Browser Newsletter 1079

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Best of the Moment

Why I Changed My Mind On Weed

Sanjay Gupta | CNN | 9th August 2013

"I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. They didn't have the science to support that claim. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that"

For The Book

Arnold Kling | Askblog | 6th August 2013

Schools of economic thought explained as bumper stickers. Cut out and keep

Wanted: A Writer At The Fed

Gary Silverman | Financial Times | 8th August 2013

"I have a modest proposal for Barack Obama. I think that the president should consider writers as well as economists as he looks for the next chairman of the Federal Reserve ... The Fed’s role has become largely literary. It doesn’t change rates. It issues statements about its feelings – which are then parsed by the financial community, as if they were passages of the Bible, for signs of policy shifts to come" (Metered paywall)

Smug About Suffering

Andrew Solomon | 8th August 2013

"Psychiatry is deeply flawed, but flawed does not mean worthless." Doctors are better at dealing with depression than they were 50 years ago; in another 50 years they'll be better still. We overvalue neurological approaches, and undervalue talk therapies, but we do need both. Review of Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm than Good, by James Davies, and Our Necessary Shadow: The Nature and Meaning of Psychiatry, by Tom Burns

The Nudge Debate

David Brooks | New York Times | 8th August 2013

There's always the risk of the slippery slope. But in moderation, paternalism can be helpful. "If government starts manipulating decision-making processes, then individuals won’t learn to think for themselves. But, in practice, it is hard to feel that my decision-making powers have been weakened because, when I got my driver’s license, enrolling in organ donation was the default option" (Metered paywall)

Video of the day: Bucharest. Not Budapest

Thought for the day:

"Freedom breeds uniqueness" — Venkatesh Rao

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