Archive for August, 2005


What can be said? Horrific disaster.

Glen Reynolds at Instapundit seems to have the links to the charities and organizations that need support for relief efforts.

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Understanding the Iraq governance problem.

Recently, the MSM was full of ‘Iraq Constitution will Fail’ banners because the minority that used to have control does not like loosing its position.

There are three main groups trying to figure out how they are going to be a country. The Sunni in and around Baghdad are about 20% of the population and have close ties to a lot of the Arab world. They used to be in control of things. The Kurds to the north and the Shia everywhere else have the majority of the population and are particularly represented in the Iraq oil regions. All of these groups have tribal and familial connections that span modern borders and these complicate matters.

So the Sunni don’t have the vote, boycotted the last election, and don’t have the oil. But they do have memories of what it was like in the old days when they didn’t need a vote and could just take the oil money.

The Kurds have been somewhat autonomous since the no fly zone was installed after the first Gulf war. They don’t want to give this up.

Change is tough. Civil responsibility will be needed. Let us hope a good solution is found.

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Purity of blood FUD

Susan Pedersen teaches history at Columbia. Anti-Condescensionism
illustrates some points on the public controversy about vaccinations providing an historical perspective.

Scholars always rejoice to find evidence of human beings’ infinite capacity for holding fantastic beliefs, but I can’t be alone in hoping that those beliefs don’t become the foundation for public health policy. Of course, following Agent Orange, Love Canal, Sellafield, the Tuskegee studies, and the host of other crimes or bad decisions inflicted by officials and scientists on a captive or unsuspecting public, scepticism is in order. Still, the eradication of smallpox happened not only because 18th-century inoculation had begun a process of protection, not only because viral strains had become less virulent, but also because doctors and officials in many countries and then in the World Health Organisation insisted – over parental objections and doubtless to some individual children’s cost – that the health of humanity would best be protected through mandatory vaccination. The last case of smallpox – a disease that had been with humans for two thousand years – occurred in 1977.

How much independance should an individual give for the benefits of social life? How can the individual tell what is FUD, what is an appropriate precaution, and what is a risk to accept? The media column – Peter Wilby gives a science lesson provides a caution about where he thinks an appropriate skepticism is needed.

I do not envy editors and specialist correspondents who have to decide which scientific scares to take seriously. Some critics argue that those who deny global warming are as isolated and as undeserving of a hearing as the creationists who deny Darwin. Yet the collective wisdom of scientists has sometimes proved wrong, as anybody who follows advice about what we should or shouldn’t eat will know.

Another take on the same issue is that stimulated by the ID/Darwin frakas. John Derbyshire discusses a point in Teaching Science: The president is wrong on Intelligent Design

I think intelligent teenagers should also be given some acquaintance with pseudoscience, just so that they might learn to spot it when they see it. A copy of that excellent magazine Skeptical Inquirer ought to be available in any good high school library, along with books like Gardner’s. I am not sure that either pseudoscience or its refutation has any place in the science classroom, though. These things properly belong in social studies, if anywhere outside the library.

Wilby suggests a route that can easily tip from skepticism to cynicism and that is why Derbyshire’s approach is also needed. Individuals need to be able to make rational decisions about risk. This means understanding the difference between what one wants to be and what most likely really is. Then the relative risks can be properly assessed. This can lead to better social decisions and help reduce the FUD mongering as seen in the history of vacinations or other fantastic beliefs.

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Rumsfeld’s heuristic in the evolution debate

Michael Shermer, describes the World Summit on Evolution held in June, hosted by San Francisco University of Quito, on the Galápagos island of San Cristóbal, where Charles Darwin began his explorations. Rumsfeld’s Wisdom: Where the known meets the unknown is where science begins

The heuristic is:

There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

The conference illustrated how this applies in sience in a way that seems to be misunderestimated or misunderstood by Darwin critics.

Creationists and outsiders often mistake the last two categories for signs that evolution is in trouble or that contentious debate between what we know and do not know means that the theory is false. Wrong. The summit revealed a scientific discipline rich in data and theory as well as controversy and disputation over the known and unknown.

and, it seems, Shermer was plagued by the kinds of argument so often espoused by the hate-Darwin crowd.

