1-22-11 Hodgepodge

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Decline Effect

Some time ago, I blogged on the work of John Ioannidis, who famously claims to have proven that "most published research findings are false." In a similar vein, John Cook quotes the following from a New Yorker article I intend to read soon:

"... when I submitted these null results I had difficulty getting them published. The journals only wanted confirming data. It was too exciting an idea to disprove, at least back then." ... After a new paradigm is proposed, the peer-review process is tilted toward positive results. But then, after a few years, the academic incentives shift -- the paradigm has become entrenched -- so that the most notable results are now those that disprove the theory.
This also reminds me of some interesting new uses of placebos in research I heard about some time back. Newer studies of pharmaceuticals were showing their effects becoming less distinguishable from placebos than in prior studies.

Weekend Reading

"The absence of entitlement programs is not a violation of anybody's rights, and, contrary to the view of some pundits, abjuring from robbing others in such a manner is not a 'sacrifice.' It is justice. " -- Wendy Milling in "The Immorality Of Public Safety Nets" at Forbes

"Immediately remove the nude scanners and abolish the enhanced pat-downs, and let those who insist on irrational measures for their 'security' stay home if they do not like it." -- Wendy Milling in "Nude Scanners Vs. The Foundations Of Capitalism" at Forbes

"Blaming others for 'making' you feel one way or another is the same as handing over your intellectual and psychological destiny to other people." -- Michael Hurd in "Is It Fact or Fiction?" at DrHurd.com

"[W]hile I don't buy weakness as a matter of philosophy, if you trust the market sages to buy when there's 'blood in the streets' -- now might be your chance." -- Jonathan Hoenig in "Buy When There's Blood in the Streets?" at SmartMoney

"[I]f we're talking about the creation of wealth in a division of labor economy, the most productive Americans don't benefit the most: They contribute the most." -- Yaron Brook and Don Watkins in "How About Tax Reparations For The Rich?" at Forbes

"[W]ith eyes wide open, I see a movement imperiled by the same entrenched thinking that has driven government's growth for more than a century." -- Tom Bowden in "The Tea Party Will Fail -- Unless It Fully Embraces Individualism as a Moral Ideal" at The Christian Science Monitor

From the Vault

X years ago today (plus or minus three days), I posted on:
  1. My (temporary) relief at Scott Brown's election to the Senate.
  2. An anti-evolution argument that actually supports the theory of evolution.
  3. Whether, "Fight an election with the politicians you have," is actually good advice.
  4. A town seeking to outlaw the same word that would be bowdlerized from an American classic a few years later.
  5. A recommended article about the redistributionist GOP.
It is interesting to see how many political topics keep coming back unchanged in our current cultural stalemate.

Market Pressure

Southwest is my favorite airline by far.

This ad not only provides an example of why, but it might be good to remember the next time you hear someone assert that companies have a vested "interest" in nickel-and-diming their customers, and that we "need" government regulations to prevent such behavior.

Either its competitors will stop charging such fees, or they will continue to lose customers to Southwest until most of the people these fees annoy know about this difference.

-- CAV


: (1) Rewrote first section. (2) Provided working version of embedded video. (3) Made several minor edits.


Mike said...

good grief, the comments on Wendy's article about the safety net are horrendous. Look at how they distort the meaning of "safety net" and how they interpret rand's philosophy. I really wonder if those guys actually think before they write these comments

Gus Van Horn said...

We'll know we're winning when people become ashamed to spout such foolishness again. In the meantime, it's nice that the bar is so low for us to outclass our opponents: Complete sentences without curse words are, apparently, enough.