Monthly Archives: January 2014

Wirehead Gods On Lotus Thrones

One vision of the far future is a “wirehead society”. Our posthuman descendants achieve technological omnipotence, making every activity so easy as to be boring and meaningless. The pursuit of material goods becomes a waste. A nanofactory or a quick … Continue reading

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Predictions For 2014

(inspired by New Years’ Prediction Thread. To make life easy for myself, I’m limiting myself to 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 95, and 99. Unless otherwise specified, predictions are about whether something happens before the end of 2014, except LW … Continue reading

More Links For January

India officially declared polio-free! Sugar taxes are very effective at making people eat healthier. This mirrors similar work on cigarette taxes. A while ago I grudgingly admitted to Sarah that she was right and I was wrong and government interference … Continue reading

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Beware Mass-Produced Medical Recommendations

When I was younger, my father gave me some advice I will never forget. “Scott,” he said “when somebody tells you they want to help you figure out the evidence base behind different supplements, ask them about Vitamin D. If … Continue reading

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Genetic Testing and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Lineweaver et al tested 144 elderly adults for the ApoE4 gene, which is known to be a major risk factor for Alzheimers. They told half of them their test results, kept it secret from the other half, then waited. Eight … Continue reading

Ten Things I Want To Stop Seeing On The Internet In 2014

1. The word “fanboy” “Fangirl” is a perfectly acceptable word with an illustrious history; it simply means a young woman who enjoys good literature and who may or may not have married Snape on the astral plane. “Fanboy” – as … Continue reading

Aretaeus On Bipolar Disorder

I remember reading The Americanization of Mental Illness four year ago when it was written and being generally impressed by its thesis. Every culture has “culture-bound syndromes” (I recently pointed out puppy pregnancy syndrome as an especially horrifying example) and … Continue reading

A Response To Apophemi on Triggers

[content warning: discussion of triggers. Mentions various triggers. Mentions, without using or condoning, racial slurs] I. I originally planned not to respond to Apophemi’s essay requesting that people not discuss potentially triggering ideas dispassionately, because my response would inevitably have … Continue reading

Links for January

Mormons can often recognize other Mormons on sight, even in pictures stripped of any remotely plausible symbol of religious affiliation. Scientists confirm the phenomnenon and decide the most likely explanation is that Mormons are healthier and therefore have clearer skin. … Continue reading

Marijuana: Much More Than You Wanted To Know

This month I work on my hospital’s Substance Abuse Team, which means we treat people who have been hospitalized for alcohol or drug-related problems and then gingerly suggest that maybe they should use drugs a little less. The two doctors … Continue reading