Author Archive: Erich Vieth

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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Steven Pinker’s cognitive science quiz

February 24, 2015 | By | Reply More

How well can you answer these ten questions about cognitive science posed by Steven Pinker?

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John Oliver takes on elected judges

February 23, 2015 | By | Reply More

To sum up this video is the Great American Motto that applies to both elected judges and all other elections: “No, that he handed me a bunch of money won’t affect they way I resolve this issue.”

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Smooth “bar magic”

February 20, 2015 | By | Reply More

This magician is apparently magic:

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The alleged war against Christianity

February 20, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

There is no war on Christianity, according to the hate crimes data kept by the FBI. Addicting Information reports:

The ‘war on Christianity’ is a propaganda war. It’s a war that is being waged in the minds of the people who listen to hate radio and watch Fox News. In 2013 there were 7,242 hate crimes committed in the US. In total, crimes against protestant Christians amounted to .0051 percent, a tiny fraction of a percentage point.

Right wing fear and hate-mongering makes people believe that they’re under attack, when it’s clear that they’re not. It makes them believe that others are threatening them, even when the facts tell a very different story. A large compilation of research released over the summer showed that conservatives have a much larger negativity bias than other people. The research also showed that conservatives also have a greater tendency to ‘perceive threats,’ whether real or imaginary.

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Spectator Democracy

February 19, 2015 | By | Reply More

From a mass emailing I received from Common Dreams:

In a 2012 interview with Bill Moyers, media scholar Marty Kaplan said, “The notion of spectator democracy has, I think, extended to include the need to divert the country from the master narrative, which is the influence and importance and imperviousness to accountability of large corporations and the increasing impotence of the public through its agency, the government, to do anything about it. So the more diversion and the more entertainment, the less news, the less you focus on that story, the better off it is.

Bill Moyers responded: “Are you saying that the people who run this political media business, the people who fund it, want to divert the public’s attention from their economic power? Is that what you’re saying?”

Kaplan responded: “Yes. Let us fight about you know, whether this circus or that circus is better than each other, but please don’t focus on the big change which has happened in this country, which is the absolute triumph of these large, unaccountable corporations. This is about as dismal and effective a conspiracy, out in plain sight, as there possibly could be.”

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How to moonwalk

February 16, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

You never know when you’ll need to moonwalk. Here is how to do it:

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Daniel Dennett explains how to disagree.

February 10, 2015 | By | Reply More

Daniel Dennett offers 4 steps for how to disagree. Great advice for discussing politics and many other topics:

You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

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The biggest difference between good science and religion

February 10, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

The difference between good science and any religion. Good science is proudly self-critical. The Edge 2014 annual question, answered by almost 200 writers, is this: “Ideas change, and the times we live in change. Perhaps the biggest change today is the rate of change. What established scientific idea is ready to be moved aside so that science can advance?”

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Battle for the Internet – Countdown.

February 10, 2015 | By | Reply More
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