The book... I Need You!

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Re: The book... I Need You!

#41  Postby Goldenmane » Sep 11, 2010 5:05 am

twistor59 wrote:
Martial arts woo


That's one big fuck-off category.

Although I suppose it could simply be addressed as follows:

Almost everything you've been told about martial arts is bullshit.

:mrgreen:
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#42  Postby VanYoungman » Sep 11, 2010 5:07 pm

Just a couple of "suggestions". The first is a chapter explaining the contentiousness that frequently crops up, with those with agendas, sock puppets, trolls and the like and of course how they were handled at RDF and how they are handled now. I know Jan would have some deep insights into that.

The second is social with the establishment of comaraderie, shoulders to cry on, and all out support groups. There is a dynamic there that has produced some powerful human interaction.

A third would be the creative threads and games that seem to have taken on lives of their own.

Anyhow good luck. I always thought that if I ever retired from teaching, this would be a high priority project for me. But Hack, since you're young and filled with the proper spirit, go to it and May the Force Be With You. :lol:
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#43  Postby shh » Sep 11, 2010 6:01 pm

hackenslash wrote:After much thought, I have decided to bring the idea of the book that was discussed at RDF back to life. It is going to take a substantially different form than previously, for obvious reasons. It is my intention to provide an 'Idiot's Guide To Critical Thinking' (this may actually be the title, and is my working title).

I think this is an excellent idea, but you'll (we'll) be treading a fine line between explaining critical thinking, and propagandising our own views.
I'd suggest "introductionS to critical thinking" as a title, "idiot's guide" "for dummies" are overdone imo, and you could dump "chapters" altogether, have a contents page that reads:
introductionS to critical thinking

Foreword
Introduction
introduction.1 History of critical thinking
introduction.2 Examples of critical thinking
introduction.3 Failures of critical thinking
introduction.4 Principles of critical thinking


(topics made up on spot, not real suggestions) This is kind of cute, but it's also very honest, really all a book can achieve here is an introduction, it's very much a case of having to learn by doing, so ram that fact home.
I'd say there's a lot of room for this kind of playfulness, with layout and design elements, illustrations etc. so we/you should take advantage of them. There's probably a better chance of getting a big fuck-off glossy published than a flat words text only book.
I have a 50th anniversary edition of 1984, and every now and again, when Winston is being watched and doesn't know it, some text on the page is blue, if you read only the blue text, it says "Big Brother is watching you". I think this kind of game element could be effective, both for adding certain bits of information, and just to engage the reader.
Audley Strange wrote:One of my major pet peeves might be worth pointing out, that the only thing one should take from words written, is the explicit meaning of the words written. To project and extrapolate and infer that which is not written may provide some form of meaning but that meaning is often erroneous and biased based on the flawed assumptions of the reader.
I'd agree with that, I think I'd link it to something on language generally, and contradictions as well though, because I can also think of times where people say "that's not what I mean" but I know it's what they said. :naughty2:
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#44  Postby byofrcs » Sep 11, 2010 6:24 pm

I'm with you hackenslash on this one. I'm happy to license any content I write to you (of whatever legal vehicle is used to publish the book). If we can stop reinventing the wheel on this stuff then that'll make life really easy for our children and children's children.
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#45  Postby blasphemer_number1 » Sep 11, 2010 9:03 pm

Your title is sure to get the attention of "The Complete Idiot's Guide" series. If they wind up as your publisher I imagine they might have page-number and other restrictions on your work. From the suggestions so far, it appears that this book could be quite epic -- it is worth noting that idiots have limited mental faculties/attention-spans so focus and brevity will be key.

I was going to add: do not forget pictures; idiots love pictures. In fact, I'll jokingly suggest that if you could forgo the text and make it a picture book, you might reach more idiots. :)

Regardless, I am excited about the prospect and look forward to what you write.

[Edit: after looking at their site, the series does not seem to have the page requirement that I had suspected (see: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible (3rd Edition) 448 pages -- a real page turner no doubt)]
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#46  Postby byofrcs » Sep 12, 2010 1:18 am

blasphemer_number1 wrote:Your title is sure to get the attention of "The Complete Idiot's Guide" series. If they wind up as your publisher I imagine they might have page-number and other restrictions on your work. From the suggestions so far, it appears that this book could be quite epic -- it is worth noting that idiots have limited mental faculties/attention-spans so focus and brevity will be key.

