Ineffective Theory

Links for December 2021

SQLite adds (optional) type checking!

Jackson Crawford on leaving the university classroom.

Read this post, and don’t think about air pollution, or the environment. What are good standards for when to trust “the literature”?

On Stubborn Attachments as the moral foundation for “Progress Studies”.

Markus Strasser writes about his experience trying to extract (in a programmatic way) information from biomed papers. Various strong claims are included, culminating in:

I had to wrap my head around the fact that close to nothing of what makes science actually work is published as text on the web.

Restrospectively obvious: groups have trouble admitting failure, and for-profit groups receive better real-world feedback than not-for-profits.

An opinionated review of the field of “bullshitology”. A lovely story! How seriously should a data- and equation-free paper be taken? I can’t help but agree with some parts of it, though:

Pseudo-theorizing occurs when the external trappings of theorizing (such as technical experts and scientific language) is present but substantive processes of theorization are absent. One way pseudo-theorizing happens is when experts with apparently legitimate credentials are mobilized to vouch for empty and misleading ideas. This gives bullshitting a sheen of technicality, precision and rationality.

Has the placebo effect been getting stronger? But only in the states! Well, the bottom of this blog post has the key plot with evidence that that’s true.