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Archive of posts filed under the Zombies category.

Trimmed Hedges

Sorry about the title. It was the closest I could come to “Shattered Glass.” The subhead is “Pulitzer winner. Lefty hero. Plagiarist.” Chris Hedges is a reporter who apparently has been very busy for many years, in fact, according to this report by Christopher Ketcham he’s been so busy telling important things to the world […]

“I can’t drive home now. Not just yet. First I need to go to Utrecht.”

EJ points me to this new techno-thriller. Based on the sentence quoted above, I don’t see it selling lots of copies. It reads like a really boring Raymond Chandler. I still think these two movie ideas would be a better sell.

Spring forward, fall back, drop dead?

Antonio Rinaldi points me to a press release describing a recent paper by Amneet Sandhu, Milan Seth, and Hitinder Gurm, where I got the above graphs (sorry about the resolution, that’s the best I could do). Here’s the press release: Data from the largest study of its kind in the U.S. reveal a 25 percent […]

“Does researching casual marijuana use cause brain abnormalities?”

David Austin points me to a wonderfully-titled post by Lior Pachter criticizing a recent paper on the purported effects of cannabis use. Not the paper criticized here. Someone should send this all to David Brooks. I’ve heard he’s interested in the latest scientific findings, and I know he’s interested in marijuana.

Jessica Tracy and Alec Beall (authors of the fertile-women-wear-pink study) comment on our Garden of Forking Paths paper, and I comment on their comments

Jessica Tracy and Alec Beall, authors of that paper that claimed that women at peak fertility were more likely to wear red or pink shirts (see further discussion here and here), and then a later paper that claimed that this happens in some weather but not others, just informed me that they have posted a […]

I posted this as a comment on a sociology blog

I discussed two problems: 1. An artificial scarcity applied to journal publication, a scarcity which I believe is being enforced based on a monetary principle of not wanting to reduce the value of publication. The problem is that journals don’t just spread information and improve communication, they also represent chits for hiring and promotion. I’d […]

Mmm, statistical significance . . . Evilicious!

Just in case you didn’t check Retraction Watch yet today, Carolyn Johnson reports: The committee painstakingly reconstructed the process of data analysis and determined that Hauser had changed values, causing the result to be statistically significant, an important criterion showing that findings are probably not due to chance. As the man said: His resignation is […]

When you believe in things that you don’t understand

Rolf Zwaan gives an excellent discussion of how superstition can arise and perpetuate itself: A social-behavioral priming experiment is like rolling a 20-sided die, an icosahedron. If you roll the die a number of times, 20 will turn up at some point. Bingo! You have a significant effect. In fact, given what we now know […]

How much can we learn about individual-level causal claims from state-level correlations?

Hey, we all know the answer: “correlation does not imply causation”—but of course life is more complicated than that. As philosophers, economists, statisticians, and others have repeatedly noted, most of our information about the world is observational not experimental, yet we manage to draw causal conclusions all the time. Sure, some of these conclusions are […]

“The subtle funk of just a little poultry offal”

Today’s item mixes two of my favorite themes in a horrible way, sort of like a Reese’s Cup but combining brussels sprouts and liver instead of peanut butter and chocolate. In this case, the disturbing flavors that go together are plagiarism (you know what that is) and the publication filter (the idea that there should […]