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Amelior Scout
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Amelior Scout

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+Alan Light​​​​​ +Shava Nerad​​​​​

I really do think people will often take action that works against their own interests.

Because a lot of people lack devil's advocates to review whether their beliefs are justified.

BUT it is true that government turns into a monopoly that works against people's interests in itself.

Anarchy can have monopolies, but Noel argued that those monopolies don't last as long as government-backed monopolies.

Funny thing is: Governments form as a result of anarchy. Because the fitest figured out how to deal with everyone else and convinced them to cooperate with this system called "government."

IF basic needs weren't a bargaining chip, government would likely have never formed. Nor would trade.

Since sustainable self-sufficiency isn't entirely possible...
There will never be world peace.
It will always be survival of the fitest.

Survival is sometimes cooperative.
And sometimes combative.

Knowing this is helpful for survival.

Happiness, though: That's generally a byproduct of resource security--lack of combat for resources.

The level of happiness one has is what determines one's willingness to become combative and try to change the world (sometimes ineffectively).

I think self-sufficiency is a major factor in the measure of happiness.
And pursuing self-sufficiency, as societies, is an imperative goal if we all want to stave off unhappiness.
Amelior Scout's profile photoAlan Light's profile photo
+Amelior Scout - OK. I didn't know about that capability.

Still could be some problems (I have sometimes been able to pick up on a relevant point early and then skim over the rest to confirm before commenting, which might look to an algorithm like I'm not really engaging) but they should be much less. This might work.
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Amelior Scout

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Nice. (I'm okay with this)
Obama Will Free Chelsea Manning, a Final Ceasefire in His War on Leakers
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To me, the author laid out the motivations and skewed reasoning that go into believing conspiracies really well.

I think it's because he kept the explanations at a sentence or two.
• Michael Shermer. "How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail: Why worldview threats undermine evidence." Scientific American (January 2017 Issue)

• Robert Todd Carroll. "Backfire effect." The Skeptic's Dictionary (Last updated 14 March 2015)

• David McRaney. "The Backfire Effect." You Are Not So Smart (June 10, 2011)

"The Backfire Effect: Why Facts Don't Win Arguments." Big Think (2015-2016)

• Thomas Gilovich. "4. Seeing What We Expect to See: The Biased Evaluation of Ambiguous and Inconsistent Data." (pp. 49-74) "How We Know What Isn't So." The Free Press (1991)
Why worldview threats undermine evidence
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Amelior Scout

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Now that the presidential election is over..
Shouldn't we prepare ourselves for the Senate and House elections coming up?

After people announce their candidacy, I'd like to see analysis of their positions, how much they flip-flop, how much they say stuff that isn't true in order to persuade, ability to perform duties, and conflicts of interest.

Anything else that we need?

Maybe better discussions to determine what is fact.
Alan Light's profile photoX Rellix's profile photoAmelior Scout's profile photoAl M.'s profile photo
Al M.
Just use realclearpolitics it shows any polticians voting history, and - The Center for Responsive Politics to see what PACs are funding who and who's in charge of them ( Koch Bros, Soros, Banking Execs ect... )
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Amelior Scout

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What could be more effective ways of identifying or solving problems in the world?
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Amelior Scout

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This is why my last name is Scout. ;)
Perspective is everything, especially when it comes to examining your beliefs. Are you a soldier, prone to defending your viewpoint at all costs — or a scout, spurred by curiosity? Julia Galef examines the motivations behind these two mindsets and how they shape the way we interpret information, interweaved with a compelling history lesson from 19th-century France. When your steadfast opinions are tested, Galef asks: "What do you most yearn for? ...
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Amelior Scout

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Via +Noel Yap​
Similar to "little free library" boxes that are filled with free books, these "blessing boxes" are stocked with food and toiletries for people in need to take — anonymously and whenever they want.
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Amelior Scout

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Um. Daaaang
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Amelior Scout

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Flow (the psychological phenomenon) is important for happiness. It's not everything, but it can make you forget your troubles. Apparently work can be considered a Flow-inducing activity, depending on how you think about your job.

When I'm working, my job is usually a flow activity. I consider it a privilege that I am able to earn money (though I'm suck doing the same thing for the rest of my life). And I think of my labor as something that should done extremely efficiently.

So, I'm busy thinking about efficiency while I'm at work, nothing else. My mind isn't allowed much room to despair.

When I'm home. I remember how different I think I am from all other people:

1) I must have intellectual and intelligent friends to talk to.
2) They must want to spend the rest of their lives together, with me. I want them as family.. family that's as close as married people. (I do not want sex, haha.)

I feel like any time that I spend intellectualizing with someone is wasted when they eventually find something better to do than talking to me.

