Operation Whitecoat

From Wikipedia:

Operation Whitecoat was the name given to a secret operation carried out by the US Army during the period 1954-1973, which included conducting medical experiments on volunteers nicknamed “White Coats”. The volunteers, all conscientious objectors and many members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, consented to the research before participating. The stated purpose of the experiments was to defend troops and civilians against biological weapons, and it was believed that the Soviet Union was engaged in similar activities. It has also been alleged that experiments were conducted on civilians, but to a lesser extent.

Some 2300 “white coats”[2] contributed to the operation by infecting their bodies with pathogens and germs, and then by testing the effectiveness of antibiotics and vaccines against illness. After the ‘subjects’ fell ill, they were given immediate medical treatment. These experiments took place at Fort Detrick which is a US Army research center located outside Washington DC.[1] Diseases Whitecoats were exposed to include, in part; Q fever, yellow fever, Rift Valley fever, Hepatitis A, plague, tularemia(rabbit fever), and Venezuelan equine encephalitis.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

The Dunning-Kruger Effect or what I call, the backbone of the internet:

The Dunning-Kruger effect is the phenomenon whereby people who have little knowledge systematically think that they know more than others who have much more knowledge.

The phenomenon was rigorously demonstrated in a series of experiments performed by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, then both of Cornell University. Their results were published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in December, 1999.[1]

Kruger and Dunning noted a number of previous studies which tend to suggest that in skills as diverse as reading comprehension, playing chess or tennis or operating a motor vehicle, “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” (as Charles Darwin put it). Specifically, they hypothesized that with regard to a typical skill which humans may possess in greater or lesser degree,

1. incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill,
2. incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others,
3. incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy,
4. if they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.

US States Renamed For Countries With Similar GDPs

From Strange Maps.

The creator of this map has had the interesting idea to break down that gigantic US GDP into the GDPs of individual states, and compare those to other countries’ GDP. What follows, is this slightly misleading map – misleading, because the economies both of the US states and of the countries they are compared with are not weighted for their respective populations.

Pakistan, for example, has a GDP that’s slightly higher than Israel’s – but Pakistan has a population of about 170 million, while Israel is only 7 million people strong. The US states those economies are compared with (Arkansas and Oregon, respectively) are much closer to each other in population: 2,7 million and 3,4 million.

(via Information Aesthetics)