OConnor: Interesting perspective, Charles.
(21:19:06) Suzanne: Is creating more problems a pit fall of CT
(21:19:29) triniolo: I was trying to make the book unique and stay in areas that I possessed adequate expertise. The book would have quickly become unmanageable if religion was brought in, and others have written about these issues who are more qualified than I...
(21:19:42) geo: I think Carl Sagan typically avoided religion for the same reason.
(21:19:52) triniolo: Suzanne, can you rephrase your question?
(21:20:07) DWill: I agree about the unmanageable part!
(21:20:10) ChatBot: Charles_Mark leaves the channel.
(21:20:13) triniolo: Yes, Sagan typically avoided religion.
(21:20:15) Chris_OConnor: Todd, that makes perfect sense.
(21:20:38) DWill: 7. Don’t we have to employ certain shortcuts, rather than critically evaluate everything? An example might be voting for a party rather than the candidate, because the positions taken by the party mirror our political views.
(21:20:40) ChatBot: Charles_Mark enters the channel.
(21:21:09) President_Camach: What kind of societal impact would a younger generation comprised of CT have when subordinate to a previous generation of non-CT that are in charge?
(21:21:27) triniolo: Of course we need shortcuts... Yet, I am often astounded how many have strong opinions (almost religious in nature) based upon shortcuts...
(21:21:39) ChatBot: Interbane has been logged out (Timeout).
(21:21:42) ChatBot: Interbane logs into the Chat.
(21:21:51) Interbane: Hello all
(21:21:53) Chris_OConnor: Shortcuts within reason. But extraordinary claims should always require extraordinary evidence, no matter who is making the claim.
(21:22:01) DWill: yeah, mea culpa, I'm afraid!
(21:22:02) Chris_OConnor: Welcome back, Interbane. ;)
(21:22:03) President_Camach: I agree.
(21:22:05) geo: So, take shortcuts, but be mindful of not becoming wedded to that position.
(21:22:21) Chris_OConnor: Todd, well said! I agree!
(21:22:32) triniolo: Interesting question... The younger generation will eventually be in charge one day. I wonder what will happen to their CT as time passes...
(21:22:40) Chris_OConnor: Geo, yes, which to me is what being a freethinker is all about.
(21:22:58) President_Camach: I think the CT would decline... CT takes brain power...
(21:23:13) President_Camach: as years go on and knowledge is compartmentalized and no longer in question
(21:23:14) triniolo: I agree that shortcuts are very important. We simply don not have time to track down every issue...
(21:23:25) Chris_OConnor: exactly
(21:23:31) triniolo: I agree
(21:23:35) Interbane: Google is a shortcut, enables confirmation bias
(21:23:38) Suzanne: It also takes time, which may be a problem in the school systems.
(21:23:40) geo: Echoing Robert Tulip's question . . . our society seems to have devolved into one where someone's belief system is as valid as evidence supported by empirical data. I'm guessing that improving science education is the key. Would you agree with that, Mr. Riniolo?
(21:23:59) triniolo: Excellent example (Google). Wish I had put that in the book!
(21:24:13) Robert_Tulip: Shared beliefs provide social cohesion and belonging. Critical thinking seems to undermine these. People are scared that basing opinions on evidence is too hard and risky.
(21:24:23) Chris_OConnor: Which is why some of us take such issue with religion getting a "pass" - adherents accept everything point blank without scrutiny simply because they belong to the same church, family or social group.
(21:24:50) DWill: Ooh, the internet itself has been criticized as harming critical thinking.
(21:24:52) triniolo: I believe science education is a good first step. Yet, some of the weirdest beliefs have come from scientists (see Chapter on Einstein...)
(21:24:53) Chris_OConnor: Good job, Interbane. Maybe he'll cite you in his next book. ;)
(21:25:11) CWT36: You mentioned economics. Do you think that popular books like Freakonomics help in promoting CT even though they are not written to directly address it?
(21:25:19) President_Camach: I agree that a society largely comprised of CT would be in unrest, but for the better in the end.
(21:25:23) geo: Yes, Interbane, good observation.
(21:25:42) Charles_Mark: Independent critical thinking has some limitations. Is it not? We are creatures of a culture. We did not come into this world with highly developed faculties of mind. We learn to think in a particular culture while interacting with others. We do not sit all by ourselves in a closed room and do the thinking.
(21:25:49) Interbane: sorry, I'm getting undressed
(21:25:49) triniolo: I did not like Freakonomics (way to much speculation)... There are better books out there (see Thomas Sowell)
(21:26:16) Chris_OConnor: Interbane, well turn off your web cam for Gods sake.
(21:26:27) DWill: Charles, are you promoting traditional thinking to a degree?
(21:26:28) Interbane: Sowell, you reference him a bit
(21:26:33) Suzanne: Hey, I say leave it on
(21:26:36) geo: :clap:
(21:26:41) triniolo: Of course culture is important...
