Friday, October 27, 2006

Just believe...

i was listening to the Prez last month during his Rose Garden press conference and i noticed that he seemed to be saying the word, "believe" quite a bit. being a proud member of the reality-based community, this made me wonder a couple of often did he use that word and what does that tell us about his approach to things?

well, we all know that he likes to use his "gut" to make decisions (actually, an interesting notion in lieu of an argument for bacterial intelligence; but really, to blame those little bugs for his decisions, does seem a bit unfair), doesn't really care much for facts, etc. so, being an empiricist, i decided to see what the data said about his use of a word that seems to support things like gut decision-making, faith, belief, etc. just stating the frequency of that one word (believe), however, can be misleading, so i also counted the number of times he used words that someone who is part of the reality-based community might use; here is what the data say:

believe 23
fact(s) 3
information 12

to be absolutely fair, i did remove from these totals any use of these word(s) out of the context i was looking for (talking about what other people "believe," the use of the word "fact" in the phrase, "matter of fact," etc.).

well, it happened again, the other day, i was listening to another press conference and noticed that he continued to use that word over and over again, so i did the same analysis; here are the data from that press conference (using the same exclusion method as described above):

believe 20
fact(s) 6
information 0

the reason that the use of the word information is less here is because the press conference held on 9-15-06 was specifically about the passage of the "toture bill" and how using those "aggressive methods" of interrogation would result in more and better information from the tortured folks, er, i mean the enemy combatants.

unequivocal proof of the "belief approach" over the "reality approach?" dunno, guess you can draw your own conclusions. certainly makes me wonder...and frightened.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I came across an interesting site today called, "TEDtalks"

"The TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference is an annual event where leading thinkers and doers gather for inspiration. (More at The TEDBlog covers the same ground, on a rather more frequent basis."

There is a neat lecture by Dawkins here.
SEA Commercial

This looks like fun...!

Help SEA create that change by participating in our challenge to make a commercial that encourages participation in SEA and the restoration of scientific integrity through political activism. It can include major issues in science policy and information about SEA or anything else you think should be in it. Have fun and be creative.

Please include the SEA logo at least once in the piece, preferably at the beginning and end. You can download it HERE. You can use video, FLASH, whatever you like. To enter, load your commercial onto YouTube with the tag SEforA and e-mail them to us at

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Here’s what you can do:

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