Cargo Cult Contrarian

Cargo Cult Contrarian

Notes on language, memory and perception

  • Psychiatry by Numbers

    By melody | February 8, 2013 |

    "And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. […]

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  • Yet Another Harrowing Story of White Collar Addiction

    By melody | February 4, 2013 |

    Yesterday, Alan Schwarz, reporting for the Sunday edition of The New York Times , published an alarmist piece on Adderall abuse.  The story chronicles the short life of Richard Fee, a popular young pre-med who, after dabbling in fast-acting stimulants in college, faked his way into an ADHD diagnosis and, within months of filling his first prescription, began heavily abusing the drug, leading to severe addiction and psychosis, and ultimately to his suicide, two years ago, at the age of twenty-four. […]

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  • To the New Generation

    By melody | January 28, 2013 |

    This semester, I am heading a science writing and social media seminar with six undergraduates at Indiana University .  It's mostly an excuse to get some of the keenest young minds in psychology and cognitive science into my living room to discuss some of my  favorite-ever popular science articles (and, let's be honest, to taste-test some delicious cakes I've been baking with the help of  Vintage Cakes ). […]

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  • Visualizing the Language of Drug Experience

    By melody | November 26, 2012 |

    We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like "I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive...." And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. […]

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  • Reality, that seamless stream

    By melody | September 19, 2012 |

    “The influence, upon our thinking, of a comprehensive scientific theory, or of some other general point of view, goes much deeper than is admitted by those who would regard it as a convenient scheme for the ordering of facts only. …scientific theories are ways of looking at the world; and their adoption affects our general beliefs and expectations, and thereby also our experiences and our conceptions of reality. […]

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