What I'm Reading (June 15)

By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA — Jun 15, 2023
Both political parties use misinformation Feynman’s learning technique Anxious carnivore? Car Dealers “one of the most important secular forces in American conservatism”?
Image by Łukasz from Pixabay

At ACSH, we spent a fair amount of time debunking misleading, misinformed science and policy. We have been at it for over 40 years.

“Most people really are very poorly informed about politics and policy. A lot of campaign messaging is pretty misleading. A lot of media coverage is sloppy and propagandistic. It’s also true that as a result of education polarization, over the past few cycles, Democrats have mostly done worse with relatively uninformed demographic groups (poor white people, working-class Hispanics) and better with relatively well-informed high-SES whites. This is to say that if you set out to find misinformation among people voting Republican, it’s not hard to do so. But it’s a totally unprincipled inquiry unless you take a systematic look at misinformation, in which case you’ll see it’s hardly confined to Republicans.”

As Matthew Yglesias writes, misinformation is on both sides of the aisle, "Misinformation" isn't just on the right."


“Richard Feynman was one of the great scientists of the 20th century, making significant contributions to physics and other related fields. Part of what made him stand out was his gift for teaching. He had a remarkable knack for explaining some of the most complex things in ways anyone could understand. … The Feynman learning technique is typical of how he approached understanding something deeply and helps explain some of his teaching skills.”

From sketchplanations, The Feynman Learning Technique


I continue to be bothered, increasingly, by eating other animals. This piece did nothing to ease those concerns.

“Hinnen is part of “the meat community,” as she calls it. While you can find people pursuing ethical meat production in many corners of the world, the practice has particularly gained traction in this slice of the American Pacific Northwest, where a “conscious carnivorism” movement, which advocates buying hyper-local meat or practicing butchery, has been growing for at least a decade. You might be familiar with Colin the Chicken of Portlandia fame, a skit in which a restaurant server describes to diners the name and life of the chicken on their plate. Or, more recently, a viral Tweet of the fake Uber Eats feature “Meet Your Meat,” in which you can learn that your rib eye was named Janice and enjoyed alfalfa. But the real-life meat community is serious—a more earnest group of true believers you will not find anywhere, with a conviction that borders on semireligious. You should meet your meat, they believe. In fact, to truly eat meat ethically, this means observing every step of the process: birth, life, and death, from the pastures to the butcher shop.”

Were we all more plant eaters in the past because of the scarcity of meat, or did meat signal an elite status, or because you only ate what you killed? From Bon Appétit’s ongoing series Anxious Carnivores, One Bad Minute


Tesla has showrooms but no dealerships. That is not a coincidence or a high-tech maneuver; it is the law in nearly every state where manufacturers are prohibited from directly selling you a car. Here is a bit on the topic from Marginal Revolution, Wheeling and Dealing: How Auto Dealers Put The Brakes on Direct Sales

Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA

Director of Medicine

Dr. Charles Dinerstein, M.D., MBA, FACS is Director of Medicine at the American Council on Science and Health. He has over 25 years of experience as a vascular surgeon.

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