(21:26:43) Interbane: Have we already talked about Todd's new book?
(21:26:50) CWT36: geez Interbane, there's a picture I didn't need in my head.
(21:26:58) President_Camach: yeah, he says we each get a free copy
(21:27:05) Chris_OConnor: No, but we'll talk about his new book and any and all upcoming projects soon.
(21:27:09) triniolo: Yes, I like Sowell...
(21:27:34) Interbane: Dry? Or interesting even if you aren't an economist?
(21:27:37) DWill: Now, Sowell is a conservative/libertarian, true?
(21:27:49) triniolo: My new project is about how Freud first became a household name in America
(21:28:47) triniolo: Yes, Sowell is a conser/lib. However, much of his work dispels economic myths that everyone should be aware of...
(21:28:49) Chris_OConnor: Yes, how did it happen, Todd?
(21:29:00) Interbane: You reference memetics at all? Sounds like it touches on evolution of ideas w/Freud
(21:29:04) Chris_OConnor: Or do we need to buy the book to know!?
(21:29:16) triniolo: Interestingly, I find no economist on the board at Skeptical inquirer... Odd...
(21:29:18) DWill: I had a question about Freud. Do you think he made any real contribution to psychology?
(21:29:18) Charles_Mark: DWill, I am not promoting traditional thinking. However, we need to be critical of many critical thinkers in many universities and colleges that are running out of ideas hen it comes to solving problems related ecocide, biocide and geocide, leave alone homicide and suicide.
(21:29:45) triniolo: I am not a Freud fan...
(21:29:52) Interbane: lol
(21:29:59) DWill: I can tell!
(21:30:09) CWT36: That is odd. I'll volunteer to be the token economist :tease:
(21:30:24) DWill: Charles, interesting, would like to hear more sometime.
(21:30:27) triniolo: The book is simply to tell how an unknown European physician became as popular as Babe Ruth!
(21:30:47) triniolo: I'm not sure they will invite an economist...
(21:30:49) DWill: No not the Bambino!
(21:30:53) Chris_OConnor: I always like to ask our authors if they have book recommendations, including their own books, so please feel free to share with us any of your favorite book titles. I'll link them in the chat transcript.
(21:31:00) President_Camach: Is there so much information already known that CT takes a back seat to the front-load memorization of knowledge already discovered through CT?
(21:31:20) Robert_Tulip: Freud and critical thinking - interesting. The Oedipus Complex was a dogma, as was the infantile sexuality argument. But his analysis of religion as illusion and wish fulfillment is quite powerful.
(21:31:23) DWill: Wow, PC.
(21:31:42) triniolo: Chris, sure thing... I have recommendation of authors in my acknowledgment..
(21:32:07) Interbane: I'm getting a chip installed next year, no more front load memorization!
(21:32:09) DWill: (I didn't mean you, Robert, but Pres. C.)
(21:32:16) triniolo: That is an excellent question about front-load memorization!
(21:32:39) triniolo: To much cocaine, not enough sex!
(21:32:51) Interbane: lol
(21:32:53) Chris_OConnor: LOL
(21:32:59) President_Camach: haha
(21:33:14) Suzanne: Should I LOL too
(21:33:23) CWT36: I guess Tulip isn't our only crazy Australian anymore.
(21:33:26) President_Camach: why not ;)
(21:33:39) triniolo: I will say that I did gain more respect for Freud after writing the book, but that is not saying much...
(21:33:39) DWill: How rich was he, btw (Freud)?
(21:33:42) President_Camach: uh oh.... easy CWT - he's sensitive about that
(21:33:53) Charles_Mark: Chris, I am new to this kind of an interaction. Please don't misread me. I am publishing my second book on the subject of "Spiritual Intelligence and The Neuroplastic Brain."
(21:34:14) triniolo: Freud was reasonably well off, but I would not say rich...
(21:34:25) Chris_OConnor: In the Acknowledgments you express your gratitude to James Randi (I love the amazing Randi) and Michael Shermer (who did a live chat with us but left his computer for 30 minutes to eat dinner LOL)
(21:34:25) Interbane: You explain why his ideas caught on?
(21:34:52) triniolo: Sure, because Freudian testimony was part of the Crime of the Century...
(21:35:07) triniolo: That's how he became so popular...
(21:35:15) DWill: Intriguing...
(21:35:18) Suzanne: Ahh, here is the good stuff
(21:35:41) triniolo: Yet, Freudian legend tells a different story (the power of his ideas is what made him popular)...
(21:35:44) DWill: Your book might make a splash!
(21:35:59) Interbane: That kinda thing gets me angry
(21:36:07) triniolo: I am still looking for a publisher, but I believe there will be interest...
(21:36:11) Suzanne: Was he popular because he was respected, or criticized
(21:36:28) triniolo: Both...
