Since it’s been literally months since I did one of these link posts, I decided to round up my favorite longer, more in-depth reads this time. There are a couple shorter articles thrown in here too. Here’s my favorite, the poem “Kindness”: “before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.”
How to science
How to avoid being duped by sham science: a good overview of how to read scientific journal articles.
How to lie to yourself and others with statistics: just in case it needs to be said, don’t actually use this to lie. But do read it to understand how data and statistical analyses can be manipulated.
Brains and big ideas
Why you didn’t see it coming: why we don’t notice large-scale changes until they’re on top of us, and how stories could help change that.
The upside of uncertainty: expressing uncertainty may prompt people to think more carefully about a topic.
How a defense of Christianity revolutionized brain science: this explains Bayesian statistics – and how it can explain how our brains work – which I promise is way more interesting than it sounds.
What it takes to be truly great: you’ve probably heard of the “10,000 hour rule”, but did you know it’s a popularized – and often misinterpreted – version of the concept of “deliberate practice”? This is an interview with the psychologist who researches expertise and deliberate practice (he also wrote a book about it, which I recommend).
Food and medicine
Chemophobia is irrational, harmful, and hard to break: “The distinction between natural and synthetic chemicals is not merely ambiguous, it is non-existent. The fact that an ingredient is synthetic does not automatically make it dangerous, and the fact that it is natural doesn’t make it safe.”
Is a placebo a sham if you know it’s a fake and it still works? Apparently maybe yes? I find the research results reported here deeply weird. But then humans are weird.
Feed a cold, don’t starve it: sugar can either increase or reduce inflammation during illness, depending on the circumstances.
Related: every meal triggers inflammation
We’re all human
Immigrants do not increase crime, research shows: in fact, cities with larger immigrant populations have lower rates of violent crime.
A different take on the “open hand vs. closed fist” metaphor.
What are your favorite sources for “long reads” online?