The Greater L.A. Skeptics Meetup Group Message Board › change to 8/10 Book Club agenda
Change to this month's meeting -- Louise has arranged for Christopher diCarlo to visit the club and discuss his new book:
How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Asking the Right Questions
By Christopher W. Dicarlo
"Faulty reasoning is frustrating and has become ubiquitous—astonishingly even in academic circles. Do your part to help stem the tide of pseudoscience and other breathtaking absurdities by reading and enacting the shrewd ideas of How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass." --Brian Alters, PhD, author of Defending Evolution
"This is a wonderful introduction to the art of thinking. DiCarlo is to be commended for presenting philosophically challenging material in an engaging and accessible manner, while demonstrating both the relevance and the moral significance of critical thinking. It is well designed to prepare the reader to be 'a really good pain in the ass,' and to convince you that this is a good thing to be." --John Teehan, professor of religion, Hofstra University, author, In the Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence
"Chris DiCarlo's How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass, is certainly different from your typical logic book. For one thing, it ranges from Aristotle to Steven Spielberg to Shakespeare to Tom Nagel to...well, you get the idea! Anyone who reads through this book is going to emerge with a broad education, and with a solid acquaintance with a great many principles of elementary logic, plus an introduction to epistemology, the philosophy of religion, and a lot more (including, recent and prominent findings in evolutionary biology and biosociology drawn from serious sources). DiCarlo combines real erudition with a very down-to-earth, upbeat expository style, which should attract many readers." --Jan Narveson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, philosophy, University of Waterloo
"Lively and entertaining in an informal but important manner, this work on critical reasoning should be read by students in all fields." --Michael Ruse, director of the program in history and philosophy of science, Florida State University
"A perceptive, incisive critical thinker is the very best pain in the ass there is. This book is DiCarlo's enlightening master class in critical thinking, couched in language any curious reader can profit from. From an introduction to formal logic that everyone can understand to a guide to the big questions about knowledge, meaning, ethics, and purpose in life, it's all in here—buttressed by exemplary unpackings of religious, paranormal, and pseudo-scientific bunkum." --Tom Flynn, editor of Free Inquiry magazine, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, and editor of The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief
The way you answer these questions will tell you a lot about yourself. And if you ask others these questions, their answers will tell you a good deal about them, how they think, and what they value.
Of course, if you persist in asking these questions, others may think you've become a really good pain in the ass. According to philosopher Christopher W. DiCarlo, you shouldn't be insulted by such a reaction, but treat it as a mark of distinction. For it means you've learned to think critically
In this witty, incisive guide to critical thinking DiCarlo provides you with the tools to allow you to question beliefs and assumptions held by those who claim to know what they're talking about. These days there are many people whom we need to question: politicians, lawyers, doctors, teachers, clergy members, bankers, car salesmen, and your boss. This book will empower you with the ability to spot faulty reasoning and, by asking the right sorts of questions, hold people accountable not only for what they believe but how they behave.
By using this book you'll learn to analyze your own thoughts, ideas, and beliefs, and why you act on them (or don't). This, in turn, will help you to understand why others might hold opposing views. And the best way to change our own or others' behavior or attitudes is to gain greater clarity about underlying motives and thought processes.
In a media-driven world of talking heads, gurus, urban legends, and hype, learning to think more clearly and critically, and helping others to do the same, is one of the most important things you can do.
About the Author
Christopher W. DiCarlo, PhD, is an award-winning lecturer on bioethics and philosophy of science. He is a fellow, advisor, and board member of the Society of Ontario Freethinkers and the Center for Inquiry—Canada. He is a past visiting research scholar in the Stone Age Laboratory at Harvard University.