Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why We Cannot Trust Political Pundits, or Ourselves

Take a look at the image below and decide what you are seeing: Some of you might have seen a “B.” Others might have seen the number 13. The image, after all, is ambiguous. For that reason, in fact, it … Continue reading

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Tobacco is Taking Over the World!

We’ve done a lot of things in the United States over the last few decades to curb tobacco consumption. We’ve warned people cigarettes will kill them, created persuasive ad campaigns to scare people away from cigarettes, and added a hefty … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Ethics, Health & Well-being, Uncategorized | Tagged ,

Heart-Wrenching Words from Beethoven on Deafness

It is an awful irony that Ludwig van Beethoven, who I consider the greatest composer in the history of the world, experienced deafness from an early age, a disability that did not seem to interfere with his musical productivity one … Continue reading

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Clever Graphic to Stop Public Urination – Yes, Urination

Let’s face it – us men are disgusting. So public policy experts are left to figure out how to keep us from behaving in our normally disgusting manner. Here’s one approach (thanks to Geoff Riley for bringing it to my … Continue reading

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Are Some Life Saving Treatments Overkill?

Thanks to the popularity of medical television shows, most people have witnessed hundreds of fictional cardiac arrests in their lifetime. In most of these scenes, the patient loses consciousness, and the medical team rushes to the bedside: “He’s in V-fib.” … Continue reading

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Health Insurance Prices Declining under Obamacare

One year does not a trend make, but it does look like prices for health insurance under Obamacare next year will decline, on average. Ezra Klein, over at Vox.com, produced a nice picture of these prices: Who knows: in the … Continue reading

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Power of Analogy

From time to time in this blog, I take a moment to celebrate fine writing. Here is an example I came across in an article in Smithsonian magazine from May 2014. The author, Corey Powell , was trying to explain how astronomers … Continue reading

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Moderate Politicans: No Reason to Run for Office

A while back, my friend and colleague Brendan Nyhan  sent out a disturbing picture showing that moderate politicians, from both the Democratic and Republican parties, are less likely to run for seats in the House of Representatives than more extreme politicians: … Continue reading

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Something I Have in Common with Beethoven

Friends and family are painfully aware of how obsessed I have become with Beethoven lately. My plan is to have 10 of his piano sonatas in my brain and fingertips at any one time, ready to play by memory on … Continue reading

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Is [Your Favorite Politician Here] Narcissistic Enough to Be a Good President?

I expect we all agree that the presidency is not a job for a shrinking violet.  We acknowledge that a president without self-confidence would be a disaster in the making.  But just how confident do we want our president to … Continue reading

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