Monday Miscellany: Titanic, Taxes, Trauma

1. I have little experience treating child mental health, but this article seems extremely sound, and makes concrete recommendations that sound like adaptations of advice for adults.

2. Goth accountant has business called Death and Taxes.

3. Important question answered by science: just how slow is molasses?

4. “As you might expect, when two social psychologists date each other, it seems like it would be rather silly for them to ignore everything that they know about the well-established factors contributing to successful (and unsuccessful) relationships.” The preface to my favorite link this week: two social psychologists get married, provide citations for their wedding vows.

As psychologists, Melanie and Justin know that one of the most challenging tasks in a person’s life is successfully navigating romantic relationships. Fortunately, due to their careers, they are familiar with many of the scientifically supported behaviors that help promote happy and healthy relationships.

As Melanie and Justin join in marriage, they would like to reflect on these lessons to acknowledge that the success of their relationship won’t depend on chance – it will depend on their commitment to treating each other in ways that are proven to help relationships flourish. With that in mind, here is some empirically supported relationship advice that Melanie and Justin strive to use and intend to continue using to help forge a loving and lasting marriage.

5. The world’s worst mental health hospital. Not for the faint of heart.

6. Myths about PTSD. Includes explanation about that time we tried to prevent PTSD but might have just caused more of it instead.

7. The Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses is delightful. The rules: provide a well-researched but totally incorrect evolutionary theory. Defend it. (Sadly, I missed this year’s, in Boston) Here’s Matthew Inman (Oatmeal guy), in a keynote worth watching for the sign language translating alone.

8. The ongoing myth of ‘women and children first.’ (The Titanic was an exception, not the rule) h/t Elizabeth


Things I read this week:

Turing’s Cathedral, George Dyson
Not my favorite in the computers/tech series (The Master Switch and Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs are currently winning that competition) but neat to know the author was around the people he covered, and experienced the history he describes.

If I Stay, Gayle Forman
Picked this up largely because it’s a very popular YA novel. I can see why; thoughtful and realistic and made me cry a lot. (Seriously, half a box of tissues. Readers be forewarned.)

Hallucinations, Oliver Sacks
Sacks might be the Malcolm Gladwell of psychopathology, but he’s a lovable story-telling one. Won me with this passage.

The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code, Sam Kean
The story of genetics, told by an author who’s much better at storytelling than any textbook.

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One thought on “Monday Miscellany: Titanic, Taxes, Trauma

  1. The “women and children first was a myth” myth evaporates as soon as you take a close look at it. If you look into the circumstances of the sinkings behind the data points (I ended up reading the reports for all or nearly all the sinkings used to support the meta-myth) you’ll see why – most sinkings do not provide anything like the opportunity that the Titanic’s sinking afforded to prioritize women and children. Among all the ships, two had a really decent shot at the sort of organization necessary to gateguard the lifeboats – one was the Titanic, and the other actually succeeded at putting women and children first, but the first lifeboats down were all swamped.

    In order to “prove” the meta-myth the paper ignores circumstances (which included fire, mutiny, one case of the the only survivors being those who failed to get on the lifeboat and swam instead, and above all most sinkings being much faster than the Titanic or the aforementioned one where the first boats down were swamped) and uses an idiotic formula where the sinking time is divided by the number of passengers, ignoring that organization requires that the situation be realized and things be, well, organized, which takes some fundamental amount of time. They take quick sinkings with fewer passengers and act as if that’s equivalent to a slow sinking with lots of passengers – insanity.

    Oh, in addition to all that, do keep in mind the tremendous inherent advantage men have in getting to safety, independent of societal factors – greater strength, greater speed, the crew who are active and monitoring the boat’s situation are nearly all going to be men, etc. – in a hypothetical where society values men’s lives far less and women’s lives far more, you’re still going to see a big advantage go to men in the majority of sinkings where chaos reigns.

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