calan sans recette calan sans ordonnance http://www.ville-tence.fr/?cmJ=G2919&cmC...
    http://unit-tice.emn.fr/CACHE/well/index... commande topamax site de vente de produit aphrodisiaque
buy microsoft office visio standard 2007 buy macromedia flash 8 buy microsoft office enterprise
buy naturally speaking dragon 
office 2007 student discount 
buy adobe illustrator cs2 
best price windows 7 ultimate buy microsoft office outlook 2007 download buy ilife 08 mac
buy champix 
priligy dapoxetina online 
http://www.toulouse-les-orgues.org/?page... 
purchase office 2013 product key http://www.ncld.org/?pk_n=2903&pk_kwd=72...

© Glendon Mellow, The Flying Trilobite

thinking by druthers 4

[The fourth installment in a series on confirmation bias. Back to druthers 3]

She does know about international relations because she is right up there in Alaska right next door to Russia.
Fox and Friends host STEVE DOOCY

She’s the first journalist ever to be nominated, I think, for the president or vice president, and she was a sportscaster on local television. So she has a lot of interesting background. And she has a lot of experience. Remember that, when people worry about how inexperienced she is, for two years she’s been in charge of the Alaska National Guard.
– Former Speaker of the House NEWT GINGRICH (Republican)

sp433092I tried. Oh lawdy, how I tried. I’ve been pacing a hole in my office carpet all weekend, trying to figure out how to not blog about Sarah Palin. Her selection as John McCain’s running mate has everything to do with politics and little to do with the supposed reasons this blog exists, I told myself. If you don’t maintain focus in a blog, the terrorists win.

But I can’t not blog about this. I just can’t.

Then I began to realize how many threads in her story intersect with my topics. Her daughter’s pregnancy symbolizes the poor record of (religiously-fueled) abstinence-only sex education. She favors equal time for creationism in schools. She thinks the Pledge of Allegiance should retain the phrase “under God” because — if you haven’t heard this one, please stop drinking your coffee — “it was good enough for the Founding Fathers.”

So yes, there’s a bit of traction here for me.

But I’ll start with the meta-issue of confirmation bias, my favorite human fallacy, which has been on shameless and painful display by GOP commentators since her candidacy was announced. The Republican Party is breathtakingly adept at manipulating this particular bias to win elections, while the Dems are generally too painfully self-aware to even try it — at least not on the operatic level of doublespeak we’re seeing this week.

Take the Palin relevations of just 96 hours in the spotlight (former pot smoker, experience near nil, not smarter than a fifth grader in world knowledge, pregnant teen daughter, subject of corruption probe). Put them on a Democrat and they’d be evidence of moral and political outrage. On a Republican, they are said (by Republicans) to denote heroism (“They didn’t abort the baby!”), sinlessness (“She hasn’t been corrupted by Washington!”) and the common touch (“I’d love to have a beer/shoot a deer with her!”). Haven’t yet seen the corruption probe spun into gold, but the week is young.

Just as the manufactured link between 9/11 and Iraq stands as a lasting example of the fallacy of the undistributed middle, so the Palin candidacy — or more precisely, its defense — can give us a lasting benchmark for confirmation bias. There has never in memory been a clearer, more public playing out of the fallacy. And as long as the Palin candidacy continues to dip so very many toes into my topical pool, I’ll blog away.

[On to druthers 5]
__________________
COMING UP

This week: Site-level redesign to prepare for launch of Raising Freethinkers
Sept 20: Parenting Beyond Belief seminar, Cincinnati
Sept 21: Presentation at CFI Indianapolis
Sept 27: PBB seminar, Iowa City
Sept 28: PBB seminar, Des Moines

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Comments

comments

This was written on Tuesday, 02. September 2008 at 11:17 and was filed under belief and believers, church-state separation, critical thinking, Parenting, sex, values. You can keep up with the comments to this article by using the RSS-Feed.

You can leave a Comment, or Trackback.

