Where mobs may actually be useful

I'd noticed this as well:

It's a similar sort of personality required as with this. The same applies to whistleblowers.

Multiple types of stupidity

As flawed as notions of meritocracy are I'd expect this to make things worse:

There are some good reasons to consider even broader testing. Worth noting this is against the advice of faculty:

A faculty task force in February recommended keeping the ACT/SAT requirement for applicants

The inevitable challenges of researching politicized subjects

Here's the start of a twitter thread:

My general approach to Trump is to mostly ignore him, basically taking Zeynep Tufekci's approach here that most people looking for alternate credible sources of information know to disregard him. Yet what should one do when a potential therapy - which I certainly don't think should be embraced to the extent that Trump has - still seems to be worth some evaluation?

It seems worth noting the fairly-well-known-now case of the guy who died after ingesting some aquarium cleaner made of the stuff, but often ignored is that there seems to be more to that story than meets the eye. i.e. this seems to appear in context of abuse1, possibly being an escalation of violence there rather than innocent idiocy.


  1. This is of course the sort of domestic violence case that those who claim to care about domestic violence generally seem to prefer to try to ignore or even suppress - i.e. male victim. ↩︎

Random links

Comparing COVID-19 Deaths to Flu Deaths Is like Comparing Apples to Oranges
"While in the past it was justifiable to err on the side of substantially overestimating flu deaths, in order to encourage vaccination and good hygiene, at this point the CDC’s reporting about flu deaths is dangerously misleading the public and even public officials about the comparison between these two viruses. If we incorrectly conclude that COVID-19 is “just another flu,” we may retreat from strategies that appear to be working in minimizing the speed of spread of the virus." Is this a key reason why we wind up with "just flu arguments"?
The ACLU Sues To Stop Rules That Strengthen Due Process
"The lawsuit frequently asserts that marginalized students will suffer under the new rules, but it never acknowledges that students of color were disproportionately harmed by the old rules. White woman accuses black man of rape; black man is expelled was a distressingly common series of events under the old regime—one that might have invited sympathy from an older model of the ACLU, given the organization's historic concern that racism in the criminal justice system has led to disparately harsh outcomes for black people." Perhaps they should keep the acronym but formally rename themselves the Anti-Civili-Liberties Union in accordance with their new stance?
Helping or Harming? The Effect of Trigger Warnings on Individuals with Trauma Histories
"We found no evidence that trigger warnings were helpful for trauma survivors, for those who self-reported a PTSD diagnosis, or for those who qualified for probable PTSD, even when survivors' trauma matched the passages’ content. We found substantial evidence that trigger warnings countertherapeutically reinforce survivors' view of their trauma as central to their identity. Regarding replication hypotheses, the evidence was either ambiguous or substantially favored the hypothesis that trigger warnings have no effect. ... Trigger warnings are not helpful for trauma survivors. It is less clear whether trigger warnings are explicitly harmful." See also Twitter thread from 1st author of the study.

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