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Astral Codex Ten Podcast

May 30, 2019

I was surprised how many people responded to my APA photo-essay with comments like “Seems psychiatry as a field is broken beyond repair” or “This proves you should never trust psychiatrists”.

The mood I was going for was more “let’s share a laugh at the excesses of the profession” than “everything must...

May 25, 2019

The first thing you notice at the American Psychiatric Association meeting is its size. By conservative estimates, a quarter of the psychiatrists in the United States are packed into a single giant San Francisco convention center, more than 15,000 people.

Being in a crowd of 15,000 psychiatrists is a weird...

May 17, 2019

Enquist et al on lactation fetishes is one of my favorite papers.

They wonder – as we’ve all wondered at one point or another – how people develop fetishes. One plausible hypothesis is “sexual imprinting”. During childhood, you have a critical period (maybe ages 1 to 5) where you figure out what sex is. If you...

May 16, 2019

Psychologists are split on the existence of “birth order effects”, where oldest siblings will have different personality traits and outcomes than middle or youngest siblings. Although some studies detect effects, they tend to be weak and inconsistent.

Last year, I posted Birth Order Effects Exist And Are Very...

May 12, 2019

There’s been an explosion of interest in the use of psychedelics in psychiatry. Like everyone else, I hope this works out. But recent discussion has been so overwhelmingly positive that it’s worth reviewing whether there’s a case for skepticism. I think it would look something like this:

1. Psychedelics have...