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Slate Star Codex Podcast

Oct 26, 2017

Rat Park is a famous study in which lab rats were kept in a really nice habitat that satisfied their every need. Contrary to the usual results with lab animals, scientists couldn’t get these happier rats addicted to drugs. Researchers concluded that drug addiction, far from being the simple biological story...


Oct 25, 2017

The Baffler publishes a long article against “idiot” New Atheists. It’s interesting only in the context of so many similar articles, and an inability to imagine the opposite opinion showing up in an equally fashionable publication. New Atheism has lost its battle for the cultural high ground. r/atheism...


Oct 24, 2017

A good scientist, in other words, does not merely ignore conventional wisdom, but makes a special effort to break it. Scientists go looking for trouble.

— Paul Graham, What You Can’t Say

I.

Staying on the subject of Dark Age myths: what about all those scientists burned at the stake for their...


Oct 17, 2017

Thanks to everyone who made interesting comments on yesterday’s post about Dark Ages.

Several people challenged the matching of the economic/population decline to the “fall of Rome”. For example, from David Friedman:

On the graph you are citing, 36 million is the population in 200 A.D. The fall of the Western...


Oct 16, 2017

Cracked offers Five Ridiculous Myths You Probably Believe About The Dark Ages; number one is “The Dark Ages Were A Real Thing”:

The Dark Ages were never a thing. The entire concept is complete and utter horseshit cobbled together by a deluded writer. The term “Dark Ages” was first used in the 14th century by...