As a rule, everyone at the March for Science in DC was cheerful, helpful, polite, and kept their signs and chants to the scientifically defensible. However, as we all know, rules are made to be broken.Read More
I'm on my way to Washington D.C. for the March for Science, this Saturday. I thought I'd share with you all the images that will be on my sign. I tried to stick with mostly positive messages. Science is supposed to be the central theme, and politics are secondary. I wanted to stay away from anything too partisan. I wanted to think of some clever sayings, but I'm not clever. Maybe they'll give you some ideas for your own signs or memes. Anything I've created for the march is free for you to copy and rearrange if you like, but I didn't create many of the background images. So, caveat emptor.Read More
I usually write these articles as conversations with my mom. For fun, and because my latest book is set in Walt Disney World, I decided to present the first half as a conversation between Figment and his friends.
What is Scientific Skepticism?
Well Figment, I'm glad you asked...
I don't like to write too much about writing. It bores non-writers, and most writers have already heard it all. I'm not Stephen King or George R. R. Martin. No one cares about myprocess. But every now and then I feel the need to defend writers of all kinds. Yeah, I have a hero complex, I guess. I also feel the need to correct false information, no matter how well intended. And I love my fellow wordsmiths. So imagine what my reaction is every time a skeptical friend suggests that reading is not research.
Ok, to be fair, I am fully aware that they are referring specifically to people who think they can argue science with scientists based on a few hours of Google U. It's just that when you say people who do their research online, or in a library, are doing inferior research to those wearing white lab coats, you are doing a disservice to both groups. So, for my skeptical friends, and my many unskeptical friends and family, indulge me while I talk about research and its importance to writing.Read More
When Bill Maher says conservatives are more anti-science than liberals, what he’s really saying is, my science is better than their science, and the science I choose to disregard is less important than the science they choose to disregard. But it’s all the same science. Science is science. If you reject any of it, you reject the concept, the methodology, thus you reject it all. You simply cannot claim that science sometimes is reliable and consistent. That just doesn’t compute. If you love science, you love all of it, you believe all of its findings… even when those findings really suck. You love it even when it makes your political candidate sound the right fool. You love it even when it makes your religion sound phony and hollow. And you love it when it tells you that you have to stop doing something you enjoy, because it really is bad for you… or the planet. You love it when it's hard.
So with that said, allow me to point out that both liberals and conservatives seem to have jumped on the crazy train and headed out going “woo-woo”.Read More
Both these kids are smart, articulate, good looking, and media savvy. They’ve also both become representatives for a cause. And that’s what I want to talk about today. Remember when the girl who played Matilda wrote about how terrible it was for her fellow child actors? Remember how we all thought parents shouldn’t do that to their kids? Well, I don’t know, but I’m feeling a little dirty for the way these two kids have been adopted (or vilified) by opposing sides in very contentious debates. What does a twelve year old, or even a junior high school aged child know about politics, economics, health, regulatory policy, agriculture, big business, or the terrible media shit storm that comes when your video reaches a million hits? Well, they are finding out that last one. Unfairly, it seems to me.Read More
I know what nature is. I go hiking, caving, biking, swimming and camping. I’ve visited the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and the mighty Mississippi. I swam in the Black River and two of the Great Lakes. I’ve watched sunsets in Hawaii and Florida. I’ve caught lightning bugs and been startled by snakes. I’ve had poison ivy, and eaten wild blackberries. Doggone it, I know nature when I see it. You do too, right? So ok, what is it?Read More