The 5 Habits Framework

1) Evidence (How do I know what's true?)

2) Perspective (Who might think differently?)

3) Connections (What other areas of knowledge are connected?)

4) Supposition (How might it be different if..?)

5) Significance (Is this important?)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Using Data to Predict Short-Term Demise

Can a test tell you when you will die?


1)  In what ways is data collected through survey unreliable?  Why might this be immoral to give to children?  How can statistics and probability be used to distort the truth?

2)  Why might a CEO of a company view this differently than a priest?  Why might a 15 year old view this differently than an 80 year old?  Why might a British citizen view this differently than an American?  

3)  In what ways is this connected to fortune telling?  In what ways is this connected to mathematics?  Philosophy?
4)  How might one be affected if the results of this test give a life expectancy of less than a year?  What if this test was mandatory for hiring?

5)  What is the significance of this test?  How can this affect the economy?  Health care?

Extension Activities

1)  Students can research what questions are illegal to ask during job interviews and try to find some of the tricks future employers use to get the wanted info?

2)  Students can research determinism, libertariaism, and other issues associated with free will to provide an understanding of this test's philosophical implications.

AOK-Math, Ethics

Man Loses over $700k to Fortune Teller

Misfortune in New York

(Dave Sanders for The New York Times) 

1)  How can we evaluate truth claims of psychics?  Is this a story of individual responsibility or a crimianl action?  At what point does this type of activity become illegal?  What is the difference between a psychic, medium, and a fortune teller?    

2)  In what ways might a hypnotist hired for parties feel differently about this than a psychologist?  Why might an author sympathize with the psychic in this case?  Why not?     

3)  In what ways is this connected to entertainment?  To what degree is this connected to horocopes?  Is this a religious issue?  

4)  What if the amount was less than $100?  What if the victim wants to continue his relationship with the fortune teller?  How can the headline of the story be written to seem more favorable to the fortune teller?     

5)  What are the consequences of this story?  Whose responsibility is it to prevent this from happening in the future? 

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can research the ways that scams have evolved in the age of the internet and show how they are linked to scams of the past.

2)  Students can research James Randi and the Randi institute's $1,000,000 contest to find legitimate evidence of the paranormal.  Students evaluate the rules of the contest to see if they are reasonable.

AOK-Human Sciences, Ethics

WOK-Reason, Intuition