Bad Searches and Cultivating Healthy Ambivalence

Champion tag-team wrestlers

Students seem to arrive in my rhetoric classes (RHE 306 and 309K so far) with a polarized understanding of how to use the internet's two most common research tools: Google and Wikipedia. They've either not been clued in (or at least pretend) that both resources are problematic in terms of reliability, or they've been told that both are the devil, to be avoided by any serious scholar.

Over the Hedge with Nate Silver and Jacques Derrida

Photo of a labyrinthine hedge dividing a grass yard from a gravel path

In October 2012, statistician and New York Times blogger Nate Silver was predicting up a storm. He was aggregating, calculating, and tabulating poll results in order to determine the probable outcomes of the upcoming presidential election. By the end of the month, he had President Obama’s reelection chances at 79%. MSNBC pundit Joe Scarborough was not amused:


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