I think why this may affect me more than other people is that they have other people to talk to, like their family, other people at work/school that they haven't got to know, if their friends have better things to do.

I decline to talk to with people who aren't intellectual. Because people that aren't intellectual are boring and feel like a waste of time.
I care about achieving something with my thought, not just thinking to entertain myself.

Why don't I want to be alone?
Because then there isn't anything to give me Flow (like an intellectual conversation) when people aren't around.

I have to go.. I'll finish this later.
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Amelior Scout

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+Alan Light​ this criticises The New Atlantic.
Amelior Scout's profile photoAlan Light's profile photo
In case it wasn't clear, I was saying that we should not dismiss this source entirely on all topics. In the specific case mentioned in the Scientific American article, I think we can safely dismiss this source as unreasonably biased.
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Amelior Scout

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This means if bacteria get into your body. Either your immune system will be able to fight it, or you're dead.

No medications will help.
A woman in Nevada died in September from an infection that resisted every kind of antibiotic in the US.
X Rellix's profile photoAmelior Scout's profile photo
+X Rellix​ I try to avoid antibacterial soaps.(if I'm right) You know that they have it in... Practically every commercial sink in the country? X_X
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Amelior Scout

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I feel that people aren't shown how to Science in school, just how to memorize scientific evidence.
To me, this helps explain why people are often so polarized.

Via +John Despujols​
In which I blame teachers for things

In light of recent news, and after a brief exchange I had when I shared this picture yesterday, I've been thinking a lot about science and science education. I blame teachers for this mess.

I used to teach science. I even taught Science, which is different than science, after one of my freshman biology students, a Christian and a creationist, asked to learn more about evolution. She didn't actually want to understand the theory, I quickly discovered. What she wanted to understand was how a seemingly educated and intelligent guy like me could be so completely duped by a patently false idea.

So I agreed to show her. But not by teaching evolution. I told her I wasn't going to do that. At all. Not even a little. As it happened, my graduate training was in Biology, but my undergraduate emphasis was on the history and philosophy of science, and I saw that what she really lacked was not FACTS. It was understanding. So I said I would merely teach her how to evaluate scientific reasoning and she could take it from there.

I went online to see what tools were available for students and teachers at the high school level. And there ain't much. Don't get me wrong. There are some. But it's pretty sparse compared to almost anything else. You'll find a great deal more teaching tools for something specific like molecular genetics, for example, than for teaching about Science itself, which is just insane. It does a student no good to learn about operons and their regulation, or the neutral theory, without a firm understanding of what science both is and ISN'T.

I had an epiphany just then. We don't teach Science in this country. At all. We teach its content. We teach science: Avogadro's number and coefficients of friction and chordate anatomy and the pH scale and sine functions. As if memorizing the citric acid cycle somehow teaches you to understand Science and why it's so powerful. Facts and tables can reinforce that understanding, but only if it's already there. If not, nothing you learn in high school or almost any college Gen. Ed. requirement will gift it to you.

Students come burdened with language. They learn passively from society that science is an occupation -- like accounting, or carpentry -- and also a collection of experimental outcomes organized into big tables that have to be memorized to get a job. They learn that a theory -- "Well, that's one theory, I guess" -- is just a hypothesis and a hypothesis is a shot in the dark. Educators spend about five minutes at the start of the semester correcting that and then launch right into the subject material. Is it any surprise then that voting citizens who couldn't come up with three sentences to describe the hydrological cycle will tell you with absolute certainty that human-caused climate change is a hoax?

If that distresses you, I would question how much you're paying attention. Asking students to draw conclusions from a list of facts they're required to memorize but are incompetent to evaluate isn't education. It's indoctrination. Science class is nine months of "Trust me. I'm right."

And so here it's the 21st century and Science denial is all the rage. We all know about the anti-vaxxers and their ilk. But it's not just a problem with the Right. It's not. The debate about GMOs, for example, has become so politicized, it's lost all connection to science and reason. So it is Bill Nye (the science guy) -- one of the country's foremost science educators and a more competent scientist than you or I ever will be -- reversed his opposition to GMOs after careful review, and rather than taking that as evidence of the scientific process, of free an open inquiry, he was pilloried for being a "tool of Monsanto" -- because part of his consideration included taking a tour of their labs to, you know, actually observe for himself what they were up to rather than just reading a second-hand account on Mother Jones.

Look, Science is potentially dangerous. It's always been potentially dangerous. And the public has always been just a little bit worried about that. The very first work of science fiction, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, captures that fear, and even seems to warn us that some lines of inquiry were just not meant for man, following the lesson of the earlier myth of Doctor Faustus that learned dudes in long robes will set loose monsters from their ivory towers and we'll all suffer. It's the plot of every Cold War-era sci-fi movie, in fact -- that an irradiated ant will eat Las Vegas, that the machines will become self-aware and kill us, that we'll become self-aware and kill ourselves.

