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Cowen Instagram counterfactuals

I would make two more general points.  First, you could very easily argue that eyeglasses make (many not all) teenage girls feel worse about their body image.  Lots of things will.  Automobiles.  Parties.  Clothes shops.  Such costs are not zero, but they have to be put in perspective.

Second, the lives of teenage girls are messy and complex. Anything that plays a noticeable role in said lives also will have effects that are messy and complex. Deal with it. The same used to be true of the (old-fashioned) telephone as well, not to mention birth control pills and automobiles.


Breathwork in a nutshell

Best 30 seconds of free advice for breath work.

  1. Hands on your ribs.
  2. Fill the bucket from the bottom to the top.

General link to the podcast version of the show. Value of the podcast for me was sifting through the episode topics for a few nuggets on topics I was interested in:

Episode 42 SH//FT Perspective

In this episode, we get into the place of research, information, and data vs the ability to feel.  Unfettered access […] The post Episode 42 appeared first on SH//FT.
  1. Episode 42
  2. Episode 41
  3. Episode 40
  4. Episode 39
  5. Episode 38


Bryan Caplan On Open Borders

Worth calling this out as a post because I’ve been a fan of Bryan Caplan for some time and am sympathetic to his open borders arguments. But this interview in particular with Andrew Sullivan was such a great teardown of immigration skepticism:

Bad look for Sullivan. Seemed like he didn’t read the (“comic”) book!

Not saying I’m unambiguously in agreement with Caplan. But in combination with regulatory reform (ie. expansion of protected conservation areas, better zoning, green urban planning, etc.) in host countries I think he’s on the right track for policies that are both morally just and pro economic growth.



Chris Masterjohn brings it on coronavirus

These three mini-episodes released by Chris Masterjohn last week are really great snapshots of the how to make reasonable assumptions about indoor and outdoor coronavirus safety. Everyone should read less headlines and listen to these. Who knows if they’ll age well but I feel better educated after listening. Including a better handle on how masks fit in.

Takeaway: at the moment, if we’re spending 10+ minutes indoors somewhere, that’s where the bulk of the spreading risk occurs. Technically to be safe for that amount of time you would need something like 70-100 sq ft of space per person.



Appreciated Robert Plomin discussion re: disorders

Fully recommend giving this episode of the Making Sense podcast, #211 – The Nature of Human Nature. It’s a great dialogue about the state and future of “molecular genetics” science. But in particular at about 1:10:25 an exchange of a few minutes touches on some points that seem to go underappreciated in #mentalhealth awarness. Blomin makes a comment “… there are no disorders. There are just quantitative dimensions… if there is no disorder there is nothing to cure… we’re alleviating symptoms rather than curing a disorder.” He raises a continuum vs. disease model being more applicable to mental ‘disorders’ (Blomin reluctantly uses this word and adds “the extremes of these dimensions” than is common practice and that “it’s really held back the field”.

I’ve always intuitively felt like this must be true, and struggled to have good conversations with people sensitive to more of a disease model, on mental health issues. The implications of this for treatment research and innovation are huge when the goals are incremental vs. binary. It shouldn’t be taboo to say you feel depressed or any laying claim to any number of conditions that have been owned by disorder labels. Caveat always being sympathy for people’s lives touched in very sad ways by the extreme ends of those dimensions is obviously super important.



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