Open Thread

A little bit of stuff from around the web:

i. “Most people lack the motivation and self-discipline to teach themselves entirely new subjects while sitting alone at their computers. “Will I ever need this? Will I ever be asked to prove I know this? Will anyone ever be impressed by my knowing this? Will anyone I care about care if I don’t know it?” If the answer to any of these questions ever seems like it might be “no”, boom, window closed, game over. Or rather game on. Time for some XBox!”

Quote from the comment section of this post, where the main topic is MOOCs. I wrote some comments related to that quote, but later decided not to post the stuff I’d written – but I figured I might as well post the original quote and include the link here.

ii. Too Fat to Fit through the Door: First Evidence for Disturbed Body-Scaled Action in Anorexia Nervosa during Locomotion.

“To date, research on the disturbed experience of body size in Anorexia Nervosa (AN) mainly focused on the conscious perceptual level (i.e. body image). Here we investigated whether these disturbances extend to body schema: an unconscious, action-related representation of the body. AN patients (n = 19) and healthy controls (HC; n = 20) were compared on body-scaled action. Participants walked through door-like openings varying in width while performing a diversion task. AN patients and HC differed in the largest opening width for which they started rotating their shoulders to fit through. AN patients started rotating for openings 40% wider than their own shoulders, while HC started rotating for apertures only 25% wider than their shoulders. The results imply abnormalities in AN even at the level of the unconscious, action oriented body schema. Body representation disturbances in AN are thus more pervasive than previously assumed: They do not only affect (conscious) cognition and perception, but (unconscious) actions as well.”

Much more at the link.

iii. I posted Zach Weiner’s video earlier, but this one is pretty good too:

iv. A chess game I played recently. In related news (?), Magnus Carlsen has started a youtube channel:

Sorry for the infrequent blogging – I don’t have a good excuse so you can just ascribe it to lack of motivation and self-discipline (see above). On a more serious note I have been working a lot and I have not been feeling particularly great. This comic actually for a short while made me seriously consider if it would be worth it to deliberately gain 20-30 kg just in order to cut a decade or two off my life expectancy; the associated costs seemed a lot lower to me than they usually are for other people, and there would be benefits as well – although it’s hardly a good coping device, food is certainly better than quite a few of the alternatives (e.g. alcohol, hard drugs).

I should note that if people don’t at least occasionally add links/comments/reading suggestions/questions etc. to these posts, I’ll consider retiring the Open Threads again. On a related matter I like it when people provide feedback via the rating system, but people rarely use this feature.


February 8, 2014 - Posted by | Open Thread


  1. This might interest you:

    Comment by Miao | March 6, 2014 | Reply

    • Looks like mostly (contemporary) macro data, which do not hold a great deal of interest to me in general. But thanks for the link!

      I think you might have convinced me to retain/revive the Open Threads.. Even if people seem rarely to contribute to them, there really should be posts on this blog where sharing links like these is considered both natural and encouraged.

      Comment by US | March 7, 2014 | Reply

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