I like your story ideas, but I wonder (seriously) about the need to crank everything up to the "astronomical" or obviously ridiculous. One of the things we are trying to do with our 2.5 year old daughter is keep our stories fairly realistic and avoid superstimuli. I'm amazed how hard it is to find books that don't involve talking animals with oversized eyes doing ridiculous things. Fortunately her favourites are the Charle and Lola books which involve two fairly normal kids doing everyday things in a fun way and using their imaginations. Not a lot of strict rationality techniques but plenty of good everyday problem solving. And she just loves them. Thanks to the op for starting this thread.. I'll give it some thought and try to come up with something..
I figure "unknown knowns" covers a huge category of its own: willful ignorance. All those things that are pretty obvious (e.g. the absence of the Dragon in the garage) but that many people, including Rumsfeld apparently, choose to ignore or "unknow".
when trying to characterize human beings as computational systems, the difference between “person” and “person with pencil and paper” is vast.
How to Draw Conclusions Like Sherlock Holmes? Become a fictional character and point out all the details your author has included to move the plot forward.
I'd be careful about generalising about "Africa" from one Nigerian folktale. I spent a couple of years crossing Africa in the 90s and Nigeria was by far the most generally fucked up place I visited. Some places like Zaire (now Congo) had specific - and huge - issues, but Nigeria seemed somehow endemically damaged. Africa is as diverse as Europe, if not more so.
Since we're trying to be lesswrong here, I'll risk seeming petty by pointing out that "begging the question" is a logical fallacy, not a synonym for "raising the question". Just sayin...