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Dozens of studies can still be wrong

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

“Everyone” knows that you can’t trust just one study … but even dozens of studies can still add up to diddly and squat. Scott Alexander back in 2014:

I worry that most smart people have not learned that a list of dozens of studies, several meta-analyses, hundreds of experts, and expert surveys showing almost all academics support your thesis … can still be bullshit. Which is too bad, because that’s exactly what people who want to bamboozle an educated audience are going to use.

I worry about that too. The whole piece is highly recommended dorky reading: “Beware the Man of One Study.”

Reading that post is like listening to myself think. Which I realize is quite flattering to myself, because Astral Codex Ten (formerly Slate Star Codex) is amazing and Scott Alexander’s thinking/writing is amazing. But wow, seriously, dude… get out of my head!

Love the “radical skepticism” bit… 😜