February Links

Posted on February 28, 2014

Mind Hacks makes a sensible point about heroin, addiction, and free will. The nub of it: “Addiction has a massive effect on people’s choices but not so much by altering the control of actions but by changing the value and consequences of those actions.”

Futility Closet writes about probability and the law.

A very satisfying post at the Atlantic Monthly site explains at length why The Dead Poets Society sucked.

Language Log continues to provide excellent coverage of the way scientific results are presented, interpreted, remembered, and reported on, in this post by Mark Liberman, which takes a closer look at a much cited 1978 paper in the field of social psychology.

Corey Robin writes at Crooked Timber about how socialism converts hysterical misery into ordinary unhappiness.

Cathy O’Neill looks at a recent paper on the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act (2009) in the United States and concludes:

This data, and the results in this paper, fly directly in the face of the myth that if you regulate away predatory fees in one way, they will pop up in another way. That myth is based on the assumption of a competitive market with informed participants. Unfortunately the consumer credit card industry, as well as the small business card industry, is not filled with informed participants. This is a great example of how asymmetric information causes predatory opportunities.