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What is existence? What is existence? This is, of course, and a rather fundamental question....
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Surveillance, Pandemics, and Conspiracies

Lately there have been a number of people who point to this or that proposal for tracking infected people, or recovered people, or contact tracing during an epidemic. In some cases the proposals predate this pandemic. After all, pandemic response is not a new concept. But to people reading the ideas for the first time, some immediately see a conspiracy, as if the whole reason we are suffering a pandemic is because the...

The Self-Reinforcing Worldview of The Conspiracy A...

Bill Gates is being portrayed as a scheming villain in quite a few social media posts I’m seeing lately. His sin? His organization actually did anticipate a coronavirus outbreak beforehand, warned about it, planned for it, and attempted to get people to take it seriously before it was here. To the ignorant that is evidence that somehow must have created it. But really it is simple phenomenology. If you look at how the...

Examining the Evidence: Bill Gates wants to Microc...

Someone alerted me to a facebook post: PATENT 060606 is a Cryptocurrency System using body activity data in humans…. The patent is owned by Microsoft-Bill Gates. ..Again.. not a conspiracy theory…! For some this is absolutely shocking or unbelievable…. For others.. we have seen this coming all along…. This post isn’t to fuel fear..it’s to raise awareness… You can look up the patent here:...

Terry Boardman on Covid

Coronavirus and Cosmology: The Study of World Events I would be more impressed if Terry Boardman actually predicted events like Covid beforehand, rather than offering really elaborate post-hoc explanations dense with carefully curated correspondences. Bill Gates, though depicted as a villain, comes off as far more prescient in that his organization actually did anticipate a coronavirus outbreak beforehand, warned about it,...

Debunking the Debunkers

Israeli Professor Debunks Government Claims That Lockdowns Slow Coronavirus Infection, Proves Worldwide Decline In Spread The word that caught my attention was “debunks.” Somehow, these days that type of language triggers my conspiracy theory radar. It practically screams, “motivated reasoning” by someone who is about to go to great lengths to willfully ignore the scientific consensus–or the...

Firstenberg’s Covid Message

In a widely circulated essay from Arthur Firstenberg there were some things I felt compelled to comment on. First of all, it the whole article is a wonderful compendium of every single reflexive “the opposite of what the authorities are telling us” idea that has been circulated lately. Of course really penetrating every single point would be the work of a lifetime. There are a few suspicious claims that pure...

SARS-Cov-2 and Conspiracy Theories

SARS-Cov-2 is a novel virus, meaning that humans have never before encountered it. But it is also just one more in a pattern of pathogens that have, at a particular time, moved from the animal kingdom and spread widely among the human population, striking down some and passing over others. Given these facts—that it is new, and it is deadly—it is little wonder that all sorts of explanations are proffered. People do what...

Thoughts on Grading

A former student asked how she should grade a course she was asked to teach. My reply: The wrong way: throw out a grade at the end based loosely on what you feel about the student. The right way: a rubric. A rubric is a list of what will be scored and how it will be evaluated. The rubric can be tuned to support the learning goal of the class and assignment. Not every paper needs a heavy emphasis on spelling, for example....