(21:36:38) Chris_OConnor: Do you have a name for this new book yet?
(21:36:41) Interbane: or he was crazy?
(21:36:47) Charles_Mark: DWill, Are you referring to any particular book?
(21:36:56) DWill: As a matter of fact you don't think much of therapists, do you?
(21:37:07) triniolo: Sigmund Who? How the Crime of the Century Helped Make Freud a Household name in America
(21:37:19) Chris_OConnor: I like it!
(21:37:21) triniolo: To much cocaine...
(21:37:28) Suzanne: I'll buy it
(21:37:29) Robert_Tulip: Psychoanalysis tried to establish a scientific basis for therapy in the 'talking cure', which was very popular for the rich Viennese housewives and their American ilk.
(21:37:36) Chris_OConnor: Freud did too much coke?
(21:37:53) Chris_OConnor: Note to self. Suzanne is trying to buy coke now.
(21:37:55) triniolo: I have great respect for therapists who used methods that have been demonstrated to work. Freudian methods do not work.
(21:38:00) geo: Good title
(21:38:03) Interbane: Sigmund Fraud
(21:38:15) Chris_OConnor: Clever, Interbane.
(21:38:21) Interbane: You have some friends that do talk therapy Todd?
(21:38:23) DWill: Okay, thanks for clarifying about therapists.
(21:38:31) ChatBot: Russ logs into the Chat.
(21:38:36) triniolo: I like Sigmund Fraud... Yet, this was not his fault...
(21:38:45) Chris_OConnor: Welcome, Russ. ;)
(21:38:55) triniolo: No, I do not have talk therapy friends...
(21:38:59) Russ: Thank you. Sorry I am late.
(21:39:08) DWill: Not his fault?
(21:39:22) Chris_OConnor: So you're not against all psychologists? (Scientology)
(21:39:36) DWill: You mention in passing Multiple Personality Disorder. I know a couple of people with this diagnosis. Did you reach any conclusions about the legitimacy of the diagnosis?
(21:39:56) Interbane: It makes good movies!
(21:40:02) triniolo: No, simply a smart thing to do at the time to separate Freud from the trial. Note that his first appearance on the cover of Time occurred just weeks after the trial, yet no mention...
(21:40:21) Charles_Mark: Why did Freud say that he was not able to understand one thing about the human mind. Freud said, "One thing I have not been able to understand is this. I still do not know what a woman wants?" That is Freud's statement, not mine.
(21:40:44) Suzanne: No man can make that claim
(21:40:57) DWill: Trial? I'm afraid I'm clueless.
(21:40:59) triniolo: MPD, if it does exist is extremely rare (only a few recorded cases prior to Sybil). Also, it is culture specific (no Japanese MPDs...)
(21:41:06) Chris_OConnor: LOL Suzanne.
(21:41:08) geo: It's because women don't know what they want.
(21:41:22) Suzanne: Poo on you
(21:41:41) Charles_Mark: Are you kidding, geo?
(21:41:43) triniolo: Cocaine and no sex... Freud had a terribly low opinion of woman...
(21:41:43) geo: Just kidding
(21:41:44) Suzanne: Why no Japanese
(21:41:47) Chris_OConnor: Wow! Seriously no Japanese cases of Multiple Personality Disorder? Amazing.
(21:41:54) Suzanne: I know Geo
(21:42:06) Russ: Let's not be sexist. There are so many differences among the sexes based upon culture, upbringing... The same can be said of us men.
(21:42:26) Interbane: An analysis of 125 papers published in psychiatric journals between 1970 and 1982, reported that mothers were held responsible for 72 types of psychological disorders in their children. Unlike the father, the mother was not considered to be emotionally healthy, and no mother/child relationship was considered normal.
(21:42:27) triniolo: There therapists do not believe in the diagnosis... See Nicholas Spanos' work on MPD as a cultural issue...
(21:42:30) Russ: Do the Japanese call it something else?
(21:42:37) Robert_Tulip: Freud is a good case study of how an attempt at critical thinking can be undermined by presuppositions. He sought to put psychology onto a rational basis, but was far too simplistic. In my view Carl Jung was more realistic, but he is often seen as not critical in his logic.
(21:42:40) DWill: Hey, Todd, I still can’t believe the lettered squares are the same color!
(21:43:09) Interbane: Google confirms the thesis
(21:43:09) Chris_OConnor: I wonder the same thing about Attention Deficit Disorder. Is this a real condition or are there simply some kids that need to pay attention.
(21:43:23) triniolo: No.. It seems to be a cultural phenomenon (like UFO abductions).
(21:43:36) Suzanne: Agreed
(21:43:41) Chris_OConnor: Good question, Russ. Do the symptoms exist and are they simply labeled something else in Japan.
