The Passionate Skeptic
Introduction to The Passionate Skeptic
The Passionate Skeptic website is hosted by Thor May. The site contains many sections and hundreds of entries. The sections reflect Thor's wide interests in how the world works, as well as his professional training in teaching and linguistics. A few of the sections are active while some others date back to the 1990s. Thor hopes to gradually update the pages to be smart phone friendly, but many of the sections for a long while will be hard to read on small screens. Features on this home page will usually reflect a changing selection of Thor's current activities.
Index of recent topics from Thor's Active Thinkers meetup. Follow the link for any topic to see a list of focus questions + links for further reading. Various versions of this meetup have been running since 2011. (Note - most of these links are in older html, so not small screen friendly).
[See also the meetup.com address of this group].
Active Thinking Topic 72 - 12 December 2023 - Conflict or Harmony? Which is the Spice of Life?
Active Thinking Topic 71 - 28 November 2023 - Whatever Happened to Irony?
Active Thinking Topic 70 - 14 November 2023 - How Random is Your Life, & Nature Itself?
Active Thinking Topic 69 - October 31 2023 - Are Houses Just for Living In?
Active Thinking Topic 68 - October 17 2023 - Magical Thinking - What Drives It?
Active Thinking Topic 67 - October 3 2023 - New Research: You Can Live Forever (Prof. D Sinclair, Harvard). Great Idea?
Active Thinking Topic 66 - 14 September 2023 - What Does It Take To Think Creatively?
Active Thinking Topic 65 - 30 August 2023 - For & Against Being a Stoic
Active Thinking Topic 64 - 16 August 2023 - Bullshit Jobs, Gig Jobs, Consequences
Active Thinking Topic 63 - 2 August 2023 - How Many Children Does A Person, A Country Need?
Active Thinking Topic 62 - 22 July 2023 - Collective Intelligence Vs Collective Stupidity
Active Thinking Topic 61 - 8 July 2023 - Nationalism - A Good or Bad Idea?
Active Thinking Topic 60 - 24 June 2023 - The Benefits of Being Second Best
Active Thinking Topic 59 - 10 June 2023 - The Age of Anxiety OR The Age of Opportunity?
Active Thinking Topic 58 - 27 March 2023 - Exit Doctors & Teachers, Enter Chat GPT? AI In Your Life
Active Thinking Topic 57 - 13 May 2023 - There Are Two Kinds of People in the World (??)
Active Thinking Topic 56 - 29 April 2023 - When Is Reason Not Rational?
Active Thinking Topic 55 - 15 April 2023 - When is Force Necessary?
Active Thinking Topic 54 - 1 April 2023 - The 4th Industrial Revolution
Active Thinking Topic 53 - 18 March 2023 - Believe It Or Not - What is True Anymore?
Active Thinking Topic 52 - 4 March 2023 - Everything is Better Than It Used to Be - Right?
Active Thinking Topic 51 - 18 February 2023 - You Can't Ask That!
Active Thinking Topic 50 - 4 February 2023 - Natural and Unnatural Abilities
Active Thinking Topic 49 - 21 January 2023 - Is It Worth Knowing How Stuff Works?
Active Thinking Topic 48 - 7 January 2023 - Random - Think Deeply About Simple Things
Active Thinking Topic 47 - 19 December 2022 - What is a Fair Wage?-
Active Thinking Topic 46 - 5 December 2022 - Self Education
Active Thinking Topic 45 - 21 November 2022 - Yourr Body Parts Replaced & Modified - Any Limits?
Active Thinking Topic 44 - 7 November 2022 - Low Challenge Vs High Challenge ?
Active Thinking Topic 43 - 24 October 2022 - Everyone Wants Your Attention - Nobody Gets It
Active Thinking Topic 42 - 11 October 2022 - Can Science be Trusted?
Active Thinking Topic 41 - 27 September 2022 - Are We All A Little Mad?
Active Thinking Topic 40 - 13 September 2022 - Migration is Destiny
Active Thinking Topic 39 - 30 August 2022 - Givers, Takers & Matchers
Active Thinking Topic 38 - 16 August 2022 - Not Quite Perfect Individuals & Cultures - Flaws In The Glass
Active Thinking Topic 37 - 2 August 2022 - The Price of Freedom
Active Thinking Topic 36 - 19 July 2022 - What is the Use of God(s)
Active Thinking Topic 35 - 05 July 2022 - Intuition - When Does It Work?
Active Thinking Topic 34 - 21 June 2022 - Scammers of the World Unite !
Active Thinking Topic 33 - 07 June 2022 - The Best Questions Start a Journey
Active Thinking Topic 32 - 24 May 2022 - Status Games - What's the Big Attraction?
Active Thinking Topic 31 - 10 May 2022 - What's Wrong With Democracy?
Active Thinking Topic 30 - 26 April 2022 - The more things change the more they stay the same
Active Thinking Topic 29 - 12 April 2022 - Lazy People Are Essential
Active Thinking Topic 28 -29 March 2022 - Wars Are Inevitable. Yes or No?
Active Thinking Topic 27 -15 March 2022 - Fantasy Is Both Necessary And Dangerous
Active Thinking Topic 26 -1 March 2022 - Things That Don't Make Any Sense
Active Thinking Topic 25 -15 February 2022 - Everyone is a Hero in Their Own Movie
Active Thinking Topic 24 -1 February 2022 - The Limits of Competence - Are We Just Monkeys with Screwdrivers?
Active Thinking Topic 23 -18 January 2022 - Your Letter to Santa's Mail Box
Active Thinking Topic 22 -4 January 2022 - Unknown Unknowns
Active Thinking Topic 21 -21 December 2021 - How Safe Do You Need To Be?
