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July 2006

the Skeptics Dictionary

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 30, 2006  ·  Trivia

In respect of my dislike of Myers-Briggs (see the extended text in the entry below) readers are commended to the skeptics web site This is one of the best sites I know on the web authored by Robert Todd Carroll. It's one of the few places where you can find lychanthropy and logical positivism on the same page


In memorandum: Belbin tests

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 30, 2006  ·  Musings

One of my favorite tests of an audience is borrowed from “The Geography of Thought” by Richard Nisbitt. I list three objects: Cow, Chicken, Grass. After a repeat and a stern instruction to close your eyes I get people to raise their hands for the odd one out.

The pattern normally goes with Nisbitts research. Northern Europeans, the English and most of North America eliminate “Grass” as they have been brought up in a tradition of categorisation: Grass is a vegetable while the other two are animals. Asians,...


The Frodo generation

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 29, 2006  ·  Trivia

Having just discovered that "The Fellowship of the Ring" was published for the first time in the year I was born, I wonder if we should abandon the idea of Baby Boomers in favour of the title of this entry?


A plague on social constructivism

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 28, 2006  ·  Musings

I’m currently reading an excellent book “fear of knowledge: against relativism and constructivism” by Paul Boghossian Prof. of Philosophy at New York University. It is short, witty and devastating in its criticism of the view that all knowledge is socially constructed - something that seems to pervade social sciences, along with a tendency to confuse correlation with causation in research.

Aside from some basic logic along the lines of “the fact that something is socially constructed does not mean that all things...


A monastic environment

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 28, 2006  ·  Comments

To all those who asked - both on the blog and in multiple emails - yes I will get the book done! Its a monastic environment here. I have two not so good television channels, an hours travel to get to the centre of Singapore, one excellent swimming pool and steep hill to climb every morning to the faculty. So I have little alternative but to crack on with writing! I did purchase a set of speakers to go with the iPod on the grounds that my thesis was written to Wagner with the result that a leitmotif produces a pavlovian writing...