Miscellaneous & Fun
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I'm Very Interested In
Hearing Some Half-Baked Theories from The Onion
"As an ill-informed pseudo-intellectual with a particular interest in the
unverifiable, I'm always on the lookout for some partially thought out
misinformation..." [15 Nov 05]
[This link takes you to the Private Eye website; click on Pseuds Corner on the
LHS menu.] Private Eye, the British satirical magazine, includes in every
issue a selection of quotes, each of which indicts its own author as a pompous
twit. [30 May 2004]
the Madame Blavatsky of psychotherapy by Anthony Daniels
Review of Jung: A Biography by Deirdre Bair.
Good quick introduction to Jung and why you needn't pay any more attention to
him. Critical thinking and writing at its finest. "His contribution to positive human knowledge was small and disputable,
his writings diffuse and contradictory, his character dubious, and his only
lasting effect that upon a small if devoted coterie, though he enjoyed for a
time the status of omnicompetent guru of world fame." [31 Dec 03]
Fun online game, challenging even for expert critical thinkers. "Can your beliefs about religion make it across our intellectual battleground? In this activity you’ll be asked a series of 17 questions about God and religion. In each case, apart from Question 1, you need to answer True or False. The aim of the activity is not to judge whether these answers are correct or not. Our battleground is that of rational consistency. This means to get across without taking any hits, you’ll need to answer in a way which is rationally consistent. What this means is you need to avoid choosing answers which contradict each other. If you answer in a way which is rationally consistent but which has strange or unpalatable implications, you’ll be forced to bite a bullet." [21 Aug 03]
Encyclopedia of Stupidity - review by Stephen Bayley
Somewhat amusing, as you'd hope and expect on this topic. But there is some good meat on this bone - particularly the many pointers to previous classics in the literature on stupidity. I didn't know so much had been written on this topic. [3 Apr 03]
Skeptical Quizzes by the Ontario Skeptics
"At OSSCI meetings we often also hold quizzes, testing the audience's skeptical, scientific, paranormal and other odd knowledge. Prizes are given for most correct answers, but it's mainly for fun. Here are some past quizzes—with the most recent at the top—for those who can't get to meetings." [12 Mar 03]
How to Win Arguments, As It Were by Dave Barry
"I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me. You too can win arguments. Simply follow these rules..." [28 Oct 02]
How to Argue on Usenet by
The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
"Faith, n, Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel."
"Logic, n. The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding." [8 July 02]
Rochefoucauld: Maximes et RÚflexions divers
One of those little gems one finds scattered around the internet. La
Rochefoucald's pithy insights, concisely pissing on pretensions - e.g.,
"Everybody complains of their memory, but nobody complains of their judgement."
In French with English translations by Arthur Chandler. [12 Dec
Dum and Dummer by Michael J. Sheehan
"I offer the following primer of useful terms to describe industrial-strength stupidity."
Bad Astronomy by Phil Plait
"The Bad Astronomy web pages are devoted to airing out myths and misconceptions in astronomy and related topics." Very good on the (supposed) Lunar Landing Hoax. See also
Apollo Moon Landings, a good overview and rebuttal of the moon hoax arguments.
Three from RatbagsDotCom:
Quintessence of the Loon
"Some ratbags are gentle, deluded souls with ideas so bizarre that you would not believe it if someone told you about them. "Quintessence" is dedicated to bringing you the best of this nuttiness, with new links every week to places so odd that you will think we are making it up."
The Millenium Project: The Fundaments of the 'Net
"Another sort of ratbag is the dangerous lunatic. In an ideal world, these people would not have web sites. "The Millenium Project" lists a thousand of these ghastly sites, and new links and commentaries are added each week. The name is not misspelled - it is derived from the Latin "mille", meaning 1000, and "anus"."
Full Canvas Jacket
"Another example of "obsessive or discreditable" is the person who rants and rages incoherently at length. "Full Canvas Jacket" is a site to honour such people by awarding them a citation for Unhinged Lunatic Rant of the Week. There may not be an award each week, but the rest of the award title is correct."
Annals of Improbable Research
"The Annals of Improbable Research (AIR) is a humor magazine of science, medicine, and technology. AIR is known for (a) funny genuine science; (b) deadpan satire; and (c) the Ig Nobel Prizes."
CRANK DOT NET - Cranks, Crackpots, Kooks and Loons on the Net.
"Crank Dot Net is devoted to presenting Web sites by and about cranks, crankism, crankishness, and crankosity. All cranks, all the time."
The Physics Crackpot Index by John Baez
A simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to physics.
Consultant Debunking Unit, Fast Company Magazine
Brilliant stuff. Critical thinking applied to the sort of guff that
management consultants and business gurus are constantly throwing at us.
Satirical, very funny. [15 June 04]
Web Economy Bullshit Generator
1. Click the make bullshit button.
2. Watch bullshit appear in the box.
3. Repeat to taste (use your Enter/Return key).
DiHydrogen Monoxide Research Division
"Welcome to the web site for the Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division (DMRD), currently located in Newark, Delaware. The controversy surrounding dihydrogen monoxide has never been more widely debated, and the goal of this site is to provide an unbiased data clearinghouse and a forum for public discussion."
Teach Yourself To Think. By Benjamin Franklin.
"I escaped being a poet, most probably a very bad one; but as prose writing had been of great use to me in the course of my life, and was a principal means of my advancement, I shall tell you how, in such a situation, I acquired what little ability I have in that way."
Monty Python's Argument Clinic
"M: An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
A: No it isn't."
What the Tortoise said to Achilles by Lewis Carroll
The Darwin Awards
"The Darwin Awards celebrate Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in action by commemorating the remains of individuals who contributed to the improvement of our gene pool by removing themselves from it."
The alt.folklore.urban & Urban Legends Archive
Classic urban legends site.
Urban Legends Reference Site
Another good urban legends site. Conveniently classifies thousands of startling claims or stories, and rates them as true, false, indeterminate, etc. Look past the cheesy use of clip art, music etc..
The Straight Dope
"Fighting ignorance since 1973. (Its taking longer than we thought)"
Summit Ministries Guide to Critical Thinking
Onward Christian soldiers... Contains an interesting set of "tough questions" for combatting atheists, evolutionists, etc..
What type of flamer are you?
A different take on the news.
Debatabase International Debate Education Association
Get both sides of the story...
Machiavelli's The Prince by Merrilee Salmon. Landmarks in Critical Thinking Series.
"The lessons then that Machiavelli offers to princes are lessons in critical thinking. Rulers must learn how to make distinctions, how to consider alternative courses of action and evaluate their consequences, how to assess critically conflicting advice from various sources. If they are to preserve and maintain their states, they need to know how to apply general information about human nature to the particular circumstances that they face before taking any action."
The Bible and the Risen
Ape by Paul Monk
"The story of the creation and fall of mankind, at the beginning of the Bible's
book of Genesis, is the foundation of three great religions. Between them they
still command the loyalties of about two billion people. Yet the story is
untrue. We are not a fallen species, but a risen one. We need to take account of
what we now really know and rethink all the Biblical religions." [15 Dec 03]
This page last updated:
21 Jun 2007