Guns, Hypoxia, and Logical Fallacies
Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain internet playlist from July 25, 2016. It's a collection of podcasts, videos, and other links for people who love to learn online and are fascinated by the world. Click here to get playlists emailed to you as they come out. For this week's podcast section, I wanted to do something a little different and highlight two recent mini-series that are worth diving a little deeper into.
And if you only check out one thing, make it The Smarter Every Day YouTube video mentioned below, it's one of the most interesting things I've seen in weeks.
Let me know what you think!
Mini-series 1: Logical Fallacies You Are Not So Smart
If you like learning about psychology, cognitive biases, and how we are a walking bundle of self-delusion, then you'll love this podcast. Host David McRaney put together a "season" of episodes that breaks from the normal format of one interview, and instead talks to a panel of experts around the most common logical fallacies we are likely to encounter.
My favorite episode out of all of them is the first one about the Fallacy Fallacy, which is when you think that by pointing out someone else's fallacy that you somehow win the argument and can drop the mic.
The first episode also points out why it's so important for all of us to have a basic understanding on argument and how people can abuse logic. McRaney says that "we are writing more in a month than people used to write in their entire lives after their education had completed, and that only started about a decade ago." How we communicate is changing, and being able to reason through an argument and to effectively spot fallacious thinking has never been so important. If you only have time for a few, the ones I recommend the most are The Fallacy Fallacy, The Strawman Fallacy, The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy, and Special Pleading. Here is a link to the site with all of the below episodes.
Ep 67-The Fallacy Fallacy, Jan 14, 41 min Ep 68- The Strawman Fallacy, Jan 28, 29 min Ep 69- The Black and White Fallacy, Feb 11, 30 min Ep 70- The No True Scotsman Fallacy, Feb 25, 36 min Ep 71- The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy, Mar 9, 44 min Ep 74- Beggin the Question, Apr 20, 35 min Ep 75- Special Pleading, May 5, 38 min Ep 76- The Genetic Fallacy, May 19, 39 min Ep 77- The Conjunction Fallacy, Jun 2, 34 min Ep 78- The Existential Fallacy, Jun 16, 37 min
Mini-series 2: Statistics on Gun Violence What's the Point
The data-centric reporting site, FiveThirtyEight, from Nate Silver, has a podcast called What's the Point. They did a whole series on gun violence statistics on the site and their podcast focused on telling a different part of the story for seven days straight. There is always some bias in how statistics get carved up and reported, but this series does an admirable job attempting to portray gun violence as a complicated issue that involves many different populations that each require different approaches. Here is a link to the written pieces (click the menu on top left to expand the list), and here is a link to the podcast episodes listed below.
A small sample of what you'll learn: out of 33,000 annual gun deaths in the U.S., 2/3 of them are suicides, and there are more domestic violence homicides than homicides from mass shootings. If you don't have time to check them all out, start with "Guns and Domestic Violence".
A Week of Conversations About Gun Deaths, Jul 13, 14 min Stopping Gun Deaths in New Orleans, Jul 14, 14 min Men, Suicide, and Guns, Jul 15, 15 min Guns And Domestic Violence, Jul 16, 10 min Mass Shootings, Jul 17, 14 min A Guns Program the NRA Actually Likes, Jul 18, 12 min Accidents, Guns, And Stats, Jul 20, 22 min
Smarter Every Day Why You Should PUT YOUR Mask On First (My Brain Without Oxygen), Jul 22, 10 min Learn about: why when a flight attendant tells you to put your mask on first, it's no joke. Destin from Smarter Every Day puts himself through hypoxia training that pilots go through and the inability he had to save himself was terrifying. To get you started on a nice healthy YouTube spiral, also check out this video, which is similar and hard not to laugh at. Quote: “Ok I want to make one thing abundantly clear, we performed this demonstration at 25,000 feet, and I had 3-5 minutes of consciousness left, however, most airliners travel at 35,000 feet. Look at this chart, there is way less oxygen up there, at 35,000 feet, you literally have seconds of useful consciousness at that altitude."
Veritasium The Illusion of Truth, Jul 21, 8 min Learn about: what cognitive ease is and all the frightening consequences of how this causes us to see the world. Quote: "The more something is repeated, the more it seems to be true."
Computerphile Password Choice, Jul 20, 11 min Learn about: why the best password solution is to use a password manager and to choose as your master password a string of four uncommon words that you can remember. Quote: “If your password is password, you probably want to close out of your browser right now and change it, and you know, hang your head a little bit. If it’s any variation on the word password, or has any variation of 1234 in any order in it, you need to delete those passwords, maybe delete your account, out of shame, because oh dear."
Fast Company Three Steps to Get up to Speed on any Subject, Really, Really, Fast Learn about: how googling something just once, talking to the right people, and explaining the topic to others is a great three step framework for getting up to speed on a new subject. Quote: "But you probably also find yourself falling down an infinite digital rabbit hole, right? The key, according to Greenwald, is to build a quick overview of what other people have said—and then stop Googling."
That's all for this week!