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By "best" I really just meant that it manages to talk a fair amount about what
is in the paper (see the bullet points) instead of just focusing on the 
study's
authors that way some reports have. I agree that Meyer was over the top on the
"this is bad" part.

***********************
Matthew Brashears
Graduate Student
Department of Sociology
University of Arizona

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."
-Charles Darwin

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem
those who think alike than those who think differently."
-Frederich Wilhelm Nietzsche
***********************


Quoting Andrew Cleary <[log in to unmask]>:

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>
> Wow, if that scare-mongering extrapolation is the "best", I'm afraid of
> what the *worst* is... or by "best", did you mean "most dramatic misuse
> of the original study?" (seriously: I'm not sure what you meant by
> "best"). I have a hard time with a journalist telling people how they
> should feel about the news the journalist is reporting (e.g. "it should
> scare you").
>
> The number of ways in which I disagree with Meyer's conclusions and
> methods of drawing and reporting them are too numerous to list here. I
> am glad that the authors of the study seem to be doing their best (as
> they have reported on this list) to try to undo some of the damage that
> these sensationalistic exaggerations have been doing, though I'll say
> (having not read the original report) that if Meyer is accurate in
> reporting that it said some of these things - "The number of people who
> have someone to talk to about matters that are important to them has
> declined dramatically we have gone from a quarter of the American
> population being isolated  to almost half of the populations falling
> into that category," - then the authors brought some of this on
> themselves by editorializing unnecessarily (here, choosing to define
> "isolation" in terms of "reported number of confidants" when it isn't at
> all clear that that is the best or even a good definition of
> "isolation"), and that's leaving aside deeper issues such as whether
> having less confidants might have a *positive* causal factor, e.g.
> perhaps when people are happier overall they don't have as many problems
> *requiring* confidants.
>
> Andy

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