In an Iranian Prison, Tortured by Solitude

No man is an island, as John Donne quoth, and to be isolated as such must be a horrible experience. The following quote is from a short and harrowing piece from a recent guest of the Islamic Republic of Iran: More than once, I beat at the walls until my knuckles bled and cried myself […]

BBC: Is the alcohol message all wrong?

This is a brilliant piece from social anthropologist Kate Fox. Her basic point is that the characterisation of the effects of alcohol by many awareness campaigns does not stand up to scientific scrutiny, and could probably increase its attraction. It’s very simple, she says: The effects of alcohol on behaviour are determined by cultural rules and […]

A formula for justice | Law | The Guardian

Interesting piece about how the justice system does not parse well with psychological science: Research has shown that people frequently make mistakes when crunching probabilities in their heads. “We like a good story to explain the evidence and this makes us use statistics inappropriately,” he says. When Sally Clark was convicted in 1999 of smothering her two children, […]