The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “ignorance

Progress Despite All That Negativity

Posted on April 14, 2018

This week I posted a quiz compiled by Hans Rosling regarding our knowledge of the broader world, specifically the strides made in global health and poverty.  You can find that post here.  I heard from a number of folks taking the quiz that they failed – miserably.  We laughed when I told them I only got half of the questions right.  Inwardly I chastised myself for my own lack of knowledge. Rosling, in his book Factfulness,takes that quiz a little further and talks about the results.  The findings are fascinating and troubling – especially in a series of questions that are neither trick queries or realities that can’t be found thousands of times on the internet.  In some research of 12000 respondents, here’s what…

Public Good Without the Facts

Posted on June 23, 2015

WHEN ALLAN GREGG DELIVERED THE Knowles-Woodsworth lecture at the University of Winnipeg 18 months ago, his speech created much introspection on where Canada is going. Yet the well-known pollster, television interviewer, and political pundit, began with who were are as a people before launching into his concerns of who we might become. He spoke of how we were a nation of facts, data, progressive thought, and directed by research for public policy decisions. Such dependence on evidence-based data and relevant statistics had served us well for decades, helping Canada to stand somewhat apart from other countries through its unique balancing of social justice and economic health. But no sooner had he said that than he got to nitty-gritty: “It seems as though our government’s…

Beware the Sciopods and the Blemmyaes

Posted on August 15, 2012

Prior to more detailed reports returning with people like Christopher Columbus and other explorers of the oceans in the 15th century, it was common to suppose that any creatures discovered along the way would be filled with horrific traits. Poetry, folklore, religion, and just plain prejudice and racism, helped to lead the way for millions who were superstitious and mostly illiterate. They heard of Pygmies, who braided their long hair into clothing. Homer’s earlier writing of the Cyclopes convinced even those of later centuries that one-eyed monsters still existed. Antipodes (meaning “opposite footed”) supposedly lived at the bottom of the world and walked upside down. Even Shakespeare wrote of the Blemmyae – creatures whose heads grew beneath their shoulders – and the one-footed Sciopods,…


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