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Archive for the ‘Carnivals’ Category

Skeptical Parent Crossing

Parents Teaching Each Other

Skeptical Parent Xing

Skeptical Parent Xing

I have hosted many blogging carnivals, but this is the first time that I have hosted a parent’s carnival.  I am a divorced dad, with three kids (one of whom is about to make me a grandfather.  Yes, I am happy about it.)  One thing about this carnival that bothers me is the amount of irrelevant content that was submitted through the carnival submission process.  It seems that the whole concept of using social networks to enhance one’s exposure (or to drum up business) is catching on.

What I mean is this; there was more than one post submitted that shilled a product or a website.  I don’t think that this is appropriate for a carnival because as a skeptical parent I don’t like reading posts that are poorly-concealed advertisements.  What I am looking for is good discussion on how to raise children with an ability to discern between crap and fact.  It’s more than just a game, it teaches them how to approach life.  Which things will help them make better decisions?  Which things will help them lead more fulfilled lives?  Which things will teach them how to have good fun?

If your submission didn’t make it, this was the reason.  I had one submission that was merely a linkfest for Christian families, including a link to the Quiverfull movement.  Did they not even notice that this is a Skeptical Parent’s Carnival?  I don’t mean to say that religious people can’t have some skeptical approach to rasing their children, but a post that focuses on religious resources just doesn’t fit the purpose of this carnival.  Another submission was a post in which the writer explained the differences between why men cheat and why women cheat, using some sort of faux-phsychology based on our caveman/cavewoman roots.  Please, please study a little anthropology prior to sending dreck like that to a Skeptical Parents’ Crossing.

Now, before I come off too strongly as an elitist bastard (which is a different carnival altogether,) I want to say that I appreciate the bloggers who sent in these posts with some original thought based on some original experience or research.  Thank you, and without further ado, I present the carnival!

So let us begin with this contribution from Detentionslip.org. We want to know why there are still schools whose administrators and teachers rely on corporal punishment.  It has not been proven to alter behavior.  It teaches fear, and not respect.  There is a difference.  Even the Catholic Church has come out against the practice. WTF is up with hitting kids?

So why then, do educators hit? We spoke with Dr. Kenneth Adams, Dean of the School of Education at Edinboro University of PA, and he told us:

“It appears that those who were on the receiving end of corporal punishment are more likely to endorse its use. Managing a school and leading change requires approaches that embrace actual research as opposed to seat of the pants ‘it was good enough for me’ philosophy. When I encounter someone who says that beatings actually helped make them the person they are today, I ask…’can you imagine how much better a person you would be if you weren’t beaten?'”

Let’s be clear, if you have to resort to hitting a child to correct their behavior – you aren’t capable of being a teacher / principal. The truth is, there are other school districts tougher than yours, with kids from worse families, where they are having better success than your school without hitting the kids. Join the good fight, and help end corporal punishment!


Miss Kim Dance Blog wonders why there is now so little play time involved with kindergarten and early childhood education. This damn “No Child Left Behind” is pushing schools away from teaching and into testing. Kids learn by playing.

When I walk in my son’s playschool class I am not worried about what he knows but rather can he share, take turns, interact with others, listen and follow directions, and is he getting to just play. When I saw this article I thought to myself…..this is something I want all parents to read and think about. I know from experience that all that “knowledge” that some parents drill into their children is just memorization. They will get it later anyway. I am not saying that you should not work with your preschooler if they show an interest. Great, if they want to read, write, count, then let them go for it.

When you read this next post, you should know that the acronym “CIO’ refers to “Cry it Out.”  It is a means of teaching kids how to sleep through the night. I include it because it discusses the issue of approaching a sleep-teaching technique by examining the evidence that has been studied in relation to CIO. If you are familiar with the jargon and acronyms, it is likely quite meaningful but I was lost in reading it because there were no definitions for the reader first coming into the controversy. I agree that Observational data is far from worthless, courtesy of Mainstream Parenting Resources.

I often come upon AP/NPers responding to stuff that I’ve written which is referenced online. Most of it is an embarrassing demonstration of their lack of reading comprehension (and indeed, it’s quite obvious this poster did not initially read the links provided), but this case refers to something slightly different which, I think, could use a bit of elaboration, as it reveals a bias and error of thought common in AP/NP philosophy.

