Brexit in graphs

This is a collection of graphs showing how people voted and other interesting statistics. Some you might not have seen and others you definitely will have. I’m not going to include every graph, especially the most common ones, as you will almost certainly have seen them. Please remember to take all the polls with a pinch of salt (only a small sample of people can be asked and it may not be representative, people may have given socially desirable answers, lied, etc.). If there are any graphs you feel I have missed, please comment below and I will add them. read more

Collection of criticisms of Adam Perkins’ ‘The Welfare Trait’

In late 2015, Dr Adam Perkins published his book called ‘The Welfare Trait’. The main crux of his argument was that each generation who is supported by the welfare state becomes more work-shy. He also argued that the welfare state increased the number of children born to households where neither parent works. His solution is to change the welfare state to limit the number of children that each non-working household has.

His book caused quite a storm when it was first released. Some people argued that it was crudely-disguised eugenics, others argued that those who were dismissing it were refusing to face the facts. Over time, more and more criticisms of and problems with Perkins’ work have come to light (e.g. basic statistical errors and incorrect conclusions from papers). Below is a collection of some (but not all) of the criticisms levelled at Perkins’ book. read more

Good news everyone: Playing video games can result in a boost in brain volume

A recent study (Kuhn & Gallinat, in press) found that participants who played Super Mario 64 (an amazing game by the way) for 30 minutes a day for 2 months experienced a significant increase in gray matter volume in brain areas that control spatial awareness, memory, and strategic thinking. The specific areas that saw an increase were the right hippocampus, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and on both sides of the cerebellum. This was compared to the control group that did not play video games during the study. MRI scans were taken at the beginning and end of the study to establish changes in brain structure. 

As someone who loves playing video games this is pretty good news, especially since the media often chooses to vilify video games as a scourge of the people. Obviously though this doesn’t mean that you should go and play video games non-stop (more research needs to be done to establish the ideal amount of time spent playing video games) and it will also be dependent on what type of video game you play (again, more research will be needed to work out specific facts). But all in all it’s still good news. 

The full Nature article
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