No one is completely immune

 Psychological research shows that misinformation is cleverly designed to bypass careful analytical reasoning, meaning that it can easily slip under the radar of even the most intelligent and educated people. No one is completely immune. Indeed, there is now evidence that smarter people may sometimes be even more vulnerable to certain ideas, since their greater brainpower simply allows them to rationalise their (incorrect) beliefs. 

David Robson writing in The Guardian 

Articles of interest - week of July 16


Amazon Alexa Calls Police On Man Who Was Allegedly Beating His Girlfriend  WILM 

VIDEO: Move Objects With Your Mind? We're Getting There, With The Help Of An Armband  NPR

A Canadian bioethicist says a plan to edit human embryos to prevent deafness is "offensive"  CBC

Will California’s New Bot Law Strengthen Democracy?  The New Yorker 


I Was Banned From Twitter for Threatening to Kill Mr. Peanut  Vice

Here’s How To Stop Data Brokers From Advertising To You On Facebook  Buzzfeed News 

Conservatives pretending to be suppressed by social media dominated social media  Vox

Here’s how you can go back to the old Twitter layout   

The Hidden Costs of Free Social Media  Foundation for Economic Education 


Chinese app downloads surge in US  Axios 

Kids are spending over 30 hours a week on phones, survey finds  Cnet 


I’m a hacker, and here’s how your social media posts help me break into your company  Fast Company  

Google admits leaked private voice conversations  CNBC 

EFF Hits AT&T With Class Action Lawsuit for Selling Customers’ Location to Bounty Hunters  Vice 


Podcast events are making a killing  Axios 

Facebook struggles to lure video creators amid intense competition  Economic Times

Facebook's war to win over creators  Axios

How to shoot stellar slow-motion video on your phone  Wired  


Craigslist's Craig Newmark: 'Outrage is profitable. Most online outrage is faked for profit  The Guardian

How to fix the internet, according to its pioneers  Quartz 


Tools and tips for digging into Facebook from two investigative journalists  The Ground Truth

Why Journalists Should Care About Collective Wisdom  Immerse  

ProPublica and NBC show how righteous media serve democracy  Baltimore Sun

‘We’re Almost Extinct’: China’s Investigative Journalists Are Silenced Under Xi  New York Times

A Nellie Bly Memorial Is Being Planned for New York City’s Roosevelt Island  Mental Floss  


Starbucks will stop selling newspapers come September 1  New York Post 

Here’s how some for-profit local news outlets are building subscriptions  Harvard’s Nieman Lab


A digital breadcrumb trail for deepfakes  Axios

Deepfakes have YouTubers worried: Vidcon offers a way to push back  Cnet

People Tell Us How QAnon Destroyed Their Relationships  Vice

We tell ourselves conspiracy theories in order to live  The Outline  


Let Go of it  Becoming (my blog)

What makes people change their lives entirely and how can we best become our true selves  The Guardian 

It’s Never Going to Be Perfect, So Just Get It Done  New York Times 


What Happens to Spelling Bee Champions When They Grow Old?  MEL Magazine

It Might Be Time to Update the Old ‘Alfa-Bravo-Charlie’ Spelling Alphabet  Atlas Obcura


The Power of a Good Sentence Why writing one isn't as easy as you think  The Walrus 

The Cost of Reading: the uneven burden taken by women writers in literary citizenship  Longreads 


New L.A. book festival LitLit announces talks by poets Yesika Salgado, Vickie Vertiz and more  LA Times


Mississippi Politician Refuses To Let Female Reporter Travel Alone With Him  NPR 

The Women’s World Cup showed what women’s sports should be: This is what happens when women athletes don’t have to fight for relevance  SB Nation 

Robert Foster, GOP governor candidate, denies woman reporter access because of her gender  Mississippi Today 


The Dominance of the White Male Critic  New York Times

You All Look Alike to Me’ is hard-wired in us  UC Riverside 

Hate Crime Divides School  Washington Post

Aziz Ansari thinks white people are trying too hard with 'Crazy Rich Asians'  CNN

Georgia landlords evicted white woman for having black guests, ACLU lawsuit alleges  NBC News 

How news outlets are dealing with the 'moral dimension' of covering Trump and his racist tweets  CNN

'Go Back Where You Came From': The Long Rhetorical Roots Of Trump's Racist Tweets  NPR

