tsuomela + understanding   69

Milky Way Musings
" Milky Way Musings is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting scientific literacy, supporting funding for scientific research and providing creative and educational science programming that is accessible to everyone. Founded by Callum Sutherland in 2010, Milky Way Musings aims to show that science isn’t mundane, boring or antithetical to romance. Through its many initiatives, Milky Way Musings hopes to effect fundamental change in public discourse in a manner that directs our scarce resources towards projects that are not only intellectually satisfying, but also have long-term, practical, bread-and-butter applications."
science  sts  communication  understanding 
june 2014 by tsuomela
Political Extremism Is Supported by an Illusion of Understanding
"People often hold extreme political attitudes about complex policies. We hypothesized that people typically know less about such policies than they think they do (the illusion of explanatory depth) and that polarized attitudes are enabled by simplistic causal models. Asking people to explain policies in detail both undermined the illusion of explanatory depth and led to attitudes that were more moderate (Experiments 1 and 2). Although these effects occurred when people were asked to generate a mechanistic explanation, they did not occur when people were instead asked to enumerate reasons for their policy preferences (Experiment 2). Finally, generating mechanistic explanations reduced donations to relevant political advocacy groups (Experiment 3). The evidence suggests that people’s mistaken sense that they understand the causal processes underlying policies contributes to political polarization."
politics  extremism  understanding  illusion  explanation  bias  cognition 
may 2014 by tsuomela
Donald Davidson: A Short Introduction by Kathrin Glüer | Issue 94 | Philosophy Now
"Donald Davidson: A Short Introduction by Kathrin Glüer, OUP USA, 2011, 328pp, £15.99, ISBN: 978-0195382969"
book  review  philosophy  relativism  language  communication  understanding 
february 2013 by tsuomela
Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) » Many Experts, Many Audiences: Public Engagement with Science
"Is nanotechnology safe? How should we respond to the possibility of catastrophic global climate change? Faced with profound personal and societal questions like these, we need the best scientific knowledge available. We also need opportunities for scientists, decision makers, and the public to exchange knowledge and perspectives “in a way that fosters responsible and appropriate scientific knowledge production and decision making"--and the informal science education sector is well positioned to help. That's the conclusion of a CAISE Inquiry Group that over the past year has been studying public engagement with science in informal media like television, museums, and science cafes."
science  engagement  public-understanding  understanding  public  experts  education  informal 
october 2012 by tsuomela
The cuckoo clock syndrome : addicted to command, allergic to leadership - WRAP: Warwick Research Archive Portal
This article considers the extent to which we are addicted to particular ways of configuring the world and responding in a culturally appropriate way. It suggests that the original Tame and Wicked problems typology of Rittell and Webber (1973) can be usefully expanded to provide a heuristic for explaining this addiction and then focuses upon the most common approach an addiction to Crisis and Command. Some likely explanations for this addiction are discussed and some illustrative examples provided. It concludes that not only does our predilection for Crisis and Command undermine our attempts to address Wicked problems adequately, but also that 'Leadership' (defined as persuading the collective to take responsibility for collective problems) is often regarded not just as difficult and dangerous, but as the enemy of the people'. We are, then, not only likely to be addicted to Command but also likely to be allergic to leadership.
problems  problem-solving  wicked-problems  understanding  solutions  culture  hierarchy  future  leadership  from delicious
july 2012 by tsuomela
The Secret Life of Data in the Year 2020 | World Future Society
Using these science-fiction visions, we can begin to develop a way to conceptualize the data. From the view of this narrative, our data—the data we created—becomes a kind of simulacrum of ourselves. Like Philip K. Dick’s androids and William Gibson’s cyborgs, data becomes a way to embody who we are, but at the same time it remains external. It allows us to examine who we are and also what we want to do with these systems. As we begin to architect these systems, often the reality is too hard to handle: It’s too complex for us to make any meaningful design decisions. We need these representations, these androids, to be our proxies.
data  sf  human  information-science  connection  understanding  philosophy  future  relationship  from delicious
july 2012 by tsuomela
Sense about Science – Equipping people to make sense of science and evidence
"We are a charitable trust that equips people to make sense of scientific and medical claims in public discussion."
science  public-understanding  understanding  charity  country(UK)  sensemaking  from delicious
january 2012 by tsuomela
Discerning the Division of Cognitive Labor: An Emerging Understanding of How Knowledge Is Clustered in Other Minds - Keil - 2010 - Cognitive Science - Wiley Online Library
The division of cognitive labor is fundamental to all cultures. Adults have a strong sense of how knowledge is clustered in the world around them and use that sense to access additional information, defer to relevant experts, and ground their own incomplete understandings. One prominent way of clustering knowledge is by disciplines similar to those that comprise the natural and social sciences. Seven studies explored an emerging sense of these discipline-based ways of clustering of knowledge. Even 5-year-olds could cluster knowledge in a manner roughly corresponding to the departments of natural and social sciences in a university, doing so without any explicit awareness of those academic disciplines. But this awareness is fragile early on and competes with other ways of clustering knowledge. Over the next few years, children come to see discipline-based clusters as having a privileged status, one that may be linked to increasingly sophisticated assumptions about essences for natural kinds. Possible mechanisms for this developmental shift are examined.
philosophy  psychology  explanation  folk-psychology  science  folk  theory  expertise  laypeople  understanding  knowledge  division  labor  from delicious
december 2011 by tsuomela
A Pragmatist Theory of Social Mechanisms
Some sociologists have recently argued that a major aim of sociological inquiry is to identify the mechanisms by which cause and effect relationships in the social world come about. This article argues that existing accounts of social mechanisms are problematic because they rest on either inadequately developed or questionable understandings of social action. Building on an insight increasingly common among sociological theorists—that action should be conceptualized in terms of social practices—I mobilize ideas from the tradition of classical American pragmatism to develop a more adequate theory of mechanisms. I identify three kinds of analytical problems the theory is especially well poised to address and then lay out an agenda for future research.
sociology  causation  philosophy  pragmatism  mechanism  theory  understanding  via:understandingsoc 
november 2011 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Current issues in causation research
Three foci of current research: meaning in explanation, methods for support, ontology of causation.
philosophy  causation  sociology  social  societies  understanding  research  science  explanation  meaning 
september 2011 by tsuomela
I Love You but You're Going to Hell
"The goal is not to convert people to the other side. Rather, it is to overcome the mutual bewilderment and demonization that can happen when each side hears the arguments of the other. It is to get over the kind of assumption that anyone who holds those other positions must be stupid or evil."
weblog-individual  ideas  history  intellectual  conflict  culture-war  understanding 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Anthropology As Stand In And Interpreter | Savage Minds
"The notion of interpreter is equally straightforward: in an era of increasing specialization, the world needs generalists who can connect increasingly isolated spheres of research in order to make sure they can talk to one another. Philosophy’s ability to synthesize and generalize about different strands of work enable it, Habermas claims, to help connect the arts and the sciences, literature and biology, logic and experimentalism.

