- Dorothy Bishop, Prof. of developmental neuropsychology at Oxford, is offering an "Orwellian Prize for Journalistic Misrepresentation" for any article in an English-language national newspaper that has the most inaccurate report of a piece of academic work. Judgement will be based on a points scoring system, as follows:
- Factual error in the title: 3 points
- Factual error in a subtitle: 2 points
- Factual error in the body of the article: 1 point
- The recent issue of New Scientist features an article about Internet addiction. We discussed this topic a few months back in my post Addicted, where I argued one should be careful to distinguish between substance abuse and compulsive disorder, and that "addiction" is a rather sloppy expression. The New Scientist article doesn't really say anything new but offers a summary of the present status of discussion:
"For almost as long as there's been information technology, there have been arguments over whether it is possible to become addicted to it.
One definition of behavioural addiction is a recurring compulsion to act in specific ways which may have detrimental impacts on the person's well-being - there are well catalogued examples of people's internet activity fitting that pattern.
The idea of behavioural addiction is not universally accepted, however. Psychiatry's bible - the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) - prefers the classification "impulse control disorder", differentiating the conditions from physical addictions, such as cocaine or alcohol addiction.
The question of whether internet addiction should be included as a diagnosed condition in the next edition, DSM-V, is a hot debate right now.
Some people, such as psychiatrist Jerald Block, based in Portland, Oregon, argue that internet addicts show behaviour consistent with other addictive disorders, such as excessive use, withdrawal and negative social impacts.
Others, including Ronald Pies, at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, argue there have been insufficient controlled studies of internet addiction to show that withdrawal symptoms are genuinely physiological. They suspect that the negative social effects attributed to excessive internet use may have other underlying causes, such as depression or obsessive compulsive disorder.
- Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is inviting applications for Postdoctoral Research positions. For more information please visit this website, and good luck :-)
- Something to first make you laugh and then make you think: What exactly is a doctorate? A graphic representation by Matt Might. By the time you've finished your 3rd postdoc, you might have made it to a few pimples on the body of knowledge ;-) [Thanks to Christine]
- Just because it's one of the more absurd stories I've read recently: A 75 year old German psychiatrist attempted to kiss his patient and claimed later it was supposed to be a "therapeutic kiss" meant as "shock therapy." The woman turned away fast enough so the attempt aimed at her lips landed on her cheek instead. Then she sued the doctor for sexual harassment. The psychiatrist had to pay a fine of EUR 3,500.
- If you don't know how to arrange your marathon training with your 80 hours/week office job, what you need is a treadputer. Zeitgeist!
Monday, September 13, 2010
This and That
Some things that entered my sphere of thought recently: