Re: Advice

Subject: Re: Advice
From: Kelley <kwalker2 -at- gte -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 07:00:32 -0400

He'd like something where someone is converted from superstition
(false unsupported belief) to truth (belief supported by observation
and deduction) by some other belief system like science or an
established religion. Alternatively, he could use a story where a
scientific theory is initially treated as a superstition...


This is not exactly a story, but I think it would be really interesting to dig up footage--they may even have a doco already--about all the superstitions surrounding landing on the moon prior to Apollo and then look at all the conspiracy theory sites out there that conclude from "evidence" (or lack thereof) that we never did land on the moon. (Scary: I hadn't thought about it much, myself, but after I read a few things I started to wonder myself! :)

An article that sprung to mind, but doesn't really fit your needs, is a piece that was in, I believe, _The New Yorker_ about a decade ago. It was an excerpt from the book, _My Traitor's Heart : A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience_, by Rian Malan. I used to use it to teach about how an ethnographer might try to capture the "truth" of how participants in a social situation/sub-culture/culture understood what they were doing, rather than imposing on the participants the observer's interpretations. The story is of a man on trial for murder. The social worker gives the "liberal" position, explaining how social inequality, racism, and poverty had created a hard, difficult life so that he was eventually driven to murder. Another gets on the stands and takes the "conservative" position, explaining how the defendant was born bad and was inevitably driven to murder because it was his "nature". Then the defendant takes the stand and provides the reader with a rather different account that has little to with Western notions of social causality and social relations.


Kelley Walker
Organizational Researcher/Technical Writer
Interpact, Inc. Computer & Internet Security

Internet & Computer Ethics for Kids:


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