Friday, February 27, 2009

Self serving scientist

Baroness Greenfield should know better, which leads me to believe she has become a LAME commentator. Here is her public speculation, based on nothing but personal intuition, about the effects of the social networks of "teh interwebs" on the brains of children:
"I often wonder whether real conversation in real time may eventually give way to these sanitised and easier screen dialogues, in much the same way as killing, skinning and butchering an animal to eat has been replaced by the convenience of packages of meat on the supermarket shelf," she told the UK Parliament.
Zuh? What's the point of that False Analogy? To convince me social networking is good? Funnily enough, I prefer my meat pre-packaged...

A teacher of 30 years had already noticed a sharp decline in the ability of her pupils to understand others, Lady Greenfield told the House of Lords.

Given Greenfield's area of research is brain science, I find it hard to believe she isn't aware of how the brain reconstructs memories, and of course, Observational Selection. So how can she make such claims?

Questions for the Lady: Did you write any of this down at the time? You know, gather trustworthy data? Or is this just your own personal anecdote?

"It is hard to see how living this way on a daily basis will not result in brains, or rather minds, different from those of previous generations," she said.
Well, yeah. That's a reasonable hypothesis. But without actual research, that's all it is. Moreover, so what? Is "different" automatically "bad"?

Hmmm, one or two generations ago brains, or rather minds, tended to be xenophobic, homophobic, sexist, etc. I'm pretty glad they're different now...

Ben Goldacre sticking it to these self-serving LAME media slags.