Science is Magic! (With Statistical Alchemy) | The Weekly Geek 49
Updated: Jul 13, 2021
Hey there, you nerd. Here's a short list of stuff I'm currently enjoying and geeking out about:
New phone grip I'm using: LoveHandle Pro. Since getting my first smartphone in 2009 I've avoided using phone grips. I never liked how most looked or how cumbersome they felt while carrying my phone in my pocket. The LoveHandle, by contrast, is a low profile, comfortable grip. I liked it so much I upgraded to the new LoveHandle Pro, which acts as a grip, kickstand, and magnet for mounting your phone on any magnetic surface. I didn't think I'd use the magnet feature much but was pleasantly surprised to find I can use it to stick my phone on the magnetic trim at the gym or mount it on the fridge to watch videos while cooking. It's credit-card safe too. This sounds like an ad for LoveHandle, and I wish it was so I could've gotten a free one, but it's just a nice quality-of-life upgrade I figured I'd share. The only problem I had was the adhesive started to pull away after frequent use of the kickstand, but I contacted LoveHandle to see if this was a common issue on the Pro or if I didn't apply the adhesive correctly (which was a possibility). Will update this when I get a response. UPDATE: LoveHandle responded quickly and sent me two new LoveHandle Pros plus extra adhesives free of charge. That’s how you build a brand.
Eye-opening video I'm watching: This TED Talk by epidemiologist Ben Goldacre details the ways scientific studies can hide undesirable results. The bit about how pharmaceutical companies do this is the most alarming. As someone who tries to form dispassionate viewpoints based on the best available evidence, this talk confirms a disappointing reality for me: scientific research, even from the most respected institutions, is not insulated from the myriad ways humans deceive themselves and others. How, then, do we believe anything we're told? Great question. Please let me know when you find the answer. P.S. I discovered this TED Talk on Tim Ferris's 5-Bullet Friday, which served as a model for the format of The Weekly Geek. Highly recommend subscribing.
Podcast I'm digging: Breaking Points. I stay away from politics on this blog, because politics suck, but I found Krystal Ball and Saager Enjeti's podcast through their interview with Joe Rogan, and immediately checked out their show. The duo's self-described mission is to "make people hate each other less." They cut through two-party system polarization by pointing out hypocrisy on both sides and following the money trail to highlight facts the corporate media refuse to address. Of course, I don't agree with all their viewpoints, but the fact that they recognize their own biases and don't seem to hold to a blind dogma is a much-needed breath of fresh air.
That's it for this week! If you like discovering awesome new things, please consider subscribing and sharing, you nerd.