(21:43:49) Interbane: Hmm
(21:44:04) triniolo: I like some of Jung (his collective unconscious is really evolutionary psychology...)
(21:44:05) Chris_OConnor: Yes, most UFO abductions seem to happen to people with less than 3 teeth.
(21:44:07) CWT36: That's why that page in my book is all crumpled DWill, fold it the right way and you can see they are.
(21:44:10) Interbane: Any input on infant vaccines? I have a 6 month old
(21:44:12) DWill: An awful lot of kids are being medicated for ADHD.
(21:44:19) triniolo: Yes, the squares are cool!
(21:44:19) Suzanne: The Japanese are too busy for one person, they do not have time for two
(21:44:36) President_Camach: Is it that more emphasis is placed on conformity in Japanese culture than American culture?
(21:44:41) Chris_OConnor: ROFL Suzanne!
(21:44:46) Suzanne: There are too many people in general who are medicated
(21:45:24) triniolo: No... If the therapist believes in the diagnosis, the patient will come to have the disorder (see Elizabeth Loftus's work)
(21:45:35) Robert_Tulip: The Japan example shows how psychological conditions are to a large extent culturally determined
(21:45:39) triniolo: If I fall behind, just resend the question...
(21:45:42) Russ: There appears to be evidence with MRIs of the brain showing some patterns unique to those who are diagnosed with ADD by professionals versus the 'gp' with little or no training in this area.
(21:46:20) Charles_Mark: In Eastern cultures meditation is used as a technique to cure attention disorder. People in those cultures do not categorize someone as having attention disorder deficit. They just say, so and so is not paying attention.
(21:46:29) johnson1010: A.D.D. stands for Adults who Don't Discipline
(21:46:29) triniolo: I believe (take it for what it's worth), that there are both legitimate cases of ADD and many cases that are not...
(21:46:33) Suzanne: It's a band aid; teachers will tell parents their kids are ADD just because most of them are boys, boys act up, doesn't mean they need meds
(21:46:36) Chris_OConnor: Russ, I believe it.
(21:46:40) johnson1010: kids need attention, the right kind
(21:46:46) DWill: Here's a canned question. Another interesting part of this subject, outside the scope of your book, is the way leaders in politics or religion try to exploit our cognitive biases. For example, politicians might use scare words to weaken our desire to think critically. ôSocialism’ is one that comes to mind from the current scene
(21:46:49) johnson1010: to focus their crazy into something constructive
(21:46:51) Chris_OConnor: That makes sense, Todd.
(21:46:56) triniolo: I'm not big on the meds...
(21:47:19) President_Camach: That's a good point DWill
(21:47:38) triniolo: Sure, words are powerful... All sides seem to know this now with focus groups...
(21:47:45) President_Camach: Fox news is big on feeding opinions to the public rather than providing unbiased information to base a decision on
(21:47:51) Russ: Personally, I subscribe to the idea that moderation is greatly lacking in society. Even to the extent to which we diagnose and treat maladies. Not one size will fit all.
(21:47:54) Chris_OConnor: Todd, when is "Sigmund who?" hitting the shelves?
(21:48:25) Suzanne: Hopefully after I buy my coke
(21:48:33) triniolo: Chris, will have to secure a publisher (typically takes about a year after that, but the book is written).
(21:48:37) Chris_OConnor: Of course, Suzanne.
(21:48:48) johnson1010: what do you need with raw coal Suzanne?
(21:48:53) triniolo: Coke the soda!
(21:49:05) DWill: Chris, please find him a publisher.
(21:49:07) Interbane: Where do you get your news from Todd? Are secret less biased sources?
(21:49:16) CWT36: Todd, could you talk a little about your writing process?
(21:49:21) triniolo: Yes, I agree with Russ that one size does not fit all..
(21:49:36) Chris_OConnor:
(21:49:41) President_Camach: That's amazing that words which incite emotion seem to suppress ct
(21:49:47) Suzanne: Yes, writing process and research please
(21:49:51) Chris_OConnor: I'd look into Prometheus Books.
(21:49:57) johnson1010: like "USA! USA!"
(21:50:05) triniolo: I start with the assumption that all sources will contain some bias...
(21:50:09) Chris_OConnor: Oh, your current book is published by them. LOL
(21:50:14) Interbane: That's the publisher of WGTGB
(21:50:17) DWill: That's concise, Pres. C.
(21:50:22) Chris_OConnor: That's funny. But they are a great fit.
(21:50:22) Interbane: lol
(21:50:29) triniolo: Prometheus is currently reviewing it...
(21:50:42) Suzanne: Excuse me, can you let the writer talk please
(21:50:46) President_Camach: I wonder if that's the root problem of religion DWill
(21:51:12) triniolo: Sorry, I am falling behind, but I am enjoying the conversation!:)
(21:51:29) Chris_OConnor: Yes, this is a fun chat. I've cracked up several times.
