Psychology

Category archives for Psychology

I’m weeks late to the party here. If you pay attention to atheist issues you’ve probably heard that a recent major meta-study* concludes that at the population level, atheists are a bit smarter than religious folks (mainly Protestant Americans and English in this case). Not dramatically so, but in a statistically significant way. The difference…

Ferdinand Balfoort contributes a guest entry upon a recent ancestral pilgrimage to Stockholm. I gladly agreed to write something for the blog after being introduced by Martin to a book by Frans G. Bengtsson about Early Modern Scottish brigades (and brigadiers) in the Nordic region including Sweden. I visited Stockholm in December on my quest…

Ed Yong’s excellent post about fruit-bat fellatio received some even better, eye-opening comments from one Russell and Frog: Russell: “Tan is falling into the fallacy that animals have sex for the purpose of procreation. Or of writing as if. Those bats are having sex because they’re horny, and the fellatio is somehow making their sex…

Elusive Randomness

Computers are built to preserve information, not to be creative, and certainly not to be random. Therefore it is a problem to get a really random number into a computer when you need one. A common source, looking at the hundredth of seconds in the computer’s clock, is not all that good as it leads…

I entered into organised skepticism because of anti-science tendencies in academe. Though a member of the Swedish Skeptics since 1997 and co-editor of the society’s journal since 2002, I’ve never been much of a skeptical activist outside academic archaeology. I’ve written articles and a few letters of protest. But I’ve visited no spirit mediums, gone…

Genius on the Edge

I worry about of Montreal’s musical motor, pop genius Kevin Barnes. He first got records out in 1997-98, when he was an elegantly naivistic singer of sad love songs. Then he shot like a lysergic rocket straight into Pepperland with four beatlesque albums in 1999-2004. On his 2005 album he suddenly said goodbye to his…

Slave to Love

A much-publicised trial in Falun, Sweden is giving me a funny feeling. The man on the stand has confessed to the murder of a woman and a small girl, and is also charged with the violent rape of both and of a second woman. The case makes me feel queasy in more ways than one.…

Dear Reader DuWayne asked what I think about prostitution. By way of answer, here’s a re-run of an entry on that issue from May 2006. Two years later, I am no wiser. News reports from the German brothel industry pending the World Soccer Championship have set me a-thinking about prostitution. It’s one of those tricky…

ICQ Gender Wars

A pretty Chinese maths teacher said hello to me on ICQ the other day, hoping to marry a Westerner. This inspired me to dig out and re-post the following entry from November 2006.For many years I have spent most of my working days alone at a computer. Alone, but thanks to the internet and messaging…

Over at Respectful Insolence, a lot of people have been discussing the relationship between skepticism and scientific consensus, a topic I brought up recently. And commenter Alvaro has pointed out a kind of counterexample, to whit, that the consensus among US psychiatrists had defined homosexuality as a psychiatric condition up through 1974. This is classic…