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The Decline Effect

Over at the New Yorker, our buddy Jonah Lehrer has written an article called The Truth Wears Off. I give its own entry because it’s deeply disturbing, and worth reading. An excerpt to give you an idea:

[…] all sorts of well-established, multiply confirmed findings have started to look increasingly uncertain. It’s as if our facts were losing their truth: claims that have been enshrined in textbooks are suddenly unprovable. This phenomenon doesn’t yet have an official name, but it’s occurring across a wide range of fields, from psychology to ecology.

It’s worth the time it takes to read, because it gives you an insight into why good science should seem especially messy. About the only thing the article doesn’t cover is the possibility that our understanding of statistics isn’t as good as we think.

Post-Christmas Linkpost

Pot, Meet Kettle

In a move that historians may record as among the most audacious and least self-aware complaint of all time, lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have loudly condemned the leaking of secret government documents pertaining to the rape charges against Assange. [emphasis added]

From the Atlantic Wire.

Linkpost, 10/29/10 to 11/3/10

And I’m caught up! It only took a cold-induced bout of insomnia to do it.

Linkpost, 11/4/10

Linkpost, 11/5/10

I am a proponent of the Strong Gaia hypothesis. The Gaia hypothesis views the Earth as a single organism that regulates conditions to sustain life on the planet. The Strong Gaia hypothesis accepts this notion, but further hypothesizes that Gaia finally got so pissed off at being whacked by roving asteroids that She evolved big brained primates as an immune system to fend off asteroids using nuclear bombs.

Linkpost, 11/16/10 to 11/19/10

Linkpost, 11/23/10

Linkpost, 11/29/10 to 12/1/10

Linkpost, 12/6/10 to 12/9/10