Youtube channel devoted to the art of rationality

by MrMind 2y15th Dec 20178 comments


For quite some time I've considered creating a Youtube channel devoted to rationality.

I live in Italy, and the political situation here bears some similarities with the US': we've seen the rise of populist figures accompanied by the debate around fake news and post-truth, usually created with the purpose of bringing more votes to those politicians.

When a fake news is exposed, the standard answer is deploring the lack of critical thinking, and blaming school for failing to teach it. But, as far as I know, schools can only teach programs that are approved by the Department of Education, which 'institutionalize' living intellectual efforts like science and history. So far, no one has institutionalized critical thinking. In a sense, you could say that it cannot be completely institutionalized.

Sometimes, it's expected that philosophy classes teaches rationality, or at least thatteaches the pupils how to think. I know that LW users will appreciate the irony.

Anyway, philosophy is taught only in high school, and especially in poorer area not enough people reach that level of education, and is only taught within some 'orientation' (here in high school you cannot compose your courses as you wish, you have 'pre-packaged' sets of courses with a scientific or humanistic or artistic orientations).

In the end, the situation is that everybody is complaining about the lack of rationality teaching, but so far no-one has put himslef at creating such content.

Cue me.

I've been a member of LW since 2010, and I've always been interested in rationality, philosophy and AI. I'm not the smartest guy, so it's quite useless for me to be in academia or other research institution, but I've been told repeatedly that I'm good at explaining complicated things in lay terms. This seems a perfect combination of features for me to create content, aimed at the Italian situation and the Italian speaking audience, that tries to popularize rationality, Bayesianism and critical thinking.

With this post I would like to call for topics. What topic could I treat and how?

I already thought about something: locating rationality in the midst of and in contrast with other approaches; a non-technical survey of Bayesian probability; excercise in critical thinking (discussing a hot topic and trying to keep your identity small); atheism; the principle and crisis of science.

What do you think?