The Unbearable Asymmetry of Bullshit

Science and medicine have done a lot for the world. Diseases have been eradicated, rockets have been sent to the moon, and convincing, causal explanations have been given for a whole range of formerly inscrutable phenomena. Notwithstanding recent concerns about sloppy research, small sample sizes, and challenges in replicating major findings—concerns I share and which I…

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How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body

To meditate mindfully demands ‘‘an open and receptive, nonjudgmental awareness of your present-moment experience,’’ says J. David Creswell, who led the study and is an associate professor of psychology and the director of the Health and Human Performance Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University. One difficulty of investigating meditation has been the placebo problem. In rigorous…

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Not dead, just resting

IN 1990 hedge funds were still rare birds; 500-odd funds managed around $40 billion, mostly for rich individuals. Few people understood what they did or bothered to find out. By the end of 2015, the sector had mushroomed to include nearly 9,000 funds managing roughly $3 trillion. Along with private equity, the industry was classed…

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