Pick Wayne's Brain

November 21, 2015

When Being Afraid Just Doesn’t Help

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 10:25 AM

Fear is not always a bad thing. It plays an important role in our evolution as a species. Evolution, BTW, is a fact of Science.

As Bill Nye says, there’s no reason to doubt it. None. And there certainly isn’t any reason to teach your kids Creationism as a valid theory in its place. Creationism is not Science. It doesn’t propose testable hypotheses. It simply tells you what is supposed to have happened and then tells you, “Believe this, or else.” I agree with Nye that one of the worst things you can do to your kids is to teach them that Creationism explains how we got here.

But fear is not always a good thing, either. Erick Erickson (more…)

March 17, 2014

Why All The Hate?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 12:27 AM

If you’re like me, not only are you incredibly smart and good-looking, you wonder why so many people on the Right hate, just viscerally hate, the President of the United States. The knee-jerk reaction is to say it’s because the Haters are (Insert Randomly Insignificant Criterion Here) and the President is Not, and that for most of the haters, the randomly inserted insignificant criterion would be race. Not necessarily. There’s a lot of people who hate the president, and there’s certainly a chunk of them with an IQ well below the three-digit range who think the color of his skin is reason enough to hate him. Thankfully, despite this group’s inability to grasp the concept of birth control, Natural Selection will prevent them from becoming a majority in this country. But they don’t account for all the Haters. Some of the Haters claim to be Christians who think the President is Not One of Them. They think he’s a Muslim. What’s really funny about that one is (more…)

December 21, 2013

What’s Your Comfort Level?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 11:39 AM

After an interview in GQ magazine with Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson was published, in which Mr. Robertson had some harsh and completely inaccurate things to say about both gay people and what life was like for black people in the pre-civil rights days, a lot of conservative mouthpieces took to their various publications to support him. Stepping up to present his own hyperbolic testimonial was Red State founder and former CNN contributor, Erick Erickson.

Really, Erick? This idea gives you comfort? (more…)

November 24, 2009

Fear, Scare, and Play Unfair

Fear, Scare, and Play Unfair
Original words and music “Here, There, and Everywhere”, by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider

To lead a fettered life they need my mode to be fear…

Fear, making the case through the year
(more…)

April 25, 2008

The Police Should Not Use Deadly Force For Imaginary Reasons

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 11:06 PM

The acquittal of three New York City police officers in the execution of Sean Bell (he was shot fifty times, with one officer firing thirty-one times) raises some very serious questions for me. In this case, as in many similar previous cases (around the country, not just in New York City), the justification allowed by the police rests entirely on what they imagined was happening, not what actually was happening. Though the details of this case don’t matter, it turns out that the police had reason to believe that someone at the party had a gun. Does that justify mortally firing at someone, repeatedly, even though they did not see any gun? The problem rests on equating two different kinds of beliefs: those you arrive at through deductive reasoning, and those you arrive at through inductive reasoning. One is usually based on actual facts, the other is usually based on one’s imagination. (See explanation here.)

Deductive reasoning starts with the more general and works toward the more specific to reach a conclusion. Inductive reasoning works the other way around. (more…)

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