I recently angered a family member by questioning an article she said she read in Time magazine. She said the article showed that bilingual/multilingual people are smarter. I immediately started in on a favorite theme of mine, the difference between observational studies and controlled experiments. In recent months, I have had a similar reaction to claims that eating breakfast reduces heart disease in men (Leah Cahil, Harvard) , and that drinking artificially sweetened soft drinks causes obesity.

Am I justified about these in particular, or in general, or neither. Does the power of econometrics negate concerns about bias and confounding? "Cox proportional hazards models" are mentioned in the Cahil study.

Can anyone recommend a good book on the subject of experiments vs. studies in the social sciences?

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Robin, for your book, assume most people reading as having 85 IQ.

You're effing horrible at explaining simple graphs. Explain EVERYTHING. Explain it all! Some of your EM talks were laughably bad. Why? You didn't explain what the graph meant, nor why it is important. I have very intelligent fellows in my circle and even they could not make sense of your gibberish.

Trust me. If I had to guess about your book feedback then "logic feedback" is a lot less than say "what are you talking about?" feedback.

x2 for the blog.

Don't be a candle!

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Ha ha. I like that one.

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What we think of as a divergent or convergent person is not absolute but conditional especially with respect to common sense, facts and truth.

When presented with the common sense assertion the sun will rise in the morning, a convergent person will say "what time?" whereas a divergent person will say "assuming the sun doesn't burn out over night".

However, I've noticed divergent people see truth, facts and common sense in opinion whereas a convergent person sees many possibilities. The convergent person applies logic to expose false premises or faulty reasoning in the divergent's theories or generalizations.

Steve Jobs, a divergent, said Toy Story would revolutionize film and that the world wouldn't be the same after the iPhone. Those were both opinions, but he presented them as truth or self-evident. A convergent person would say the same thing was said about the Palm Pilot, which flopped.

I think I'm divergent, so I like to see truth where there is opinion. I also like to generalize, to make things simpler. It's just the way I am.

We were debating an opinion, that there are two types of people, and I limited myself to two classes, whereas you see more possibilities. There's nothing wrong with that. It actually affirms the overall framework of my argument.

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I've always liked: there are three types of people, those who can count and those who cant

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What's up with the bitcoin bubble?

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Which brings up my favorite programmer's joke: "The world is divided into 10 types--those who know binary and those who don't."

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Sure, that makes sense... But why stop at only two types? I'm thinking maybe one should consider all five types of useful people, i,e., the alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and epsilon types, per Aldous Huxley. See http://classiclit.about.com... :-)

Plus: "There exist two types of people in this world: those who divide people into two types, and those who don't." And it's sure hard to argue with that. :-)

Best regards.

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To work in corporate America, you're better off as a convergent thinker. If you want to be a singular talent, like an entrepreneur or artist then you're better off as a divergent thinker.

To function effectively, society needs a mix of both, probably 80/20, with convergents in the majority since they're the ones that execute the divergent's ideas and otherwise keep the trains running on time.

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