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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 
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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