I had a nightmarish thought: creationists could have a field day yanking quotes out of context while listening to a room full of evolutionary biologists arguing over specific issues. In point of fact, such debates are all within evolutionary theory, not between evolutionary theory and something else. And this boundary between the known and the unknown is where science flourishes.

Related to this was a commentary about the new Kansas science guidelines. In order to squeeze ID (aka creationism) into a science class, the guidelines had to poke and prod around bleeding edge evolutionary stuff that usually isn’t a part of biology education until you get into the later college years. In other words, picking flaws in evolution has to get into esoterica – but don’t tell them that as they will flat out deny it or maybe make some claim about you.

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Weasel Words

Eric observes one of the ways a dishonest argument is presented. When a person trained and educated in the use of statistical measures and the difference between subjective and objective uses conclusions and debate points that avoid such quality, it is easy to infer that he knows his arguments have problems and is trying to keep an escape route open.

My main criticism of Krugman is that, for an economist, he almost never feels the need to use numbers and statistics in his articles. Instead, he employs squishy generalities that are hard to pin down, so that he always has an escape route. By contrast, check out the WashPost’s Robert Samuelson who has an excellent article titled “Retirement at 70.” He presents a thesis (the government can’t support aging retirees), urges for a later retirement age, and lays out the allegations of age discrimination in the workplace. Samuelson is not an ideologue, but instead somebody who lays out a lucid argument with supporting data. Is that so much to ask? I think not.

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Aaron noted a scrappleface item that is enough to make the hair on the back of you neck stand to attention in Earth to White House: Hire Scott Ott. “Scott Ott is usually known for satire. Here is a fictional letter that really should be signed by President Bush:

You have asked me to identify the noble cause for which your son died. I have not answered you personally out of respect for the nobility of your son’s sacrifice.

As with much good humor, this has a base in a revealed truth. It is very much like the President’s speeches, just addressed differently and a bit more confrontationally direct than the President ever seems to get.

You want to know why we have soldiers in Iraq? Read the ‘fictional letter’.

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Chickenhawk Smear

Capt. Ed describes one of the techniques of dishonest argument that has been quite popular since the Vietnam war protest days.

The Left has tried for months now to smear supporters of the war as “chickenhawks”, people who encourage the war but do not want to fight it themselves. On its face, this rejects the entire notion of civilian control over the military and foreign policy. It also assumes a callousness on the part of those who advocate for military action when needed, that men and women somehow hold no value to us as Americans unless they happen to be us. Such perso attacks completely avoid having to argue the merits and disadvantages of military action as opposed to other strategies, reducing the intellectual level of the anti-war advocates to mindless namecalling.

Note the inherent negative presumptions. The idea is that the ‘privileged’ are doing unpleasant things to the underclasses. Manipulation. Conspiracy. Aloofness. This was used in the Vietnam war with a draft to assert that blacks and the poor were “cannon fodder” out of proportion to their representation in society. The cannon fodder carelessness idea is still seen in the obsession with war casualties.

But as far as the ‘direct experience’ thing – that has the gross error of dismissing all education and training as being worthless. History is replete with examples of where it is not. People can and do exercise good judgment even if they haven’t direct experience, didn’t learn the ropes from the ground up.

Again, another example. “Mindless namecalling” and dishonest argument. Digging up points to argue no matter their merit, veracity, or quality. Not a way towards constructive debate.

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Sparks joins the idiot’s brigade

Sparks has joined the idiot’s brigade in officially objecting to the Patriot Act. The Nevada Campaign to Defeat the Patriot Act convinced the council that the federal legislation is not what a simple reading says it is and that a city should get involved in federal decisions.

This particular bit of idiocy in community governance is highlighted by the current Able Danger revelations.

See the act at the Library of Congress.

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Global Warming Update

Kelly Redmond, a climatologist in Reno Nevada, says it is the daily minimums that are more reflective of global warming than a string of record highs. And the summer in Reno has had daily minimums 10 – 15 degrees warmer than climatological averages. It has also had a remarkably uniform summer in terms of temperatures.

But global warming is looking at a fraction of a degree per decade in temperature changes, not 10 to 15 degrees from one summer to the next.

A recent set of articles in a premier science journal caused some to claim “case closed” for human caused global warming. But all the articles did was to remove some of the discrepencies in measuring atmospheric temperature over the last few decades. It did nothing to resolve the discrepencies of that temperature measurement with the predictions of global climate models.