«  –  »

Comments »

  1. That’s a great laundry list of Palin’s gaffes and potential scandals, all right, and you nailed the GOP’s double-standard doublespeak well…she is making a great catalyst for conversations on our cognitive processes and the ways in which they go astray.

    My favorite, though, (right up there with the “under god” error) is her assertion (when answering an Eagle Forum questionnaire) that marriage is “defined in the Constitution” and thus cannot be extended to LGBT citizens. Her apparent unfamiliarity with the US Constitution makes me wonder–and this seems to be a common problem on her side of the aisle–if there’s a name for the tendency of politicians to read their biases back into our founding documents.

    It’s rather like anti-gay fundies declaring that the story of Sodom & Gomorrah had anything to do with sexual orientation–a concept that didn’t even have a name until millennia later. (I guess it’s kind of an “appeal to authority,” but with the authority’s relevance more manufactured than real.)

    Comment: cognitive dissident – 02. September 2008 @ 1:14 pm

  2. Her apparent unfamiliarity with the US Constitution makes me wonder–and this seems to be a common problem on her side of the aisle–if there’s a name for the tendency of politicians to read their biases back into our founding documents.

    Sounds like a coinage is needed. Hmm…justifying one’s biases with the founding documents… How about constification?

    The thing that gets me about constitutional ignorance is how damn SHORT the thing is. The original is all of 4600 words. Even with all 27 amendments, it’s under 8000. It takes about an hour to read. Wouldn’t you think that all officeholders would invest that hour, especially if they are going to make solemn pronouncements about what’s in it?

    The Bible, on the other hand, is a million words, most of them beyond tedious ( “On the day when Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle and had anointed and consecrated it with all its furnishings and had anointed and consecrated the altar with all its utensils, the chiefs of Israel, heads of their fathers’ houses, who were the chiefs of the tribes, who were over those who were listed, approached and brought their offerings before the Lord, six wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon for every two of the chiefs, and for each one an ox. They brought them before the tabernacle. Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Accept these from them, that they may be used in the service of the tent of meeting, and give them to the Levites, to each man according to his service.’ So Moses took the wagons and the oxen and gave them to the Levites. Two wagons and four oxen he gave to the sons of Gershon, according to their service. And four wagons and eight oxen he gave to the sons of Merari, according to their service, under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest…”)

    I understand skimming that thing, though again, not if you’re gonna make claims about it. But the itty bitty Constitution?

    Comment: Dale – 02. September 2008 @ 1:19 pm

  3. [...] for Thinking Parents: McCain-Palin Beyond Belief 2 09 2008 See what Dale’s been up to using actual thinking skills and logic instead of prayer and talking points, to fisk McCain’s latest political calculus, putting Palin in his convention spotlight to [...]

    Pingback: Logic for Thinking Parents: McCain-Palin Beyond Belief « Cocking A Snook! – 02. September 2008 @ 2:38 pm

  4. Yay! I was hoping you’d address the issues about Palin that were causing my brain to overheat! Definitely a relevant topic for this blog!

    You echoed my exact thoughts about her pregnant teenage daughter and the relation to “the poor record of (religiously-fueled) abstinence-only sex education.” (Some say that her daughter shouldn’t have a bearing on Palin’s political life. Call me crazy, but I really think she should. What a family is like says a lot about what is taught at home.) I especially worry about the impact that her religious beliefs would have on many decisions that would affect this entire (not-entirely-Christian) nation. I’m glad I wasn’t drinking coffee – your statement about her ignorance regarding the pledge most certainly would have ruined my monitor…

    Comment: SAHMinMN – 02. September 2008 @ 2:51 pm

  5. Re: coinage – who needs a whole new word, just repurpose a suitable existing word, like say, “consti-pation” or maybe consternation (cons-turn-nation) –

    Comment: JJ Ross – 02. September 2008 @ 2:57 pm

  6. “The thing that gets me about constitutional ignorance is how damn SHORT the thing is.”

