Microsoft’s Nephi Psychics Noticing Ye Fake

I Was One of America’s Top Psychics - And Like All Of Them, A Complete Fraud by Mark Edward (Alternet): Edward tells the story of being a psychic, having started off as a magician, and wanting more drama. Fascinating to see behind the curtain…

I, Nephi by Adam Gopnik (New Yorker): Gopnik examines the history of Mormonism, and its curious ability to forget about the past, to ignore previous edicts, etc. And what might that say about Romney? Funnily enough Gopnik says not much, but insinuates something else.

Is Autism An Epidemic Or Are We Just Noticing More People Who Have It? by Emily Willingham (The Crux): A: We’re just noticing more people who have it.

Can You Fake Mental Illness? by Douglas Starr (Slate): Currently some guy is apparently claiming mental illness as a defense for his Batman-movie-related actions. If he’s lying and trying to fake it, forensic psychologists will probably be able to pick it. After all, they generally know more about what people with a mental illness look like, what with having experienced a fair few people with that illness. And they have some fairly sophisticated means of separating the real from the fake. Or so they say…

Hear, All Ye People; Hearken, O Earth by Errol Morris (New York Times): Errol Morris is doing psychology experiments in the New York Times; apparently the font Baskerville causes more people to believe a statement than any other font, whereas people are least likely to believe the statement if it’s in Comic Sans. Oddly, other research has shown that, while people might be more likely to believe things written in Baskerville, they’re more likely to understand things written in italicised Comic Sans. Perhaps font use might be a window into the intent of the author.

Microsoft’s Lost Decade by Kurt Eichenwald (Vanity Fair): Eichenwald seems not to be a fan of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and some of his truly mind-bogglingly bad staff motivation techniques. Apparently this is why Microsoft has generally lost ground to Apple and Google and the like in the last decade. Apple now makes more money on iPhones alone than Microsoft makes all up. Then again, I still prefer Windows 7 to OS X (I dunno, that spinning wheel that means “thinking now, just wait for me, no, not telling you anything else” drives me nuts, and I see it way too often when I use them). And I’m still waiting for Open Office or Google Docs to genuinely be more useful and amazing than MS Office (which is a crap pile) rather than just trying to replicate it.

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    This comes full circle when you actually do have a condition that people tend to like to fake, or self-diagnose or...
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    I believe you could, but it hasn’t been successful in a court proceeding in a LONG, LONG time. (So good luck with that.)
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