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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Face Book Science

I always see friends of mine on facebook post things about "scientific" findings that are pretty much bullshit.

Really badly designed experiments about how creative people are more narcissistic, or that poetry lights up the part of the brain responsible for introspection (duh), or that reading fiction makes you more empathetic.

These media-friendly experiments are likely to be picked up by those looking to bolster their own professional self-esteem. See, literature is really useful!

But if studying literature has not given you the basic critical thinking skills to see through bad science, then I think you should hold yourself up to a higher standard. Yes, reading a sad story is going to light up the part of brain for sadness. That doesn't really tell you anything, does it?

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