I was going to add: do not forget pictures; idiots love pictures. In fact, I'll jokingly suggest that if you could forgo the text and make it a picture book, you might reach more idiots. :)

Regardless, I am excited about the prospect and look forward to what you write.

[Edit: after looking at their site, the series does not seem to have the page requirement that I had suspected (see: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible (3rd Edition) 448 pages -- a real page turner no doubt)]


I would go with more of the style of the O'Reilly books. These are informative and well referenced and have a high bar in quality and audience. They are not all computer and programming but the brain as well e.g. Mind Hacks (Tools and Tips for using your brain).

I really think we need introductory texts for children on skeptism, critical thinking and reasoning but I don't actually think schools would ever teach children that at a very young age else the children won't be as easily manipulated through their remaining school life.
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#47  Postby stijndeloose » Sep 12, 2010 6:51 am

introductory texts for children on skeptism, critical thinking and reasoning


That's an VERY interesting idea, byofrcs! I'd do sth. like that in a separate book, though. :)
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#48  Postby byofrcs » Sep 12, 2010 8:14 am

stijndeloose wrote:
introductory texts for children on skeptism, critical thinking and reasoning


That's an VERY interesting idea, byofrcs! I'd do sth. like that in a separate book, though. :)


Yes has to be worded and formatted for the right age group; the blind acceptance of what the parents say has an evolutionary advantage but understanding the reasoning of what the parents say means that the child will eventually be able to reason other situations rather than just relying on blind rote learning.

They'll have a portable toolkit of techniques to rationalise a situation. This would probably have a dramatic impact on the take-up of superstitions (and that includes astrology, religion and gambling). We have to find a happy median but I think we can still protect the child but inoculate them from blind faith in ideas.

The superstitions of Gambling - now there has to be a whole section for that in the hypothetical chapter of "Probability and Statistics - Use and Abuse" !.
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#49  Postby stijndeloose » Sep 12, 2010 9:38 am

Shall I split off the discussion about the 'kid's book' into a separate thread? Or would you like to include a kid's section in your book, Hack? :ask:
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#50  Postby Goldenmane » Sep 12, 2010 11:58 am

VanYoungman wrote:The second is social with the establishment of comaraderie, shoulders to cry on, and all out support groups. There is a dynamic there that has produced some powerful human interaction.


I'll need some evidence for this.
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#51  Postby blasphemer_number1 » Sep 12, 2010 1:21 pm

byofrcs wrote:
stijndeloose wrote:
introductory texts for children on skeptism, critical thinking and reasoning


That's an VERY interesting idea, byofrcs! I'd do sth. like that in a separate book, though. :)


Yes has to be worded and formatted for the right age group; the blind acceptance of what the parents say has an evolutionary advantage but understanding the reasoning of what the parents say means that the child will eventually be able to reason other situations rather than just relying on blind rote learning.

They'll have a portable toolkit of techniques to rationalise a situation. This would probably have a dramatic impact on the take-up of superstitions (and that includes astrology, religion and gambling). We have to find a happy median but I think we can still protect the child but inoculate them from blind faith in ideas.

The superstitions of Gambling - now there has to be a whole section for that in the hypothetical chapter of "Probability and Statistics - Use and Abuse" !.

As a parent who reads to my kids, I'll offer that the benefits don't have to stop at the children. If a parent can read or would read such a book to their kids, parents might realize some of the gaps in their critical thinking tool-belt.
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#52  Postby The_Metatron » Sep 12, 2010 1:33 pm

I'd like to contribute, but I don't know what particular area this would be useful for. I'm pretty good at putting my thoughts into words most of the time. So, if you have a specific assignment for me, let's have it. I'll be happy to research it well, and write it up, according to my own particular idiom.
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Check out Hack's blog, too. He writes good.
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#53  Postby stijndeloose » Sep 12, 2010 1:52 pm

blasphemer_number1 wrote:As a parent who reads to my kids, I'll offer that the benefits don't have to stop at the children. If a parent can read or would read such a book to their kids, parents might realize some of the gaps in their critical thinking tool-belt.