The debate shouldn't be about prohibitions and controls. It should always be about transparency and oversight (such as peer review). I take it as an axiom that before too long the world is gonna need a stable, tested, drought- and pest-resistant source of food. I take it as an axiom that we should be looking for ways of curing childhood genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs. I take it as an axiom that we're going to do a lot more damage to the environment before things get better, and that breeding a strain of Deinococcus radiodurans that could clean up nuclear waste would be awesome.

All of those lines of inquiry carry risk. And a not insignificant amount. So it is we have people on both sides of the political spectrum arguing that Science should be curtailed or prohibited because they've decided -- as laypeople, in advance -- that some problems are just not soluble, and anyway it's just not worth the risk.

Because, you know, there are monsters.

("Just Say No" has never been an effective strategy to curb anything, by the way. All it does is drive it underground, where there's even less visibility and control. The surest way to ensure a rogue gene makes it into the wild is for industrialized nations to place such steep roadblocks on GMO research that it's driven to the Third World, where there's no oversight at all.)

I blame teachers for this mess. I really do. I know that's not popular. But it's true. Don't get me wrong. Science educators fight valiantly -- and that's not sarcasm; I mean it -- against efforts to gut science education. They fight valiantly to continue teaching the content of evolution. But never the vessel. And then we wonder why, year after year, a majority of Americans -- high school-graduates all, and even a high percentage of college grads -- doubt climate change. Or evolution (roughly the same percentage as Islamic states like Turkey, by the way). We ask them to drink from a well they're being told is poisoned, and then we wonder why they refuse. Regardless of anyone's best efforts, that's the actual, real, practical outcome of science education in this country.

And my student, by the way -- the one who wanted to understand how it was I got duped by science -- totally came around after just a couple months, and all without me ever even saying the word evolution.

1) I eventually settled on Ronald Giere's "Understanding Scientific Reasoning" as the textbook for my sessions. I'm sure there are others, and I'm sure there are people out there who can steer you appropriately.

2) And if you're one of those people who's chest spasms at the thought of stem cell research or GMOs or whatever, read David Deutsch's "The Beginning of Infinity" and repeat the following to yourself every time you get nervous: "Problems are soluble. Problems are soluble. Problems are soluble."

3) Edit to include the comment: All of this is because the purpose of the system is not to educate but to serve the power structure, which means the purpose of compulsory, state-sponsored indoctrination is to churn out skads of minimally compliant, technically-competent office workers to feed the post-industrial economy. It's important that they know how to memorize and regurgitate, how to pass tests and certifications, how to follow rote instruction, such as what is required to service machines made from interchangeable parts. It resembles education sometimes, but only enough to make sure people won't realize what it actually is.

(re-sharing this art by Beeple)
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Amelior Scout's profile photoAlan Light's profile photo
+Amelior Scout - I think the biggest issue is that the left has "equality" as a foundational moral precept which they can never question. Incidentally, this is a 19th century European import, derived from the French Revolution. The American Revolution never gave a damn about equality, other than equality before the law. The American Revolution's primary moral precept was Liberty.
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Amelior's Collections
Creating an online deliberative framework where people come together and generate projects to improve the world.
My Persisting Missions:
  • Cultivate worldwide self-sufficiency
  • Gamify society
  • Design a public platform for collaborative innovation & research

  • The more self-sufficient that people are, the less need and ability there is for people to dominate each other. That's my hypothesis on advancing world peace.
  • There isn't any true good or evil, there is only facilitation or impediment of people surviving and thriving.
  • Most of life demands reliance on assumptions.
    • I prefer to rely on scientifically-validated information --yet, I am weary of the potential for skewed information due to biases, corruption, and extortion.
  • Most people have good  intentions with what they're doing.
    • People almost always fail to recognize that the other side has a point.
  • There is no debate without consensus of fact.
  • Knowledge of the actualities should always be pursued.
  • Impending devastation exhilarates me.
    • I love critical, global issues.
  • If I can't make a dramatic difference to more than a community, I'm wasting my effort.
    • I care about the principal factors that dictate humanity's course.
  • I do not bother with changing things through institutions, I take grassroot action.
    • Institutions are generally too corrupt and inefficient to bother with.
  • I am not interested in most of humanity; though, I do care for every human's quality of life because I believe that every person's life will have an impact on mine.
    • I think most people are too near-sighted, unambitious, credulous, self-righteous, and/or psychotic.
  • I agree with the motto from the game Assassin's Creed "Nothing is true, everything is permitted."  Not everything you're told or think that you know is the absolute truth.
  • "If you're going to do something, make it matter." - Hewlett Packard
My rules to solving problems:
  • Rule 1) Tackle the roots of problems.
  • Rule 2) Ensure a lasting solution.
I want to make the world more awesome (sustainable, safe, inspiring, equitable, economical, and fun) for everyone!

