School Sucks Podcast #348: Scientific Consensus vs. Dissent (Part 4) – Why Am I Here and What Am I Trying to Do?

by | Apr 8, 2015 | School Sucks Podcast | 0 comments

Direct download: schoolsucks_2015-04-18T07_19_32-07_00.mp3

Part four, and the last of the foundational episodes, in our series examining the concept of scientific consensus and contrasting it with the voices of dissenters who find value in minority scientific opinions, theories and conclusions. It will also ask the question: is there any way to bridge the gap? Darrell Becker will be co-hosting all episodes in this series.

In the second installment of this series, we explored strategies for more constructive and connected communication with others. Today we discuss strategies for better communication with ourselves.

We discuss some of the meta-talk in this climate change “debate”

Dimensions of the Habits of Mind

Value: Choosing to employ a pattern of intellectual behaviors rather than other, less productive patterns.

Inclination: Feeling the tendency to employ a pattern of intellectual behaviors.

Sensitivity: Perceiving opportunities for, and appropriateness of, employing the pattern of behaviors.

Capability: Possessing the basic skills and capacities to carry through with the behaviors.

Commitment: Constantly striving to reflect on and improve performance of the pattern of intellectual behaviors.

Policy: Making it a policy to promote and incorporate the patterns of intellectual behaviors into actions, decisions, and resolutions of problematic situations.

7 Ways to Deal with Uncertainty to be Happier and Less Anxious

1. Replace expectations with plans.
2. Prepare for different possibilities.
3. Become a feeling observer.
4. Get confident about your coping and adapting skills.
5. Utilize stress reduction techniques preemptively.
6. Focus on what you can control.
7. Practice mindfulness.


See Brett’s notes here.

Series Background:
“My thesis is that the criteria by which individuals are deemed qualified or unqualified to become professionals involve not just technical knowledge as is generally assumed, but also attitude—in particular, attitude toward working within an assigned political and ideological framework. I contend, for example, that all tests of technical knowledge, such as the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), are at the same time tests of attitude and that the examinations used to assess professional qualification are no exception. I consider in detail how the neutral-looking technical questions on such examinations probe the candidate’s attitude.

The qualifying attitude, I find, is an uncritical, subordinate one, which allows professionals to take their ideological lead from their employers and appropriately fine-tune the outlook that they bring to their work. The resulting professional is an obedient thinker, an intellectual property whom employers can trust to experiment, theorize, innovate and create safely within the confines of an assigned ideology. The political and intellectual timidity of today’s most highly educated employees is no accident.”
-Jeff Schmidt, Disciplined Minds

Bumper Music:
“Lucky Man” The Verve

Look Closer:
Darrell’s Site: Voluntary Visions –

Darrell’s Communication Glossary –

Scientific Consensus and the Argument From Authority –

T&H Trivium Resources –

Logic Saves Lives Series –