Category: Commentary

  • Survivorship Bias

    The dead can’t tell their stories. Even when their accounts are documented, they are often given less credence than the accounts of survivors who still exist to share theirs. Simply put, survivorship bias is a logical fallacy in which we concentrate on the accounts of those who have made it past some criteria and overlook […]

  • Information Quality

    It doesn’t matter the topic, there will always be a glut of information at our fingertips. Right now, the topic is the novel coronavirus, its spread, its mortality rate, and the measures put in place to limit transmission. As usual, there is good information and plenty of bad information. People share this information without even […]

  • What about…?

    You’ve written a thoughtful post or comment speaking against a particular policy or practice. You’ve done your best to contribute meaningfully to the discussion by avoiding logical fallacies and substantiating claims with evidence. Then someone responds… I didn’t see you crowing on about this issue/policy when [other politician] did it! If you frequently wade through […]

  • Paper or plastic?

    I carry cash. I always have. As a member of the last generation to grow up before the widespread existence of cell phones, I learned to always have at least a little cash on hand, if not only in case of an emergency. Overall, people carry very little cash. A May 2014 survey by Bankrate showed […]

  • How to Spot a Parody News Item

    EDIT: The list of example sites are only accurate as of the original publish date of this post. That list is ever-growing with players only rarely dropping from the scene. ALWAYS verify anything that appeals to your emotions or deeply-held beliefs by checking to see if other reputable sources have also reported on the topic. […]

  • Vegetarians eat what they deserve

    I have no problem with vegetarians. I really don’t. I equally have no problems with vegans, pescatarians, ovo-lacto-whatevers, or any other dietary choices. People choose vegetarian diets for many reasons including concern for animal welfare, living a healthier lifestyle, or concerns over food safety. Polls show that the 7-13% of Americans who identify themselves as […]

  • Separating pseudoscience from science

    It’s so easy for people to “research” a new health technique or practice or dietary approach and find plenty of websites supporting it, but are these practices backed by science or do they just look and sound scientific? Spoiler Alert: It’s almost always the latter. A few symptoms of pseudoscientific hype from RationalWiki: A simple […]

  • How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers

    I really enjoyed this scathing review of the public finances supporting professional athletics in this country, particularly the NFL. It is available to read for free at The Atlantic. Not being a fan of pro-athletics, many of these facts were news to me. I knew public subsidies were often used to build stadiums, but I […]

  • A Letter to the Editor re: Peavine Road

    A Letter to the Editor re: Peavine Road

    I would like to voice strong opposition to the efforts to designate the Peavine Road section of TN-101 as a scenic parkway. The primary motivation behind this movement seems to be a desire to place restrictions on the amount and kinds of outdoor advertising allowed which will supposedly reduce distracted driving and protect property values. […]

  • Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD [cute, huh?]) Act

    I received a notice from Bank of America today in regards to changes to my account that will be going into effect in February of the coming year as a result of recent cutely-named and intentionally-backronymed legislation. I didn’t follow this piece of legislation as it went through Congress, but from the lay wording in […]