The ‘atmosphere’ is not good for a proper consideration of climate change, human influenced or not. There are so many people with heavy emotional investment that any unusual circumstance is paraded as ‘proof’ of the cause. When this is coupled with a long term global phenomena that is very difficult to measure, reports are easily misunderstood.

There is no doubt that the investigations and modeling and measuring should continue. We need to learn more about climate and how it changes now, how it has changed in the recent past, and how it has changed in the archeological past. But that is a separate issue from what we should do to attempt to ‘control’ it.

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As David Frum notes, there is no pressing reason for Isreal to pull its citizens from Gaza. It is a painful process as people are torn from their homes.

But consider this like a poker game. Rather than let the feints and bluffs and other shanigans continue, Isreal calls. It is time for the international community to put up or shut up. There will be a Palestinian state. It will no longer be able to blame Isreal for its malfeasance. Let’s just see if the putrid pot meets the expectations that have been espoused over the years.

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Comparison and contrast in debate methods

Christopher Flickinger provides a good example of what is troublesome in the evolution debate in Biology Prof: Evolution Isn’t Theory, it’s Fact [Human Events 05ag17]. A contrast is provided by the Onion in Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New ‘Intelligent Falling’ Theory.

Flickinger exhibits snark in his ad hominem arguments and false presumptions and assumptions. He tries satire but misses by sacrificing truth to his agenda.

Did you hear the news? Evolution is no longer a theory. It’s a fact! I know, I can’t believe it either. Wait, you haven’t heard about this breakthrough discovery? Well, you might want to check with Professor Colin Purrington, an evolutionary biologist who teaches at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Professor Purrington says, “Evolution is a ‘theory’ like gravity is a ‘theory.’”

Students deserve to hear both sides of the debate. If not, how else are aspiring evolutionists going to realize they’re wrong?

Uh, evolution is observed. It is observed by those who breed living things. Itis observed in the geological record. It is observed in laboratory experiment. The so-called debate is an artificial construct created not to resolve what is seen and observed but rather to try to refute logical inference and rational thinking.

On the other hand, the Onion uses satire to expose the anti-evolution argument fallacies through exageration and contrast.

“Gravity—which is taught to our children as a law—is founded on great gaps in understanding. The laws predict the mutual force between all bodies of mass, but they cannot explain that force. Isaac Newton himself said, ‘I suspect that my theories may all depend upon a force for which philosophers have searched all of nature in vain.’ Of course, he is alluding to a higher power.”

Flickinger’s attempt using satire directed at a particular individual falls flat unless you are an adherent to his thesis. The more you know about the argument and the people involved, the more vacant his satire becomes. The Onion’s attempt uses humor to impugn the argument and not the person and becomes even more humorous the more you know about the physics of gravity and the arguments of the anti-evolutionists.

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The sell-out crowd

Tony Blankley offers an Iraq comparison, no, not to Vietnam, but rather about Munich and Iraq [ 05Ag18]

“stopping the killing” doesn’t always stop the killing, while surrendering to violence rarely leads to “sanity.” Sept. 29, 1938’s “progress along the road to sanity” ultimately cost the world the death of 60 million souls before it reached VJ Day on Aug. 15, 1945.

The warning is for those who castigate our leaders for waging war.

Today’s politicians please take note: History tends to remember harshly those statesmen who sell out their and other nations — even if it is done under cover of impeccable diplomatic language and with the best of intentions to assure the peace.

Appeasement is a dishonesty to one’s values at its very base. It can be like ignoring shop lifting at a store. It might not seem like it has anything as far as you are concerned. But when the store goes out of business and you loose the access to resources it sure does.

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Another example of misguided hubris

Antone Gonsalves, Editor, InternetWeek, notes that

Among the 10 things Google says it has found to be true is that “you can make money without doing evil.” The quote is taken from the company’s Our Philosophy page on its web site and is the kind of marketing that has helped endear the search engine to many web users. But unless founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have a direct line to the Almighty, defining what’s evil is not always easy.

The Association of American Publishers doesn’t think that Google’s scanning library books meets this criteria.

