Quickies

Quickies: Mark Twain’s Satan, How Ghost Tours Are Exploitative, and Microloan Study

  • You Asked, We Answer: Can Microloans Lift Women Out Of Poverty? – “Across the board, the findings were damning: To be sure, in all but one of the studies, borrowers who owned businesses did use the loan at least in part to expand their business. And in two studies, ownership of businesses increased. But these expansions were modest and rarely translated into increased profits. Most disappointing of all, in none of the studies did the average microloan borrower end up significantly increasing income relative to the control group.”
  • How Ghost Tours Often Exploit African-American History – “Tours of supposedly haunted places are a booming business. In the South, these tours often take visitors to homes where slaves died at the hands of their masters or cemeteries where slaves are supposedly buried. As a new book points out, the tales that are told on these tours often have no relation to fact and exploit the very real suffering that took place in the Antebellum South.”
  • When a President Banishes Science From the White House – “Since the 1950s, presidential science advisors have juggled researchers’ and politicians’ demands—except when Nixon abolished his administration’s entire Science Advisory Committee.”
  • Watch a Claymation Mark Twain Take Tom, Huckleberry, and Becky to Meet Satan – This will always freak me out.
  • How A Theory Of Crime And Policing Was Born, And Went Terribly Wrong – “Harcourt points out that crime dropped not only in New York, but in many other cities where nothing like broken windows policing was in place. In fact, crime even fell in parts of the country where police departments were mired in corruption scandals and largely viewed as dysfunctional, such as Los Angeles.”

Featured Image: The Adventures of Mark Twain

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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1 Comment

  1. November 2, 2016 at 12:22 pm —

    On microloans: does anyone know of any evidence-based ways to help alleviate world poverty? Especially without invoking any sense of neocolonialism?

    That Mark Twain’s version of Satan reminds me pretty of the Jack Chick/Johnathon Edwards perception of god, a being completely unconcerned with the feelings of its creations and only fulfilling its own whim of desiring worship.

    Petty, psychopathic, and powerful.

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