Argumentation, A Fitting Topic in the Presidential Debate Season

Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning is one of The Great Courses by The Teaching Company (currently selling for about $35). I’m a huge fan of this series of college level courses and I always have at least one going in my car during my commutes. In Argumentation, Professor David Zarefsky does not disappoint as he delivers a concise, mostly easy to follow, history and exploration of 101 level argumentation strategies and philosophies. Professor Zarefsky does a particularly good job of simultaneously tracking the history development of argumentation theory (which is extremely important in both law and politics) while teaching the listener practical applications of the individual techniques of evaluating the effectiveness of an argument. I recommend listening to this course and then watching a replay of the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates…you will find yourself spotting these men’s debate strategies and you also will be able to more readily spot when they are engaging in logical fallacies and unsound debate tactics.

In a nutshell, understanding the basics of argumentation, which is another term for “debate,” in an essential skill for a democratic citizen as it will allow you to more intelligently follow both political debates and legal procedings.

Dr. Leonardo Noto

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet is a fascinating look at the physical infrastructure that makes the internet work. Andrew Blum whizzes the reader around the globe in search of the few (very few actually) major centers that make up the backbone of the internet, leading the reader past stoic security guards into the dark corridors of the internet’s most important physical locations with his moving prose. This book is well-written, highly informative, and truly a joy to read. As the bookcover testimonial states, you will never open an email the same way again! As a sidenote, the degree of nucleation of the internets most important infrastructure is a little bit disconcerting from a security standpoint. I highly encourage all of you to read this book, but I also hope the the wrong people don’t.

Dr. Leonardo Noto

My Books! Click the cover to be taken to Amazon to purchase — thanks for reading!

Good Boss, Bad Boss

Good Boss, Bad Boss is a clever little book about the characteristics of successful bosses, the characteristics of lousy bosses, and things you can do to make sure that you fall into the former category.I read this book while I was suffering under a particularly malignant brigade surgeon in the Army who had just about all of the characteristics of a bad boss. The book was very helpful both in commisserating with me and in pointing out ways that I could be a better boss to the medics that I was leading. This book is a wonderful complement to The Prince (see last blog post) in that The Prince will teach you how to be an effective leader while this book will teach you how not to alienate your subordinates in the process.

Dr. Leonardo Noto

Author: Intrusive Memory, The Life of a Colonial Fugitive, and The Cannabinoid Hypothesis. Follow link to Amazon: