“You can concentrate the history of all mankind into the evolution of flax, cotton, and wool fibers into clothing,” asserted Dewey. He described a class where students handled wool and cotton. As they discovered how hard it was to separate seeds from cotton, they came to understand why their ancestors wore woolen clothing. Working in groups to make models of the spinning jenny and the power loom, they learned cooperation.…

Today’s Computer Displays Distort Pixel Art Designed for 1980s CRTs

As a kid, I remember studying my CRT displays with a microscope. Each pixel that I could control with BASIC on my TRS-80 or Atari 800 or Commodore-64 was made up of tiny arrays of red, blue, and green dots that I could not control directly. There was one display mode of the Atari 800 that officially offered 4 colors — black, red, blue, and white. My brother and I…

Don’t Want to Fall for Fake News? Don’t Be Lazy

Fake news is not a problem caused by those dishonorable people whose political values differ from yours. Misinformation researchers have proposed two competing hypotheses for why people fall for fake news on social media. The popular assumption—supported by research on apathy over climate change and the denial of its existence—is that people are blinded by partisanship, and will leverage their critical-thinking skills to ram the square pegs of misinformation into the…

A study in breaking news headlines.

For the UK Guardian, the news is the words the White House used while accusing Acosta of an action caught on video. For Fox, Sanders was accused of sharing an allegedly  “‘doctored’” video of a neutrally-identified “interaction.” For the Washington Post, the White House “shares doctored video” — no accusation, no scare quotes.   Read these articles for yourself, not just the headlines. We learn by seeking evidence from multiple…