Yes, of course. Even a book 'aimed' at children can be have a lot of benefits for their parents as well... We'd have to come up with some sort of concept, though. I'm not really sure how to approach this. :dunno: I should have drawings in it, for sure. :)

Also... children what age? From about 8 years onwards? :ask:
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#54  Postby LIFE » Sep 12, 2010 3:21 pm

As you know...all my support but just to put things into perspective:
Don't expect to sell more than a few hundred copies unless you've got a publisher who knows what he's doing.
Self-publishing with a bit of a budget might get you 5k+ sales over a period of 3-6 months, if you're lucky.
To give an example: #1 rank on Amazon right now (The Grand Design by Hawking) sells 100+ copies a day.
Granted it's "only" Amazon but still...you'd expect higher sales with the biggest online bookstore, aye?
I'll give you more detailed stats via PM :smoke:
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#55  Postby VanYoungman » Sep 12, 2010 7:09 pm

Goldenmane wrote:
VanYoungman wrote:The second is social with the establishment of comaraderie, shoulders to cry on, and all out support groups. There is a dynamic there that has produced some powerful human interaction.


I'll need some evidence for this.



Th OFC for starters. There's a goldmine on that site.
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#56  Postby hackenslash » Sep 12, 2010 10:10 pm

stijndeloose wrote:Shall I split off the discussion about the 'kid's book' into a separate thread? Or would you like to include a kid's section in your book, Hack? :ask:


I think it worth including that discussion, because it could lead somewhere. Anything that manages to be accessible to children can only be a good thing, even if there is a second, junior version. Possibly there is a series of really good books in there. Either way, probably best to let the discussion run its course, as it's not exactly OT.
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#57  Postby Macros1980 » Sep 12, 2010 10:28 pm

Awesome Project Hack! If anything springs to mind, I'll chime in.
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#58  Postby rEvolutionist » Sep 12, 2010 10:57 pm

I've got the formation of an idea in my head, but not sure if it fits in with your book or not. I'm thinking some exposition of the difference between woo and 'educated guesses'. The first thing that pops into my head (and I'm sure there are heaps of others out there) is the case of the electromagnetic ether (sp?). Proved wrong these days, but at the time it was reasonable to infer it's existence due to our knowledge of other wave particle systems (well I think anyway - my physics on the topic of ether isn't really up to scratch). So I guess my point is that there is room for induction/inference in rational science, and that one doesn't have to be an emotionless robot to be a rationalist (something which I suspect the wider public might actually think - not helped by Spock of course). :thumbup:
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#59  Postby shh » Sep 12, 2010 11:51 pm

hackenslash wrote:
stijndeloose wrote:Shall I split off the discussion about the 'kid's book' into a separate thread? Or would you like to include a kid's section in your book, Hack? :ask:


I think it worth including that discussion, because it could lead somewhere. Anything that manages to be accessible to children can only be a good thing, even if there is a second, junior version. Possibly there is a series of really good books in there. Either way, probably best to let the discussion run its course, as it's not exactly OT.

Actually, it's probably a good idea to include something on critical thinking for parents. :cheers:
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Re: The book... I Need You!

#60  Postby byofrcs » Sep 13, 2010 6:15 am

LIFE wrote:As you know...all my support but just to put things into perspective:
Don't expect to sell more than a few hundred copies unless you've got a publisher who knows what he's doing.
Self-publishing with a bit of a budget might get you 5k+ sales over a period of 3-6 months, if you're lucky.
To give an example: #1 rank on Amazon right now (The Grand Design by Hawking) sells 100+ copies a day.
Granted it's "only" Amazon but still...you'd expect higher sales with the biggest online bookstore, aye?
I'll give you more detailed stats via PM :smoke:


Obviously I wouldn't imagine that anyone would do this for money but to change the world but that said, what is needed is some controversy. When we have people burning the book then sales will increase dramatically.
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