11-7-17 Brandolini’s Law

The students today were excited about class registration opening, so we spent a few minutes talking about that.  The students were shown the university catalog and course finder.  The section of the catalog that lists which courses fulfill which gen ed requirements was new to some of the students.

After attendance, we discussed Brandolini’s Law: The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.  As an example of this, we looked at the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and how much misery its initial reporting caused before the truth gained an equal footing with the lie.

We reviewed the necessary components of Major Experiment #3 and began discussion of the venue we would use to publish our fake news debunkings.  Suggestions include tumblr, facebook, google, weebly, blogger and wordpress.  On Thursday we will finalize our plans.

We then devoted the rest of class time to locating the fake news story each student will debunk.