(21:51:35) Charles_Mark: Thank you folks. I will join you next time. This was fun.
(21:51:37) triniolo: Have I missed any questions????
(21:51:40) Russ: Yes, we are all biased. And we gravitate toward those sources and individuals who will either agree with us or allow us to point and say 'those folks prov e my point'. So much of life is simply us using situational morality and deciding that we are correct almost all of the time.
(21:51:43) ChatBot: Charles_Mark logs out of the Chat.
(21:51:55) Robert_Tulip: I think public discussion, especially from politicians, media and entertainment, often operates at a mythic level rather than a logical level. So the aim is to press emotional buttons.
(21:51:58) triniolo: Exactly Russ!
(21:52:02) Chris_OConnor: I'm not sure, Todd. Does anyone have any additional questions for Todd?
(21:52:23) CWT36: About your writing, do you write at a set time daily?
(21:52:27) triniolo: Of course, emotional beliefs are the hardest to change...
(21:52:27) Interbane: vaccines on infants, all the hubub about them causing... (mind blank)
(21:52:32) Chris_OConnor: Did President Camacho get an answer?
(21:52:36) President_Camach: I want to ask a question about compartmentalized knowledge and CT but I can't put it into words.
(21:52:39) DWill: I think you're right, Russ (proving your point?)
(21:52:49) johnson1010: they think it causes autism Interbane
(21:52:51) Suzanne: Causing autism
(21:52:54) Interbane: autism
(21:53:06) Suzanne: Damn, not fast enough
(21:53:06) triniolo: Yes, I like to write in the morning... I also write while running (in my head, then I put it down on paper when I return)
(21:53:19) geo: Todd, do you maintain your skepticism about anthropogenic global warming or do you sometimes waver as I do? Sometimes I feel I'm not seeing the forest for the trees and the evidence for global warming seems overwhelming. Or do you feel the evidence is not strong enough to take a strong position?
(21:53:41) johnson1010: like, how can you believe in ghosts, but demand proof before you will buy a lawn mower?
(21:53:58) triniolo: Excellent question... Give me a second for an answer (global warming)
(21:54:01) Chris_OConnor: I'm not convinced that global warming is manmade
(21:54:14) DWill: Great example Johnson!
(21:54:25) Chris_OConnor: Yes, good one johnson1010
(21:54:34) Suzanne: Ghosts are not real, doesn't take much thought.
(21:55:02) johnson1010: but the very same people who believe in ghosts will demand performance proof before they take your word about normal things
(21:55:30) DWill: That's what compartmentalization is all about.
(21:55:32) Robert_Tulip: More, how can people believe in creationism and be a scientist - separate compartments in the brain for belief and knowledge.
(21:55:44) Russ: Don't you agree that we tend to be logical, when it suits us? As with situational morality? biases/...
(21:55:47) johnson1010: Virgin Mary gets a pass, but you better know they will find out who the father of their grandchild is
(21:55:59) triniolo: I am afraid that if global warming is not treated by skeptics with the same rigor as other claims, we will lose credibility. To many skeptics do not even want to look at the data or read original articles or findings. As you saw in my chapter, there are some problems with the data that we would never accept for a psychic claim... As a side note, no additional warming since 1998... 10 years...
(21:56:05) Chris_OConnor: So true, Robert.
(21:56:45) DWill: Really? But what about Greenland ice melt?
(21:57:02) ChatBot: Russ logs out of the Chat.
(21:57:04) Interbane: We need more evidence on GW to be certain, but we should reduce carbon footprint and recycle for that and other reasons.
(21:57:08) Chris_OConnor: Do you ever mention religion in the classroom? Or have you found it best to avoid the topic?
(21:57:17) triniolo: Of course, warming can be occurring but not the result of human activities.. I read in Science that termites put more CO2 into the atmosphere than humans... Seems like a confounding variable...
(21:57:31) Chris_OConnor: wow
(21:57:39) DWill: Cows fart a lot, too.
(21:57:41) Suzanne: I've heard the same thing about cows
(21:57:44) Interbane: Don't fart
(21:57:54) triniolo: Chris, I tend to avoid religion in the classroom...
(21:57:57) President_Camach: problem solved
(21:58:00) Robert_Tulip: 1998 was unusually warm, so is not a valid baseline year. The CO2 from termites is natural while the shift of fossil fuel into the atmosphere is a dangerous global experiment.
(21:58:03) Chris_OConnor: Especially if you tickle them. Don't ask.
(21:58:41) Interbane: DWill, I was typing that "Don't cows fart a lot also"? But tried to erase it and missed those words... Sorry all.
(21:58:51) triniolo: I know 1998 was an El Nino year. Yet, when this was pointed out at the time to global warming alarmists, they dismissed this (yet, now they do not...)
