July 27, 2009 archive

Pique the Geek 20090726, Phlogiston, the “Perfect” Theory of Combustion in the 18th Century

Back in the days when energy was not understood, but after the Aristotelian ideas of the elements were being shot down, folks became interested with why fire “works”.  That is not in the least odd, since fire has been simultaneously our best friend and our worst enemy.

Without fire, food would be rather indigestible, especially meats and starchy things.  With the heat from fire, those become much better sources of digestible nutrition.  With fire, our living structures become comfortable, and without it chillingly cold and very harsh.

But fire has its own way of doing things.  Uncontrolled, it is one of most destructive natural, or human created, forces.  But it is NOT an element.  Neither is Earth, Air, nor Water.

Rachel Maddow breaks down Wall Street Deregulation into these simple Frames …

Way back in March of 2009, Rachel explained the “Highway Robbery” which happened on Wall Street, using a few simple word-pictures. (ie. simple Frames).  These perhaps deserve a quick review …

Rachel Maddow – Cops and Robbers

Link to Rachel’s very humorous  Clip

Great Framing Rachel! … I love it, when Progressive Talkers, make learning FUN! The simpler the Word-Pictures, the better the Frame!

“Is our childrens learning?” as George W. used to ask.  

Could be, … Maybe we just needed to “Turn the Page” …

NYTimes Freakonomist Eric Morris Vs California High Speed Rail

Perhaps there is a recipe for being “provocative” when you do not, after all, want to depart from the economic mainstream – despite the radical incapacities that have come to prominence in the last year – and do not want to upset powerful vested interests.

If I was trying to use Eric Morris’ “Freakonomics Blog” piece for the NYTimes, High-Speed Rail and CO2, to work the recipe out, my guess would be:

  • Pick a challenge to the status quo as your target
  • Pick a sexy public issue as your line of attack
  • Narrow the frame to bias the case in favor of the status quo
  • cherry pick information sources that are biased toward your desired conclusions
  • mis-state as much of the rest of the evidence as required to bring your conclusion home

So let’s see this recipe at work as Eric Morris does a hack piece trying to argue that HSR funding is bad for CO2 emissions.

H/T to Rafeal at the California HSR Blog for bringing this piece to my attention.

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