A Detroit festival charged white people $20 and black people $10, then they got hit with backlash  CNN


Does including “in my opinion” protect me from a libel or defamation suit? Student Press Law Center 

DOJ Says Local Governments Need To Prepare For Ransomware Attacks  NPR

A Florida cop planted meth on random drivers, police say: One lost custody of his daughter  MSNBC 


Growth and Decline in American Religion over the Last Decade  Religion in Public 

The decline of the Christian bookstore  Slate 

Christian speaker removed from conference over church’s views on women, gays  Baptist News  

Behold, The Millennial Nuns  HuffPost  

US man accused of sex abuse at Kenyan orphanage he founded  Associated Press 

State Department Conference Aims To Identify Victims Of Religious Persecution  NPR

How religious restrictions around the world have changed over a decade  Pew Research Center

Researcher Identifies 'Oldest Handwriting of a Christian' In Ancient Papyrus Letter From Roman Egypt Newsweek

After 2016 Bible Slip, Trump Lashed Out at ‘So-Called Christians,’ Book Says  New York Times


Dr. Dobson’s visit to the border  Dobson Newsletter  

James Dobson's anti-immigrant rhetoric is dangerous  Sojourners 


Rejected from culinary school because she is deaf, woman goes on to launch her own pizza empire  The Week  

After final cancer treatment, little girl donates birthday gifts to sick kids  NBC News 

Strangers come together on Twitter to find dress for girl with autism  The Week  

Three young brothers started a candle company to buy themselves toys. Now they donate $500 a month to the homeless  Washington Post 

Athlete, 66, Has Run 45 Marathons with People Who Have Disabilities: 'It's Like Their Super Bowl'  People

A dying woman raised money for her own funeral: Strangers donated so much, she’s now giving away the surplus  Washington Post


Drunk Yoga: fun night out or workout disaster?  New York Post 

Worker falls into 8-foot tank filled with liquid chocolate, paramedics find him covered from 'head-to-toe'  Fox News

Metal drinking straw impales UK woman’s brain, killing her New York Post 

Illinois mother accused of driving with kids on top of SUV in inflatable pool  USA Today 

NY father and daughter charged with armed robbery WCAX  

Family Saves Octopus Stranded: Surprised by what it does the next day  The Epoch Times 

Man breaks into King Co. Sheriff’s Office, brings donuts, wants jail to avoid roommate  Q-13


Lennon or McCartney? Scientists Use Artificial Intelligence to Figure Out Who Wrote Iconic Beatles Songs  Open Culture

What TikTok's Explosion Could Mean For Music  NPR


Battle for the future of Spanish-language TV  Axios


Pitches on "Stranger Things" and other shows   Bitch Media

Pitches for "Building Bridges"  YES! Magazine

Long travel and design-focused stories  Apartment Therapy

Pitches for beverage alcohol industry stories  SevenFifty Daily

Freelance tech pieces  The Daily Beast  

Pitches for culture stories and features  The Outline

How much money can you make on Amazon Mechanical Turk?  The Hustle 


What new research reveals about sexual predators, and why police fail to catch them  The Atlantic 

Harvard suspends star economics prof after sexual harassment claims  New York Times


Odds Are, Your Doctorate Will Not Prepare You for a Profession Outside Academe  The Chronicle of Higher Education

Teachers Sue U.S. Over Student Loans That Weren't Forgiven  NPR


Immigration Officials Use Secretive Gang Databases to Deny Migrant Asylum Claims  Propublica  

Concern Grows Over Plan To Scale Back Program That Protects Military Families From Deportation  NPR

Border crisis conditions for migrants, according to a lawyer who’s volunteered there for years  Slate 

Border Patrol Agents Are Passing Around A Commemorative Coin Mocking Care for Migrant Kids Propublica 

3-Year-Old Asked To Pick Parent In Attempted Family Separation, Her Parents Say  NPR

The US is quietly opening shelters for babies and young kids: One has 12 children and no mothers  Reveal News 

California Set To Expand Medicaid To Undocumented Young Adults  NPR


Branding has a moral responsibility  Fast Company   

Digital Tax Passed In France Is Aimed At U.S. Tech Giants  NPR  

The future of work in America  McKinsey

How much money can you make on Amazon Mechanical Turk?  The Hustle 


Trees emit a surprisingly large amount of methane  Wired 

These rare blue clouds could be headed your way  PopSci

Radioactivity in parts of the Marshall Islands is far higher than Chernobyl, study says  Wired


