Archive for January, 2011

Every Day.

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

It’s almost impossible to keep a record of how fast the kiddo grows up. Every day something new happens, and though most of them are small, by the time you look back, even two weeks ago, he’s grown so much.

He can blow (and suck) on a harmonica and make sound. This is the harmonica he got from his grandparents. He walks. Everywhere. I took him to the park this morning, and not only did he slide down the slide, he walked around to the stairs, climbed up the stairs, walked over to the slide, and went down again. I guided him a little, but he did everything on his own.

He’s not only got a will of his own, but he can communicate it. He can point at the swings, walk there, and gesture for me to lift him up. He can make the sign for “birds”, since Ei-Nyung taught him how to do that. He’s walked over to the bathroom when he’s had to use the toilet (though not as consistently as we’d say, like). He will say “mama” and look over at Ei-Nyung. If you ask him, “Where’s mama?” he’ll go find her.

You can chase him, and he’ll run away. He knows how to tickle people (though we play-laugh more than laugh at this point – I expect that’ll actually change soon). He can climb up on lots of things, but it’s really funny when he climbs onto an adult seat (like the recliners) and sits down in the middle. He gets a really self-satisfied look.

He can spoon food & get it (mostly) in his mouth. He can eat just about everything, though he doesn’t necessarily want to eat everything. Still, he’s relatively open to trying new stuff. He laughs at the “BING BANG CRASH SLAM!” part of Mike Mulligan. He’ll pick up the book he wants you to read him, and he’ll wave it around at you to show you. He knows when he’s getting his bedtime story (usually Mike Mulligan is the kicker), because he’ll walk over and cuddle up next to you, which he doesn’t do for most stories.

He’s getting a LOT of teeth. I think he has 14, now? It’s crazy. You look in his mouth and there are teeth everywhere! He still likes to have a pacifier (ju-ju). There was a while where he’d say, “Chu! Daaaaaaah,” and if you said “Chu!” he’d say “Daaaaah.” Adorable. Same goes the other way. He’d say “Chu!” and expect you to respond properly.

He definitely dances to music, and has songs that he likes.

It’s pretty bonkers to think that only a few short months ago he wasn’t walking. Heck, less than a month ago he wasn’t regularly walking around. Or saying all that much we could make heads or tails of. What a little weirdo. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

How to Make an Argument

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

So, I was listening to a This American Life on the way into the office this morning, and there was a discussion about having a scientist convincing a global warming skeptic that global warming was real. And the interesting thing, to me, was that the scientist made an argument by citing facts, measurements, trends, and scientific consensus, and it had absolutely no impact on the skeptic.

Which was, I thought, patently obvious.

The problem was that the skeptic had already discussed how or why they were skeptical, and the underlying reasoning was simply that there are “two sides to every story,” and the skepticism came from the inability to accurately assess the merit of the arguments that were being made.

But so the interesting thing to me was that the scientist utterly failed to have an impact because they weren’t able to assess the argument that needed to be made.  And holy cow, I’m guilty of this at times. But you can’t convince someone who doesn’t believe in facts with facts.

So what do you do? I’m not sure, honestly – because ultimately what you need to do is you need to teach someone how to think. If you ever get into an argument and someone says “there are two sides to every story,” you’ve already lost because saying that indicates that that person has no ability to give weight to an argument.

But I think the fundamental point is that you have to start with the fundamentals. You have to teach people how to judge how to tell good information from bad, and that anyone can have an opinion, but those opinions aren’t all worth the same. Which seems to be generally where Democratic politicians fail – you can’t argue policy or facts without teaching your opponents the fundamentals – and it’s a hell of a lot easier to teach someone to be willfully ignorant and believe whatever they want to believe. 😛

Yeah, that post went nowhere.