Pennycook et al.: On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit

This from the November 2015 issue of Judgment And Decision Making. Here are links to the original paper (pdf) and its supplementary tables (pdf). The authors seek to find a preliminary answer to the questions, “Are people able to detect blatant bullshit? Who is most likely to fall prey to bullshit and why?” Their study … Continue reading Pennycook et al.: On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit

Arthur Arnold Dietz: Mad Rush For Gold In Frozen North

Good title, eh? (And yes, I’ve written it correctly, with no articles—it does seem as if the author telegraphed the title to his publishers.) In 1914, when he published this memoir of the Klondike Gold Rush, Dietz was a physical director at the YMCA in Los Angeles, as well as being a “playground director” in … Continue reading Arthur Arnold Dietz: Mad Rush For Gold In Frozen North

Angela Gannon & George Geddes: St Kilda – The Last and Outermost Isle

Angela Gannon and George Geddes are  archaeologists with the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments in Scotland. Both have worked on the islands of St Kilda (Geddes lived there for six months), so they’re well qualified to write this book. St Kilda is that island group you can never quite see on the weather … Continue reading Angela Gannon & George Geddes: St Kilda – The Last and Outermost Isle

Snowclone

ˈsnəʊkləʊn Snowclone: “A multi-use, customizable, instantly recognizable, time-worn, quoted or misquoted phrase or sentence that can be used in an entirely open array of different jokey variants by lazy journalists and writers” (Pullum, 2003) That definition undoubtedly requires explanation. Geoffrey Pullum,  in my quote above, was appealing for a word to fit his definition. He … Continue reading Snowclone

Simon Ingram: Between The Sunset And The Sea

This one’s something I read earlier this year, posted now as a Christmas recommendation for anyone who knows a hillwalker. It’s the sort of book that has something for anyone who is even vaguely interested in British hills. It is subtitled A View of 16 British Mountains. The sixteen mountains are: Beinn Dearg (the one … Continue reading Simon Ingram: Between The Sunset And The Sea

A discursive blog on various topics of minor interest