Scrap the Safe Drinking Water Act!

New York Times reports: “The Trump administration announced on Monday that it would take formal steps to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.” There are several other laws that probably “destroy American jobs” and that might as well be scrapped while at it: The pesky Litter Prevention acts found today in all states. Why should you have to use trashcans when there is a Continue Reading

On race and gender, part III

In an earlier post I wrote about the useless concepts of gender and race, for instance as the basis for affirmative action. It seems that at least some people in the US agree with me. The latest Economist has an article on the controversy regarding affirmative action at American universities. It goes on the suggest: Perhaps the most promising is the idea – most forcefully advanced by Richard Kahlenberg of the Century Continue Reading

Losing old friends is sad

I have probably seen every episode of The Monty Python Flying Circus. My teenage room was decorated with posters of an androgynous David Bowie. My turntable played Elton John, Nazareth and Genesis. As a kid I read all of Enid Blyton’s books. Culture from the UK was a big part of my early years. I was a big fan of British humor. Before last summer the UK also used to be Sweden’s Continue Reading

Axioms of psychiatry

I want to write a few posts about psychiatric care. As I wrote in a recent post I’ve come to realize that psychiatric care is inadequate in many ways in the western world. I believe that I need to declare a fundamental set of “axioms” (beliefs, assumptions) to be able to discuss many of the more practical problems in psychiatry later. Many decisions and treatments in psychiatry depend on such things as Continue Reading

We are failing the mentally ill

As I wrote in an earlier post, I’ve been thinking a lot about the sorry state of psychiatric care in the Western world (the only part of the world from which I happen to have information – I speculate that the state is even sadder in the developing world). Mental illnesses as a group cost the society more than cancer or cardiovascular diseases, between two and four percent of the GNP of Continue Reading

Dysrationalia

I’m reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I’ve read only a handful of books that have changed my life. Escher, Gödel, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter and the Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge come to mind. I have added Fast and Slow to that handful. I pride myself of being a reasonably rational person. Sometimes I’m even arrogant enough to accuse other people of “intellectual laziness”. Fast and Slow presents a Continue Reading

Another harmful label

In an earlier post I wrote about the labels “race” and “gender” and their limited usefulness in discourse and policy making. There are several more where those came from. An often mentioned one in Sweden right now is “unaccompanied refugee children”. It is claimed that they are over-represented in crime statistics, in particular sexual offences. Whether true or not, this is yet another use of a useless and misleading label, like “race” Continue Reading

Freedom of religion or freedom from religion?

In several cases recently here in Sweden, “freedom of religion” has been used as an argument for obtaining certain privileges. These are my current thoughts about this somewhat controversial topic: If commercial or non-profit enterprises or voluntary groups provide services and goods such as halal or kosher food, exclusive time slots in privately operated swimming pools, financing for mosques or churches, hindu gyms or whatever, without tax subsidies, that’s fine with me. Continue Reading

On the useless concepts of race and gender

In my personal battle against irrational thinking I’ve come to think about the categories “race” and “gender” and how they are used to categorize people and to make policy. There is a strong suspicion that Asian-Americans are discriminated against by several top American universities. There will probably soon be a quota for the percentage of women on the boards of directors of Swedish companies (Norway already has that). And there is still Continue Reading

Swedish students slapped with a Computer Tax

Sweden is fantastic in many ways. This is not one of them: Back in the 90’s the Swedish government wanted to encourage Swedes to get connected and to learn how to use computers. We would get a tax deduction for buying a computer and broadband installations were subsidised. A few years later schools (particularly of the for-profit persuation) started to give laptops to their students. Since then we’ve seen many Swedish information Continue Reading