Call them crazy, but the APA is insisting that Google ask publishers before taking their property, instead of the other way around. After all, the search engine hopes to one day make money off of the books it copies, so authors and publishers would prefer to cut a deal before their property is taken.

It appears that Google is operating from another set of rules followed by capitalists: You can’t beat the profit margin when making money off something you get for free. Unlike the “doing evil” stuff, that rule is clear, even if it doesn’t have the same marketing zing.

There is a great deal of leftist sympathy in the idea that knowledge and information should be free. The open source software movement leans this way. Video and audio recording has been the subject of numerous laws and lawsuits in recent years. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks have all been enduring controversy.

The issue is, though, that much of what moves the economy is intellectual property. What gives the US the edge in world commerce is what we know how to do that our competitors don’t. As codified in patent laws, invention protection for ideas is limited to that which can be expressed in certain ways. Copyright protection is limited to a particular expression. Both of these protections only have a specific tenure. There are good arguments to the point that these protections have made a significant contribution to the health and welfare of the US.

Google is in the point of infringing on the corners and labeling the protections it dislikes as “evil.” This is a judgment, not a matter of opinion. That is what makes it hubris. How is Google to know more than the rest of us?

Contrast the Google effort to digitize the library with the Gutenberg Project. Rather than ignore copyrights, the Gutenberg Project used volunteers to amass a digital collection of literature whose copyright had expired or whose copyright owners explicity released their material to the public domain. They worked within the rules to express their ideology. They did not set themselves above anyone in expressing their views with action.

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When the ruler gets greasy

Suzanne Fields discusses The devil in the details of Holocaust images. There are a lot of people who toss out comparisons to the Nazi realm and its leaders without much consideration for the quality of the comparison. It sounds so comforting to toss out something about how a person or group you don’t like is acting like a Nazi.

Because we’re human we have the capacity to make moral choices in heart and brain, tempering emotion with reason. Public issues require light not heat and arguments must be grounded in discriminations made in good conscience. The devil, after all, is still at home in the details.

Its a question of what are the important differences and what are nuisance details. The ability to make this discrimination keeps the measuring stick clean. That ability is one of the first things to go when someone wants to make a point that doesn’t exist. Critical differences get glossed over or ignored. Comparisons then become corrupt.

We see this in the rationale that there is a freedom of expression – no matter whether it is ‘fire in the theater’ or sedition.

We see this in the Vietnamization of Iraq.

Christopher Hitchens describes other examples at FrontPage Magazine.

The ruler gets greasy. It is a slippery slope.

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Of what use is a new born baby?

As we gain distance from Vietnam and suffer contrasts and comparisons with the struggle in Iraq, the story of what actually happened gains perspective. Vietnam is beginning to appear to be like giving birth to a baby and then claiming defeat because this baby can’t go out and survive on the street all by himself. There are those who revel in this defeat, or even a fantasy defeat, as John notes at Powerline.

Rich’s latest [NYT] is on Iraq; it is a compendium of the usual far-left myths, distortions and outright lies on that subject. What is new, though, is that Rich is proclaiming the end of the war; his column’s title is “Someone Tell the President the War Is Over.” In Rich’s view, the United States has now lost the war, and he couldn’t be happier. His gleeful assessment ushers in what could be a new concept in commentary: defeatist triumphalism.

In Vietnam we left on our own terms and the baby we left behind managed to survive a couple of years before the street gangs took care of him. In listening to the mama Sheehan and columnist Rich and others, it appears we have a good contingent who look back at what happened to the people in southeast Asia in the mid to late seventies with such fondness they want to see it again – in southwest Asia.


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Consider motivation

Mark Noonan reflects on the implications of the “Bush Lied” mantra. The question to ask is why would Bush lie? What would motivate such behavior. Those making the accusation must have some reason to support their views. Understanding these views helps to understand the veracity of the accusation. Noonan describes some of the views or theories that are offered to support the idea that ‘Bush Lied!’

There are more, and some take bits from one theory and weave them into bits of other theories – at bottom though, they all hold that President Bush is lying … because he’s either a stooge or a wicked man; …

This is not about a disagreement over whether we should be in Iraq or not, or over what tactics we should use in Iraq, or whether it is wise to pull out now or stick it out to the end…this demand, as personified this past week by Cindy Sheehan, is a demand that President Bush stop being a wicked man..that he come clean about his evil and make amends for his crimes against humanity. Have you heard anyone demand that on TV? Only obliquely, if at all – it is couched in terms of “we just want the truth”, but the underlying “fact” for the left is the paranoid conspiracy theories bruited about.