(21:59:25) Chris_OConnor: I suppose even bringing up religion (something upon which people have invested a great deal of emotional energy) and your lecture gets derailed.
(21:59:34) geo: Global warming is one of those topics that get people riled up quickly.
(21:59:41) Suzanne: I have read that the global temperature was higher in the 40's than today
(21:59:47) triniolo: To my knowledge, you cannot separate termite CO2 from man made (do we know what has happen to termite populations over the years???)
(22:00:02) Chris_OConnor: Geo - but it shouldn't get them riled up. It should be about the evidence or lack thereof
(22:00:02) johnson1010: Chris. That is definitely true
(22:00:23) geo: Absolutely, Chris.
(22:00:26) Interbane: emotional attachment to beliefs
(22:00:27) johnson1010: one class was completely derailed when the teacher had the audacity to say God was betting with the devil of Job.
(22:00:30) triniolo: I chose global warming because so many seem to have a religious investment in the issue...
(22:00:42) johnson1010: over Job
(22:00:52) Chris_OConnor: I see.
(22:00:54) johnson1010: Gob? whatever. you know what i am talking about
(22:00:56) Robert_Tulip: But GW is a great topic for CT. CO2 level was stable at 280 ppm until the industrial revolution and has since gone exponential, as shown in the hockey stick graph. The 40s were not warmer.
(22:01:09) geo: That was an interesting chapter (global warming) to be sure.
(22:01:11) triniolo: Yes, the topic of religion would have thrown the class off focus...
(22:01:49) triniolo: The hockey stick graph has been complete discredited by someone who went back in an analyzed the data...
(22:02:04) johnson1010: any big surprises in the research for this book? WGTGB?
(22:02:09) Interbane: Your book was definitely refreshing. Even books from some of my favorite authors have a bit much bias.
(22:02:12) Chris_OConnor: The topic of global warming reminds me that we need to invest in space exploration so that we can one day get off this rock, but because space exploration is not the focus of this chat I won't even mention that.
(22:02:33) President_Camach: I agree Chris
(22:02:36) triniolo: I'm all for space exploration! :clap:
(22:02:46) Chris_OConnor: Good!
(22:02:59) DWill: Todd, has your experience as a teacher and researcher of critical thinking made you more reluctant to engage in swapping opinions with friends on a variety of topics?
(22:03:17) triniolo: Sometimes!
(22:03:23) Suzanne: excellent DWILL
(22:03:32) triniolo: Especially when it comes to the paranormal!
(22:03:47) Chris_OConnor: we need to venture out into the cosmos and not have all of our eggs in one basket. Forget global warming for a minute. What happens to our species when a massive comet nails us and starts a new ice age?
(22:04:03) triniolo: My grandma is convinced she met a real psychic, but it sounded like a basic magic trick to me...
(22:04:03) johnson1010: you should see the "spooky face" i get from my sisters about paranormal discussions!
(22:04:10) DWill: Well, I mean that when we voice opinions we're often just releasing hot air..
(22:04:15) Chris_OConnor: LOL "spooky face"
(22:04:18) Interbane: Do you often bite your tongue when you could point out obvious terrible thinking?
(22:04:19) Robert_Tulip: Will have a look at
(22:04:55) Chris_OConnor: Thanks for posting the link, Robert. It will go well with the transcript.
(22:05:03) triniolo: Actually, writing the book has made me not so concerned about getting involved when I see terrible thinking!
(22:05:04) Suzanne: Interbane, do you ever bite your tongue
(22:05:22) President_Camach: lol Suz
(22:05:22) triniolo: Can I make one comment about the hockey stick????
(22:05:22) Interbane: My tongue is raw
(22:05:44) Suzanne: Yes, please
(22:05:48) Chris_OConnor: Can anyone think of any more questions for our guest? Todd, feel free to chat as long as you like, but it has been an hour and if you need to go we understand.
(22:05:56) CWT36: Do you feel that we, as critical thinkers, have a moral or social obligation to publicly challenge things like psychics?
(22:06:08) Interbane: Good question Colin.
(22:06:15) triniolo: The researchers who came out with different numbers had a terrible time getting the original authors to share the raw data. This is not how science is supposed to work...
(22:06:16) Chris_OConnor: But don't leave without us being able to say Goodbye. So many authors say Bye and then leave.
(22:06:22) Suzanne: Wait, he wants to make a comment about the hockey stick
(22:06:49) DWill: Sounds like 'witnessing', CWT.
(22:07:16) triniolo: I do believe it is important to challenge psychics, but I tend not to make a public scene... I think there are other ways...
(22:07:41) johnson1010: anyone like that Penn and Teller show?
(22:07:42) triniolo: No, I would not just sign off...
(22:07:52) Chris_OConnor: I love Bullshit.
(22:07:54) triniolo: Yes, BS is a great show!
(22:08:03) Suzanne: Good night fellers, thank you for your time.