Here’s a question that it worth answering. “Is our culture too overprotective of our children?Principled Discovery is frustrated by the lack of details in a news story of a child left in charge of siblings. A fire breaks out, and the reporter possibly rushes to judgment on whether or not the parents were in the wrong. There are questions left unanswered:

I’ll play that “reasonable person,” but there are too many other questions in my mind that would need to be answered before I could definitively say that this thirteen year old lacked the judgment and maturity to be put into this situation.

I wondered about including this one, because it is more about dogs as pets than it is about parenting. The story does include a subtext of teaching the daughter in the family the responsibility of owning a business. I am sharing it in this carnival because, well, I love dogs too. I am happy to see that there are families like the one at Cute Dogs and Puppy Pictures. Why I love my dog:

With our new dog, we were lucky because my daughter has a small neighborhood business of caring for pets. Because either my wife or myself is always reminding my daughter to walk or feed the dog or cat, this has become somewhat of a family enterprise.

It’s gotten so we often take in the dogs we dog sit. We are lucky with this kid’s business. Our daughter has gradually learned to take more responsibility, and we have had some really terrific dogs to care for. They each are very different in size and personality. Every one of the dogs is very friendly. In fact, it is through our daughter’s business that we got our new dog.

Shen-Li’s son is a picky eater, to the point that he was becoming undernourished. She and her mother-in-law were puzzled. Shen-Li tested out a pro-biotic food supplement to see how that works. Babylicious presents Fussy Eaters, probiotics and pediasure:

Ever since he was little, Gavin has been selective about food. That said, it wasn’t that he didn’t eat, he would only eat the foods that he liked. And if he liked it, he would eat a lot. If he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t go near it with a ten-foot pole. Thought frustrating at times, I have come to accept the fact that this is my retribution for all those times I was difficult with food as a child. For my MIL who has always been around children who love to eat, I guess this perturbs her far too much for her to accept it for what it is.

I would like to revisit the practice of spanking. Coincidental with revelations of the torture memos, the question of the efficacy of physical punishment is raised again. Is it more about hurting someone that makes you angry? With spanking, kids may stop what they are doing right now, but what do they learn in the long run? Are advocates of torture grownups who had been spanked as children? The Fat One in The Middle talks about Spanking, but not the good kind. (Caution, some may not want their kids to see the video in the post.)

When your child goes into the “real” world, they will not be allowed to hit the people they disagree with, nor will they have someone there to “whack” them when they make a mistake. The purpose of parenting is to raise children who can make decisions in a critical manner with rational thought.

Violence as a behavior modification system is neither rational nor ethical. I truly believe that people spank because it makes you feel good to hit something that pisses you off, bottom line.

I don’t have a recent post of my own regarding skeptical parenting. I will end the carnival with my own thoughts on raising children. As parents we need to remember that we don’t “own” them. We are responsible for taking care of them, for teaching them how to grow up to be independent adults (even if they have a disability that prevents them from being free of some sort of assisted-living arrangements.) We need them to be open to, yet wary of, the world.

There are a great many problems in the world that can be solved with proper parenting. We can teach them the difference between vengeance and justice, between forgiveness and surrender. We can teach them how to be responsible for their own actions while empathetic towards those who need help in life. We can teach them how to make their own decisions.

We may not agree with the choices they make as they become adults, either. Children of atheists can end up religious, and the opposite can also happen. It doesn’t mean that we have failed if our children leave our religion. What we can do is show them that we respect them, and then we have to be able to trust them.

The next edition of Skeptical Parents’ Crossing will be at Babylicious. Submit your posts through the Blog Carnival Submission process. Please, mind the theme of the Carnival. Respect the host, okay? If it doesn’t relate to skeptical parenting, don’t submit it. Unless it is about dogs.

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When There’s No Place Left To Go

Carnival of the Liberals

Carnival of the Liberals

Remember when people used to say “This is going to be an election about the issues, and we will avoid negative attacks against our opponent?”  Yeah, I remember hearing that last spring when one old Navy guy became the presumptive candidate for a certain conservative party.  It certainly didn’t take long for that to change.  Because negativity works.  And we know from our Marketing 101 classes why.  (Sentence fragments work, too.)  Create the fear and offer the lifeline. Make people aware of body odor and sell deodorant.

This will go down in history as one of the most negative campaigns ever, exceeded only by the preceding campaign the subsequent campaign.  To believe otherwise is to have certain knowledge of things unseen.  Politics have always been negative, politics will always be negative and no election will ever be decided on the issues.  Politics are about a race to the bottom in the hopes that even if we don’t get what we want, then neither does the other side (unless they cheat.)