They are not just patriotic dissidents who have a different view of what is best for America – they are the knaves who vend, or the fools who swallow, pernicious lies about the United States.

The price we are paying for allowing lies to gain currency is being paid in blood – the blood of our soldiers, as well as the blood of innocent non-combatants.

What are we to do about it? Only the fumigation provided by truth can work – but it has to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A lie can get by with part of the truth, but the truth cannot survive with even a small amount of attendant untruth. We have to tell the full truth, all the time, about those who are opposed to the War on Terrorism and the liberation of Iraq.

The problem with this fumigation was illustrated on Fox News Sunday in discussions about troops and victory in Iraq. If the BF&A (brute force and awkwardness) method would work then there wouldn’t be such a problem with reality and propaganda.

The US Armed Forces are best known for BF&A methods – kill people and break things. But what they are doing in Iraq shows that this is only the tip of the iceberg. They also know that ‘hearts and minds’ are at play and that repair and refurbishment of people and places is a means to tackle that.

But about the fifth column? It will take more than exposure of the inanities. It will take a society willing to call them for what they are. There are indications that this is happening. NARAL dumping its Roberts Borking is an example as is their rationalizations an example of how much is left to be done.

It will be a slow road, a long row to hoe. It is forming a cohesiveness that is open yet critical, that is willing to change yet stable, that will come together and construct a future.

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Able Danger Target: Jamie Gorelick

The revelation that a secret military intelligence group that culled public data in a way that identified the key 9/11 thugs damages the 9/11 Commission integrity. It supports earlier questions about a conflict of interest between Commissioner Gorelick and her previous role as a primary behind the Clinton policy of separation of intelligence and law in terrorism matters.

It also appears that the 9/11 Commission’s failure to report on its knowledge of Able Danger intelligence may be related to Democrat partisan’s efforts to minimize timelines showing any Atta-Iraq connection.

And then there is the Sandy Berger speculation about whether the document heist was related to Able Danger comments.

or there is this one from Betsy’s Page.

Other than pointing fingers at officials, there is an important reason why the Commission’s tailoring its report to fit its preconceived ideas matters. The Commission’s report was used as the basis for policy decisions on intelligence gathering. The Commission’s report is the sacred foundation for how we are going to approach intelligence from now on to prevent another 9/11. And, if there was information that was deliberately left out, for example, on Able Danger, then that would have had an effect. For example, Able Danger was based on data mining. And so was the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program which the Defense Department had to stop when there were all sorts of protests against fears of violations of privacy erupted. Perhaps, we would have paid more attention to the benefits of data mining if we’d known that that technique had actually identified some of the 9/11 terrorists a year before the terror attacks. And that was the job of the Commission – to present a nonbiased look at what went wrong and make recommendations, not to weed out uncomfortable information that didn’t fit their hypotheses.

Planning for the future on a flawed recollection of the past?

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Psuedo-science can be fatal

Alicia Colon takes on the hangover from Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” in Junk Science’s Cataclysmic Path

Psuedo-science can be fatal. It’s estimated that since the ban of the insecticide DDT, more than 50 million people have died of malaria. A young aspiring journalist from the Bulls Head section of Staten Island is one of the latest victims. Akilah Amapindi, 23, contracted the disease while working as a radio intern in southern Africa.

The more one reads about the havoc wrought by agenda-driven environmentalists, the more one is astounded by how easily Americans can be frightened by speciously researched enviro-babble. Is global warming real? Sure. It’s been warming and cooling off for millions of years, and guess what? We humans have very little to do with it and it’s sheer arrogance to think that we can cure it.

Perhaps the best explanation for why junk scientists have so much success in promoting their hokum theories is that there are so many “intellectual morons” in the world of academia. An author, Daniel Flynn, in his latest nonfiction work, “Intellectual Morons — How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas,” coined that term.

For another perspective on How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas see the post on Academic Rigor or take a look at the Intelligent Design fracas.

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FUD mongering

TechDirt reports on an LA Times case of spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD).

