So... yeah, I'm a bit of a "fanboy." I have no problem admitting that.
But what I found to be even more striking was just how cool and approachable and accessible the man himself is. I've emailed him several time now, and he has been gracious enough to either reply back, or post my comments on his blog. And other than the folks at Newshounds, and ClassicLiberal (who was already a redulat poster here) he is so far the only other inductee in my Hall of Fame to do so.
He recently penned an absolutle scathing criticism of the kind of "journalism" praciced by Andrew Breitbart and Fox News, using the recent case of Shirley Sherrod as an example. It's solid, and I encourage everyone to read it. (Well, I encourage everyone to read every single page on the site, top to bottom, cover to cover, but read that ONE if nothing else!) Related to this article, as entried on The Backfire Effect and Motivated Reasoning. These entires are far more neutral from a political perspective, but I think that both are useful when it comes to deconstructing how the Conservative Media operates and how the modern Conservatives THINK. (And Liberals do it to, so be sure to keep these principles in mind when you are defending a liberal point!)
In the "well done" letter that I sent him regarding the Brietbart piece, I let him know obut my own "four levels of conservative reasoning" post. He replied back that he loved it, and suggested a fifth level:
Level 5 (Ronald Reagan, G. W. Bush, Ann Coulter):
Person A lies, makes stuff, tells stories that are allegedly composites from "real" people or taken right out movies.
Person B exposes the lies, cites the movies, and exposes the fictional nature of the stories.
Person A replies by saying "See, you just proved my point."
Now... I actually wasn't writing him about the Brietbart piece originally. I just had to 'high-five' on that because I thought it was incredibly well-done. What I originally was writing him about was the fact that a few nights back, my wife and I were talking about autsim, and the preponderacne of unscientific (Gluten-Caesin free diets, homeopathy, cranial-sacral massage) and sometimes dangerous (cheataltion, not-vaccinating) ideas purporting to cure or prevent it (which we talk about a lot, as it seems like we're the only parents of autistics that we know who insist that something be scientifically vetted before exposing our children to it!) when she mentions "Oh and did you hear that the dubunked the 'Mozart effect'?" And YES, I had, because I had read about it on Skepdic.com! Which inspired the following cartoon, which Professor Carroll decided not to run, citing fear of legal acation on the part of Pixar.
Loved the cartoon...wish I could post it, but Pixar would probably sue meBut I'll post it anyway becuase... shit, if Pixar notices what I'M doing, then I guess that means I've hit the big time. LOL. So screw 'em. Alex Ross hasn't asked me to take the Kindom Come banner down yet, so I don't think I'll be getting a call from John Lasseter anytime soon...
(click to enlarge)
BTW... If you don't remember, in the movie The Incredibles, Kari the babysitter brought Mozart to play while he sleeps...(and so on.)
There is another reason that I'm posting this now. I promised Steeve (twice now) that I'm going to re-visit some of the comments he'd made in some past Religion/Atheism posts. And I'd like the topic to stick to the fairly narrow points being discussed. And as I anticiapte some questions inevitably arising about the nature and logic (or illogic, from some people's POV) of atheism. Well, rather than re-create what has already been done better than I could hope to, I will refer any questions of this nature to Atheism section of Skepdic. (And) (And) IMHO, Professor Carrol does a fantastic job laying out the case for Religious Skepicism, in that post and in many others, and in dealing with the varous misunderstandings that people have who try to "disprove" it, or claim that it's "just like religion." And not only does he answer the questios solidly, but the path from organized religion to disorganized realion to atheism/agosticism that he describes going through in his life is close enough to my own journey, that the arguments ends up ~99% the same and for all intents and purposes what he has written on the topic is entirely adequate for describing my own positions and beliefs. (Or lack there of.) So in the interests of staying on topic, and avoiding a lot of duplicate typing, I will let what he has written speak for my own position and beliefs as well.
And hopefully this is enough links and refernces for Okiepoli, even if they are all to basically one source! LOL