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Tim Martin
Works at New York State Psychiatric Institute
Attended The College of New Jersey
Lived in Yawata, Japan
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Tim Martin

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Shame on the American Psychological Association!

"Last week, a long-awaited external report confirmed suspicions of the APA’s involvement in the torture of detainees following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the ensuing ‘war on terror.' Starting in 2005, the report found, APA officials worked with the DOD to keep the organization’s ethics guidelines loose enough to justify the participation of psychologists in the DOD’s ‘enhanced interrogation’ programme. As a result, the DOD and CIA could easily brush aside the ethical concerns of their own psychologists: the APA had given the programme its imprimatur.

The story is rife with conflicts of interest: according to the report, six of the nine voting psychologists on the APA task force that wrote the guidelines had consulting relationships with the DOD or CIA, and one former APA president owned a financial stake in the consulting company that oversaw the CIA interrogation programme. "
An independent report on the American Psychological Association reveals the extent to which some psychologists colluded with US military and intelligence agencies to allow torture of prisoners.
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Tim Martin

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Ramit's giving away a plane ticket to anywhere and lots of swag for traveling and having a good time. I like swag. If you like swag (or travel), it takes 5 seconds to enter.
Imagine having the freedom to travel and work from anywhere. With my Instant Vacation Giveaway, you’ll get that chance.
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Tim Martin

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“But it feels so real, it can’t be nothing.”

“It feels real because it is real. Your paralysis is not imagined, but that does not necessarily mean that it is a primarily physical disorder.”

A fascinating look at psychosomatic illness, from a very eloquent doctor.
Yvonne went blind overnight, Matthew couldn’t walk, Shahina lost the use of her hand – but doctors found nothing wrong. Were they faking it, or was the mind playing tricks? A neurologist on her most intriguing cases
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Tim Martin

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"Even though she hates lawn ornaments, Sharon Roseman, 68, has a grinning, pink lobster outside her home in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. She calls him Louie, and when she comes home, the lobster’s gaudy presence is the only thing that lets her know for sure that she’s made it to the right house."
People with a rare neurological condition called Developmental Topographical Disorientation, or DTD, can even get lost inside their own houses.
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Tim Martin

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I really love Valerie Tarico's articles on abortion.

A choice excerpt:
"All around us, living breathing and loving are the chosen children of mothers who waited—who ended an ill-timed or unhealthy pregnancy and then later chose to carry forward a new life. “I was only going to have two children,” my friend, Jane said as her daughters raced, screeching joyfully, across my lawn. Jane followed them with her eyes. “My abortions let me have these two when the time was right, with someone I loved.”

Those who see abortion as an unmitigated evil often talk about the “millions of missing people” who were not born into this world because a pregnant woman decided, not now. But they never talk about the millions of children and adults who are here today only because their mothers had abortions—real people who exist in this version of the future, people who are living out their lives all around us–loving and laughing and suffering and struggling and dancing and dreaming, and having babies of their own."
Recently, the Daily Kos published an article titled, I Am Pro-Choice, Not Pro-Abortion. “Has anyone ever truly been pro-abortion?” one commenter asked. Uh. Yes. Me. That would be me. I am pro-abort...
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Tim Martin

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This was a great talk and a greater Q&A.

Anthony Pinn became a preacher at the age of 12. He went on to study religion and become a minister, but left the church when he found that none of his religious teachings made a real difference in the difficult lives of the members of his African-American community.

And then we have the Q&A, which Sean Carroll describes nicely in his blog:
"[The Q&A is] often not worth listening to, but in this case it’s the highlight of the presentation. The audience of atheists are looking for yet more self-affirmation, demanding to know why more Blacks haven’t accepted the truth of a secular worldview. Pinn is very frank: naturalism hasn’t yet offered African-Americans a “soft landing.” Too many atheists, he points out, spend a lot of time critiquing religious traditions, and a lot of time patting themselves on the back for being rational and fair-minded, and not nearly enough time constructing something positive, a system of networks and support structures free of the spiritual trappings. It’s a good message for us to hear."
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Tim Martin

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Nitrogen glaciers on Pluto. It's crazy how much we can learn about something SO far away.
I’ve been expecting—and seeing—amazing images of Pluto from the close approach flyby of the New Horizons probe from mid-July. And even though I knew the images taken once the spacecraft was past Pluto would be lovely, I still wasn’t quite prepared for just how awe-inspiring they would be. Behold:
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For the past six years, Colorado has offered long-acting contraceptives to teenagers and poor women for free.