(22:08:05) geo: That show is such bullshit!
(22:08:08) Interbane: Sounds like some scientists need a CT flash card to remind them when they're being stubborn.
(22:08:11) johnson1010: gnighty
(22:08:15) Chris_OConnor: I hope everyone knows that is the name of the show and not simply my exclamation.
(22:08:17) President_Camach: Night Suz
(22:08:19) geo: God night Suzanne
(22:08:25) geo: Good
(22:08:28) triniolo: good night
(22:08:34) President_Camach: I'm using that as my new BT quote Chris
(22:08:41) Suzanne: God night Suzanne?
(22:08:43) Robert_Tulip: Thanks for joining the chat Todd
(22:08:48) triniolo: No, I am not signing off, but saying good night to Suzanne..
(22:08:50) DWill: Have to run. Thanks very much for talking with us. I enjoyed your book very much. G'night everyone.
(22:08:52) President_Camach: "I love Bullshit" - Chris OConnor
(22:08:55) Chris_OConnor: Penn & Teller go a bit far sometimes. I think they're running out of Bullshit to dissect.
(22:09:05) ChatBot: DWill logs out of the Chat.
(22:09:12) triniolo: Yes, the first season was the best...
(22:09:20) Suzanne: Thank you Todd, good luck to you in your future ventures
(22:09:26) johnson1010: yeah, they are aggressive, but even when i disagree, i find that they make points that i had not thought of
(22:09:26) ChatBot: Suzanne logs out of the Chat.
(22:09:28) Chris_OConnor: I met James Randi a few years back. I like his approach.
(22:09:29) triniolo: Thanks!
(22:09:40) CWT36: Thank you very much Todd :clap: :bow:
(22:09:42) geo: Bullshit is more of an entertainment than honest science show, but it's good to see them challenge a lot of common beliefs.
(22:09:49) triniolo: Randi is a great guy to meet in person!
(22:10:14) Chris_OConnor: Todd, this has been a really fun chat. I will tidy up any and all misspellings. But I don't touch the content. I might add in some really profound statements for myself.
(22:10:23) triniolo: Are there any additional questions, or is it time for bed!
(22:10:26) Chris_OConnor: LOL
(22:10:27) geo: Todd, have you ever been to The Amazing Meeting TAM?
(22:10:43) triniolo: Chris, thanks... my spelling is terrible when going fast...
(22:10:50) ChatBot: CWT36 logs out of the Chat.
(22:10:55) Chris_OConnor: I don't have any more questions, but I would love for you to let us know when you find a publisher and have a release date
(22:11:03) johnson1010: Thanks for stopping by Triniolo.
(22:11:05) Chris_OConnor: I'll advertise your new book right away.
(22:11:11) triniolo: I have not made it to TAM because of my kids... (
(22:11:30) Chris_OConnor: Thank you to everyone for attending. And especially thanks go to Todd for this awesome chat.
(22:11:30) Interbane: Yeah, I'd like to read the new book. Keep us informed.
(22:11:30) johnson1010: What did you think about "the secret"
(22:11:47) President_Camach: Yes, thank you for your time Todd!
(22:11:47) geo: Well, thanks for the chat. I really enjoyed your book by the way. look forward to more.
(22:11:52) Interbane: Garbage book
(22:11:59) Interbane: "The Secret"
(22:12:04) triniolo: What is "the secret"
(22:12:09) Interbane: Sleep tight, don't let the termites bite
(22:12:13) Chris_OConnor: I haven't read The Secret.
(22:12:20) Interbane: I browsed it
(22:12:25) johnson1010: it’s a "self help" book where you just ask for something and it happens
(22:12:33) johnson1010: magic
(22:12:34) Chris_OConnor: I am more interested in Victoria's Secret.
(22:12:34) President_Camach: lol
(22:12:36) geo: Penn and teller should do a show on The Secret
(22:12:40) President_Camach: hahahaha
(22:12:44) Interbane: Power of positive thinking with a dash of magic thrown in
(22:12:52) johnson1010: the secret, i believe, is they just stole your grandma’s money
(22:12:57) Interbane: LOL
(22:12:58) Chris_OConnor: I can always do without magic.
(22:12:59) triniolo: Yes, I agree with Victoria Secret as well!
(22:13:12) Chris_OConnor: Todd, I like how you think. ;)
(22:13:19) geo: Oprah frequently promotes the Secret.
(22:13:23) johnson1010: that’s a secret I could get behind.
(22:13:29) President_Camach: LOL
(22:13:35) geo: Todd, do you think Oprah is a menace?
(22:13:45) Chris_OConnor: A rich idiot.
(22:13:47) Interbane: You guys are hilarious
(22:13:54) triniolo: not an Oprah fan!
(22:13:59) johnson1010: menace? haha, maybe not. But a fabulously rich idiot.
