A Science Teacher Confronts Young Minds Damaged By Propaganda

“What people ‘believe’ about global warming doesn’t reflect what they know,” Dan Kahan, a Yale researcher who studies political polarization, has stressed in talks, papers and blog posts. “It expresses who they are.”

In this New York Times article, we encounter science teacher James Sutter and his greatest challenge: teaching propaganda-hardened young minds the reality of climate change.

The Heartland Institute recently science teachers a book of misinformation titled “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming.” Their goal is to influence “the next generation of thought,” according to Joseph Bast, the group’s chief executive. See the SourceWatch page and Wikipedia entry on the Heartland Institute for more information on the group and its goals.

I’m not being hyperbolic when I say this is a fight for the hearts and minds of our children, and their future. Groups like the Heartland Institute are doing their best to implant ideas that benefit the harmful corporations they work for, while individuals like James Sutter and progressive groups are doing their best to educate students on the evidence and how to think critically about science so they’re prepared to act on that knowledge.

America Is Losing What’s Left of Its Moral Authority

In Watching America lose its moral authority in real time, Dana Milbank documents his trip to Australia and the almost universal hatred and revulsion the Australians have for America under Trump. The Australians are joining Germany in explicitly turning away from America and our other important allies are considering doing the same, with their populations overwhelmingly negative on Trump and American policy under his administration.

In the meantime, the GOP has its hands full trying to suppress the non-white vote, destroy health care, enrich the wealthy, and cover for a treacherous President as long as possible.

Plan B Isn’t Made for the Average American Woman

From the Fusion article: “The emergency contraceptive levonorgestrel—aka Plan B—was available in the United States for nearly 15 years before the idea that it wasn’t effective for women above a certain weight started getting attention.

That should bother you, a lot. Neither the US government (which is currently controlled by people who want to own women) nor the manufacturer have done their jobs in making sure people know this, much less creating a better product.

If you or someone you know is a potential user of Plan B, please read and spread this information.

Source: https://fusion.kinja.com/its-pretty-messed-up-that-plan-b-isnt-made-for-the-aver-1795443034

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon or Frequency Illusion

The Frequency Illusion

Here are two good, short reads on the frequency illusion, also called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, a consequence of the fact that our brains are designed to find patterns.

What’s the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon?



Image from http://www.sketchplanations.com/post/143177835521/the-frequency-illusion-we-notice-whats-top-of and shared CC BY-NC 3.0

Using Unofficial bash Strict Mode

Aaron Maxwell has a blog post titled “Use the Unofficial Bash Strict Mode (Unless You Looove Debugging)” He claims a few simple script settings will make your bash scripts “more robust, reliable and maintainable” and I think he’s right.

Quoting Aaron:

Let’s start with the punchline. Your bash scripts will be more robust, reliable and maintainable if you start them like this:

set -euo pipefail


There’s some good discussion on this technique at the ENHANCING THE (UNOFFICIAL) BASH STRICT MODE post if you want to read more on it.

How Propagandists Feed the Right Wing Conspiracy Machine

New York Times – A Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theorist, a False Tweet and a Runaway Story

The New York Times presents the case of a well-known right-wing propagandist who generates false stories that are taken up by Breitbart, Limbaugh, and the rest of the hate machine and used to cast doubt on facts harmful to the right, in this case sowing doubt about Comey’s testimony on Trump’s obstruction of justice.

This fits the definition of treason to me. These propagandists are working for Russia, whether paid by Putin or not. As with Trump, the GOP led government is unlikely to take action against these traitors because it helps keep them in power. Party over Country is the GOP mantra.