Omnium Gatherum: February 19, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for February 19, 2019

If you’d like to participate, head over to Omnium Gatherum on the BBS, or suggest something.

  • In the age of fake news, here’s how schools are teaching kids to think like fact-checkers” — Annabelle Timsit, Quartz

    “The authors explained that fact-checkers practiced ‘lateral reading,’ meaning that they checked other available resources instead of staying only on the site at hand. That, they concluded, is a practice at odds with available fake-news checklists, which focus on the outward characteristics of a website, like its ‘about’ page or its logo, and don’t encourage students to look for outside sources.

    … the checklists available to teachers often focus on abstract skills like critical thinking, which Wineburg says is not the right way to go. ‘The people who say ‘all we need are critical thinkers,’ I’m sorry, I could […] raise Socrates from the dead and he still wouldn’t know how to choose keywords, and he would know nothing about search engine optimization, and he would not know how to interpret the difference between a ‘.org’ and a ‘.com.’’

    Ultimately, as Petrone writes, 21st-century citizens need more than a checklist—they ‘need a functioning bullshit detector.'”

  • Slayer ReAction Figure – Minotaur by ReAction Figures, from Super7 [HT Kerrang]

    Super7 Slayer Baphomet action figure

    “SLAAAYEER! The official Super7 x Slayer 3.75-inch ReAction Figure immortalizing the demonic Minotaur from the cover of the band’s 1983 debut album Show No Mercy. The figure includes a cape and sword accessories.”

  • The magical thinking of guys who love logic. Why so many men online love to use “logic” to win an argument, and then disappear before they can find out they’re wrong.” — Aisling McCrea, The Outpost [HT Lifeboat Foundation]

    “… Danskin points out that, even when their beliefs skew towards the bizarre and conspiratorial, people on the online right often identify as “rationalists.”

    This will be unsurprising to those who often engage with the wider online right, whether it is with someone who identifies as alt-right, libertarian, conservative, as a fan of the “Intellectual Dark Web,” or even “moderate” or “centrist” (turns out a lot of people online are self-identifying as moderate while also believing in conspiracies about “white genocide”). Although their beliefs may not be identical, there are common, distinct patterns in the way they speak (or type) that one can’t help but notice.

    Specifically, these guys — and they are usually guys — love using terms like “logic.” They will tell you, over and over, how they love to use logic, and how the people they follow online also use logic. They are also massive fans of declaring that they have “facts,” that their analysis is “unbiased,” that they only use “‘reason” and “logic” and not “emotions” to make decisions.

    This is my attempt to break the spell, I guess. Repeat after me: calling something logic doesn’t make it so. Calling someone rational doesn’t make it so.”

  • The Scarfolk Annual by Richard Littler, from William Collins, due in October, listed only in the UK currently; follow up to Discovering Scarfolk

    Littler The Scarfolk Annual

    “For more information please reread.”

    “You can either a) pre-order it or b) pre-order it.”

    Littler The Scarfolk Annual preorder preorder

  • Iris Murdoch and the power of love. Anil Gomes considers Murdoch’s view that morality is real and that, with the right conceptual resources, we can perceive it” — Anil Gomes, Times Literary Supplement; from the DEPT dept. [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    “Morality, on this view, isn’t a matter of finding out truths about the world; it is a matter of choosing which values guide your life.

    For [Iris] Murdoch, moral perception requires both sense and sensibility, and someone who possesses both can see how things ought to be.

    But being good is difficult and that dear self, our selfish ego, gets in the way of our seeing things as they really are. If we are to do better, we need the virtues, we need beauty, we need the development of a capacity for loving attention.”

  • My Teenage Rebellion Was Fundamentalist Christianity. While other girls my age were sneaking off with boys and getting drunk, I was becoming a zealot—and trying to convert my parents.” — Carly Gelsinger, Narratively

    “I wanted a group to belong to. Didn’t we all?

    For years, I believed that people who walked away from their faith would suffer eternally for it. I used to judge the backsliders, and now I was one. The words of my pastors that night so many years ago had been seared into my mind: You have the Spirit of Rebellion.”

  • ‘It Is Not a Closet. It Is a Cage.’ Gay Catholic Priests Speak Out. The crisis over sexuality in the Catholic Church goes beyond abuse. It goes to the heart of the priesthood, into a closet that is trapping thousands of men.” — Elizabeth Dias, New York Times

    “The closet of the Roman Catholic Church hinges on an impossible contradiction. For years, church leaders have driven gay congregants away in shame and insisted that ‘homosexual tendencies’ are ‘disordered.’ And yet, thousands of the church’s priests are gay.”

  • Supermoon, 2019’s biggest and brightest, will light up the sky” — Ashley Strickland and Rob Picheta, CNN [also]

    “February’s full moon will brighten the skies on Tuesday as the biggest and brightest supermoon of the year.

    The super snow moon is the second of three supermoon events in the first three months of the year — a packed lunar calendar for 2019, which marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the mission that took the first humans to the moon.
    It will make the moon appear unusually large when it rises and sets, and — like most lunar events — is sure to draw amateur star gazers around the world outside.

    And if you miss this one, there will be another supermoon on March 19 — the last of three supermoons visible at the start of this year.”