In early 2004, we wrote about rumors that scammers were running rampant through grocery store lines snapping pictures of your credit card as you pulled it out. We noted, at the time, that this seemed quite unlikely, for a variety of reasons, including the low resolution found on camera phones. One of our readers even used a modern (at the time) cameraphone to snap a photo of his credit card and posted it online to show how unlikely the scenario was. Late last year, we had another story where there was no proof but plenty of conjecture. The details in that article were even more of a stretch as the only “proof” they had was some guy who insisted that must have been how his aunt’s ATM info was stolen — despite the fact that it’s extremely unlikely that the cameraphone would be used both to snap a photo of the numbers and then record the woman punching in her PIN. So, here we are, eight months later, and once again, there’s a fear-mongering report about cameraphones being used for identity theft, this time in the LA Times. Once again… there’s no actual proof that this happens, but the article makes it out to be a big problem. In fact, the article claims it’s “commonplace.” Commonplace? Despite any actual proof that it’s happened? Certainly, cameraphone resolution has improved in the last year and a half since the first report of this, but it still seems fairly unlikely at this point. It certainly may be a problem eventually — but we’d like to see a story that actually has some proof instead of an anecdote about an anonymous person where they make a variety of assumptions concerning someone’s credit card info being captured by cameraphone.

ID theft is being used as a scare tactic to create opressive legislation and to sell ‘protection.’ A backup tape from a bank gets stolen and there is a front page story. We are regaled about how thousands – millions! – of personal data records have been stolen. Great theater, and it really is a serious problem, but are you getting the properly qualified story? How can you tell?

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Academic Rigor?

“Professor Anonymous,” who teaches at a large state university, is rather concerned about the instant experts who became visible immediately after 9/11 to teach the uninformed about the evils of the US. This is the professoriat who, without any background or academic credentials in relevant studies offered quickly prepared classes in how the US was responsible for all international carnage. These instant experts professed a 60’s desire for protest, political correctness, and the quelling of those ideas that did not suit their ideologies.

But really this doesn’t make sense. In a medical emergency would you take the advice of an untrained layman over an experienced medical professional’s care? In the midst of war would you seek protection from anthropology and gender studies professors rather than trained, armed soldiers? By the same token, the knowledge of qualified, experienced specialists in relevant fields should be preferred to the ideology of inexperienced non-specialists and experts qualified in unrelated fields. All the more so in a crisis, and especially with such urgent need for reliable guidance.

the setting aside of academic rigor continues, and the courses have multiplied (there are at least 250 “peace studies” programs in North America. [19]) University administrators are happy! They continue to bask in the glow of good PR and their glorious display of social responsibility. Instant experts and faculty are happy! They are cool and popular, they have real authority and freedom to rant and recruit for the left. And students are happy! Happy to be enrolling like mad in “relevant” courses with lightweight requirements and easy grading, for especially instructors with less-than-sterling expertise are apt to have lower expectations and greater inclination to give higher grades for political correctness (even if the students’ writing is horrendous and grammatically incorrect). And they get high enrollments and great student course evaluations, which in turn endears them to the administrators.

Happy !Happy! Happy! Everyone is happy.

Everyone, that is, except for all of us who wish to continue the disciplined pursuit of real knowledge and rigorous professional standards, and who want our universities to be fully devoted to the pursuit of real scholarship. That is what will make us, and in the long run, everyone happy. And then our universities will be able to fulfill their true mission in society. Now–how do we get there?

The professor also provided a very good concise summary of intellectual integrity;

There are also methodologies that qualified scholars rely on to understand, explain, and teach the large topics and many-sided questions—”problems”—within their field. These promise useful, cogent answers, and scholarship which expands and advances knowledge of the field.

They include standards such as:

1. logical argumentation based on reason and solid evidence—facts, sources, data etc.;

2. accuracy and honesty—a commitment NOT to sacrifice truth and factual accuracy for the sake of one’s own theories and arguments;

3. honest critical evaluation of evidence, scholarship, and especially of one’s own ideas;

4. careful interpretation and rational analysis with appreciation of complexity and nuance.

Standards of scholarship such as these guarantee reliable conclusions and new knowledge with authority.

But sometimes being “Happy!” means we need to pretend a few things. There seems to be good reason to be worried about where this effort to be “Happy!” might lead.

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