“True believers” vs. believers in the truth

From Aeon Magazine, this is an essay by a philosophy professor. He says that when a person’s beliefs are based on “wilful ignorance”, when they are “false, or morally repugnant, or irresponsible, or dangerous” then we have no right to believe in them.

“Consider those who believe that the lunar landings or the Sandy Hook school shooting were unreal, government-created dramas; that Barack Obama is Muslim; that the Earth is flat; or that climate change is a hoax. In such cases, the right to believe is proclaimed as a negative right; that is, its intent is to foreclose dialogue, to deflect all challenges; to enjoin others from interfering with one’s belief-commitment. The mind is closed, not open for learning. They might be ‘true believers’, but they are not believers in the truth.”

When we refuse to learn, we give up our right to believe in “our facts”.

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The “i” in AI

This is an article from Aeon Magazine about what “intelligence” means when it comes to robots. They need to be able to have emotions to have true “intelligence”, the author argues.

You can listen to the article being read (by a human). It’s about 6:30 in length (1000 words).

 

One line I liked:

“… perception is not a passive process that merely reflects the external world. Rather, it involves picking up on the significance of objects, and determines how they are processed. Vision is never neutral, it is always laden with affective meaning.”

DOGO News

DOGO News

DOGO News is a news site for kids, but it’s a great place to find short, relatively easy news articles for older language learners, too. These are the categories you can choose from:

news categories.png

Most of the articles include related videos.

But maybe the most useful aspect of this site for language learners is that you can listen to the articles being read aloud. The voice is a bit robotic but not that bad. And the words are highlighted as the audio continues:

There’s a dictionary:

You can also play Word Search games for each news story.

And there are book and movie reviews on the site, as well.

Chocolate ears

I found this video on a post from Youngzine about chocolate and Valentine’s Day. Youngzine is a good source of reading and watching/listening material — mostly about news & current events —  for EFL students of any age, though the specified target audience is native English speaking children.

The video has a couple of funny subtitle mistakes. Listen and see if you can correct them.

at about 1:46:

at about 2:30: