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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Links for Octember

The San Francisco Bay Area, where I lived last year, is famous for its history of odd characters, most famously Emperor Norton. I was worried that my current home state of Michigan would seem dull by comparison. I shouldn’t have … Continue reading

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Sleep – Now By Prescription

Ramelteon isn’t a bad drug. It’s just that its very existence stands as a condemnation of the entire medical system. All sleep medications have to straddle a very fine line between “idiotically dangerous” and “laughably ineffective”, and Ramelteon manages better … Continue reading

The Trend Evaluation Of All Values

In case you forgot: yesterday, 170 people sent in their predictions on what percent of Americans agreed with vaguely political statements like “I am very patriotic”. Then they predicted how answers to these questions have changed in the past 22 … Continue reading

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the past

There’s been some recent discussion here on political change, so I thought I’d give people an opportunity to put their money where their mouths are. I gathered data from Pew Research, who ask a representative sample of Americans whether they … Continue reading

The Thin Blue Line That Stays Strangely Horizontal

Last night I was pondering how to test the Reactionary claim that society was drifting inexorably to the Left, and I wondered whether maybe someone had created a mathematically rigorous model of people’s positions along the left-right spectrum and then … Continue reading

Scientific Freud

In this month’s American Journal of Psychiatry: The Efficacy of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy in the Outpatient Treatment of Major Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial. It’s got more than just a catchy title. It also demonstrates that… Wait. Before … Continue reading

Inefficient Hot Dogs

I know the “why do hot dogs come in packs of ten and buns in packs of eight” question is beloved of boring observational comedians everywhere, and has become a cliched example of people who don’t have anything more interesting … Continue reading

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Giving and Accepting Apologies

“Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is the same as saying ‘I apologize.’ Except at a funeral.” – Demetri Martin Today was the Day of Atonement. As an atheist, I find it hard to appreciate atonement in its cosmic, maybe-not-even-possible sense. But I … Continue reading

The Life Cycle of Medical Ideas

I. About five years ago, an Italian surgeon with the unlikely name of Dr. Zamboni posited the theory that multiple sclerosis was caused by blockages in venous return from the brain causing various complicated downstream effects which eventually led to … Continue reading

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Links for September

You Are Not So Smart raises our awareness of the menace of Placebo Buttons. I’d always known a lot of crosswalk buttons don’t do anything, but the information about elevator “close door” buttons really hurt. I hate to link to … Continue reading

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