unsee the horror
To quote Dr. Shermer: Skepticism is not a position; it’s a process.
The popular misconception is that skeptics, or critical thinkers, are people who disbelieve things. And indeed, the common usage of the word skeptical supports this: “He was skeptical of the numbers in the spreadsheet”, meaning he doubted their validity. To be skeptical, therefore, is to be negative about things and doubt or disbelieve them.
The true meaning of the word skepticism has nothing to do with doubt, disbelief, or negativity. Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. It’s the process of finding a supported conclusion, not the justification of a preconceived conclusion.
It’s thus inaccurate to say “Skeptics don’t believe in ghosts.” Some do. Many skeptics are deeply religious, and are satisfied with the reasoning process that led them there. Skeptics apply critical thinking to different aspects of their lives in their own individual way. Everyone is a skeptic to some degree.
Skepticism is, or should be, an extraordinarily powerful and positive influence on the world. Skepticism is not simply about “debunking” as is commonly charged. Skepticism is about redirecting attention, influence, and funding away from worthless superstitions and toward projects and ideas that are evidenced to be beneficial to humanity and to the world.
The scientific method is central to skepticism. The scientific method requires evidence, preferably derived from validated testing. Anecdotal evidence and personal testimonies generally don’t meet the qualifications for scientific evidence, and thus won’t often be accepted by a responsible skeptic; which often explains why skeptics get such a bad rap for being negative or disbelieving people. They’re simply following the scientific method.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, particularly in claims that are far fetched or that violate physical laws. Skepticism is an essential, and meaningful, component of the search for truth.
The chart ranks the top ten causes of death for each year. In addition to the remarkable decline in mortality overall, it’s also noticeable how heart disease and cancer have surged to become two of America’s top killers. In 1900, cancer and heart disease accounted for 18 percent of all deaths. Today, that figure’s jumped to 63 percent. In addition to being responsible for a greater share of deaths overall, the absolute number of people being killed by these chronic conditions has also grown, from 201 people out of every 100,000 in 1900 to nearly 380 per 100,000 today.
Used to get high as hell off this stuff…
Taken with instagram
Ken just gets frustrated, mom. And afterwards he is so sorry and sweet. Also. He bought me a Corvette — in MY color!
In addition to this very official Tumblr Staff blog and our charmingly factual About page, you may already be familiar with our official Engineering blog, which shines a light on technical developments of interest to the Tumblr population. Today we’re rolling out four more departmental Tumblrs showing how we live and work, as well as better communicating with the community about what we’re doing.
The Editorial blog previews stories and features in progress from this new and still secretive organization (have you submitted to the Storyboard tag yet?). The International blog gives you a taste of our globetrotting efforts (did you know Tumblr serves nine languages, with more on the way?). The Ministry of Design represents our aesthetics corps (lately tripled in size and militancy). And the Support blog provides a wealth of tips, insight, and advice about how our friendly little town of 50-million-plus gets on and gets along.
More of these departmental Tumblrs may evolve and appear, and all should be considered works in progress — by turns serious and useful as well as creatively stimulating and amusing. Take a look and let us know what you think.
Curious. I didn’t realize Tumblr was so deep.