For an explanation of the despair for my fair city look here.

I’m seriously thinking about attending.



  1. It appears we live in Kansas after all. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes . . .

  2. I think you should attend. I’ve been curious for a long time how it is that people become conservative. I have often wondered how the selfish gene of social Darwinism gets imprinted into the soul of so many Christians. I’ve wondered also how it is that others learn to exhibit empathy for our neighbors
    on this sticky green ball in cold, cold space.
    For sure there is no abrupt line, one flows into the other. Among our tea party friends and neighbors something seems lacking in the faculty for critical thinking.

    • Hey Carlos,

      You might enjoy reading Robert Cialdini’s (2009) Influence: Science and Practice. It’s super short, super cheap (my copy was $4.00) and contains a wealth of information on what is called “judgmental heuristics.” JH are a short-cut method to reasoning, which is useful in understanding how peripheral processing (uncritical) functions, and why it is so damn popular with some people.

      In terms of the evolution of empathy – that topic is, quite frankly, astounding. Watch the video on this post for a short introduction to mirror neurons. If you feel up to it afterwards, get the book: An Empathic Civilization (Rifkin)

    • I really might. It happens over a few days. I think the funniest thing about it is that a bunch of conservatives (many of whom I would guess are religious) are getting together for their national convention at what used to be a dog racing track.

  3. Haha! Great clip. Thanks for the recommendations. I started out with Hayakawa’s “Language in Thought and Action” back in the day. General semantics was my first introduction into critical thinking.

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