Doing the Carnival of the Liberals makes me grumpy, because I realize when reading the submissions that the world is not going to live up to my ideal no matter how I try.  And so, on that cheery note, I present the best ten posts of the 38 submitted this fortnight past, written by people who are trying to apply the brakes as we slide towards the bottom.

We start with the Sex-Kitten.net, and I must warn you about the site.  It is not suitable for the easily offended, but here she makes a great point of the effects of the economic downturn on the people we don’t want to admit make money from sex.  The ones that make a lot of money from sex may be the ones that do well, but in a society that hides sex work because of morality, well, people get hurt.  And Gracie has a different sort of bottom to race to.  What does the economic crisis mean for prostitutes?

Ames takes on the conservative meme that any ruling by the Supreme Court is “Liberal Judicial Activism” if they don’t like the ruling.  Hey, people, we live in a Republic, and and Submitted to a Candid World, Ames reminds us that the Constitution is only paper without an independent guardian branch of government. Ames presents Activist Judges?: Surprising No-One, Palin Doesnt Get It posted at Submitted to a Candid World.

Speaking of judging, what happens when men decide that women are tramps? Do they then invite date rape? Surprisingly, men and women in authoritarian, moralistic and paternalistic traditions like to blame rape victims. Marcella Chester presents Man’s Statement Shows How Date Rapists Can Rationalize Lowering Their Standards Of Behavior posted at abyss2hope: A rape survivor’s zigzag journey into the open.

It’s not that George W Bush has ruined the Republican party that makes him a terrible president. It’s that he is a conservative. Did I say that? Well, yes, we really need to take a look at what has shaped the current administration. I don’t think that George Bush is smart enough to be able to navigate us as sharply to the bottom. He is a stooge riding the tiger. Alicia Morgan presents Conservatism – The Elephant In the Room posted at Last Left Turn Before Hooterville.

We had a large quantity of posts to choose from on the topic if the Biden-Palin debate. Most of them were very funny. The debate itself could have been the subject of a separate carnival. I had a hard time choosing, but decided on this one. Rickey Henderson presents Rickey Presents: The Vice Presidential Debate of Submisunderestimanation (AKA The Only Vice Presidential Debate Preview Worth Reading) posted at Riding with Rickey.

It’s not surprising that Sarah Palin’s brand of lunacy has caught on with so many people. They likes her, they really do! But they also believe in Angels. vjack presents Confronting Idiocy: From Palin to Angels posted at Atheist Revolution.

The passage of the bailout bill has not helped ease the fears of the ongoing financial crisis. The frustrating part was that liberals as well as conservatives were saying they can’t pass a bill for Wall Street if it doesn’t also address the problems of Main Street. One bill can’t do it. But, then what really is Main Street? The Ridger presents Who lives on Main Street … anymore? posted at The Greenbelt.

So, what could we do to help save homeowners and the economy and thus finally save bankers? An interesting proposal (which does jack for apartment dwellers like me, but is fascinating nonetheless,) proposes the idea of “Homebucks.” When the government earns its money back from buying up all the worst instruments and then re-selling them (snicker,) the perhaps they could use the money for HomeBucks. Mr. Money presents Trickle Up Economics Beats Bank Bailouts posted at My Last Name Means Money.

Does anyone remember a TV show starring James Garner called “Maverick?” Or does anyone remember a guy in the movie Top Gun whose handle was “Maverick?” Does anyone buy the idea that John McCain and Sarah Palin are anything like Mavericks? Nope. Greta Christina presents John McCain and the “Maverick” Snow Job posted at Greta Christina’s Blog.

Well to cheer you up after this, I present a limerick from Mad Kane. Madeleine Begun Kane presents Finally, A John McCain Statement I Can Agree With posted at Mad Kane’s Political Madness.

That’s it for the Carnival of the Liberals for this week. I feel bad for not including the other submissions to this edition, but rules is rules. Anyway, liberals, get on your white horses and ride. If this was an overly negative carnival, just remember that in order to climb to the top you first have to reach bottom. Send some links for the next version through the submission form. The next one will be at Pharyngula. Getting selected for that one may just crash your server (he generates a lot of traffic.)

Later today, I will put up the other posts sent to me, and they will be at Tangled Up in Blue Guy.

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Four Stone Hearth

It’s time to gather around the Four Stone Hearth.  The season is turning, so we’ll have to gather a little closer this week to stay warm.  If you’re new to Clashing Culture, take a look around.  This is a place where ideas about science and Christianity are compared, debated and argued.  Today is extra-special because while I host the anthropology carnival, my co-blogger Mike is putting on the Carnival of the Liberals.  So there’s plenty to warm you up while you’re here.

