Volume 3.22 (May 26-June 1)

Why Can’t Doctors Identify Killers? (Richard A. Friedman, NYT)– “Large epidemiologic studies show that psychiatric illness is a risk factor for violent behavior, but the risk is small and linked only to a few serious mental disorders. People with schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder were two to three times as likely as those without these disorders to be violent. The actual lifetime prevalence of violence among people with serious mental illness is about 16 percent compared with 7 percent among people who are not mentally ill. ”

Why You Hate Work (Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath, NYT)– “Recognizing the value of intermittent rest, we persuaded this firm to allow one group of accountants to work in a different way — alternating highly focused and uninterrupted 90-minute periods of work with 10-to-15-minute breaks in between, and a full one-hour break in the late afternoon, when our tendency to fall into a slump is higher. Our pilot group of employees was also permitted to leave as soon as they had accomplished a designated amount of work.  With higher focus, these employees ended up getting more work done in less time, left work earlier in the evenings than the rest of their colleagues, and reported a much less stressful overall experience during the busy season. Their turnover rate was far lower than that of employees in the rest of the firm. Senior leaders were aware of the results, but the firm didn’t ultimately change any of its practices. “We just don’t know any other way to measure them, except by their hours,” one leader told us. Recently, we got a call from the same firm. “Could you come back?” one of the partners asked. “Our people are still getting burned out during tax season.””

Inequality and political polarization have been rising in tandem for decades (Christopher Ingraham, Wonkblog)

A Do-Nothing Congress? Well, Pretty Close (Derek Willis, The Upshot)

How the NRA Rewrote the Second Amendment (Michael Waldman, Politico)

An American Passion for Tyrants (David Rieff, NYRB)

Inequality and the unfree market (Eric Ruder, Socialist Worker)

The Ghosts of Tiananmen Square (Ian Johnson, NYRB)

We need a strong prison system (Richard A. Posner, The New Republic)– “But we need to imprison people for fewer crimes and for less time”

Your Princess is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement and Nerds (Arthur Chu, Daily Beast)– “Fixating on a woman from afar and then refusing to give up when she acts like she’s not interested is, generally, something that ends badly for everyone involved. But it’s a narrative that nerds and nerd media kept repeating.”

Eight Reasons Why Congress Offers the Worst Job in America (Pete Kotz, Houston Press)



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