This years Common Book, An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, is a part of a project to teach people about the field of critical thinking. Designed originally for a young audience, this book uses comical images to portray common errors in reasoning.
From the author:
"I go on two solitary walks every day. There is a small park off the Embarcadero that is tucked away in a quiet spot. It has a pleasant stream flowing through it and an unassuming bench beside that stream. I have made walking to that frail bench a ritual, and the half an hour or so spent daydreaming on it amid the cool San Francisco breeze, an article of faith.
It was on a day in October of last year when, during one of those quiet moments on that bench, I recalled my college years and how outspoken I happened to be during them, an observation only made interesting by the fact that I have since turned into the quietest of beings. They say that achieving knowledge is a function of one's ability to manage both doubt and hubris. I don't know. I find that as the years go by, I am left with more of the former and less of the latter.
A realization that coincided with that nostalgic whiff was that a sizable amount of the discourse nowadays continues to be plagued with bad reasoning.
Hence, the idea that finally shook me into soberness was one that had been fermenting for a while. It was that of visualizing, in a simple manner, some of the principles that had helped me do so well in debates and in off-the-cuff arguments with colleagues. Simple. That would be the novelty of it. And so, with my two-year old daughter in the back of my mind, I decided that illustration would be an ideal language, given its universal appeal."
Almossawi, Ali. "An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments." Ali Almossawi: Data Visualization, Writing,
Software & Design. Ali Almossawi. n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
Pellissippi State has a common reading experience for new students. Each year a new book is selected for this program. The intention is to stimulate a year-long discussion of issues related to the book, by encouraging exploration in classes, on and off campus, and with co-curricular programming. This common reading experience involves incoming first-year students, and many faculty and staff.
Common Book (n) - An innovative approach to orient new students to college. The Common Book gives students a reading experience to share with their peers at Pellissippi State - A Common Academic Experience.
An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, the Pellissippi Campus Common Book, is available on reserve in the library and at all campus libraries for reading while on campus.