1.28.2015

Links! (1/28/15)

Whirlwind links roundup today — as I am prepping this post to schedule, it is snowing, I am staying after work to type, and I need to get out of here!

The hilarious: 

Mallory Ortberg does it again. Texts from Fanny Dashwood make me lol all over the place. I love you, Mallory!

Buzzfeed actually has some good content this week! Hermione Granger and the Goddam Patriarchy. I rather wish this is what Harry Potter was actually about . . . or is it?

And the Onion succeeds once again at wresting humor from the Purely Awful with their article "I Don't Vaccinate My Child Because It's My Right to Decide What Eliminated Diseases Come Roaring Back"


With that, I can segue nicely into the science, medicine, and skepticism I found on my blogroll this week:



First up because it was hands down my favorite is this essay over at Scientific American about a med student being emotionally manipulated by a patient into giving narcotic medication that the patient, it turned out, already had plenty of at home.

This one got to me because I struggle so much with the two-faced way we talk about managing pain in medicine.

On the one hand, it is "believe the patient, never dismiss the patient, always trust the patient about their level of pain, pain is undermedicated," and on the other it is, "New state law requires that you check up on your patients in our narcotic monitoring database before prescribing. Remember, abuse of narcotics is rampant, and it is caused by providers over-prescribing. Only prescribe 30 days at a time. Don't let yourself be manipulated by drug seekers."

I can't do both of these things at once! I just can't! I NEED TO CHOOSE ONE OR THE OTHER!

Anyway, the essay linked above talks about this much more calmly than I can right now) maybe a post for another day) and I recommend it.

Moving on.

Science based medicine talks about the Sisyphean task of changing unfalsifiable beliefs:

"The specific mechanisms that people use to maintain their desired beliefs include: incorporating unfalsifiable elements such as moral opinions, subjective judgments, or stating that the phenomenon is not amenable to scientific investigation; dismissing evidence by attacking the messenger as being a shill; invoking conspiracies of “Big” whatever or government malfeasance; cherry picking evidence or experts; naked cynicism; or denying the role of science itself in addressing such issues."
It's good but dense as always. Check it out when you have some clear headspace to absorb. I love discussion about cognitive biases.

And speaking of cognitive biases, Grounded Parents speaks my mind once again with Why I Don't Believe in Mother's Intuition (hint: confirmation bias much?) I swear I feel like I have finally found my parenting soulmates.

And finally, in books and diversity (because have I mentioned that bit where I'm into reading diversely? Have I? Have I??):

This is a great New Yorker article from back in April (I missed it!) that discusses the whiteness of MFA programs, and how "that shit [is] too white."

And a current reaction to that article (from another PoC), also excellent, can be found here.

Whew! I'm hitting "schedule" and I am OUT of here. Feel free to link below with articles you think I should read!