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Links With Your Coffee - Friday


  • DIRECT eNewsletter for Democrats

    A weekly must read.

  • Science-Based Medicine » How To Get Physicians To Use The Same Science-Based Playbook
    Some 340 thousand physicians have access to a fully peer-reviewed, regularly updated decision-support tool (called “UpToDate“) online and on their PDAs. This virtual treatment guide has ~3900 contributing authors and editors, and 120 million page views per year. The goal of the tool is to make specific recommendations for patient care based on the best available evidence. The content is monetized 100% through subscriptions - meaning there is no industry influence in the guidelines adopted. Science is carefully analyzed by the very top leaders in their respective fields, and care consensuses are reached - and updated as frequently as new evidence requires it.

    Not only has this tool developed “cult status” among physicians - but some confess to being addicted to it, unwilling to practice medicine without it at their side for reference purposes. The brand is universally recognized for its quality and clinical excellence and is subscribed to by 88% of academic medical centers.

    In addition, arecent study published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics found that there was a “dose response” relationship between use of the decision support tool and quality indicators, meaning that the more pages of the database that were accessed by physicians at participating hospitals, the better the patient outcomes (lower complication rates and better safety compliance), and shorter the lengths of stay. (Caveat: Additional studies are needed to clarify whether use of UpToDate is a marker for the better performance, an independent cause of it, or a synergistic part of other quality improvement characteristics at better-performing hospitals.)

  • » Questions of Truth

  • The New Kindle | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

  • BPS RESEARCH DIGEST: Yuk! Unfairness really does leave a bad taste in the mouth


  • Report: Majority Of Utah Jazz Players Have Never Heard Of Themselves | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

  • / UK - A twist of faith
    I recently found myself sitting round a dinner table with seven people: four of them did not believe different species evolved from common ancestors and at least one was convinced that the world was created in six days around 6,000 years ago.

    Given that the geological, biological, cosmological and archaeological evidence comes down so strongly against this view that there is hardly enough evidence to the contrary to justify weighing it, you might suppose that these creationists were a polymer short of a double helix. In fact, all were intelligent and articulate, and the Young Earther had a PhD in zoology.

  • Classical Bookworm: The State of the Humanities

  • » Plantinga vs. Dennett

  • Patton Oswalt for poet laureate | Jacket Copy | Los Angeles Times

  • BBC NEWS | Middle East | Saudi lingerie trade in a twist
    It would be bizarre in any country to find that its lingerie shops are staffed entirely by men.
    But in Saudi Arabia - an ultra-conservative nation where unmarried men and women cannot even be alone in a room together if they are not related - it is strange in the extreme.
    Women, forced to negotiate their most intimate of purchases with male strangers, call the situation appalling and are demanding the system be changed.



How could someone with a Ph.D in zoology think the Earth is 6000 years old?

it's the curse of specialization- zoologists don't know anything about geology.

Oh c'mon, Jonathan. I have a PhD in chemistry - I specialized in theoretical chemistry, in fact, so I guess one could say it was possible that I would be just as ignorant of geology. (Became an experimentalist later.) I never took a course in geology and although I did take a course in anthropology, I hardly needed it to know that the earth isn't 6,000 years old.

The How and Why Wonder Book of Dinosaurs I treasured as a second grader and scores of other books I read as a boy made it abundantly clear that the universe is more than 6,000 years old. Any properly educated 14-year old should be able to demolish young-earth creationism with no effort. Only the willful ignorance of of fundamentalism can make someone believe such stupidity.

so i think you're saying that i'm right about specialization, but even the most blindered specialist should be able to debunk the "6000 year fundie theory". if that's what you're saying, i heartily agree. i was really making a point about specialization in the sciences (one of my dad's pet peeves- his phd. is in "history and philosophy of science" and he was head of interdisciplinary studies for many years, so it could just be an ego trip, but i don't think so), as opposed to the creationists "arguments" per se.

i say: curiosity is the root of both knowledge and wisdom. and commerce is the death of both.

oh, and thanks for the nostalgic reminder of the "how and why wonder bood" series- surely one of the pillars of my education. really.

wonder BOOK. sorry.

Yeah, The memory brought back a feeling of nostalgia for me too. I had quite of few of those books; check out the covers.

wow, there were a lot more than i knew about, i only had 10 or 15 maybe. thanks for that blast from the past!

re: talking philosophy- thanks for the link, excellent article and fascinating talkback. i'd go hang out there, but it looks like the kind of place where you can't say "fuck". oh well.

"Cult status" and "addiction" -- are those, um, scientific models for the use of a tool, or just convenient terms in lieu of independent thought, study, and experience? Are these scientists in fact cultists, or are they just sloppy with language?


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