Hi, my name is Bo.

And I have a
personal relationship with reason.

Allow me to introduce you to logic, critical thinking, and reason.
Reason loves you.

Social Media Memetics: To Meme or Not To Meme?

Written by Bo on Thursday, 16 October 2014 05:50. Posted in Psychology

We have all seen them.  Images with superimposed text created to elicit a strong emotional reaction that have an underlying message—usually political in nature.  They are hugely popular and a heck of a lot more contagious than Ebola.  They are social media memes

Memetics is the societal equivalent of biological Darwinian evolution.  It is the theory that "ideas use people" to replicate and spread (Wang & Wood, 2011).  Given the stiff competition for attention in social media, social media memes have "evolved" to appeal to the more primal emotional brain than the cognitively expensive rational brain.  Anthropomorphically speaking, in order to achieve their ultimate goal of replication, social media memes feed on our irrationality.  As one who values reason and rationality, should you participate in the spread of memes? And how should you respond to memes that just cry for a response?

Yet Another Life After Death Study Media Frenzy

Written by Bo on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 16:54. Posted in Psychology

Once again, the Internet is abuzz with claims of yet another paranormal event—life after death.  This latest foray of the supernatural into the realm of science is the result of a new clinical study published by the respectable academic journal Resuscitation, titled "PaperAWARE—AWAreness during REsuscitation—A prospective study."  As usual, the media, and a vast majority of the public (as inferred by the comments on these articles), have seriously misconstrued the facts.  The goal of this article is to correct the blatant errors and poor assumptions made by the media and readers, not to attempt to disprove the supernatural. 

Let me make clear from the start that I did actually read the full published article.  If you do not have journal access, you can at least get the academic (not media-biased) summary here.

The Benevolent Almighty Advisor

Written by Bo on Monday, 19 May 2014 06:54. Posted in Poetry

When I saw the horror of wars on TV
I didn’t worry because I knew that God was watching over me

When I lost my job, lost my house, and lost my zeal
I believed there was a silver lining that God had yet to reveal

Even when my entire life came crumbling apart
I believed, although with less conviction, that God had my best interest at heart

Use of the Title "Doctor" in the Modern American Culture

Written by Bo on Sunday, 30 March 2014 15:51. Posted in Psychology

In a town up by our old lake house, there is a strip mall with a big sign that reads, "Dr. Jeremy Dentum, DDS" (name changed, but prefix and suffix kept intact).  Each time I would drive by it, I would get a chuckle thinking that this guy really wants people to know he is a doctor.  In fact, there are many people who use the "Dr." in front of their names and "PhD" or other doctoral designation after their names in professional settings.  There are also many doctors who simply identify themselves by first name and last name in the same professional settings.  However, most seem to use either "Dr." or their designation after their name.  I have even heard stories of parents with a doctorate who make their children call them "doctor."  So what are the social rules for using the title "doctor"?

Twitter @BoBennett

Bo Says...

Expose an irrational belief, keep a person rational for a day. Expose irrational thinking, keep a person rational for a lifetime.
Bo Bennett

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