Talking about Trump

With the holiday season of 2016 upon us, conversations will turn to President Elect Trump.  The following is my list of reasons why he is not a good choice for president.  I’ve tried to state them in a way that would not be inflammatory for a supporter of Donald Trump. Continue reading

Argument by scriptural authority and the fight over abortion rights

Consider the classic children’s song that goes something like this:

Jesus loves me this I know
For the bible tells me so
Little ones to him belong
They are weak but he is strong

This is an example of an “argument by scriptural authority.” These arguments are less concerned with persuasion than with justification; i.e. you won’t change someone’s mind with such an argument, but it does lay out why a person holds a particular point of view.

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Parallel Programming Environments: Less is More

The single most important paper for programming language designers to read came out in 2000. It wasn’t written by a computer scientist, mathematician, or physical scientist.  It was written by a couple of professors studying psychology and marketing:  “When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire too Much of a Good Thing?” Iyengar, S. S., & Lepper, M. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 995-1006. (2000).

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