Link Dump

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As per usual, just some linkies I found interesting:
  • My IRB Nightmare - Scott Alexander got revved up and tried to do some formal research at his hospital. The resulting bureaucratic mess is a thing to behold...
    IRREGULARITY #1: Consent forms traditionally included the name of the study in big letters where the patient could see it before signing. Mine didn’t. Why not?

    Well, because in questionnaire-based psychological research, you never tell the patient what you’re looking for before they fill out the questionnaire. That’s like Methods 101. The name of my study was “Validity Of A Screening Instrument For Bipolar Disorder”. Tell the patient it’s a study about bipolar disorder, and the gig is up.

    The IRB listened patiently to my explanation, then told me that this was not a legitimate reason not to put the name of the study in big letters on the consent form. Putting the name of the study on the consent form was important. You know who else didn’t put the name of the study on his consent forms? Hitler.
    The ultimate point is worth considering as well:
    I sometimes worry that people misunderstand the case against bureaucracy. People imagine it’s Big Business complaining about the regulations preventing them from steamrolling over everyone else. That hasn’t been my experience. Big Business - heck, Big Anything - loves bureaucracy. They can hire a team of clerks and secretaries and middle managers to fill out all the necessary forms, and the rest of the company can be on their merry way. It’s everyone else who suffers. The amateurs, the entrepreneurs, the hobbyists, the people doing something as a labor of love. Wal-Mart is going to keep selling groceries no matter how much paperwork and inspections it takes; the poor immigrant family with the backyard vegetable garden might not.
    Well said.
  • Redditors design worst volume sliders possible - A little UX humor for you, though I bet somewhere, some bureaucracy is mandating the use of something like one of these for ridiculous reasons.
  • World's Strongest Man — Full Day of Eating - Around 12,000 calories. This is almost a week's worth of calories for me (or, uh, should be). The crazy thing is that he considers eating to be the hardest part of his training regimen, though it sounds like a constant, all day affair, so I could see that getting old. I imagine the Bodybuilder diet is different, since this guy is going for pure, functional strength rather than body sculpting...
  • No, YOU spent Labor Day weekend putting Michael Meyers into the background of Activia commercials. Brilliant.
  • Stop Laughing At Old Movies, You $@%&ing Hipsters - I don't get to a lot of repertory screenings, so this isn't something I run into, but it does sound obnoxious.
    The audience at Hercules in the Haunted World thought the styrofoam boulders were hilarious. They cracked up the first time Park opened his mouth and baritone Kihun Yoon began to sing. Soon after, most people settled down. But a third of the house continued to treat Bava's heartbreaking fantasy epic like a comedy. Guy gets boiled in lava? Hysterical! Lady gets her throat slashed? Priceless! People weren't laughing because Mario Bava was funny. They were laughing because Mario Bava wanted them to feel. (No one seemed to care if composer Patrick Morganelli and his singers had their own feelings hurt.)

    The guy behind me munching Sour Patch Kids and wearing an ironic Hawaiian shirt kept up the chuckles for 91 minutes, long after I began to beseech Zeus to throw a non-styrofoam boulder at him. His stubborn laughter was an advertisement for his own superiority, like it's heroic to refuse to be “suckered” by a fake rock that's obviously fake. But there's nothing triumphant about being too cool to dream.
    Seriously, why would someone like that go to a Mario Bava movie? I guess he found it funny, but it's still obnoxious.
Oh man, the Six Weeks of Halloween is coming. Just two weeks. Gird your loins.