News Bits

by Luke Muehlhauser on March 27, 2010 in News

Woah. Google allows you to create your own TV ad campaign. Shoot the video, choose your networks and showtimes, pay a few hundred bucks, and bam! you’re on TV.

Readers of this blog will probably enjoy the new Teaching Company series: Skeptics and Believers: Religious Debate in the Western Intellectual Tradition.

If you think there’s something right about the Norris-Inglehart theory of secularization, then Congress just dealt a serious blow to religion in America. Basically, fewer people need magic when they have scientific medicine. Fewer people need an imaginary friend when they don’t have to worry about going bankrupt because they got sick.

This is so important I’m going to link to it again: How to Want to Change Your Mind.

The original Italian atheist bus campaign read: “The bad news is that God does not exist. The good news is that you don’t need him.” But the religious people complained, so the Italian rationalists launched a new campaign with a different slogan to comply with the advertising authority’s rules: “The good news is that there are millions of atheists in Italy. The excellent news is they believe in freedom of speech.”

I used to write about self-help. A recent book that agrees with my approach is 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology by Scott Lilienfeld and others.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

MC March 27, 2010 at 9:43 pm

An interesting visual depiction of the NI theory (or, some data from which it is based):

http://www.visualeconomics.com/income-distribution-by-country/

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Beelzebub March 28, 2010 at 12:49 am

Re: How to Want to Change your Mind. This seems like yet another aspect of interaction governed by the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Ideally both sides of an argument are conducted honestly, but nobody wants to lose a debate to a dishonest opponent. All too often the tendency is for each side to default to “How can I make my side right?” unless the other side first demonstrates honesty, which often never comes. Hence we are stuck in the dilemma unless some mechanism of trust is introduced. I think this is why you can often have much more fruitful discussion among friends than strangers.

There are some people that you simply can’t have an honest discussion with due to the fact that these people put a premium on ego-satisfaction and have no devotion to truth at all. Such people are to be avoided.

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Zeb March 28, 2010 at 6:21 am

How to Want to Change Your Mind is great. Should be the EULA for every comments section on the net.

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svenjamin March 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Thanks for reposting the “How to Want to Change your Mind.” I must have missed it the first time.

Also…I can’t believe Skeptics and Believers is now only 50 dollars to download, down from $200! That’s AMAZING! DVDs are now only $100, formerly 375! How do these people feed their families?

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Bill Maher March 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Here is something else quite worth mentioning.

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5332

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