Random links

Why Doctors Die Differently
"It's not something that we like to talk about, but doctors die, too. What's unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared with most Americans, but how little." One of the reasons that the article lists for this is false impressions given in the media of the success rate of certain procedures.
The Power of Being Pulled Over
The author of Traffic: "You might think that the police officer who pulled me over wasn’t doing his job, because he didn’t ticket me. But there is evidence that what often matters in reducing traffic violations is not punitive action per se, but simply the process of being pulled over and receiving the warning. This imparts the idea that the driver has violated some community norm, and reminds him (and other drivers who pass by) that there are police looking after those norms. The effects can be dramatic and long-lasting."
Blacks say atheists were unseen civil rights heroes
"Think of the civil rights movement and chances are the image that comes to mind is of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. leading the 1963 March on Washington. But few people think of A. Philip Randolph, a labor organizer who originated the idea of the march and was at King's side as he made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Why is King, a Christian, remembered by so many and Randolph, an atheist, by so few?"
Investing in Good Deeds Without Checking the Prospectus
How people don't seem to use a lot of wisdom in selecting charities to donate to. One of the biggest problems I'd argue is the following: "But donors often give to charities for reasons of pride. Monitoring a charity means worrying about the wisdom of contributing to that charity. Many donors would instead prefer simply to feel good about their generosity and thus they deceive themselves into thinking that all is going well. Furthermore, many donors seek a sense of affiliation and wish to be a part of large and successful organizations — the "winning team," so to speak. Again, these donors do not focus on how, or if, they actually end up improving the world."
Bad News for People With Hard-to-Pronounce Names
"people form more positive impressions of easy-to-pronounce names than of difficult-to-pronounce names" and that seems to translate to being more likely to be promoted. "[T]he effect is independent of name length (Studies 1, 2, and 4), orthographic regularity (Studies 1, 2, and 4), unusualness (Studies 1 and 3), name typicality (Study 3), and name foreignness (Study 5)."