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Neuron Culture

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How to pay for good journalism

Sources of subsidy in the production of news: a list I was asked to speak recently at a conference organized by Yale University with the title “Journalism & The New Media Ecology: Who Will Pay The Messenger?”  This irritated me. The question should have been “who will subsidize news production?” because news production has always…

According to a poll (pdf) conducted in the days before the Super Bowl, “Democrats strongly prefer the Saints, by a 36-21 margin, but Republicans are narrowly going for the Colts, 26-25. Independents lean toward the Saints as well, 33-20.” Hopefully, Democrats take some lessons from their favored team, too. Early in the game, the Saints…

From Physorg Five crates of Scotch whisky and two of brandy have been recovered by a team restoring an Antarctic hut used more than 100 years ago by famed polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. Five cases of Scotch and two of brandy, and all of it heavy. You can see the importance Shackleton put on a…

The Rise Of Marketing-Based Medicine 64 Comments By Ed Silverman // January 28th, 2010 // 7:57 am You’ve heard of evidence-based medicine. Well, a new paper summarizes a panoply of practices employed over the past two decades or so – ghostwriting, suppressing or spinning data, disease mongering and managing side effect perceptions among docs –…

The study made news–see, for example, this piece in the New York Times. But do the results really mean that antidepressants are ineffective? I don’t think so. In order to understand the implications of the study, you have to understand how clinical trials are conducted, and how radically they differ from usual care. via carlatpsychiatry.blogspot.com…

Winning ugly, but winning

The last time a president won with 60 percent of the vote, for instance, was when Lyndon Johnson trounced Barry Goldwater in 1964. Health-care reform passed the House with only 50.5 percent of the body voting for it. And the senators making up this morning’s 60 votes actually represent closer to 65 percent of the…

Is this where Gladwell wanders astray?

Amid the various recent whacks at considerations of Gladwell lately, I find this one, by Razib Khan, particularly helpful in defining what sometimes goes amiss with Gladwell — and the danger that waits every science writer: [Gladwell's problem is that] out of the possible set of ideas and models, only a subset can be turned…

Like a compulsive crack user desperately sucking on a broken pipe, we can’t get enough of addiction. via slate.com Great to see Bell in Slate, and as usual he brings some good hard facts — along with finely wrought opinion and wit. — to an area that can get mushy quick. Posted via web from…

I will suck your gruyere Tyler Cowen on why people love vampire tales: Vampire stories offer a platform for exploring the theme of pure, limitless, and eternal desire, yet without encountering the absurdities that might result from planting that theme in a realistic, real world setting, such as a man who loves cheese studded with…

One of my favorite Roz Chast cartoons shows a woman dumping out the high-falutin’ contents of a filing cabinet drawer — 16th century art, or something like that — to make room for a new drawer full of information about new TV shows. This is the finite filing cabinet model of memory, in which you…