Quickies

Quickies: Diversity on TV, Friends with Pyramid Schemes, and Trust (but Verify) Science

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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12 Comments

  1. August 26, 2015 at 9:30 am —

    It’s long been understood that right wingers tend to be more satisfied with the status quo than their more liberal counter-parts. It’s hard not to attribute that to their authoritarian leanings.

    But everyone, right and left is happier with a left leaning government. To me, it’s hard not to see that as complacency.

  2. August 26, 2015 at 9:41 am —

    >If I were married to a Republican, my marriage would go sour pretty quickly.

    The assumptions we make based on labels…

    • August 26, 2015 at 9:52 am —

      With how messed up the Republican party is, I would not choose to have an intimate relationship with someone who self-identified as one. Everything I support, as an extremely liberal and intersectional feminist, goes against most modern Republican talking points. So yes, labels are useful to me. And I am so thankful that my husband and I share the same political views.

  3. August 26, 2015 at 10:36 am —

    I call bullshit on the happy Republican marriages study since another study shows that highly Republican counties have higher divorce rates.

    Bad reporting all around, although the alternate headline suggested in the story (“In Polling About Marital Happiness, Nearly All Americans Are Liars.”) may come pretty close to the truth.

    • August 26, 2015 at 11:37 am —

      Per the article I linked above, republicans are happier, but their policies make people miserable. It’s not hard to guess how republican policies and social norms might lead to increased marital suffering.

  4. August 26, 2015 at 10:39 am —

    Eminent journals and peer-reviewed academic papers are supposed to convince us of scientific truth.

    How can you trust an article that gets such a basic premise so wrong right off the bat? Journals aren’t “supposed to convince” you of anything, at least not if they are being run right.

    • August 26, 2015 at 10:40 am —

      Blockquote fail, that top part is from the Guardian article on trusting science.

      • August 26, 2015 at 2:03 pm —

        I’m not sure the author of the article actually wrote what you quoted. I think it is an editorial summary, possibly written by the same person who wrote the headline. (It’s in an orange banner above the opening illustration and paragraph, and doesn’t appear anywhere in the body of the article.)

        The article itself emphasizes the tentative nature of scientific conclusions, and decries the proliferation of bogus journals, fake peer reviews, PR-based science journalism, the publish-or-perish culture that prompts serious scientists to publish dubious research just to get something into print. All these things (and more) should be familiar to most regular readers of Skepchick.

        Adam Rutherford, the author, also points to some of the reforms that can and do help rectify the situation, such as preregistration of clinical trials.

        The comments are amusing or annoying, depending on your tolerance of straw men, creationists and antivaxers.

        • August 26, 2015 at 2:13 pm —

          I get that, and it’s a unwarranted side-effect of the internet. Why can’t the writer of an article write their own headlines? What part of the world would come to end if that were the new policy?

          Anyway, that sentence just struck me, I agree that the article is better then that.

          • August 26, 2015 at 3:49 pm

            Somewhere in my notes I have a some gameplay mechanic designs for a Floor 13 style game where one of your main options is to use your influence to get the headlines of potentially damaging stories changed to something that helps blunt it’s impact. It’s hard not to notice all the headlines that don’t match the article in intent, style, and even content.

            If it’s a space issue, why don’t the authors just submit multiple headlines?

  5. August 27, 2015 at 12:02 pm —

    On the Unicode article, there’s also, some of us have a skin tone that doesn’t quite fit. Like a lot of Indians are between type-4 and type-5. (To say nothing of Lakota writing, which is somewhere between pictorial and logographic.)

    What I can’t wrap my head around is why there are nine different emoji for trains, or why there’s even one for videocassette, pager, fax machine, or a bunch of other obsolete technology. Or why letting private contractors stylize the glyph has led to ambiguity, e.g. ‘hotel’ being interpreted as ‘hospital’. But that’s a separate rant.

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