Economic Livelihood and Willful Blindness, Industry and Information

 An Old Report which is Nonetheless Instructive In 1978, the Office of Consumer Education commissioned a report to find out exactly how advertising and marketing were affecting US society. The result was a study entitled Impact of Advertising: Implications for Consumer Education by Zena Cook et al, and the report was interesting because of what it…

Primary and Secondary Sources

Definitions and Explanations A primary source is an original object or document from a specific time or event under study. Primary sources include historical and legal documents, interviews, eyewitness accounts, results of experiments, survey data, observations, diaries, paintings, works of literature, ancient pieces of pottery unearthed in Iraq, and much more . In the natural and social…

Free Market Censorship

Before we get started, let’s define two important terms: Free  market  – An economic market in which supply and demand are not regulated or are regulated with only minor restrictions. Free press – a press not restricted or controlled by government censorship regarding politics or ideology. Certainly there are more exhaustive definitions of each, but…

Censorship and a Philosophical Conundrum

On May 29, 2014, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology met for a session entitled “Examining the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process,” in which they listened to the testimony of one of the main authors of the IPCC report, two climatologists who disagrees with the IPCC report, and an economist whose…

Climate Change and Framing: Brain Morphology, Why Facts Fail, and Debiasing Strategies

We only use 10% of our brains.  Is that claim true or false?  Is it backed up by the scientific literature? Is it just an old myth that refuses to go away?  Is it a misquote of someone who actually knew what he was talking about?  Scientific American tries to get to the bottom of…

Individual vs. Collective, Corporation vs. Government, and Democrat vs. Republican: Thoughts on the Political and Legal Landscape of Information in America

Individual vs. Collective, Corporation vs. Government, and Democrat vs. Republican: Thoughts on the Political and Legal Landscape of Information in America   In weighing the usefulness of your sources it is good to understand how culture and politics contribute to bias, how specific language can be used to promote ideology as well as to hide intent.  But…

Think Tanks in Action—A Real World Example

A colleague read my lecture notes on think tanks and told me that he has first-hand experience with the Heartland Institute.  This piqued my interest because Heartland Institute (located here in beautiful downtown Chicago!) is pretty big in the global warming denial game, though their interests include all laissez-faire (quick poli sci question:  what does…