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"Tradition?? The only good traditions are food traditions. The rest are repressive."

"There are two ways to think. The first is to trust to your ancestors, your religious leaders, or your charismatic professors. The second is to question, to challenge, to explore history for meanings, and to analyze issues. This latter is called Critical Thinking, and it is this that is the mission of my web site. "

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman  

April 2020

"Believing" Can Be Deadly


Human beings, unlike most lower species, are not governed much by instinct. The birds that return to Capistrano each year do not have travel choices. Monarch butterflies are programmed with two destinations: winter and summer groves, thousands of miles apart.

Religious systems fall into the category of "beliefs," that is: accepting by tradition certain ideas that cannot be confirmed by reason alone. But even religions hold each believer capable of rational thought: doing r more...

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Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories


The famous creator of the Barnum & Bailey Circus once noted: "There is a sucker born every minute." Many people are ready to believe any nonsense they "hear about" or "they say," sources frequently offered by President Trump during his impromptu press briefings.

Most recently, fortunately, the President is followed by members of his science and medicine team, whose observations are science based, not hearsay. This is how we citizens can tell the difference between "fake ne more...

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July 2017

Humor Can Bring Down a State

One characteristic of nasty governments?theocracies, dictatorships, and authoritarian monarchies is that they have no sense of humor. The one thing that can put a frightening government on the defensive is to know that their subjects are laughing at them.

In Jacques Barzun?s final book, From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present (Harper Collins, 2000), he tracks the fall of the French monarchy and the French Revolution to the point where the French elites had no fear of makin more...

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