Quickies

Quickies: Prayer Meetings, Anti-Vax Mentality, and the Indifference of White America

  • How neuroscience is being used to spread quackery in business and education – The origin of the phrase “cargo-cult science” and how charlatans and pseudoscientists are co-opting neuroscience language without the actual science. From Rebecca.
  • W.E.B. DuBois on the Indifference of White America – This was written decades ago, and it’s still maddeningly relevant.
  • Atheists Get The Shaft In New York Town After Supreme Court Ruling – “Earlier this year, the Supreme Court gave its blessing to local governments that want to open their public meetings with religious prayer.” You already know where this is going. From Rebel 16.
  • In Ferguson, Court Fines And Fees Fuel Anger – “ArchCity Defenders, a St. Louis-area public defender group, says in its report that more than half the courts in St. Louis County engage in the ‘illegal and harmful practices’ of charging high court fines and fees on nonviolent offenses like traffic violations — and then arresting people when they don’t pay. The report singles out courts in three communities, including Ferguson.”
  • The Herd Mentality Of The Anti-Vaxxer Movement – “It’s not just the myth about autism that’s driving down vaccination rates. Many parents believe that as long as most other children are vaccinated, their kids won’t get sick. It’s a faulty interpretation of “herd immunity” — and it’s prompting families to prioritize exaggerated, imagined risks over actual benefits.” On a related note, can we come up with a new name for a group of anti-vaxxers? From CriticalDragon1177.
  • Flowchart: Should You Catcall Her – I laughed at the “is she literally a cat” bubble. (Warning: Graphic is hosted on Playboy.com.) From Ray and 9bar.

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Mary

Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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13 Comments

  1. I am a neurosceintist. The nonsense described in the neuroscience quackery link drives me nuts. Even when people get it partially right, they don’t understand what they are saying. I want to scream when I read laymen repeating the trope “the brain doesn’t fully mature until age 25,” “we can create false memories with optogenetics,” “depression is caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters” or “connectomics.” My attempts to correct misunderstandings are drown in a tidal wave of misconception and outright quackery.

    1. Sadly, I think they do, for neurotypical people. I think playing the games just makes you better at playing the games. I think there might be promise for people undergoing cognitive therapy for brain damage, but that’s a whole different thing.

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