Speak English!

March 9, 2010

Eaglet shrieking: ”Speak English! I don’t know the meaning of half those long words, and I don’t believe you do either!”

From Alice in Wonderland, apparently


Kings and Cisterns

September 13, 2009

“As so often happens when I feel melancholy, as I did after going through the incident I will describe, I found myself thinking of the story about the king and the water that makes people crazy. According to the story, a certain king, having received word from a local sage that a great rain would bring water that would make all people crazy, decided to gather as much of the existing water as he could before the rains came. He collected that water in private, covered cisterns, reasoning that, as king, he should remain sane even if everyone else went crazy. When the rains came as predicted, the people began to act in unaccountable ways. The king went down among them and tried to tell them what had happened, but they took him for a lunatic and threatened him with blows. So he retreated to his cisterns, there to sit for some days, drinking the bittersweet waters of sanity. This went on for some time, until finally, deciding that truth was not its own reward, the king decided to go down among the people and drink the new water, abandoning his palace and his cisterns — and, as it turned out, his reason, for he soon began acting just as madly as his subjects, forgetting about his cisterned water, his sense of dignity, and the sage. The people, when in their newfound lunacy they regarded him at all, took him for a madman who had been miraculously cured.”

Tim Lyons, Cisterns, http://www.vocabula.com/2009/VRSept09Lyons.asp

Wishful thinking

January 11, 2009

From Mormonism Unvailed by E.B. Howe (1834):

“There is nothing more curious than the connection between passion and credulity — and few things more humiliating and extraordinary, than the extent to which the latter may be carried, even in minds of no vulgar order, when under the immediate influence of any strong interest or excitement. It is also true that we have frequently to encounter a perverse incredulity and a callous insensibility to evidence, when we attempt to convince any one of what is contrary to his opinions, wishes or interests.”

Left wing brain, right wing brain

September 10, 2007

Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain

“Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that
liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives
because of how their brains work.”

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Mysteries of the Brain

August 9, 2007

10 Unsolved Mysteries Of The Brain by David Eagleman, Discover Magazine

  1. How is information encoded in neural activity?
  2. How are memories stored and retrieved?
  3. What does the baseline activity in the brain represent?
  4. How do brains simulate the future?
  5. What are emotions?
  6. What is intelligence?
  7. How is time represented in the brain?
  8. Why do brains sleep and dream?
  9. How do the specialized systems of the brain integrate with one another?
  10. What is consciousness?

Not really much to do with critical thinking, but interesting nevertheless.

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