Active Thinking Topic 20 -7 December 2021 - Yes/No/Neither - Brainwash Test-
Active Thinking Topic 19 -22 November 2021 - What is Australia's Big Plan? Yours?
Active Thinking Topic 18 -8 November 2021 - Fake It 'Till You Make It
Active Thinking Topic 17 -25 October 2021 - The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions
Active Thinking Topic 16 -11 October 2021 - Might Come in Handy? What & Who is Worth Keeping?
Active Thinking Topic 15 -27 September 2021 - Does Debt Matter?
Active Thinking Topic 14 -13 September 2021 - When Does Free Mean Selfish?
Active Thinking Topic 13 -30 August 2021 - Will Big Data Eat You For Breakfast?
Active Thinking Topic 12 -6 August 2021 - Woman Trouble. Man Trouble. Is a Truce in Sight?
Active Thinking Topic 11 -2 August 2021 - Effective Democracy With Stupid Voters
Active Thinking Topic 10 -19 July 2021 - Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Face
Active Thinking Topic 09 - 5 July 2021 -Who Should Pay Tax? Who Does Not Pay Tax?
Active Thinking Topic 08 - 21 June 2021 - A Sense of Proportion
Active Thinking Topic 07 - 7 June 2021 - Inventions We Need - Real & Imaginary
Active Thinking Topic 06 - 24 May 2021 - Best Ways to Herd the Human Herd?
Active Thinking Topic 05 - 10 May 2021 - Truth & Propaganda in Public & Private Life
Active Thinking Topic 04 - 26 April 2021 - Life Lessons?
Active Thinking Topic 03 - 12 April 2021 - So What Is Your Culture Anyway?
Active Thinking Topic 02 - 22 March 2021 - Imagine That!-Is Imagination a Friend or Enemy?
Active Thinking Topic 01 - 8 March 2021 Dilemma - The Politics of Climate Change
DiscussionX8 Topic 17 - 22 February 2021 How Does Science Differ from Religions and Ideologies?
DiscussionX8 Topic 16 8 February 2021 - Life is Unfair. So What?
DiscussionX8 Topic 15 Date: 25 January 2021 - The Human Spirit - Inspiration, Perspiration or Lucky Gamble?
DiscussionX8 Topic 14 Date: 11 January 2021 - Risk and Original Thinking
DiscussionX8 Topic 13 Date: 28 December 2020 - How independent should Australians and Australia be?
DiscussionX8 Topic 12 Date: 14 December 2020 - Food Wars - Vegan or Carnivore?
DiscussionX8 Topic 11 Date: 30 November 2020 - So What is Creativity Anyway?
DiscussionX8 Topic 10 Date: 9 November 2020 - What Level of Social Control is OK ?
DiscussionX8 Topic 9 Date: 26 October 2020 - Smart Phones Changed Us
DiscussionX8 Topic 8 Date: 10 October 2020 - Too Big to Care
DiscussionX4 Topic 7 Date: 26 September 2020 - Is There Life After Food, Drink and Sex?
DiscussionX4 Topic 6 Date: 12 September 2020 - Conspiracy Beliefs & Cults - What's the Overlap?
DiscussionX4 Topic 5 Date: 29 August 2020 - The Average Quality of Leadership Never Improves - Why?
DiscussionX4 Topic 4 Date: 15 August 2020 - Do you get what you pay for in life?
DiscussionX4 Topic 3 Date: 1 August 2020 - Everything You Believe About #?@$ Is Wrong [macro economics]
DiscussionX4 Topic 2 Date: 18 July 2020 - No Escape - You sink or swim with friends & enemies - Australia too
DiscussionX4 Topic 1 Date: 4 July 2020 - The Disaster of Knowing Too Much
How To Write A STEM Paper – Illustrated With A Simple Experiment
This is the transcript of an invited Zoom presentation on the topic of “How To Write A STEM Paper – Illustrated With A Simple Experiment”. The recorded live session will appear independently on Youtube soon. I made a full length trial Zoom pre-recording (1hr 23 min) in PowerPoint now online @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZof3wgQxVY . The full PDF transcript is also available at https://www.academia.edu/s/ebfb73ab9c .The live Zoom presentation was slightly edited for length and assisted by Nghia Vo, a translator,who dubbed all the Power Point slides. Thank you Nghia. This was a voluntary undertaking on behalf of a Vietnamese NGO, YIS (Youth in Science) which I understand had received a small projects grant from the American embassy in Vietnam. The YIS project has also included other specialist educators over six weeks of workshops.
Playing Dumb in Language Teaching
"Playing Dumb in Language Teaching" was an invited Zoom presentation to the 2021 Dongseo University ( 동서대학교 ) TEFL Conference, Busan, South Korea. A very basic Youtube video of this paper is at https://youtu.be/jFkaSRrsGZg (55 minutes). There is also a 5 minute video sample of the author actually teaching a class of nursing students in Zhengzhou, China (2010) called "Teaching English is Fun" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmGVsC7OshA .
Emergent Systems - an Overview ; Mandarin Chinese translation: 新兴系统 -- 概述
An emergent system is one where a) the final system has properties and effects which exceed the properties and effects of its component parts, and b) whose final properties and effects cannot be predicted from merely examining the component parts. The prediction issue becomes critical in dynamic systems where human judgements have to be made but the true emergent form of the system to come is not known. This paper is just a point list of issues to introduce some ideas about emergent systems for further discussion. [published 2018]
author: Thor May PhD
location: Adelaide, Australia
©Thor May 1995-2021 All rights reserved