Tag Archives: science

IS ADD medicine over-prescribed in adults?

Or kids?

That is the $20,000 question.

This sort-of article in the NY times (maybe a blog post) does not really answer it.

First, if adults are now taking ADD meds, it can be because there is a real population of the needy who were not diagnosed or medicated. Is that over-prescribing?  Well, only if we can find that the people taking it are not fitting the diagnosis of ADD.

That is a valid question, but as the article points out, this report does not really nor can it, really answer that question.  So, instead, we tend to look at the question and answer it based on our own ideas.  If you think ADD is not a real or wide-spread problem, then, yes, it is over-prescribed.  If you think meds are a valid part of treating problematic problems, then this is progress.  If you think that perhaps people exhibit ADD symptoms due to their context, such as more stimulus, too little exercise, too little positive work structure, too many boring jobs, and so on, then we can medicate people to help them conform to context, but we are avoiding a full-spectrum approach.

I tend to be in the latter two camps.  Meds can help.  But it is worth asking if we have the best contexts for learning (kids) or working (bigger kids) for ADD people to be productive and resilient.

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Filed under psychology, sociology, Uncategorized

Cell phone precautions

Text of email from my pa-in-law:

Surprising warning from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute:

<http://www.environmentaloncology.org/node/201>

Some reaction, as reported in the press:

<http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080723/D923R4DO1.html>

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Filed under epistemology, Research, technology

The Grid is coming

The fine folks at CERN- the European physics research center where the WWW was born- seem to have a sense of humor.  They are calling their new super-duper network the grid.  Seems right out of cyberpunk imagination.  At least its not called the matrix.

Coming soon: superfast internet – Times Online
That network, in effect a parallel internet, is now built, using fibre optic cables that run from Cern to 11 centres in the United States, Canada, the Far East, Europe and around the world.

This strikes me as a fine example  of all the associated and indirect benefits form basic research funding.  Something that private corporate research would never invest in.   According to one FAQ from a British university, the total cost is something like $6 billion.  Total.

Compare that to the $374 million/day for the Iraq war. That is about a billion every three days.  In less than a month in Iraq, we will have spent more than the Europeans are on their new basic research tool.  What madness and folly is this?

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Filed under innovation, Networks, technology

Messin’ with my head: Our solar system isnt what it used to be

Not only did they diss cute, rakishly-tilted Pluto, no the astronomers are really messin’ with my head.

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 03/04/2008 | Our solar system isnt what it used to be
Under the new definition, the International Astronomical Union has officially recognized 11 planets: eight traditional ones plus three “dwarf planets. The dwarfs are Pluto; Ceres, which was thought to be an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter; and Eris, an object thats slightly larger than Pluto and farther from the sun.

At least 40 more dwarfs have been spotted even farther out and are awaiting official recognition. They bear names such as Quaoar, Sedna, Orcus, Varuna and Ixion. Dozens of others are known only by code numbers.

Maybe they miss the golden days of Galileo and Copernicus. They figure the stodgy field of astronomy will be shaken up by creating controversy and having the civil-religious authorities persecute them so they can be martyred on the high altar of science.

They still seem street-dumb though. They gave away those dwarf planet names for firesale prices. What would the naming rights of a dwarf planet be worth? How many telescopes could be bought with the proceeds from the official Gates planet, or Nike planetoid.

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Filed under humor, Research, Scholars

The Big Question and lots of answers!

 The Big Question

Strangely addictive.   They have questions form anyone, especially young folks.  Different experts post an answer.  Its like a hybrid wikipedia-britannica.

My fave is “How long would it take you to ride a chicken around the world?”

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Filed under digital culture, humor, Living Web, participatory technology, Research