How would anthropology work as stand-in and interpreter? "
anthropology  philosophy  generalist  understanding 
july 2011 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Connecting the dots
"There isn't very much transparency about the deep structure of almost any complex modern society. For most people their primary impressions of the society's functioning comes from the mass media and their own personal experiences. We each see the limited bits to which we are fairly directly exposed through our ordinary lives -- the newsroom if we happen to be a beat reporter, the university if we are professors, the play-and-learn center if we are in the business of preschool education. We gain a pretty good idea of how those networks of institutions and organizations work. But it's very difficult to gain a birds-eye picture of the social system as a whole."
sociology  society  vision  visibility  scale  understanding  education  structure 
april 2011 by tsuomela
What Is Academic Work? - NYTimes.com
"After it was all over, everyone pronounced the occasion a great success
academia  work  labor  interdisciplinary  definition  academic  problem-solving  understanding 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Everybody Thinks Scientifically : Uncertain Principles
I think we would be better served by making clear that scientific thinking is just thinking, and the sort of thing that everybody does all the time.
science  public-understanding  understanding  public  thinking  philosophy 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Understanding Of Science Nearly Triple Since 1988
In the wave of criticisms about America, one thing gets lost that explains American adult knowledge - America is the only major country that requires almost all its college and university students to complete a full year of science. So the scientific literacy of U.S. adults is higher than the general adult populations of other developed nations.
science  american  understanding  literacy 
march 2011 by tsuomela
What's stats got to do with it? - Expression Patterns Blog | Nature Publishing Group
"I realized I wasn't scared of stats: just bored and annoyed and wondering, indeed, what they had to do with various things. Keeping track of lots of data makes for pretty graphs and useful trends. Those kinds of stats are cool. But statistical analysis of data doesn't always make sense to the people using it. Not just because it's complicated, but because it's not always informative of what they're looking at. It has to make sense in context. You have to be able to actually answer the question "what's stats go to do with it?", and not just use it rhetorically like I did in most of this post. "
statistics  mathematics  graphs  data  understanding  significance 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Chris Mooney: Science Rocks -- If Only it Could Catch America's Attention
We need to mobilize American kids to want to be scientists; and American adults to see how science -- and the policies tied to it -- affect to their lives and our future. Science has to stop being something those strange other people do; it has to be something we all live and breathe.

