Monday Miscellany: Affection, Anorexia, Alternatives

1. On platonic affection.

…we need to move towards treating friends more like we treat lovers and lovers more like we treat friends. To have boundaries with and reasonable expectations of our lovers, and to value, commit to, and deeply cherish and invest in our friendships.

2. Small study that leaves me with some methodological concerns, but the background on this research about histamines and anorexia was fascinating. (As always, Science of Eating Disorders provides readable science writing)

3. Julia reflects on caring in helping professions.

Recently one of my chronically suicidal clients asked if I get sad when clients die. I was surprised that he even asked, but I checked my assumption that he knew I cared about him. I told him that yes, I get very sad and would be particularly sad if something happened to him. I didn’t tell him that I dream about my clients, that I lie awake worrying about them, that I pray for them despite not believing in God.


4. Relevant to this season: neural predictors of chocolate intake following chocolate exposure.

5. Understanding statistic and false-positive rates IS IMPORTANT, a case study.

6. The year’s best newspaper corrections.

7. Diagnosing celebrities publicly: Do not do the thing. (And here’s why)

8. This is a fascinating alternative to the disincentives in reporting rape: you can upload your evidence/report, and only have it disclosed if someone else accuses your perpetrator as well.

9. I just got back from the NYC Secular Solstice. I cried, I met some of you readers, ate so much delicious food from Miri, and talked about psychology a lot. I continue to find the Secular Solstice to be the single event that has ever made me feel like I’m part of a community. So, I offer you one of my favorite songs (though this recording is from the Bay Area Solstice).
Singer is Alli Smith, song written by Raymond Arnold.

Things I read this week:

The Unpersuadables, Will Storr
This book was excellent for being charitable towards those with belief in the supernatural, and pointing at some real flaws in the skeptic community. However, I ultimately wouldn’t recommend it for the lack of structure. I wanted some plan: where were we headed? Given that we are bad at memory, that research can produce unusual results, how do we look for truth?

Divergent, Veronica Roth
This was much better than expected! I didn’t have low hopes, just expecting some not-bad teen dystopia. Instead, excellent musings on identity, unexpected plot.

The Counterfeit Heiress, Tasha Alexander
The sort of fun mystery fiction I like.

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