    It’s not just the ignorant pronouncements that get me riled up: Even if the Constitution were the length of “War and Peace,” the presidential oath ends with a promise to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” I would consider familiarity with its contents to be a prerequisite for holding the office.

    (I also believe that the Federalist Papers (along with healthy doses of Jefferson, Madison, and Paine) should be required reading, but that would prove to be too much for some people…especially a certain unnamed individual who believes that his “most important job is to protect the American people from another attack.”)

    Comment: cognitive dissident – 02. September 2008 @ 3:12 pm

  7. There’s a Constitutional scholar in the race, lucky for us. . .

    Comment: JJ Ross – 02. September 2008 @ 3:16 pm

  8. There’s a Constitutional scholar in the race, lucky for us. . .

    Maybe so, but he doesn’t wear a flag pin. End of discussion.

    Comment: Dale – 02. September 2008 @ 4:41 pm

  9. Palin was probably talking about the Alaska Constitution, which unfortunately does define marriage as one man and one woman.

    Comment: feffer – 02. September 2008 @ 5:29 pm

  10. I’ll bet you’re right. Thanks for that. I’m sure she’s airtight on the U.S. Constitution.

    Comment: Dale – 02. September 2008 @ 5:52 pm

  11. I have not seen much discussion of the fact that these poor kids are being forced to get married. Not the way anyone ought to want their child to choose a life long partner. Of course the GOP is putting a positive spin on this as well because we all know it is the ‘right’ thing to do under the circumstances.

    Comment: Andrew Staroscik – 02. September 2008 @ 8:27 pm

  12. Do you have any videos of your parenting beyond belief seminar? I’d love to purchase one of your lectures. I am planning on buying the book soon. If you ever come near the Denver area, I’d sure love to buy you a drink.

    Comment: serialfish – 02. September 2008 @ 8:58 pm

  13. feffer: It appears that you and Dale are correct: I tracked down the EF questionnaire in Google’s cache, and it does read as though Palin is referring to Alaska’s constitution.

    My bad…sorry for leading everyone down that tangent.

    Comment: cognitive dissident – 02. September 2008 @ 9:42 pm

  14. Do you have any videos of your parenting beyond belief seminar? I’d love to purchase one of your lectures. I am planning on buying the book soon. If you ever come near the Denver area, I’d sure love to buy you a drink.

    DVDs are somewhere in the distant future, but I am planning to come to Denver in the spring, so I’ll see you then!

    Comment: Dale – 03. September 2008 @ 6:56 am

  15. I can completely understand why you couldn’t refuse to comment on this! I just read a very funny comment on another blog:

    “She tries to kill moose.

    McCain/Palin ‘08 = Boris & Natasha ‘08.”

    From here.

    Comment: matsonwaggs – 03. September 2008 @ 8:07 am

  16. “I have not seen much discussion of the fact that these poor kids are being forced to get married.”

    Hey, if it’s good enough for McCain and his new “soulmate” Sarah, it should be good enough for the kids!

    Comment: JJ Ross – 03. September 2008 @ 2:31 pm

  17. [...] Thinking by druthers 5 [The fifth installment in a series on confirmation bias. Back to druthers 4] [...]

    Pingback: The Meming of Life » Thinking by druthers 5 Parenting Beyond Belief on secular parenting and other natural wonders – 04. September 2008 @ 8:56 am

  18. [...] McGowan has done a couple of posts about confirmation bias in reactions to the controversial nomination of Sarah Palin to be [...]

    Pingback: Green Oasis » Flip Floppers – 04. September 2008 @ 3:03 pm

  19. Thought you might want to add town library book-banning to the list of Palin revelations. . .
    <a href=”http://cockingasnook.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/actual-responsibilities-as-madame-mayor/”Palin’s ‘Actual Responsibilities’ as Madame Mayor”

    Comment: JJ Ross – 04. September 2008 @ 4:46 pm

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.