In this context, if a group of rock stars can cast some refracted light -- if that's what it takes -- then so much the better. We'll all benefit in ways each of us can understand -- in health, jobs, prosperity and quality of life. And, oh yeah: We'll understand ourselves, and the universe, a little bit better.
science  public-relations  advertising  poll  public  understanding 
november 2010 by tsuomela
Happiness and Well-Being - Dan Haybron
The Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being  (Oxford University Press 2008)
Despite its title, this is really a book about happiness, and is meant to serve as a reasonably comprehensive guide to the subject. At the broadest level, the book tries to make the case for the importance of the psychology of well-being, or prudential psychology, as a field of inquiry.

More narrowly, the book argues against a chief assumption of modern thought, namely the idea that individuals are highly authoritative about their own well-being: that by and large, we know our interests and make prudent choices in pursuit of them. This assumption is dubious: even considering just the psychological aspects of well-being, our interests prove to be far less transparent to us than we tend to think; moreover, we seem to have surprisingly little aptitude for assessing and pursuing our own welfare.
book  psychology  self-knowledge  well-being  happiness  understanding  introspection 
october 2010 by tsuomela
Douglas Rushkoff: Why Johnny Can't Program: A New Medium Requires A New Literacy
For me, however, our inability and refusal to contend with the underlying biases of the programs and networks we all use is less a threat to our military or economic superiority than to our experience and autonomy as people. I can't think of a time when we seemed so ready to accept such a passive relationship to a medium or technology.
technology  technology-effects  programming  understanding  language  education  america 
october 2010 by tsuomela
Do Scientists Understand the Public?
Essay by Chris Mooney, published by American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
science  communication  framing  public  understanding  sts  project(Utenn) 
july 2010 by tsuomela
How Supposed Free-Market Theorists Destroyed Free-Market Theory « The Baseline Scenario
The greatest lesson from the crisis that we haven’t yet learned is that “industry interests” and “free-market interests” are not the same. In fact, they are more like oil and water, as the industry profits most in the absence of true market competition. And so it should be no surprise that Wall Street has devoted itself to making contracts indecipherable, building boundless negotiating leverage and fighting for favorable breaks and regulation at every turn. What should be a surprise is that the same scoundrels that killed our markets (and also, mind you, wrecked the global economy and demanded taxpayer bailouts) have so ably sold themselves as natural heirs to von Hayek ­and Friedman — and that so many of us have let them.
economics  crisis  finance  regulation  free-markets  ideology  contracts  law  obscurity  understanding 
january 2010 by tsuomela
Unlearning 101: Study Carneades
I have what I call an iron prescription that helps me keep sane when I naturally drift toward preferring one ideology over another and that is: I say that I’m not entitled to have an opinion on this subject unless I can state the argument against my position better than the people who support it. I think only when I’ve reached that state am I qualified to speak
skepticism  philosophy  debate  dialogue  understanding 
june 2009 by tsuomela

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