The meat-allergy tick also carries a mystery killer virus  Wired 

Urinary Tract Infections Affect Millions: The Cures Are Faltering New York Times

Is my insomnia all in my head? Why my brain might be sleeping without me knowing  Telegraph  

In US 1st, baby is born from dead donor’s transplanted womb  Associated Press


How to Fall Asleep on a Plane  Life Hacker  

Attendance falling at American Landmarks  Politico 

How to Get Through Airport Security Faster  Life Hacker


Why Do Sports Fans Watch, and Rewatch, Injury Footage?  New York Times

Robot umpires: MLB is testing technology in Atlantic League  Washington Post

Poker Bot Beats The Professionals At 6-Player Texas Hold 'Em  NPR

Chess Grandmaster Igors Rausis Caught Cheating  Bleacher Report 

We Watched 906 Foul Balls To Find Out Where The Most Dangerous Ones Land  FiveThirtyEight  


Hershey’s Co. sued over 'misleading' White Reese’s packaging  Fox News  

When Natural Disasters Strike, Operation BBQ Swoops In With Relief — And Ribs  NPR


Heroic dog saves sleeping deputy constable from Montgomery County house fire  ABC-13

Drunk man sends injured baby bird to wildlife rescue center in an Uber  WFSB   

Why Dogs Now Play a Big Role in Human Cancer Research  Wired

Tourists Plays Around With An Octopus, Don't Realize It's One Of Australia's Most Venomous Species  Digg 


Why we see the colors of faces differently than other things  Wired

NASA drops insane map of 4,000 planets outside our solar system  CNET

We Have The First-Ever Images of Molecules Changing Their Charge State  Science Alert


30 intro psych textbooks: the vast majority defined or explained statistical significance inaccurately  Psychological Science  

REM sleep silences the siren of the brain  NIN 


Google Working On AI In China Has Billionaire Peter Thiel, Others Raising Major Concerns  Media Post  

China Box Office Drops in First Half Despite 14.5 Percent Jump in Hollywood Revenue  Hollywood Reporter 


Trump campaign uses stock video pretending it portrays supporters  Associated Press 

Kantar Forecasts $6 Billion in Political Ad Spending for 2019-2020 Election Cycle  Kantar Media

Huge Turnout Is Expected in 2020. So Which Party Would Benefit?  New York Times


Here’s how to deal with failure, say senior scientists  Nature Index

Scandal-weary Swedish government takes over research-fraud investigations  Nature 

The risk of embarrassing, high-profile retractions also prevents data from being published that could correct the published literature  Wiley 

Research publications: does piling them high sell them short?  Times Higher Education 

Replicator Degrees of Freedom Allow Publication of Misleading 'Failures to Replicate'  SSRN

Reproducibility crisis, the scientific method, and the quality of published studies: Untangling the knot   Wiley 

Rules to stamp out export of unethical research practices to poorer countries  gaining momentum  Times Higher Education 

Inside a “Fake” Conference: A Journey Into Predatory Science  Technology Networks

The greatest threat to medical science is not fabrication of results but ‘presentational fraud'”  BMJ


Bachelor’s Degree Movers  FlowingData 

Univ of Texas will give full scholarships for tuition and fees to in-state students with household incomes of $65,000 or less  Statesman 

Hackers Demand $2 Million From Monroe College  Inside Higher Ed 

Colleges Are Shutting Down, and Yankton Was a Precursor  The Atlantic

More Latinx Students, Stagnant Latinx President  Inside Higher Ed

Sorry, Headhunters, but the Healthiest Presidential Searches Are Open  The Chronicle of Higher Ed  

In the U.K., a Surge in Chinese Applicants  Inside Higher Ed

Accreditor approves Ashford U's nonprofit conversion  Education Dive 

The Downside of Reduced Student Borrowing  Inside Higher Ed

2 Indiana virtual schools received lots of public money: Now, the state wants $40 million of it back Washington Post

5 Years Later, Grand Valley Resolves Federal Complaint  Inside Higher Ed  


Michael W. Smith, Kevin Jonas to start music center, label at Liberty University  Religious News Service

He was hired to teach at Olivet Nazarene University: And then someone read his book Chicago Tribune 

