Another week; another school shooting. The problem is the availability of guns in America. We have roughly as many guns as people. No other country comes close to this ignoble statistic. Our mental health problems and rates of violent crime don’t stand out compared to the rest of the world. It’s the gun violence that stands out, with school shooting just the tip of a blood-laden iceberg.
Anyone but a gun-crazed, NRA-nut is tired of the empty platitudes coming from our so-called political leaders. Our “thoughts and prayers” or calls for better mental health programs are delay tactics used by the cowards we put in office. We need real solutions. And I have a good start at one.
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
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.
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).
In polite conversation, when the topic turns to politics and the antics of one party or the other, complaints are aired, and then someone says “they all are doing it.” Everyone then sagely nods their heads and the conversation shifts to something less confrontational. This drives me crazy.