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AMERICA’S COMING EDUCATIONAL COLLAPSE

A Classroom Teacher Explains the Problem and Offers a Solution

by Chris Edwards

Everyone knows that the U.S. public education system is broken, but no one quite knows what to do about it. In this analysis the education reform researcher and advocate Chris Edwards explains the problem and considers possible solutions.

Chris Edwards, EdD, teaches AP world history and an English course on critical thinking at a public high school in the Midwest and is the author of To Explain it All: Everything You Wanted to Know about the Popularity of World History Today; Connecting the Dots in World History; Femocracy: How Educators Can Teach Democratic Ideals and Feminism; and Beyond Obsolete: How to Upgrade Classroom Practice and School Structure. He is a frequent contributor to Skeptic magazine.

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EPISODE # 265

Christopher Blattman on Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace

Shermer and Blattman discuss: Putin, Russia, and Ukraine • game theory and violent conflict • 5 Reasons for conflict and war • common elements of conflict in Medellin, Chicago, Sudan, Somalia, etc. • U.S. foreign policy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and elsewhere, and its consequences • human nature and conflict: are we wired to fight or do environments push us into conflicts? • cooperation vs. competition / selfish genes vs. collection action problems • inner demons and better angels • violence and wars in our paleolithic ancestors • why violence has declined over the centuries • Chicago as a test case for theories of conflict and peace • why gangs, groups, and even nations mostly avoid conflict and war because of its consequences • and whether international aid and economic development attenuate violence.

Dr. Christopher Blattman is the Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies (University of Chicago), where he coleads the Development Economics Center and directs the Obama Foundation Scholars program. His work on violence, crime, and poverty has been widely covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Slate, Vox, and NPR.

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SUBSTACK RECAP

Why People Believe Weird Things, 25th Anniversary

In April 1997 my first book was published. Some reflections…

The Globalist

A review of Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand by John Markoff (Penguin, 2022)

The Resurrection as a Mythic Truth

Oppressed peoples often build narratives of redemption

TRANSGENDER MATTERS

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Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

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Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

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The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

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Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

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The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

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Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

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Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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