Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘placebos

Even More Links for Wednesday

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“With the lame duck, the 111th Congress may even surpass the 89th [of President Lyndon Johnson] in terms of accomplishments,” said Norman Ornstein, a congressional expert at the American Enterprise Institute. Obama’s spin on this (naturally) is that his approach works; my sense is that the 111th Congress was successful despite his efforts at compromise, not because of them, and that it could have done even more had he proved more willing to get bloody. One of the big disappointments from the lame duck, the failure of DREAM Act, is still a clear win in political terms; it hurts Republicans badly, perhaps permanently, with America’s fastest-growing demographic. I believe the technical term for this is “making them eat shit”; it’s the next best thing to actually achieving your policy goals.

* Is this Obama’s second act? It feels like it. Maybe it’s just the rosy afterglow of the Spider-Man shout-out.

* Of course, every time I start feeling better about Obama, he goes and does something like this.

* Another way to fight climate change without Republican interference: use the executive branch’s purchasing power.

* 100% of returning Democratic Senators want to fix the filibuster at the start of the next Congress. That’s great news. I can’t wait to hear the excuse when they don’t.

* Rachel Maddow and #mooreandme.

* On the science tip, it turns out placebos work even when you know they’re fake.

* And austerity is your word of the year. Second place: pragmatic. Third place: moratorium. 2010 really hasn’t been great.

Placebo Effect

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Why does the placebo effect appear to be getting stronger?

Written by gerrycanavan

August 25, 2009 at 11:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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Science! Placebos, Runner’s Highs, Business Times

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* ‘Runner’s high’ confirmed by brain scan.

* Seven to thirteen minutes. That’s all it takes. I’m a little tempted to throw up the “Business Time” video again, but I’ll restrain myself for now.

* A classic study from 196 shows the placebo effect working even when the patient knows it’s a placebo. Another study from 2002 shows the efficacy of placebo anti-depressants increasing over time (!), presumably as the idea of an anti-depressant gained more cultural capital. And a study released this week shows that more expensive placebos are more effective than cheap or free placebos.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 6, 2008 at 2:03 pm