For those who, like me, were deeply saddened by yesterday’s news of Robin Williams’ death, I recommend the above piece by comedian Chris Gethard. It is an insightful and heartfelt reflection on Williams’ complex genius and his indelible impact on others.
Despite being a response to a fake news article by The Onion, this post by Tania Lombrozo is thoughtful and impassioned. Her thesis lies in this compelling paradox:
…why are we so quick to fault psychology and other social sciences but willing to treat the natural sciences as rock solid?
I think there are two answers — but they don’t make the most natural bedfellows. The first answer is that we think psychology is hard. The second answer is that we think psychology is easy.
Chew on that for a moment and then read the full post.
Suicide: the hidden cost of the financial crisis | New Statesman
An interesting and brief editorial, in which the author proposes viewing suicide from a social justice perspective.
Sound advice for all you ABDs out there… (via xkcd)
A scientific approach to a complex issue
Earlier this week, Fairleigh Dickinson University reported new survey data showing that a slim majority (51%) of New Jerseyans support the state’s Death with Dignity Act. This bill would permit physician-assisted suicide (PAS) for individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness and a prognosis of less than six months to live. Continue reading “On Physician-Assisted Suicide”
The internet was aghast last week to learn that Facebook manipulated the news feeds of nearly 700,000 users for the purposes of a scientific research study on “massive-scale emotional contagion.” Continue reading “Emotional Contagion Through Ignoring Statistics”