November 2007 Monthly Archive

November 29, 2007

One Of These Things Is A Straw Man, And The Other Is On Fire


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Daniel Carlat, of the Carlat Report, has an article in the New York Times Magazine.  It's six pages long, and decidedly anti-Pharma.  But Daniel Carlat isn't from New York-- so why would he have an article published there?

You say: well, where he's from has nothing to do with it, the New York Times is publishing it because of what he says.

Exactly.

His article, well written and persuasive, stands as is, undisputed because there is no forum in which to dispute it.  I guess it would be nice if the Times would allow me to write an op-ed-- you know, in op to the ed-- but I guess this blog will have to do.

Carlat is wrong, very wrong, not because he is factually incorrect about his target, but because his target is a straw man.  The problem isn't Pharma.  It's doctors.



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November 27, 2007

Which Is Worse: An Altered Photo of Reality, Or A Photo That Alters Reality?



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On the left is real 1989 Tiananmen Square.  On the right, a doctored photo.  300 people were shown either a real or altered photo of two different protests, and then asked to recall what happened back then.  The point of this study was to show that altering a photograph will change how the events are actually remembered (in this case, as bigger and more violent.)  It's important to emphasize that the subjects already had a memory of the events (from TV, etc)-- so this photo actually changed their pre-existing memories, and they weren't aware of it.


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November 26, 2007

"Pivotal Role That Psychiatry Has Come To Play"

Phillip Resnick, MD is one of five psychiatry expert witnesses in the country. There are actually many more than five, but only about five get used, repeatedly, for big cases.  They are very busy, and always on the go. (I was on a case  "against" Resnick, and I didn't even see him.) 

They are also the main educators in the field.  Which is unfortunate.  Not because they're bad, but because they are part of that system they are teaching.  All they can tell you is what it's like inside the building.  Not whether the building is, in fact, a boat, or a duck, or dream.


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November 21, 2007

The Question Isn't Why Do Babies Do It



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(From Nature)

The experiment is to grab a bunch of 6 month old and 12 month old babies, and show them a little wooden shape with eyes glued onto it climbing a hill.  Then, while a shape is climbing the hill, another shape either comes up behind it and pushes it upwards ("helps"), or a shape comes from above and pushes it downwards ("hinders.")

They then allowed the infants to reach for either the "helper" or the "hinderer."




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November 20, 2007

Moriarty






See? I told you he was in Styx.

(Thanks to Fargo Holiday)


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November 17, 2007

Some Inspirational Words From My Friend In Colorado Springs

"When I was a boy of seven or eight I read a novel entitled "Abafi"... The lessons it teaches are much like those of "Ben Hur," and in this respect it might be viewed as anticipatory of the work of Wallace. The possibilities of will-power and self-control appealed tremendously to my vivid imagination, and I began to discipline myself. Had I a sweet cake or a juicy apple which I was dying to eat I would give it to another boy and go through the tortures of Tantalus, pained but satisfied. Had I some difficult task before me which was exhausting I would attack it again and again until it was done. So I practiced day by day from morning till night. At first it called for a vigorous mental effort directed against disposition and desire, but as years went by the conflict lessened and finally my will and wish became identical. They are so to-day, and in this lies the secret of whatever success I have achieved."






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November 14, 2007

The Extent Of Psychiatric Knowledge

 

Question of the Month

Test your knowledge with this question from our editors
Medscape from WebMD

Which of the following statements is true of childhood (vs adult) mania?


A.  Irritability tends to be more prominent
B.  The decrease in sleep is more pronounced
C.  Changes in appetite are less noticeable
D.  Racing thoughts are less common
 

If you got the right answer, you've wasted your life.  If you got the answer wrong but then learned the correct answer, you are wasting other people's lives.



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November 13, 2007

If You Want The Closest Thing To A Financial Disaster, Look To Etrade: How To Be Up 50% And Still Lose Everything

This is how I know we're entering a recession.


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November 9, 2007

Is Taking Nothing Legal?

Provigil, a "wakefulness promoting agent,"  is banned at the Olympics, even though, probably, it has no effect on physical performance. Despite what the Olympics says, it isn't a stimulant.

If Provigil has any effect on a specific athlete's physical performance beyond keeping them awake, I'd argue it was placebo effect. So a drug with a placebo effect is illegal. Fine.

But what about the reverse situation: what about giving an actual placebo to an athlete, and telling them it's oh, I don't know, growth hormone? Or Ritalin?


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November 8, 2007

Jay-Z Calls The Next Market Move

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That's a still from Jay-Z's video, "Blue Magic."  The significance of the shot should be obvious to anyone, whether or not they trade currencies.  Why it's not obvious is the real question.



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November 2, 2007

The Problem With One Specific Female Doctor

This is a true story that's going to offend you, I'm telling you that up front. 

This is how it goes: the pediatrics attending was attractive, no two ways about it.  That's probably not what she wanted you to notice about her but that's the way things go, you have no control over first impressions and even less over second and third impressions.  Hold tight to your identity, I sometimes say, because no one else is buying it.




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November 1, 2007

Bipolar Rates Are Increasing As Long As You're Willing To Call Everything Bipolar And Defy God's Will

Do you dare defy the Will of God?


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