Speaking of Christianity, Magnus Reuterdahl documents at Testimony of the Spade a recent visit to the Gammelstaden Church town and its medieval Nederlulea church in the northern part of Sweden at Testimony of the Spade.  We North Americans find it difficult to imagine worshiping in something dating to medieval times.  I think that explains the draw we have to European Churches when in the “Old World” – even if we aren’t believers.

But speaking of old worlds, Europe isn’t just home to early Christian activity.  There was plenty of early human activity.  Of the Neandertal variety. Julien Riel-Salvatore at A Very Remote Period Indeed reviews a current controversy concerning the role sea creature foraging had on human impacts.  His point is that the evidence does not quite add up to identify sea foraging as a dominant subsistence activity at the Gibraltar assemblages.  Science thrives on a little controversy, eh!

One need not look back to hominid development for controversy, however.  Just watch the debates.  Or read this week’s Carnival of the Liberals.  Or talk about race in politics.  That last tack is exactly what Daniel Lende does in his recent post at Neuroanthopology.  In his cleverly titled post, “Race in the Race,” he makes observations that the concept of race is still an evolving one.  His entry is a good one for the multi-media minded.

And the open minded should head over to Paddy K’s Swedish Extravaganza to consider what the link between racism, sexism and specism is.  The author invites us to conduct a modern day thought experiment about human behavior.  Just don’t think about it for very long.  Someone once said that he who entertains lust has already committed adultery.

While I’m mincing words, I should direct you to two very nice posts concerning linguistic anthropology.  Regular contributor Mark Dingemanse writes at The Ideophone about one of my favorite linguistic devices: onomatopoeia.  And be sure to visit Stephen Chrisomalis’ new blog, Glossographia.  In the featured article, Stephen points out that while he agrees in the four stone premise, it’s linguistic anthropology that applies to each of the other fields.

Finally, Paul Mason at Neuroanthropology posits that

collaborative research between neuroscientists, anthropologists, and the various musicians and dancers of the world will offer us deeper insights into the workings of the human brain.

Might I suggest that his concept of neuroprospecting is already being done in the neuroscientific investigations of the effect of faith activities and meditation?

So ends this brief foray by Clashing Culture into anthropology blogging.  Thanks for reading.  The next Four Stone Hearth will be held at Greg Laden’s Blog.  Don’t forget to email him with your next entry before the October 22 carnival.

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Carnival of Evolution

Greg Laden’s Blog

The Carnival of Evolution is a gathering of the best of submitted posts on the general topic of evolution.  Greg Laden hosted the one that was put up just this day.

There are some articles on the Creationism Fantasy, but also there are some fascinating posts on the real issues of evolution.

There are a couple of reasons I point to this particular carnival.  One is that it has some very good posts for people who want to learn more about evolution.  The second is that Clashing Culture will be hosting the carnival right here on October 15th.  We solicit your best articles on the topic and ask you to submit them through this form,  They will be then forwarded to me, your host.

Thanks in advance for sharing.

As a word of disclosure, I will be biased to include only articles which reflect science-based entries.

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Carnival of the Liberals Coming Up

Carnival of the Liberals
News & Announcements

Dear Liberal Carnivalers,

Now that’s the way we like to do things at Carnival of the Liberals! Almost seventy great entries this time, but Gracie at XXBN Radio worked hard to find the ten rarest gems out of all the jewels sent in for Carnival of the Liberals #74. Next up is Clashing Culture on October 8th. Keep those submissions coming!

Liberally yours,
Leo Lincourt
http://neuralgourmet.com
http://carnivaloftheliberals.com

Submit entries through the blog form linked above.  Rumor is that there were 70 entries for the lat one.  I can only include the top ten entries for brevity.  There will be no special “Clashing Culture” bias towards the selection, just my favorites of all those submitted.  Considering that there is an election upcoming in the U.S. – this Carnival will be a fairly big deal.

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Tangled Bank

At Greg Laden’s Hizzouse

Clashing Culture included in a Tangled Bank?  LOL!  No, but it’s true:

Tangled Bank

Tangled Bank

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At Ancient Hebrew Poetry

Well, we’ve already gathered a small bit of attention.  One of our posts was featured in Christian Carnival CCXXVII (I think that means 227.)  It is at Ancient Hebrew Poetry.  Check it out.  I personally don’t find many of the posts’ topics all that fascinating 🙂 but I am sure that others will.

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