PLNU students serve children in Philippines  Church of the Nazarene


Survey shows nearly half of students distracted by technology  Inside Higher Ed

5 Key Aspects of Teaching Innovation In 2019  Entrepreneur


Virginia school district orders high school student journalists to delete a video report documenting the school's poor conditions  Pilot Online 

Study: Millennials Worry About Media's Impact On Democracy  Media Post  


Amazon fined a college student $3,800 for returning a rented textbook 4 days late  Business Insider 

Teens are abandoning hyper-produced personalities for people who seem just like them  The Atlantic  

Student Loans Are The Hardest On These Borrowers  NPR

Let Go of It

At some point, we must remind ourselves, any changes we make to a creation no longer make it better but just different (and sometimes worse). Recognizing that inflection point — the point at which our continuing to rework our work reaches a law of diminishing returns — is one of the hardest skills to learn, but also one of the most necessary. Sometimes our first attempt truly is best; sometimes it takes seventeen attempts to really nail it. But overworking something is just as bad as failing to polish it. 

When I'm immersed in the creative process, nothing feels more important to me at that moment than the thing which I'm creating. And though that sense of importance is what drives my passion and discipline (which in turn is what makes creating it possible at all), it also represents the source of the painful sense of urgency for the final result be perfect. Forcing myself, then, to recognize that in the grand scheme of life no one thing is so important to me or anyone else that failing to make it perfect will permanently impair my ability to be happy is what frees me from the need for it to be perfect. Freed then from the need to attain the unattainable, I can instead focus on enjoying the challenge of simply doing my best. Because if we allow ourselves to remain at the mercy of our desire for perfection, not only will the perfect elude us, so will the good.

Alex Lickerman writing in Psychology Today

Seizing the Initiative

Everything in this world conspires to put you on the defensive. At work, your superiors may want the glory for themselves and will discourage you from taking the imitative. People are constantly pushing and attacking you, keeping you in react mode. You are continually reminded of your limitations and what you cannot hope to accomplish. You are made to feel guilty for this and that. Such defensiveness on your part can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Before anything, you need to liberate yourself from this feeling. By acting boldly, before others are ready, by moving to seize the initiative, you create your own circumstances rather than simply waiting for what life brings you. Your initial push alters the situation, on your terms.

Robert Greene, 33 Strategies of War

Articles of interest - July 8


Over 80% of facial recognition suspects flagged by London's Met Police were innocent, report says  ABC News 

Forecasters Caution 5G Will Interfere With Gathering Weather Data  NPR

In the age of deepfakes, could virtual actors put humans out of business?  The Guardian


Soon, satellites will be able to watch you everywhere all the time  MIT Technology Review 

Artificial intelligence is coming for our faces  Wired 

Brown University researchers show ability to store and retrieve image data on molecules smaller than human DNA  New Scientist 

A new business in small satellites orbiting the Earth  Economist

The strange link between the human mind and quantum physics  BBC 

Not all weather satellites are equal  Wired

Will Machine-Generated Books Accelerate our Consumption of Scholarly Literature?  Scholarly Kitchen 

Using AI to speed up the processing of space images Where no neural network has gone before  Economist 

What is the Blockchain Really, and Should You Care?  Scholarly Kitchen

Robot uses machine learning to harvest lettuce  University of Cambridge


Instagram is sweet and sort of boring—but the ads!  Wired 

‘Influencer’ bride tries to pay wedding photographer with exposure but fails spectacularly  Indy

Instagram will now ask you to think twice before posting profanities  The Next Web

Twitter bans 'dehumanizing language' aimed at religious groups  Mashable 


Heedless smartphone zombies keep stepping out in front of cars  Economist 


 Watch A Reporter Block A Man From Entering Her Shot Like A Boss  Digg 

Journalism Job Cuts Haven’t Been This Bad Since the Recession  Bloomberg 

Behind the scenes with The Weather Channel’s mixed reality broadcasting Immersive Shooter

As the World Heats Up, the Climate for News Is Changing, Too  New York Times

This is a great example for a statistics class, or a class on survey sampling, or a political science class  Stat Modeling


Fact check: Trump promotes fake Ronald Reagan quote about him  CNN


How to protect your privacy in Chrome  Washington Post

Yes, your emails are being tracked: Here's how to stop it  Mashable 

The state DMVs allowing federal investigative and immigration agents to scan hundreds of millions of Americans' faces without their knowledge or consent  Washington Post  

Trick those #!@% spam calls with a fake phone number   CNET

A City Paid a Hefty Ransom to Hackers. But Its Pains Are Far From Over  New York Times

Zoom zero-day vulnerability could let websites turns your Mac's cameras without permission  The Next Web 


How stock photography is made  Vox


The internet has made dupes—and cynics—of us all  Wired  


Be a Poet   Becoming (my blog) 


How to Use a Semicolon Correctly  Life Hacker

Is an emoji a word or a gesture? Both  Quartz 


How technology is changing the craft of screenwriting  BBC 

Microsoft's Ebook apocalypse shows the dark side of DRM  Wired  

The best books to read at every age, from 1 to 100  Washington Post

New ways of selling books clash with France’s old pricing rules  Economist

Papermaking master a gem in a digital age  Daily Iowan

10 of the Best-Selling Books in History (Minus Religious Texts)  Mental Floss

The unlikely rise of book fairs in the Middle East  Economist 

An interactive map of over 5,000 book covers, organized by machine learning  Pudding 

My Latinx students write what they know. And their words are powerful  LA Times 


Carrying a Single Life: On Literature and Translation  New York Review of Books

Nigerian Schoolgirls' Abduction Told In 'Beneath The Tamarind Tree'  NPR

Brenda Maddox, biographer of Nora Barnacle and others in literature, dies at 87  Boston Globe


Want a truly mind-expanding experience? Learn another language  The Guardian  


She wrote a poem about a vagina. It landed her in jail  CNN

Here’s how to arrange the poems in your poetry manuscript  The Press-Enterprise 

Watch Your Poetry With The Visible Poetry Project  Book Riot


Firefighter whose male colleagues told her she was 'too weak' now carries THEM out of burning buildings after hitting the gym  Daily Mail

It could take 118 years for female computer scientists to match publishing rates of male colleagues  Science Mag 


Emojis increasingly appear in court cases and judges struggle with how to interpret them KTVQ

Dueling fake "independent" websites leads to unclean hands finding, but some injunctive relief  Tushnet Blog


FBI Records Could Have Solved A Civil Rights Cold Case. Now It's Too Late  NPR  

Professor faces 219-year prison sentence for sending missile chip tech to China  The Verge 

The Supreme Court wraps up its term, inching to the right  Economist

Red Oak Man Wins Settlement After Being Arrested for Criticizing Police  WHOT-TV   


Following plagiarism charges and multiple retractions, a priest resigns from a position at a television network  Church Militant 

Mormon and the tricky process of leaving the Church  The Verge  

Pope moves America's 'first televangelist' closer to sainthood  Reuters 

Pastor builds monster truck for Jesus 

When Philip K. Dick turned to Christianity: Soon after he became a countercultural hero  Salon

How California’s megachurches changed Christian culture  Durango Herald 

Poll: Americans rarely seek guidance from clergy   Religious News Service 

U.S. Confidence in Organized Religion Remains Low  Gallup 

Study: White Evangelicals Least Likely to Say the U.S. Has a ‘Responsibility’ to Accept Refugees  Relevant Magazine


A matter of faith: Democrats embrace religion in campaign  Associated Press

The Religious Right is Still Fanning Fear of California LGBTQ Resolution  Right Wing Watch  

The Deepening Crisis in Evangelical Christianity Support for Trump comes at a high cost for Christian witness (opinion)  The Atlantic


A Christian bestseller (and CT Book of the Year) was targeted by a major counterfeiting scheme  Christianity Today 

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven changed Christian publishing forever—and tore a family apart  Slate 


New York police went to a Whole Foods store about a suspected shoplifter: Then they paid for her groceries  NBC News

Beloved 'singing doctor' who sang to 8,000 babies after delivery gets heartfelt honor  GMA

How one couple's years-long battle against leukemia led to happily ever after  ABC News 

Woman Paints Her Children's Drawings And Transforms Them Into Incredible Pieces Of Art  Digg


Watch 32,000 Dominos Fall in an Extremely Satisfying Way  Mental Floss

13-year-old girl's rigorous study finds hand dryers can hurt children's ears  WKYC

