A multicolored collection of pills is shown.

Placebo Controls

Here and there, Americans are looking for reasons to swallow hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19, often brandishing studies that show positive effects of the drug. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has so far rejected each of the studies as failing to meet the requirement for a “randomized, placebo-controlled” …

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The night sky is shown, with stars

Thinking About the Future

A global pandemic doomed a lot of social and commercial predictions for 2020, but the epidemiologists have reminded us of the potential that still exists for accurate forecasting. The progress of the disease has matched scientific models better than politicians’ hopes. Still, predictions in any large social concern is about groups rather than individuals, meaning …

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A number of darts have been thrown into a dartboard.


The blog post on “Play” would have been a good time to bring up game behavior, but I was preoccupied with the issue of prematurely identifying the origins of the behavior. Besides arguments about origins, the Internet contains a number of definitions and classificatory schemes, which seem to be beside the point in explaining the …

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