Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lazy Linking

Your (sorta) weekly dose of lazy linking...

"Churches involved in torture, murder of thousands of African children denounced as witches"
  • A genuinely sickening report on Africa's growing witch craze. It's positively Medieval. And who's at the forefront? Yep, the churches. Religion and evil, who would have thought...
"Facial Profiling: Can you tell if a man is dangerous by the shape of his mug?"
  • A Slate piece on recent research by Aaron Sell and colleagues on adaptations for the visual assessment of formidability. I have in fact written a lengthy piece on Sell's research and once it's done and dusted, I'll post it here. Physiognomy is making a comeback. (Via Mind Hacks)
"The Pilgrim's Progressiveness: Does going to Mecca make Muslims more moderate?"
  • A report on very clever research (pdf) that seems to demonstrate that going on the hajj may in fact make Muslims more moderate. Fascinating and surprising. Note: as far as I know, the research has not yet been published, so it's not been peer-reviewed. Buyer beware.
Obituary of Margo Wilson
"Experimenting on Mechanical Turk"
  • Using Amazon's Mechanical Turk (in which people get small payments to do simple tasks) to do psychological experiments. Pretty cool, but rather fraught. (Via John Hawks).
"England’s libel laws don’t just gag me, they blindfold you"
  • An op-ed in The Times by Simon Singh urging reform of libel law. He argues convincingly that England's preposterous libel laws not only limit freedom of expression, it limits people's right to know. A healthy democracy allows open debate and putting the onus on the defendant and not having a public-interest clause stifles such debate. It boggles the mind that these laws survived into the 21st century. 
"Refuting this post helps confirm it"
  • A short but sweet post on Marginal Revolution about why blogging is good for you. Some of the critical comments are worth reading too: it's certainly possible to blog in a echoing chamber.
"Goodbye HuffPost, Hello ScienceBlogs: Science as a Religion that Worships Truth as its God"
  • David Sloan Wilson's inaugural post at his new home over at ScienceBlogs. Wilson, if you don't know him, is an eminent biologist and one of the leading proponents of neo-group selection. Note: some other dude seems to have posts on the same blog (despite not being listed as an author). Those posts are dumb.

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