BB King Curious At Leichhardt Sexuality Fraud
Fraud Scandal Fuels Debate Over Practices Of Social Psychology by Christopher Shea (The Chronicle Review): A Dutch social psychologist, Diederik A. Stapel, has been discovered to have made up a bunch of his data. Which is awful. But unfortunately it is very easy for psychology experiments to be fraudulent in less obvious and deliberate ways, either where researchers cherry pick data, or make too much out of statistically significance.
Rebecca Coriam: Lost At Sea by Jon Ronson (The Guardian): These days, you can’t go on a cruise ship without people going on about David Foster Wallace. Especially if you’re a writer who is well-known for feature articles but also writes books about psychopaths. Ronson, though, isn’t doing a DFW impression here; he’s instead interested in what happens surprisingly often on cruise ships: people disappear - and it’s often very hard to tell whether it was suicide, foul play, or an accident. In the case of Rebecca Coriam, the investigation by a Bahamian police officer was pretty perfunctory indeed. [via]
If Chickens Like Consonant Music, Will They Hate B.B. King? That’s Not Even The Right Question To Ask by Jason G. Goldman (The Thoughtful Animal): A recent article by Christopher Shea (the very same one above!) complained about how psychologists look at whether newborn chicks like consonant music, and how this tells us nothing about music. But Goldman points out - correctly - that a study about whether chickens like B.B. King is part of a web of research, and is attempting to figure out the very basics of audio perception, rather than trying to use chickens to prove that adult humans like consonance (pretty music with safe chords) all the time.
What Women Want: Porn And The Frontier Of Female Sexuality by Amanda Hess (Good): James Deen is a very unusual thing: he is a male porn star who has a female following, who have tumblrs devoted to him and everything. Apparently, the faces he makes and the way he moves pushes the right female buttons. Strangely, the profile of Deen in here reminds me of Jon Ronson’s profile of Justin Bieber; like Bieber, he spends a fair amount of time tweeting to female fans, some of whom turn out to be underage. But is his success one of those things? Or is his success the start of a new phase in porn? [via]
Cold Case: Leichhardt’s Disappearance by Ken Eastwood (Australian Geographic): Ludwig Leichhardt, a German explorer, was one of the first to explore Australia in 1844-45 he travelled from Brisbane to Arnhem Land, and quite accurately (and somewhat anally) recorded what he saw on the way. But in 1848 he embarked on another journey, from Queensland, and disappeared. His bones have never been found, and neither have very many of his effects. He may well have made it to the north of Western Australia.