10 Scientific Benefits of Kissing  Mental Floss


User Inyerface: All of the worst UI practices in one evil form

The 5 Top Destinations for Art and Design Lovers in August  Architechural Digest 


Walkman turns 40 today: How listening to music changed over the years  Business Insider

Brazilian bossa nova pioneer Joao Gilberto dies at 88   Associated Press  


The End of an Era: MAD Magazine Will Publish Its Last Issue With Original Content This Fall  Open Culture


Lawsuit by student accused of sex assault seeks class-action status against Michigan State  Detroit Press Press

A bookkeeper in Indonesia who recorded her boss’s lewd phone call as proof she was being harassed must serve at least 6 months in prison for distributing obscene material  New York Times

University barred from punishing student in unusual Title IX case  Inside Higher Ed 


Jurors refuse to convict activist facing 20 years for helping migrants  The Guardian

Federal Agents Joked About Migrant Deaths, Propublica Reports  NPR

Hispanic evangelical group offers to help migrant children Baptist Standard

A Pastor Who Was Put On A Watch List After Working With Immigrants Is Suing The US BuzzFeed News

Fiona Apple donating two years worth of song's royalties to help pay migrants' legal fees The Hill  

Hispanic evangelical group offers to help migrant children  Baptist Standard


The art of selling scent in the internet age  Fast Company

How accessible technology is overcoming barriers in the workplace  Verdict


The Secret Language of Trees: A Charming Animated Lesson Explains How Trees Share Information with Each Other  Open Culture

Planting more trees could suck up a huge share of carbon emissions  MIT Technology Review

The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim  Los Angeles Times


 What the Measles Epidemic Really Says About America  The Atlantic

Can Sunscreen Really Repair Your DNA? Wired

Antivaxxers turn to homeschooling to avoid protecting their kids’ health Are Technica

Man dies after adding a teaspoon of caffeine powder to protein shake New York Post


An Italian clan’s curious insensitivity to pain has piqued the interest of geneticists seeking a new understanding of how to treat physical suffering  Smithsonian Magazine

Alexa could detect whether you're having a heart attack, study suggests USA Today


Strange Facts About the U.S. Condé Nast Traveler  CNN


The future of sports gambling  The Week

Unflappable. Unapologetic. Unequaled: The greatest U.S. women's soccer team ever  Sports Illustrated


Woman Who Licked Tub Of Blue Bell Ice Cream In Viral Video Could Face 20 Years In Prison 5 News

Italian Chefs React In Relative Horror At YouTubers Making Pesto  Dig 

Scientists Engineer A Smooth, Beanless Coffee NPR

The Changing American Diet  Flowing Data 


This couple took engagement photos with dogs And cats In need of homes  Huffington Post

Why Are Octopuses So Smart?  The Atlantic  


Catholic medical journal pulls paper on conversion therapy over statistical problems  Retraction Watch

The all-too-understandable urge to buy a better brain Vox  


Neuroscience has found that gestures are not merely important as tools of expression but as guides of cognition and perception  Quanta Magazine

Could Lab-Grown Brains Develop Consciousness?  Singularity Hub

Does Consciousness Exist Outside of the Brain? Psychology Today

Scientists are giving dead brains new life  New York Times

How our brain sculpts experience in line with our expectations  Aeon Essays


Plagiarizing articles in philosophy  Wiley Online


Stravinsky’s “Illegal” Arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner” (1944) Open Culture

When Charlie Chaplin Entered a Chaplin Look-Alike Contest & Came in 20th Place Open Culture

Trump's 'Revolutionary War Airports' Memes and Reactions   eBaum’s World

Review of The Weather Machine By Andrew Blum  Economist

Florida principal refused to call the Holocaust a fact Palm Beach Post  


Inside the fight for Hong Kong  Macleans 

China Is Forcing Tourists to Install Text-Stealing Malware at its Border  Vice 

Taiwan’s Status is a Geopolitical Absurdity  The Atlantic  


Some Trump supporters thought NPR tweeted ‘propaganda’: It was the Declaration of Independence  Washington Post 

Reactionary nationalism is a challenge to liberalism--and conservatism  Economist


The researcher behind the smartphone “horns” study sells posture pillows  Quartz  

Nature says it wants to publish replication attempts. So what happened when a group of authors submitted one to Nature Neuroscience?  Retraction Watch