The teenage birthrate dropped by 40% from 2009 to 2013, and the rate of abortions fell by 42%.

Long-acting contraceptives are expensive, but...

"The state health department estimated that every dollar spent on the long-acting birth control initiative saved $5.85 for the state’s Medicaid program, which covers more than three-quarters of teenage pregnancies and births."
A program to offer long-acting birth control, like free IUDs and implants, has helped reduce teenage pregnancies by 40 percent and abortions by 42 percent.
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Apparently if you give cash to poor people, they will use it to get an education, start a business, or otherwise increase their means in a sustainable way.

It's a great idea, and I am incredibly impressed with how this organization isn't interested in pulling at heartstrings:
"GiveDirectly's website is a monument to the organization's data-driven approach. Instead of heart-wrenching photos of children in need, you'll find numbers -- lots of numbers -- that identify whether GiveDirectly's services are hitting its key performance goals. "This means that we could make a mistake and you would see it at the same time that we would," Niehaus said. "We think that’s a powerful standard to set."

The group's website does feature personal stories from individual cash recipients, but GiveDirectly says the people they interview are chosen at random. Niehaus described it as a fundamentally different approach to promoting a charity, one based on giving donors an accurate view of the lives of the poor. "This is a real opportunity to disintermediate the way Americans learn about poverty overseas and give them a much more honest and unfiltered view of what that life is like, and what people were able to do with their money.""
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Judging from the headline, I wasn't sure how much this article would be informative versus how much it would be sensationalistic and glib.

Well, despite some reservations about how constructive Bohannon's ruse was, I think this article teaches a few things about interpreting scientific results, and being skeptical about science reporting.

The largest piece of advice I would add that isn't included in the article is: DON'T JUST GO BY ONE STUDY. There is an entire body of research on the health effects of chocolate. A single study should be considered in proportion to the entire body of research.
“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. It made the front page of Bild, Europe’s largest daily newspaper, just beneath their update about the Germanwings crash. From there, it ricocheted around the internet and beyond, making news in more than 20 countries and half a dozen languages. It was discussed on tel...
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Tim Martin

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This is kind of brilliant.

Scouts for Equality is raising money for the Boy Scouts of America, but they're using a new crowdfunding platform called "Challeng" where the money only goes through if the recipient completes some sort of challenge. In the BSA's case, they have to end their ban on gay adults in scouting by the time of their national meeting in May. If they don't, they'll be saying goodbye to what will probably be tens of thousands of dollars.

I donated. It's not that I would want the BSA to change their policy just for the money - in fact, I don't think they would. But there must be leaders in the organization who want to see the BSA free of discrimination, and making it easier for them to push their case seems like a good idea. The sooner that child and adult gays are allowed in scouting, the sooner the organization becomes a more inclusive place. (And then the atheist scouts can gain acceptance as well!)
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Tim Martin

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D'aaaaaaaaaaaaw.

"If you don't think of spiders as cute and cuddly, then you’ve never met Sparklemuffin, Skeletorus, and the elephant spider. Scientists have identified these three new species of peacock spiders in various parts of eastern Australia."
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Have him in circles
613 people
Andy Stanberry's profile photo
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Jordan Landers's profile photo
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Bridget Wolfe (Pan Incarnate)'s profile photo
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Work
Occupation
Research Coordinator
Employment
  • New York State Psychiatric Institute
    Research Coordinator, 2009 - present
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Yawata, Japan - Obama, Japan - Katsuyama, Japan - Hamilton Township, NJ - Princeton, NJ - New York City, NY
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Introduction
I'm an atheist and a blogger. I'm a swing and a blues dancer. I'm a nerd. I love learning. I play videogames. I love traveling. I'm a scientist by lifestyle, if not profession. I speak Japanese.

Follow me for posts about atheism and religion, science (including cool stuff that I find), social issues and activism, and things in general that I find stimulating or awe-inspiring. Photos of the amazing world we live in and the amazing people in it included.

I also have a blog specifically about atheism and religion. About living up to the full potential of the human species, and not being held back by the ancient mandates of people who knew nothing about our world. I want human societies to be as happy, healthy, and free as possible.

The Floating Lantern
Bragging rights
I've hitchhiked across the Tohoku and Kyushu regions of Japan.
Education
  • The College of New Jersey
    Psychology, 2002 - 2006
  • Kansai Gaidai University
    One semester study abroad, 2005
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Male