Video: From the gentlest of atheist debaters, effective methods for undermining people’s non-evidence-based beliefs

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 13.10.42Huh, that headline is hard to connect with. Let’s try again:

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Street epistemology is a method of asking people not only what their beliefs are and why they believe them, but most importantly how they determined their beliefs are true. We know that being presented with established facts only causes “the other side” of any debate to dig in deeper, so street epistemology skips specific facts altogether to focus on the bigger picture. This video is an introduction to the concept.

It’s everywhere: Advertising, propaganda, and politics

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Becoming self-aware of these mental patterns, and actively seeking to rewire them, is the foundation of cognitive therapy, i.e. Psychiatry.

Remaining unaware of these mental patterns is the foundation of Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations, i.e. Propaganda.

The biggest mistake of those who don’t use Propaganda is that they underestimate its power.

pub. 05/2017

Organizing and Mobilizing: Resistance School

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Resistance School is a free four-week practical training program that will sharpen the tools we need to fight back at the federal, state, and local levels. Our goal is to keep the embers of resistance alive through concrete learning, community engagement, and forward-looking action.

seen 04/2017

Resistance School was created by a group of Harvard graduate students who found a lack of education for would-be activists: What really are the most effective ways to get people organized, convince others of their positions, and keep activism rolling through time and challenges?

I’ve watched the second (two-hour) video myself–though it’s an option, no signup is required to watch–and I found it both illuminating and easy to understand. Any group can learn from the Resistance School lessons, including those affiliated with other organizations, making it an ideal companion for both new community activists and longtime veterans.

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.

The fine art of toppling demagogues

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Nichols overdoes the D-Day parallels, but Eisenhower was a model of battlefield self-control…. We want the righteous side to win and everyone to watch the victory unfold. This was true in the 1950s, too. Even seasoned observers, well schooled in the realities of politics, kept waiting for Eisenhower to denounce McCarthy. But he refused to comment in public, blandly explaining, “I never talk personalities.”…

…He declined even to say McCarthy’s name, thus denying him the satisfaction of recognition. Hillary Clinton might have applied the same principle in 2016.

pub. 04/2017