The Course of Reason

Olivia James

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Olivia James is a recent graduate from St. Olaf College who is now navigating the post-college pre-grad school waters. She was a philosophy and religion major and was a member of St. Olaf’s SSA. She is also an avid swing dancer, voracious reader, and all around nutjob. 



Critical Thinking and Sexual Orientation

October 1, 2013

I've been thinking a lot lately about my identity and my orientation. This is something that a lot of us think about round about our late teens and early twenties, and so it seemed highly pertinent to this blog to talk about the critical thinking that I've been doing around these topics.

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Campaigning For Truth

September 20, 2013

As skeptics, we should be invested in our educational system. One of our values is truth, and so we often focus on the appropriate way of arriving at truth. So it should be disheartening when we hear that the education system in the US is not based upon facts, but rather upon PR and demagoguery.

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Summer Reading

July 31, 2013

Casual VacancySo it's just over halfway through summer and this means that most college students are finally emerging from the stupor that finals left them in and beginning to scratch their heads and think "I could read something...for fun?" Why yes lovely readers you can and it will be a beautiful thing, I promise you. So in light of that fact, I want to share with you a few books that I've recently read that have been absolutely fascinating, helpful, or just plain old fun, as well as some of the books that are on my to-do list. Leave your summer reads in the comments!

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Some Brief Thoughts On Race, Legality, and Morality

July 18, 2013

George ZimmermanThis post is going to be short and sweet, because there is only so much I can add to the commentary all over the internet about the George Zimmerman trial. I want to talk for a minute about legally right vs. morally right, and about how the two are often conflated. I want to talk about how our justice system sometimes is the antithesis of morally right, and how this means that legally right and morally right contradict each other. And I want to talk about the fact that even if none of us know what happened that night, we can be sure that race played a role in the way that the trial came out.

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Dating at Con

July 11, 2013

convergence 2013 logoThe skeptic world runs on cons. We're a fairly spread out bunch, and the way that we tend to disseminate information and create community is by holding conventions. I have a theory about Cons. I have a theory that unless your relationship is stable and longterm, both individuals have friends and support, and you have clearly laid out your expectations, you should not attend a Con with your significant other. Or even with a not-that-significant other who you happen to be sexy with. Or perhaps even a friend who wants to have sexy times with you. So far I have been to two major Cons (CONvergence for the past two years and Skepticon for the last ), and every time I've been to one I have seen relationships fall apart around me (or seen my own relationship fall apart).

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