Research and Truth-Seeking in a Post-Truth Context #CFP

Research and Truth-Seeking in a Post-Truth Context #CFP August 19, 2019

When new technology makes a skill more essential than ever, I don’t think we can blame the technology for widespread laziness. True, it is easier than ever to ask a question and get an instant answer. But when, whether, and why one should or should not trust the answer one receives from Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, crowdsourcing, phoning a friend, or any other source is an important and obvious question that everyone ought to have been asking already, and merely continued to ask as new technology arrived.

I am responding here to thoughts shared on the Tech Edvocate blog in a post that lists critical thinking among the skills upon which technological change is having a detrimental impact. That post says:

To think critically means to think about one’s thinking. What must I evaluate and in which context? How do I break a subject down for proper analysis? And finally, how did I come to my conclusion? These are all key steps in solving a problem and/or making a decision. For instructors, administrators, and employers, we know this, but for students who are engrossed in technology, these concepts may be all but lost on them. Why? Technology is often wrought with immediate gratification. Click a button, and your answer appears. No need to evaluate or analyze. No need to think about one’s thinking process.

There was also a good piece in Inside Higher Ed about the limitations of the CRAAP Test. Also on that topic:

How to Be a Better Web Searcher: Secrets from Google Scientists

Now for that call for papers (but more links related to this topic follow below, so keep going even if you’re not an academic interested in presenting at a conference on this topic):

https://relcfp.tumblr.com/post/186863291695/cfa-post-truth-perspectives-strategies

And another:

https://relcfp.tumblr.com/post/186792239341/call-for-authors-anti-intellectualism-and

The Chronicle of Higher Education had an article about the role of scholarship (in particular historians) in combatting white nationalism (with a quote from Sarah Bond!)

Inside Higher Ed addressed how to tackle climate change denial

Hank Campbell wrote about using the consensus to persuade people about science

NCSE asked what changes minds about climate change.

This post by Bill Caraher is relevant because he begins, “One of the funny things about expertise is that if you don’t practice being an expert on something, you begin not to be.”

Doing Late Antiquity

Inside Higher Ed advocated for using facts when addressing bigotry.

Dr. Lee McIntyre — The Scientific Attitude: Defending Science from Denial, Fraud, and Pseudoscience

What if the facts lead to a conclusion that you don’t like?

Caution on Bias Arguments

Remaining neutral when the facts argue otherwise

FL Principal Who Wanted to Be “Politically Neutral” About Holocaust Loses Job

The Self-Education of Frederick Douglass

Is Knowledge Incompatible with Science?

What’s so bad about smugness?

Ken Ham: Climate Change Isn’t a Big Deal Since Noah Dealt With a Global Flood

How Noah’s Flood Muddies Evangelical Thinking on Climate Change

Answers in Genesis Is Now Fully Running Its Own Creationism-Preaching School

Ugly theories killed by inconvenient facts

Internet Epistemology

Science is not a corporate conspiracy

New Scientist on Facebook’s new fact-checking process being too opaque to know if it is working

Richard Beck on non-credentialed community

Bob Cornwall offered a book review related to polarization in American politics

Personal & Cultural Self-Criticism

Gallup: Confidence in Organized Religion is at an All-Time Low (Again)

Evangelical Christians Are the Least Trusted Religious Group in New Zealand

Christian Century asked whether clergy can earn back that trust they’ve lost. Hank Campbell noted recent statistics related to public trust in science and how it compares with other authorities. He also noted Bernie Sanders’ promise to release info on aliens if elected

When You’re So Paranoid Even Sunday School Teachers Are a Threat

Either You Don’t Know Anything or Most of What You Believe is True

On Not Knowing: Amateur Hour

Progressives Learning to Understand Conservatives

Spider-Man: Far From Home – Truth, Perception, and the Need to Believe

YouTube getting serious on hate speech

The consequences for the Sokal Squared scholar

Deciding what to eat – science and hype

Does Science confirm the Bible?

The Sickness of the Soul: Cicero on Irrational Hate

A Creationist’s Critique of Flat Earthers Inadvertently Disproves Creationism

Gallup: 40% of Americans Are Creationists, but a Record-High 22% Accept Reality

Flat Earther’s Homemade Rocket Grounded Due to Bad Craigslist Water Heater

https://relcfp.tumblr.com/post/187022977032/cfp-negotiating-academias-relevance-problem

https://relcfp.tumblr.com/post/186908442462/call-for-authors-anti-intellectualism-and

 

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  • John MacDonald

    I think technology has made us better critical thinkers.

    The fact that it is so easy to fact-check and research and be connected to experts fosters an evaluative attitude. When I first started out looking at the Christian religion I just accepted what I read/saw supporting mythicism, because it provided a narrative and framework that made sense to me, and I didn’t want to put the effort into researching any further – “The God Who Wasn’t There” said it, so it must be true, lol. Now when I hear claims on any topic, the natural next step is to hop on the web and evaluate. I also learned a lot of good evaluative/debate skills by watching court shows like Matlock and Law & Order.