A plant scientist has sued his university and 4 female students, accusing them of leaking a confidential investigation report to the media Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Statisticians clamor for retraction of paper by Harvard researchers they say uses a “nonsense statistic”  Retraction Watch 


Why Is There So Much Saudi Money in American Universities?  New York Times

Demand for Campus Child Care Is Growing: Choosing How to Provide It Can Be Fraught (sub. req’d) The Chronicle of Higher Education  

The Education Deserts of Rural America  The Atlantic 

Guilford College is changing the way it does most everything in an effort to stem its enrollment decline: But officials say it is also leaning in to its mission  Inside Higher Ed

The Education Deserts of Rural America  The Atlantic

Study: Millions of U.S. Students Are Without Home Internet  Gov Tech 

DeVos rescinds rule forcing colleges to disclose debt and salary data  CNBC  

ASU tries to boost Degree Completion With Blockchain Inside Higher Ed

What universities can learn from one of science’s biggest frauds Nature

Grand Canyon University spends $21.6M to buy church near Phoenix campus  Arizona Central

Are Small Private Colleges Worth the Money?  The Atlantic

Author in her new book discusses the challenges colleges, particularly religious institutions, face in mitigating sexual assault  Inside Higher Ed

Rejection of LGBTQ student group leads to a fight at "unambiguously Christian" Baylor Texas Tribune

USC to pay UC San Diego $50M over Alzheimer's research  Washington Post


New study finds “important deficiencies” in university reports of misconduct  Retraction Watch

I Help People Cheat Their Way to Getting PhDs  Vice 


The ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees and universities that actually reduce your earning potential  Telegraph

Millennials Rely On Parents For Financial Help, Study Shows  NPR


You lower your anxiety about uncertainty by producing a number, then you “anchor” on it, like an object to hold on to in the middle of a vacuum.

Ask someone to provide you with the last four digits of his social security number. Then ask him to estimate the number of dentists in Manhattan. You will find that by making him aware of the four-digit number, you elicit an estimate that is correlated with it. 

We use reference points in our heads, say sales projections, and start building beliefs around them because less mental effort is needed to compare an idea to a reference point than to evaluate it in the absolute. We cannot work without a point of reference. 

So the introduction of a reference point in the forecaster’s mind will work wonders. This is no different from a starting point in a bargaining episode: you open with high number (“I want a million for this house” the bidder will answer “only eight-fifty” – the discussion will be determined by that initial level.

Nassim Taleb, The Black Swain

Be a Poet

In 2016, educational psychologists, Denis Dumas and Kevin Dunbar found that people who try to solve creative problems are more successful if they behave like an eccentric poet than a rigid librarian. Given a test in which they have to come up with as many uses as possible for any object (e.g. a brick) those who behave like eccentric poets have superior creative performance. This finding holds even if the same person takes on a different identity.  When in a creative deadlock, try this exercise of embodying a different identity. It will likely get you out of your own head, and allow you to think from another person’s perspective. I call this psychological halloweenism.   

Srini Pillay writing in the Harvard Business Review

No, You’re Not Addicted to Social Media

I think post-millennial teenagers are misled. Many are deeply unhappy spending so much time on social media and would rather hang out with their friends in real life. But because they believe that everyone else expects them to be on it, disclosing their true preferences has become too costly. The immense pressure of the norm means that no one can quit.

Framing the issue solely as social media addiction, besides being unhelpful, might in fact hinder social change. Measures that give teens and parents more control over the time they spend on social media —work well to increase awareness of our behavior, but they do nothing to change expectations about the private beliefs and hidden preferences of other people. Because of this, strategies that target individual behavior will be largely ineffective when it comes to changing the social norm.

Arunas L. Radzvilavicius writing in Undark  

The Promotion Curse

The records of almost 40,000 salespeople across 131 firms were studied and researchers found that companies have a strong tendency to promote the best sales people. Convincing others to buy goods and services is a useful skill, requiring charisma and persistence. But, as the authors point out, these are not the same capabilities as the strategic planning and administrative competence needed to lead a sales team. The research then looked at what happened after these super-salespeople were promoted. Their previous sales performance was actually a negative indicator of managerial success. 

People get promoted until they reach a level when they stop enjoying their jobs. At this point, it is not just their competence that is affected; it is their happiness as well. The trick to avoiding this curse is to stick to what you like doing.  Beware the curse of overwork and dissatisfaction. 

The Economist’s Bartleby column