Value claims are like any other claims: either true or false, evidenced or not.

Facts are things that are true. Opinions are things we believe. Some of our beliefs are true. Others are not. Some of our beliefs are backed by evidence. Others are not. Value claims are like any other claims: either true or false, evidenced or not. The hard work lies not in recognizing that at least some moral claims are true but in carefully thinking through our evidence for which of the many competing moral claims is correct.

Justin P. McBrayer, Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts

Employers not handing out an opportunity or an award; they’re solving a practical problem

…when packaging your resume, think about it from the viewpoint of the company hiring you. This is not an opportunity they hope to grant to a deserving individual. It’s not an award for which they need to locate the most promising candidate. It’s a practical problem they’re looking to solve: They have work that needs to be done, questions to be asked, research to be conducted, and not enough people to do it. Their goal is to find someone who can do the work, cause few problems, need little training, be a friendly companion during long nights in the lab, and occasionally have a flash of brilliance. Think about how you can fill their need, not the other way around. Communicate that in your resume—and your cover letter, if you persist in the delusion that people read those.

Regrettable Resumes, Part 2

…they want to see what you have made with your own little fingies

You have to make stuff. The tools of journalism are in your hands and no one is going to give a damn about what is on your resume, they want to see what you have made with your own little fingies. Can you use Final Cut Pro? Have you created an Instagram that is about something besides a picture of your cat every time she rolls over? Is HTML 5 a foreign language to you? Is your social media presence dominated by a picture of your beer bong, or is it an RSS of interesting stuff that you add insight to? People who are doing hires will have great visibility into what you can actually do, what you care about and how you can express on any number of platforms.

David Carr, http://bit.ly/1zd17vs

Making the natural seem strange

It takes … a mind debauched by learning to carry the process of making the natural seem strange, so far as to ask for the why of any instinctive human act. To the metaphysician alone can such questions occur as: Why do we smile, when pleased, and not scowl? Why are we unable to talk to a crowd as we talk to a single friend? Why does a particular maiden turn our wits so upside-down? The common man can only say, ‘Of course we smile, of course our heart palpitates at the sight of the crowd, of course we love the maiden, that beautiful soul clad in that perfect form, so palpably and flagrantly made for all eternity to be loved!’

William James, The Principles of Psychology

Playing Dumb on Climate Change

Even as scientists consciously rejected religion as a basis of natural knowledge, they held on to certain cultural presumptions about what kind of person had access to reliable knowledge. One of these presumptions involved the value of ascetic practices. Nowadays scientists do not live monastic lives, but they do practice a form of self-denial, denying themselves the right to believe anything that has not passed very high intellectual hurdles.

Naomi Oreskes, Playing Dumb on Climate Change

Inter-subjectively testable

Only when certain events recur in accordance with rules or regularities, as in the case of repeatable experiments, can our observations be tested—in principle—by anyone. … Only by such repetition can we convince ourselves that we are not dealing with a mere isolated ‘coincidence’, but with events which, on account of their regularity and reproducibility, are in principle inter-subjectively testable.

Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery

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Honey is sweet because we like it

Honey is sweet because we like it, not “we like it because honey is sweet.” There’s nothing intrinsically sweet about honey. If you looked at glucose molecules till you were blind, you wouldn’t see why they tasted sweet. You have to look in our brains to understand why they’re sweet. So if you think first there was sweetness, and then we evolved to like sweetness, you’ve got it backwards; that’s just wrong. It’s the other way round. Sweetness was born with the wiring which evolved.

Dan Dennett, “Cute, sexy, sweet, funny”