Monday, February 25, 2008

Thinking Differently

This NY Times article describes a new generation of anti-psychotic drugs that might actually treat cognitive problems as well as reducing hallucinations. The article focuses on Darryle Schoepp who ran the original trials of a drug that modifies glutamate uptake in the brain.

When asked what he would do if the larger trials failed, he said he would probably go out and have a beer.

"You have to define failure. If you collect information and it tells you what you need to know, you’re not a failure."

This beautifully illustrates two of my favorite principles:
  1. How we define something largely controls how we react to it.
  2. Scientists value negative feedback as much as positive, making them less vulnerable to confirmation bias.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

On Cognitive Accuracy

No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.
-Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Just Semantics?

From cartoonist Dave Coverly, creator of the Speed Bump comic strip:

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Historical Quote

Written history is, in fact, nothing of the kind; it is the fragmentary record of the often inexplicable actions of innumerable bewildered human beings, set down and interpreted according to their own limitations by other human beings, equally bewildered.

--Veronica Wedgwood, British historian and writer (1910-1997)