August 31, 2023

Posted by orrinj at 6:20 PM


Massive school satisfaction gap pits parents against everyone else (April Rubin, 8/31/23, Axios)

76% of parents believe their K-12 students are receiving a quality education, according to new data from an annual Gallup survey.

But just 36% of adults overall said they were satisfied with K-12 education in the country.

What do consumers know about products?

Posted by orrinj at 7:41 AM


China risks losing the battle of market perceptions (WILLIAM PESEK, AUGUST 31, 2023, Asia Times)

Accurate or not, a narrative is taking hold that China's growth "miracle" is over and that "Japanification" risks abound. It doesn't make it so, but in these social media-driven meme-stock times, in which algorithmic trading trumps gut-feeling responses to global uncertainties, false narratives can take on a life of their own. And damaging ones can metastasize quicker than Xi's inner circle may realize.

Along with unfavorable demographics, China confronts slipping exports, growing risks from the decoupling/derisking dynamics of recent years and persistent questions about China's true innovative powers.

Even in these asinine times, there is nothing funnier than the Left/Right ranting about the "failure" of Liberalism.  

Posted by orrinj at 7:32 AM


Is Long COVID Linked to Mental Illness? (GRACE HUCKINS, JUNE 26, 2023, Slate)

No serious doctor would deny that the mind and body are intimately linked--many would even argue that it is meaningless to differentiate between the two, since the mind is really nothing more than the brain. But it wasn't just the right-wing Floridians looking to minimize long COVID who responded to her results. Pieces by mainstream journalists have suggested that linking depression and long COVID is tantamount to accusing all long COVID sufferers of being malingerers.

As of yet, there is no conclusive proof that stress or mental illness can contribute to long COVID. But since Roberts' paper, several other studies have found associations between post-COVID symptoms and mental illnesses like depression. None of this research proves that mental illness plays a role in causing long COVID--it might not play any direct role at all--but some experts see the connection as a promising path toward understanding, and treating, the condition. As long as the idea that mental illness is somehow less "real" than physical illness persists, however, investigating that link remains a risky proposition--both for the researchers, who might expose themselves to intense online criticism, and for the patients, who could see such studies weaponized against them.

"Being 'real' or not is a very false dichotomy," says Tracy Vannorsdall, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins. "And it doesn't do our patients, or our scientific thinking, any good."

It's why God gave us placebos.