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Atul Gawande: The Mistrust of Science


dcollon
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I think we need a carpet ban on Dihydrogen Monoxide.

 

http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html

 

Holy crap are you serious? How is the government not involved? This is ridiculous that people can just casually get their hands on this stuff. You don't need to be a chemist to understand the dangers involved. This is literally proof that our government is simply incapable of providing real solutions to basic, common problems. I swear to god this makes me want to vote Trump even more.

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Hey all:

 

A couple of "odd" science things I've noticed lately:

 

A). There is a very small, but growing group of people who believe that the earth is really flat.  Tila Tequila and the rapper B.O.B are but two.  Of course, Boko Haram also thinks the earth is flat.  They think the "round earth" is simply a scam by the "man" to keep poor people down....

 

B). I got into a "discussion" about school funding last week with another attorney and family member.  Both of these fellows are extremely liberal & left wingers.  Even when confronted with several articles & websites showing Detroit Public Schools spend MORE per student than some wealthy suburbs, they simply didn't believe it.  One of the websites was published by DPS itself!  Both of these people are allegedly educated people, one supposedly by University of Michigan!  When pressed, they said they didn't believe anything written (even by DPS) because "we don't know how those figures are calculated) and they know what is what!

 

The country is getting more stupider....

 

 

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Twain said there are lies, damn lies and statistics.  This kind of innumeracy permeates American culture - paired with what Hofstatder described as the "anti-intellectual style in American culture.  It's what made Will Rogers so popular.

 

I don't think the scientific community has made it easier to accept science either as during the 60-90s there were numerous pronouncements - much of it related to health recommendations, child rearing, etc. that have been walked back or reversed.

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Hey all:

 

A couple of "odd" science things I've noticed lately:

 

A). There is a very small, but growing group of people who believe that the earth is really flat.  Tila Tequila and the rapper B.O.B are but two.  Of course, Boko Haram also thinks the earth is flat.  They think the "round earth" is simply a scam by the "man" to keep poor people down....

 

B). I got into a "discussion" about school funding last week with another attorney and family member.  Both of these fellows are extremely liberal & left wingers.  Even when confronted with several articles & websites showing Detroit Public Schools spend MORE per student than some wealthy suburbs, they simply didn't believe it.  One of the websites was published by DPS itself!  Both of these people are allegedly educated people, one supposedly by University of Michigan!  When pressed, they said they didn't believe anything written (even by DPS) because "we don't know how those figures are calculated) and they know what is what!

 

The country is getting more stupider....

 

This observation supports the idea that the stockmarket is not efficient to me. The stockmarket is where people invest their wealth.  And alot of wealthy professional people go there by doing their jobs well but they are not necessarily objective analytical people. And these people directly make decisions that affect the market, even if they hire someone else to invest their money. For example if a person invests in a mutual fund, that person is implicitly pushing the mutual fund manager to get short term results. If the mutual fund manager does not get the short term result he investor will walk. Or in a market crash these people will bail creating opportunities.  So if the market is not efficient who will make money off them? It cannot just be the superwealthy investors because those people are often money managers who are getting their strings pulled by the investors.

 

So I think it is possible for average Joes who can think analytically and objectively to beat the market.

 

 

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Hey all:

 

A couple of "odd" science things I've noticed lately:

 

A). There is a very small, but growing group of people who believe that the earth is really flat.  Tila Tequila and the rapper B.O.B are but two.  Of course, Boko Haram also thinks the earth is flat.  They think the "round earth" is simply a scam by the "man" to keep poor people down....

 

B). I got into a "discussion" about school funding last week with another attorney and family member.  Both of these fellows are extremely liberal & left wingers.  Even when confronted with several articles & websites showing Detroit Public Schools spend MORE per student than some wealthy suburbs, they simply didn't believe it.  One of the websites was published by DPS itself!  Both of these people are allegedly educated people, one supposedly by University of Michigan!  When pressed, they said they didn't believe anything written (even by DPS) because "we don't know how those figures are calculated) and they know what is what!

 

The country is getting more stupider....

 

This observation supports the idea that the stockmarket is not efficient to me. The stockmarket is where people invest their wealth.  And alot of wealthy professional people go there by doing their jobs well but they are not necessarily objective analytical people. And these people directly make decisions that affect the market, even if they hire someone else to invest their money. For example if a person invests in a mutual fund, that person is implicitly pushing the mutual fund manager to get short term results. If the mutual fund manager does not get the short term result he investor will walk. Or in a market crash these people will bail creating opportunities.  So if the market is not efficient who will make money off them? It cannot just be the superwealthy investors because those people are often money managers who are getting their strings pulled by the investors.

 

So I think it is possible for average Joes who can think analytically and objectively to beat the market.

 

Hey all:

 

The other thing I've noticed is that the quality of  education is collapsing...Last year I worked with a LOT of different younger attorneys on some large litigation...a very good chunk of them were in their very late 20's & early 30's.  They certainly were not dull witted or mentally deficient...but admission standards in a lot of American law schools has collapsed.  I saw the CV's of most of the people working on the project...In my day (mid 90's) they NEVER would have even been admitted to any law school.  There were MANY attorneys with "art history" degrees & such with GPA's of UNDER 3.0  from their undergraduate studies.  Certainly not all of them were like this, but maybe 40%?  We also had some very impressive credentialed people too....

 

I think in the vast cash grab, "schools" are letting in & passing almost anybody.  There is no money in not admitting people.  There is no money in flunking people out or giving them "D's".

 

Also, I've had the pleasure to get to know some graduates of somewhat "elite" liberal art colleges in the mid-west & east coast.  These places are names you would recognize!  These "liberal artists" don't have any understanding at all of economics, classical history, current history, politics....They do know "identity politics" & what is happening with the Kardashians & other goofs.  When you work with people 5-6 days a week, 10 hours a day, months at a time, you get to know them.

 

Who knows, maybe I'm just working with the wrong people, but I'm shocked at what I see & hear...

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Hey all:

 

The other thing I've noticed is that the quality of  education is collapsing...Last year I worked with a LOT of different younger attorneys on some large litigation...a very good chunk of them were in their very late 20's & early 30's.  They certainly were not dull witted or mentally deficient...but admission standards in a lot of American law schools has collapsed.  I saw the CV's of most of the people working on the project...In my day (mid 90's) they NEVER would have even been admitted to any law school.  There were MANY attorneys with "art history" degrees & such with GPA's of UNDER 3.0  from their undergraduate studies.  Certainly not all of them were like this, but maybe 40%?  We also had some very impressive credentialed people too....

 

I think in the vast cash grab, "schools" are letting in & passing almost anybody.  There is no money in not admitting people.  There is no money in flunking people out or giving them "D's".

 

Also, I've had the pleasure to get to know some graduates of somewhat "elite" liberal art colleges in the mid-west & east coast.  These places are names you would recognize!  These "liberal artists" don't have any understanding at all of economics, classical history, current history, politics....They do know "identity politics" & what is happening with the Kardashians & other goofs.  When you work with people 5-6 days a week, 10 hours a day, months at a time, you get to know them.

 

Who knows, maybe I'm just working with the wrong people, but I'm shocked at what I see & hear...

 

Recently we hired a faculty member who previously was a faculty member at an ivy league school. He came to see me near the middle of his first semester teaching. He said he had two students who had not been turning in assignments and bombed the mid-term exam and it was past the drop date. He asked me what he should do. I said give them Fs. He asked, "I can do that?" He told me at the ivy league school he was at previously he could not give Ds or Fs. If they had to they would get the student dropped from the course no matter when it was during the semester.

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