Quote of the week

My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?

Nathaniel P.Morris
Scientific American
8 August 2016

Poplak on the Local Government election

“Cast your eyes at the board,” said a grim-faced Duarte, of the vast screen that dominated the electoral centre. “Since the 2014 national elections, four million morepeople have voted for the ANC — to me, that it is not a defeat. That is nothing to sneeze away. And local elections here historically and internationally have a lower voter output. That doesn’t mean we’re losing the country.” But, Duarte was just being Duarte, and had screwed up the numbers. This was a local election, over the course of which punters tick one ballot for a ward councilor, another for popular representation and, outside the metros, a third for a district municipality.

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