Catalysts for this change:

  • Cultivating people's knowledge, innovation, collaboration, and self-sufficiency.
  • Creating immersive, real-world games (which, preferably, would benefit society in more ways than just positive emotional states).
Millions die and suffer living every day -things may never be perfect.
  1. What would you do differently if a loved one was one of them?
  2. What would you think if your typical way of life suddenly dissolved? (*cough, cough* War, Pandemic, Famine, Theft, Global Financial Crises, Superstorms)
Join the billions.

  • Save the World Projects (If there are any that fit the style that I work in :3)
  • Discussion
  • Ethics
  • Civics
  • Politics (Only for staying informed; I prefer DIY change.)
  • Getting Educated: Web Articles, MOOCs, Television
  • Technology
  • Business
I associate with those who:
  • Are trying to make a difference.
  • See big pictures
  • Enjoy thinking
  • Deliberate
  • Have healthy skepticism
I would like to have a group of people who will hang out together as roommates (nearly) every day until we die on each other.
I can't live without a sense of fraternity.

What I typically do in my downtime:
  • Tech, Local, & World News
  • Watching Informative Videos (PBS & YouTube)
  • Google+
  • Planning or Organizing Something, or Daydreaming about doing it.
  • Playing Videogames
  • Listening to Music
  • Sulking over Friends, Money, and Mankind

Places Travelled:
Oklahoma, US; Arkansas, US.

Causes that I'm passionate about:

Anthropogenic Climate Change 
Vegetarian/Veganism (Animal Rights)
Equal Human Rights

American Oligarchy
Insincere Politics
Conformity to Social Norms
Inappropriate Use of Antibiotics

~Life is ever-changing~
Last Update: October 7, 2015
Bragging rights
Red pill (unless I'm definitely going to suffer for a long time), I am probably more than above average at reading into people's behavior
  • TED Conferences Online
    Snippets of Many Disciplines, 2011 - present
    Watched over 250 talks
  • MOOCs
    Many Disciplines, 2012 - present
    [March 2013] Global Sustainable Energy: Past, Present and Future, University of Florida • A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior, Duke University (Psychology+Economics) • Leading Strategic Innovation in Organizations, Vanderbilt University • [May 2013] Introduction to Psychology, University of Toronto (Also: Spring 2007: Yale University, Introduction to Psychology) • [August 2013] Social Psychology, Wesleyan University • Gamification, University of Pennsylvania (A new field of study. A kind of hybrid between positive psychology & game mechanics for achieving organizational goals) • [January 2014] Moralities of Everyday Life, Yale University
  • PBS
    Overviews of Many Disciplines, present
    Dozens of NOVA, Nature, Frontline, and NewsHour programs.
  • Informational Websites
    Interdisciplinary, 2012 - present
    MIT Technology Review, Scientific American, Smithsonian,, ExtremeTech, Gizmag, CleanTechnica, Next Big Future, Fast Company, The Verge, CNET, TechCrunch, GOOD, Mashable, xkcd
  • Books
    Different Disciplines, 2012 - present
    The Infinite Resource by Ramez Naam (Economics + Sustainability), A Mind of Its Own by Cordelia Fine (Psychology), Don't Be Such a Scientist by Randy Olson (Science, Public Relations)
  • YouTube
    Snippets of Many Disciplines, 2012 - present
    ASAP Science, Vsauce
  • Codecademy
    Programming, 2014 - 2015
    Basics of: HTML, CSS, jQuery
  • Documentaries
    Food Inc., Bully, Inequality for All, Tiny: A Story About Living Small, Poor Kids, Pump
  • LabSim TestOut
    Information Technology, 2011 - 2012
    CompTia A+ and Network+ training (but did not take certification exams)
Objectivity, Unassuming (typically), Speculation, Ideation, Deliberation, Analysis, Management, Identifying Problems, Detangling Arguments, Spotting Oddities and Inconsistencies. Resolve, Humility, Civility, Aspiration, Assertiveness, Forthrightfulness, Respectfulness, Encouraging, Earnest, Independent, Comprehensiveness, Planning, Study, Mediation, Supervision, Vigilance, Mitigation, Prudence, Persistence, Focus, Authentic, Integrity, Listening, Courtesy, Sympathy, Callous, Critical • Bad Habits: Vindictive, Sulking, Contemptuous
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Friends, Networking
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