(22:14:04) Chris_OConnor: I'd like to steal some of her book club members.
(22:14:21) triniolo: However, hope she adds my book to her reading list!
(22:14:26) johnson1010: i loved that shot of her standing in front of her golf-course sized lawn. "This is my back yard!"
(22:14:38) Interbane: yeah, "the Oprah effect" is good for business
(22:14:49) triniolo: No question...
(22:14:58) Chris_OConnor: Maybe if we load this chat transcript with great keywords like Oprah, and book club and online reading group, and "Everyone gets a new car!" we can capture some of her market share for her book club!
(22:15:05) Interbane: I think she enjoys her uncritical thinking a bit much though
(22:15:24) johnson1010: she had that psychic on to make people cry about their recently deceased
(22:15:36) johnson1010: did John Edwards get his start on her show?
(22:15:40) triniolo: I enjoyed when the author of a million little pieces was exposed... She was pissed on her show...
(22:15:42) johnson1010: not the politician
(22:15:47) Chris_OConnor: Dane Cook (comedian) made fun of Oprah a few weeks ago where he said, "everyone gets a Hump-backed whale!"
(22:15:53) President_Camach: I remember that Todd
(22:16:01) Chris_OConnor: What was that book about?
(22:16:09) triniolo: addiction
(22:16:22) President_Camach: a false autobiography I believe
(22:16:23) geo: It was personal memoirs but it turned out were highly fictionalized.
(22:16:32) Chris_OConnor: I remember the girl who wrote a book about honor killings and they later discovered she made the whole thing up
(22:16:34) triniolo: I think the smoking gun website tracked down some of his claims using public records....
(22:16:46) geo: Yes, that's right
(22:16:46) Chris_OConnor: Oh, great web site.
(22:16:51) Interbane: modern day bad boy who supposedly had done everything on the bucket list of a high school drop out
(22:16:55) triniolo: Chris, I remember that also...
(22:17:04) johnson1010: Triniolo, got any good stories about researching the book?
(22:17:05) Chris_OConnor: Do you have any favorite sites, Todd?
(22:17:22) Robert_Tulip: bye all, thanks.
(22:17:35) johnson1010: peace RT
(22:17:38) triniolo: Yes, and yes...
(22:18:00) Chris_OConnor: << James Randi's site.
(22:18:06) geo: Me too. Got to go. Thanks again, Todd. Good luck to you. But I'm just being polite; I don't really believe in good luck. :-*
(22:18:08) Chris_OConnor: Bye Robert
(22:18:22) geo: Oops wrong smiley. :D
(22:18:30) Chris_OConnor: Bye everyone. I guess we should call it a night.
(22:18:31) johnson1010: hahaha
(22:18:47) johnson1010: erm... thanks Geo. smootches!
(22:18:51) triniolo: Thanks everyone for a great evening! :bow:
(22:19:04) Chris_OConnor: Thank you very much for spending this time with us, Todd. It's been a fun chat and I'm glad you handled the chaos so well.
(22:19:07) geo: :clap:
(22:19:12) Chris_OConnor: Richard Dawkins got a bit frustrated.
(22:19:16) Interbane: Good night and thanks a bunch for stopping by Todd.
(22:19:20) Chris_OConnor: And Michael Shermer went and ate dinner during our chat.
(22:19:22) Chris_OConnor: LOL
(22:19:23) geo: It's not a great medium.
(22:19:30) Interbane: Ventrilo!
(22:19:31) johnson1010: where can we go for transcripts Chris?
(22:19:33) Interbane: Skype!
(22:19:36) Chris_OConnor: Goodnight all! Thanks Todd!
(22:19:45) Chris_OConnor: Transcripts will be on the transcripts page on Monday.
(22:19:47) triniolo: Thanks again... I have an early class so I am off!
(22:19:55) Interbane: Later tater
(22:19:59) ChatBot: triniolo logs out of the Chat.
(22:20:01) Chris_OConnor: I will put a link up
(22:20:06) Chris_OConnor: One sec guys
(22:20:07) ChatBot: geo logs out of the Chat.
(22:20:10) johnson1010: ok... so you think i should look for it in the transcripts page? oooooh.
(22:20:14) johnson1010: i see what you did there.
(22:20:36) Chris_OConnor:
(22:20:44) Chris_OConnor: LOL
(22:20:57) johnson1010: well, now I’m mortified
(22:21:01) johnson1010: good day sir!
(22:21:02) Chris_OConnor: But I need to run it through a spell checker first
(22:21:09) Chris_OConnor: haha
(22:21:10) Interbane: I like Riniolo, he's down to earth
(22:21:35) ChatBot: johnson1010 logs out of the Chat.
(22:21:36) Chris_OConnor: Yes, very cool guy. And he appreciates Victoria's Secret.
(22:21:45) ChatBot: johnson1010 logs into the Chat.

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